For Mahathir, identifying ourselves by nationality first means that these qualifying Malaysian Firsters will need to speak bahasa Melayu as their mother tongue.
The former Harapan chairman said this in an interview with Harith Iskandar live streamed a few days ago — YouTube video HERE, screengrabs below.
A full one hundred percent of Cina DAP fail Mahathir’s ‘Bangsa Malay-sia’ criterion of adopting BM as their bahasa ibunda — see above.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
This phenomenon is only unique to Chinese in Malaysia, not to the rest of the diaspora elsewhere in the world.
Mahathir points out that Indonesians of Chinese descent speak bahasa Indonesia at home — see captioned screengrab below.
Similarly, he said, Thailand’s citizens of Chinese origin speak bahasa Thai all the time. Likewise the Filipinos who are ethnic Chinese speaking their national language.
Mahathir then highlighted leaders of neighbouring countries whose forefathers came from China but who are merely known by their nationality and by not a hyphenated identity.
He said the late Cory Aquino, president of the Philippines (1986 – 1992), was simply a Filipino although she was of Chinese descent [Xu clan in Fujian].
Mahathir added that Thailand ex-premiers Chuan Leekpai (twice prime minister 1992 – 1995, 1997 – 2001) and Thaksin Shinawatra (PM in 2001 – 2006) are both just Thai although they too are of Chinese descent.
Blogger’s note: On the other hand, when Guan Eng claimed that he is just Malaysian and bukan Cina – see Astro Awani 2018 news report below – he was universally scoffed because cakap tak serupa bikin.
Adopting BM as mother tongue is the high bar.
But even if Mahathir were to lower his expectation and require that Chinese merely be able to speak the national language competently, 95 percent of Cina DAP would still fail.
But diversity is good, no?
According to Mahathir, there are many countries that are multiracial and yet able to do the “one nationality for everybody” thing.
Blogger’s note: The USA comes to mind.
Mrs Mark Zuckerberg, whose parents were Vietnamese boat people, speaks American English.
Barack Obama would never have been elected if he spoke Swahili when campaigning for the presidency.
Malaysia-born Penny Wong is currently opposition leader in the Australian senate and was previously the finance minister (2010 – 2013). She speaks impeccable Aussie English.
Mahathir’s 96-year-old toes would curl if he heard some of the DAP’s Chinese MPs trying to speak their bahasa pasar in parliament.
About ‘nationality first’ in actual practise – the Bangsa Malaysia of DAP parlance – Mahathir cited the example of Dwight Eisenhower.
Eisenhower was a general in the American army during World War Two. He fought against Germany despite both his parents being of German descent.
In the Malaysian context, an April 12 article by Sarawak academic James Chin in The Diplomat explained:
“Since before the country’s independence, the Malay elite has harbored suspicions that the ethnic Chinese may ultimately be more loyal to Beijing, despite most having settled in Malaysia generations ago.”
The Malay elites have reasonable grounds for their suspicion but in any case, the Eisenhower dilemma will not arise for Cina DAP as they’re not in the Malaysian military.
Cina DAP are fond of shifting the blame to politicians — see Harith playing the devil’s advocate (screengrab above) channeling their claim that race-based politics is the only reason Malaysians are polarized.
This allegation is only partially true.
It would be more convincing if the DAP supporters who blame race politics are able to orally present their case in bahasa Melayu. Of course they can’t — they can only bleat “Will somebody please translate Mariam Mokhtar’s article into BM and disseminate to the kampung folks”.
In a nutshell, how believable is the DAP Bangsa Malaysia who are unable to speak bahasa Malaysia?
The DAP’s overreach can be evidenced by their attempted template for keturunan ‘Anak Malaysia’. In the DAP blueprint, an Anak Malaysia prototype is “Kristian”.
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