MARCH 1 — I believe the current ruling regime and Malaysians must answer a very crucial question; is Mahathirism a catalyst or a barrier to 1Malaysia?
What is the main purpose of 1Malaysia? If it intends to forge greater unity amongst multiracial Malaysians the proponent of 1Malaysia must correct Mahathir’s statement which mentioned that other races must accept that this country belonged to the Malays.
Mahathir claims that Malaysia is successful today because the Malays are willing to share the country with others.
Firstly, Malaysia is not a property of any single race. Malaysia was established as a multiracial country. Post-independence generations in the country had adopted this country as their motherland.
Malaysia as a nation is a legal and geo-political creation. It was established in 1963 and this nation belongs to all Malaysians and not just the Malays.
Malaysia is successful because it had embraced multiculturalism. All races had contributed or are still contributing to its socio-economic development. Malaysia’s success was not due to the generosity of the Malays alone.
Mahathir, who has a Kerala parentage, was able to ascend to the highest political position in the country not because he was a pure Malay but a fact that this country, before his premiership, was willing to put the best Malaysian in the right position.
If 1Malaysia embraces all citizens of this country as equals, it should debunk the outdated Mahathirism which is still play off a race against another.
Mahathir’s tirade against Singapore, especially MM Lee Kuan Yew, is again a reflection of his hypocrisy.
Mahathir said that racism in Malaysia was clearly the result of Singapore’s short membership in the country, and not because the island was “turfed out” as suggested by the republic’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew recently.
It is unbelievable for Mahathir trying to pin the blame on Singapore’s short membership of Malaysia. It does not take a rocket scientist to tell Mahathir that Malaysia’s racism is the result of Barisan’s and Umno’s race based politics, policies and governance.
Mahathir said that Singapore is not truly multiracial because it is dominated by a single race. Malaysia is no exception. The difference is Singapore does not have a two-tiered nationality — Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera. The race dichotomy is most pronounced during Mahathir’s tenure.
For Malaysia to move on to achieve greater things, the country must lose its fixation with race which has created social polarisation which does not benefit anyone.
Mahathir’s insistence to create a permanent wedge between the Malays and non-Malays is damaging and destroying his legacy beyond any repair. Even the best spin doctor in the world cannot help to salvage his self inflicted destruction.
As a leader and an ex-premier, if Mahathir cannot even bring himself to respect his fellow citizens as equals what gives him the legitimacy or credibility to tell the Middle Easterners that their quest and struggle for freedom and greater democracy might be wrong?
The regime must address the issues of race inequalities and abuses and poor race relations seriously. Issues such as the controversial Interlok book, repeated racial abuses especially during elections, ‘Allah’ issue and others should not have been allowed to prolong if the government is serious about its 1Malaysia slogan.
Malaysia must move forward as a cohesive and united society. We must work together to reposition the country strongly in the new global economic landscape. Otherwise, Malaysia will be left behind and forgotten in the race for resources, investments and talents. —khookaypeng.blogspot.com