Mahathir, Hadi’s growing resemblance? Analysts weigh inv

Is there a growing resemblance in character between former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Pas President Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang?

(Sinar Daily) – International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) political analyst Associate Professor Dr Syaza Shukri said Mahathir is more Malay centric while Hadi is more Islamist.

Both she said compare their explanation with Non-Malays and Non-Muslims.

On July 3, Mahathir accused Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s administration of attempting to turn Malaysia secular and multi-ethnic.

He previously said in a Facebook post that promoting multiracialism was against the Federal Constitution as the Constitution endorses “Malayness” of the country.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun also agreed with Syaza, pointing out that Mahathir places greater emphasis on racial elements, while Hadi focuses more on religious elements.

“In the sociopolitical reality of Malaysia is such that racial and religious issues are more often than not fused in discourses by politicians,” he explained.

– Hadi, Mahathir appear to be desperate –

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Political Science Professor Datuk Prof Dr Jayum Jawan said Hadi and Mahathir appear to be desperate in winning the Malay votes and support in the coming state elections in six states.

“It is unbecoming of an elder national politicians to resort to the popular racial overtone. The approach they are using is all time popular in a racially divided society and racialised political system,” he told Sinar Daily.

He said there must be other more viable and stately approach other than resorting to race and religion to appeal to the Malay voters.

“As national leaders, they should be aware of the danger of playing with race and religion.

“History has shown the worst side and impact they have on national narratives of past decades. Incidents such as 13 May, Operation Lalang and Kampung Medan are still easily recalled by many as consequence of playing with race and religion.

“They do not benefit anybody, and instead continue to cast aspiration among the community as these events were not properly managed,” he said, adding that both leaders are now over their prime, had their moment and they should as wise leaders leave behind a legacy of uniting all Malaysians by teaching and promoting tolerance, moderation and good will among Malaysians of different culture, religion, language and ways of lives.

– Non-Malays do not need to interfere because it does not concern them –

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) political analyst Dr Abdul Aziz Azizam viewed that it is not inherently wrong for politicians to speak about their own ethnic group, especially if it is the dominant ethnic group in a country.

“However, it becomes problematic when such discussions are intentionally framed by the others as a racial agenda that somewhat lead to discriminate action against or marginalise other ethnic groups, when Malays talk about Malays, non-Malays do not need to interfere because it does not concern them,” Aziz said.

Aziz further remarked that it was unethical to characterise measures to alleviate the economic and social problems the majority ethnic group faces as racial discrimination.

In fact, he added that it was crucial to take the situation, goals, and effects of such efforts into account.

“Addressing the concerns of the dominant ethnic group is necessary for social stability, the records show that improving the capabilities of the dominant ethnic group will have a positive impact on other ethnic groups,” he added.