Racism & Whither Malaysia

Khoo Kay Peng

Dr Mahathir is not new to controversy. I had said that the ex-premier will only tarnish is already poor image and thinning legacy with more vicious statements and speeches.

In a speech on Tuesday, Dr Mahathir told Malaysians to admit that the country belonged to the Malays and that they had to accept the culture and language of the dominant community.

The former prime minister said that the country’s forefathers gave the Chinese and Indians citizenship because they expected the communities to respect Malay sovereignty.

“This country belongs to the Malay race. Peninsular Malaysia was known as Tanah Melayu but this cannot be said because it will be considered racist.

“We must be sincere and accept that the country is Tanah Melayu,” he said.

He also said the administration must be clear on what is 1 Malaysia.

Mahathir’s speech shows why Malaysia is a state but not a country. How can Malaysia achieve greater success in attracting and retaining talents at home if this government continues to belittle almost half of its citizens? Mahathir was a president of UMNO and a premier of this nation. His position on this issue deserves an explanation from the current UMNO government.

I fear that many, especially those in Perkasa, share his view on Tanah Melayu. Perkasa and UMNO share almost the same membership base.

Mahathir, himself of an Indian origin, refuses to accept and respect the constitutional rights of all Malaysians to equal opportunities, safety and respect after being a premier of this country for more than two decades is a contempt of the federal constitution.

He had insulted the federal constitution for refusing to respect the citizenship rights of all Malaysians. Shouldn’t Mahathir be brought to justice the same way the Sri Muda assemblyman is being charged for sedition?

Unfortunately, there is no rule of law in this country. Racism and race politics will destroy the nation’s social fabric. It is sad that politicians in this country are more preoccupied with race supremacy, religion and monarchy than putting more attention on the state of economy and the need to reposition Malaysia in the changing global order.

Sadly, if the Malays in this country continue to believe in the flimsy notion of Malay supremacy being a protective shield of their existence and survival this country will not be able to change its course and will head for eventual destruction.