KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Najib Razak has given an assurance that while the Malays' privileges and rights are enshrined under the Federal Constitution, those of the other races are fully protected as well.

The Umno president said: 'As we know, the position of the Malays and bumiputras and other races in terms of politics has been clearly enshrined in the Constitution.'

Mr Najib noted that the Malay privileges could not be disputed, challenged or debated by anyone. He said even if there was a two-thirds majority in Parliament, nothing could be changed without the consent of the Council (of Rulers) represented by the nine Malay Rulers.

'In other words, it would be pointless to quarrel and use this provision to threaten the other races because the provision enshrined is so concrete, even if an emergency were to be declared, it still cannot be touched,' he said.

Mr Najib said any amendments to these articles could not be carried out without the consent of the Council of Rulers under Article 159 of the Federal Constitution.

Mr Najib said if the doubts over the motive, trustworthiness and sincerity towards each other existed among the people, it could destroy what had been built by the past leaders.

He said the people should appreciate the concept of the 'loyalty pledge' and respect the 'noble consensus' which saw the Malays and non-Malays willing to 'reciprocate' for their common good when championing for the country's independence.

Malay rights remain: Najib