Nov 16, 2006

Don't Test Malays' Patience, Says Mohamed Rahmat

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 (Bernama) -- An Umno veteran, Wednesday reminded Barisan Nasional (BN) components not to test the patience of the Malays by questioning various efforts by the party to enhance their economic well-being.

Former BN and Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat said the Malays had so far been patient despite attacks by certain quarters within the BN to dispute the rights of the Malays.

"Please, don't test the Malays; in another word that they know 'amuk'. We don't want to reach that level. In the present situation, the Malays can still take it but efforts to enhance the Malays' economy need to be intensified," he said.

He said the BN component parties must be aware that problems would arise in the country if efforts to balance the economic power between the Malays and the non-Malays failed.

Mohamed said that Umno, as the only Malay party, would continue to fight for the Malay Agenda and this should not be questioned by others.

"If the Malays' economic power cannot be balanced out, we will face worrying situations," he said.

The BN components, he said, must clearly know of the sacrifices by the Malays and Umno since independence up to now.

The Malays' sacrifices, he said, must be paid back with sacrifices of the same magnitude by the non-Malays particularly in questions involving the economy.

"Don't let it reach a situation where the Malays start questioning 'with the sacrifices we have made, what have we got?'. That's also the question that is very important to be answered," he said.

Mohamed said the concept of compromise was also crucial, and advised the BN components not to criticise the Malay Agenda as they please.

He said several quarters were questioning the rights of the Malays because of the enthusiasm of two Chinese-based parties within the BN that wanted to show which of them were the hero among that community.

"We hope MCA and Gerakan adopt the BN spirit. There is no need for us to champion racial interests and be extremely racist, because they will not bring profits," he said. He said that when he was BN secretary-general, all problems that arose between component parties were resolved through meetings.

"We didn't discuss sensitive matters outside, used the media and press. It would have appeared we were quarrelling. It's something not right," Mohamed said.

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