For more than two decades, Dr Mahathir Mahathir wielded so much power as prime minister that no one dared to stand up to him. He could have empowered the Malays at all levels in so many ways.
He was given a second go in the Pakatan Harapan government from May 2018 to February 2020, but chose to resign following the Sheraton Move, resulting in the coalition being ousted after unscrupulous politicians jumped ship.
After two decades of having held near-absolute political power, he is now resorting to shameless race baiting again by saying that non-Malays will take over the country if the current unity government is allowed to continue.
I am not sure if Mahathir knows that he is actually parroting PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, for whom he had very little regard in the past. Hadi writes constantly and consistently in his party organ Harakah Daily that he perceives that only an Islamic leadership can steer the country, and that the current Anwar Ibrahim government is controlled by non-Muslims.
Then came Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir out of nowhere saying if a non-Muslim wanted to be prime minister, vernacular schools should go. He made this statement soon after his party applied to join the PN coalition which has PAS and Bersatu as lead partners.
Mukhriz has failed to understand that even if Chinese and Tamil schools are abolished, there is no way that a non-Malay can become a prime minister going by the numbers.
Although the Federal Constitution does not stop this, the fact is Malaysia has to be led by a Malay-Muslim for political and racial stability. And every sane Malaysian must realise and accept this.
The fact is that Malays are in the majority and the percentage of Malays in the population is set to grow even bigger over the next several decades. Malays are opting to have larger families while others opt to have fewer kids or none.
This is a choice and not by any design or genetic engineering. This is the Malaysian reality and it cannot be changed. Honestly, no one is complaining about this as it is absolutely their choice. In about 50 to 60 years, when the Malay population reaches a high percentage, the question of a non-Malay prime minister will not arise at all.
I can safely say that no non-Malay Malaysian in their right senses would aspire for the top post. It will be utterly foolish for political parties to have such an agenda too.
With this inevitable trajectory, it’s utter rubbish for anyone to claim that political power will be lost to non-Malays.
Let’s have a look to see how Malay-Muslims are dominating the current government to show that the fears of the two veteran leaders are unfounded.
The Cabinet comprises 17 Malays ( 66%) and nine non-Malay ministers – of whom three are Bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak. As for the deputy ministers, 10 of the 27 are non-Malays, including two Bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak.
Combine the two and you have a Cabinet which is 65% Malay; the figure would be higher if you count the total number of bumiputeras.
A check with the ministries showed that only two of the 26 secretaries-general are non-Malays, both being Indians. There are also a handful of non-Malay deputies here. It’s the same story with the directors-general and their deputies in government departments and agencies.
There is probably not even one non-Malay at the head of government-linked company. Most Malaysians are not complaining as they have realised and accepted certain realities.
Scholarships are mostly given to Bumiputeras and since it is under the special privilege clause in the constitution, everyone accepts this. Non-Malays only raise questions when they are deprived even after scoring straight As in public examinations.
Given the figures above, is there any way for non-Malays to take over the country? Only fools from the community would think of this under the prevailing circumstances and taking into account future population projections. All they want is recognition of their rights and contributions in the country they call home.
Will Mahathir and Hadi see that these figures tell a totally different story? Or will they blithely ignore the numbers to ramp up use of the race card in preparation for the six state elections expected after June? They will, of course, try and continue being relevant in the changing political landscape.
Whatever they are doing, it’s a case of playing with fire. Malaysians must be smart enough to see through these charlatans to save the nation from bigots.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.