All races living in this country will refer to themselves as Malaysians once the economic gap between them is reduced, says former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Although we have not achieved full unity, I believe that once the wealth gap is not so great, then the race gap will not be so great either,” he added, addressing a forum entitled Unity Towards 2020 last night.
He said that all the races were responsible for ensuring the success of the country, adding that it had been difficult to get all the races to really get together because of Malaysia’s demographic profile.
Asked to comment on the issue of the social contract, he said it should never be rescinded.
“The Federal Constitution was based on that contract and more than that, its spirit is such that it ensures each race sacrifices something to gain something else, ” Dr Mahathir said.
“If we destroy it, then there will be no more Malay reserve land, the Chinese will lose their mother tongue in schools and citizenships may be revoked,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said that the balance must be protected and that it was only an issue now as there were politicians who wanted to gain popularity.