Stop saying Malay first, Tanah Melayu is no more, says Rafidah Aziz
Malays should stop identifying themselves by their race and accept that they live in a diverse nation, former Umno minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said .
She reminded the Malays that they no longer lived in Tanah Melayu, or Malaya, but were part of Malaysia, a multi-racial country. “I know, politically, some people don’t want (that). ‘I’m a Malay first’ (they say). “Where is your country? Tanah Melayu is no more. It’s Malaysia now,” she said in her public lecture at Universiti Malaya today.
She said Tanah Melayu eventually became Malaysia because their forefathers recognised that they belonged to a nation of diverse people. “Why do you want to emphasise your Malay-ness, Indian-ness or Chinese-ness?” she asked. Rafidah said the country was now seeing various groups holding protests against one another because they had been taught to tolerate diversity rather than accept it.
“For as long as you guys learn to tolerate, this is what’s going to happen: yellow shirts against red shirts, and very soon there will be purple against green, and what have you,” she said.
She urged Malaysians to respect one another and accept that there would always be differences of opinion. “That is what nation-building is about: Respect. Without that, there is no nation. It’s just mortar and bricks and nothing in terms of spirit. “If you look at the songs that really raise our patriotism, it doesn’t say about race or creed.
“It talks about Malaysia, Malaysia, Malaysia.
And yet why are we introducing these elements that divide us and cause unnecessary chasms?”
Source : SG NEWS
No need to question loyalty of Malaysians, says Rafidah
The loyalty of Malaysians to the country should never be questioned, says former federal minister Rafidah Aziz.
In a statement, the former international trade and industry minister called for Malaysians to stay united by respecting and accepting the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity in the nation.
“It’s already 2024. Let us all continue to respect our diversities and accept them wholeheartedly. Let us all be united and continue to build a stronger, competitive and well-respected Malaysia.
“We do not need to question one another on things pertaining to loyalty and love for our nation,” she said, in an apparent reference to recent comments made by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former prime minister, whom Rafidah served under, reportedly said ethnic Indians were not “completely loyal to Malaysia”, in a recent interview.
Rafidah said many Malaysians of various ethnicities have done the country proud in various industries at the international level, adding that some did so without financial support from the government.
“Still, they remain Malaysians. They did it all as Malaysians,” she added.
She urged Malaysians not to let politics cause any division among them and to continue building a “stronger, competitive and well-respected Malaysia”.
Mahathir’s remarks were made in a recent interview with Thanthi TV, a Tamil news channel based in Chennai, India.
He said Indians in Malaysia must remember they are Malaysians more than they are immigrants from other countries.
He reportedly claimed that Malaysian Indians want to identify themselves with their country of origin but should instead fully assimilate and “become Malay”.
While Mahathir agreed when the interviewer pointed out that the Federal Constitution enshrines the rights of all minorities, he said that while Malaysian Indians “have certain rights, they cannot claim that this country belongs (to them)”.
Source : FMT
Only true unity can help Malaysia bounce back now, says Rafidah
Only true unity can help the country bounce back from adversity now, says former minister of international trade and industry Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, as she calls on Malaysians to subscribe to what she terms ‘Ketuanan Malaysia’ in a Facebook post today.
The notion, she said, is simply about “putting our beloved nation, Malaysia, first”, which she deemed as important for Malaysians to embrace as she pointed to the “heavy task ahead” that the new Pakatan Harapan government has to undertake in governing the country, and how Malaysians must give time and space for the new government to do its job.
“The government of the rakyat’s choice, PH, is faced with many tasks which need to be attended to in parallel. The last thing our country needs is distraction from governing,” she said, referring to obstacles like differences of opinion from arm chair critics, and opposition from those with vested interests as well as those who resort to race and religion as an excuse.
Loyalty to the country, she stressed, is blind to skin colour and race, creed, religion, social status or heritage. So Malaysians, she said, must hope and aim for a truly Malaysian society, free from discriminary inclination premised upon skin colour and race, creed, religion, social status, or heritage.
“By discriminating, do we expect different levels of loyalty from our rakyat?
“No Malaysian citizen should be regarded as superior, more special or of a higher class than others, by virtue of race or religion. No Malaysian child should be deprived, and all must be given equal opportunity to improve their lives, have access to the best education, earn a better living, and get their basic needs, without discrimination. Every Malaysian citizen in need of help and living in poverty should be entitled to assistance, regardless of race or religion,” she added.
“All Malaysians have Malaysia as their country. They know only Malaysia, even though their ancestors, or even their parents may have been born elsewhere. I am one of them. We have no other country to ‘go back to’. Forging a united Malaysia will produce citizens who will put their country first, who will feel that deep sense of pride to be Malaysian,” said Rafidah.
Doing so will nurture a Malaysian culture that upholds mutual respect as we accept one another’s diversities, she said — a culture that adheres to good values and principles, puts a premium on honesty and integrity, takes pride in being successful through grit and determination, and seeks knowledge to be better humans.
“There is simply no place in Malaysia for ‘opaque’ semblances of unity, where some choose to speak to the ‘gallery’ i.e. dancing to several tunes as and when it suits them. Such hypocrisy is the bane of Malaysia and Malaysians,” she said.
To her, a truly Malaysian society is one where where parents understand their roles in bringing up their young into well-grounded and resilient Malaysians, and where religion is regarded as a guidance and not as political capital, a factor to divide, or an excuse to be busybodies in others’ lives.
“Religion is between the person and the God Almighty, no matter how one refers to Him, in whatever language. A God-fearing person is certainly better than one who uses religion for personal interest and motives,” she said.
She went on to urge Malaysians to discard the “distortions of the past, the temptations to be parochial and even xenophobic”.
“There must no longer be ‘they and us’ among Malaysians. We are connected not only by the links of humanity, but also by the fact of [our] citizenry as Malaysians.
“Let us subscribe to Ketuanan Malaysia, putting our beloved nation, Malaysia, first. A Malaysia that can be a model to the world for democracy, unity, inclusiveness, and a deep sense of patriotism and nationalism,” she added.
Source : The Edge