Mahathir urges Malaysians to refrain from stoking racial sensitivities

28 Aug 2019 / 20:58 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Days before the country celebrates its 62nd National Day, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has underscored the need for Malaysians to steer clear from stoking racial sensitivities in multi-racial Malaysia.

The prime minister said the people should be mindful that whatever they say and do should not affect the sensitivities of any racial group in the country.

“We have to be careful when we say something so that we do not touch on racial sensitivities.

“What we do, what we say must not evoke racist feelings,” he said in a four-minute video clip entitled ‘Apabila Dr Mahathir Ditanya Mengenai Merdeka’ (When Dr Mahathir is asked about Merdeka) which was uploaded onto the Chedet official YouTube page.

Dr Mahathir was responding to a question from when he interacted with a group of seven youths of various races by the Putrajaya lake.

Dr Mahathir shared with them that the fact that the country is multiracial makes it a challenge for him as the prime minister in governing it.

In this context, he emphasised the importance of youths being aware of the situation in their own country.

“Realise, especially, that this country of ours is multiracial and that we have to have close ties among the races, and we should not intentionally incite any race,” he said.

On the question of the importance of celebrating independence, Dr Mahathir said that with independence, the people can determine their own destiny.

“We are those who govern, we strive to develop our country ... (now) we can choose our government,” he said and shared the difference in colonial times when the people did not have any say at all in the administration of the country.

Reflecting on independence, Dr Mahathir said it was most exciting when the people were finally free from the clutches of the colonialists and were able to celebrate all over the country.

Asked whether Malaysia is truly independent, Dr Mahathir, who is helming the country for the second time, said: “Yes, we are truly independent but, nowadays, we are influenced by the information that we get.” — Bernama

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