Seize the day for Bangsa Malaysia, says Mujahid

Former unity council member says the people should identify as Malaysians first. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: An Amanah MP, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who is a former National Unity Consultative Council member, believes Malaysians are ready to embrace a more mature form of integration and to give up race-based politics.

Speaking to FMT, Mujahid said with the ushering in of the new Pakatan Harapan government, Malaysians should seize the opportunity to finally realise the Bangsa Malaysia.

“This is what we have been advocating for all this while: Malaysia as a non-racial country, a Malaysia without prejudice, a Malaysia where political parties are not based on race but principles and inclusiveness,” he said.

Recently, Suara Rakyat Malaysia adviser Kua Kia Soong had said it was high time for Pakatan Harapan to do away with race-based parties.

Mujahid said that Malaysia’s political forefathers had chosen integration over assimilation as a way to deal with the multitude of communities. “I think the intention was in order to protect the
identity of the different ethnicities that we had.”

“But now we are at the stage where we need a more matured form of integration which ultimately comes to the point where we would want to identify as being Malaysian first.”

Mujahid said communal-based politics had survived through the decades because of the political gain some politicians could derive from kindling racial tensions.

“Along the way, the politicians were tempted into being racist. Not because many of them were really racist – they knew Malaysia was founded based on multiculturalism – it was for political gain.”

Mujahid’s assertion was reminiscent of a dialogue held in April last year between Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and some of the country’s Indian youths.

While attempting to gauge the youth’s acceptance of then prime minister Najib Razak’s National Transformation Plan 2050 (TN50), a member of the audience had said his aspiration was for there to be a Bangsa Malaysia by 2050.

Khairy’s response was that a Bangsa Malaysia would entail giving up on each others’ unique cultures and identities and adopting a singular culture for all to share.

However, Mujahid said Bangsa Malaysia was about putting Malaysia first. “We are not telling people to wipe away their roots. Everyone should be proud of their roots. It’s about thinking of oneself as Malaysian first,” he said.

“We just don’t want these roots to oversee the whole structure of this Bangsa Malaysia which will ultimately lead to one ethnic group being very proud of their roots but forgetting they are part of the Bangsa Malaysia in the first place.”

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