KUALA LUMPUR, 17 NOV 2008: Malay political strength should be earned though respect and not by depending on numbers, Kedah Gerakan Youth said today.
Responding to Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim’s statements on the Ketuanan Melayu concept, Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang said politicians should stop using it to justify Malay strength and instead earn respect from the different races.
“Using the concept only shows the immaturity of politics in our country. The strength of the Malays in our country’s politics should be gained through mutual respect from all Malaysians. Respect is to be earned and is not gained through numbers,” Tan said in a statement issued to the media.
He had similar caution for political leaders of other communities. “Other races in our country should not gain political mileage by just uniting any single race. This will only lead to more disunity among Malaysians,” he said.
Tan was commenting on news reports on Rais who urged the Malays to be united, citing “strength in numbers” to preserve their majority.
Rais, who was speaking at a Perkasa Forum on The Natives’ Rights in the Constitution yesterday, was referring to whether a non-Malay could become prime minister.
Rais, who is running for a Umno supreme council post in the party’s March elections, said it was impractical for a non-Malay to become prime minister, as Malays were the majority race.
Rais also called Gerakan Wanita chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe a loud-mouth for her statement that Malays were immigrants from Nusantara. The women’s wing leader said this at the Wanita Gerakan national delegates conference on 10 Oct.