Najib Abdul Razak has made a grave error in using racial connotations at the 2016 Umno general assembly yesterday, as it has disastrous racial implications, said a former deputy minister.
Former Umno MP and now Pakatan Harapan's chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah blasted Najib for such a move.
"No prime minister should commit such an error, which may lead to racial disaster," Saifuddin told Malaysiakini in a text message.
"Firstly, he made baseless accusations against DAP as though DAP is an anti-Malay and anti-Islam party," he said.
"Secondly, DAP does not dictate matters in Harapan. In Harapan, there is no such thing as which party dictates another, because we lead collectively," said Saifuddin, the former Temerloh MP and former deputy higher education minister.
In his policy speech yesterday at the Umno AGM, Najib portrayed DAP as an enemy of Islam and the bumiputera, and claimed Islam would be sidelined if DAP comes to power.
The prime minister also claimed the ascension of the "liberal" DAP would caused Malay privileges and institutions, such as Mara, Felda and Felcra, to "go extinct".
Therefore Najib said if the people had to choose between DAP or Umno, they would choose Umno.
Saifuddin however pointed out DAP had affirmed it would uphold the Federal Constitution even during the Pakatan Rakyat coalition with PKR and PAS.
This includes what is stipulated in the constitution, among others, the status of Islam as the official religion, the privileged position of the Malays, the royalty and Bahasa Malaysia as the official language.
"DAP has reiterated the same commitment in Harapan, together with PKR and Amanah.
"This was stated in the agreement signed by the three Harapan parties on Jan 9," he added.
'Us or them' politics
Saifuddin said Najib in his speech was playing a dangerous game of dividing the people by race.
"The most dangerous part is Najib dividing the country's politics according to race, by issuing an ultimatum to people to choose whether they want DAP or Umno to lead," he said.
"This means Najib is building a political configuration that is more extreme, a model of a Malay, bumiputera and Islamic dominance versus a non-Malay, non-bumiputera and non-Islam one," he said.
"Najib hopes for a situation where the government is Malay, bumiputera and Islamic dominated, while the common people comprise the other races and religions," he added.
"This is the kind of political model portrayed by Najib - the worst kind of racial, racist politics that has ever been portrayed by a prime minister of Malaysia.
"This model is very dangerous, as it goes against the diversity of Malaysian society.
"This will lead to a terrible racial disaster, and the people should reject this new disaster that Najib intends to bring," he said.-Mkini