THE Malay Dignity Congress has left the community facing a new dilemma, with the government failing to address the real issues and only playing up rhetoric, said political analysts and political leaders.
They said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad failed to address the resolutions passed in the congress which were aimed at uplifting the Malays, but had instead lashed out at the community for being lazy and blaming them for their plight.
“There seem to be mixed messages coming out from the congress,” political analyst Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani told The Malaysian Insight.
“Those who were present at the event did not like Dr Mahathir’s speech as it did not address the real issues.”
At the same time, he admitted that the demands made in the congress were difficult to be implemented in a multi-racial country like Malaysia.
“These demands are difficult to fulfil, especially in a country like ours. Even the previous Barisan Nasional government was not prepared to fulfil these demands,” he said.
The real focus, said Azizuddin, should have been on uplifting the economic strengths of the Malay community.
“That should have been the focus, on strengthening the economy and for the Malays not to be too political in playing up racial and religious issues.
“However, what we saw were some radical and unrealistic resolutions which were not only good for the Malays but for all Malaysians generally.”
Institut Kajian Etnik Malaysia (Kita) director Shamsul Amri Baharudin said the congress had implied and had sent out clear messages for the community.
“The clear message was for the benefit of the Malays while the implied message was for Dr Mahathir’s political survival.
“That is why we saw the differences between the resolutions passed and Dr Mahathir’s speech,” he said.
He said Dr Mahathir was strategising to strengthen his party Bersatu’s position in Pakatan Harapan with the support of Malay groups such as civil societies, political parties and community development centres.
“His position and his party’s is very weak. All his actions are being criticised by those from DAP and he can’t afford such open attacks.
“The term ‘Malays’ has been used in organising this congress for specific reasons. The use of the four public universities as the organisers is also to give an impression that the Malay intellects are backing Dr Mahathir,” he said.
Selangor Opposition leader Rizam Ismail, meanwhile, said he wanted to see the government’s sincerity in delivering the demands made in the congress.
“Some of the resolutions are very important and the government will have to pay serious heed to them.
“This will be the yardstick of the government’s sincerity in bringing success to the Malays,” he said.
The congress on Sunday was organised by Universiti Malaya, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara, which saw the participation of Malay leaders from across the political divide.
The aim of the congress was to find solutions to the problems facing the Malay community.
Among the resolutions passed were for all top government posts to be reserved to Muslims.
The congress also drew criticism over claims made that Malaysia belonged to the Malay, and the others were “orang asing”.