Mahathir’s intriguing rhetoric of Malaysia-belongs-to-Malays

Dr Dzulkelfy Ahmad

You have asked me to write on a difficult subject and answer a thorny question especially coming close to a general election and after the defeat in Tenang.

It’s alright with Tun Mahathir and for that matter even with PM Najib.They could say the darnest things and yet could later turn and twist to escape unscratched and invariably scot-free. Not with us, lesser mortals, we will be criminalised especially by none other than people like you, the media.

I will say my piece, nonetheless, without fear or favour again. This is the most dangerous part of it. On the back of a perceived dwindling of the Malay support, my audacious attempt at taking the bull-by-the-horn type of response might not concur well with conventional Malay wisdom in politics.

Being very objective, as I usually do, I’ve no qualm to again concur with anyone, that this nation, originally, has a lot more to do with Malays more than Indians or Chinese.

Since time immemorial, Western chroniclers have described this part of the world as Malay Archipelago while the Greek geographers, dated a lot earlier, described the Peninsular Malaya as the Golden Chersonese as gold is found here to this day.

That is as much as I would like to talk about the “Malayness” of this beloved country of ours at this critical juncture of our much embattled nation. Going beyond, which I very well could do, will embroil me in an unending claims and counter-claim, a debate I don’t wish to be part of.

But the most paradoxical thing about this debate is “Why Mahathir is insisting on this dialectic or divide, when he should be openly supporting Najib, ostensibly his protégé, on his 1-Malaysia rhetoric”.

This is the crux of the matter, the bone of contention and the climax of hypocrisy of the living Umno elites namely the combination of Najib and Mahathir!

Frankly, this is their drama or soap-opera in securing power and putting the Pakatan at bay. It’s a double-game of sort, a double-speak in its highest order. It is simply a case of downright greed – wanting to eat the cake and keeping it. It might have worked before, during lesser enlightened time of the Old Politics, but no longer now under the rubric of the New Politics!

Mahathir’s rhetoric that this country belongs to the Malays ie others are less-than-equal as Malays are more-equal-than others, ensures Umno will endear and entrench further the ‘gullible’ Malay support.

Meanwhile Najib’s 1-Malaysia is meant to hoodwink the ‘gullible’ Chinese and Indians (of MCA-Gerakan and MIC members and well-wishers respectively) into believing that they are equally Malaysians, as this country also belongs to them, apparently oblivious of the fact that are relegated as ‘second-class’ in the strictest sense of Mahathir’s worldview.

What a farce and a hypocrisy!

Be that as it may, PAS/Pakatan is not into such game and publicity stunt.

I for one, would like to believe that the issue of the special position of Malays and the (natives) bumiputera of the states of Sabah and Sarawak, must be read together with equal emphasis, with the legitimate interests of other communities ias enshrined in the Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

That’s perhaps the greatest safeguard for all! Pakatan and PAS have no problem with that at all. In all conviction, this has become one of our ‘cardinal’ pillars of our Common Policy Framework (CPF). That’s the greatest security to Malays while simultaneously upholding the legitimate rights of all races.

Malays must not succumb into Umno’s machination that Pakatan would forsake their special position for fear of the DAP and the other ethnic groups. Umno is evidently preying on Malays’ fear.

Yes, we are also unlike Umno in the BN, acting as Tuan and Boss to others and at whims and fancy, dispensing orders for others to toe their line. On the contrary Pakatan’s CPF, achieved through consensus, upholds the cardinal articles of 153, 152 and article 3, without much qualms and misgivings by all our partners. Being a member of the Secretariat, I say it again in full conviction and earnestness. I see the undivided commitment and relentless effort by all.

Back to the argument, it is all the better, as it’s the ordained role of the Constitutional Monarch, who must see to that all these communities must be accorded their special position and interest, as it is the responsibility of the yang DiPertuan Agong as enshrined in the article 153 of the FC.