Monday, August 30, 2010

Time for Najib to haul up Ibrahim Ali for inciting racial tensions

Najib and his prized slogan
Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

Pakatan Rakyat leaders say it is time for Prime Minister Najib Razak to haul in Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali for escalating racial tensions with his latest demands to bar non-Muslims from Islamic places of worship. Otherwise the PM should stop wasting the citizenry’s time with his talk of “zero-tolerance” for racism.

“Ibrahim is trying to fan the fire of hatred. Each time Najib has allowed him to get away with it when he should order the police to arrest him for sedition. This shows Najib is also part of the Umno political game – to create Malay hatred for the non-Malays,” PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

A laughing stock in the international Muslim community

Nizar Jamaluddin
But Ibrahim and Umno have also upset their own community, many of whom are aghast at their ignorance of their own religion and their crude response to a member of the political opposition, Teo Nie Ching, after she visited a Muslim prayer hall last week.

Leaders of the Islamist PAS have pointed out that a National Fatwa Council decision in March 2010 confirmed that Muslim suraus and mosques were to be kept open to all people as part of efforts to propagate the religion.

They are worried that if Ibrahim and the other ultra-Malays from Umno were to get their way, Malaysia would become a laughing stock in the international Islamic community.

“This a very glaring manifestation of the complete state of confusion and mix-up of Islam and Malay racism by Ibrahim Ali and Perkasa patron Mahathir Mohamad,” PAS central committee member Nizar Jamaluddin told Malaysia Chronicle.

“It is also a very sobering reflection of how badly Umno has mismanaged and neglected the development of Islam despite being in power for 53 years. In their haste to accuse PAS of betraying and compromising Islam because of its committment to Pakatan Rakyat, Umno has ended up showing how ignorant it is of the religion it claims to defend."

Tian Chua
Twisting Islam to mask racism

Muslim scholars like former Perlis mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin and PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat have condemned Umno and Perkasa for stirring up the latest brouhaha. In separate statements released on Sunday, they pointed out that even Prophet Muhamad had specifically invited non-believers to meet him at mosques so that they could get to know the religion up close.

However, that has not stopped Perkasa and Umno Youth from insisting that mosques and suraus be restricted to Muslims. Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who shot off an early warning to Nie Ching, has not called any ceasefire despite the latest revelations that visits by non-believers are actually sanctioned by the National Fatwa Council.

Meanwhile, Nie Ching has continued visiting another surau, this time to present a donation to the Al-Muhajirin prayer hall in Bangi.

Khalid Samad
“There is no easy solution because we are not talking logic or religion any more. This is about politics, political mileage and racism. For us in PAS, we want Malay unity based on Islam but Umno only wants Malay unity based on Malayness," PAS MP for Shah Alam Khalid Samad told Malaysia Chronicle.

"The Umno concept is a hollow one because there are no underlying principles. It is just about race – their race and nobody else’s. So how can Najib talk about zero tolerance for racism when race is Umno’s raison d'etre. It is just another huge lie and the silence is also deafening from MCA, MIC and Gerakan. They are being accessories to racism by not speaking up.”

Sowing what they reap

On Sunday, Ibrahim unleashed a torrent of violent words. He condemned Nie Ching, insisted that the religious authorities charge her, warned her DAP party, accused PAS of abandoning Islam, and questioned if Najib’s 1Malaysia meant equality for all the races.

Ibrahim Ali
“There should be syariah laws to prevent incidents of non-Muslims entering suraus and mosques,” Ibrahim said.

Meanwhile, a Merdeka Centre survey showed that 45 percent of Malays and 55 percent of Chinese were unhappy with Umno.

Among reasons cited by the Malays were that there was still a large of number in their community who were still poor, there was too much politicking and corruption. And for the Chinese, their grouses were Umno was too racist and aggressive.

Related Stories:

Life in Singapore ..

In Singapore , the majority of us live in Highly Dangerous Buildings(HDB), and most people have already got used to Paying and Paying(PAP).

The Singapore Govt has been ruled by PAP , Pay and Pay . Its two Opposition Parties the SWP ( Singapore Workers Party ) and the SDP ( Singapore Democratic Party ) is telling Singaporeans So Why Pay ? ( SWP ) and SDP says So Don't Pay .

Not only do you have to pay and pay , the Public Utilities Board ( PUB ) wants you to
Pay Until Bankrupt
. ?

If that's not enough, somebody The Public Water Board still Purposely Wants to Dig(PWD) and get more from you.

So what more can you do when you are in the
Money Only Environment (MOE)?

And you have that DBS Bank forever sucking blood money , that's why it's called Dirty Blood Suckers Bank or Damned Bloody Stupid Bank .

With the current
Mad Accounting System (MAS), you are forced to Pay the Sum Ahead (PSA), which will leave some people Permanently Owing Some Banks (POSB).

And forced to live on the
Loan Techniques Always (LTA) system. When you fall sick and happen to be admitted to a Money Operating Hospital(MOH).

You might be able to use your Cash Prior to Funeral (CPF) fund.

If you are out of luck, you may meet doctors who Never Use Heart (NUH) to treat you, and you will be Sure to Give up Hope(SGH).

To help ease the traffic, motorists have to pay
Cash On Expressway(COE)...

If that doesn't help, they can always Eternally Raise Prices (ERP)on the roads.

If you don't own a car, you can always make a Mad Rush to the Train(MRT), OR get squashed in a bus Side By Side (SBS ).

Lastly, under all these pressures, there are not many places we can relax, not even the good old place we used to go because it has become So Expensive and Nothing To See Actually (SENTOSA)!!!

Article 153 of the Federal Constitution - Read and Know your constitution

Fifty three years after Independence, racial issues continued to
monopolise national politics, and championing Malay rights remains the
single dominant ideology of the only ruling power that this independent
nation has known, UMNO. Thousands of speeches have been made championing
this Malay cause, using various terminologies such as Malay 'special
rights', Malay 'special privileges' or simply Malay 'rights', often
invoking the nation's Constitution as the legal back-up. But, of the
thousands of politicians who have used these terminologies, how many have
read through the Constitution to find out what these 'rights' really are?
Very few, perhaps!

Our Constitution is printed in a small booklet that can be bought for
about RM10 in the book shops. Buy one copy and read through to find out
what it says about these 'rights'. After all, these issues have been the
hottest favourites of our politicians ever since our Independence. Aren't
you curious to find out?

If you have read through the Constitution to look for an answer to these
Malay 'rights', perhaps the first thing that has struck you is that,
familiar terminologies such as Malay 'special rights', Malay 'special
privileges' or Malay 'rights' are nowhere to be found in the Constitution.
Instead, we only find the term 'the special position of the Malays', which
appears twice, in Clause (1) and Clause (2) of Article 153, which is
titled 'Reservation of quotas in respect of services, permits, etc, for
Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak'.

Anyone who has read through Article 153 might be surprised to discover
that the provisions favouring Malays are in fact quite moderate, and
certainly no way as stretched out in intensity and scope as our
politicians would want us to believe. Similarly, those provisions
protecting the non-Malays as a counter-balance to the special position of
the Malays under this Article are also surprisingly quite well conceived
and fair. In fact, when read in conjunction with Article 8 (Equality) and
Article 136 (Impartial treatment of Federal employees), Article 153 cannot
be construed as having significantly violated the egalitarian principles
of our Constitution, contrary to common perception.

Since the egalitarian nature of our Constitution is largely intact, in
spite of the presence of Article 153, then why should it have acquired
such an adverse reputation as the legal root of all kinds of racial
inequalities in this country?

Answer: the fault is not with our Constitution, but with our politicians
twisting, misinterpreting and abusing it.

It is perhaps high time we get to the bottom of Article 153.

Clause (1) of Article 153 states: 'It shall be the responsibility of the
Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and
the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the
provisions of this Article'.

So, the first understanding that we must have on Article 153 is that it is
meant to protect the interests of not only the Malays, but also those of
the non-Malays.

Next, note the deliberate use of the words 'safeguard' and 'special
position' (instead of 'special rights' or 'special privileges'). The
choice of these words must be understood in the historical context of the
drafting of this Constitution half a century ago when Malays were
economically and educationally backward in relation to other races. It was
thought fit and proper then that there must be 'safeguards' to protect the
Malays from being swarmed over by other races. Hence, the creation of the
'special position' of the Malays, which was obviously intended for
defensive purpose: to protect for survival. The impeccable avoidance of
using words like 'rights' and 'privileges', and the choice of the word
'safeguard' were clearly calculated to reflect its defensive nature. Under
that historical context, the provision of the special position of the
Malays in the Constitution certainly could not be interpreted to mean the
endowment of racial privileges to create a privileged class of

Clause (2) says that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall safeguard the special
position of the Malays by reserving positions 'of such proportion as he
may deem reasonable' in a) the public service b) educational facilities
and c) business licenses.

Clauses (3) & (6) say that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, for purpose of
fulfilling Clause (2), give general directions to the relevant
authorities, which shall then duly comply.

There is a separate clause covering the allocation of seats in tertiary
education - Clause (8A). It says that where there are insufficient places
for any particular course of study, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may give
directions for the 'reservation of such proportion of such places for
Malays as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable; and the authority
shall duly comply with the directions.'

As for the protection of non-Malays against possible encroachment of their
existing interests, there are several provisions under different clauses
in this Article, prohibiting the deprivation of the existing facilities
enjoyed by them, whether in public service, education or trading licenses.
Of these protective clauses, Clauses (5) and (9) are particularly

Clause (5) consists of one sentence, which reads: 'This Article does not
derogate from the provisions of Article 136'.

Article 136 also consists of one sentence, which reads: 'All persons of
whatever race in the same grade in the service of the Federation shall,
subject to the terms and conditions of their employment, be treated

Clause (9) consists of one sentence, which reads: 'Nothing in this Article
shall empower Parliament to restrict business or trade solely for the
purpose of reservations for Malays.'

Reading Article 153 will not be complete without reading Article 89
(Equality). I will quote the more significant Clauses (1) and (2) of this
Article in full, as follows:

Clause (1) states: 'All persons are equal before the law and entitled to
the equal protection of the law.'

Clause (2) states: 'Except as expressly authorized by this Constitution,
there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of
religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law or in the appointment
to any office or employment under a public authority or in the
administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or
disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade,
business, profession, vocation or employment.'

Reading through these Articles of the Constitution, we are able to draw
the following conclusions:

1. The present clamour for Malay 'special rights' as sacrosanct racial
privileges of a privileged race, especially under the ideological ambit of
Ketuanan Melayu (Malay the master race), is in conflict with the letters
and spirit of the Constitution.

2. The special position of the Malays as prescribed under Article 153 of
the Constitution is limited in scope to only the reservation of reasonable
quotas in these 3 sectors: public services, educational places and
business licenses. Hence, the present rampant racial discriminations
practiced on almost every facet of our national life are mostly violations
of the Constitution. Examples of these violations are:
a) Racial discrimination in the appointment and promotion of employees in
publicly funded bodies, resulting in these becoming almost mono-raced
bodies (particular so in their top strata). These bodies include: the
civil service, police, army and various semi and quasi government

b) Barring of non-Malays from tenders and contracts controlled directly or
indirectly by the government.

c) Imposition of compulsory price discounts and quotas in favour of Malays
in housing projects.

d) Imposition of compulsory share quota for Malays in non-Malay companies.

e) Blanket barring of non-Malays to publicly funded academic institutions
(that should include the UITM, which is the subject of debate in
Parliament referred to earlier in this article).

f) Completely lop-sided allocation of scholarships and seats of learning
in clearly unreasonable proportions that reflect racial discriminations.

3) Our Constitution provides for only one class of citizenship and all
citizens are equal before the law. The presence of Article 153 does not
alter this fact, as it is meant only to protect the Malays from being
'squeezed' by other races by allowing the reservation of reasonable quotas
on certain sectors of national life. However, this Constitution has now
been hijacked through decades of hegemony of political power by the ruling
party to result in the virtual monopoly of the public sector by a single
race. The ensuing racism, corruption and corrosion of integrity of our
democratic institutions have brought serious retrogression to our
nation-building process in terms of national unity, discipline, morality
and competitiveness of our people.

4) At this critical juncture, when nations in this region and around the
world are urgently restructuring and shaping up to cope with
globalization, our nation stagnates in a cesspool that has been created
through decades of misrule. Unless urgent reforms are carried out,
beginning with the dismantling of the anachronistic racial superstructure,
we are in for serious troubles in the days ahead.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Isu perkauman tidak timbul jika tiada Umno

KUALA LUMPUR (Harakahdaily) - Pusat Pembangunan Kebudayaan (LLG) mendesak Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak menghapuskan ideologi perkauman yang didoktrinkan ke dalam masyarakat.

Mereka berpandangan, isu perkauman yang timbul kini berpunca daripada doktrin perkauman yang diterapkan oleh Umno sejak dari dahulu lagi.

Presidennya, Dr. Toh Kin Woon berkata, semua isu perkauman yang meretakkan hubungan antara kaum tidak akan berlaku jika Umno tidak memulakannya.

"Politik perkauman yang melaksanakan dasar pecah dan perintah, pemuda Umno menghunus keris dan mengugut akan membakar Dewan Perhimpunan Cina KL dan Selangor, kenyataan diskriminasi perkauman secara terbuka oleh Ahmad Ismail dan Nasir Safar, unsur-unsur perkauman yang didoktrinasikan oleh Biro Tata Negara.

"Tanpa semua tindakan ini, kita tidak akan dijangkiti virus perkauman," kata Kin Woon dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

Beliau berkata demikian sebagai mengulas kenyataan pengetua sebuah sekolah di Johor yang mengeluarkan kenyataan 'pelajar Cina boleh pulang ke Cina' dan menyamakan gelang tangan yang dipakai pelajar India dengan rantai anjing.

Tambahnya, sekiranya kerajaaan terus berdiam diri dalam isu tersebut, keyakinan rakyat terhaddap slogan "1Malaysia' yang diwarwarkan Najib akan hilang.

"Lebih memeranjatkan ialah sehingga kini Perdana Menteri dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri berdiam diri dalam isu-isu tersebut, ini mengakibatkan rakyat hilang keyakinan terhadap slogan inklusif umpamanya “Satu Malaysia”dan “Rakyat Didahulukan”yang diketengahkan Perdana Menteri," kata beliau lagi.

Beliau turut menyatakan kekesalan di atas sikap berdiam diri kerajaan Umno BN terhadap beberapa kenyataan berbau perkauman antaranya mengenai cadangan Majlis Perundingan NGO Melayu (MPP) dan Pertubuhan Peribumi Perkasa (Perkasa) yang mahu kerajaan menahan Presiden MCA, Chua Soi Lek di bawah ISA kerana menyokong cadangan kuota 30% bumiputera dimansuhkan.

"MPP menyaran kerajaan memansuhkan sekolah ibunda; Utusan Malaysia cuba mengapi-apikan isu pemansuhan kuota bumiputera dan perlembagaan baru, sebuah surau Seremban disimbah cat merah tapi pimpinan tertinggi kerajaan tidak mengkritik perkembangan kurang sihat ini.," katanya.

Click here to read more

Of Apartheid, Racist teachers and Segregated school systems

Dr Boo Cheng Hau

Although the Malay ultra nationalists may deny it, nonetheless the way they talk and behave are no less racist than the whites of South Africa during apartheid.

Despite Umno’s endless denial of an apartheid approach to race relations, the Malay-only party differs only in the degree of its racial segregation policies. In truth, Umno is not much different from the white supremacists in the nature of its racism and apartheid methodology employed.

I have been told that flinging racial slurs are a common happening in national schools (thank God, my mom never sent me to one). The Ketuanan indoctrination has always been there, only that disclosure of the acts of racial and religious bigotry propagated by schoolteachers hadn’t before been given such national prominence. And never the scale of the recent uproar in Kulai, Johor.

The headmistress of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra was said to have insulted Chinese and Indians in front of hundreds of students during school assembly last week, which ironically marked the launch of their Merdeka Day celebrations.

Tens of police reports have been made since then alleging Siti Inshah Mansor to have uttered the derisory and degrading comments, extreme in both its race and religion-slanted denigration. She was said to have described the prayer strings worn by Indians as akin to a dog chain or leash, and that Chinese and Indians are “penumpang” in this country.

One of the police reports by a student also alluded that Siti Inshah is a repeat offender in bullying children. It said that she had ordered the prayer bracelet worn by Hindu students to be cut.

However no disciplinary action has been taken against her, such as demotion in the first instance. She was merely transferred from SMK Kelapa Sawit to her present school located in the same district.

Sweeping problem under the carpet

Education director-general Alimuddin Mohd Dom was quoted as saying that the incident was just “a misunderstanding” and the matter has been resolved.

The Education DG clearly took a prejudicial stand before the slew of serious complaints had been fully investigated. His action has been interpreted as an attempt to protect Siti Inshah.

Many people, especially the parents, perceive that a transfer will not be a deterrent without any accompanying punitive or disciplinary action. It is clear that the culprit’s half-hearted apology and Alimuddin’s excuse on her behalf are hardly adequate.

In fact, when the principal tried to fob off the incident as a mere “misunderstanding” to the students, cries of “pembohong” and “penipu” rang out among those gathered. She is viewed as unfit to be heading a school as the trust of office has already been breached.

The general public, aghast at this incidence of overt Ketuanan Melayu and Ketuanan Islam, expects nothing less than Siti Inshah’s expulsion from the teaching profession. It is further fitting that she should be charged in court under the Penal Code for violating her position as a senior civil servant.

Barisan Nasional must be prepared to show that it is willing to stamp out all forms of racism, including the systematic racism that shackles our society.

Symptomatic of deeper fissures

Why has there been such an outcry over the principal’s uncouth behaviour and racist mindset?

The reason is that Indians and Chinese perceive this outburst to be only the tip of the iceberg. Under the surface is the acute institutionalized racism, especially in the largely mono-racial civil service, and education system that has spawned an almost wholly mono-racial teaching staff in the national schools.

It no longer shocks us when some Malay leaders and students praised Siti Inshah’s aggressive stance as almost heroic.

No less racist than Siti Inshah Mansor was another perpetrator in SMK Bukit Selambau, Kedah. The principal was alleged to have accused non-Malay students eating in the common area as being disrespectful to the fasting month of Ramadan even though the school canteen was closed. Like Ridhuan Tee, this so-called educator wanted the out-group [students] to return to China.

The verbal abuse targetting the minorities in this country has been a series of sustained assaults over the years without any corrective action from the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government.

Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that today the minorities are, rightly, sceptical seeing as how the authorities have not indicated any commitment to fight racism, and Umno Youth chiefs have made it a habit to publicly wave the keris to assert Malay supremacy. Recently, as prominent a personage as ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad was pictured at the Perkasa inaugural congress with the keris-raising Ibrahim Ali.

Like the Malay proverb ‘Bapa borek anak rintik’, what can one expect from a bureaucracy that has been brainwashed by the Biro Tata Negara – which for decades has propagated and propagandized Malay supremacy or Ketuanan Melayu?

No physical barrier but shut out nonetheless

What is the difference between white supremacy in apartheid South Africa and Malay supremacy in Umno’s regime, really?

Firstly, they differ only in the skin colour of the powers-that-be, not in their shared immorality and the moral atrocities that have occurred when the apartheid policies were carried out.

Secondly, they only differ in that one is majority racial dominance and the other minority racial dominance. In fact, majority racial dominance is much harder to break and hence this makes it a greater evil than minority dominance.

The developed countries have shown that civility is gauged on how a minority or minorities are treated by the majority.

The incivility displayed by the two school principals has been equally condemned by my Malay counterparts in PAS and PKR. The affected parents are appreciative of the Malaysian spirit and commitment to justice shown by these Pakatan representatives.

On the other hand, Umno and its accessory to apartheid – MCA and MIC – should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves that we are witnessing episodes like these after they have been ruling the country uninterrupted for so long … more than half a century to be precise.

Education Minister Muhyddin Yassin announced the setting up of a task force to investigate the matter, but only a week after the controversy broke. By the same token, the condemnation of Siti Inshah by Barisan Nasional Youth chief Khairy Jamaludin comes too little too late; the source of the problem can never be its solution.

Siti Inshah, and all those in the political arena and media who have defended her, are a sad reminder of the state of our nation.

Racial integration is still so fragile that we have national schools which are shunned by minority parents. Malaysian children are learning in a segregated environment. When I drive my kids past Mara campuses, I say to them: “Look, there is no (physical) racial segregation here but you cannot study in this university because your skin colour doesn’t look right.”

Just what is the difference between putting up a sign saying “No non-Bumiputeras allowed” and the ‘No coloureds allowed” prohibition reminiscent of apartheid?

So please don’t blame discriminated Malaysians for being wary of national schools. Unless the Ketuanan Melayu of Umno-Perkasa & Co. is dismantled once and for all, few non-Malay parents will want his or her children to be in national school where they are treated so shabbily. - CPI

(Dr Boo Cheng Hau is the Johor state opposition leader)


'Malay by heritage' Zaid slams Dr M

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim has diagnosed Dr Mahathir Mohamad with a psychological disorder, which has rendered his mind "convoluted and confused".

And a tell-tale symptom of this condition, according to him, is the former premier's "obnoxious and extraordinarily stupid" statement.

Commenting on Mahathir's latest blog posting on meritocracy, Zaid also took a swipe at the latter's Indian roots, by describing himself as "not just a Malay by constitutional definition, but by heritage (as well)."

In his posting, the former premier had labelled those who pushed for meritocracy as being just as racist as those who defended Malay rights.

Mahathir added that some Malays, “perhaps due to mistaken pride”, supported meritocracy and undermined the Malay position further.

However, Zaid disagreed.

“Many Malays want meritocracy for very good reasons. They want their applications for contracts and projects to be given fair consideration by the authorities. They do not want only those who are politically connected to have the upper hand. They want a level playing field.

“They believe that they can succeed on merit if only they get a fair chance. They want to succeed with their pride intact; and at the same time they want to tell their children that Malays who work hard and with the right attitude can succeed., like everybody else,” he said.

Zaid said many Malays wanted meritocracy so that they could get their dues like promotion and higher positions by working hard.

“They want to be judged fairly and not lose their position or seniority because some one else has the right political cable. They want a promotion system that is transparent and free of interference.

“They want to say that they have succeeded because they did it the hard way. Why does Mahathir have to belittle these Malays? Why must the Malays be scrapped off their self-respect just to prove that Umno is responsible for everything in this country?” he added.

'This is not misplaced pride'

Zaid, a former Umno leader himself, said he failed to understand why Malays who supported meritocracy were described as having misplaced pride.

On the contrary, the former law minister said, it was these Malays who carried the flagship of a proud people.

“We know our strengths and we have no shame of our limitations. But we will always strive to better ourselves. If by open competition and transparent policies the net effect is that some Malays still need extra help and support, then of course a responsible government will have to step in; to provide the incentives and the safety net to bridge the gap.

“But let us start with the notion that we must earn our success like everyone else. And the let the best amongst us prosper. We do not need to be instant millionaires. We can take our time so long as we work hard. All we want is the best education for the Malays,” he added.

Zaid said that his comments were aimed at reminding Mahathir of how wrong he was, and not because he had misplaced pride.

“Misplaced pride for a Malay is when he gets to be a minister because his father fixes it; or he has a few hundred millions in his coffers because he has the right Chinese partner to enrich him,” he added.

Also read:

Everyone's a racist in Dr M's eyes

Lim Kit Siang's reaction:

Has Mahathir crossed the Rubicon to declare war on Najib, 1Malaysia and NEM?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mamakutty rapped for abandoning Bangsa Malaysia

August 25, 2010
Critics are asking if Dr Mahathir is preparing to openly confront Najib and his policies. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — Opposition leaders criticised Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today for his warning to the Malay community yesterday, and accused the former prime minister of abandoning his own vision of uniting the nation.

Dr Mahathir’s remarks were also seen as an attack on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia and the New Economic Model (NEM), both of which promote national unity and meritocracy.

“In one fell stroke yesterday, Mahathir had backtracked and repudiated Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia, causing a whole generation of Malaysians nurtured on Vision 2020 and the concept of Bangsa Malaysia to feel cheated by a national leader who had been the country’s longest-serving prime minister,” said Lim Kit Siang in a statement today.

“In 1990, beginning his second decade as prime minister, Mahathir spelt out Vision 2020 to achieve in 30 years a fully developed Malaysian nation made up of one Bangsa Malaysia with a sense of common and shared destiny, distinguished by the pursuit of excellence, fully aware of all its potentials, psychologically subservient to none, and respected by the peoples of other nations,” said the DAP leader citing the Vision 2020 objective which became the hallmark of Dr Mahathir’s administration.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir mocked proponents of meritocracy in a blog posting, calling them racist and decried Malays who support meritocracy as having misplaced pride.

He also blasted advocates of meritocracy, calling them “meritocrats” pushing for dominance by one race in all aspects of the country.

Dr Mahathir added that the campaign for meritocracy was not a campaign against racism but a movement by racists against racists.

At a separate function last night, the former premier then warned Malays to be united or risk losing political power.

Today, Lim questioned if Dr Mahathir’s remarks signalled that the former prime minister was now ready to openly go against the Najib administration.

“Has Mahathir crossed the Rubicon to declare war on his second successor as prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak after successfully forcing out the his first successor Tun Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi)?” asked Lim.

“Mahathir had already publicly questioned Najib’s 1 Malaysia policy and his utterances yesterday marked a throw-back to the irresponsible and dangerous politics of race and religion,” he added.

Lim said by denouncing meritocracy, Dr Mahathir had declared his rejection to the NEM, which supports market-friendly affirmative action policy based on needs and merit.

DAP Youth chief Loke Siew Fook also expressed similar misgivings, adding that Dr Mahathir was detached from the reality in making what he called “racist remarks.”

“He introduced the concept of Bangsa Malaysia, has he forgotten his own vision?” said Loke.

“I think Dr Mahathir has turned into the biggest threat for Najib’s 1 Malaysia,” said the Rasah MP.

He added that DAP’s support for a meritocratic system was based on the reality of global competition.

“The competition is no longer between the Malays and the non-Malays — but Malaysians against the rest of the world,” said Loke.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub called Dr Mahathir’s remarks an indictment of the latter’s years in power as prime minister.

“I think he wants to remain in control of Malaysian politics, he would do and say anything to ensure that he remains relevant,” said Salahuddin.

“His statement is a reflection of the failure of his 22 years administration. It was during his administration that corruption and abuse of power reached its peak which led to problems inherited by his successors until today,” the Kubang Kerian MP added.

On Dr Mahathir’s allegation that PAS was being a political opportunist for not defending pro-Malay policies, Salahuddin said the PAS-led state governments have been protecting the interest of the community where possible.

“I think he was not being fair to PAS. We are not in control of the federal government. In Kedah and Kelantan where we are running the state government, do we see the Malays being marginalised?

“We have never questioned the special privileges, what we have been demanding is transparency and fairness in wealth distribution,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gerakan Youth deputy chief Oh Tong Keong has also joined in the criticism against Dr Mahathir.

“We respect Tun Dr Mahathir’s contributions to the nation, but we respectfully disagree with his contention to equate ‘meritocrats’ as racists,” said Oh in a statement.

“We believe meritocracy together with the need-based and market-friendly affirmation as envisaged in NEM are two pillars to achieve social justice, cohesiveness and inclusiveness under [the] 1 Malaysia concept,” he added.

UKM academic Professor Samsul Adabi Mamat, however, believed that Dr Mahathir had not contradicted himself when he criticised meritocracy.

“Bangsa Malaysia is about getting Malaysians of all races to be loyal to Malaysia. The Chinese in Malaysia, for example, must treat this place as their country as they are not like the Chinese in China,” Samsul told The Malaysian Insider.

He said that the idea of meritocracy as promoted by the opposition was only introduced as a reaction to government policies.

“Tun Dr Mahathir has always been very consistent, [while] political parties like DAP have never been clear about the meritocracy that they are fighting for,” said Samsul

“It is merely a criticism [of] government policy, a protest against [the] status quo,” he added.

He added that the DAP’s historical ties with Singapore’s ruling party, the PAP, also justified Dr Mahathir’s concerns over meritocracy leading to a marginalisation of the Malay community..

“Look at Singapore, the Malays are not protected. There is a widespread concern that that is where meritocracy is going to take us to,” said Samsul.

PAS leaders return fire: Dr Mahathir is a confused Muslim

Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

PAS leaders have returned fire at former premier Mahathir Mohamad for accusing their party of being "Malay political opportunists", calling him "confused" and slamming him for dividing the country along racial lines.

“Tun Dr Mahathir is a confused Muslim who has failed to differentiate between Islam and the Malays. During his reign, Islam was ridiculed and he bred Malay chauvinism and racism,” PAS MP for Buit Gantang Nizar Jamaluddin told Malaysia Chronicle.

Nizar Jamaluddin
Indeed, Mahathir - who ruled Malaysia with a fist of iron from 1981 to 2003 - did send out conflicting signals at a Perkim breaking-fast function on Tuesday night. Perkim is the Muslim Welfare Organization of Malaysia.

While the feisty 85-year old exhorted Muslims to unite or face the possibility of losing political dominance, only hours earlier he had lambasted PAS in his blog, accusing the Islamist party of being insincere by not putting the Malay agenda at the top of its struggle.

“This is exactly what is wrong with Umno and BN. We cannot divide and classify the country along racial lines. PAS is first and foremost an Islamic party and it defend the rights of the Malays along with the rights of Chinese, the Indians, the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut and all other citizens as well,” PAS national unity chairman Mujahid Yusoff Rawa told Malaysia Chronicle.

Mujahid Yusoff Rawa
“This is what Islam is about – love for the Almighty, justice and fairness. But Mahathir’s version is only about who rules the country at whatever means and costs and nothing else. That is Umno Islam. Regretfully, for as long as BN is in power, racial politics will mark the day and the people will remain divided. After 53 years, Umno has failed to unite the Muslims and the Malays - what more the country.”

Losing relevance

Of late, public sentiment has been turning against Mahathir with Malaysians blaming him for much of the social and financial problems currently swamping the nation.

Despite his claims of a bountiful legacy, having built most of Malaysia’s sprawling network of expressways and modern infrastructure, his critics including prominent economists believe that the nation would have progressed much better with another leader at the helm.

Mahathir Mohamad
But growing public disgust for his ruthlessness and megalomania has not stopped Mahathir from holding forth on national politics. Within Umno, Mahathir is still a top power broker and even Prime Minister Najib Razak has to take his cues from him.

“There are quite a large number of Indian Muslims in Malaysia but they do not figure in the political party said to be Islamic. The party, by using Islam, knows full well they are appealing to Malays almost exclusively. But the intention is not to defend the Malays but merely to gain their support. One can say they are not Malay racists. Rather they are Malay political opportunists,” Mahathir said in his blog.