Barisan Nasional government should review the Bumiputra and non-Bimiputra policy if Dr. Mahathir is sincere that "it believes in integration where no race is superior than another"

Press Statement
Loke Siew Fook

(Petaling Jaya, Friday):  In his opening speech during the 19th delegates conference of the Sarawak United People's Party in Kuching yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the government will not assimilate the people into a single race as it believes in integration where no race is superior to another.

He said assimilation in some countries meant having to change names, only speak the language of the country, adopt the religion of the masses and attend schools using the main language of the country as the medium of instruction.

"Malaysia is one of few countries in the world, developed or developing, where people can have their education in their own language, have their own schools, and yet conform to the general education policy"

"Because we allow for this, there is no bitterness or anger between different races. We don't intend to assimilate anybody. What we want to do is integrate the different races and tribal groups into one society, each playing its own role and no one is higher than the other," said Dr. Mahathir.

Although Dr. Mahathir's statement is progressive and positive for the nation building of Malaysia and indeed a recognition of the political contributions of the DAP to nation building in the last 36 years, but the fact remains that there are many policies of the Barisan Nasional government that did not conform to the principal of "no race is superior to another".

One of the biggest political contributions of the DAP to nation building in the last 36 years is that we had successfully opposed the "One Language, One Culture" policy propagated by the Barisan Nasional government in the 70s and early 80s. DAP has stood firm in our belief that Malaysia shall forever remain a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-language and multi-cultural society.

The Malaysian Malaysia concept of the DAP is a genuine attempt to forge national unity where every Malaysian is equal under the sun, treated equally and fairly and enjoy the same rights as any other citizens.

Malaysians will still remember that the struggles of the DAP for a Malaysian Malaysia has always been painted by the Barisan Nasional propagandist as anti-national, anti-integration, anti-Malay and Chinese chauvinist. Many senior DAP leaders has paid heavy price including detention without trial under the ISA during the 36 years process of the struggles.

The DAP has been proven right as the Prime Minister has again admitted that the past attempt of Barisan Nasional government to assimilate the different races was wrong.

Although the statement of the Prime Minister is in the right direction, however many recent developments did not seems to be in this direction. The unilateral declaration of the Prime Minister on September 29, 2002 that Malaysia is already an Islamic State is a fundamental breach of the Social Contract in Malaysia.

If Dr.Mahathir is sincere that "no race is superior to another", than he should play an important role to review the "Bumiputra" and "non-Bumiputra" policy and abolish the distinction between races in Malaysia before he step down as Prime Minister in next October to bring all Malaysians to a new era where every citizen will feel as a united Malaysian to face the challenges of the new global environment in all fields.


* Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY Acting National Secretary