KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said rubbished claims today that the Malays are under threat, pointing out that Malaysia has been under the community’s rule for more than five decades now.
The renowned Malay poet and activist told Malaysiakini in an interview that he finds it odd that some from the community are obsessing over the loss of power to the country’s other minority groups, especially when Malaysia is still being governed by the Malays.
“I hope the Malay community is not too obsessed about claims that Malays are under threat,” Samad, or Pak Samad as he is fondly known as, was quoted saying by the news portal.
“How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?
“What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?” he reportedly said.
The news portal then quoted him saying that if the current Malay leadership cannot put these fears to rest, then it should hand over the reins of the government to others.
“Let other Malays (rule). They (Umno) have been there for five decades, not one decade,” he was quoted saying.
According to a report by the news portal yesterday, Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Ibrahim Abu Shah claimed during the Johor Umno convention that if Barisan Nasional (BN) loses the next election, the Malays may never rule again.
The former Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) vice-chancellor was reported labelling this a “dark day” for the Malays and the country.
Earlier today, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang cited Ibrahim’s remarks as an example of Umno’s race-based political attacks against its opponents in the opposition.
The senior opposition politician also cited remarks by Umno minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek as yet another example, noting that the latter was reported in Malaysiakini as explaining a “twisted, irresponsible, dangerous and wicked” theory of “shades of racism” to insinuate that the Malays are not welcome in DAP-run Penang.
According to the news portal, Ahmad Shabery recently said that certain policies in a state run by “a particular party” would eventually lead to the Malays never being able to afford homes or enjoy developments.
Lim, in criticising these comments, said that they were similar to other remarks issued in the past by other Malay politicians and right-wing Malay groups, which included claims that the Chinese are out to usurp Malay power and the Christians want to turn Malaysia into a Christian country.