Thursday, December 18, 2014

Prominent Malays spur Malaysians to launch #KamiJuga25

Published: 18 December 2014An online petition called #KamiJuga25 is the latest follow-up to the open letter by the 25 prominent Malays. – Screenshot of #KamiJuga25, December 18, 2014. 
An online petition called #KamiJuga25 is the latest follow-up to the open letter by the 25 prominent Malays. – Screenshot of #KamiJuga25, December 18, 2014.
Another group of Malaysians has started an open letter calling for rational dialogue in the face of racial and religious tension, underscoring the growing momentum started by 25 prominent Malays who earlier called for a peaceful discourse on Islam.
An online petition called #KamiJuga25, the Malay hashtag for “We are also 25”, has gathered 50 signatures as of this morning, adding to the increasing support for the 25 retired high-ranking civil servants whose December 9 open letter went viral.
This petition was started by Azrul Mohd Khalid, and signed by 24 other Malaysians of various faiths and races.
Addressed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the letter urged the country's leaders to stand with Malaysians to deliver the promise of a common vision that promotes "inclusiveness and celebrates the unity of its people through diversity".
The group stated that it rejected the notion that only Muslims could speak on matters which affect Muslims, and that non-Muslims must stay silent.
"We should never stay silent in the face of injustice, tyranny and persecution inflicted upon our brothers and sisters. We must speak up for each other."
Among others, it also rejected the claim that Islam is under attack in Malaysia and the view that supporting contrarian views is to being anti-Malay or anti-monarchy.
On the original 25 who inspired them, the signatories said their words inspired them and the nation.
They added the 25 brought into perspective the need to put an end to racism, bigotry, false promises and blind hatred.
The open letter by the prominent 25 decried the "lack of clarity and understanding" of Islam's place within Malaysia's constitutional democracy, as well as a "serious breakdown of federal-state division of powers, both in the areas of civil and criminal jurisdictions".
Signatories of the 19-paragraph letter consisted of former high-ranking civil servants, including directors-general, secretaries-general, ambassadors and prominent individuals.
Malay rights groups panned their actions. But the letter inspired others like L. Khairuddin to start an online petition called "I am #26" four days ago which had gathered more than 3,800 signatures.
The prominent Malays also received support from 22 Muslim activists and 93 civil society groups.
Race and religious relations have frayed further after GE13 last year when the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) blamed its heavier losses on the Chinese minority, fuelled by Malay-Muslim groups that seek more puritanical Islamic laws across Malaysia. – December 18, 2014.
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