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No difference between colonial-era Malayan Union and PH's vision of multiracial Malaysia, says Mahathir

The former leader presses on with what he says is a historical injustice to Malays as the indigenous people.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said there is no difference between the Malayan Union plan by the British colonialist and Pakatan Harapan's (PH) concept of multiculturalism, adding that both are geared towards erasing the fabric of the Malay Peninsula by denying the place of the Malays as the original inhabitants.

The former prime minister said PH parties are promoting a concept that will see the erosion of Malaysia as a Malay land, and that it was the same philosophy behind the colonial-era Malayan Union and the "Malaysian Malaysia" slogan promoted by the late Singapore leader Lee Kuan Yew when the island was part of the Malaysian federation.

"Never before have foreign immigrants or their descendants who were given asylum in a country demanded that the country that granted them citizenship be changed into a nation of immigrants, that is, a multi-racial country.

"That is the meaning of Malaysian Malaysia. The Malay Peninsula should be replaced with a multiracial Malaysian Malaysia. The Malay Peninsula is then abolished and replaced by the multiracial Malaysian Malaysia," said Mahathir, the latest in a series of statements on multiracialism he has been making since launching the Malay Proclamation, a document that seeks to restore Malay rights that he said have deteriorated over the decades.

He said Lee's "Malaysian Malaysia" was rejected in the 1964 general election, a year before Singapore exited Malaysia.

"Today, DAP with the support of PKR and Amanah is once again promoting the same goal, that Malaysia is not a country that is originally Malay, but a multi-ethnic country."

He said if such a change occurs, Malays would no longer be in control of the administrative machinery, as well as the police and the armed forces. 

"At the same time, the economy (business and industry) will be off limits to the Malays," he added.

He said the Malay Proclamation was not after the rights of others but only wanted to drive home the point that the peninsula is a land that belonged to the Malays, who have absorbed Arab, Indian and Indonesian migrants so that they are known as Malays. 

He said this was because these communities have embraced the Malay culture and language. 

"As for the immigrants and their descendants who want to maintain their identity with their country of origin, the treatment they get is certainly different from the treatment for the indigenous people and those who have fully accepted the national language and culture," said Mahathir.

Mahathir said many Malays are under the impression that the calls for multiracialism were only reflected in the equal racial distribution in politics. 

"They don't realise about the other changes.

"Hang Tuah said Malays will never disappear from the face of the earth. But the Malays have lost a lot of territory. The current trend shows that the Malays will not remain as one nation.

"Malays will lose their country and will disappear from this world," he said.