Bung Mokhtar: Mixed-race Malaysians will benefit from racial voting

Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (left) claimed that the system suggested by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim will ensure justice for every ethnic group in Malaysia. — file picture
Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (left) claimed that the system suggested by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim will ensure justice for every ethnic group in Malaysia. — file picture

KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 1 — Malaysians with mixed-race parentage will benefit the most from voting along racial lines as they will have more than one representative, Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin said today.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) MP also claimed that the system suggested by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim yesterday will ensure justice for every ethnic group in Malaysia.

“For those who may have two or three ancestries, they can choose which one they prefer… They can be in both worlds,” Bung said in Parliament here.

“For me that is really good. At least, for me who has both Sungai and Malay ancestries, I can then get two or three representatives. Now, I can only get one.”

Sungai is the name of one of the many official tribes in Sabah.

Bung also refuted claims that Shahidan’s remarks is alike the now-abolished apartheid regime in South Africa, in which people voted for representatives from their own ethnic communities.

According to him, apartheid only refers to an injustice where a smaller ethnic group oppresses a larger group, which is not how the situation is in Malaysia.

“What I see is, why can’t we have something like this? With it surely every tribe and race will have their own representatives,” said Bung earlier.

“This will surely guarantee justice to the tribal groups in this country.”

Shahidan, who is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, suggested yesterday that voting along racial lines would resolve every racial conflict in the country.

The proposal followed his earlier remarks in the Dewan Rakyat that the principle of equal legislative representation of “one person, one vote” is not suitable for Malaysia unless it is implemented in accordance with the country’s multi-racial composition.

Opposition MPs had since accused Shahidan of being blatantly “racist” with his remark, which they alleged could lead to a racially-segregated and discriminatory electoral system if allowed to continue. 

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