Friday, September 5, 2008

POHON MAAF (2)


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at www.chedet.com on September 5, 2008 6:32 PM

1. I had hesitated about writing the Pohon Maaf article even. I thought I would surely be misunderstood. I would be accused of being a racist.

2. Sure enough, although many agree with me, some felt sad that I had become a racist, others merely use nasty words against me.

3. When the opposition did very well in the 2008 elections, foreign observers talk about a wind of change in Malaysia; about how racialism had been rejected, how Anwar, their favourite would soon take over the Government.

4. I had differed from these casual observers because I know that it was not rejection of racial politics which helped the opposition. It was simply disgust on the part of members of UMNO, MCA and Gerakan of the Premiership and leadership of Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Talking on the ground, this was quite obvious.

5. Far from the opposition's "win" being brought about by rejection of racial politics, it has actually enhanced racial politics. We talk more about race and racial interest than we did in the last 50 years.

6. The Malays are feeling the loss of their political base and the Chinese and Indians appear to be glorifying in the new political clout. As a result, subjects which we before regarded as sacrosanct are now brought up and made to be entirely in favour of the Malays.

7. Against this unfamiliar attack against them, the Malays are unable to counter. Their leaders have deserted them. In their frustration they tend to become abusive.

8. I am not defending nor do I like what Ahmad Ismail of Bukit Bendera said. It does not contribute to lessening the tension between the races. But I feel disgust at the inability of the present Malay leadership to manage racialism. It is degrading for the second highest leader in the Government to be apologising for every instance of improper behaviour by UMNO members.

9. The person who should apologise should be the culprit himself. If he refuses then he should face the UMNO disciplinary committee.

10. He may have a corruption case against him but suddenly making charges about his corruption smacks too much of abuse of power. The same thing has happened to the SAPP leadership.

11. It does seem that the Government of the Opposition parties are not unlike the present BN Government. Government agencies are being used for political purpose. I had admired Lim Guan Eng for his sound approach to problems. I feel sad that he has done what he has done.

12. It took a long time for me to live down the label as a Malay ultra. I had gained such strong support from the Chinese community in the 1999 Election when the Malays deserted me that I felt I was no longer regarded as a Malay ultra by the Chinese generally (the Opposition Chinese excepted). I was grateful for the Chinese support and I had many times publicly acknowledged that much of Malaysia's development was due to the dynamic Malaysian Chinese entrepreneurs and businessmen. But of course there are still Chinese who regard me as anti-Chinese.

13. I cannot please everybody. If I am again labelled as anti-Chinese and anti-Indian I really would not rebut. After all, my Cabinet colleagues and the people I helped to advance in their political career also condemn me.

14. Perhaps people should wonder why during the time of the previous four Prime Ministers, who were also Presidents of UMNO, there were no such utterances by UMNO members. And there were practically none from the non-Malays either.