Mahathir (Barisan Nasional) treat Chinese like Toilet Paper
Even as former premier Mahathir Mohamad cautioned Prime Minister Najib Razak to be careful not to antagonize coalition partners and spark further defections, the less-than-tactful veteran leader came in for a tongue lashing for his own insensitivity and “crude racist remarks”.
“When the Chinese supported him, he praised us and said the Malays should learn from the Chinese schools’ system. When the Chinese see through him as they do, he denigrates us. Why should we vote for him and the BN ever again? He has been double-crossing the races and using the Chinese as the bogeyman to keep the Malays suspicious and wary. He is now trying the same sort of tactics in Sabah to justify his Project M. What is there left to say about such a man – that he is an incorrigible liar and hypocrite, a racist who will not stop at anything to stay in power? Sadly, all these have already been said,” PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng told Malaysia Chronicle.
“The Chinese have contributed greatly to the development of Malaysia. I don’t think any of us feel so insecure or the need to defend what is already very clear to everyone. It is Dr Mahathir who is sick. He needs to take his medicine and for his information, the vast majority of Chinese can speak Malay as well, if not better than him. It is the first-generation migrants and the old-timers who spoke market Malay and even then they could cope and enjoy cordial relations with the Malays until Dr Mahathir and his Malay Dilemma book came about. It was then that he started to systematically destroy racial unity for the sake of political power.”
Row in Sabah but WHO is the source and the CAUSE of Project M
The 87-year-old Mahathir had posted in his blog that Sabah illegal migrants deserved citizenship more than others in the country who despite having been Malaysian for decades could still not master the Malay language. It was a veiled but unmistakable reference to the Chinese, whom he has previously scorned for not being able to speak Malay and for wanting to maintain vernacular schools and education.
“There is a row in Sabah because of the number of people who have been made citizens. Some of those people had been expatriated although many returned illegally. But most of these people qualify to be citizens. They have been staying in Malaysia (Sabah) for decades. They and their children speak Malay, the national language,” wrote Mahathir in an August 7 posting.
“On the basis of length of stay and mastering of the national language, they qualify to be citizens of this country. And so the acquired citizenship. By comparison we have many citizens who cannot speak the national language who were accepted as citizens.”
Pot calling the kettle black
And today, he told a Bloomberg interview that Prime Minister Najib Razak would do well not to antagonize partners in the ruling BN coalition. Mahathir and Najib belong to the same Umno party, which dominates the BN. Their coalition has ruled Malaysia for the past 5 decades.
However, since the 2008 election which saw the Pakatan Rakyat led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim bursting into national prominence, the BN’s star has steadily declined. It is now facing pressures in Sabah, Sarawak, Johore and Negri Sembilan – 4 states whose support it had previously taken for granted, with Najib even daring to publicly describe these as the BN’s “fixed deposits”.
“The problem here is not Najib — he is a leader of a weak government,” Mahathir said in the Bloomberg interview published on Thursday.
Any defections from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition could “result in BN losing the next election,” warned Mahathir, who ruled the country with a fist of iron for 22 years before stepping down in 2003.
Sabahans – if this is how Umno treats the Chinese, the same will happen to you
Although Mahathir did not name any defectors or provide further details, it was clear he was referring to the latest resignations from Sabah BN leaders. Wilfrid Bumburing, the deputy chairman of BN component party Upko, and Lajim Ukim, a senior Sabah Umno member, had quit the ruling coalition last month, citing disappointment and the BN’s failed promises.
Another Sabah leader – a Senator – is expected to announce his resignation and join the Sabah Reform Front founded by Wilfrid and Lajim to provide a platform for Sabah leaders to unite on to fight for change. The movement has the support of the Pakatan Rakyat, which has promised to sort out seat allocations and maximise opportunities to topple the BN at both state and federal levels.
“We can understand Mahathir’s panic. He was the founder of Project M and Project M is one of the key grouses Sabahans feel towards BN. Obviously Mahathir is trying worm his way out of blame but that he can do so in a way that is so disrespectful and contemptuous of the Chinese who have worked hard and contributed tremendously to the nation really shows that he is beyond redemption,” PKR vice president Tian Chua, who is also the Pakatan chief negotiator for the latest Sabah defections, told Malaysia Chronicle.
“The Chinese have no rhyme or reason to respect him in turn. He has done nothing for them except make their lives difficult. This is a good lesson for all Sabahans, especially the indigenous people, as well as for all the others races living in this country. If Mahathir can treat the Chinese like toilet paper and throw after using them, what would he and his Umno successors not dare to do with the other races who have less economic clout.”
Project M or Project Mykad or Project Mahathir is the codename for an extensive and prolonged government operation launched in Sabah in the 80s, whereby illegal workers and migrants were offered citizenship in exchange for voting the BN.
Sabahans have long protested the move as it not only thwarted their political wishes but also brought on widespread social and economic misery. Overcrowding, rising crime, shortage of housing and facilities, fighting for jobs and educational opportunities amid an economic pie shrunk by political corruption have kept Sabah one of the poorest of Malaysia’s 13 states despite it owning massive oil and timber wealth.
“In the eyes of the law, this is treason. Mahathir betrayed Sabahans. And he has betrayed his own Vision 2020 where he talked about a Bangsa Malaysia. Yet what does he do behind our backs? He brings in the lowly skilled foreign migrants and is now freely blaming the Chinese, the Indians, the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut, the Dayaks, the Orang Ulu and the rest for not supporting him,” said Jui Meng.
Najib is due to visit Sabah this Saturday to unveil the terms of reference of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Project M scam, in a bid to appease the people of the state and to stem further defections and resignations. However, his move is seen to be ‘a little too little, a little too late’.
“The test is, can Najib launch a real inquiry that is independent, neutral and focused without exposing Dr M? Would Najib dare to arrest Dr M? Najib shouldn’t waste time with doubletalk, he should put it to test and let Sabahans see for themselves how sincere he and BN are,” Tian had said, when the RCI news was announced last week. -hornbillunleashed