The following is an excerpt of malaysiakini's interview with Anwar Ibrahim recently:
Malaysiakini: Some believe that Mahathir is winning the battle so far. Do you think this is a fair assessment?
Anwar: [...] Also, there is the fact of (Mahathir) using subtle racist innuendos. Not only (he raised the issue of) nationalism but (he) also (spoke) against the Chinese and Singapore (whom he claimed are) trying to act tough against the Malay leadership and that they (the Chinese leadership in Singapore) should be taught a lesson."
So you think there is a tinge of racism in how Mahathir dealt with the bridge issue?
Yes, clearly. That is why you have some nationalists reacting very strongly (to the bridge issue). This is Singapore, our neighbour - setting aside that it is a difficult neighbour - but still the subtle racist undertones to my mind is very irresponsible on his (Mahathir's) part. On the project itself, I don't know how anyone in his right mind in this modern times, can even consider of unilaterally proceeding with a project which involves another country, short of going to war.
The following is what Lee Kuan Yew was quoted to have said at a forum held in conjunction with International Monetary Fund Conference:
- That Malaysia and Indonesia had problems with their Chinese minorities because they were successful and hardworking and therefore they were systemically marginalised.
Mahathir had picked on Singapore because he was "against the Chinese and Singapore." He wanted to teach "the Chinese leadership in Singapore a lesson." Anwar was part of Mahathir's administration and what he had said is an insider's information and confirmed the attitude of our government towards the Chinese and Singapore.
Unless and until the current administration under Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi correct the situation that has been practiced for decades, Anwar and Lee's statements stand valid and are fit for to be in Malaysia's hall of shame.
Isn't it a shame that the Chinese partners in Barisan Nasional fold their arms to watch the racial discrimination against their own race for decades? They do not have the balls to make any noise. However, they are now making Lee the bogeyman to hearten the hearts of Umno leaders for their own selfish gains.
It took non-Chinese like Anwar and a foreigner like Lee to do their job. The Chinese leaders in the Barisan Nasional coalition have no shame for their own failures even when the facts are bared for them to see. They should stop the call for Lee to apologise. Instead, they should resign in shame and not continue to live off the minorities to enrich themselves.