KOTA KINABALU: The call by Malay-Muslim groups, including the Muslim Consumers' Society and Muslim Consumers Association Malaysia (PPIM) to boycott Chinese businesses is dangerous, says Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan.
In a statement here, the State Reform Party (STAR) Chairman said the development brought racism into a darker and more sinister level in Malaysia, and if left uncontrolled will lead Malaysia into turmoil and anarchy.
"The call is also a reflection of utter disregard to social harmony and is only the tip of the iceberg in emerging social conflicts in the nation," Jeffrey said. "This is all due to gross mismanagement and neglect on the part of the federal leaders."
He said it was shocking how the Prime Minister is keeping quiet about such a dangerous development despite his call for social harmony and unity under the concept of 1Malaysia.
"The socio-political situation now is being made worse by the Home Minister who is so arrogant that he is asking more than half of the Malaysia's voters who voted against the BN to leave the country!" he said.
"Is Malaysia being purposefully led to descend into total chaos by its own leaders? Has this minister forgotten that he is the Home Minister for all Malaysians and not just the Umno/BN members and Malays?
"This behavior by the Malay Muslim groups and the Home Minister is so unbelievable that one can only wonder if they have any leadership wisdom left in them. They make us reel back in utter disbelief at their lack of reason, good manners or diplomacy.
"Don't the Malay-Muslim groups know that boycotting the Chinese businesses is impossible and even if it can be done it will spell disaster for the Malaysian economy?
Are they so ignorant of the fact that by boycotting Chinese businesses they won't even be able to survive? How would they live without simple things like salt, sugar, coffee, tea, and noodles since these are supplied through Chinese importers and distributors? So don't even talk about electrical goods, building materials and cars!
"How do you deny the hard fact that the Chinese run the majority of the businesses in Malaysia and without them the country will collapse overnight?
To quote Wikipedia, 'Malaysian Chinese constitute one group of Overseas Chinese and constitute the third largest Chinese community in the world, after those in Thailand and Indonesia.
Within Malaysia, they represent the second largest ethnic group. Malaysian Chinese are dominant in both the business and commerce sectors, controlling an estimated 70% of the Malaysian economy. They are also one of the biggest taxpayers, contributing almost 90% of the national income tax and 60% of Malaysia's national income.'
"A wise Malaysian would know that we can't do without the Chinese, and if we want Malaysia to maintain or improve its economy, we need to make the Chinese our friends instead of bullying antagonizing them.
"It is also a fact that the non-Chinese are benefitting tremendously from development and social programmes funded by revenues collected from the Chinese business sector.
"We need to learn from the hard lessons from our neighbouring countries where the Chinese were prosecuted and officially discriminated against, and this had caused the glaring economic decline and social poverty that have caused international embarrassment to these countries," he said.
Jeffrey also reminded the anti-Chinese groups of the horrendous trend of brain drain in Malaysia. Quoting Wikipedia, he said these people left Malaysia for good because of "corruption, social inequality, and educational opportunities, and the government's Bumiputera affirmative action policies.
As of 2011, Bernama has reported that there are a million talented Malaysians working overseas. Recently the brain drain has increased in pace: 305,000 Malaysians migrated overseas between March 2008 and August 2009 compared to 140,000 in 2007."
"The Prime Minister had started a program through Talent Corp to attract these talented ex-Malaysians to return and contribute to the country's development," he pointed out.
"So why are the Malay-Muslim groups demanding that 51 percent of the Malaysian voters also leave Malaysia? Let's note that this figure includes hundreds of thousands of Malays who support the opposition. Can we even imagine what will happen to Malaysia if these people actually pack up and leave tomorrow?
"This call to boycott Chinese businesses is so far the worse development after the recent general election, and is shows continued desperation and fear among the BN leaders. It's as if they are trembling at the sight of their own shadows. The Prime Minister needs to speak up against this call lest the BN and Umno is continued to be seen as supporting extreme racism in Malaysia.
"His continued silence in the face of this increased racism, anti-Chinese activism, and heightening of the Malay supremacy is shocking, and he dearly needs to speak up against it to show the world that Malaysia is a mature democracy that is model of progress, wisdom and social harmony."