It’s all right with Tun Mahathir and for that matter even with PM Najib. They can say the darnest things and yet can later turn and twist to escape unscathed and scot-free. But not us, lesser mortals, we will be criminalised especially by none other than people like you, the media.
I will say my piece, nonetheless, without fear or favour again. This is the most dangerous part of it. On the back of a perceived dwindling of the Malay support, my audacious attempt at taking the bull-by-the-horn type of response might not concur with conventional Malay wisdom in politics.
Being very objective, as I usually am, I’ve no qualms to concur with anyone that this nation, originally, has a lot more to do with the Malays more than the Indians or Chinese.
Since time immemorial, Western chroniclers have described this part of the world as the Malay Archipelago while the Greek geographers, dated a lot earlier, described Peninsular Malaya as the Golden Chersonese as gold is found here to this day.
That is as much as I would like to talk about the “Malayness” of this beloved country of ours at this critical juncture of our much embattled nation. Going beyond, which I very well could do, will embroil me in the deep shit of unending claims and counter-claims, a debate I don’t wish to be part of.
But the most paradoxical thing about this debate is “why Mahathir is insisting on this dialectic or divide when he should be openly supporting Najib, ostensibly his protégé, on his 1 Malaysia rhetoric”.
This is the crux of the matter, the bone of contention and the climax of hypocrisy of the living Umno elites, namely the combination of Najib and Mahathir!
Frankly, this is their drama or soap opera in securing power and putting the Pakatan at bay. It’s a double game of sorts, a double-speak in its highest order. It is simply a case of downright greed — wanting to eat the cake and keeping it. It might have worked before, during lesser enlightened time of the Old Politics, but no longer now under the rubric of the New Politics!
Mahathir’s rhetoric that this country belongs to the Malays i.e. others are less than equal as Malays are more equal than others, ensures Umno will endear and entrench further the “gullible” Malay support.
Meanwhile, Najib’s 1 Malaysia is meant to hoodwink the “gullible” Chinese and Indians (of MCA, Gerakan and MIC members and well-wishers respectively) into believing that they are equally Malaysians, as this country also belongs to them, apparently oblivious of the fact that they are relegated to “second class” in the strictest sense of Mahathir’s worldview.
What a farce and a hypocrisy!
Be that as it may, PAS/Pakatan is not into such a game and publicity stunt.
I, for one, would like to believe that the issue of the special position of the Malays and the (natives) Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak must be read together with equal emphasis with the legitimate interests of other communities as enshrined in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
That’s perhaps the greatest safeguard for all! Pakatan and PAS have no problem with that at all. In all conviction and honesty, this has become one of our “cardinal” pillars of our Common Policy Framework (CPF). That’s the greatest security to Malays while simultaneously upholding the legitimate rights of all races.
Malays must not succumb to Umno’s machination that Pakatan would forsake their special position for fear of the DAP and the other ethnic groups. Yes, we are unlike Umno in the BN, acting as Tuan and Boss to others and at whims and fancy, dispensing orders for others to toe the line. But Pakatan’s CPF upholds the cardinal Articles 153, 152 and Article 3, without much qualms and misgivings by all our partners. I say it in all honesty and humility.
Back to the argument, it is all the better as it’s the ordained role of the constitutional monarch who must see to that all these communities must be accorded their special position and interest, as it is the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as enshrined in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
It is my conviction that only in a government that is committed to fair play, that encourages the true spirit and practice of equality, that respects affirmative actions where it is deemed necessary on a needs basis, that is foremost in enhancing true entrepreneurship and competitiveness and debunks all forms of race-base politics and religious bigotry, which is capable and credible to uplift and realise the vision as contained in Article 153 and the bigger agenda of nation rebuilding.
It is ingrained in the rhetoric of Mahathir’s Malaysia-belongs-to-Malays that has in fact encouraged the racial slurs of politicians and a few Umno-inclined bureaucrats alike and the continuous flip-flop of Najib’s 1 Malaysia that will continue to ruin and stifle the path of genuine reform and change in this nation.
The rakyat must be single minded on debunking hypocrisy and not allowing unscrupulous, double-speaking, self-serving politicians, both past and present, from both divides, to further divide us in any divisive diabolical design of race-based politics, religious bigotry, rampant cronyism and endemic corruption and wasteful extravaganza that we can ill-afford.
Isn’t Mahathir-Najib’s Umno creating the very thing they purport to fear? That is creating “divisive” plans and sustaining power through well-contrived divisive strategies. Isn’t that the accusation of Mahathir and Najib towards Tok Guru Nik Aziz and Anwar of dividing the Malays?
What has changed in 1 Malaysia, fellow Malaysians?
* Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is a member of Pakatan Rakyat’s secretariat and MP for Kuala Selangor.
|Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is a member of the PAS central working committee and MP of Kuala Selangor.|