Ethnic Chinese are joining Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) despite its Bumiputera-first policy, said it pro-tem chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In a talk in London, UK last Wednesday, the former prime minister also justified the Bumiputera-centric focus of his new party, claiming that the community would feel unsafe if PPBM was a multiracial party.
“It’s simply because that’s what the Bumiputera want,” Dr Mahathir said.
“If we go and say we should be multiracial, for them, it means that they are not safe. So we have a Bumiputera party. But this Bumiputera party accepts non-Bumiputera as associate members. And even now, lots of them are joining. A lot of Chinese are joining Bersatu,” the elder statesman added.
He said while one does not want to see racism in Malaysia, “lots of people are still feeling uncomfortable”, pointing out that while other countries have a single national language and national culture, Malaysia has three.
“So much so that the Malay language, which is supposed to be the national language, is not understood by majority of the non-Malays, whereas in Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia is spoken by people of Chinese origin, for example, simply because that is the way to get along in society. But in Malaysia, unfortunately or fortunately, people have learned English and they resort to using the English language when speaking to different races,” said Dr Mahathir.
He stressed, however, that despite the differences in language, religion, culture and socioeconomic status, Malaysia does not have racism that leads to violence, claiming that things were solved “very quickly” within three years after the May 13, 1969, race riots that had killed scores of people.
“So Malaysians generally, while they may have some worries about their own race, but they are not the kind who will want to fight because of their race. They want to settle things in a friendly sort of way,” said Dr Mahathir.
The Registrar of Societies has provisionally approved PPBM’s registration, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced earlier this month.
Dr Mahathir told the talk in London that PPBM’s aim was to recruit at least a million members.
Source -Malay Mail Online-