KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Malay rights group Perkasa has extended its support for former educator Datuk Raof Husin, who over the weekend had called for the government to end federal scholarships for minority students.
In a statement, Perkasa said more scholarships should be offered to Bumiputera, while reminding others that the bloody May 13, 1969 racial riots happened due to the economic divide between the communities.
“The government must review this matter and do something now before it is too late, because the economic divide of the Bumiputera is widening with days
“In this relation, we must never forget why the May 13 event happened,” the group’s deputy president Datuk Sirajuddin Salleh said.
Hundreds of Malaysians are believed to have died during the May 13, 1969 clashes between the Malay and Chinese communities. Although ostensibly triggered by the results of Election 1969, it was rooted in ethnic tensions between the two communities.
Sirajuddin claimed that the number of Bumiputera professionals are much smaller, and that the high cost to further education has been a barrier towards the “less fortunate” community.
“The only effective instrument is scholarships that can shoot up Bumiputera’s economic dominance to a higher level,” said Sirajuddin, who also leads Perkasa’s education bureau.
“Therefore we see those who are opposed to scholarships for Bumiputera as those who are anti-national unity and at the same time wish to see the country’s destruction.”
On Saturday, Raof who represented the Malaysian Association of Former Education Officers, told a convention of Malay-Muslim coalition Ummah that the government was constitutionally bound to limit study aid to Bumiputera students.
Raof had cited Article 153 of the Federal Constitution that states that it is the Yang diPertuan Agong’s prerogative to reserve scholarships and civil service positions, among others, for the Bumiputera community.