My friend and MCA Vice President Ong Tee Keat has said it loud and clear. "Drop the ketuanan". When asked about possible backlash against his statement, Ong responded "What backlash? I’m speaking the truth.”
Ong said the phrase "Ketuanan Melayu" had nothing to do with the Federal Constitution and was not something that needed to be said any more considering the special position the Malays already have.
“For other races, ketuanan (superiority) implies the word kehambaan (slavery). The root word of ketuanan is tuan (master), and that does not give it a good meaning.
“In Malaysia, we have lived together for so long and the relationship is not the same as between a master and a slave,” added Ong.
Nevertheless, UMNO leaders including Abdullah Badawi have tried to play with this rhetoric to prolong the use of the phrase. The PM justified its use by saying that the Malays need something to rally them for betterment.
In today's world, superiority refers to knowledge and power. A knowledgeable society is a superior society. If the Malays want to be more superior, they should be encouraged to acquire the right knowledge to enhance their socio-economic position in the country. Power, of course, is a realist terminology. A developed society with access to both knowledge and resources is a powerful society e.g. Japan, US, Germany etc.
If the phrase "ketuanan" is used in a feudalistic context where superiority is given through birth then the community is surely being misled to believe in such nonsense as superiority through social status or legislation.
I applaud Tee Keat for his frankness and his courage to speak out the truth. I urge MCA members to support him as their next President because he is definitely more forward thinking than any others.