Will a single dominant party for the Malays ensure greater national unity in the country? That is the view of Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. He says the Malays should set aside their political differences and display a high level of togetherness spirit if they want the unity among the various races in the country to remain strong.
The political strength of the Malays has been diluted with support divided between five parties — Umno, PAS, PKR, Amanah and now Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
Ismail Sabri says the attitude of some Malays themselves, who prefer disunity, has become a bad example to other races.
“How can we be united with other races if we (the Malays) ourselves are disunited… to continue to remain strong, we must be united to strengthen unity among the various races,” Bernama quotes him as saying.
Ismail Sabri, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, adds that if the relationship among the Malays continues to be shaky, it would open up opportunities for outsiders to undermine racial harmony in the country through a new form of colonialism.
In reality, there is no big plan by any community to colonise others. The problem lies with politicians who are harping on such on founded fears.
Politicians pit one community against others by instilling unfounded fear in our society. The oft-used ruse is to get the majority to think that they are on the verge of losing power to the minority.
Why divert our attention to imaginary enemies, irrelevant probabilities or preposterous scenarios? Instead of ensuring we take on the real issues that affect racial unity, they are asking the people to look at every shadow and believe that the bogeyman lurks there.
When you incite fear in the community through such warnings, you are resorting to race baiting to influence the actions or attitudes of your target audience.
What threatens racial unity in our country? Single-minded politicians bent on retaining power and non-inclusive policies and practices.
A clear example is the Low Yat 2 or the all-bumiputera digital mall. The basis for setting up the mall was warped in the first place. Despite voices of reason that argued against the biasness exhibited by such a move and the insularity projected by it, they fell on deaf ears.
It defies logic that a theft case that has nothing to do with race nearly sparked a riot and led to the formation of this digital mall, taking racial segmentation to a new level by the powers that be. It beggars belief that business is allowed to be segmented by race.
Then there was there were the Red Shirts who tried to portray themselves as champions of race and vanguards of democracy. Then there were derogatory phrases about pigs and “pendatangs”.
Race-based and religion-linked contentions, name callings, intimidation, race pandering and race baiting are threatening racial unity. From a national educational system in dire need of reform to the continued calls to close down vernacular schools, this divides us further.
It is the underhanded fight to ensure political dominance in the name of race that threatens racial unity. A single dominant party for the Malays will not ensure racial unity, but a more-inclusive approach will.