Forget Your Root Country - We Are Malaysians - Mahathir
PENANG, Dec 23 (Bernama) -- Everyone in Malaysia have to set a side their origin country and start calling themselves Malaysians for the success of the 1Malaysia concept, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
The former prime minister said they had to put aside their origin country such as India or China and start calling themselves Malaysians.
"They must put aside their origin country and call themselves Malaysians for 1Malaysia to be successful," he said during an appreciation dinner with the Association of Muslim Kadayanallur here Wednesday.
Tun Mahathir called on the people to help realise the government's aspiration of strengthening racial unity and harmony in line with the 1Malaysia concept.
He said people in Thailand and Indonesia called themselves Thais and Indonesians respectively but this did not happen here.
To a claim that the Indian Muslims in the country had been neglected, he said they should choose to either become a Muslim or an Indian.
"The country is very liberal and I think they (Indian Muslims) will be accepted by all if they can pick either to become a Muslim or Indian.".
Tun Mahathir said there was no difference between the various races as everyone were Malaysians.
"The federal constitution also defined a Muslim very clearly. If they want to become a Muslim then just follow the constitution."
He said if Indian Muslims in the country still called themselves as such, others might think that they still had links to the origin country.
"The problem of Indian Muslims will be resolved if they can decide and choose to become either a Muslim or an Indian," he added.