Should Malaysians dream a common dream of a “Malaysian Dream” or separate dreams of a “Malay Dream” and a “Non-Malay Dream”?

Should Malaysians dream a common dream of a “Malaysian Dream” or separate dreams of a “Malay Dream” and a “Non-Malay Dream”?

The answer should be obvious after six decades of Malaysian nation-building, but it has been thrown to the forefront of Malaysian politics by the author of the 1970 book “The Malay Dilemma”.

This would be understandable if the author had not gone on to become a senior Cabinet Minister for seven years and twice Prime Minister of Malaysia, and authored Vision 2020 and the concept of Bangsa Malaysia, which were premised on the basis that Malaysians should share a common “Malaysian Dream”.

I had thought that Mahathir Mohamad would have graduated from a Malay leader to a Malaysian statesman in his second stint as Prime Minister of Malaysia, and although there were some changes in Mahathir’s thinking, they were not deep enough.

The changes in Mahathir’s thinking could be seen from his post-Sheraton Move book, “Capturing Hope”, where he said:

“Now, I have spent my entire life and career being ‘pro-Malay’. If what people mean by that term is the dedication of time and energy towards helping the Malay community progress, especially in terms of education and income security, then, yes, I am certainly pro-Malay. Being pro-Malay does not entail being anti-everybody else. However, there are those who desire to be seen as ‘Malay first’ even ahead of being Malaysian, and this enabled them to promote the idea of forming a ‘Malay-Muslim Government’. In Malaysia, where more than 30 per cent of the population is made up of non-Malays, this is not possible. And sure enough, the new “Malay-Muslim Government’ of the Perikatan Nasional under Muhyiddin actually depended on non-Malays to survive.”

It is with great sadness that Mahathir had relapsed to become what he had criticised, in his book, to be “Malay first” even ahead of being Malaysian.

Mahathir seems to subscribe to the view that the 10th Prime Minister will fail in his second “100 Days” test in the general election to be held in the six states of Penang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu as the state general elections would confirm an invincible “green wave” in the country.

I do not subscribe to this view for I believe that all youths, whether Malay or non-Malay, want a common Malaysian Dream for the nation to succeed as a first-rate world-class nation instead of ending up as a divided, failed, and kleptocratic state on Malaysia’s Centennial in 2057!

(Media Statement by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 5th March 2023)

  1. No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.