Awang Selamat in Mingguan Malaysia on Sunday had taken on Nazri calling him anti-Dr Mahathir.
Awang’s disgruntlement with Nazri stems from the latter’s accusation that the daily was bent on promoting Dr Mahathir’s return as Prime Minister (which is totally absurd to say the least, but not surprising coming from someone whom we had said was not really a thinker).
Awang was spot on in his defence of Perkasa and its supremo, Ibrahim Ali.
Questioning Nazri’s role when the Malays were being “attacked”, Awang says Umno must never forget that it was Perkasa and Ibrahim that went around the country defending Umno and the Malays.
Awang went on to say that lately, Nazri had taken a soft approach in dealing with the opposition, perhaps for not wanting to be a target of criticism or because he had wanted to “play safe”. This Awang claims, makes Nazri a comfortable man for the opposition to deal with.
Uncannily, the same approach was taken by Zaid Ibrahim when he was an Umno Minister in the BN Government not too long ago. He ended up resigning and joining the opposition saying his position became untenable because the BN had ignored his pursuits of his ideals and principles.
Not only did he found out that there is nothing principled about the opposition, those who knew Zaid was surprised at his preparedness to “abandon” his benefactor, the clueless Abdullah Badawi. By and large Zaid’s act is an act of backstabbing and of an ingrate but no one knows what the principled Zaid would describe his act to be.
But we wouldn’t dwell on that now, perhaps in a later posting.
We are more interested in what Nazri’s game is. Is it to follow the former Minister’s way? Awang Selamat says he is playing safe.
Yesterday Nazri replied to Awang Selamat, curiously, through a particular news portal that seems very much bent on bashing the Utusan and Malays.
“And yes I am a Malaysian first and Malay next. Does any bigot have a problem with that?” Was Nazri’s closing salvo.
Yes, I believe many Malays have a problem with that. Does being Malay first make them bigots?
Lest Nazri understands the constitution, the Malays (and later on added with Bumiputera following the inception of Malaysia) are specifically mentioned to define the nature of the new nation.
It was meant to establish the fact that then Malaya and Malaysia is a nation formed on the basis of Malay being the main and majority race, the national culture and language is Malay and that the Rulers of the country (the Sultans, Raja and Agong) are Malays.
It is not about racial supremacy. It is about the concept of the ownership of the land (even though today many non Malays owned large tracts of land in the country). Hence it is called Malay-a or today Malay-sia and not anything else denoting some Chineseness or Indianness.
That is the context; all Malays are Malay first and Malaysian second. While the non-Malays may want to debate about who were the migrants and who were not, the underlying factor is that the Malays did not have to apply for citizenship while the non-Malays did.
In other words, in so far as Malays in Malaysia are concerned, they need not have to prove that they are Malaysians. Being a Malay means that being Malaysian is a given.
But it is not so for the migrants then as they have to prove themselves to be Malaysian first before they can obtain they citizenship.
If they had insisted that they are Chinese, Indian or English or any other race first, then they will not be accorded the Malaysian citizenship.
So for any Malay to want to be Malaysian first and not Malay first meant that he is ignorant of the manner the country is incepted and the nature the constitution was promulgated.
If he considers the Malays who opposed his statement of being Malaysian first and Malay next as bigot, Nazri is obviously exposing his ignorance or a case of gray matter deficient.
Bigotry is about intolerance about other races or creed. How can it be bigotry if Malays are trying to ensure their continued relevance vis-a-vis the constitution?
Obviously Nazri is a contradiction of his existence. While he does not think twice about rallying Malay support (His constituency in Padang Rengas is about 73% Malay) for his existence as a parliamentarian, he himself does not believe in promoting Malay leadership.
Being Malay it seems is just a convenient excuse for him where and when it benefits him.
It is clear then that Nazri’s ideals is much more aligned to the DAP’s Malaysian Malaysia, a stand he clearly defines and declares in his open letter and, as expected was immediately embraced by none other than Lim Kit Siang (although Nazri says Kit Siang is not his Boss).
If he had gone to the extent of declaring he was Muslim first, even Nik Aziz would embrace him!
And for Nazri to say that those who declare themselves Malay first are bigots? I guess then that includes his Boss Najib and deputy Muhyiddin.
Oh yes, before we close this, Nazri says his aim is to win the Padang Rengas Parliamentary seat for Barisan Nasional whether he contests as candidate or otherwise.
We really would like to see Nazri go out and openly declare to the 73% Malay of the roughly 25,000 voters there that he is not Malay first. We are not quite sure if he did that the last three elections.