Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mahathir’s ‘racist’ remarks provoke outrage

Kuala Lumpur, June 17 (IANS)
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s comments demolishing the notion of a composite Malaysian identity has triggered fresh controversy about relations amongst the country’s major ethnic groups, prompting criticism from Indian and Chinese leaders. The former prime minister had said majority Malays were “willing to admit other races into the country and endowed them with rights”, the New Straits Times said.
He also demolished the notion of Bangsa Malaysia, or the composite Malaysian identity, and said Malaysians must accept the fact that they were “just too different to be known as one race”.
The Malays, the Muslim majority who account for over 60 percent, had every reason to fight for their rights, Mahathir was widely reported as saying.
“We (the Malays) are not the type to protest and have accepted those who came to the country. We even accorded them rights unlike other countries,” he said at a talk last Saturday... Thaindian News