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We are Malaysians too – Vasanthi Ramachandran
[Image: 20210203_-_Jalur_Gemilang_Malaysian_Flag...IMRAN6.jpg]

“THE Malay-dominated governments allowed other races to retain their identification with their countries of origin, their languages and cultures, their schools, their civil organisations…” – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

I read the above “benevolent” quote by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, when I was about to write this piece on inequality, social, and economic injustice. How timely.

Right now, Malaysians have raging emotions over a sinking economy, impoverished electorate dragged into the politicians’ game, collateral political damage, and the most racial budget in the history of Malaysia – Budget 2022.

Non-Malays are being crushed to almost nothingness, in an inequitable distribution of 3% for the Chinese and Indian communities and 97% for Bumiputeras for the budget next year.

The official estimates are that the Bumiputera allocation is RM11.4 billion, while the non-Bumiputera communities get RM300 million, in a pyramid with the elite apex still being sustained by the marginalised bottom.

These precise and mathematically chilling numbers should be attached to the racial disparities that Dr Mahathir created and is still endorsing.

Why this vengeance for non-Malays, when Dr Mahathir himself is of Indian origin? Why is there a paranoia to deny his own origin and endorse himself as a “Bumiputera”?

His own inner conflict and denial of his ethnic identity as an Indian surfaces always to reinforce racism even more forcibly in a contemporary world where you cannot pin any label on people.

It is so peculiar that the prime minister who entrenched racial divides, redefined meritocracy, and enabled race-biased governance was yet able to entice us with change in the last election.

There is no doubt that Dr Mahathir is an extraordinarily brilliant man. He could have gone down in history as the saint who saved Malaysia in 2018.

Conversely, a ray of hope and support had come from an MP from Pasir Gudang, Hassan Abdul Karim, who expressed his disheartenment with the economic injustices of non-Malays in the racially skewed Budget 2022.

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