NAJIB THE DANGEROUS HUMBUG – CAN NON-MALAYS BELIEVE WHAT HE SAYS? WHEN WITH THE CHINESE & INDIANS, HE SAYS ‘NO NEED TO BE MORE MALAY-LIKE TO BE MALAYSIAN’ – YET WHEN WITH MALAYS, NAJIB OPENLY THREATENED THE CHINESE AT UMNO YOUTH RALLY IN 1987 – WARNED OF ‘CRUSHED BODIES & LOST LIVES’ IN 2010 IF MALAYS LOSE PUTRAJAYA – WHEN HE WAS PM, UMNO RED SHIRTS ATTACKED PETALING STREET, PICKETED AGAINST VERNACULAR SCHOOLS – HIS GOVT PITTED MUSLIMS AGAINST CHRISTIANS WITH ROUND AFTER ROUND OF BIBLES SEIZURES, BANNING THE USE OF THE WORD ‘ALLAH’… – IF MAHATHIR PRAISED THE NON-MALAYS, HE WILL ACCUSE DR M OF BEING CONTROLLED BY DAP & THE CHINESE – IF MAHATHR SCOLDS THE NON-MALAYS, SUDDENLY NAJIB IS ‘MALAYSIA FOR ALL’!

No need to be more Malay-like to be Malaysian, says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Any talk of assimilation should not be raised in a diverse country like Malaysia, former prime minister Najib Razak said, picking up on an analogy used by his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad when commenting on race relations.

Najib said there was no need for Indians, for example, to be more Malay-like for them to be recognised as Malaysians. “We accept them because they are our friends,” he said at a function organised by Makkal Sakti, the Indian-based party founded by former Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders this evening.

He said Malaysia was built on integration, not assimilation.

Last month, Mahathir remarked that the Chinese had maintained their culture and way of life in Malaysia, citing the use of chopsticks instead of “adopting the Malaysian way of eating” with one’s hands.

His remarks, found in his recently released memoir, sparked a backlash from Malaysians and leaders who said it was offensive and insensitive to the Chinese.

In defending his stance in an interview with CityPlus radio yesterday, Mahathir said in other countries, foreigners who wished to become citizens of a particular nation would adopt the local culture and eventually abandon their own culture.

The same however could not be said about Malaysia, Mahathir said. “In Malaysia, the Chinese and Indians insist on maintaining their cultures.”

Najib, who previously said that it didn’t matter how the Chinese community ate their food as long as they were “truly Malaysians at heart”, said the country was built on integration and not assimilation.

This meant that people of various races could retain their language and cultures, yet live harmoniously side by side. “And it is not about making the Chinese more Malay.”

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