As a citizen of France living in Malaysia, I am shocked today.
All this while I thought that Malaysia was a peaceful country embracing unity in diversity with acceptance and respect for the different religions.
When I first came to Malaysia I was rather confused. The old identity card also shows the race you belong to. I was shell-shocked as the notion of race has been banned in Europe since the Second World War.
I asked why does your government have to put the race: whether Malay, Chinese or Indian, does it makes you less Malaysian? The answer was unclear.
I thought it was the legacy of the colonisation that the notion of "race" is still present in the country. I thought that the past few years the ruling government aimed to unite all Malaysians together under 1Malaysia.
I thought that it was great indeed, that the notion of race will fade through time.
I love Malaysia and the Malaysian people for being so warm and welcoming but today I am shocked and I want to highlight it.
Having voted for my president since I had the capacity to vote, I think that the act of voting is not only related to human rights but the expression of liberty of a human being through his opinion.
Our president represents all the French people in the world. He represents all French regardless of political affiliations and if they have voted for him or not.
Your re-elected prime minister speaks about "Chinese tsunami" or when the Utusan newspaper carried the headline 'Apa lagi Cina mahu?' (What more do the Chinese want?) yesterday, I was speechless to hear his reply to a journalist "You blame Utusan, but what about the Chinese papers? Are you saying that they (Chinese newspapers) are saying the right things all the time?"
I don't believe that any leader, as representative of the country, should express his disappointment and justification by singling out a particular race in Malaysia as an excuse because whatever that race, he represents the race.
It's like the proverbial saying in French "se tirer une balle dans son pied" meaning "shooting oneself in the foot".
I thought that the role of the prime minister of Malaysia is to defend all races and religions that make up a country by being fair towards each despite the diversity and difference.
I thought that your prime minister should take the lead in condemnation of all form of racism.
This is why I am shocked. This is the first step towards the bitter experience that my grandparents went through and this why I step out and write that it is not "right".
Racial divergence is nonsense and aims only to provoke the devils in human beings.
I met some Malaysians in France or in Germany. The great thing is they don't say that they are Malaysian Chinese or Malaysian Malay. They simply say I'm Malaysian.
The Second World War happened because of the notion of race. Some historical quotes that we should not be proud of that gave rose to the war include:
" The Jew has always been a people with definite racial characteristics and never a religion.
-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)"
"...the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.
-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)"
I urge that you think about these two sentences. Don't walk the same wrong path.
Today it's May 8, it's a French public holiday - we celebrate the end of the Second World War in Europe - May 8, 1945.