Aug 25, 2010
'Malay by heritage' Zaid slams Dr M
PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim has diagnosed Dr Mahathir Mohamad with a psychological disorder, which has rendered his mind "convoluted and confused". And a tell-tale symptom of this condition, according to him, is the former premier's "obnoxious and extraordinarily stupid" statement.
Commenting on Mahathir's latest blog posting on meritocracy, Zaid also took a swipe at the latter's Indian roots, by describing himself as "not just a Malay by constitutional definition, but by heritage (as well)."
In his posting, the former premier had labelled those who pushed for meritocracy as being just as racist as those who defended Malay rights.
Mahathir added that some Malays, “perhaps due to mistaken pride”, supported meritocracy and undermined the Malay position further.
However, Zaid disagreed.
“Many Malays want meritocracy for very good reasons. They want their applications for contracts and projects to be given fair consideration by the authorities. They do not want only those who are politically connected to have the upper hand. They want a level playing field.
“They believe that they can succeed on merit if only they get a fair chance. They want to succeed with their pride intact; and at the same time they want to tell their children that Malays who work hard and with the right attitude can succeed., like everybody else,” he said.
Zaid said many Malays wanted meritocracy so that they could get their dues like promotion and higher positions by working hard.
“They want to be judged fairly and not lose their position or seniority because some one else has the right political cable. They want a promotion system that is transparent and free of interference.
“They want to say that they have succeeded because they did it the hard way. Why does Mahathir have to belittle these Malays? Why must the Malays be scrapped off their self-respect just to prove that Umno is responsible for everything in this country?” he added.
'This is not misplaced pride'
Zaid, a former Umno leader himself, said he failed to understand why Malays who supported meritocracy were described as having misplaced pride.
On the contrary, the former law minister said, it was these Malays who carried the flagship of a proud people.
“We know our strengths and we have no shame of our limitations. But we will always strive to better ourselves. If by open competition and transparent policies the net effect is that some Malays still need extra help and support, then of course a responsible government will have to step in; to provide the incentives and the safety net to bridge the gap.
“But let us start with the notion that we must earn our success like everyone else. And the let the best amongst us prosper. We do not need to be instant millionaires. We can take our time so long as we work hard. All we want is the best education for the Malays,” he added.
Zaid said that his comments were aimed at reminding Mahathir of how wrong he was, and not because he had misplaced pride.
“Misplaced pride for a Malay is when he gets to be a minister because his father fixes it; or he has a few hundred millions in his coffers because he has the right Chinese partner to enrich him,” he added.