PETALING JAYA: An Umno Youth leader has urged former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to stop inciting the Malay community with “outdated” and “divisive” narratives on disparities between the different races.
Umno Youth permanent chairman Wan Agyl Wan Hassan said Mahathir, as the country’s only two-time prime minister, cannot be oblivious to the fact that disparities exist even within both communities.
“You can’t paint a picture as if all Chinese are rich and all Malays are poor. Everyone knows this is not true.
“Yes, there are many poor Malays (and) they form the bulk of the B40, but we also have many wealthy Malays, from entrepreneurs to corporate giants.
“Mahathir himself has played a big role in ensuring that many Malays had access to opportunities to improve their career prospects and incomes.
“At the same time, there are also many Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and so on who are struggling to put food on the table,” he said.
Wan Agyl was commenting on a social media post by Mahathir reminding Malaysian students in London about the disparity between rich Chinese and poor Malays, which the former Langkawi MP said could lead to conflicts and violence.
He said viewing disparity and inequality through a racial lens only leads to ill feelings among the people of different races and does not help to resolve problems that persist among the poor.
“Instead, we should be focusing on first, enlarging our economic pie so there is more wealth to go around.
“Secondly, intervention measures should be targeted at those who need it, regardless of race and religion. This is how we can reduce inequality and disparity,” he said.