Malays will become minority if they are divided, says Mahathir

(Bernama) – The Malays will become a minority group who are incapable of championing their rights if they continue to be divided, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the Malays were now divided into three factions and that only through unity could they become an effective majority group to protect their interest.

“Previously, the Malays were united into one party to the extent that they succeeded in opposing (the proposed establishment of) the Malayan Union,” he said when responding to a question from a participant at the premier lecture by him, entitled “The Development of the Civilisation and Culture of the Malaysian Community Towards the Formation of a Progressive Nation”, here today.

Dr Mahathir, 85, said the voice of the Malays would be drowned if they were divided into several minority groups and needed the support of other groups to achieve the objectives of their struggles to preserve their own race.

Regarding the group who championed the individual’s fundamental rights, the fourth Malaysian prime minister said the original democratic principle that emphasised on the rights of the majority had now turned to the aspects of the individual’s fundamental rights.

He said if the freedom of the individuals was allowed without any restriction, this would create tension in the community.

Dr Mahathir said demonstrations were allowed in a democracy but if they were carried out on a large scale without restriction, this could bring about negative results such as jeopardising business activities.

He said it was also important to develop positive personal values from the young age so that this would continue to be upheld by the people as they grew older.