KUALA LUMPUR – Several matters mentioned in the social contract are indeed a form of compromise among all races in the country and not at all biased towards the Malays as claimed by certain quarters, former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah said.
“For example, Islam is the official religion of the federation, but other religions can be freely practised. The Malays may have their privileges, but other races also have reasonable rights.
“However, some people will only ‘read’ half of it and did not even know how the contract was agreed to by the representatives of the three main races in the country,” he said as the panelist in a forum titled ‘Social Contract and the Future of Racial Relations in Malaysia’ here last night.
He said the boldness of certain quarters in questioning and challenging the national social contract was mainly due to the lack of understanding of its history and meaning.
The forum, attended by students, teachers, representatives of non-governmental organisation and community leaders, was aimed at providing greater understanding on the elements of the social contract enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
Another panelist, Prof Madya Dr Shamrahayu Ab Aziz (pic) said certain quarters had even used the social contract issue to achieve their political agenda.
“This must stop because I’m worried that such action would turn extreme without them understanding the spirit in the social contract,” said the law lecturer from the International Islamic University of Malaysia.
Meanwhile, National Council of Professors’ National Unity Cluster secretary, Assoc Prof Dr Sarjit Singh Gill said the act to challenge the social contract was also due to the people’s lack of understanding about the other races’ cultures and religions.
“Don’t be extreme and ethnocentric in thinking that our cultures are better than others. We need to look at our similarities, rather than our differences.
“For example, some may think that the Subuh ‘azan’ (call for Subuh prayer) is disturbing, but for me, it is also wake up call for me to perform my religious obligation. From there, we can see the existing similarities,” he said. – Bernama