‘Malaysians are too focused on race’

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 20 Oct 2019

PETALING JAYA: There is too much emphasis along racial lines among Malaysians in everyday life, and that kind of thinking should be discarded in Malaysia Baru, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof.

The minister in charge of Islamic affairs said that ethno-centric eyes and minds are a perception that still prevails among Malaysians today.

“We must do away with such thinking, not as Chinese-Malaysian, Indian-Malaysian or Malays.

“All of the factors that come into view when we are disintegrated come from distrust. You can see it every day in our lives.

“When you bump into someone in an accident on the road, our reaction is whether the person involved is a Chinese, an Indian or a Malay.

“This spontaneous reaction actually defines how Malaysians see things. Unfortunately, until today, not all of of us see fellow Malaysians as fellow Malaysians, ” he said yesterday.

He was speaking at the fifth annual conference of Persatuan Promosi Harmoni Malaysia (Harmony Malaysia) held at the Institute Of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) here.

The event, themed “Education and Culture in the Promotion of Harmony and National Integration”, was attended by religious and civil society leaders.

He said that despite the change in government, Pakatan Harapan has had to continue fire-fighting racial and religious issues.

Mujahid also said that Pakatan emphasises “Compassionate State” which caters to everyone’s beliefs and rights, although Islam is the country’s official religion.

“One of the reasons people accepted Pakatan is because of our ideals. But I must warn you, looking into the statistics and numbers in Malaysia, we cannot avoid the fact that when politicians speak, we speak on the consideration of our constituents, divided into Malay, Chinese and Indians.

“Chinese and Indians gave their full mandate and support to Pakatan to enable it to come to power.

“For the Malays, we only got 20%. That 20% is unfortunately decreasing. The pressure of post-2018, most of the issues played up are about race and religion, ” he said.

Mujahid said the government is always told to “protect the Malays”.

“Yes, we will protect the Malays, but not the corrupt Malays, ” he said.

At a press conference later, he said that Pakatan is consistent on national unity and will not play to the gallery, but it has to be practical to ensure the coalition is voted in by constituents in the next general election.

“The priority is on shared prosperity, which means the nation is moving forward with the new narrative (Shared Prosperity Vision 2030).

My “Compassion for All”, his ministry’s theme, is to help achieve this vision of national unity.

“The Opposition is trying to lure us into a racial and religious debate, but we refuse to do so. Our new narrative of SPV 2030 is compassionate Islam and other progressive ideas as we usher in Malaysia Baru.

“It has only been one year and a half (as a ruling government). You should give us more time to address these issues. At the same time, we are concerned about our constituencies.

“Failing to be the government for the second term would defeat all our ideals and vision, ” said Mujahid.

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