Nazri Aziz backs Dr M, says in-fighting turning Malays into beggars

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (pic) agrees with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that political division has weakened the Malays. — File picture by Choo Choy May
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (pic) agrees with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that political division has weakened the Malays. — File picture by Choo Choy May

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SUBANG JAYA, Dec 22 — Senior Umno leader Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today he concurred with retired prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s view that division within the Malays have made political beggars of the country’s largest ethnic group.

The tourism and culture minister said Dr Mahathir’s statement was meant to “wake” up the Malay, adding that the race would remain at the mercy of minorities should they continue to bicker among themselves.

“Isn’t it begging if you are divided into three? What is happening now is back then the Malays were united and didn’t have to worry about the Chinese votes but when they are divided they have to squabble to get support.

“If one area is 70 per cent Malay and 30 per cent non-Malays, say if Malays get 23 per cent each, you can’t win with only 20 per cent so the 30 per cent is the deciding factor... that was what Mahathir said so what’s wrong with that,” Nazri told reporters here.

The former de facto law minister, a vocal critic of Dr Mahathir despite both being in the same party, said the former prime minister had only made the controversial statement to unite the Malays against “other racists.”

“Don’t be upset with him. He made us realise, to wake up the Malays. We can’t win if we are divided and not united to slam other racists.”

Dr Mahathir had said on Saturday that Malay political parties vying for support among the country’s dominant race have stripped the community of power and turned themselves into “beggars” to the Chinese.

Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister said the contest among the Malay-based parties meant the Malay vote was split into three, forcing these to woo non-Malay support in order to secure the numbers necessary to rule and consequently placing real power in the hands of the latter communities.

“Umno, PAS and Keadilan (PKR) are all begging the DAP Chinese to get support for general elections, to win.

“And when we are the pengemis (beggars), we are not the powerful ones anymore,” he said.

Dr Mahathir added while it was the Malays who introduced the concept of power sharing among various races, the community is now allegedly the weakest.

Malay unity is a recurring theme in Umno’s overtures to PAS, in which the former moots co-operation between the two rivals ostensibly for the interests of the Malay-Muslim community.

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