DAP calls on de-emphasis on bumiputra and non-bumiputras and more stress on the development of a Malaysian consciousness and identity which transcends race or religion.
My attention was drawn to the speech by the former Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, at the Lions’ Club of George Town installation on July 27.
He said: “No country can be safe while its people are divided. We tried to work on the theme of Malaysian-mindedness, but with so much emphasis on bumiputras and non-bumiputras, the people began to think again of their racial origins.
“No effort to achieve Malaysian-mindedness can fully be successful unless there is less thought and talk on one’ racial object of loyalty.”
The Ministers and National Front leaders should give more thought to this advice by the former Prime Minister, for without a de-emphasis on the differences between bumiputras and non-bumiputras and stress on the development of a Malaysian consciousness and identity, the task of national unity can not be achieved.
It is in this context that National Front leaders should refrain from playing to the gallery and try to win applause and support of primeval emotions.
For instance, a top National Front leader recently said that the multi-million dollar Petaling Jaya-Kuala Lumpur highway project now under construction would only benefit the people in the area, most of whom were non-Malaya. He further said that the telephone service in Malay areas was inadequate, whereas Kuala Lumpur, which is already well served, would soon be given additional lines.
There can be many reactions, along the same race-based lines, but which can only exacerbate further the problems of racial unity. National front and government leaders should therefore set an example and refrain from such race-baiting pronouncements.