Former deputy minister Saifuddin Abdullah said the people are now ready for a change in political mindset towards a more mature, inclusive and multiracial approach.
However, the top leaders are the ones who are still convinced the population is not ready for such a shift from race-based politics.
"It is now the time for a shift in our political thinking. We can change political parties or the government, but if the political thinking still hasn't changed, nothing will change.
"I think Malaysians are ready for the change. The people who are still not ready for this change are the ones on top or from the middle (level)," he said in the ‘Defending the Malay's Pride’ (Mempertahankan Maruah Melayu) forum at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night.
Saifuddin said Malaysian politics must leave the consociationalism model - which he referred to as the 'bargaining model' - and form a new “coalition of minds” which would address the problems of the country as a whole.
He said political parties should offer “answers” to what people need.
"We must work on a new coalition of minds. It is now time for us to scrutinise whether the 'bargaining model' can be rejected.
“Not to say we are rejecting BN. But change the politics.
"Now in BN, Umno only solves the problems of the Malays, MCA only solves Chinese problems and MIC solves Indians issues, if they could," he said.
Also present during the forum were PKR's Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah, historian Khoo Kay Kim and Abim president Raimi Abdul Rahim.
In the forum, Saifuddin slammed the actions of Malay leaders, whose behaviour he said has hurt Malay pride more than it has hurt other races.
The maverick also appeared to make subtle reference to his party president Najib Abdul Razak, who had famously quipped that the Malay's risked being “bastardised” (bangsat) if they did not stand up, and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang who has incessantly called his breakaway former PAS progressives “traitors” (pengkhianat), saying both actions are unbecoming of Malay leaders.
"Looking at the behaviour of the leaders from both sides, one bastardising (bangsatkan) the people while the other calling people traitors when they no longer support him.
"I'm asking, who is it that has disrupted Malay's dignity? The non-Malays, or the leaders who breach the trust (pecah amanah) of the people to the extent that Parti Amanah was born?
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