PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad received support from Umno minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz yesterday for his claim that Malays have to “beg” from other races for political support.
Nazri, Culture and Tourism Minister and an Umno Supreme Council member, said his former boss was speaking the truth when he said that the Malays are now disunited and politically weak that they can no longer be in power unless they get support from other races to win in elections.
“He is not wrong. Mengemis la tu kalau dah bahagi tiga (You have to beg when you are divided into three),” Nazri said, alluding to the spread of Malay politics across Umno, which leads the ruling coalition, and PAS and PKR, which are in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat.
“If the voice of the Malays is united, we do not have to worry about these [Chinese] votes,” he told reporters after a tourism event at the Subang airport.
“If a [constituency] has 70% Malays and 30% non-Malays, we have to bank on the 30% as Malay votes will not be enough,” Nazri said.
“This is what Dr Mahathir was saying. The 30% is now the deciding factor. So whatever the Chinese want, we have to give.”
Nazri said people should not be upset with Dr Mahathir’s statement.
“He only wants Malays to wake up and realise that we cannot win if we are not united. But being united does not mean that we want to bash other races. That’s not it,” said Nazri.
Dr Mahathir, in a speech at a youth leadership programme on Dec 20, said Malays had lost their grip on politics due to disunity, prompting them to beg from other races to stay in power.
Opposition politicians have rejected his statement as fear-mongering while political analysts said the former prime minister was positioning for Umno to cling on to power. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 23, 2014.