What type of Malays are acceptable to you, Zaid asks DAP

(FMT) – Zaid Ibrahim has lauded Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) president Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj for his balanced approach to racial issues plaguing the country today while panning former attorney-general Tommy Thomas for his unhelpful stereotyping of Malays.

“Dr Jeyakumar speaks prudently. He speaks with balance and in a way that doesn’t anger others. He’s objective, he’s rational. It is the kind of speech we expect of our political leadership today.

“Can we expect this dialogue, this discourse, from DAP,” he asked in a video posted on Facebook.

Zaid was referencing Jeyakumar’s speech at a political forum held on Saturday during which he challenged the prevailing non-Malay mindset which suggested that only the Malays exhibited the “dark forces” of racial and ethnic policymaking.

Jeyakumar said the New Economic Policy should not be viewed purely through a lens of discrimination, pointing out that it had the objective of correcting racial imbalances of the past.

The PSM president also spoke on matters of economy and industry, pointing out that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country were dominated by the Chinese community but employed very few Malays.

Zaid, a former law minister, however, took issue with the speech delivered by Thomas at the same forum.

“(Thomas) spoke at length about the failure of Malay leadership. In effect, he said that if the government and Cabinet were dominated by Malays, then it would likely fail.’

“This sort of stereotyping is not beneficial.

“So, what type of Malays are acceptable to DAP?

“This is important because the Malays who support PH need to know whether the (Malay leaders) supported by PH are useful or useless.

“Or are they merely stooges of DAP,” Zaid asked, adding that voters would need to know the characteristics of Malay leaders which meet the opposition party’s approval.

He called on DAP’s leadership to state whether it agrees with Thomas’ analysis of the matter, and said the party must issue a statement in the event it disagrees.

Although acknowledging that racism does exist in Malaysia, Zaid said it would be wrong to put the blame for it entirely on the Malay leadership.

“To resolve issues surrounding racism, let’s speak correctly, politely and be grounded on facts,” he said.

Zaid also said it was not enough for Umno to shout for parliament to be dissolved.

“We must also shout about our government’s priorities – what sort of leaders we intend to put forward,” he said, adding that the party must promote a responsible and functioning government for the good of all Malaysians.