KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — The MCA condemned Utusan Malaysia’s call for a ‘1Melayu, 1Bumi’ movement after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad spoke out against the proposal today.
MCA deputy publicity chief Loh Seng Kok warned that the movement would create apartheid in Malay-majority Malaysia.
“Surely Utusan Malaysia would not want Malaysia to be equated with Apartheid South Africa or Segregation America,” said Loh in a statement today.
“Tweaking the idealism of 1 Malaysia, which was mooted by our Prime Minister, into a racial superiority concept of 1Melayu, 1Bumiputera is no different from regressing Malaysia towards legalised racial discrimination — a practice of the past but condemned internationally,” he added.
Malay rights group Perkasa announced yesterday that it would spearhead the movement, warning that the Chinese were seeking ultimate power.
Utusan had called on its owners Umno to spearhead a ‘1Melayu, 1Bumi’ movement involving all Malay parties, claiming that the DAP was intent on toppling the country’s Malay leadership.
In a surprising move today, Dr Mahathir called the ‘1Melayu, 1Bumi’ idea disastrous.
The elder statesman said that such a movement would eventually result in a two-party system, which would be dominated by the Malays and the Chinese on opposing sides of the divide.
This is the first time Dr Mahathir, a fervent Malay rights proponent and patron of Malay rights group Perkasa, has disagreed with Perkasa and Utusan’s ideas.
Najib also distanced his administration from Utusan’s call, saying it was the personal opinion of the writer at the Umno-owned daily.
“What Umno needs to do now, in this pressing time, is to launch a wave of racial unity — 1Melayu, 1Bumi. Launch 1Melayu, 1Bumi immediately with other Malay parties,” assistant chief editor Datuk Zaini Hassan wrote in Utusan yesterday.
The PM also said the Malay-language newspaper will not deter the government’s commitment to his 1 Malaysia brainchild.
Najib stressed the movement was unnecessary as the Malay community can unite by supporting Umno.
Loh reminded Utusan that Barisan Nasional (BN) comprises 13 political parties which represent various communities.
“Thus to push for a 1Melayu, 1Bumputera defeats the very basis of BN itself and will backfire against the BN coalition as a whole at the ballot box,” said Loh.
“What is more important is for Utusan, with its readership, to seek respectability by pushing for the realisation of the 1 Malaysia concept, that is promulgating friendship and trust,” he added.
The MCA presidential council member also questioned if Utusan’s ‘1Melayu, 1Bumi’ proposal included non-Malay Bumiputras, like Christian Sarawakians, who make up half the population in the country’s largest state.
“Would this 1Melayu, 1Bumiputera also include the likes of Tun Dr Mahathir Muhammad who has acknowledged that he has Indian ancestry; Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, who in the book “Found in Malaysia”, in her own words, acknowledged she is of “pendatang” stock from Sumatera; or (Home Minister) Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein who has Turkish lineage?” asked Loh.
“To give Utusan Malaysia a detailed response to its typical publication of race-incitement is to actually give it unwarranted publicity which the newspaper does not deserve at all,” Loh blasted.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng earlier today challenged MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek to pull out from BN if he did not tell Umno to demand from Utusan an apology and withdrawal of the ‘1Melayu, 1Bumi’ proposal.
Like Loh, Lim also described the Malay daily’s idea as a form of apartheid that should be treated as a serious danger to the country because it could possibly incite racial segregation and hatred to the extent of reducing all non-Malays to the position of second- or even third-class citizens.