Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Malay Rights, Suqiu, Communist Bogey, and UMNO Youth

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Malay Rights, Suqiu, Communist Bogey, and UMNO Youth

Article excerpt

Even before the issue of the Selangor Chief Minister's scandal could be settled, the pro-government Malay paper Utusan Malaysia started running headlines on a purported emerging threat to Malays over the provision of their "special rights".22 This issue was blown up based on an interview given by David Chua, deputy chairman of the National Economic Consultative Council (NECC), who had earlier appeared in a story in the Far Eastern Economic Revie w.23 It was reported that he had proposed that certain Malay special rights be done away with in order to stimulate growth in certain industries. A few days later, a group calling itself the Suqiu (Election Appeals Group) celebrated the first anniversary of its "17-Point Appeals" memorandum, endorsed by some two thousand Chinese organizations calling for various reforms just before the 29 November elections. Utusan Malaysia highlighted this event to feed the "Malay rights" controversy further, claiming that among the appeals was a demand that bumiputra (indigenous) special rights be revised. UMNO Youth acted immediately upon this "revelation" and organized two vociferous demonstrations --- one in front of the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya to demand his action, and another at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur to harangue Suqiu officials. …

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