Deputy Prime Minister Muhyddin Yassin's protective comments of Umno-owned newspaper Utusan and its proposed 1Melayu, 1Bumi is unlikely to set off the same fire that snaked through the nation when he declared he was Malay first and Malaysian second last year.
His political rivals warned that it was just a gimmick to satisfy the right-wing members in Umno, with Prime Minister Najib Razak and former premier Mahathir Mohamad already briefed and agreeable to the script. Both Najib and Mahathir had scolded Utusan for its suggestion last week, saying it could destroy racial unity.
"You can see they have divided their tasks very well. One person says one thing to keep up with the different audiences. This statement from Muhyiddin is to pacify the radicals in Umno. He is the third actor in the sandiwara (drama). I am sure they must have monitored the ground reaction when Najib and Dr M rejected the 1Melayu, 1Bumi idea last week," PAS MP for Kuala Krai Hatta Ramli told Malaysia Chronicle.