Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Minister of Prime Minister Department, in his opening speech during the Dialogue Unity on 22 February 2014, he mentioned that
“When will Malaysian to see themselves as Malaysian and not by race, and too see me as Joseph Kurup and not as Kadazan Dusun but as a Malaysian. Even after 50 years of independence, it is sad to see we are still identified by the race and religion. Maybe it is time for us to annul the requirement to state our race in any forms in this country. Maybe this is a beginning.” (Department of National Unity and Integration, 2014)
From his speech, he did not put any pressure to the National Unity Consultation Committee Member to accept the idea to annul race section from any forms, but to allow the committee member to think and discuss on this matter. His speech has raised reaction from many people. Even though, there are people who agree with this proposal (Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, 2014), there are few oppositions from the Malay rooted NGO and political leaders.
An action research was conducted by IPSAS in collaboration with Department of National Unity and Integration (JPNIN) with regard to this issue. The data represent only the views of Peninsular Malaysian, cut across races and generations. This research shows that majority of Peninsular Malaysian does not agree with the idea to annul race section in the official government and private form. However, Chinese and Indian communities are keen to agree on the idea to annul the race section in the official government and private forms compared to the Malays and Sabah/Sarawak Bumiputera living here in Peninsular.
Moreover, Gen Z also agree with the idea, which is contradict from the Baby Boomer, Gen X and Gen Y. Based from the finding of this research, the annulment of the race section in the official government and private forms has the potential to spark race sensitivity and polemic among the multiple race in Malaysia because there exist significant difference of perception among the race and generation. This findings also would like to suggest to remain the race section in the official government and private forms with no selection of race or ethnic to be filled in. In addition, to have the “for equality chances” statement next to the race section in the forms.
Prepared by : Ismi Arif Ismail, Dzuhailmi Dahalan, Haslinda Abdullah, Turiman Suandi, Steven Eric Krauss dan Nurul Akhtar Kamarudin
Updated:: 31/05/2017 [nooryati]