No room for toxic race-based politics in multiracial Malaysia

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Ahmad Zahid Hamidi - Photograph: Wikipedia

Vintage leaders like Zahid are the very factor behind the burial of race-based parties that will usher in a future where humanism reigns supreme in the world, says JD Lovrenciear.

The belligerent and besieged Umno party that is currently facing a freeze of its banking accounts appears to be sending out sensitive and what may be deemed as anti-national messages.

In the run up to its party general meeting, the statements coming from several quarters claiming to be the saviours of Umno deserve examination by the new government, which is painstakingly championing the rule of law in an effort to build a new Malaysia beyond the divides of race and religion.

Zahid, for example, belted a veiled threat that seemed set to go against the victory clinched by Malaysians at the 2018 general election, still fresh in the minds of many.

Zahid was reported as claiming that “as long as I lead Umno, I will fight and will not let any party threaten or discriminate against Umno.”

“Under my leadership, Umno will rise as a Malay and bumiputera party which fights for the interests of the rakyat and the country,” he added.

Umno had six decades to fight for a single race while belting its contradictory slogan of “fight for the interests of (all) the rakyat”. And, to this day, after the very ethnic community that it claimed it stood up for has nearly banished Umno into the backwaters, party leaders still keep spinning the same broken record.

Indeed, vintage leaders like Zahid are the very factor behind the burial of race-based parties that will usher in a future where humanism reigns supreme in the world. As our new government ploughs ahead to unite Malaysia, disturbing sentiments by leaders like Zahid must be stopped in their tracks so that divisive politics will not take root.

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We cannot build a nation based on race or religion. That is an expired political mantra which if revived will render this land of 30m toxic. Perhaps the institutions in our now forward-moving Malaysia will study ways and means to haul up individuals who continue to undermine our future of a united citizenry that wants to thrive on humanistic values.

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Dr.SNaidu
Dr.SNaidu
11 Jul 2018 2.07pm

A good piece by JD Lovrenciear for our common reflection.
We need however, to pause a little, take stock seriously of our state of affairs today, and from the Malaysian soul that each true-blood Malaysian may well possess and claim, think pragmatically of the MEANS to achieve a ‘race-free’ Malaysia. ‘Identity politics’ as Dr. M says, will and can continue to exist. It is not something that can be erased in our nation’s prevailing socio-political climate. It is very much in the Malaysian’s DNA.
We surely can live with it, and committedly EDUCATE OUR YOUNG particularly, and adult Malaysians, in the strong RUKUN NEGARA NATIONHOOD VALUES. ALL OF US CAN HELP.

KG Tee
KG Tee
7 Jul 2018 11.04am

We are seeing Tun D M is building up a strong PPBM on an ethnic line. Soon, there will be a strong MCA v2, MIC v2. Back to square one isn’t it?

If this is happening, it is hard to see PH survive even one term. Rakyat are not stupid.

HHLim
HHLim
6 Jul 2018 4.47pm

I share your concern about the politics an unreformed UMNO as well as PAS would play as opposition, but I do not think the government should take action against them to prevent them from playing racial or religious politics. The only democratic way is for the government to win more Malay support away from UMNO and PAS.

KG Tee
KG Tee
6 Jul 2018 8.45am

UMNO cannot changed overnight. So let a crook to bring it down. Thanks to the ex president and now the current president.

Ariff
Ariff
5 Jul 2018 4.21pm

Well said. I say let Zahid bring umno down. Thats exactly why they lost in the first place. If you want to highlight or champion Malay rights then focus on poor, uneducated Malays and help them. But when you only use it to bring down other races in Malaysia and manipulate those same poor, uneducated Malays to support and vote for you then that’s just plain racial bigotry. Im happy zahid is the new president. Keep imagining bogeymen are out to get you and keep shouting racial rhetoric. Syabas!

Manuel Augustus
Manuel Augustus
5 Jul 2018 8.27am

I agree. Leaders like Zahid are a thing of the past and have narrow perceptions. PH should haul in such leaders and charge them for disrupting the peace and harmony.