Nov 12, 2008

Tun Mahathir - Non-Malay PM is possible but not multiracial party

It does not matter if the Prime Minister is Malay or non-Malay, as long as he enjoys the trust of all Malaysians. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said there was no specification in the country that a Prime Minister must be a Malay.

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 12 - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today it is possible for anyone including the non-Malays to be the Prime Minister, but he warned against harping on the issue of having a non-Malay PM because that would itself be racist.

"When you talk about a non-Malay PM, you are being racist, because you shouldn't ask the question whether a Malay or non-Malay can be PM. Here everyone can become Prime Minister, but he must be a leader of the majority party," said Mahathir after delivering a keynote address entitled Bangsa Malaysia at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here.

He claimed that the situation in Malaysia was different from that of Singapore.

"It's very clear when (Singapore Prime Minister, Lee) Hsien Loong said non-Chinese cannot be the PM, they are very open, of course we say one thing, we do another thing," said Mahathir.

However he said Malaysia is not ready to have a truly multiracial political party.

"It doesn't work, every multiracial party is dominated by one race, like Gerakan and DAP. Even PAP in Singapore is not multiracial," said Mahathir.

He added even the opposition parties have failed to prove they are multiracial despite their repeated claims that racial politics has ended.

He said that the failure during his administration to unite vernacular and national schools under one roof is evidence that the people are not ready to be united.

On the imminent economic crisis Mahathir said the problem can only be solved with international cooperation.

"I can assure this is very difficult to handle. I have no confidence in Obama, what about Najib. This is too big for Obama and Najib. We need to change the system, to change the system, we need international cooperation," said Mahathir.

He said that the present system is open to all kinds of abuses.

"You have to have a system that is more solid, based on something that is more tangible. All currencies of the world were pegged to gold. But when the US decided to go off the gold, that is when things go out of control, because you can print any amount of money without any backing," said Mahathir.

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