‘Malaysian Malaysia’ goes against principles: Chandra

(The Star) – The concept of “Malaysian Malaysia” goes against the principles of moderation, 1Malaysia Foundation chairman Prof Dr Chandra Muzaffar said.

Dr Chandra said some of today’s politicians were still promoting the concept which was mooted by former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew back in 1964.

Personal touch: Muhyiddin handing over a gift to Dr Chandra during the launch of the ‘Understanding of Wasatiyyah and 1Malaysia’ seminar at Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.

“The Malaysian Malaysia idea is a concept that is unfair and it goes against the principles of wasatiyyah, or moderation,” said Dr Chandra, when speaking at the “Understanding of Wasatiyyah and 1Malaysia” seminar at PWTC here yesterday.

The seminar was organised by Umno in conjunction with its general assembly next week.

He said the concept rejected and denied the basic rights of Malays and bumiputras in Sabah and Sarawak, as provided for in the Federal Constitution.

He also warned the 500-strong audience, mostly delegates of the coming Umno general assembly, of politicians who were prepared to go against the Federal Constitution just to please people of certain races so that they could win votes.

He said the concept of a middle ground, which was often likened to the concept of wasatiyyah, should not be confused for allowing mismanagement and bribery provided it did not involve large sums of money.

“This concept cannot be abused to allow practices that are clearly prohibited by the religion. This concept makes it clear what is right and what is wrong,” he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, when closing the seminar, said Malaysia had remained peaceful because the majority of the people believed in the moderate approach in their daily lives rather than being extreme when practising their culture and religion.

This, coupled with good understanding of the culture and religion of others, had ensured that the people continued to enjoy progress and lived in harmony, he said.

“Through wasatiyyah, we have learned to think and act wisely without being extreme, too rigid or overly liberal. We are taught not to be a fanatic or to be so obsessed that we close our minds to other views, thoughts and opinions,” he said.

Explaining the concept of wasatiyyah in the Government system, Muhyiddin who is also Umno deputy president, said it had helped spur development in an effective manner because the people’s wellbeing was always top priority when implementing policies.