Thursday, June 6, 2013

RACIAL POLARIZATION


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on June 06, 2013

1. After Parliament was dissolved on the 13th April 2013, I was interviewed by a BBC journalist. He appeared quite convinced that race-based parties such as those in the National Front would be rejected by a more liberal electorate which believes in democracy, freedom and non-racial politics. Also the idealistic young would reject the BN.

2. I had to disagree with him as I believed that racial polarization in Malaysia had become more pronounced now than ever before. I may not always be right but after 60 years involvement in Malaysian politics I felt strongly that the race factor will continue to dominate the politics of the country.  The quality of the candidates or parties, the ideologies and the desire for change will always be secondary to race.

3. The election results showed that I was right. The DAP playing on racial sentiments drew the Chinese away from BN by depicting the MCA as lackeys of UMNO. The DAP won 38 seats, reducing the MCA’s seats from 15 to 7. The Gerakan won one seat out of two. All the DAP Chinese contested in Chinese majority constituencies.  A few of the MCA, Gerakan and MIC candidates contested in Malay majority constituencies.

4. Although the DAP claims to be multiracial, it is in fact a Chinese party with mainly Chinese members and leadership. When it held elections to its Central Committee recently other than Karpal Singh all the members elected were Chinese.

5. Hatred of the Malays was whipped up through the slogan “Malaysian Malaysia”, implying that Malaysia is for the Malays only while other races were discriminated against and alleged to be second class citizens.  Advocating meritocracy, the extremists Chinese in the DAP charged the BN Government  of discriminating in favour of the Malays even though they were inferior and less qualified for places in the universities, awards of scholarships, contracts, licences and positions in the Government.  The Malay leaders were not as able as the non-Malay leaders who possess greater merit.

6. Whenever Government policies such as the NEP were defended, the defenders whether in the Government or NGO’s are labelled racist.  The Malay parties in the election pact in Pakatan were tolerated because they were useful for election purposes.

7. If more proof is needed of the role of Chinese racism in the 13th GE, the demonstrations accusing the BN of fraud and cheating in the elections, despite being organised by Anwar and the PKR, are largely attended by Chinese, especially the young. Within the Country and abroad, Chinese youths wearing black shirts and masks made up most of the demonstrators. Usually Malays make up the majority of the demonstrators.  The lack of respect for the national flag was shown by Chinese young people in Taiwan holding it upside down. Although DAP and PKR participated in these demos, PAS members were noticeably absent. In fact PAS leaders dissociated themselves from the agitation to overthrow the Government through street demos ala Arab Spring. The protests seem to be mainly a Chinese affair.

8. The indisputable fact is that the DAP has succeeded in destroying the collaboration or sharing between the different races as exemplified by the BN coalition. The Pakatan is not a true coalition. It is simply an election pact between the parties opposed to the BN. This pact clearly benefited the chauvinist Chinese in DAP most, while PAS the most Malay of the Pakatan parties benefited the least, winning only 21 seats against DAP’s 38 and PKR’s 30.  Actually although PAS contested in more constituencies than DAP, it lost two seats more than in 2008.

9. If today the schism between the races is deeper it is because the DAP reject the Malay/Chinese/Indian “kongsi”. The DAP wants the Chinese who already dominate the economy, to dominate Malaysia’s politics as well. It is clearly racist and reject inter-racial sharing of power and wealth as advocated by the BN. Racial polarization has become more pronounced as a result.  It will become more so in the future.