IT CAME as no surprise that delegates at the recently concluded Malay Dignity Congress took the stand that important Cabinet and government positions be reserved only for Malay-Muslims.
The sentiments expressed at the weekend event were not exactly new.
For an onlooker, the fear of a non-Malay, non-Muslim playing the role of prime minister, or heading the police must have been palpable if it was not equally laughable because we know it will never come to pass.
Looking back, one cannot help but wonder what is the basis for such fears.
By convention, the most powerful positions in the government have always been held by Malays and Muslims.
Even at the state level, the position of mentri besar will never go to a non-Malay and non-Muslim. In states such as Perak and Selangor, such a condition is even written in their respective constitutions.
But should a person’s suitability for a job in government be determined by his integrity, ability and other qualities that make him more qualified than his peers.
Neither the colour of his skin nor his spiritual commitment should be a determining factor. A good Muslim, Christian or Buddhist does not necessarily make one a good finance minister.
The race card has been, sadly, overplayed. And that is the tragedy.