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The ‘non-Malay dilemma' 64 years after independence
[Image: 2e1d338024de682d42a154c96787d201]

After his defeat in the 1969 general election, which served as the catalyst for a sanguinary racial conflict, and his fallout with then-premier Tunku Abdul Rahman, resulting in his expulsion from Umno, Dr Mahathir Mohamad published a controversial book.

Titled The Malay Dilemma, it claimed, among others, that the Malays fell under the dominion of other races in their own land because of their tolerant and non-confrontational nature.

Now, as the nation celebrates its 64th year of independence, Chandran Nair delves into what he terms as the “non-Malay dilemma” - the other part of Malaysia’s ethnic equation.

The businessperson, author and think-tank founder said he was prompted to speak on this after watching comedian Harith Iskandar's recent interview with former CIMB group chairperson Nazir Razak.

To his credit, he said, Nazir lamented the state of affairs in Malaysia and outlined his vision for change.

Acknowledging race-based politics as one of the root causes, he added that the son of the second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein and brother of the sixth prime minister Najib Abdul Razak appeared genuine in his desire to overhaul the manner in which the nation is governed.

However, Chandran said it was Nazir's response to a question from an individual who asked if non-Malays should remain in Malaysia or leave due to the discrimination against them, which struck a chord.

“The question seemed to take the host and Nazir by surprise. Nazir said he felt emotional and was saddened by this question. His response reminded me of the response of a couple of my well-heeled Malay friends who reel when I mention something similar.

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