PHOTO: NSTP/ SAIRIEN NAFIS
THAT the organiser of recently concluded Kongres Maruah Melayu, known in English as the Malay Dignity Congress, brought the disparate Malay-based parties together to talk on a common platform is an achievement.
Even if they failed to get the party leaders to talk about uniting to form one movement to elevate Malay dignity or pride in the community, which was their main aim.
They succeeded in getting Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to deliver an amanat even as they handed over their demands — or to put it nicely, their resolutions, among which are the appointments of top civil service posts including those in the Finance Ministry be kept for Malays, and the dismantling of vernacular schools in the national education system.
While Dr Mahathir’s amanat was not to the expectations of the organiser or the other participants present, he has been consistent in his message all these years.
The organiser may have expected Dr Mahathir to make some kind of pledge in the name of Malay dignity, but what they got on Sunday was a lecture on the definition of dignity and why Malays trail other races in the country in many aspects.
And just this morning, the 94-year-old snubbed Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan’s bid for a joint government with his party and PAS so as to “again uphold the power of Muslims in the country”.
Dr Mahathir said his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) would not join PAS and Umno to govern Malaysia, stressing that a multiracial country needed a diverse government.
This begs the question for the Malay Dignity Congress organiser, which is the Malay Excellence Studies Department of Universiti Malaya — what’s next?
Is Malay dignity lost when parties like Umno and PAS are very much alive and can still stand and champion the Malay cause?
It would appear that the Malay situation has not moved from square one.
Or will their reaction to Dr Mahathir be judged in the November 16 Tanjung Piai, Johor parliamentary by-election?