KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today made a controversial claim that the majority Malays in the country “did not benefit” from the multi-ethnic fabric of the country.

In a lengthy Twitter thread, Dr Mahathir said multi-ethnicism in the country has created a meritocracy where everything went towards those who were most capable, best trained and financially secure — further claiming that this means only non-Malays have benefited from this.

“The business sector of Malaysia is dominated by the Chinese. Non-Chinese cannot find good jobs there. If the government does not take Malays, they will be jobless,” he wrote.


“I would admit that much of the wealth of Malaysia is due to the Chinese. Most of the taxes are probably from Chinese businesses. But they are amply compensated in Malaysia. The top billionaires are Chinese.

He also ranted against vernacular schools and ethnic groups keeping their identities, lauding instead the assimilation of minorities in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Similarly, he pointed to the United States where descendants of migrants can no longer speak their ethnic language.


Dr Mahathir was earlier responding to DAP’s P. Ramasamy who is accusing him of being racist for distinguishing the descendants of migrants from China and India as “orang asing” or “outsiders”.

“As I said I am not racist. I am a national of the country called Malaysia. I have a right to a fair share of the wealth of this country.

“The real racist is Ramasamy. He is against Malays and does not want them to even have a small share of this country. In the name of multiracialism, he wants everything for the other races,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also slammed non-Malays for wishing to identify themselves as Malaysian Chinese or Malaysian Indians, allegedly unlike Malays who only identify as Malaysian.

“But in Malaysia, Chinese Malaysians habitually speak Mandarin and Indians speak in the Indian provincial dialects.

“Only Chinese live in the urban area. The Malays cannot — too expensive,” he said, noting that while his ancestors were from India, he chose to identify himself as a Malay.

He later stressed that Malays were not being racist when they spoke of each other since they are of this country.

Dr Mahathir’s racial remarks today came after he joined Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) led by Datuk Ibrahim Ali last month, which was formed as the political extension of his Malay supremacist group Perkasa.