Former international trade and industry minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz has called for a halt to divisive politics in the country.
The veteran politician, who was once one of the youngest senators to be sworn in, said the country has enough divisions.
“I say let’s not be divisive, even when politicking, where suddenly everyone is saying, you are a woman or a man (one group); Indian, Malay and Chinese (one group); Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu (one group). You know how it splits us?
“Now this has been split further to: you are old, you are young (dah split pula you old you young). Don’t we have enough divisiveness in this country?” Rafidah said when met by reporters after her session at the 2nd Malaysia Anti-Corruption Forum titled “Restoring Trust and Building a Culture of Integrity”.
Rafidah countered by asking why no one talks about themselves as Malaysians.
“Is nobody talking about ‘I am a Malaysian’? I always say I am a Malaysian of Malay heritage, that’s all.
“Now why don’t I say I am a Malay? Because a Malay has no country. Correct or not?
“A Malay in Singapore won’t say ‘I’m Malay’ but says I’m a Singaporean,” she said, before drawing similar parallels with Malays in Indonesia (Indonesian), Brunei (Bruneian) and Cambodia (Cambodian).
She added that it was Malaysians who had come up with this definition on their own, when essentially all Malaysians are the same.
“I always say, if you get a stomachache, you think it’s different from mine, ah? Or the Aedes mosquito, does it choose who to bite?
She also cited the Covid-19 virus, saying it does not choose who to infect.
Commenting further on Syed Saddiq’s new youth platform, Rafidah said Malaysians should not engage in any further divisiveness.
“To me, you shouldn’t start having more divisiveness, that’s all.
“Because these young people, they will grow old in no time. I started at 22. By 30, I was a senator already.
“I went through all that. I was learning from the old people, supreme council. Can you imagine they were all from my father’s batch, all the big names, and I was there, the youngest ever?
“No matter how long your degree is, ‘di sini’ (experience) is more important,” she said.