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4:02pm 20/03/2023
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No more racism, the nation needs to move forward
By:Sin Chew Daily

For the sake of the country’s healthy socioeconomic development, it is imperative that politicians stop all their divisive tactics.

The  Malay Proclamation rally supposed to be held on Sunday had to be canceled as the organizers had failed to secure a suitable venue.

The focus of this rally is that it is to be attended by former PM Mahathir Mohamad.

This has brought back memories of the infamous Malay Dignity Congress which Mahathir launched after becoming PM for a second time in 2019.

The Malay Proclamation rally’s launch has been called off, and the secretariat subsequently unveiled the 12-point Malay Proclamation urging all Malays irrespective of political affiliation to stand united in a bid to boost the Malay race.

The Proclamation, as expected, argued that the Malays had never dominated the country’s economy and that the only power they still had in their hands now was being taken away from them!

Meanwhile, PM Anwar Ibrahim has sternly warned potential power grabbers not to threaten him by holding a rally in an attempt to scare him off from battling corruption.

Owing to the recent surge in racial and religious rhetoric, the PM has also instructed the security forces to remain highly alert about acts that could incite public emotion and trigger a riot.

We are living in a multicultural country where Malaysians from different ethnic backgrounds have been able to live peacefully together for decades. Unfortunately we have seen a bunch of irresponsible politicians raising sensitive racial and religious issues to advance their political gains and divide the nation in so doing.

As a result, the Malaysian society has squandered a lot of time and energy on such issues for more than 60 years since independence, at the expense of broader economic development.

Mahathir has been wildly exploiting narrow-minded ethnic issues of late, which could be seen as a continuation of his style that is not doing the country any good.

Four years ago, Mahathir was there talking about racial issue at the Malay Dignity Congress, but did that bring any good to the Malays or the nation, and enhance their competitiveness? Did the country become more developed and our society more harmonious after that?

Everyone knows that playing race politics in a multiracial country is detrimental to the nation in this era of globalization. But for their own political interests, many have unashamedly exploited racial issues.

Mahathir et al have over and again raised the question of Malay supremacy trying to create an acute sense of crisis among the Malay people. He says he is worried that Malaysia will become a country like Singapore, where the Malays have been politically and economically sidelined, after the 17th general election.

Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Kamal also says Malay politics is on the brink of collapse as the Malays have increasingly weaker clout in federal and state administrations.

Meanwhile, PAS president Hadi Awang says it is dangerous for non-Muslim voter turnout to be higher than for Muslims, as this will result in the former taking charge of Malaysian politics.

As a matter of fact, if we were to look at the objective data and analyze sensibly, we should know that no one can ever rock the political status of the Malays in this country.

Where population ratio is concerned, already the Malays command an absolute advantage over the Chinese, whose population ratio has been declining steadily over the decades.

How on earth will the majority lose their political dominance when the minority are worried about their dwindling say in this country? This doesn’t make any sense at all. Moreover, all major government positions are in the hands of the Malays, including the offices of PM, DPM, finance, home and education ministers.

By right we should harness the advantage of our diversity in a multicultural society to boost our competitiveness and expand the economic cake so that all Malaysians irrespective of race get to savor the fruit of our economic success, not to harp on racial issues!

Although the world is slowly recovering from the pains of coronavirus pandemic, the global environment is still full of uncertainties. This is when Malaysians should work together in unison and concentrate on economic development instead of allowing ourselves to be dragged into the quagmire of racism by rogue politicians.

PAS’ Hadi Awang has earlier predicted an imminent collapse of the unity government, arguing that the opposition had the right to topple the government.

Malaysian politics was plunged into commotion since the infamous Sheraton putsch, and Malaysians have had enough of the chaos. All we want now is to move forward steadily, not to be continually bogged down by political turmoil.

Politicians must compete through policy superiority, not playing up racial issues to garner support. For the sake of the country’s healthy socioeconomic development, it is imperative that politicians stop all their divisive tactics.

We have good reasons to believe that the country will have a better tomorrow if we manage to break free from the incarceration of racism.

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racism
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
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