KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today the MCA president’s call to ban the term “ketuanan melayu” (Malay supremacy) as illogical and baseless.
The former prime minister (picture) said banning the term “ketuanan melayu” will lead to a domino effect of other words to being censured.
“When you start asking things to be banned then people would start asking and there will be complaints. Many of these things are illogical and baseless,” he told reporters here.
During Barisan Nasional’s (BN) convention last Sunday, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek cautioned leaders against using sensitive words like “pendatang” (immigrants), “penumpang” (passengers), “terhutang budi” (indebted to), “kurang patriotic” (unpatriotic) and “ketuanan Melayu.”
Dr Chua added that those words should be labeled as taboo in Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir said race debates are a no-win situation and the public should stop questioning Malay rights.
“These things have never cropped up before. When people started questioning the position of the Malays then it is our right to defend ourselves. If people had not questioned then no one would have had to respond.
“But when we respond to defend ourselves then they say we are breaching human rights and racist. On the other hand, we accused them of being racist, people label us as racists,” said the former prime minister, whose views are still influential among Umno politicians.
The old debate on “ketuanan melayu” was brought to the forefront when PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail rejected the concept, pointing out that the Malay race was no more supreme than the others during the party’s national congress.
Dr Wan Azizah’s husband, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, joined the fray later and propagated the “ketuanan rakyat” concept to the people.
However Umno leaders have linked PKR’s arguments as hurting the constitutional monarchy system.