Malaysiakini Letter

When party survival takes precedence over 1M'sia

Ronald Benjamin  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The latest speech by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak at a Malaysia Islamic Missionary and Welfare Association (Pekida) gathering, claimed that if BN loses power, Malays will lose their rights, and there would not be anyone to honour the sultans.

This is more proof that the Umno president has betrayed his 1Malaysia vision, besides having little confidence on the support of the non-Malays in the coming general election.

The focus of attention is now mainly on the conservative Malay Muslim vote.

The just concluded Umno General Assembly was nothing but a disappointment because the Umno president did not use this occasion to come with solutions on good governance, accountability and fighting corruption, but rather focused on loyalty and history that had subtle emotional appeal to ethnic sentiments.

This has basically buried 1Malaysia, because the survival of Umno has taken precedence.

Hitting the DAP hard was an indirect way of showing that Umno is standing up for Malay rights.

Not a single Umno delegate was able to break the barrier of race and religion in their speeches.

There is always an argument that Malays would lose power if Umno loses the coming general election, but the question is how would the Malays lose power when ethnic Malays make up 60 percent of the population?

Is it not the exercising of Malay majority power to choose a government shows the strength and rights of the Malay community in Malaysia?

Provisions in the constitution affirm Malay privileges and the status of sultans. When all of this is written in stone, how would the Malays lose power?

Ironically the majority of common Malays have lost their rights to collective power and equity due to the wide wealth gap between the rich and poor Malays under Umno's rule.

For example the latest amendment to the employment act that legitimises the outsourcing of workers has weakened the economic bargaining power of majority of workers in the private sector who are Malays.

Malaysia today is in a dire need of progressive policies that are based on common citizenship.

The poor of all ethnic groups needs to be empowered and political parties need to have a national outlook that is ideologically inclusive.

Malaysians have to work together to face a global world that is increasingly competitive with economic system and structure that favours the rich countries at the expense of poorer countries.

Respect for meritocratic criteria in choosing the best Malaysians to manage vital government institutions, rather than ethnic considerations are vital.

We can't afford politics of ethnic deception that propagates 1 inclusive Malaysia in one hand and at the same time dwells on the insecurity of Malays on the other.

Pitting one ethnic group against another is a national betrayal that has far reaching implications for the next Malaysian generation.

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