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Haris Ibrahim on Malaysian dilemmas

"We've got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don't fight racism with racism. We're gonna fight racism with solidarity." - Fred Hampton

INTERVIEW In this second part of a two-part interview, lawyer-cum-activist Haris Ibrahim explained his views on the Malaysian dilemmas that fuel the conflict between the forces which claim to represent change and the current Umno regime.

What is your opinion on affirmative action and why do you think a need-based approach is needed in Malaysia and with the racial make-up of opposition parties, is a need-based approach even workable?

My opinion today is as it was 40 years ago, when I contended with my late father that an affirmative system that had built into it a quota system, ostensibly to preferentially aid one community, on considerations of ethnicity rather than need-based at the expense of others, would create a monster.

It has come to pass...