A citizen’s right

Mahathir Mohamad, http://chedet.cc/

1. It would seem that some people are unhappy over my continued involvement in politics. As a retiree I should just retire.

2. I did in fact plan to retire in 1998. But events at that time forced me to defer. When the conditions in Malaysia had been stabilised after the currency crisis, I announced my retirement in 2002. But I gave the assurance that I would continue to support the party at all times as my elevation to the highest office in the country was due to the support of the party. To me it is payback time.

3. Unfortunately, under the policy and practices of the government which followed, the healthy growth of the country was hampered. The effect is still felt today. More seriously the attempts to reduce the economic disparities between the races have been neglected. Although the election of 2004 resulted in overwhelming victory of the governing BN party, there were clear signs that the popularity of the Party was deteriorating after the 2004 elections.

4. The 2008 Election resulted in heavy losses by the BN. The government it formed was very weak and the opposition took advantage by raising racist and religious issues. Where before there was relative harmony between the races, now there is open confrontation. Affirmative action was viciously attacked by the opposition and the government had to give in. And now religious issues are being even more politicised.

5. Clearly the opposition parties are bent on doing away with the attempt to achieve fair economic participation between the races. Without affirmative action the disparities would increase. This will not be good for Malaysian stability or economic progress.

6. Although the opposition also have a lot of Malays, it has been amply demonstrated that they cannot handle even the administration, much less the complex resolution of the disparities between the races.

7. Some would say that as long as Malaysians do well, it does not matter what race they belong to. Unfortunately in Malaysia we all insist on becoming identified by our race. We all want to preserve our languages, our schools, our culture and even the environment we live in. If the Malaysians who do well are of one race and the poor are of another race, the race which is less fortunate will resent the economic disparity between them. This can lead to disunity and tensions between races. It may even lead to violence.

8. As a citizen I have every right to voice my criticism or to support action by political parties. When I find that the opposition rejects the NEP, I feel a need to voice my fears for the future of this, my beloved country.

9. As much as my detractors have a right to object to my continued involvement in politics, I have a right to hold a different view.