I am shocked beyond words by Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest statement.
I just cannot believe that a person who had been a senior Cabinet Minister for seven years, a Prime Minister twice in his lifetime — the first time for the unbelievably long tenure of 22 years, and the second time for 22 months — could say when he was 97 years old that the Malays have lost political and economic control in Malaysia, and that to rescue the race, he decided to join Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) as the new platform to champion Malay rights.
If the Malays have lost political and economic control of Malaysia, who had gained the political and economic control?
Is Mahathir suggesting the non-Malays?
It is extraordinary that in his final years, Mahathir is repeating what the PAS President, Hadi Awang, had been warning — that Malaysia could be controlled by the non-Muslims if the Malays have low political awareness.
What has happened to Mahathir’s Vision 2020?
Is it just a conjurer’s trick and Mahathir never believed in Vision 2020?
It is most confounding that Mahathir had abandoned and been abandoned not only by UMNO, but also by Bersatu and Pejuang which he founded and decided to join Putra, and that he not only lost his deposit in the parliamentary contest in Langkawi but both Pejuang and Putra made a name for themselves in the last general election with their candidates losing their deposits.
If a person who was a senior Cabinet Minister for seven years and a Prime Minister twice for a total of some 24 years could not have a respectable following as not to lose his deposit in a parliamentary contest, is this a sign of his abysmal failure to influence others with his ideas and beliefs?
I feel great sadness reading Mahathir’s statement as he seemed to have backtracked not only from Vision 2020 and the concept of Bangsa Malaysia but even what he wrote his last book post-Sheraton Move, “Capturing Hope”, where he said:
“Now, I have spent my entire life and career being ‘pro-Malay’. If what people mean by that term is the dedication of time and energy towards helping the Malay community progress, especially in terms of education and income security, then, yes, I am certainly pro-Malay. Being pro-Malay does not entail being anti-everybody else. However, there are those who desire to be seen as ‘Malay first’ even ahead of being Malaysian, and this enabled them to promote the idea of forming a ‘Malay-Muslim Government’. In Malaysia, where more than 30 per cent of the population is made up of non-Malays, this is not possible. And sure enough, the new “Malay-Muslim Government’ of the Perikatan Nasional under Muhyiddin actually depended on non-Malays to survive.”
I accept Mahathir’s definition of “pro-Malay” as not being anti-non-Malays but there are others who define “pro-Malay” as “Malay first” or anti-non-Malays.
But the cruellest irony of all is the news report that his son and President of Pejuang, Mukhriz Mahathir had submitted an application for Pejuang to join Perikatan Nasional as a component party.
Where are all the Malaysianness after six decades of Malaysian nation-building?
Media Statement by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday 2 March 2023.