YOURSAY | 'He does not need to pander to the extremists in order to get their votes...'
Justice: As Dr Mahathir Mohamad is, with respect, in his last lap as the prime minister, he is in the best position to put his foot down and fight and defeat all the racial and religious bigots in Malaysia by way of decisive actions, such as thorough and urgent institutional reforms.
He does not need to pander to the extremists in order to get their votes or political support (as all other politicians who pander to these extremists are after) because he will no longer be standing for election.
Mahathir should hold consultations with all relevant parties, including the civil society, and formulate good and needs-based policies, repeal all oppressive laws and enact relevant new laws that will effectively protect Malaysians from racial and religious extremists.
He should also overhaul our main institutions and ensure the people leading the institutions are persons with integrity or qualified based on merit.
Salvage Malaysia: Many Malaysians who held the highest hopes for a new and better Malaysia had their dreams dashed in less than two years.
Mahathir’s style of leadership and the cabinet members he chose are sad to say, ineffective and unproductive in this present age.
Malaysians are trying to tell the prime minister the truth like what we did to former premier Najib Abdul Razak, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears, just like Najib then.
We need a firm and progressive statesman and leader, like Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who dares to be fair to everyone. Malaysians don’t want the old Umno leadership style. It’s obsolete.
No Fear Nor Favour: Mahathir has indeed acquired the habits of US President Donald Trump.
Mahathir’s Merdeka video can deceive only a handful of teenagers, but not most Malaysians who have observed and experienced the race and religion issues in the country since our independence.
In the face of a lack of relevant policies, race and religion is an easy subject to turn to for politicians intending to seek an upper hand over rivals or moving up the political ladder.
Anonymous_1e23ccf0: Former minister Zaid Ibrahim is about the most sensible Malay leader that Malaysia can ever hope for.
He may have been accused of many things but he talks more sense than any other current Malay leader in the country.
Phoneix: According to Zaid, “it would be useful if the nation's leaders objectively determine what are the permissible limits for Malaysians, especially the minorities, to say or do things as citizens.”
It is an odd remark. This statement promotes the thought of the majority bullying the minority. The rule of law should be applicable to all citizens, irrespective of majority or minority in Malaysia.
Hmmm: Yes, I don't quite get what Zaid Ibrahim is trying to say by mentioning permissible limits for Malaysians, especially the minorities.
Indeed, why should there be limits on what the minorities can say or do? Shouldn't the same thing apply to all Malaysian citizens?
Muruga: I like this quote by Zaid Ibrahim: “A responsible government protects minorities with equal vigour as they protect the majority.”
Fair Malaysian: Malaysians are unfortunate that we have had only leaders who believe in what is due to each race and not who deserves the most.
Our seemingly nation-building is predicated on the belief that such a policy is the surest way to keep peace among the races.
For this country to move on, there are two bold steps that must be taken. The emphasis should be on needs-based, rather than race-based, without disturbing the privileges conferred under the Federal Constitution.
There will be problems obviously, and the elite Malays will protest vehemently - who will want to give up the mostly ill-gotten gains or lose their political power?
Or else they will instigate to get their message across. Once the deserving Malays realise that they fare better under the needs-based system, they will not even bother on the constitutionally conferred privileges. As I see it, the Malays need all the help and will weed out those who don't deserve it.
The next most important step is to outlaw race and religious-based parties. Every party must be multiracial if we are to move together as a single nation.
The level of maturity and responsibility of those running the race and religious-based parties is so pathetic that they should not be allowed to destroy the very fabric of this country.
It will be pertinent to get the act together because that window of opportunity exists now and may not be there forever.
The Analyser: Could anyone point out to me which of the race or religion-based political parties is leading the fight against racism and religious extremism?
None, because all of them rely on race and/or religion for their survival. None of the parties will do anything about the current race and religious divide in the country.
Sama2 Rojak: If Mahathir did say that managing racial sensitivities is the most difficult part of his job, then he is a horrible prime minister. What a mistake. He should be in the recycling industry.
Anonymous 47435535: Mahathir’s second chance to set things right for Malaysia had vapourised and gone long ago.
Kural: There are surely many Malays who wish for this nation to be harmonious, prosperous and caring of all Malaysian citizens.
Unfortunately, over recent decades, a sense of separation among the races has been unwittingly or wittingly inculcated. Consequently, genuine efforts to reunify have now become that much more difficult.
It’s a formidable challenge but not an impossible one. While the political fabric and our political culture seem stuck in a quagmire now, the prestige and persuasion of the royal houses could perhaps be engaged to rekindle, as a last bastion, the hopes of all Malaysians in this lucky country.
Bebek Tepi Sawah: Every country in the world protects its minority’s rights, except Malaysia.
Over here, the majority feel threatened and cry for more protection regarding their race, language and religion.
Wira: It is better for the government to do the right things and lose the next general election than to do the wrong things and still lose the next general election.
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