Greater unity if race-based parties abolished, says Abdul Aziz

The Borneo Post
September 17, 2008

Greater unity if race-based parties abolished, says Abdul Aziz

KOTA KINABALU: There will be greater understanding and better decision making if all race-based parties are abolished in Malaysia, said DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim.

In fact, it is believed to be the answer to a more united Malaysian nation, said Abdul Aziz who stressed that the new era for the country can only be achieved if one accepts social justice and equality for everyone.

He highlighted this subject yesterday and it eventually became one of the issues discussed during a public forum entitled ‘Malaysia: Towards A New Era’ organised by Sabah Democratic Action Party (DAP) at Kian Kok School hall here.

Almost a thousand people thronged the hall to listen to the five-hour forum panelled by DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee.

Also in attendance were Assistant Finance Minister and Luyang assemblywoman Melanie Chia, Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Majimbun, Deputy Speaker Frankie Chong, PKR Sabah chief Ansari Abdullah and his deputy, Christina Liew as well as former Parti Bersatu Sabah supreme council member Dr Chong Eng Leong.

“In fact, Umno could still maintain their acronym but it should be United ‘Malaysian’ National Organisation… it should be open to everyone. The party should struggle and fight for the rights of all communities,” said Abdul Aziz, stressing that there should also be equal distribution of development in the effort to curb issues concerning the hardcore poor in the country.

Abdul Aziz stressed that the New Economic Policy, which he had opposed from day one, had been applied inconsistently, and as a result, there is still high poverty in pockets of Sabah and Sarawak.

“Preparations for a better Malaysia begins now. It will remain a dream if we do not do anything. I joined DAP long ago because it was so much easier to be standing out of the system. “Our country can be the best in the world due to strong national integration. I am not saying that we are a great country, but we can be if all these various practices of injustice and racism can be removed. If we can restore integrity of the Police Force, Judiciary and civil servants, I believe there is a great future,” he said.

Stressing that a foundation has to be built towards fairness, justice and human rights, irrespective of race and religion, Abdul Aziz also pointed out that the time has come for a change.

Yong, who echoed Abdul Aziz’s words, reiterated on the windows of opportunity, stressing that since Sabah and Sarawak formed Malaysia, along with Malaya on Sept 16, 1963, this is the only chance for East Malaysia in general, and Sabah in particular, to snap the political autonomy, the 20 per cent oil royalty, redress imbalanced economic development in both states, relive Borneonisation, get Labuan island back and important posts for Sabahans in government departments and agencies, and address the longstanding issue of illegal immigrants.

“Although we (Sabah) have one of the largest representatives in the parliament, it is sad that we do not have MPs who are willing to use this window of opportunity to bring changes for Sabah. Instead of discussing it today on Malaysia Day, the MPs are holidaying in Taiwan,” said Yong.

He said it was not easy to grab political power from the ruling Barisan Nasional on Sept 16, or famously quoted as 916, but that through patience, it would eventually materialise if everyone remains optimistic.

“So I agree that race-based parties should be abolished gradually in Malaysia. We have to understand and respect one another, fully, deeply and truly, especially as we all come from different races, because if we do not, it will defeat the whole purpose of moving towards change,” he said.

Jeffrey, during his session, shared with the public the history that led to the formation of Malaysia, giving facts on the initial purpose and how equal rights should be shared among the three main components – Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya.

“Sabah had actually gained its independence on August 31, 1963, which marked the end of colonisation in Borneo and also witnessed the nationhood and birth of an independent nation … that means we were already a country then.

“We were approached by Tunku Abdul Rahman one day to form Malaysia, along with Sarawak and Singapore. There should be no doubt that we are equal partners … in fact, we did not join Malaysia; we formed Malaysia as equal partners.

“However, instead of being one of the three components of the country, we are today one of the 13 states in Malaysia. How do you expect us to gain wealth and curb poverty? The former prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad) once told me that we should not teach people what they do not know … this was a way to ensure that the people can be controlled.

In addition, Jeffrey also questioned the government on the fact that Sabah remains as the second poorest state in the country despite the millions and billions of ringgit of allocations from the federal government.

“We have been played by for the last 45 years, so I believe there is nothing wrong to turn the court. We must all show that we want a change of government, and it is not for personal gain, but to salvage whatever we have left,” he said.

In summarising the contents, Lim who described the forum as a gathering of Pakatan Rakyat ‘Plus’, disclosed that what used to be impossible, unachievable and impossible has today changed to possible, achievable and could happen anytime.

“The Pakatan Rakyat has changed the mindset and mental attitude. Many have come to realise that they yearn for a change. With a large number of MPs from the opposition, the BN government has now in fact needed our support to make any amendments,” he said.

According to him, the biggest blow for BN had to be the resignation of de facto Law Minister (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department), Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Unfortunately, Lim said Zaid’s resignation would bring the end of the re-reforming exercise of both the judiciary and police force.

“He (Zaid) was given the task to handle the re-reform of both sectors. His resignation means that it will never happen. Before the general election we asked the people

whether the change of government was possible, and about 95 per cent did not think so.

“But today, if we ask the same question, some 70 to 80 per cent of the people will agree with us,” he said.

Lim also described East Malaysia as the “king-makers” of BN, and urged that the opportunity be used wisely.

  1. #1 by chin on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 7:50 am

    Race based parties are thing of the past. Its not gonna work anymore. Its easy to provoke but its damn hard to persuade & that is the key every Malaysians should digest.
    Calling another G.E is way better than any take over as claim in 916. An election will proof both sides the art of persuasion and witness who is gonna to provoke.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 8:09 am

    Generally it is true that greater unity and greater understanding can be achieved if race-based parties are abolished in Malaysia. However, that doesn’t mean that the country will be free of racial problems. We have learned in the past that racial riots did happen in America even though its politics is not race-based.

    I think the “Race Relations Act” should be implemented to pre-empt racial discrimination and racial prejudice even after race-based parties are abolished.

  3. #3 by cactus of sarawak on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 8:26 am

    Racial problem can be solved if the school children are to be taught the real history of Malaysia. It is not easy for certain people to digest, but the truth is always the truth. Every level of rakyat had to be involved in the making of a more harmony Malaysia. Laws have to be strict, enforcers have to be firm and politicians have to have vision etc…

  4. #4 by swipenter on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 9:11 am

    Not so according to TDM. He is still advocating race based politics which he is so infamous for. PR if it takes over the fed govt must start to dismantle racism in all its insidious forms that is plaguing our country and society. The first place to start is the primary schools.

  5. #5 by greenacre on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 9:19 am

    The time has come

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 9:21 am

    The truth is Sabah don’t need much special help. It just have to be justly helped. Sabah has a lot of hidden strength it can tap. It need to invest in infrastructure, its people and all will fall into place. Sabah is one of the biggest crime of the UMNO rule.

  7. #7 by newchief on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 9:26 am

    i think race issue is not what we are very concerned about !! its about getting up each day worrying that the price of daily needs be increased without proper guidance or monitoring from the present government.

    who cares who leads malaysia. i think the most important is about the welfare of the rakyat . if a government tell me its only rm1.55 per litre petrol or nasi campur is only rm3.50 while roti telur is only rm1, i’m very sure ALL MALAYSIANS (malays,chinese,indians,kadazans,muruts,etc) WILL BE VERY VERY HAPPY ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT!!!

    we don’t mind the malays taking most of the government’s pies as long as the non-bumi has been given the freedom to do business which is practised now and that the government practice religion freedom and not demolishing place of worship or rejecting religious structures to be built .

    when people cannot afford to buy, they will become crazy and violent. look at thailand, indonesia and even taiwan!! so i beg of a government who can help out the rakyat while the opposition to lend a hand of ideas and not oppose only if their ways of handling is bad.

  8. #8 by Freddy on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 9:50 am

    “We cannot depend forever upon communal parties playing a leading part in Malaysian politics because their influence will not unite the different races but constantly remind them of their racial separateness”.

    you can read my view and thought at my blog pertaining to anak bangsa malaysia which i have been highlighting all along, from the first attempt in 1947 …

  9. #9 by wanderer on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 10:11 am

    Yes, Multi-racial political parties is the answer, to solve the problems all Malaysians are facing today. We should be fighting for “Integration of races and Equality.” Let the 21st century be the beginning of a new chapter for Bolehland.

  10. #10 by cintanegara on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 10:31 am

    It is laughable when DAP brought up this matter. Everybody knows that DAP fight for a particular ‘ethnic group’, though they claim to be Multi-racial. This is a true fact that no one could deny…..

  11. #11 by Plaintruth on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 11:02 am

    I was told that Malaysia is the only country in the world where the ruling component parties are race based. We all know how this has lead the country going down the drain.

  12. #12 by baochingtian on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 12:06 pm

    to cintanegara, let’s not be bothered by your thinking of the fight by DAP for a particular ethnic group. DAP has been around for ages and what their ideology was all about democratic. They know and the “ethnic group’ knows where to tow the line in this multiracial nation. The bumi’s right has never been questioned. I was most touched when i learned that one of the DAP leaders spent a few years in jail losing his pay because of fighting for justice for a malay girl in malacca and while visiting the husband in jail, the wife finally broke down and asked the husband whether it’s worthwhile doing it. The leaders do care for all malaysians.

  13. #13 by baochingtian on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 12:15 pm

    to cintanegara,
    just to share with u the comment posted at kickdefella blog and hopefully u could see a broader picture:

    Anak Sejati Malaysia (21:46:41) :

    Nik Class of 69

    Lah, engkau ni.

    Asyik berprasangka buruk pasal orang bukan Islam.

    DAP tak pernah anti-Islam atau anti-Melayu.

    DAP memperjuangkan Islam sebagai agama rasmi negara dan Bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa rasmi kita sejak dulu-dulu lagi.

    Yang DAP kata tak perlu adalah nak ubah negara kita jadi negara Islam, ala Iran atau Arab Saudi.

    Itu tak perlu lah kan. Sekarang ni pun, negara kita sekular. Sekular tu bukan bermaksud anti-Islam. Sekular itu kita anuti agama masing-masing, takde halangan, takde paksaan, masing-masing anut agama kita dengan bebas dan aman. Tapi bila berpolitik, kita tak perlu lah ikut agama mana mana… tak kira Kristian atau Islam… kalau tak, tak adil la bagi mereka yang beragama berbeza. Misalnya kalau kita orang Muslim duk kat negara yang politik dia tu berdasarkan Kristian yang kuat, sudah tentu kita pun tak sedap hati sangat.

    Betul tak?

    Jadi politik tu biar la neutral.

    Tapi agama kita tetap kita pegang.

    Itu lah konsepnya. Tak menentang pun agama Islam.

    Salah ke DAP tu?

    Pikir ler baik baik.

  14. #14 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 12:48 pm

    Aye, aye Tunku.

    21st century dynamics and global outlook gives Abe’s words a hard-hitting message today: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

    Not ‘government of the UMNO-ites,by the UMNO-ites, for the UMNO-ites.”

    YB Kit, I’m all for fresh elections soonest and let the people steamroll over all these racial politics. Let the people decide! Enough is ennough of racial politics and racist polemics.

  15. #15 by cheng on on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 12:58 pm

    Baochingtian, that cintanegara, probably never heard of the story of DAP fella go to jail fr the sake of a Malay girl in Melaka. DAP is “fitnah” as “anti Isl…” or “anti Ma…” by U know who lah!

  16. #16 by badak on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 1:00 pm

    Lets not talk we want change now. For more then 30 years we saw how corrupted BN had become. Every year we read how tax payers money is wasted. Yet nothing is done about it.
    DAP PKR PAS and now SAPP should come under one comman body. Be brave no more DAP PKR PAS or SAPP.All members must come under one party.
    Sent me a form my family and i will be the first to join.

  17. #17 by cintanegara on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 1:14 pm

    baochingtian, a DAP leader who fought for ‘justice’, simply becoz the case involved his rival from another party. He acted as though he was fighting for that Malay girl. The fact is that he had hidden agenda behind his action….What if the case not involving his political rival? i.e ordinary people??? I wonder if he would have done the same….

  18. #18 by lakshy on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 1:18 pm

    Tunku Abdul Aziz is right. DAP has to do more to attract Malay and Indian Professionals to join its ranks so that it can become a multiracial party. DAP is still seen as a Malay party even despite YAB LGE going to jail for a Malay girl!

    More needs to be done so people can see DAP as protector of all rakyat, regardless of race.

  19. #19 by lakshy on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 1:20 pm

    .,…..seen as a Chinese party…..

  20. #20 by Richardqed on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 2:01 pm

    “who cares who leads malaysia. i think the most important is about the welfare of the rakyat . if a government tell me its only rm1.55 per litre petrol or nasi campur is only rm3.50 while roti telur is only rm1, i’m very sure ALL MALAYSIANS (malays,chinese,indians,kadazans,muruts,etc) WILL BE VERY VERY HAPPY ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT!!!” — newchief

    It is precisely because of this type of “as long as I am ok, and not affected, I don’t mind” mentality and lack of political awareness that corrupt governments can keep on ruling for decades without being questioned, and they can control the judiciary as they like, and also invoke the ISA as they like.

    By having a clean, transparent, efficient and accountable government, those billions of ringgit that are siphoned out to god-knows-where, can be used for the rakyat in many ways that people did not realize was possible.

    So, who cares? Every right-thinking, unselfish person should.

  21. #21 by Richardqed on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 2:14 pm

    “baochingtian, a DAP leader who fought for ‘justice’, simply becoz the case involved his rival from another party. He acted as though he was fighting for that Malay girl. The fact is that he had hidden agenda behind his action….What if the case not involving his political rival? i.e ordinary people??? I wonder if he would have done the same….” — cintanegara

    Obviously he would have done the same regardless. Do you see anyone else making half the sacrifices that he did? Only idiots like you, so-called cintanegara, would not know that. And only idiots like you, who have hidden agendas making rubbish posts on this blog, would not understand there are indeed righteous human beings in this world.

  22. #22 by zak_hammaad on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 2:41 pm

    Race-based parties should be replaced with proportionate representation.

  23. #23 by cheng on on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 2:42 pm

    cintanegara, you are a real nut, if that accused is an ordinary people, the police would hv catch him, no need for DAP fella to say anything lah ! Pakai lah otak !

  24. #24 by cintanegara on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 3:00 pm

    The key point here is DAP is selective in taking up case. They will only fight and show their strong support if the case is benefitial to a particular ‘ethnic group’ and not for Malsysian as a whole . Furthermore they dont have any other interest but to get some credits or political milage out of it. We’ve seen this for the past 42 years and everybody knows their true colour….

  25. #25 by badak on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 3:07 pm

    As far as my friends and i are concern we don,t see ordinary rakyat having any problem discussing on religion and race.Our group of friends consist of various religions and races.
    Yes we have diffent opinions but that is normal no big deal.
    End of the day we all MALAYSIANS. The one thing we have in comman is that the GOVERNMENT must do more to fight corruption.
    Even now a lot of money is being use to buy votes for the coming UMNO election.Because UMNO members know that even by being a KETUA CAWAGAN there are a lot of money to be made.
    ”” Can you imagine some UMNO leaders are willing to spent RM MILLIONS to win UMNO SUPREME COUNCIL seats.”” This was said by HAMID ALBAR last month.
    By this alone do you think this leaders are in politics to help the MALAYS or to help themself, with money which rightly belongs to the RAKYAT.

  26. #26 by Jimm on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 3:38 pm

    The former prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad) once told me that we should not teach people what they do not know … this was a way to ensure that the people can be controlled.

    That’s UMNO …. these are what the Malays whom rested their entire lives to hope for better changes to their living-hood, getting from their leaders.
    My fellow Malaysian, we never challenge anyone rights to be here and contribute cleanly and effectively to glorify our country name. Where UMNO have put this country name are mostly on the surprise and shocking event to the eyes of the world.
    Our monies have been spend to beautified the country that carries along huge level corruptions and abusive of authorities. We just condemned our future with all the short changed deals for the past 3 decades…
    We are still be short changed until this very moment …

  27. #27 by AsalUsuLMalaysia on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 3:55 pm

    WE can’t deny the ethnic group in our country, but we must put first priority in the best interest of the country and the people!

    The KEY to success of US has visually intag with their country named as the “United” states of america(USA), and they’re proud of their alien nations today.

    Even though discrimanation are pretty much exist in US but none such “Extremist Politician” who dares to utter/taunting “ketuanan”, keriswaving, treatening and shooing the different ethnic minority.

    I definitely agree’s with Tunku Abdul Aziz that in order to have a greater unity, we must first abolished race-based parties then.

  28. #28 by One4All4One on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 5:12 pm

    Outlaw race-based political parties and politics.

    Politics can be likened to being on board a ship:

    If there is only one ship, then we are all headed in a single direction, one destiny.

    In fact mankind is one, one mankind on one planet Earth. Thus, the Oneness of Mankind.

    Similarly, religion, if we were to pursue it as a guiding light for the entire mankind, is one: just like there is only one mankind. So, by extension, religion is one. Hence, the Oneness of Religion.

    Most of all, the entire mankind is worshipping one true God. So naturally, there is only one God. Therefore, The Oneness of GOD.

    When the entire mankind can sincerely accept that they are actually one in all ways of their lives, UNITY of mankind would fall into place.

    On the local level, if people can be convinced that there is indeed only one Malaysian people, then we will all be united as one citizenry.

    Of course, the borders that distinguish nations can only be artificial in the real sense. There are no real lines that separate the planet into different nations. They are entirely the result of human political and social activities. Nothing more, nothing less.

    That the world is now made “borderless” by the advancement of information technology can be considered a development in the right direction. It only serves to confirm that the world is indeed one. That there should not be barriers between humanity. It is no accident that such a situation come to be realised. It was designed to come to such a conclusion.

    The convergence of mankind in terms of beliefs and physical realities is the testament to the precepts of:

    The Oneness of God.
    The Oneness of Religion.
    The Oneness of Mankind.

    So why quarrel among ourselves? Accept differences of opinions in the right perspective and get on with life. No one is absolutely right, neither absolutely wrong.

    Common sense guided by principles of integrity, accountability, impartiality, tempered with a sense of responsibility, honesty, fair play, spiced with a sense of humour, happy disposition, and good spiritedness, would make life a worthy and worthwhile journey.

    Good luck and God bless!

  29. #29 by waterfrontcoolie on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 5:36 pm

    No doubt the idea by YM Tengku is laudable but do remember that with over 25 years of ‘indoctrination’ on the majority of the population, other communities would have to stand back a little so that the very best of the majority-population be given the initial trust to lead the Gomen. Hence, it is the responsibility of this blog to create the necessary environment towards this end. But having read some of your comments, it is needless to say, many of you are not contributing towards this environment.
    Simply putting up all kinds of list of so-called Ministers do not help especially when the list does not reflect the current perception of the majority of the population. To build up a multi-racial party with support from ALL Communities is slowly taking place in the shape of PKR. Let’s build on this in a steady manner so that all Malaysians wouyld eventually accept this idea. Speed will certainly up-set the horse-cart.!!

  30. #30 by alaneth on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 8:29 pm

    Even greater unity if religious-based parties abolished…..

    U know what I mean???

    DAP is liberal & secular.
    PKR is liberal.
    unfortunately our 3rd partner is not…., ‘forcing’ their religious way of life onto the rest.

  31. #31 by human1 on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 9:37 pm

    Until the day Malaysians hear the entire malay community truly praising the chinese, the chinese community praising the indian, the indian community praising the kadazan/iban, the kadazan/iban praising the malay for the sacrifice and commitment they have made in building this country into one that is respectable across the globe, current unity will remain the status quo.

    Citizens from different ethnic groups gather at “open house” during festive seasons. Any other days, most will socialize with their own kind be it at work or lunch. How many of us have best friend from a different race.

    It is what it is today.

  32. #32 by lopez on Thursday, 18 September 2008 - 11:33 pm

    Do you mean also no religion in politics too?

    And bloody make sure no religion in education too.

  33. #33 by zak_hammaad on Friday, 19 September 2008 - 12:19 am

    The remarkable increase in the opposition Members of Parliament is said to be due to their representing the alternative to the race-based politics of the BN. How they can ignore the entirely Malay PAS and the overwhelmingly Chinese DAP I do not know. These are race based parties.

    If indeed the people as a whole reject race-based parties as represented by the component parties of the BN, then they would reject PAS and DAP. And we should see an improvement in race relations.

  34. #34 by bclee on Friday, 19 September 2008 - 1:27 am

    read this comment from seberang originally posted at malaysia today :

    THE MALAYSIAN MALAY by Dr Syed Alwi of Singapore

    Dear Editor,

    As you know, I am an avid watcher of Malaysian affairs. I must confess that lately, Malaysia appears to be failing. Not a day passes by without more events that clearly highlight Malaysia ‘s race-religion fault-line. If things keep going this way, I fear for Malaysia ‘s future.

    Today, schools in Singapore celebrate Racial Harmony Day. I can visibly see the joy in the children’s faces as they wear their ethnic costumes and have fun together at school. But in Malaysia – even the right to choose a religion has become a sensitive, national issue. No doubt, there are many in Malaysia who hate my liberal views on Islam,family included. But I will say what I must say openly. I have come to the conclusion that
    Malaysia cannot progress any further without first addressing fundamental questions regarding its identity and soul.

    I remember the days when we can laugh at Lat’s cartoons on everyday Mlaysian life. But sadly,the Islamic tide has polarised Malaysians.

    Some people ask why I should bother about Malaysian affairs since I am a Singaporean. May I remind Malaysians that it was Tan Siew Sin who once said that Singapore and Malaysia are Siamese Twins. Should Malaysia go down – it would hurt the region tremendously. Especially Singapore ..

    Where do you think Malay apostates would head for if Lina Joy loses her case? Singapore of course! I find the Malaysian Malay to be very under-exposed. For them, it’s all Islam and the NEP and everything under the sun would sort itself out. I am sorry to say this – but Islam and the NEP may be the cause of the doing of the Malaysian Malay.

    There is nothing wrong with religion or affirmative action. But, like everything else in life,they must be taken in moderation and with a pinch of salt. A little doubt is good. Unfortunately in Malaysia ,emotions over Islam have overcome reason. What we see today is the result of the NEP and Islamisation policies of the past thirty years or so

    No one owes Malaysian Malays a living. Let me assure you that should Malaysia fail – the Malaysian Malay will suffer enormously. And rightly so. After all they have been pampered with all sorts of goodies over the years.

    They cannot now expect more goodies. Perhaps the day of reckoning for them, is near. Whatever it is, Malaysia had better wake up to the realities around her. The globalised world of the 21st century has no NEP to offer the Malaysian Malay. And humans cannot live by religion alone.


    Dr Syed Alwi


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