Media Statement by Tony Pua in Bukit Gantang on Friday, 3rd April 2009:
Will the new Prime Minister and UMNO reject “Ketuanan Melayu”, and adopt “One Malaysia”?
The DAP congratulates Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's ascension as Malaysia's 6th Prime Minister, but welcomes his call for a “One Malaysia” with more than a little dose of scepticism.
Even in the 1990s, under Datuk Seri Najib's mentor, Tun Dr Mahathir's regime, the concept of “Bangsa Malaysia” was mooted with much fanfare but it became purely an empty, meaningless slogan which ultimately met its demise at the hands of UMNO itself whose leaders ridiculed the concept.
Hence it is impossible not for ordinary Malaysians from all walks of life to look at the new clarion call for “One Malaysia” with any optimism or confidence. What makes the matter worse is that the new Prime Minister's call for a “One Malaysia” comes at the point when UMNO itself continues to assert its demands of political and government top leadership, government-link companies top management as well as public universities top academic positions be granted on the basis of race and party affiliation.
UMNO's persistent and virulent calls for and ideology of “Ketuanan Melayu” is completely antithetical to Datuk Seri Najib's call for “One Malaysia”, unless of course, he meant “One Malaysia” where all other races become unquestioning, whole-hearted followers of the supreme race.
DAP's principles of Malaysian First places one's citizenship above that of one's race, religion, creed or even political affiliation. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has also mooted the concept of a New Economic Agenda (NEA) where Malaysian's policies will be based on needs, and not based on race. More importantly, despite being charged by UMNO's Malay nationalist as a traitor to the race, Datuk Seri Anwar took his programme and sold the concept of “ketuanan Rakyat” and NEA to all Malay villages across the country. It is through his sincere efforts of bringing about change and the consistency with DAP's Malaysian First that we now sit in the same Pakatan Rakyat platform to bring about a real change for Malaysia.
Therefore, for our new Prime Minister to have any credibility at all in his call for a “One Malaysia”, we want to see him convince his own party and go to all Malaysians in villages and cities to explain his concept of “One Malaysia” as well as the rejection of “Ketuanan Melayu”. Otherwise, it'll just be another beautiful slogan, created under Barisan Nasional's concept of divide and rule where “One Malaysia” will be preached to placate the minority races, while “Ketuanan Melayu” is sold to the Malays.
* Tony Pua Kiam Wee, DAP National Publicity Secretary & MP for Petaling Jaya Utara