Kuala Lumpur, July 13 (ANI): Malaysia has claimed that the Indian-Muslim community is treated the same as its Malay counterparts even without a proclamation to declare them as 'bumiputras'.
According to The Star, a minister in the Prime Minister's Department Seri Nazri Aziz has said that rather than being assimilated into the Malay race, the community should be proud of its heritage.
"Requests by Indian-Muslims to be recognised as bumiputras is a good thing but at the same time, it goes against our efforts to ensure the community retains its identity. I feel it is best that Indian-Muslims have their own identity," he said.
"People regard them as Malays and I feel they will eventually become Malays over the years. They will be assimilated. Perhaps, a hundred years from now, we won't be able to tell the difference as we speak the same language and share the same customs," he added.
'Gabungan Syura India Muslim Perak' President Abdul Zabar Kamaldeen had earlier urged that the Indian-Muslims be given 'bumiputra' status just like the Thais and Portuguese living in the country.
"From the definition within the constitution, it is clearly stated that a Malay must firstly be Muslim and then, must speak the Malay language, practice Malay customs and lastly, be born in the country. Based on this, the Indian-Muslim community shares the closest of identities with the Malays," he said. (ANI)