Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s current advisor, Daim Zainuddin is imploring all Malaysians to leave history as history and “accept reality” and not allow racial issues to divide the nation.
Expressing his thoughts to The Malaysian Insight during the 50th anniversary of the May 13, 1969 racial riots, Daim asks everyone to focus on the success story of Malaysians uniting against the British colonialists, and later on, against the communists and the Indonesian army.
“We fought together to save this country, we succeeded, as long as we are united, for a common cause, we will succeed. But again, we have a group who says ‘our position is threatened’,” Daim emphatically said.
“We are threatened because we are not united. If we are together, nobody can threaten us, confront us. We fought together and won.”
Racial sentiments stirred to go against Pakatan Harapan
Based on the ideas divulged by some Malaysian academics as quoted by The Malaysian Insight, opposition parties in Malaysia are consciously and purposely fermenting racial emotionalism among ethnic Malays — who make up 60% of voters — to help intensify support and fortify the groundwork to do battle with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
This could be the parties’ reaction to a survey conducted by Ilham Centre and think tank Penang Institute between October and December 2018 revealing that the PH coalition is losing popularity among ethnic Malays.
A report by the Merdeka Centre also disclosed that a higher percentage of ethnic Chinese voters voted for the PH in the May 9, 2018 election, as compared to ethnic Malays.
While 35% to 40% of Malays voted for Barisan Nasional (BN), only 25% to 30% of Malays voted for PH.
More counsel from Daim to Malaysians
In another talk at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Skudai, Johor Baru which took place last March, Daim also advised Malays not to to be deceived by fear mongering strategies of politicians who sow fear and say that ethnic Malays are being threatened by non-Malays.
Daim strongly suggested that instead of relying on logic and facts, Malays prefer to listen in the xenophobic grandiloquence of politicians with preposterous anecdotes, like threats against Islam and Malay rights.
Daim think it is about time that the Malays become open to change and be a part of that change instead of just focusing on themselves.
“Do we change and become a force to reckon within the context of the national agenda, Malaysia Baru, or do we go down the path we are currently treading and proclaim a narrative that is narrow, focused only on ourselves?” asked Daim.
“The Malays can continue down this emotional and irrational path at our own peril or we can stop, think, reflect and call for change.” -/TISG