Below I reproduce the letter I sent to the press on 18 April, 2015. -- Kassim
THE QUARREL BETWEEN TUN DR MAHATIR
AND OUR PRIME MINISTER
I shall not dwell on this sad episode longer than necessary. Everybody knows what the issues are, and I believe that no problem cannot be resolved amicably between fair-minded citizens. The Tun is an elder statesman whose service to the country has been great. The current UMNO President and Prime Minister, democratically elected, has a job to do.
Everyone knows that I am an elder citizen whose aim is to see that our beloved country progresses and prospers. We are a modern democratic nation-state made of many racial groups practising many religions and cultures. Our constitution places Islam as the state religion, while giving freedom to other religions and cultures to be practised in peace.
We cannot say that our government is perfect. No government is. But we wish to make our country a good place to live in for its citizen as well as for our foreign visitors. We all are a family among many families inhibiting this planet under the rule law. Our human fate is the same, although we have diverse careers. So, let us respect one another, the older generation giving good advice to the young, and the young learning from the experience of the old.
But the old generation’s advice cannot be like the “advice” of our former British colonial advisor. We must be prepared for our advice to be politely rejected. Further, none of us as patriots should put fuel into the fire. Patriots should help to reconcile. Do not take sides in the fight, or we shall be caught in the cross-fire. As the Malay proverb says, “Gajah sama gajah berjuang, pelanduk mati di tengah-tengah.” Translated, the greats fight, and the people suffer.
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