KUALA LUMPUR, 24 March 2009: Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak reminded all quarters not to twist the facts of history in recounting Umno’s action to amend the law with regard to the Malay rulers.
“It was never done in bad faith, but rather with the noble intention of preserving the royal institution and upholding the doctrine of the separation of powers which is the basis of any democratic government.
“I wish to take this opportunity to remind all Malays (Malaysians) not to do things which we may regret later. To those who speak with a forked tongue, do not pledge allegiance in the morning only to betray by mid-afternoon,” he said in his speech when simultaneously opening the Wanita Umno, Youth and Puteri Delegates’ Conference 2008 at the Putra World Trade Centre, here, tonight.
The deputy prime minister said Umno held sacred the position of the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land, while the position of the Malay rulers was an essential part of the Constitution.
“Although in our system, the monarchy reigns but does not rule, the state governments and the federal government rule in the name of the Malay rulers as the head above the executive arm of government.
“Therefore, if the Malays (Malaysians) themselves fail to show utmost respect to the Malay rulers who have all this time served as the symbol of unity and stability, then who else will?”
Touching on language, Najib said learning various languages would not diminish the Malay Malaysian identity but would instead make them stronger and increase their self-confidence in facing the challenges of a globalised world.
“Therefore, our younger generation must not only master the English language but be proficient in at least three major languages in order to truly shine in the global arena,” he suggested.
Najib said the special position of the Malay language would always be protected no matter what happened.
However, he reminded that if the people perished what good would the language of that people be, and that the continuity of a language largely depended on the strength of the people to whom the language belonged.
“For example, Latin is now almost extinct but for ceremonial use in academic institutions and traditional ceremonies. Sanskrit and the Incan and Aztec languages have also perished with the extinction of the people who speak them.
“The more important consideration is strengthening the people or the race that speaks the language. Indeed, who would care to learn the language of a people who are weak, poor and lacking in knowledge?
“Only a people of great strength and high standing will raise the dignity of their own language, their culture and their value system.
“So, the crux of the matter lies in strengthening the people or race, first and foremost. To do this, we must first master knowledge and wisdom, much of which is today documented in the English language,” he said. — Bernama