COMMENT | On the principle of anti-racism alone, Bersatu is worth rejecting a thousand times over. There is great difference between "acknowledging one's race and ethnicity" and racism, which refers to systematic discrimination based on race.
For six decades, the persistence of the divide-and-conquer rule from our colonial days has done enough damage to our multi-racial society. And for as long as I can remember, one of the most important reforms needed in this country is with regards to the systemic unjust discrimination based on race.
I had a disagreement with the state assemblyperson for Seberang Jaya, Afif Bahardin, recently over my rejection of Bersatu because of their Malay-only membership.
Afif Bahardin is someone whose politics I had come to know since my student activism days, before he won a place in public office in Penang. He used to espouse anti-racist principles clearly. That was the reason I was a supporter of the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat then. This also happens to be the same reason why I would never support race-based parties like Umno, MCA and MIC.
Afif defended Bersatu's membership policy when I observed that Bersatu is indeed a racist party, asking me if it was racist to acknowledge one’s own ethnicity....