Dr M: Malays fast losing “ketuanan” in MalaysiaPosted: May 18, 2008
I wonder what pushed Dr Mahathir to make this kind of statement. Before he became Prime Minister, he was considered a Malay extremist, as can be seen from his book, “The Malay Dilemma”. But after he became the PM, and during the 22 years he was on that seat, he became very much subdued, less aggressive about ketuanan Melayu. A watered-down version of the younger Mahathir, really.
So then, if he went through the pains of getting the support of the non-Malays by toning down on his Malay Supremacy idea, why is he reverting back to the ketuanan Melayu thing now? Especially in this day and time?
Dr M: Malays losing grip on political power
PETALING JAYA: The Malays have loosened their grip in political power to the point where non-Malays no longer respect them and their institutions, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
The former Prime Minister said everything deemed as Malay privileges had been questioned and challenged by the non-Malays.
Instead, he said the Malays asked others to defend their position.
“But this is ‘passing the buck’ including the excuse that it is all because of Dr Mahathir who led for 22 years and chose Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as his successor.”
Dr Mahathir said that in the 50 years of independence, political power was in the hands of the Malays and they could call themselves tuan (masters).
Full article here (The StarOnline)
Desperate Dr M plays the race card
JOHOR BARU, May 17 ─ Desperate times call for desperate measures. So Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today played the race card ─ something the former prime minister has not done since he was a young, upstart Umno politician in the 1960s.
He warned the Malays that they stood to lose much in the new political environment where the non-Malays were unafraid to make demands.
“If we don’t speak up, if we choose to keep quiet, we will lose our rights and the other races will take over,” he told some 1,000 people at a gathering in Johor Baru.
Dr Mahathir asked the audience whether anyone of them had read the memorandum forwarded by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) to the government. “What does it say? Malaysia for Malaysians! This is the reality of the present situation. If we do not speak up, if we choose to keep quiet, we will lose our rights and the other races will take over. When that happens, it will be like Singapore. Do you think we will still have control?” he pondered.
Full article here (The Malaysian Insider)
What, if I may ask the Tun, is the meaning of “the other races will take over”?
And what, if I may ask the Tun again, is wrong with “Malaysia for Malaysians”?
I seriously don’t want to condemn Dr M, because no matter what everyone else says, he HAS done a lot for the country. No denying that.
But for him to make such statements about the ketuanan Melayu issue, just when Malaysia is keen on the “Malaysia for Malaysians” tagline, I find it difficult to understand where he’s coming from.
What kind of control is he talking about? What kind of control do the Malays need? Or more precisely, what kind of control does UMNO want?
To me, it’s not so much about the Malays anymore. It’s more about the party. He’s adamant that UMNO will fall if Pak Lah is allowed to continue as the leader. He’s adamant that Najib should step up and “overthrow” the President. He’s adamant that UMNO should take a stand and not break under pressure from non-Malay parties. He’s adamant that for UMNO to be relevant, they should find a way to unite the Malays. And this ketuanan Melayu that he’s resorting back to seems to be one of the only ways in which the UMNOPutera’s can see eye to eye.
How much of this ketuanan Melayu thing is for the country and the rakyat, and how much is for the benefit of UMNO members?
There was one comment on Dr M’s blog that carries a similar sentiment:
Acapkali Tun meluahkan rasa kecewa dengan ketidakstabilan politik terutamanya apa yang berlaku di dalam UMNO; oleh itu mana yang Tun lebih sayang, rakyat atau parti? – Zainal Ariffin Ashari
Race and racial politics may not yet see its end in Malaysia, but for someone as veteran as Dr M to use this as a trump card is too much.
Oft times we hear that non-Malays who argue for equal rights are slammed with police reports under laws like the Sedition Act, ISA and the like. Why? Because it can cause national instability by instigating racial hatred, and stepping on sensitive issues.
Why, then, are the people who champion this ketuanan Melayu argument not subject to the same laws? Are they not also instigating racial discrimination? Are they not also stepping on sensitive issues? Or is it that the rights of non-Malays are not sensitive? I know the Constitution states that Malays have special privileges. But the Constitution also states that the rights of non-Malays also have to be protected. John Lee has a more in-depth argument on this.
If the non-Malays continue to fight for their rights in Malaysia, and the Malays continue to fight for their ketuanan Melayu, I’m afraid this is going to be a never-ending story.