"I congratulate the DAP for bringing its racist politics to Sarawak. Before this all races co-operated well with each other for the good of Sarawak. Now we see clearly that the Chinese community in Sarawak has rejected multi-racialism."
—Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, commenting on the recent election in Sarawak.
For about 22 years, Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the Prime Minister of Malaysia. From the history books, I'm aware of several other people in the driver's seat before him. I'm sure those before and after the good doctor had been contributing, and are contributing in big ways for the good of Malaysia. But I think there is no doubt that, on balance, Dr Mahathir is the best Prime Minister of Malaysia so far.
Dr Mahathir had, and indeed still have, a kind of magical charm when he speaks. Many people who love him can easily be influenced into seeing a square as a circle, and vice versa. When Dr Mahathir speaks, most Malaysians would listen. They may not all agree with him, but they would at least listen to what he has to say. That kind of charm is a very powerful asset to have as a leader.
Although I admire the man, ever so often, I find myself disagreeing with his thoughts; more so when he tries too hard to preach about a policy, whether political or otherwise, which he himself has failed to practise throughout his entire time in office.
He criticizes Democratic Action Party (DAP) for bringing "racist politics to Sarawak". I find it somewhat surprising to read that comment coming from a man who helmed the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) for many, many years. UMNO, by the way, is a party exclusively for Malays, although other bumiputeras of Malaysia can also join.
UMNO, together with its allies including MCA, Gerakan, MIC etc, under the coalition known as Barisan National (BN) has been ruling Malaysia since independence about 5 decades ago. On the other hand, DAP with its allies, PAS and PKR, forming the opposition known as Pakatan Rakyat, has been gaining a bit of grounds in the last general elections; and more recently, the Sarawak election.
Unlike UMNO which can only accept Malays and bumiputeras as its members, DAP can accept practically anyone, though admittedly, I see it more as a Chinese Party rather than a Malay party. Still the fact is that DAP's door is open to all races.
However, even if DAP is only restricted to Chinese membership, at best, Tun Dr Mahathir's comment is a good example of the pot calling the kettle black.