Malaysian Solidarity Council

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The Malaysian Solidarity Council is a confederation of political parties formed in 1965 May 9 until August 9 to oppose Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia. This article specifically provides special quotas for the Malay and other indigenous peoples of Malaysia in admission to the public service, awarding of public scholarships, admission to public education institutions and the awarding of trade licences. It also authorises the government to create Malay monopolies in particular trades. Critics have called such affirmative action for the Malays to be racial discrimination against other Malaysian citizens, with the goal of creating ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).

The rallying motto of MSC was Malaysian Malaysia. It was not a mere tautology because it distinguishes between nationality and ethnic classification. The complaint was that Malaysia was not being "Malaysian" by discriminating against non-Malay Malaysians, and was rather being a "Malay Malaysia".

The MSC functioned as a political bloc which was led by Lee Kuan Yew and the People's Action Party when Singapore was still part of Malaysia. It composed of multi-racial parties such as the PAP, the People's Progressive Party and the United Democratic Party.

At the MSC's first and only general meeting, several leaders from these parties gave speeches supporting a Malaysian Malaysia. D. R. Seenivasagam in his speech accused the Alliance of using Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia to "bully non-Malays".[1]

The political bloc ran in the April 1964 Malaysian federal elections.[2] The bloc campaigned on a platform of eliminating racialism and a Malaysian Malaysia. Their rallies attracted large crowds. However the end result was a victory for the Alliance Party, which won 89 of the 104 seats. Voter turnout was 78.9%. The result also contributed towards the eventual expulsion of Singapore from Malaysia. The PAP won only one seat — that by Devan Nair, who represented the Bangsar constituency.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lee, pp. 616–617.
  2. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p152 ISBN 0-19-924959-8