Dr Mahathir claims government discriminating against Malays by blocking talk of race, religion
KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today claimed the Anwar administration was biased against the Malays by discouraging talks about race and religion.
“Obviously this rule is directed at the Malays. This rule is in fact racist because it denies the rights of the Malays.
“Talking about multiracialism and multireligion is okay. It is okay because it is in favour of the other races. This is also racist,” he said in his latest post on Twitter and Facebook.
He continued to accuse the current federal government of being “racist”, and appeared to defend the Malay Proclamation gathering that had initially been planned for yesterday afternoon but was cancelled due to inability to secure a venue.
Dr Mahathir said it was undeniable that Malays in Malaysia face many problems that would only get worse if not tackled now.
“The government knows this. Its ban on the Malays discussing their problems and finding ways to overcome them is at best undemocratic and is anti-Malay. That again is racist,” he said without directly naming the gathering and without substantiating his claim of the supposed “ban”.
He further claimed that the cancelled Malay Proclamation event would have criticised corrupt Malay leaders instead of non-Malays.
The event was called off after three venues cancelled on the organisers.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir said the Malay Proclamation event’s organisers could not prove the government’s involvement in the cancellation of venues for the gathering, but alleged that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was behind this.
The secretariat organising the Malay Proclamation gathering had called off the event after two venues cancelled the bookings. Dr Mahathir was scheduled to attend the event in his personal capacity and not as adviser of Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra).
On Friday, Anwar issued a stern warning against any attempts to instigate or escalate religious or racial tension in Malaysia, adding that any irresponsible statements would not be tolerated as Malaysia must remain peaceful and be developed together by the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and other ethnicities like the Dayaks, Ibans and Melanaus, the Kadazan-Dusun and others,” he said in a post-Cabinet press conference in Putrajaya.
The Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) also issue separate warnings against incitement on racial and religious grounds.
However, no authority including the prime minister has said the Malay Proclamation gathering should be cancelled.