KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Amid calls for some states to secede, Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah issued a warning today that any move away from federalism would be impossible to reverse.
The Gua Musang MP from federal ruling party Umno however admitted that “regionalism” and “regional loyalty” that are being bandied about has crept in because the federal government has lost respect.
“It would seem that regionalism has crept in because of eroding respect for central government due to the lack or loss of legitimacy,” the politician better known as Ku Li said while launching a book titled The End of Umno? Essays on Malaysia’s Dominant Party.
“Those clamouring for it does not take into account the role of Constitution in binding us together.
“We must not forget this. If we do, we would not be able to put Humpty Dumpty together again,” he added.
In August, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad similarly caution that promoting affinity to individual states over the country will divide Malaysians, as such notions could encourage “unhealthy” feelings of superiority by the residents of one state over another.
Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim had on several occasions suggested that his state was entitled to leave Malaysia if it was unhappy with the federal government, most recently in June.
The Johor royal family has also turned the “Bangsa Johor” catchphrase into an unofficial motto it said is aimed to rally its people regardless of their race or religions.
There have also been citizens’ groups in Sabah and Sarawak who have been pressuring their state governments to secede from the Malaysian federation to regain autonomous rights.
Calling for the secession from the Malaysian federation is considered seditious.