(Petaling Jaya, Monday): It was prominently reported today that a newly-established Malay-based movement, Badan Bertindak Melayu, (Malay Action Front), headed by the former Deputy Minister in the Prime Ministerís Department, Ibrahim Ali, will organise a 10,000-People "Takkan Melayu Hilang Di Dunia" - "The Malays Will Never Perish From the World" -Gathering at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kampong Baru, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to uphold Malay sovereignty.
Last Saturday, it was reported that the Peninsular Malay Students Federation (GPMS) had invited organisations "involved in the Malay struggtle" to join the newly-formed "Gabungan Suara Melayu" (GSM) and that the GSM would hold its inaugural meeting in the middle of February to discuss "issues of vital interest to the Malays" and "pertaining to the future of the Malays in this country".
Last Friday, after a very unconciliatory Chinese New Year message, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad created political shock-waves when he said in Sik that although the Suqiu Committee had "dropped" seven of its 83-point election appeals, the government was studying the implications of the remaining 76 points to see if there would be another round of discussions with Suqiu "if there is anything that can affect national peace and well-beingÖso that they will not be raised again".
These developments, in a background studded with all the hypes about "Malay unity" and the escalation in the competition by certain Malay politicians and mass media to exploit issues to arouse Malay communal sentiments, marked the unhealthy recrudescence of communal politics of the worst kind in Malaysia - and can only aggravate the crisis of investor confidence in the country.
The Cabinet on Wednesday should halt this unhealthy recrudescence of communal politics and send out a clear message as to whether it is still true and loyal or had abandoned Vision 2020 and the Bangsa Malaysia concept to allow such runaway communalism to run riot, drowning out calls for "Malaysian unity" with shouts of "Malay unity".
Last Thursday, in his promotion of "Malay Unity" talks, Mahathir said that UMNO will not stop PAS if its other partners in the Barisan Nasional agree to it.
One would have thought that non-Malay parties in the Barisan Nasional like the MCA, Gerakan and the SUPP would be very vocal in opposing any thought of PAS being admitted into the Barisan Nasional - but surprise of surprises, the first to support the suggestion was none other than the MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik.
At a Chinese New Year gathering in Kuala Kubu Baru on Friday, Liong Sik welcomed the Prime Ministerís invitation to Pas to join Barisan Nasional as "sincere and aimed at uniting the various communities in the country". (The Sun 28.1.2001)
Liong Sik said it would not bring benefit to anyone if the various communities are split, adding: "Every community has an agenda that contributes, firstly to the benefit of that community, and secondly, to national unity."
It is very sad that after 43 years of Malaysian nation-building and one-third span of Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia, there are Ministers and government leaders who are still openly proclaiming that Malaysians should be Malay, Chinese or Indian first and Malaysian second, when the time has come for everyone in the country to be Malaysian first and Malay, Chinese or Indian second.
In these circumstances, can the Cabinet Ministers set model roles as Malaysians first and Malay, Chinese or Indian second in order to halt the spiral of communal recrudescence in the country - or is the country heading for the greatest crisis in nation-building because there are just not enough Malaysians to save Malaysia?