Don't tarnish the Bugis race – Rafidah tells Najib
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should not tarnish the Bugis race, said former minister Rafidah Aziz.
She revealed that her late husband and former Maybank chairperson Mohamed Basir Ahmad was of Bugis descent as well.
“But the difference between Najib and him is like the sky and earth and like black and white.
“It is similar with my friends who are of Bugis descent, people with integrity, who are responsible and trustworthy.
“A person's lineage has no relation (to possessing such qualities). These are personal characteristics,” she told Malaysiakini.
Yesterday, Najib, when addressing a gathering of silat masters, had warned against incurring the wrath of Bugis warriors and hurting their pride.
Meanwhile, Rafidah also criticised the use of ancestry in political discourse.
“No one should use 'keturunan' (ancestry) in any situation or discourse. Lately, this is seen among some in politics. It is divisive and anti-unity.
“We are all Malaysians. Of course, we are proud of our lineage and heritage. But as Malaysians, we should be proud of our commonality as Malaysians.
“I cannot erase my heritage as a Malay, a Rawa from Sumatra. But I would not have roots simply as a 'Malay'. There is no such thing as a 'Malay citizen',” she added.
As a Malaysian citizen, the former minister said, she shared the common aspirations, hopes and destiny of all Malaysians.
“Regardless of where their ancestors or they themselves originated, we must forge our Malaysian identity and values, especially of integrity, responsibility and acceptance of our diversities,” she added.
Rafidah stressed that Malaysia has no place for narrow, parochial mindsets.
“Especially those that want to invoke what seem to be semblances of being 'dictatorial and all powerful' and 'cannot be challenged'.
“It is doing injustice and being unfair to all of the Bugis descent. It really is all about the individual person's character and traits,” she said.