Thursday, February 3, 2011



Malaysia is Tanah Melayu, says Dr M

February 01, 2011

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia belongs to the Malays. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told Malaysians today to admit that the country belonged to the Malays and accept the culture and language of the dominant community.
The former prime minister said that country’s forefathers gave the Chinese and Indians citizenship because they expected the communities to respect Malay sovereignty.
“This country belongs to the Malay race. Peninsular Malaysia was known as Tanah Melayu but this cannot be said because it will be considered racist.
“We must be sincere and accept that the country is Tanah Melayu,” he told an audience at the “Malay race and the future” talk at the Tun Hussein Onn Memorial here.
Dr Mahathir also stressed that non-Malays must accept the concept of “Bangsa Malaysia” (Malaysian nation) to help strengthen national unity.
He said the communities must place country before race and identify themselves as Malaysians.
He said if the communities continue to identify themselves according to the country of origin then it is an admission that they are immigrants in the country.
Dr Mahathir said that all races must accept that they are from “Bangsa Malaysia” to allow better co-operation from the different races and guarantee the future of the country.
He added that Malays will feel less threatened if the country adopts the concept of “Bangsa Malaysia”.
“(Former Philippine President Corazon) Cory Aquino is Chinese but she identified herself as a Filipino. (Former Thai Prime Minister) Thaksin Shinawatra is Chinese but he speaks the Thai language and lives the Thai culture.
“It is different in Malaysia, we still introduce ourselves according to our race. This is why the question of race will continue to haunt us,” he said.
He said the race affirmative programmes such as the New Economic Policy (NEP) were still important as the Malays were still weak economically.
“We must not reject every government effort to help us. We must push away the crutches and realise that we are still limping.
“Which is better? To be dependent on policies which will save us or depend on others hoping that they will save us? Sooner or later, we will be under their rule,” he said.
He said the Malay community may risk losing the country without the affirmative action policies.
“When we are weak that means we will lose power even if we are still the prime minister but we will no longer have any power because we will dependent on others,” he added.
Dr Mahathir has been criticised for mocking proponents of meritocracy, calling them racist and decried Malays who support meritocracy as having misplaced pride.
In his blog, he blasted advocates of meritocracy, calling them “meritocrats” pushing for dominance by one race in all aspects of the country and that the campaign for meritocracy was not a campaign against racism but a movement by racists against racists.
Dr Mahathir’s remarks were seen as an attack on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia and the New Economic Model (NEM), both of which promote national unity and meritocracy.
Today, he continued the tirade against 1 Malaysia and said that his Vision 2020 differed because it wants to create an inclusive national identity.
“When we say 1 Malaysia, people will think equality among all races. For the Malays, equality means abolishing vernacular schools.
“But for the Chinese and Indians, 1 Malaysia means to abolish the rights of the Malay people,” he said.
He said the administration must be clear on what is 1 Malaysia.
In a poll conducted by Merdeka Review last year, only 39 per cent of non-Bumiputeras accepted the 1 Malaysia concept despite the fact that it had been introduced for over a year.
Forty-six per cent out of 3,141 respondents interviewed felt that 1 Malaysia was only a “tactic to win over non-Malay support” while another 16 per cent had either refused to answer the poll questions or claimed to have no understanding of the concept whatsoever.
Respondents were undecided on whether Malaysia had become more united under the Najib administration, with 48 per cent saying “yes” and 43 per cent claiming that the country was still disunited.
Veteran Umno politician and one-time Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah also agreed and said that the 1 Malaysia slogan was “hollow” and had lacked direction and vision and even compared it to Dr Mahathir’s Vision 2020.

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