I don’t believe in ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ fantasy, says Dr M

(FMT) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he does not subscribe to the notion of “Ketuanan Melayu” (or Malay supremacy) whenever he talks about helping the community, labelling the idea as a fantasy.

Such a concept, which is based on the idea that Malays are the true “lords of the land” while the rest are guests, stems from insecurities, the former prime minister said in his latest memoir, Capturing Hope: The Struggle Continues for a New Malaysia.

Mahathir said while many perceived it to be an Umno ideology, it is not, although it was propagated by a politician from his former party, Abdullah Ahmad, and championed by others.

Abdullah Ahmad, a former political aide to second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein, was later MP for Kok Lanas, Kelantan, and chief editor of the New Straits Times.

But the one person who “blew it up and made it much larger than it deserved to be” was Ibrahim Ali, the founder of Malay rights group Perkasa.

Ibrahim and his supporters wanted to emphasise that Malaysia belonged to the Malays and were therefore the masters or “tuan”.

“But this is a fantasy,” Mahathir said. “Malays are not the tuan — they cannot even make use of opportunities given to them by the government.

“I do not believe in Ketuanan Melayu,” he said.

Mahathir went on to say that instead he believed in Bangsa Malaysia before introducing the slogan “Malaysia Boleh” (Malaysia Can) in a bid to convince people that the country could do what others did.

“This is the difference between Ketuanan Melayu and Malaysia Boleh.

“It takes all of us, the whole of Malaysia, to compete on the global stage and, together, we can achieve anything.”