MALAYSIA ACCORDING TO LKY, SINGAPORE ACCORDING TO DR M
In an interview with the New York Times, the 86-year-old Minister Mentor reflectively expressed that the first regret he had of his colourful career was having been “turfed out” of Malaysia.
In his conversation with the New York Times, Lee claimed that if Malaysia’s founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman had decided to keep both nations together 45 years ago, much of what Singapore had achieved today in terms of equality among the races would be likewise be achieved in Malaysia.
“I think if the Tunku had kept us together, what we did in Singapore, had Malaysia accepted a multiracial base for their society, much of what we’ve achieved in Singapore would be achieved in Malaysia,” he said, according to the transcript of the interview, conducted on September 1.
Lee, Singapore’s longest serving prime minister, claimed that if Singapore had not seceded from Malaysia, the country would have improved inter-racial relations and an improved holistic situation today.
“Now we have a very polarised Malaysia — Malays, Chinese and Indians in separate schools, living separate lives and not really getting on with one another. You read them. That’s bad for us as close neighbours,” he said.
He pressed on with his belief that all ethnic communities should free themselves from the shackles of racial segregation in order to promote fairness and equality among the races.
Meanwhile, according to Dr Mahathir, before Singapore joined the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia, there was less racial politics in the Federation of Malaysia. In 1955 the Malays who made up 80 per cent of the citizens gave a large number of their constituencies to the few Chinese and Indian citizens and ensured they won with strong Malay support. As a result the Alliance won 51 of the 52 seats contested.
The Tunku then rewarded this willingness of the Chinese and Indian citizens to support the coalition concept by giving them one million unconditional citizenship. This reduced Malay majority to 60 per cent.
In the 1959 elections the Alliance of UMNO, MCA and MIC won easily though Kelantan was lost. PAS with only Malays as members was rejected. Racialism even when implied failed.
In 1963 Singapore became a part of Malaysia. Despite having promised that the PAP will not participate in Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak politics, Kwan Yew reneged and the PAP tried to displace the MCA in the Alliance by appealing to Chinese sentiments in the Peninsular. Of course the slogan was "Malaysian Malaysia" which implied that the Chinese were not having equal rights with the Malays.
By 1965 racism had taken hold and the Tunku was forced to end Singapore's membership of Malaysia. But the seed of Chinese racialism had been sown, so that even after the PAP left, the "Malaysian Malaysia" war cry was picked up by the DAP, an offspring of the PAP.
With the background of Singapore's activities in Malaysia in the short three years of its membership, can we really believe that if it had not been "turfed out" race relations would be better in Malaysia?
While Kwan Yew talks about his belief that all ethnic communities should free themselves from the shackles of racial segregation in order to promote fairness and equality among the races, he also said that "once we are by ourselves (out of Malaysia) the Chinese become the majority".
Singapore's population is made up of 75 per cent Chinese and they own 95 per cent of the economy. It is therefore not a truly multi-racial country but a Chinese country with minority racial groups who are additionally much poorer.
In Singapore dissent is not allowed, People who contest against the PAP would be hauled up in court for libel and if they win elections would not be allowed to take their places in Parliament. Whereas in Malaysia opposition parties invariably win seats in Parliament and even set up State Governments (today five out of the 13 States are ruled by the opposition parties) the PAP in Singapore has to appoint PAP members to represent the opposition.
If Singapore is a part of Malaysia the PAP can certainly reproduce the Singapore kind of non-racial politics because together with the Malaysian Chinese, the PAP will ethnically dominate and control Malaysian politics. No dissent would be allowed and certainly no one would dare say anything about who really runs the country.
Amnesia is permissible but trying to claim that it is because Singapore had been "turfed out" for the present racist politics in Malaysia is simply not supported by facts of history.