Malaysia does not need any advice from Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew because it has its own way of governing the country which comprises multi-racial people, said former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
He said the cultural diversification and racial composition in Malaysia was far different from that of Singapore.
“We are too different from Singapore and Lee’s statement which criticised the system being practised in this country cannot be accepted because Malaysia has adopted a different set of approaches and measures in managing issues involving the cultures and religions of its multi-racial population,” he told reporters after hosting an Aidilfitri open house here Saturday.
Lee, in an interview published in the New York Times on Sept 1, had criticised the governing system system practised in Malaysia and accused that Malaysia was not being fair and had been sidelining its minority ethnic groups.
In the interview, Lee also envisioned that Malaysia could have done much better if it was not separated from Singapore because the island republic had achieved outstanding racial harmony.
Abdullah, who is Kepala Batas Member of Parliament, also refuted Lee’s allegation that Malaysia had been sidelining minority ethnic groups in the country.
“If we really did that (sidelining minority ethnic groups), Malaysia would have been in trouble all along. We never sidelined any ethnic groups because all of them are equally important to the country,” he said.
Unlike Singapore, Abdullah said, Malaysia was far bigger and consisted of various races and ethnic groups including those in Sabah and Sarawak.
“So far, there is no issue of certain races being sidelined and the government has always been fair to all races,” he added.