APRIL 28, 2013
The Malaysian Insider
APRIL 28 – Going into Malaysia’s 56th year of independence, one would assume that racism would not rear its ugly head especially among its leaders – young or old.
There is Barisan Nasional (BN) and its predecessor Alliance that has always put cooperation as one of its pillars. And there is Pakatan Rakyat (PR), all three multi-racial parties that have eschewed racism.
Then, there is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who once spoke of a Bangsa Malaysia when he was Malaysia’s prime minister but for some time now, has resorted to racism and accusing others of racism in his speeches and writings.
Today, the New Sunday Times had him accuse the DAP of racism in going for the Gelang Patah federal seat due to its sizeable Chinese majority.
“If DAP does not play on its Chinese-ness, it cannot win. That is why Kit Siang chose Gelang Patah where 53 per cent of the voters are Chinese,” the weekly quoted Dr Mahathir.
This isn’t the first time Dr Mahathir has gone on this tangent. Earlier this year, he blamed Tunku for granting citizenship to Indians and Chinese at the advent of independence.
He had also defended Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali who advocated the burning of Malay-language bibles.
Dr Mahathir had also gone on record to say that Selangor must be saved from the opposition to ensure the rights and position of the Malays and Bumiputeras are maintained in the state.
“When they proposed to strip the special privileges of the Malays, the opposition, which purportedly had two parties with Malay leadership, willingly complied. If we are not careful, we will lose altogether our rights on our own soil and they (opposition) will get rid of all efforts to develop the Malays and Bumiputeras,” he said last March.
We must ignore such racism if we are to progress as a “better nation” or as a “better Malaysia”.
If anything, this appears to be Dr Mahathir’s way of attacking his political foes to preserve his contributions to the country.
But it is too late to to safeguard his “legacy” of skewed development, bloated bureaucracy, corruption and cronyism.
In a more mature and better country, let’s consign racism to the rubbish bin of history.