Get back on track and think as Malaysians first and not otherwise, says Mohamed Arshad Raji.
Racism and racial politicking has now encroached into a danger zone. Constructive change must start before our nation and society descend into permanent destruction.
The last few by-elections saw politicians making racially charged speeches aimed at inciting hatred just to secure votes. This culminated with one of the most ridiculous statements: non-Malays should not be appointed as chief justice, attorney general, and finance minister for the reason that Malay privileges could not be defended and those appointed could not take an oath of office by the Quran.
The latest development – asking MCA and MIC to leave the Barisan Nasional coalition – is mischievous and bewildering and further indicates that politics has rolled back into pure racism. BN’s founding fathers had forged a coalition to strengthen unity among the three major Malayan races. Historically, it was pragmatic then for race-based political parties to be formed.
The like-mindedness, understanding and willingness to strengthen the bonds of solidarity and friendship among the various races that our founding leaders had carved out for this nation is now being threatened by selfish and self-centred politicians, especially those who held powerful positions in government before.
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Both Umno and Pas have have each become a one-issue party, harping on Malay supremacy or Malay-Muslim unity against others. This has led certain Pakatan Harapan politicians propagating policies of the Malay agenda.
One certain way to rid the nation of racism is to start by having non race-based political parties. Patriot urges all political parties to move towards achieving that purpose in sync with the multi-racial nature of our Malaysian society.
Malaysian society cannot remain parochial in its societal outlook any longer after six decades of independence. We ought to be more inclusive and symbiotic in facing the challenges of our country as truly united Malaysian people.
We have had enough of the politics of building obstacles instead of building bridges, enough of the politics of ‘us versus them’ and enough of the politics of exclusivity instead of inclusivity. These are dark political clouds shielding the glorious Malaysian sun.
Tolerance and understanding were thrashed and replaced with the championing of racial hatred. The propagation of race and religion now takes centre stage, and if this is allowed to fester, there is little hope of ever seeing a united Malaysian society.
Patriot has got this to say to all political leaders: Get back on track and think as Malaysians first and not otherwise. Serve all Malaysian people instead of exercising parochial politics and showing bias towards a particular race.
Finally, we say this: The dismantling of race-based political parties is our only hope of seeing the emergence of a truly undivided Malaysian society, thus fulfilling our dream of a harmonious, prosperous and progressive Malaysia.
Retired Brigadier General Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of Presatuan Patriot Kebangsaan.