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Squaring Najib’s statements on “pendatang” and the Malay agenda

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently told Chinese Malaysians that they are “citizens with full rights”, and that those who call them pendatang are “lunatics”.

But how do Chinese Malaysians having “full rights” accord with the “Malay agenda” that Najib also claims to champion? To what threat is Najib referring when he warns Malay Malaysians that they may become squatters in their own land? And what has Najib said previously about organisations such as Perkasa that have openly chastised Chinese Malaysians for being ungrateful to the Umno-led government?

“I hope we are not too hurt by one or two comments. In every community, there are always one or two individuals whose heads are not quite right.”

“If there are one or two lunatics, don’t take it personally. What is important is that the government does not consider Malaysian Chinese as pendatang, you are a citizen with full rights.”

Najib, speaking to about 2,000 Chinese Malaysian youths at Universiti Malaya on 24 June 2012. He said his administration does not share the views of those who label Chinese Malaysians as immigrants. (Source: PM tells Chinese to ignore “pendatang” remarks, Malaysiakini, 24 June 2012)

“… Kita mesti pastikan agenda Melayu terlaksana dan orang Melayu juga berjaya dan dianggap sebagai bangsa yang mencecah taraf bangsa yang maju.

“Jadi siapa kata kita tak ada agenda Melayu? Atau pun agenda Bumiputera memang kita ada. Apabila saya melaksanakan Gagasan 1Malaysia, saya tak menyatakan ketepikan agenda Melayu Bumiputera. Apabila saya turun ke bawah, ke ladang estet ke Kampung Baru Cina, bukan bererti bahawa saya kurang komitmen untuk memperjuangkan kepentingan orang Melayu dan Bumiputera. Saya melakukan perkara ini sebab kita mesti menentukan bahawa negara Malaysia kita ini mendapat sokongan daripada semua kumpulan etnik kerana masa depan Umno juga bergantung kepada sokongan orang lain.”

Najib, speaking at the 2011 Umno general assembly. (Source: Ucapan penggulungan presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Najib Razak pada hari terakhir perhimpunan agung Umno 2011, Dewan Merdeka, PWTC, Berita Harian, December 2011)

“Kalau kita leka, kalau kita alpa, kalau kita lalai, kalau kita masih bersengketa, kehinaan bakal tiba di muka pintu, tunggulah kehancuran. Maka terpampanglah Melayu merempat di tanah sendiri.”

Najib, at the 2011 Umno general assembly. He said that if Umno was complacent, negligent and not united in defending their position in the next election, humiliation and destruction would befall them and the Malays would be squatters in their own land. (Source: Ucapan penggulungan presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Najib Razak pada hari terakhir perhimpunan agung Umno 2011, Dewan Merdeka, PWTC, Berita Harian, December 2011)

“Perkasa is not so extreme, if you listen to them carefully. They can shout about Malay rights as long as they are not extreme in their views, and you know, to the extent that we can accommodate Perkasa. And we can accommodate also the non-Malays as well.”

“They are by and large supportive of Umno and they believe that Umno is the only vehicle that can really not only promote Malay interest but really hold this country together.”

“I’m confident in fact, you know with the policies based on the spirit and philosophy of 1Malaysia, that everyone will have a rightful place under the Malaysian sun.”

Najib, in an interview with satellite channel Al Jazeera aired in 2010 before the Hulu Selangor by-election. Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali had called Chinese Malaysian voters in Hulu Selangor ungrateful for supporting the federal opposition even after Najib had promised RM3 million in aid to a Chinese vernacular school in Hulu Selangor. (Source: Perkasa not so extreme: Najib, Malaysiakini, 3 April 2010; and Interview: Najib Razak101 East, Al Jazeera, 2 April 2010)

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