KOTA BHARU: When the world asks what has gone wrong with Malaysia, it is essentially asking what has gone wrong with the Malays since Malays govern the country, says Zaid Ibrahim.
The former minister said what Malays did would also reflect on Islam, and urged them to consider seriously the political situation in the country, and act to remove those who gave the Malays and Islam a bad name.
Zaid, now a DAP member, told about 300 Kelantan Pakatan Harapan (PH) party workers at his house that the coming election was not just about removing Prime Minister Najib Razak or having a better government and a better set of policies.
Neither was it only about trying to stop the government from sending people who criticise it to jail, he said.
“This election is also about the Malays, about Islam, about who we are and the values we live by. When people – including foreigners – talk about Malaysia, they know that Malays govern this country. Other ethnic groups are not well represented in the public sector.
“The top leaders – whether political or hereditary – are Malays. Malays in the civil service carry out all major decisions in the country. They teach and administer at our schools and universities. The registrar of societies is a Malay. Our top judges are Malays. Our army and police are all manned by Malays.
“This is, in essence, a Malay country. Everything about Malaysia is about the Malays. If the world mocks us, that means they are mocking Malays. If the world thinks our administrators are slaves to Najib, then they are saying Malays are slaves. This general election is about Malays, and the results will show everyone who we really are.”
Zaid also accused Umno and Najib of distorting the image of Malays who run the country.
“The whole world keeps asking: ‘What has gone wrong with Malaysia?’ In other words, they are asking what has gone wrong with Malays. How do we respond to this?”
Zaid said the world also wanted to know why the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) were not acting against 1MDB.
“The world wants to know why PPBM, a political party opposed to Umno, has to be deregistered.”
Zaid said Umno leaders felt they could “cover up all these wrongdoings” by describing reports of them as fake news, and that they thought the Malays were cowards who would follow whatever they told them to do.
“The world also knows us as a Muslim country. The prime minister likes to say that we are shariah-compliant. That means everything we do must be ‘Islamic’, yet he is the one who has given Islam a bad name.
“Islam does not allow leaders to tell lies. Islam does not allow decision-makers to be unfair in their actions. Islam does not allow the police to close one eye. Islam does not tolerate corruption. Islam does not allow civil servants to be slaves of Umno.”
Noting that more than 400,000 postal voters would determine the outcome of many constituencies in the 14th general election, Zaid urged PH workers and supporters to get in touch with these voters and tell them not to be afraid of Umno anymore.
He said postal voters traditionally voted for Barisan Nasional because they feared they would be found out if they voted for the opposition.
“Tell them that Umno will not be able to tell if they vote for the opposition. Umno only threatens them. Their bosses will not know how they vote, so their pensions are safe. Tell them to use their vote to save the country.
“Our sacred duty in this coming election is to redeem the face of the Malays. We must uphold the dignity and honour of our people and our religion in the eyes of the world.”