Malaysia is multiracial and the distribution of wealth is not balanced. As such, it is difficult to create an identity that is Malaysian, says Dr Mahathir. We have not become a true nation in the sense that people would say “We are Malaysians”. Not Malay Malaysians, Chinese Malaysians and Indian Malaysians. In order to do social reengineering, fears need to be overcome. Malays fear Chinese economic power. Chinese fear Malay political dominance. Indians fear Malays and Chinese because they are a very small political minority. According to Dr M, it is easy to achieve political equality. It’s much harder to achieve economic equality.

Today, the Malays are still behind economically speaking. Do Islamic values hold back the Malays? Actually, Islam is a positive force. The Quran asks you to study and acquire knowledge. If the Malays follow that, then they will progress and Malay fear will star to disappear, followed by the disappearance of non-Malay fears. Then we would have achieved our social reengineering.