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Is Malaysia ready for equality? Before answering this question, I would like to refer to Article 8 definition of equality.

The basic and simple definition of equality is therefore, All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law. In my point of view, I think Malaysians have already forged a strong unity, hence Malaysians are ready for equality in rights. One of the most controversial and hindrance to equality, in my point of view, is Contract 153. According to Contract 153, it grants Yang di-pertua Agong of Malaysia the responsibility to safeguard the special positions of Malay. In the past, opportunities have been created and based on this Contract to develop the Malay race, either in economic opportunities, education, or political positions. But today, a great step has been taken by Malaysians and policy in making equality more and more evident among Malaysians. One great example is the concept of 1 Malaysia as proposed by Dato Seri Najib. Though effective, it has gained more and more attention of Malaysians and it needs more involvement of Malaysians in realizing this aspiration. Equality, in fact, has a wider meaning and interpretation. It covers everyones right before the law as well besides opportunities of development. Malaysia Constitution has revised article 8 and carries out necessary changes from time to time to make sure it fits the current social situation. Everyone is equal in laws. In 1971, a revised edition has been done that even the royal family is not exempted from punishment from the laws when they commit crime, and they no longer have immunity towards the law. This is a show of progressive step of Malaysians towards equality. And indeed, now Malaysians can mingle around with other races easily without any discrimination as compared to the incident happened in 13 May 1969. In a nutshell, my personal opinion towards equality is a positive view. I would like to conclude here by stating that Malaysians are getting closer and closer to real equality, to a colour-blind society that crosses out racial discrimination. Thank you.

Shirley Ling Zin Yii

PM 22

MALAYSIAN STUDIES Individual Assignment 2 : Article 8 Equality for Malaysians Introduction: Article 8 basically is a simple definition of equality, that is, All people are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law. Article 8(2), in its original form, prohibited discrimination against citizens on the ground of religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment. Although Article 8 highlighted the equality among Malaysians, in fact, is it possible for Malaysia to achieve equality in every aspect? In my opinion, the answer is NO. Point 1 : Constitution of Malaysia includes the affirmative actions taken to protect the special position for the Malays of Peninsular Malaysia and the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak (collectively, Bumiputeras) under Article 153 which grants the Yang di-Pertuan Agong responsibility for safeguarding the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities and goes on to specify ways to do this, such as establishing quotas for entry into the civil service, public scholarships and public education. As stated in Article 153, the Malays and natives in Sabah and Sarawak have the priviledges in the quota system, which is already a fact that can never be changed. However, the Chinese and Indians are not given the priviledges or any special rights at all! The inequality was already there and nobody can do anything to it. Therefore, it is impossible for Malaysia to achieve equality.
Point 2 : According to Dr.Muhammed Abdul Khalid a research fellow with University

Kebangsaan Malaysia - although Malaysia has made great strides in reducing poverty and inequality (especially between ethnic groups) from 1970 to 1990, the economic inequality remains high post-1990 until now. It has remained almost at the same level for the past twenty years; in fact, the inequality in Malaysia is among the highest in the region. This means that the people in rural area remains in poverty while people in the cities have a better earnings in life. Furthermore, employment agents are exploiting foreign workers as they charge more than what the workers would have earned during their employment contract. This means that they do not give the first priority to the local workers. The local workers are not treated as they should be treated as stated in Article 8. Therefore, this overall gives a wide economic gap among the Malaysians.