#kerajaangagal26 – How many more Malay leaders will emulate Rafidah who always thought herself a Malaysian first although she is a Malay
For former Minister of international trade and industry, Rafidah Aziz, she always thought herself a Malaysian first though she is a Malay.
How many more Malay leaders will emulate Rafidah who always thought herself as Malaysian first although she is a Malay?
Such a question is not confined to Malays, but to all Malaysians, whether of Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban, Orang Asli or whatever ethnic origin, for it is the best way to determine whether Malaysia has succeeded after six decades of nation-building efforts – in particular, whether Malaysians really understand the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara.
It is not surprising that in the early decades of Malaysian nationhood, there were citizens who regarded themselves as their ethnic identity – whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban or Orang Asli – first and Malaysian second, but if this persists after 64 years of nationhood, something is seriously amiss.
Thus when as a Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin declared in early 2010 that he was Malay first and Malaysian second, Malaysians were completely shocked, and Muhyiddin even went on to state that he would be “shunned by all the Malays if he were to say that he is a Malaysian first and a Malay second”.
I declared in Parliament in March 2010 that I was a Malaysian first and a Chinese second but was I shunned by all the Chinese in Malaysia?
No wonder, there are still people today who are trying to fault and make political capital by twisting what DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng said when he was appointed Minister for Finance that he would be a Finance Minister for all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, and not be a Finance Minister only for the Chinese in Malaysia.
Is Muhyiddin, who is now a Prime Minister, prepared to declare that he is now Malaysian first and Malay second?
Muhyiddin had wronged the Malay race when he said he would be shunned by all the Malays if he were to say that he was Malaysian first and a Malay second.
Muhyiddin said in early 2010 that I had “wicked intentions” in challenging him to declare that he was Malaysian first and Malay second.
I had no “wicked intentions” as I had earlier made such a statement in Parliament. I was setting a test of the then government’s 1Malayia campaign, which proved to be empty and hypocritical as it was forgotten and abandoned by the then government soon thereafter.
I would now go so far as to say that “I am Malaysian first and my race and religion second” should be the National Day and Malaysia Day theme this year, and every Minister should be made to make a declaration that he or she is Malaysian first and his or her race/religion second before assuming any public office.
Muhyiddin was completely misguided when he said eleven years ago: “It is not wrong for any leader to struggle for the interest of his own race. Don’t tell me that Kit Siang does not struggle for the Chinese community.
“It does not mean that if we help the Malays, we don’t help the Chinese. We help all communities.”
It is clear that Muhyiddin was under the fallacy that one must not help one’s race if one is a Malaysian first.
Malaysians will have multiple identities – ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, regional – but they have first and foremost an overriding and overarching common identity as Malaysians first.
It is because we have a Prime Minister who is not prepared to say that he is Malaysian first and Malay second that Malaysia is in the trajectory towards a kakistocracy.
I said yesterday that I have only word for the Gerakan President’s statement that the Perikatan Nasional was fairer than Barisan Nasional as PN treated each of its component parties as equal partners and that there were no “followers” under the coalition.
The word was “revolting”. But I said the best person to answer the Gerakan President was the MCA President. But the MCA President may not respond to the Gerakan President as MCA is contemplating abandoning Barisan Nasional for Perikatan Nasional!
Rafidah said two days ago that she feared for the country’s future as politicians turn to using religion to win votes.
She said she had enough experience in politics to know where the country is headed should its politicians continue down that path.
She said: “When religion becomes politicised, you veer off from the real tenets of the religion. You interpret religion according to your own whims and fancies to suit your purpose, your goals and your objectives. I worry about that, but it’s not new.
“For 55 years of my life I’ve been active in politics, since the days of Tunku Abdul Rahman and Abdul Razak, who appointed me a senator.
“In other words, I can see the flow of where we have been, where we are now and where we are going, which to me is frightening.”
She said Malaysians must learn to think objectively when it came to choosing their elected representatives and not be easily swayed by the eloquence and rhetoric of politicians.
Rafidah said politicians would say different things to different demographic groups to be popular with everyone.
She said: “You go to a religious gathering where it’s Muslims only and you wear your serban, your sarong and you speak ‘Allah’, that kind of language.
“Then you go to the Chinese community and you speak multiracial (rhetoric). Then you go to the Indian community … That’s not right. You should speak to them all as Malaysians.”
Rafidah said she was not worried about the future of the Malays but of Malaysia and Malaysians.
She said she never associated the problem of poverty with ethnicity, adding that everyone should be gauged equally for an effective solution.
She said: “I’ve always thought like that. I may be a Malay, but I’m a Malaysian first.
“If we continue to espouse racially biased politics, you will plant the seeds of diversity in a very negative way.”
Has Muhyiddin any solution to Rafidah’s fears and worries?