Tun Dr Mahathir is in the news again today. He’s put out a warning that if Pakatan Rakyat comes to power, the Malays will lose their special position and privileges.
He also implied that a Chinese or an Indian could become prime minister if PR took federal power because there was no constitutional restriction on race for the position.
You know what? I have no qualms with a Chinese, Indian, Muslim or non-Muslim leader for the country, assuming that he or she comes to power via a democratic process. And i’m a Malay.
In fact, the person that becomes PM might even be someone i dislike personally for whatever reason i choose. For example, i’m not a real fan of Anwar Ibrahim, though i respect the cause and struggle he is fighting for. While i may have no problems voting for a politician representing his party, i don’t see him as an ideal choice for the leadership of the country. Maybe i don’t feel comfortable with the allegations of his sexual orientation. Maybe i don’t feel comfortable with his hide-and-seek approach to his own party’s direct leadership elections. Whatever, the reasons are my own and none of anyone else’s business.
Any yet, if he were to become our next Prime Minister, i would be ok with that. Because that’s what the people want (or at least that’s what the majority of the house of representatives, our Parliament, want). That’s exactly how democracy works. You end up with the leader that the electorate prefers, not necessarily the leader you prefer.
The sword cuts the other way too, i’m afraid. While i agree with Nurul Izzah that Dr Mahathir’s brand of fear tactics belong to a bygone age, there are millions of people in this country that do not. The Volume of Interactions has its own resident troll named Pak Yeh; you can bet there are many more of those where he comes from.
While we may not like it, there is sometimes very little we can do to change the mindset of those who feel strongly in their views. The situation becomes worse if they make up the majority and you, the minority. Just as you have a right to yours, they have a right to theirs. If they choose to protect their rice bowl, and they feel that having a Malay Muslim leader from UMNO will adequately represent their rights, then that’s democracy too. If it happens that there are more of them than there are of you, democracy states that they will hold power.
That’s why i’m not surprised that many politicians choose to ride the race wagon. Its a straightforward meal ticket to the electorate box. There are some Malays who want their pie; they will give their vote to whomever promises the biggest slice. So do you, if you think about it.
- Tun Dr M is many things, but he isn’t Lee Kuan Yew (aizuddindanian.com)
- In response to Pak Yeh (aizuddindanian.com)
- Mahathir’s Finest Hour – September 1998 (aizuddindanian.com)
- What if PR won the next General Election? Part 1 (aizuddindanian.com)