Everyone’s a racist, in Dr M’s eyes

(Free Malaysia Today) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad has condemned everyone as racist, and what is unravelling now, according to him, is not a campaign against racism.”

“What we are seeing is a campaign by racists against racists. The meritocrats are as much racists as the Malay NGOs and Perkasa,” he said.

Penning his thoughts on the issue of meritocracy in his blog, the 84-year-old statesman turned the clock back to 1964 when Malaysia held its first election.

Tunku Abdul Rahman, he said, had struck a deal with the then chief minister of Singapore Lee Kwan Yew that the People’s Action Party (PAP) would contest only in Singapore.

“It was really not a smart kind of agreement. It was not put on paper at all. Only an understanding between two leaders. It was not surprising that PAP decided to contest in the peninsular,” he added.

According to Mahathir, Lee believed that the Malaysian Chinese, who were represented by MCA, could be persuaded to back him.

If MCA was defeated, Tunku would have to replace MCA with PAP in the Alliance, the predecessor of Barisan Nasional.

“The PAP is a Chinese party largely. But had always projected itself as non-racial. To win in Malaysia Lee had to appeal to Chinese chauvinism. However, he could not do this openly.”

“Being the astute politician that he is, Lee came up with a slogan which did not sound chauvinistic but which played up Chinese sentiments to the core. The slogan was ‘Malaysian Malaysia’,” he said.

“While appearing to be appealing for all Malaysians, the slogan clearly suggested that there was no equality between the Chinese and Malays. He and his party were made out to be fighting for equality, whereas MCA represented only the Chinese towkays,” he added.

The Malays, said Mahathir, were alarmed at the prospect of the Peninsular Chinese combining with Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak Chinese to outnumber them.

“Split as they were between PAS and Umno, their chances of continuing to dominate Malaysian politics was at risk,” he added.

DAP inherits the legacy

Strangely, Mahathir said, PAP failed to outshine MCA. But Tunku was shocked and decided that Singapore’s inclusion in Malaysia posed a great danger. A year later, Singapore was expelled.

“But PAP’s chauvinistic legacy was taken up by DAP. And the slogan ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ continued to figure in Malaysian politics, evolving into a new catchword, ‘Meritocracy’. If ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ conjures equality between races, ‘Meritocracy’ implies something stronger.”

“It implies dominance by the race with the greatest merit in every field, in education, in business and in all fields of human endeavour,” he added.

Mahathir said when the Malays, understanding the implications, protested against meritocracy, they were condemned as racists.

“Faced with being labelled as such, most Malays dared not support even the NEP. Some, perhaps due to mistaken pride begun to support meritocracy, undermining the Malay position further,” he added.

Presently, Mahathir said, many Malay NGOs were trying to defend the Malay position and were invariably labelled as racists.

The unfortunate truth, he added, was that those who labelled them were equally racists because of their advocacy of meritocracy.