" We had a formula which had worked very well for 50 years. Why do you want to change it? Why do you want to cause tension between races?" he added.
He was commenting on the presidential address of Najib Tun Razak at the Umno general assembly here, where he said that the special rights of the Malays were enshrined in the Federal Constitution and should not be questioned.
Mahathir said that Najib's assertion on the position of the Malays was a timely reminder to the people of the agreement among the leaders of the various races and which had been upheld throughout the years since Independence from the British.
The former prime minister said it was important for the people to adhere to what was enshrined in the Federal Constitution and which could not be amended without the consent of the Rulers.
Mahathir said that people who tried to amend the constitution did not appreciate what was involved.
He believes that any attempt to amend articles related to the rights of the Malays was bound to cause racial tension.
Former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that there had been confusion in discussions over the issue.
"But today, the Umno president had made clear (what the issue was about)... and there is no reason why anyone should raise matters to frighten or ridicule."
He feels that Najib has, with his "enlightening speech", helped to stop any quarrel over the issue.