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Malay dominance and rights

IN five short years, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has emerged from the sidelines in Umno to be a Member of Parliament (MP) for Jerlun, and now a popular candidate in the Umno Youth chief race.

Despite his soft-spoken demeanour, he has not shied away from controversy, no less because of his ties to his outspoken father, retired Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In the 2006 Umno general assembly, Mukhriz wasn’t reticent about expressing disappointment with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s presidential speech. He called it unoriginal, sparking a wave of protests from some quarters within Umno.

In 2008, soon after the March general election, Mukhriz, by then an Umno Youth executive council member, became one of the early voices to call for Abdullah’s resignation following the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s dismal performance. He wrote Abdullah a letter, exposed on the internet, which told Abdullah resigning would be the “honourable thing” to do.

In the second part of an exclusive interview with The Nut Graph conducted on 3 March, Mukhriz revisits his controversial statement about closing down vernacular schools in favour of a single-education system. He voices his concerns about Malay Malaysians being left behind, and talks about the Perak impasse. Mukhriz also shares how he views himself as a politician in a changing Malaysia — whether as a Malay one first, or as a Malaysian.

TNG: You’ve said a weak BN is partly the result of a weak Umno. But the other component parties have said that Umno is like a bully, and that it doesn’t treat other BN parties as equals. What is ailing the coalition as a whole?

Mukhriz Mahathir: That’s a very unfair statement. We’ve been extremely tolerant. I admit sometimes the rhetoric can be quite heated, but it has been that way for some time. It was from 2006 [onwards] when we had a live telecast of our general assembly, which [had] never been done before [then].

And we aired for public viewing the kind of rhetoric we use in our closed-door meeting. I thought it was funny, that at the start of the proceedings the media reps were asked to leave the hall, and the doors would shut closed, and then … it was live! (Laughs incredulously) It was even on the internet. I thought it was just insane. I know we’re in this era of transparency and openness, but that was too much.

Unfortunately, the kinds of things said in the meeting brought out some adverse reactions from other people. But I think the general assemblies of other political parties are equal … if not worse rhetoric is used, but their meetings are not aired live. In some cases, it’s in a language that Malays don’t understand, so we’re not able to respond in kind to the things being said in their meetings. So I think it is unfair.

Umno being the dominant party within the BN, right from the word go, we were open to, in fact we propagated this whole idea of power-sharing within the BN. And we defend that all the time by making sure that the number of seats allocated during the general election meets the requirements of all the parties involved.

Secondly, we do not practise a policy of assimilation. We consider the Malay culture as being the dominant one, but we do not force it on anyone. You do not see us going the way of Indonesia or Thailand, where other races are expected to immerse themselves into the dominant culture to the extent that their original cultures are nonexistent.

I felt quite insulted when Lim Kit Siang in Parliament congratulated the Americans for picking Barack Obama as the president, although he’s black. And he went on to say, when is Malaysia going to do the same? I thought that was uncalled for, because do you see anything African about Obama? Does he even speak a word of Kenyan? You see in Obama an American leader who will always have American interests ahead of everything else, and because of that you don’t see the colour of his skin.

Here in Malaysia, the constitution doesn’t specify that the prime minister has to be a Malay or bumiputera. But until the time comes when it doesn’t matter what your name is, even if it’s not an Ahmad or a Mohamad or an Abdullah, but if people can see that you are a truly Malaysian leader, and you take care of the interest of everyone, including the Malays, I think the Malays won’t have a problem picking that person as prime minister.

But how is that going to happen when we have problems with different school systems going their own separate ways, in different languages, different cultures, and then expect them to integrate when they get into university? By then it’s far too late already.

You can’t expect people to unite once they’ve passed their impressionable years in primary and secondary schools, and then complain about, “Oh, when is the time when non-Malays can become the prime minister?” I think that’s too much to ask if you still want to defend the vernacular schools.

You are referring to your controversial statement calling for a single education system, which would in effect close down vernacular education. You were seen as shoring up support for your Umno Youth chief bid.

I said it with national integration in mind. We have never gone so far as to say that the non-Malay cultures should not be practised. We’ve always thrived on the diversity that we have. That’s why it’s integration. It’s not necessarily unity. But national integration is something you start from the ground up.

And I find it odd and ironic that in the Dewan Rakyat, everyone from both sides of the fence complains about polarisation. But when I suggest something to address this issue, they start jumping on me. And I thought it was odd because I don’t hear anyone else suggesting an alternative idea. I’m ready to listen to suggestions. Mine seems to be the only idea that has been mooted, but so many out there are against it, and I find that very strange because if you look at other countries in the region, the education system is key in promoting integration among people.

But many Malay and Indian Malaysian parents send their kids to Chinese schools because national schools are not up to par. Shouldn’t we address that first?

I admit there is an issue there. And I’m all for improving our national schools. But the excuse that I hear being used as an argument against my idea is that they want to defend their right to teach in their respective languages and to maintain their cultures.

It’s not about the national schools being okay or not. I expect that if we improve our national schools, then perhaps many will come back. Having said that, our national schools are not so bad compared to some schools in neighbouring countries; the kind of results we get are a lot better.

But it’s not just academic performance that concerns non-Muslim parents; it’s fears about Islamisation in schools.

I’ve heard that. I’ve talked to quite a number of non-Muslims about this and they complain, for example, about the school assembly. They don’t mind that you start off with a doa. But even the principal’s speech has religious tones. And they’re not comfortable with that. I think we can look into this and try and improve.

About the NEP, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have both said aspects of NEP need to be removed or reviewed, but gradually. Your position?

I think that this whole philosophy of growth with equity needs to be continued. I agree that there may be some focus that may need to change to adapt to the current situation in order to move forward. But the main philosophy, I can’t see it changing.

Because the disparity that we find between the races is still there. We’ve been very successful in eradicating poverty among all races. That’s a huge success story emulated by other developing countries. But in terms of restructuring society, in terms of providing enough jobs for bumiputeras so that they can be in high productivity segments of the economy that give them enough income, I think we’re still behind.

As MP for Jerlun now, it’s more apparent to me that there is a certain segment of society that seems to be left behind. I’d like to see what Najib and Muhyiddin mean by certain amendments to the NEP. Because if it means that, for example, we’re going to stick with growth at all cost, I think this is going to be a problem if the economy grows fast but we leave the disenfranchised behind.

In 1990, at the end of the NEP, we did that. The distribution [of wealth] part was made second fiddle, and we just focused on growth. And at that time it was necessary because economic growth worldwide was at unprecedented levels and we didn’t want to miss the boat. We needed to get on the bandwagon and attract foreign investment. So we moved away from commodities to manufacturing in a big way. And we were extremely successful then. But at the same time, although more jobs were created, the involvement of bumiputera in high-growth areas was still very lacking.

It shows you that when the NEP was being implemented fully, it was not just the Malays benefiting from it. The government was focused on ensuring that the economic pie was growing bigger, and obviously non-Malays benefited from it as well.

Secondly, the emergence of a Malay middle class provided a market for non-Malays to tap from. If in ’69 when the riots happened, sundry shops and cars were destroyed, you could be sure that these shops and these cars did not belong to the Malays. But now try and do that, and more often than not, the Malays would be affected because we’ve done quite well throughout these years. And I think it’s all due to policies like the NEP.

Do you think cronyism and corruption in government and in Umno are what’s causing problems to the NEP’s implementation?

Yes. That’s where a good policy like the NEP gets derailed.

How should Umno address it?

It’s not easy, when one has to make a choice between one bumi and another bumi, one is going to be very happy and the other is not. And there will be accusations of cronyism and such. If you see that only a certain few benefit from government policies, then you know there’s something wrong with the implementation. But still, in that sense, I think there needs to be enlightened leadership to make sure that people have a certain trust in the system.

You know, this thing about defending the Malays when we are a multiracial nation… On the Perak crisis, you recently called for the Sedition Act to be used against Karpal Singh. That kind of remark gets a lot of support within Umno, but non-Malay [Malaysians] watching don’t feel comfortable. How do you see yourself — are you a Malay politician first, or a politician for all Malaysians?

You know, Umno equals Malay. It’s a Malay party. And therefore we are expected to hold the interest of the Malays first. I’m unapologetic about that because the Malays, after all, constitute the majority of the population. And I think the majority has certain rights. And this is prevalent even in other countries.

But at the same time, the minorities also have certain rights, so this is something we must protect and preserve. I consider myself a Malay politician first because I firmly believe if the Malays are on a good footing, it will never be at the expense of other races. And the other races benefit from it also.

When the Malays feel that their rights are not being protected, that they are constantly under siege, I cannot see how the country can be stable. It’s happened in some countries before where the majority loses control over their political power because they are weak economically. That’s happened in Fiji, in Papua New Guinea, and to some extent in Sri Lanka. And I don’t see how we can let that happen in Malaysia.

I know my comment about Karpal Singh was not taken lightly by certain people. But people consider me a moderate; I’m not associated with extreme views, so if a person like me can say such a thing, imagine what people who have stronger views than me are thinking. I think it is better for me to say these things than to let the far, far right take things into their own hands.

It’s the same thing when I brought up the issue of a one-school system. For the six months preceding it, we felt really under siege because one after another, leaders who should know better, coming from BN component parties, were making very hurtful statements.

They were questioning the social contract, they were recommending for the 30% bumi equity to be taken away. There was a statement that the Malays too are immigrants, and there was a question about Ketuanan Melayu, and all this went unanswered by Umno. How much tolerance can we handle? At the same time I find that a lot of Malays were feeling very disappointed with Umno for not defending our rights.

So I thought, okay, enough is enough. I brought up the issue for the schools, and I think it had an effect in that people stopped talking about these things.

One other example: MCA from Jerlun put out a statement in Nanyang Siang Pau that they regret having voted for me in the 2008 general election because of my statement. And to me, that’s exactly right, that when their own MP or their own representative says something that they don’t like, that they should feel some regret and that it should be a lesson to the MP to always consider the feelings of their voters.

Because those incendiary statements by other MPs, some of them deputy minister and even ministers, some of them component party leaders, saying hurtful things about the Malays, and yet they were elected in constituencies that had Malay-majorities… did they have any qualms saying those things? Shouldn’t we be asking the Malays in those constituencies if they regret voting for those MPs? You don’t see Umno leaders in those constituencies making statements that they regret having voted for their MPs. So that’s the kind of tolerance we have and we hope others will also temper their statements.

A lot of people say, oh, it’s time for multiracial politics. Well, the other BN components are definitely representing their respective races. The way I see it, MCA, Gerakan and DAP, all three of them are racing to show that they are championing important causes for the Chinese, so why shouldn’t Umno continue being a Malay party?

As long as there’s economic disparity, there will always be a need for a political party like Umno that represents the interest of the Malays. If there is total equality, especially in economic terms, then I think the Malays themselves will feel that we no longer need the NEP, we no longer feel we need a Malay party like Umno, and it will come naturally.

Can it come naturally when you’ve been so used to it?

It’s not going to be possible as long as the Malays feel that they are economically behind. The playing field is not even. We need government policies that even out, that give us a bit of a handicap so that we can compete on a meaningful basis. If that is not sorted out, then forever we’ll have race-based politics.

The prevailing mentality in Umno Youth now is to rally support for the Perak Sultan and defend the royal institution. It appears hypocritical to outsiders, because under your father’s time, laws were made to curb the powers of royals. And now, in the Perak crisis, it appears convenient to justify the BN’s takeover by hiding behind the Sultan.

I see a very vast difference between what was done then and now. At that time, there was the issue of laws being passed in Parliament not getting the approval of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong in a timely fashion. A law was passed so that within 60 days, after Parliament passes a law, if it’s still not signed, it’s considered approved and gazetted.

The other thing was when it came to criminal matters, if we had royalty who was involved in criminal activity, he would not be able to seek refuge by way of his standing as royalty. And there would be a special tribunal to handle these sort of cases. I think that’s fair. Even the Conference of Rulers accepted it. That in no way took away their standing as rulers. And in no way were we disrespectful of royalty.

But now [in the Perak crisis], a commoner has questioned the position of the Sultan. I think that really runs against all that we hold important in this country, the Rukunegara, the federal constitution, and I think that’s too much.

But it wasn’t a questioning of the Sultan’s position, it was a questioning of his decision not to dissolve the state legislative assembly.

But he has the absolute right. The way I see it, the decision made by the Sultan of Perak was in accordance with the state constitution, and I don’t see what Tuanku did as favouring us (the BN) particularly. And I might add, this whole idea of party-hopping was never one that we propagated in the first place.

The political situation in Perak is in an even worse mess now, with so many suits being filed. The situation is so unprecedented that don’t you think snap state elections is the best way to resolve things?

No (chuckles). I mean, I think it is still within our constitutional right to take over the state that way. Because as it is, the law as it stands right now, party-hopping is not unlawful. It is still considered a part of democracy.

I’m just hoping that everything cools down because we really ought to get back to work. Because by now a lot of people are pretty sick and tired of politics from both sides. They don’t really care for the BN, nor do they care for the opposition parties. And I feel for them. I remember this advertisement taken out by a concerned citizen pleading for politicians to not lose the plot, and at this particular moment it’s the economic crisis that we should be looking at.

See Part I:
Being Mahathir’s son

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30 Responses to “Malay dominance and rights”

  1. Skeat says:

    I felt quite insulted when Lim Kit Siang in Parliament congratulated the Americans for picking Barack Obama as the president, although he’s black. And he went on to say, when is Malaysia going to do the same? I thought that was uncalled for, because do you see anything African about Obama? Does he even speak a word of Kenyan? You see in Obama an American leader who will always have American interests ahead of everything else, and because of that you don’t see the colour of his skin.

    Here in Malaysia, the constitution doesn’t specify that the prime minister has to be a Malay or bumiputera. But until the time comes when it doesn’t matter what your name is, even if it’s not an Ahmad or a Mohamad or an Abdullah, but if people can see that you are a truly Malaysian leader, and you take care of the interest of everyone, including the Malays, I think the Malays won’t have a problem picking that person as prime minister.

    This is a joke, truly … even from Mukriz.

    I thought I have heard somewhere that the president of Umno would automatically be the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

    I guess that he sees something from the Chinese Malaysians that we are speaking Chinese while speaking BM and English, this makes Chinese Malaysians not as “Malaysian” as the Malays.

    A load of rubbish.

  2. He is a total waste of space and time!

  3. If this guy thinks he represents the Malays, then Malaysia is in greater trouble than it already is!

  4. jeff says:

    His father is of Indian descent but claims to be a 100% Malay. You can claim that so you can enrich yourself under the NEP. You might as well join MIC.

  5. Kam WY says:

    Honestly, I felt quite insulted throughout my read of this interview. Here we have, a racist politician, justifying all the immorality and racism in Umno. Yes, you’re right, you’re Malay politician first, Malaysian last. Because any sane-minded Malaysians would NEVER ever vote for you.

    Bapak borek, anak rintik. Keep playing that Umno tune. You’ll be menteri, Umno Youth chief etc. and after the next election, you can be the opposition leader in Kedah.

  6. gandoo says:

    “It’s not going to be possible as long as the Malays feel that they are economically behind.”

    But have they? Or is it just Umno that MAKES them feel they are left behind? Mukhriz is a hypocrite. One moment he says he is proud of the NEP creating a new Malay middle class and the next he says they are still “left behind”?

    Do tell us Mukhriz, what exactly you mean by “left behind”!

    “The playing field is not even.”


    You mean after 50 YEARS of Umno/BN Rule and 22 by YOUR FATHER the playing field is still not even?

    If true (and even that I question) whose fault would that be Mukhriz?

    “We need government policies that even out, that give us a bit of a handicap so that we can compete on a meaningful basis. If that is not sorted out, then forever we’ll have race-based politics.”

    Or Umno needs these “handicaps” so they can feed their cronies you mean, because I sure as hell don’t see ordinary Malays feeling the benefits of such “handicaps”.

    Kelantan and Terengganu are still dirt poor as they were during 1957, maybe even worse, despite being 90+% Malay. Any answers for that?

  7. Kris says:

    Mukhriz is just like his father – a political opportunist and a very clever one at that.

    I don’t trust him one sen.

  8. jusoh says:

    There was a statement that the Malays too are immigrants.


    When we talk of Malays, I see two classes of Malays, the genuine local Malays and the “jump on the wagon Malays”.

    Mukhriz, where did your paternal grandfather come from?

  9. CK says:

    Malay rights
    By Shaik Rizal Sulaiman

    The Malays are “technically” in power governing the country but it is also this same controlling group that demands the right to correct economic imbalances and disparities for its own race.

    What does this say about the “majority governing” Malay race for the last 50 years? I dare say that most Malaysians (regardless of race) below the age of 40 would like to see all opportunities be spread amongst those who deserve it on meritocracy.

    We do not need the keris anymore to tell others to be careful of what they say and do because in the survival of the fittest, the keris is of very little relevance!

    If we continue to hide under the “bumiputera” tempurung as most Malays have been in the last 50 years or more, the catch-up game will just get harder and the gap wider.

    If we continue to expect without earning it, we will never learn how to be a race that succeeds on merit. There is NO substitute for merit. The Malay politicians continue to shout about Malay rights and bumiputera rights because the very nature of our local politics is sadly racially biased.

    In this day and age, a great nation is built upon joint success stories, meritocracy and the combined hard work of its people WITHOUT any fear or favour of racially biased politics governing our daily policies. Sadly, the Malay politicians have ended up completely corrupt, racialists, twisted religious fanatics.

    I am below 40 and as much as I love the “idea” that Malaysia is tanah tumpahnya darah orang Melayu, I can’t help but also feel that this country is for ALL Malaysians alike including the Chongs, the Kumars, the Xaviers, the Singhs and Kaurs etc. who were born on the same day in the same hospital as me here in Malaysia.

    If we feel that WE (the Malays) deserve this country more than THEM , then WE (the Malays) should have shown them a long time ago that we deserve the “control all” status.

    We have to earn it. The policies FAILED because the very concept of Malay rights or the NEP/DEB is like a double-edged sword. On one hand, it aims to eradicate wealth disparity but on the other, it has made the Malays oblivious of what reality is. Our (Malays) success is only reflected in the “perceived” political power which today can collapse in a matter of minutes. I would also like to see my children succeed in their country, Malaysia, for reasons that true success should be based upon, which are merit and hard work and NOT because they are Malays or bumiputeras.

    For as long as the Malays don’t see this, there is very little point in fighting for Malay rights..

    It just makes us look more ridiculous. We have taken this notion of being privileged a bit too literally in that it now simply means we want this country and its fruits all for ourselves without accepting the responsibilities that come with it. I blame the MALAY politicians for this because we want to only fight the cause without strategising for the true substance and need of the cause. We have been given fish all the while without being taught how to fish.

    It’s funny how two different generations can be so diverse in their thinking and the recent elections proved just that. We are no longer concerned with racial problems but more so the never-ending Malay agenda issues. The rakyat has spoken and the landscape has drastically changed. Is this change welcomed? Is it good?

    The answer is “NO”. Because we,the Malays, have been caught with our pants down – we are not ready to compete on any level playing field (we can’t even compete on advantageous grounds!). Even with three or five more continuing policies for Malay rights or bumiputera privileges over the next 50 years, we will still be in exactly the same position as we are in today.

    The truth hurts and the truth will always prevail. And the truth of what’s to come will NOT go away. I am cynical perhaps because I feel that Malay rights is NOT relevant anymore.

    The right to be safe, to be treated fairly, to have a world-class healthcare and education, to enjoy equal prosperity, to have good governance, to live in a clean environment and to be war-free is what I want for my Malaysia. NOT for MY race to be artificially powerful.

    If we want the Malays to fail, then by all means continue the fight for Malay rights. Go and polish your keris..

    Shaik Rizal Sulaiman
    Posted by Malaysian
    Unplug @ Link to This Post

    In recent months we have seen the Syariah Courts allowing quite a few Malays to exercise their rights to a third or fourth wife. Fair, the guy may be able to provide for the financial and conjugal needs of his wives. However, question here is when he has a dozen kids, will he be able to provide a decent education and life to his kids or will he demand for his “Rights” for subsidy and aid and be a burden to the govt and society.

  10. tunku says:

    Even multi-racial Singapore had made it clear that the person who will be the PM is from the race which holds the majority. It is quite clear and simple to understand.

  11. zOOl says:

    I am all for Mukhriz’s idea of national schools!

  12. ron says:

    I’m tired of Malaysians being segregated by race. Let’s pick some other arbitrary category to divide Malaysians, for a change.

    People who eat petai vs. people who don’t.

    How about that?

  13. Sunny says:

    I salute you En Shaik Rizal Sulaiman. Indeed you are a farsighted and honest human being. You speak from your heart and the truth pains but you have said what needs to be said. Once again your wisdom has crossed borders and you’re not like our racially inclined politicians from Umno, MCA and MIC.

  14. lee hsien loong says:

    I am more racist than Mukhriz. As racist as the people who question Mukhriz’s heritage. Although I know parentage should not be questioned, who cares? We racist people should be free to say whatever we want!

    * By the way Nut Graph, my comment can be called a sarcastic jibe to the people who question about mixed parentage. These are the same people who abhor racism. Pots and kettles.

  15. zach says:

    Here’s my two cents.

    The Malays are not disappointed with Umno for not defending their rights.

    The Malays are fed up with Umno because of them suppressing our rights as rightful citizens (e.g: Perak where the rakyat there were deprived of their right to elect the government they want).

    The list of Umno’s sins committed against the rakyat is miles long – I don’t know where to start.

  16. ibrahim says:

    YB Mukhriz, let me comment on three issues that you brought up

    If you think the NEP is so needed to help the Malays catch up with the Chinese economically, let me remind you that your father himself said that his biggest regret after his 22 yeas as premier was that he failed to raise the living standards of the Malays despite having the NEP. So what’s so great or necessary about the NEP (or its current equivalent, the NDP)? All the NEP succeeded in doing was create a small rich elite group of Malays who had the right connections to reap its benefits. It has not leveled the playing field, not even for the Malays in general. Your father was right. The majority of Malays did *not* benefit from the NEP and all his efforts while he was PM. So if it has not helped the majority of Malays, neither has it helped the other races, then why continue it? Calling it NDP (National Development Policy) is just calling the same thing by another name. It’s time to implement a policy that *really* levels the playing field for *all* races.

    The Chinese saying that Malays are also immigrants – well, who brought up the “immigrant” issue in the first place? Ahmad Ismail of Umno (and others like him)! Since he called Chinese immigrants, it was natural for the Chinese to retort by saying the same of the Malays. After all, it *is* true … Malays *are* immigrants just like Chinese and Indians. Sure, Ahmad Ismail was suspended for 3 years but that has not stopped him from continuing his racial rhetoric. He should have been expelled from Umno unless he publicly recants his stand. As it turned out, even after suspension, he never recanted and said he would continue to perpetuate his racist statements.

    Karpal questioned the position of the sultan? Since when? All he did was say that according to the Perak state constitution, the sultan has the power to appoint the chief minister but not to sack him. In view of that, Karpal is filing a suit against the sultan. If you say the BN is within its right to form the Perak government through party hopping, then you should also admit that Karpal Singh is within his right to bring the Perak sultan to court because he has not done anything illegal. So why do you say he should be charged under the Sedition Act?

  17. matrix says:

    Waste my time reading … going round and round but no solution … what for this interview?

  18. Shikanzen says:

    He is quite honest. At least he doesn’t mince his words, as many of our politicians are wont to do nowadays because they want to appear to be fair and unbiased. But then again, just remember who he is : a man with high social status, the son of an ex-PM. Many of the people who fall into this category know very well that they are above the law and can take pot shots at others without being held accountable.

    Mukhriz is clearly what he said he is – a Malay politician first and foremost, a Malaysian second. This is not the kind of leader we need.

    As the typical politician he is, he chose some facts and played them to the hilt, and conveniently ignored other counter-balancing facts.

    For example, his call for a single-type school. Why, no race will be happy that they need to “submit” to the culture of another race and potentially lose their identity. If integration is the key, then why not lose all the privileges the Malay students have? Abolish the matriculation schools … do away with the university quotas … introduce English as the national language … have mother tongue classes as options for all races … allow religious classes for all other religions other than Islam. Is this his vision? If yes, by all means – go ahead and introduce a single-type of school system.
    He totally ignored the view that his proposal can be seen to be taking away the rights of other races, without really giving them anything.

    As for the NEP, surely he understands the frustrations of non-Malays living under the NEP. Yet, he still continues to justify the continuation of the NEP on the basis that it is the execution part of it that is flawed, not the spirit. And yet, we still don’t see any change in the way NEP is executed. I still don’t foresee any changes, because it’s so entrenched in our society that all Malays now will grow up expecting it as a right. Woe befall any well-intentioned politician who will just take away an inch of this “birth-right”, including a politician of Malay origin. My guess is that the Datuk has benefited a lot from the NEP, and is continuing to benefit from it despite being so much better off than many non-Malays.

    Thank you for showing your true colours Datuk. All Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, should reject politicians like yourself who are only serving a particular race.

  19. fazilogic says:

    Quoting Skeat: “I guess that he sees something from the Chinese Malaysians that we are speaking Chinese while speaking BM and English, this makes Chinese Malaysians not as ‘Malaysian’ as the Malays.”

    Yup! It makes sense and has been the convention the world over. In America, the president’s first language has always been American English. The same in Germany, UK and even Singapore where the formal language of the country is the first and foremost language of its President/Prime Minister.

    I am not sure about Fujimori, if it didn’t then it has to be an exception to the rule.

    By the way, in S’pore, the Malay language had been side-lined long before she got her maiden independence from the British through the formation of Malaysia. But mind you, it’s never Mandarin or Cantonese there, it’s always English.

    So Mukhriz is spot on on that.

  20. Lam says:

    Why doesn’t the government make it a policy that any non-Malays who go to national schools and speak BM automatically qualify as bumiputeras?

  21. tengku mohd faizal says:

    Following his dad’s footsteps, being super ultra-Malay before coming into power (to get the majority vote) and being a strong non-Malay supporter after holding on to power (to make sure the Malays won’t revolt against him).

  22. Me says:


    Because Umno holds the majority, thus it commands the right to elect its leader for PM.

  23. shaik rizal says:

    I am pleasantly surprised that someone posted my previous article on “Malay rights” some time ago in this comments section! I guess it has been circulating. Anyway, Datuk Mukhriz is on the right track and his focus should be to lead all Malaysians. The Malays will always have their place intact but we must be responsible about it.

    I aim to share thoughts and ideas for a better and progressive Malaysia at

  24. p1 says:

    This whole problem of people divided boils down to one thing – money. The thing about Malays left behind or not in a position to survive on their own is just silly argument. There are Indians, Chinese and other races in East Malaysia that r behind the Malays in the West, what say you?

    If he is serious about integration of all races in this land then all discrimination policies must be done away with to be replaced with a policy of helping all Malaysians who are weak. There is so much that a government can do to help if the same individual does not want to excel or is lazy – no amount of help is possible. There are many types of people in any races who are unproductive and lazy that policy cannot change. It is bullshit and insulting to the Malays to say that a hard-working Malay cannot make it in Malaysia without discriminatory government policies. It’s time to move on minus NEP. Equal opportunities to all deserving hard working individuals – meritocacy is the way forward.

  25. Azzad says:


    Let’s talk about the non-bumiputera’s part of the fault why Malaysians are not united as they should be. Every non-bumiputera’s comments don’t seem to address that. You want to be critical towards the NEP and Malay racism, but unfoundedly being protective of your own racism. The national school issues are paramount towards building a strongly-knitted society.

    At least the bumiputera’s part of the fault is being discussed publicly now. Good for us. We will face it and solve it. While the non-bumiputeras are still in a nutshell and won’t want to get out of their bigotry.

    This whole thing is not only an issue for bumiputeras, but an issue for Malaysians affecting all of us.



    Bravo …. brilliant … salute …

  27. rin says:

    Although I don’t agree with his stance of Malay politicians first, I can understand where he is coming from. After all, he is an Umno politician. What do you expect? He would have to join other political parties or just form his own party if he holds the “Malaysian ideal” some Malaysians wish for.

    At least he is honest, I think we should give credit him for that. And he seems to be more sensitive to the people on the ground’s needs than an average Umno (and BN) politican, as seen from interview part I.

    But these are just interviews. Actions speak louder than words. Let’s just continue to keep an eye on him and see what he does if he comes into power. Meantime, we shall hold our judgment on this young politician, shall we, fellow Malaysians?

  28. chengho says:

    Way to go Mukhriz, Malaysia needs a young leader like you – real and pragmatic.

  29. Asnawi Bin Othman says:

    Congratulations Mukhriz. Your answers are spot on. I am proud there is a lot of your father in you. At last we have found some one who can fit your father’s shoes.

  30. Koku says:

    To those that despise the interview – the truth hurts right?

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