Dr M: It hurts me that Malays are accused of being racist for attending ‘dignity congress’

  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Oct 2019

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he is hurt that Malays are being accused of being racist for participating in the recent Malay Dignity Congress.

He said while other ethnic groups were free to hold gatherings to discuss their affairs, Malays were being accused of being racist when they hold such a gathering.

“It hurts me to think in their own country, the indigenous people are not supposed to have their own gatherings without being accused of being racist, ” he said.

READ ALSO: Anwar slams those who play race politics

Dr Mahathir added that some critics were also calling for the person who had initiated the gathering to be sacked from his post.

He said the “indigenous people in Malaysia”, referring to the Malays, had “shown tolerance” when people of different ethnic groups held such gatherings, and they had been accepted as normal.

“I am therefore very surprised when I was advised not to attend this Malay Dignity Congress to discuss their dignity.

“Obviously, they are concerned over their possible loss of dignity, whatever that might mean. As usual, there were extreme views but on the whole, they were balanced, ” he posted on his Chedet blog on Friday (Oct 25).

Dr Mahathir said he attended the Congress because he was a Malay, and as Prime Minister, he had been invited to open gatherings held by other ethnic groups.

In multiracial Malaysia, ethnicity was recognised as legitimate and proper because non-natives who had settled down here were free to retain their racial and cultural identity, he noted.

“It is common in this multiracial country for the citizens to retain their identification with their countries of origin, even after being in Malaysia and holding its citizenship for three generations.

“They do not want to lose their racial identities. They manifest this ethnic link through their language, culture, schools and ethnic organisations. They often hold meetings confined to their ethnic groups.

“Sometimes, I would be invited to open these meetings and asked to give keynote speeches, ” he said.

Dr Mahathir said in other multiracial countries, non-indigenous citizens tend to identify themselves with the local language and culture.

“(The non-indigenous citizens) break their link with their countries of origin. They even change their names, ” he said.

In some other countries, non-indigenous people were violently attacked and some were forced out soon after the country gained independence, he said.

But not so in Malaysia, as non-indigenous people were accepted as citizens, added Dr Mahathir.

“In fact, one million of the non-indigenous people were given citizenship, even though they were not qualified, ” he wrote, without elaborating on this qualification.

“And now of course, I will be labelled a racist for writing this, ” he said.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Why is the Opposition looking out for govt’s interests? Saravanan questions ‘angry rakyat’ logic
Zahid attends closed-door meet with Johor BN reps, leaders
Three expected to be charged with abducting, causing hurt to businessman
Twelve students injured after van loses control, crashes on SKVE
Mosti in phytomining research collaboration with NanoMalaysia-UIAM tie-up
Saravanan says number of foreign workers in M'sia nearing pre-Covid-19 pandemic figures
Indian national jailed 14 years for causing death of co-worker
Dewan Rakyat passes amendments to Environmental Quality Act 1974
Prisons Dept proposes replacing obsolete more than 100-year-old jails
Four, including three in a family, charged with money laundering involving over RM300mil

Others Also Read