YOURSAY | ‘(But) for Chinese to have their congress, you spoke about chaos.’
Vijay47: This is vintage Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Cunning, deceit and treachery at its best; dishonesty and hypocrisy that only an evil cad of singular skill can display.
In his soon-to-be-explained feigned innocence, he will piously plead that he is concerned with only the nation’s well-being, pointing out that any unwise move by any community could lead to flames in the sky and blood on the streets.
No, Mahathir, that was not any sagely caution, it was not even a warning. It was a sly call to the Malays, an incitement to riot, that the Dong Zong gathering is the final straw in a Chinese campaign towards subjugating the Malays and displacing Islam from its pedestal.
Reading your comments, any Malay would feel a patriotic compulsion to march, that continued attacks on his people and way of life cannot be allowed to continue. And when they do march, you will watch from the wayside in helpless anguish and lament, “I told you so.”
Recently, you were overseas, spewing out typical Mahathiresque hatred, anti-Semitism and related vile. And your outraged justification when criticised? That you also are entitled to “freedom of speech”. Indeed so, so be it.
But does that liberty to express one’s thoughts and sentiments end when one enters Malaysian waters? If it does not, is such privilege available to only one segment of our plural society?
We all recall that you did not show similar reticence when you not only graced the Malay Dignity Congress but made an especially contemptible speech that whipped up the congregation’s emotions. That was a speech from which you will never recover respect and trust. Tell me, Mahathir, how different are you from that gutter snake from India which you clasp to your bosom?
Far from your comments to arouse, you should have bravely stated, “Well, the Malays had their say at the Malay Dignity Congress and it would be only fair for our non-Malay citizens also to voice out their doubts, fears, and hopes.”
How sad, disillusioning, and frightening it is that while you now consider yourself caliph of all that one surveys between the Nile and the Tigris, you forget that you are prime minister of Malaysia.
Hearty Malaysian: Mahathir, not wishing to learn Jawi is not anti-Malay, it is unbecoming of you as PM to say the Chinese Congress on Jawi would risk Malay reacting in a “very Malay way”.
Indeed, you are advocating, if not indirectly suggesting, the Malay right-wing organisations to do so. Have you ever thought your presence in the Malay Dignity Congress has hurt the feeling of Chinese voters who played key roles of putting you into the PM office?
You refused to see Tanjong Piai results as the proof Bersatu still can’t get Malay votes despite your very Malay-centric moves, while the Chinese voters showed the middle finger to Bersatu for your betrayal to them.
Malaysian-United: Indeed, Mahathir had absolutely no problems holding the Malay Dignity Congress and even defended it as something of a Malay "right" to express their views while indulging in what appeared to be a non-Malay bashing event.
But when this Chinese educationist group wants to hold a peaceful gathering in protest of the introduction of Jawi, Mahathir makes it into an issue.
Enough of the racial bullying and stop making veiled threats against the non-Malays. It’s not unconstitutional to speak up on issues that affects the interests of minority groups. Don't expect the minorities to put up with your racist policies without some sort of resistance.
Wira: I agree with Mahathir on this issue. People power is never a strong point for a minority group. Dong Zong should focus on what and where the community is strongest and not where it is the weakest.
Call this off, Dong Zong. Don't be irrational and "bodoh" (stupid).
Anonymous 1689721435778173: The only problem is our education system is in such shambles that there is so much to do as there are so many areas to rectify. Why do we need to introduce Jawi at this time when the focus should be to improve the system?
Is the government serious about improving the system? Besides I don't like the tone of Mahathir's rebuke. There is nothing in him that has changed for the better after 19 months of his return as PM.
Is he trying to suggest to the Malay extremists to create chaos just because of the objections to introducing Jawi in vernacular schools? Surely, the Chinese educationists have the right to express their objections.
Mazilamani: This matter has been made unavoidably complicated by the education minister. To ask Dong Zong not to raise it as an issue, amounts to asking someone not to represent or voice the concern of an affected community.
Mahathir's direct interference and consequentially veiled warning has complicated the matter deeply. A leader must pacify flammable situation to incite reaction of another group.
Odysseus: For Chinese to have their congress, you spoke about chaos. You were part of the Malay Dignity Congress which gave a set of demands at the expense of minorities, do you think they are happy? Aren't you, as the PM for the country, concern about their unhappiness?
Now, you are organising an international Muslim summit, don't you think the non-Muslim nations are not concerned about what's being discussed and said in this meeting.
You have your mufti from the north telling the Muslim nations to boycott non-Muslim products, if the non-Muslims nations were to take the pre-emptive steps to counter it, do you think it will be beneficial for the Muslims?
Dharma: Mahathir manipulates. He does not inspire people to follow the rule of law like a true statesman would. When he talks about people reacting "in a very Malay way", he is egging on the right-wing to behave in a racist way.
If he truly cared for the nation, he would urge people to follow the rule of law. The rule of law means using what is allowed in our Constitution to make our voices heard. Holding demonstrations is not "a very Chinese" approach. It is part and parcel of democracy.
Mahathir asks us to consider the feelings of other races - this is a clever way of twisting the facts. Chinese are demonstrating to say they don't want Chinese-medium and Tamil-medium schools to be forced to teach khat. They are not demanding that khat not be taught in Malay-medium schools. How can the Malays feel hurt about that?
He seems to be suggesting that rejecting ‘ketuanan’ policies is an assault against Malays. At this old age, Mahathir continues to be a demon, a curse upon the nation.
Gerard Lourdesamy: Mahathir, why did the Malay Dignity Congress take place? So the majority race of 54.66% can say and do what it likes but the minority races must keep quiet and accept the erosion of their rights under the Constitution? Where is the fairness and justice in that?
If non-Malays do not want to learn, read or write in Jawi, is that unlawful? The law only requires them to learn to read and write Bahasa Melayu in the romanised script.
We are all sick and tired of the constant threats and intimidation from the majority as if we have contributed zero to this country and deserve to be only a sub-class of citizens.
Proarte: They don't want khat in Chinese vernacular schools because khat has nothing to do with Chinese education and has Islamic and Arab influences. It has nothing to do with the national language.
Mahathir is merely playing cheap dog-whistle politics to stir up tension and shore up his waning Malay support.
Malays I believe are far more decent and sensible than the ruling elite Malays give them credit for. They are not going to object if Dong Zong opposes 'khat' because the vast majority of Malays did not know what 'khat' was until Mahathir and his below-par education minister introduced it.
Newday: Please explain how this congress goes against the Constitution? You know it does not. There is so much fuss over three pages in the curriculum. Everyone on all sides needs to stop being so offended.
Is it a sign of increasing Islamisation? Possibly. Don't hold the congress? Maybe. It certainly should be Dong Zong's right in a supposed democracy to do so, yet our leader states otherwise for inferred fear of upsetting the very easily offended self-righteous ones.
My Malay family does not care if the congress is held or not, Mahathir. We accept that even if we don't agree with the aim, they (Dong Zong) have the right to discuss.
Again and again, the minorities are reminded that democracy is conditional in Malaysia on the minorities being like obedient little puppies, never to cause a ruckus or voice out opinion for fear of the wrath of the majority master race.
Liberal Muslims such as myself are also increasingly being asked to be the obedient puppy (Amanah's conditional compassionate Islam).
You rave about making Islam great again yet, what is this? No room to move for the minorities. It is as if you want all the minorities to leave. If the minorities had the funds, they more than likely would.
How about you start laying down the democratic law to the easily-offended self-righteous master race? Put them in their easily offended box. They are the garbage stirrers, they always start the offence even when there is none.
Do your job. It is assumed that now, due to your thinly veiled warning that if Dong Zong does proceed, there will be a marshalling of PDRM and Co to shut it down. A pity you didn't do the same for the more than harmful Malay Dignity Congress.
Anonymous_b3cdcd05: Malaysians are far ahead of the PM on maintaining racial harmony and sensitive matters. They don't resort to dignity congresses branding others as 'orang asing'.
As a PM, Mahathir is expected to resolve issues, especially those he had started, and not give unsolicited advice and ultimatum that can provoke chaos.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. In the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.
These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.