In Article 160(2) of the Constitution of Malaysia it clearly states under its definitions that:
"Malay" means a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay custom and -
■ (a) was before Merdeka Day born in the Federation or in Singapore or born of parents one of whom was born in the Federation or in Singapore, or is on that day domiciled in the Federation or in Singapore; or
■ (b) is the issue of such a person;
So strictly speaking a person who is of any other ethnicity (e.g. Chinese, Indian, etc.) who fulfills the aforementioned criteria (as in the case when such a person of the said ethnicity converts into Islam) is thus deemed a "Malay" in the eyes of the constitution and as such is privy to whatever special rights attributed to them.
So therefore... should it be called the special rights of the Malays or rather the special rights of the Muslims?
To attribute special rights based on ethnicity may be justifiable in the light of the fact that history clearly shows that the other 'races' were brought to this country by the foreign powers in control of the land at the time... and as such were not 'natives' of this land and were given citizenship in exchange for respect for the preservation of certain matters including that of the special rights of the Malays.
when the constitution as it is written seems to attribute these special rights with a leaning towards religion than ethnicity... then what exactly remains the basis of such allocations? And are they therefore necessarily valid and justified?
Cos' technically speaking i could therefore be a 'foreigner' to this land but yet be privy to the special rights made available to the 'natives' of this land simply because i am or became a Muslim.
i'm hardly an authority on the matter and don't claim to be so but as a layperson who's in love and sincerely interested in the matters in and pertaining my country,
i can't help but wonder...