Memo to Razaleigh: New Malaysia has risen above race-based agendas

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The race-and-religion divide-and-rule mantra of Umno will never see sunrise again, writes JD Lovrenciear.

Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah turned at the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur yesterday for a post-election talk.

The very title of the talk “Malay dilemma post-GE14” suggests serious concerns among Malaysians who just a month ago took a step closer to realising the unlikely dream of making Malaysia truly Malaysian.

It seems that the talk of a chauvinistic Malay agenda has not died with the collapse of the Barisan Nasional and the defeat of Umno in the general election.

While Malaysians, now under the stewardship of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, have crossed the bridge over the troubled waters of the ethnic and religious divide in the election, Razaleigh appears bent on promoting a narrow race-based agenda.

Do we need this, Tengku Razaleigh?

Why can you not accept the fact that many of the Malays of this beloved land have given up on Umno? They have enabled PH to come into power with the goal of becoming a truly united nation of one people.

What Umno struggles are you obsessed with? This is 2018 not 1946. This is the 21st Century not the 20th Century. This is the age of humanism not racism. Even our country is no more the Malaya of bygone times but a new Malaysia.

In fact, given your long years in the party, where were you when the people of this land were crying out with deep concern over the 1MDB scandal? Where was your voice when Malaysians, including the Malays, felt humiliated and national dignity was tarnished in the eyes of the world?

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Now, when many Malays themselves have decided to leave the Umno that you know and seem to love so much, you want to carry on with race-based sentiments and revive the very party that destroyed this Asian Tiger.

The proven truth today is our nation’s Malay brothers and sisters are more capable then Umno thinks. They have more dignity and honour than Umno can tolerate. They want a Malaysia where all citizens irrespective of ancestry and beliefs can work, play, pray and prosper together.

Do you not recognise and honour the fact that 10 May 2018 sent out a permanent clarion call that Malaysia is a nation of people that will care for one another irrespective of ethnicity or religious belief?

We are marching together on a path that we struggled to create. We are already lifting one another, caring for one another, loving one another and supporting one another. We are committed to building a nation that will not only rise above of terrible indebtedness, greed and avarice but also usher in a progressive society of united Malaysians.

Umno is dead as long as its leaders keep pining to save a single ethnic group based on a narrow agenda. Umno is blown away as long as its leaders keep drumming in that only their party can protect race, religion and royalty.

When the country sank rock bottom with corruption and kleptocracy, you almost disappeared from the radar of social conscience. When citizens cried out for justice after several murders and abductions in the country, where was your voice? When citizens groaned under the yoke of the Goods and Services Tax and the soaring cost of living, there was hardly a whisper from you.

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Thank God, the people’s determination, cutting across the divides of class, ethnicity and religion, under the stewardship of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other PH leaders, succeeded in giving Malaysians a blessed chance to realign their future.

So, stop thinking that the race-and-religion divide-and-rule mantra of Umno is going to work again. It will never see sunrise again. We are all Malaysians today. We care for our future as Malaysians. We will build a nation of Malaysians who will protect, nurture and love one another.

Lest you think nothing much of my appeal, please remember that just like our soldiers of of the past who fought side-by-side and wept side-by-side for lives and limbs lost, we Malaysians of contemporary times will not let these sacrifices go to waste.

We are now on that ‘new Malaysia’ journey to see peace, progress and prosperity as Malaysians – not as Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, Dayaks, Ibans, Kadazans, etc.

In short, race-based political parties have been buried since 10 May 2018.

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