KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said criticisms against the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for not doing enough to protect the interests of the Malays and Islam are little more than deflection by “losing parties”.
He said both issues were the easiest things to use when criticising PH, as it allowed the Opposition to shift the focus away from its own mistakes.
“The leaders before did not correct their wrongdoings. Why bring it up now? You see it was they who destroyed the opportunities for the Malays by giving contracts to cronies, yet now they criticise others as though they have no sins of their own,” Dr Mahathir said in an interview on RTM’s Bicara programme to mark the first anniversary of PH’s victory in the 14th general election.
He added the constant focus of how PH is failing Islam and the Malays is little more than an effort by the losing parties to save themselves.
“It is not about Islam or otherwise. In fact, when Arab visitors come here, they are impressed and ask how they can become like us.
“So, you see, they consider us as an example. It is only the Opposition who looks for excuses to make us look bad,” Dr Mahathir said.
When asked why the Malay majority always seem to have a siege mentality, the prime minister pointed out that despite their numbers they are weak economically as well as in political thought.
“Economics determines the strength of a race. And the Malays divide themselves into four (political) parties which makes them a minority in some way.
“This necessitates them to seek help from others, which in turn causes them to become fearful,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Mahathir lamented that efforts, both past and present, to reduce the emphasis on racial interests have been met with a great deal of pushback.
“If politicians do not heed this, they will not get support. Like it or not, each leader must always be mindful of the interests of his own race.
“Hence why it is difficult to form a country where people see themselves just as Malaysians. This is the reality of things,” he said.
Dr Mahathir cited schools as an example, saying that when it was proposed that campuses to accommodate national, Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools be formed, even that was rejected in the end.