Malaysian Chinese are not interested in becoming the Prime Minister

The misplaced tirade against the Chinese in Malaysia, whether intentional or otherwise, continues with the new Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim latest salvo published in Sinchew Daily yesterday.

He said that if the Chinese Malaysians who have been indoctrinated with “extreme racism” by the DAP can ditch their “racist mindset”, he “believes that Malaysia would one day have a prime minister of Chinese ethnicity”.

He was quoted to say “(You) cannot lead the people if (you) believe too much in racial power. If one day the Chinese could get rid of this mindset, Malaysia could also have a Chinese as prime minister”.

This statement is not only an uncalled for attempt to insult Malaysian Chinese as racists, it is a clear cut attempt to insinuate that Malaysian Chinese are a power-crazy and greedy community whose ultimate goal is to take over the Prime Ministership of this country. It is part of UMNO’s continued attempt to divide the nation by having the Malay community remain completely frightful of the fairy-tale eventuality of losing political power.

Taking leaf from the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, Datuk Seri Shahidan even accused the Chinese of not participating “in activities organised by the government, but chose to be involved in the illegal street rallies held by the opposition”.

It clearly shows that to these UMNO leaders, any support given Pakatan Rakyat as an alternative to Barisan Nasional will be deemed “racist” in nature, even if the support is given to fight the blatant racism of parties like UMNO.

When Malays vote overwhelmingly for UMNO in the past, it is never “racism”. When Chinese voted for MCA in the past, that can’t be racism. However, when Malays increased their support for Pakatan Rakyat candidates in the same election, Dr Mahathir accused DAP of spreading “propaganda” that influenced educated Malays. And when the Chinese voted strongly for Pakatan Rakyat, that according to UMNO, is proof of Chinese “racism”. That is complete and utter gibberish coming from UMNO leaders.

UMNO leaders like Tun Dr Mahathir and Datuk Seri Shahidan perpetuate the above lies because they believe that the only way to maintain UMNO’s control of in the country and to share the wealth of the nation only with the politically connected elite, is by demonising the non-Malay community with artificial claims of “racism”, even if the claims are themselves racist.

UMNO leaders fear a Malaysia where Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Dayaks and other minority communities become united to fight cronyism and corruption among the ruling BN elite. Hence the desperate need to use all racist means keep Malaysia divided by race and religion.

The DAP never campaigned on a “Chinese” political power platform. We never campaigned against Malay political interests. If we did, Malaysians can be assured that such campaign speeches will be televised and condemned widely in all broadcast and print media as “proof” of DAP racism. Instead, throughout our election campaigns, our leaders harped only on the singular point of creating a country that is free from corruption and cronyism, where the nation’s wealth can be shared among all Malaysians, and not just those who are politically connected.

For the Chinese community, they have no interest whatsoever in seeing a Chinese installed as a Prime Minister of Malaysia. They don’t care if the Prime Minister of the country is a Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Iban, as long as he is a Prime Minister for all Malaysians and not just for a select group of cronies or race.

The Chinese community did not give their votes to PAS because PAS is a Chinese party. They certainly did not pick Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as their preferred choice of Prime Minister because he is a Chinese. They picked him because they see him as Malaysian first, who will fight abuse of power and prioritise the interest of the poor and disadvantaged, regardless of race, religion or creed.

UMNO Ministers and leaders will need to learn that the only way to stop the inevitability of losing their grip on power in Malaysia is to adopt the “Malaysian first” principle as espoused in their own “1Malaysia” slogan. Their continued racist bent of their political platform will end all hopes of BN ever recovering from their election losses in 2008 and 2013.

Tony Pua Kiam Wee DAP National Publicity Secretary & MP for Petaling Jaya Utara