KUALA LUMPUR: Make it a Bangsa Malaysia because you believe in it, not because the government gives you tax-free exemption for the idea, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
He said Malaysians are too dependent on subsidies for everything, even when promoting national unity among themselves.
"If we want unity, the people must show it and not because the money is given to you to show it.
"It is always the same in Malaysia; everything you want to do, the government must do something.
"If you really feel that this country should only have one nationality, then people should be passionate about it, not because the government gives some tax-free incentives etc.
"Everybody is talking about subsidies. Without subsidies, this country will not work. I think it is about time we forget about subsidies and start thinking about our objectives as being honourable and good, and then work towards it," said Dr Mahathir.
He said this at a question and answer session at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISI) Praxis Conference 2019 on Monday (Oct 21) here.
He further pointed out that Malaysia is unique, as it is unlike any other multiracial countries.
"We are not like the other multiracial countries where they have many races, but they are not considered multiracial, because they have one language, one culture and they then will root for their own adopted countries.
"In Malaysia, we choose to retain our past, and we not only want to retain that but see physical proof that we are from somewhere else and because of that, we allow in the setting up of schools that are non-national. We are quite generous to listen to the people," said Dr Mahathir.
He was responding to a question from the floor on why the past two national budgets did not have an tax-exemptions for national unity efforts.