I read Mahathir's statement on 1Malaysia with a sense of disappointment. He is a classic example of politician-in-denial and behaving like an 'ostrich'. A 1Malaysia concept which promotes national building, just and fair society, meritocracy and competitiveness is not a threat to the Malay Malaysians. A politician like Dr M is a threat to his own community.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that Malays must continue to be given handicaps, while arguing that PM Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia was a confusing concept which means different things to different people.
What did Mahathir achieve during his 22 years of premiership? Poor Malays remained poorer, a few Malays had grown into 'Superbumi-class' (to quote Sakmongkol AK47), the income gap between poor and rich Malays had grown wider during his tenure and after 40 years on NEP the Malays still need to be given handicaps.
If 1Malaysia can help to make Malays more confident and can cut off those who no longer need government assistance (esp. the middle and upper classes) in the next 10 years, it would have been more successful than Mahathir's tenure.
Is Mahathir afraid that his 'legacy' might be outshone if a policy focusing on building capacity of Malay community is allowed to continue?
He accused the Chinese and Indian communities of continuing to identify with their countries of origin, and argued that Malays would continue demanding special treatment as a result.
It is most ridiculous for an ex-PM to make such baseless accusations. Does Mahathir have any evidence to back his accusations? As an ex-PM, his allegation has destroyed whatever little credibility left in him as a statesman and a leader of this multiracial country. At least Najib had acknowledged the contributions of Chinese and Indian Malaysians for than 3-5 generations.
Writing in his blog, Mahathir said the Malays interpreted 1 Malaysia to mean the abolition of Chinese and Tamil schools and a “fair” participation of Malays and Bumiputeras in the private sector.
I am again very surprised with his interpretation of 1Malaysia. A campaign launched by Mahathir supporters and self-proclaimed pro-unity group, 1 Sekolah Untuk Semua, has attracted only 2768 signatures to date which is far off its target of 100k signatures. This campaign was launched in April 2009. On the other hand, more than 70,000 Malay students are attending the Chinese vernacular schools. Mahathir should apologize to the parents of these students on his senseless accusations which may deny their rights to mother tongue/vernacular education.
Participation for the Malays and Bumiputeras in the private sector has been fair and merit driven. This is reflected in Mahathir's next statement.
The Chinese and Indians, he claimed, interpret 1 Malaysia to mean an end to special treatment for Malays, the removal of quotas and the end to NEP-style affirmative action policies favouring Malays.
The former prime minister also accused the Chinese and Indian communities of preferring to be identified with their countries of origin, and this, he said, caused Malays to expect special treatment.
It is true that we demand the end of NEP which has been bastardised and abused by the ruling regime to benefit their cronies and proxies. We do not object help and affirmative action to help those needy ones or less fortunate - the real bottom 40% of the society.
We do not think that special treatment currently practiced by the UMNO led government is even right for the Malays.
Mahathir has put it very well below:
“I am not ashamed to admit that I cannot compete with the Chinese and Indian students when studying medicine. They had much better results than me and the other six Malay students for entry into the Medical College. Even at that time the British promised to the Rulers to help educate the Malays. I had my chance because of the affirmative action then. On pure merit I would not be a doctor today, not because I was not qualified, but my qualification was lower than others.
Let me ask you a question, whether you are a Malay, Chinese or Indian, would you trust a doctor to treat you if he has admitted that he was not qualified to study medicine in the first place?
The world has changed, the society has moved on...Mahathir should read the book, "who moved my cheese?" to understand the meaning of complacency.
It is a fact that the 21st century Malays must compete with the best in the world. Competition will find us. We do not have to look for it. Hence, a fair participation in the private sector and the globalised economy (where there is no affirmative action), the Malays will not enjoy any handicaps. We want and welcome qualified Malay doctors and not one such as Dr Mahathir. No wonder Mahathir had wisely chosen a career in race politics rather than medicine.
"One has to remember that the Chinese civilisation is more than 4000 years old. No other civilisation has lasted that long. Naturally they have developed a culture better able to survive under all conditions. It is my belief that if the percentage of Chinese in the United Kingdom for example is the same as in Malaysia, UK would be better developed than it is now. It is not surprising that the Chinese excel in developing Malaysia (for which they are amply rewarded).”
On the Chinese civilisation, I do not see how it can help to benefit Chinese Malaysians today if they do not work hard and smart to succeed in their undertakings. Where there are successful Chinese Malaysians, there are also thousands of mediocre ones, poor ones and unsuccessful ones just like Malay Malaysians if they do not work hard, take chances and build their own capacity.
Mahathir should learn one thing: there is no free lunch in this world. Fortunately for him and his family, this is something he did not have to teach his rich children. They were born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
Which one do you prefer? 1Malaysia or Bangsa Malaysia?