“I cannot predict how much longer this (affirmative action) will go on but at the moment, we are trying out… some kind of experiment… by withdrawing some of the protection in education.”
“We want to see whether they will be able to withstand the competition or not. Obviously if they prove themselves able to, we can think of reducing further some of the protection.”
FORMER Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Umno general assembly in 2002, the year before he retired. He chastised Malay Malaysians for their complacency and said they had to end a “subsidy mentality”, or remain uncompetitive. Then, the government had just allowed a 10% quota for non-Malay Malaysians to enter Mara junior colleges, and introduced merit-based entry into public universities. It was also the year Mahathir’s administration decided to embark on the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English. (Source: Umno seeks to jolt Malays out of subsidy mentality, Malaysiakini, 21 June 2002)
“…I still cannot get the indigenous people, the Malay [Malaysians] in particular, to understand the workings of a free market economy and what they must do about it.”
Mahathir, on what he considered his greatest failure after 22 years of ruling Malaysia. He retired at 77 on 31 Oct 2003 after transforming Malaysia into a modern nation, albeit with dictatorial means, human rights violations and allegations of cronyism and corruption. He again berated Malay Malaysians for having a crutch mentality before his retirement. (Source: Three more months to go, PM spells out successes, failures, AFP as quoted in Malaysiakini, 20 July 2003)
“Some of you may not like what I am about to say, but we should not be proud of it because it is better to be independent rather than depend on help.”
“[The NEP is like] temporary crutches to help us when we are weaker.”
“When we become stronger, we don’t need any more protection. But it is more noble to stand on our own feet if we want to call ourselves ‘tuans’ (masters).”
Mahathir, giving the keynote address at the 44th anniversary of Majlis Amanah Rakyat or Mara, a government agency set up to boost bumiputera entrepreneurship and education. He described affirmative action policies and the special position of Malay Malaysians as creations by the British colonialists before they left Malaya. While urging Malay Malaysians not to be dependent on aid, he said a timeframe to abolish the NEP could not be determined until results were achieved. (Source: Dr M: Malaysians not migrating solely because of NEP, Free Malaysia Today, 16 April 2010)
“Listen to their views, whether it is sane or insane. Failure to listen will result in lost votes as the Malay [Malaysians] are [Najib’s] core constituents.”
“Perkasa is not an extremist or a violent group; its objective is to defend and protect the rights of the Malay [Malaysians].”
Mahathir advising Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak not to ignore Perkasa because it is a mouthpiece of the Malay Malaysian community. Mahathir was also responding to criticism of his attendance at and opening of Perkasa‘s first annual general meeting in March 2010. He has come round to the view that it is becoming unproductive for Barisan Nasional (BN) to focus on winning back Chinese Malaysian votes. To him, BN is at risk of further losing Malay Malaysian support because of the government’s economic liberalisation moves and allocations for Chinese Malaysian demands. (Source: Dr M: Don’t ignore Perkasa, The Star, 28 March 2010)
“We also disagree that we should do away with the subsidy mentality. When you say ‘subsidy’, it reflects on the Malay [Malaysian].”
Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali when outlining what Perkasa is about. (Source: The real deal with Perkasa, The Nut Graph, 16 March 2010)
See also: Who supports Perkasa?
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Ellese A says
What has happened is similar [for] a lot of Malay [Malaysians]. Me and my friends who were not politically inclined or active prior 2008 have always feel that the crutch must be taken away. We feel we are definitely able to stand on our own, some of us even work in multinational [companies]. But what has happen since 2008 iss that the left has pushed their agenda too much down our throats. Even our culture, values and religious norms which we have practiced daily since time immemorial, are being challenged.
If we talk about change, we are called racists. As a result, many of us feel upset and angry. We feel the left has been too overzealous and rude. So, many of us are really glad that the right in the likes of Perkasa are challenging the left. We are not exactly agreeable with all that Perkasa is doing but we feet the left has gone too far.
We also began to realise the hypocritical stand of the left. Eg. they call the NEP a racist policy but never question [what caused it], i.e. racists business practices by [companies owned by certain races]. Then they talk of Malaysia first and want race to be forgotten, yet send their kids to vernacular schools which does not by any [stretch of the imagination] promote unity. We then realise that the left actually doesn’t care about unity or about Malaysia first. They want the Malay [Malaysians] to change but not [themselves].
As a result of this, more Malay [Malaysians] including us have become more aware of our rights and feel the need to defend them. No more clarion call to take the crutches away. In short, 2008 has make us more ‘racially conscious’. Chinese [Malaysians] becoming [more] “Chinese” and Malay [Malaysians] [becoming more “Malay”]. The voting pattern of the last two by-elections show this result. A huge number of Chinese [Malaysians] agree with the left and a sizeable majority of Malay [Malaysians] have returned to BN.
So what Mahathir is saying very aptly [describes] of the feelings of the majority of Malay [Malaysians]. He is right again and again.