Former Umno de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim said his book is just a simple snapshot of his life’s journey thus far. Experiencing the diversity of our people, their cultures and their friendships has been most rewarding and he said he wanted to share that feeling. He added that he is always hopeful that we can be ‘one people’.
He feels proud to be a Malaysian and he is richer as a Malay who is also a Malaysian. He hopes one day we can all be Malaysians first and be truly united by this bond of friendship, trust and solidarity with one another regardless of our name and religion so that we can truly be one people.
He said we cannot hope to transform our country and the institutions that govern us on a platform of justice and fairness if we are fixated by race and the peculiar interests of selected groups. We can never build ‘one country’ if we give preference to one group over another purely on the basis of race. There are those who will continue to perpetuate these divisions to justify their continuing hold on power.
He trusts that Malaysians will discard the pernicious elements that divide us. “Reject those who are blatantly racists and those who wish to see us divided. We must reject extremist leaders and politicians. Clever television sound bites and newspaper headlines will try to soften their words. Their communications experts, Apco, will make sure they sound good. But these experts cannot hide their true intentions,” he said.
Zaid said Malay groups like Perkasa would like us to believe that the Malays are victims of the non-Malays. This, he said, was to cover-up the failings of the Umno Malay elite, their greed and the abuse of the preferences given to the Malays. “We must, together, reject this form of divisive politics,” he said.
Zaid was speaking at the launch of the Chinese version of his book entitled I, too, am Malay (Wo ye shi malairen) at the Lake View Club in Subang Jaya, Selangor. DAP’s Life Advisor Dr Chen Man Hin officiated the launch. Present were DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang, Selangor senior exco Teresa Kok as well are Pakatan Rakyat state and parliamentary representatives. Former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who is also an Umno leader, had before this highly praised Zaid’s book saying that it should be read by the younger generation.
Video by KS Tan – Citizen Journalist – Malaysia