12 OCTOBER 2015
The Prime Minister’s statement that BN is against racial extremism and practices moderation at the recent MCA assembly reflects his total lack of honesty and integrity. It is incredible that he can actually utter such untruths with a straight face.
First of all, with regard to the rallies, the Bersih rally had nothing to do with racism, unlike the Red Shirt rally, so for him to condemn Bersih in the same sentence as the Red Shirt rally is insulting to those who turned up to support Bersih’s demands, which are: free and fair elections, a transparent government, the right to demonstrate, strengthening the parliamentary democratic system and saving the national economy. There was no element of racism in the Bersih rally, which was attended by Malaysians of every race. On the other hand, the Red Shirt rally, which had UMNO’s tacit support, was an ugly show of Malay supremacy by a small crowd of misguided bigots and many paid clueless rural ‘tourists’.
Secondly, how can the PM have the gall to say UMNO is against racial extremism when he and his ministers have proudly shown themselves to be completely racist? Even their former hero Dr Mahathir has admitted that UMNO is a racist party because only Malays are allowed to join. Najib’s deputy Zahid Hamidi has been quoted as saying that Malays were paying the price of being kind to the minority races who were growing more arrogant and ungrateful. Najib’s cousin Hishamuddin Hussein is notorious for his keris-wielding stunt at the UMNO general assembly threatening to draw blood in protecting Malay rights. Najib’s former Deputy Muhyiddin is famous for his ‘Malay first, Malaysian second’ comment and his frequent warnings of non-Malays threatening Malay rights and privileges. The list goes on.
For Sarawakian Christians, Najib has done nothing to defend our rights to freedom of worship. On the contrary, the banning of the use of the word ‘Allah’ and the BM Bible is a discriminatory act against a huge portion of the population of Sarawak. How is that remaining steadfast and defending the social contract as he claims to be doing? It truly is distasteful to hear Najib speaking about equality for the races and moderation when his actions speak louder than any platitudes he can utter.
The recent arrests of Najib’s critic Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang under SOSMA 2012 are reminiscent of the dark draconian days of the ISA. Several UMNO leaders including Dr Mahathir have strongly criticized these arrests as being attempts to silence government critics. Not to be forgotten is the jailing and shoddy treatment of Anwar Ibrahim, just to be rid of a formidable opposition leader. How are these actions consistent with the moderation and democracy that Najib preaches in the USA? The foreign media are now beginning to realize that the Malaysian PM is not the model leader of the moderate and democratic Muslim nations that he had made himself out to be. The true colours of the PM are beginning to appear and the real purpose of SOSMA is obvious as Najib’s political tool against political dissidents.
If Najib has any decency and dignity left, he should first come clean about the RM2.6billion personal donation and the 1MBD fiasco that has earned Malaysia worldwide notoriety. The removal of the previous Attorney General and his former Deputy and the interference in the investigations into 1MDB by Najib points to a person with secrets to hide, who has not a care about his personal integrity.
Unfortunately, we have a Prime Minister who has lost the respect and trust of the people of the country, and is hanging on to power by virtue of the rent-seeking and patronage style of UMNO politics. The ‘haze’ of racial extremism will not blow over, as long as these UMNO leaders are only paying lip service to racial unity and moderation while fanning racial tensions on the side to shore up their support. With the increasing dissatisfaction even amongst UMNO members, we are certain that Najib’s days as PM are numbered. There is now a real need to change not only the Prime Minister but also the BN government.
ADUN N70 Ba’ Kelalan