Sarawak PKR has warned Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak that Malaysia is regressing into the dark ages of repression, persecution and intimidation with the added aggravation of hateful actions by emboldened religious bigots and racists.
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian (centre in photo) said: "His so called elegant silence ceased to be elegant many moons ago and is now only pathetically deafening and dismal,"
"Is his hopeless and emasculated leadership going to allow this country to self-destruct and burn?"he asked when commenting on relentless charging of opposition politicians and even academics for sedition over the past few weeks.
Speaking at a news conference, he added that the court action suggests a government crackdown on voices of dissent, reminiscent of ‘Ops Lalang'.
The lame statement by the PM's office that sedition charges are a 'court-matter' and had nothing to do with the government has been met with sarcasm and incredulity, he said.
Baru ,who is Ba'Kelalan assemblyperson, said that the PM and his officers should give the citizens some credit for intelligence and think carefully before feeding them with such inane excuses.
"Besides, the PM had insisted that the Sedition Act will be repealed - he even said it over the BBC in London last year. Why are the authorities still laying charges under this outdated act if it is to be repealed?
"It was with more than a touch of cynicism that I read about the PM's assurance to the people that the government remains committed to the 1Malaysia philosophy and will ensure that every citizen has a place under the Malaysian sun,” he said.
He pointed out that it is easy to say the right things, especially when reading from a prepared script, but the people have been witnessing so many instances of perceived repression and selective persecution that it only makes the PM's assurance sound sadly insincere.
1Malaysia turned into bad joke
"If the PM is serious about moderation and the 1Malaysia concept, let him speak up on issues that are truly a threat to our harmony and unity.
"One such incidence is the Jemaah ISIS calling for the people of Sabah and Sarawak to be slaughtered because they are 'kapir' (infidel), and insulting the 'semi-naked' Dayaks in Sarawak.
"These seditious and racist remarks are intended to cause hatred and instability among the races. Why are these Jemaah ISIS people not being arrested for sedition and criminal intimidation?" he asked.
Baru then referred to the incident where Permas and other Council of Islamic NGOs at their chicken blood and 'Reward for Slapping Teresa Kok' stunt in February called for non-Bahasa Malaysia speaking people to leave the country . "No-one from these groups was charged for their shocking actions - in fact, the home minister freely shared his opinion that the threat to slap Teresa Kok was not an offence.
"The Malay/Islamic supremacist groups in this country have become bolder in their outrageous behaviour and their hate-inciting tirades because our leadership has been pandering to them, fearful about offending them.
"The fact that they are now training their sights on the Borneo states and our people should be a warning sign to the PM and his ministers," he said, pointing out that the indigenous people in Sarawak have been there longer than some of these extremist racists have been in the peninsula.
He said that Sabah and Sarawak people have been marginalized and disenfranchised for decades.
"Do we now have to put up with insults from people who have benefited from our sacrifices? Just last week, there were reports that the army had rejected outright Dayak applicants just because they had tattoos.
Pandering to extremists roadto destruction
"Although the Army Commander said that there is no such law, there was no denial that such practices were actually carried out. This has caused much unhappiness among our Dayak community.
"All these incidences are giving the secessionist groups' justification for their cause and attracting support for them. The authorities should take note," Baru warned.
He said that the home minister has consistently been reported and now appears to be a minister for only select groups of people, judging from the statements he has been making and the statements of others he has been echoing.
"Calling other races arrogant (or insolent) is fine for those like him, but opposition members and academics are hauled up and charged for saying perfectly harmless things.
"This assault on the people's freedom of expression is a retrograde move which will backfire on the PM's government.
"If the PM is really serious about 1Malaysia, he should start behaving like the PM for all and show some real leadership," he said.