Utusan’s ‘1Melayu 1 Bumi’ is not recent nor as original as it may sound. It existed earlier by another rallying call, ‘Malay unity’.
The only difference has been that Utusan couldn’t make up its mind whether it wants to be 1Melayu or 1 Bumi when it has been obvious its call was only to Malay political parties and organizations. It’s also known that as far as UMNO is concerned, the term 'bumiputra' means Malays or more specifically Peninsula UMNO Malays, and doesn’t in practice include Ibans, Kadazans, Muruts, Bidayuh, etc.
Thus I wonder why Utusan included ‘1Bumi’ to the more important ‘1Melayu’. Perhaps it sought some degree of justified rights under the official description of Malays as bumiputeras.
Anyway, ‘Malay unity’ was touted when the March 2008 tsunami hit Malaysia and dramatically changed the political landscape. UMNO obviously wanted, was desperate to split the Pakatan camp into Malays and non-Malays. PAS was immensely attracted to the clarion call for Malays from both sides of politics to unite to ensure the continuation of Malay supremacy in federal and state government.
In Selangor the sweetener for PAS was the MB’s post. Recall also the UMNO-PAS meeting at the Terengganu palace, though Nik Aziz stated that he was ambushed by UMNO. Indeed it was only Pak Haji Niz Aziz who put a stop to Pak Haji Hadi Awang and his deputy president Nasharuddin’s keenness to take up UMNO’s appeal for ethnic unity, before the Pakatan ship wrecked itself on hidden rocks by the lure of the siren song.
It’s not an unusual UMNO tactic when they are in political retreat, that of instigating fear among the Malays of the Chinese taking political control of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, and hatred of same yellow skin peril by reminding the Malays of (true or otherwise) Chinese aggressive economic prowess, avarice, arrogance, rudeness and disrespect to the Malay rulers, etc. There's nothing like instilling a seige mentality a la Fort Apache. Dr Mahathir had taken this path several times.
Both Dr Kua and Josh Hong have called Dr Mahathir a racist, though I wonder whether the old man (confident, intelligent and politically astute as he continues to be) could well be suffering from some form of depression, where he ta’boleh tahan the very thought of Chinese millionaires walking this ‘Malay’ land while Malays are only chauffeurs (to those Chinese) in their own land. This imagined picture depresses him as no other scene does.
Stuff like the recent DAP victory in Sarawak could only fill him with dread and nightmare scenes, perhaps worsening his depression.
I fear his ‘illness’ could be a result of him being trapped in a time zone of the early 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. He can’t, won’t believe that under Tun Razak and him in particular, the Malays have done very well, very well indeed, benefitting enormously from official affirmative policies and programs. There are many who can look after themselves very well, thank you.
Corruption and unaccountability have also heaped on to his worries. The Auditor General’s annual report has year after year brought out horror stories, which have never been effectively addressed. These make you wonder what other atrocities in government programs, contracts and whatnots the Auditor General was not able to put in its annual reports. Thus Dr M could well be concerned his charges are not quite ready for competitive economic-commerical lives.
There has also been the continuous bleating and wailing about the as yet unattained 30% equity, when we know from Malay sources that their equity has passed the 45% mark. Dr M himself frequently laments about this issue, to justify why the NEP must continue. Of course statistics indicate that there are still considerable Malay poverty, just as there are of Indians, Aborigines, non-Malay bumputeras (Ibans, Kadazans, etc), and to a lesser extent, Chinese. But Dr M won’t admit the supposedly affirmative-actioning NEP benefits only an exclusive elite, his UMNO boys and girls, and have resulted in the marginalization of the non-UMNO Malays and bumiputeras, and the Aborigines.
Sometimes I wonder whether he has been traumatized by the failures of his blue-eyed boys, people in Renong, MAS, Bank Bumi, Bank Negara and various other money mills that he had entrusted to them in the hope they’d churned out Malay millionaires and billionaires to walk the land as those Chinese ones do. I wonder whether he resents the Chinese for his blue-eyed boys’ failures.
Sometimes I wonder whether due to above failures, he can’t trust his UMNO boys and girls to succeed, fearing that without his strong guiding hands they will regress to being chauffeurs and laundry maids. I bet he must have grouped Pak Lah under these failures. Is he doing so with Najib?
Sometimes I wonder whether he is over insuring, where he wants to see a Malay equity of 99% before he can be satisfied that the millionaires who walk this land will be mostly Malays.
Sometimes I wonder whether he's really a racist, or just someone who's depressed by his fears, his constant thinking about Chinese millionaires versus Malay chauffeurs (and vice versa), imagining the worst things could happen to the Malays without his leadership against an economically aggressive yellow skinned horde. And there's no knowing what a depressed man could or would say.
Sometimes I just wonder … why the f* I am wondering?
[updated to 'read better' on 24th morning]