Former Prime Minister and Chairman of Pakatan Harapan, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad today blogged that I had publicly stated that I had no ambitions to become Prime Minister of Malaysia.
I have been in politics for 52 years and I have stated more than once that the thought of becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia had never entered my mind.
If I had never thought of becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia when I was in my twenties, thirties and forties, why should I be thinking of becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia when I am in the seventies?
I am also on public record as saying that although the Malaysian Constitution provides that any Malaysian can be a Prime Minister, I do not see any non-Malay becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia during my lifetime.
In the United States, a black man Barack Obama became the President of the United States – but this took place some 230 years after the establishment of the United States in 1776.
I hope that Malaysia would not need 230 years before a non-Malay become Prime Minister, but I do not expect a non-Malay to become Prime Minister in the 21st century, but whether there will be a non-Malay Prime Minister in the 22nd century from 2,100 to 2,199 or 23rd century from 2,200 to 2,299 will depend on whether the politics of identity will not continue to be so primordial and elemental as a political force in the Malaysian political landscape as today.
But the political reality that for the next hundred years, the Prime Minister of Malaysia will be a Malay will not affect the UMNO strategists and propagandists from stepping up their campaign of lies and fear to hold the Malays to ransom by warning that Malays will perish if UMNO is defeated in the 14th General Election.
The best rebuttal to UMNO leaders’ warnings that the Malays will perish if UMNO is defeated in the forthcoming general election is from the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan in his speech at the opening of the Sembrong Division UMNO delegates’ conference in August.
Mohamad said Umno must woo the Malay voters to get the support of the majority of the people so that BN wins the 14th general election.
He said Umno could no longer think that the Malays needed it but instead it was Umno that needed the Malays in order to survive.
He said: “The Malays now have many choices such as PAS, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu). We (Umno) cannot be complacent saying that the Malays need us.”
Mohamad failed to mention DAP, as the DAP is party which will defend the uphold the interests of all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli.
I can vouch that for the band of Malaysians who came together 52 years ago to form the Democratic Action Party in pursuit of a Malaysian Dream of a country where all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, can feel proud of their place under the Malaysian sun, we never thought of becoming State Assembly members or Members of Parliament, let alone to be Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister or Prime Minister.
We were in politics not because of what we can get out of political involvement, but what we can give to the country in terms of helping to make this country of ours more united, democratic, just and progressive – a shining example to a troubled and divided world as to how a plural nation of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures can build a harmonious and prosperous nation.
Just now we see young boys and girls between four and six years perform their songs and dances to celebrare Pesta Tanglong, with their parents and grandparents very proud of their achievements.
This is what we are politics for – to ensure a better nation for our children and children’s children, not become a land of kleptocracy and a failed and rogue state, but a successful, progressive and prosperous Malaysia for which all her citizens, regardless of race, religion, region or politics can feel proud.
This is why there must be a change of government in Putrajaya and in various states, including Negri Sembilan and Johore in the 14th General Election – not only because historically Pesta Tanglong stands for “UBAH” and change of government but also because such a Federal and State Government change in the 14GE is the precondition for saving Malaysia from kleptocracy and a future of a failed and rogue state.