Francissca Peter calls on M'sian artists to stand in solidarity in condemning racial attacks

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian singer-songwriter Francissca Peter (pic) has called on Malaysian artists to stand in solidarity in condemning racial attacks towards individuals who question the loyalty of the Chinese and Indians in this country.

"I urge Malaysian artists from all cultural and religious backgrounds to stand in solidarity in condemning this latest racial hate attack by a specific non-Malaysian and individuals who question the loyalty of Chinese and Indian Malaysians.

"Please speak out against any person who questions and insults our beliefs, our cultures and our rights as equal citizens and those who wish to destroy the social fabric of Malaysia by dividing us and making us hate each other," she said in a Facebook post early Sunday (Aug 18) morning.

Controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik's comments on non-Muslims have recently heightened racial tensions in the country.

Zakir had allegedly called on Chinese Malaysians to go back first to where they belong before he does, as they were the "old guests" of the country.

He had also remarked that Hindus in Malaysia were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Francissca, or Fran as she is popularly known, said as Malaysian artists, it was difficult to stay apolitical and focus solely on music.

She added that she could not stay silent and accept accusations of "disloyalty, racism and religious bigotry" towards the country and its citizens.

"When outsiders and hateful, divisive persons come into your house and condemn your family, they are not just condemning me but my parents and grandparents who were Malaysians through and through, including all my fellow Chinese and Indian Malaysians and their ancestors, too," she said.

The 57-year-old added that she was saddened that a non-Malaysian was allowed to freely condemn and incite hatred towards Chinese and Indian Malaysians.

"Coming from a mixed cultural background, Chinese and Indian, both my parents were born in Malaysia, and were deeply patriotic towards our country.

"I was born in Selangor and am a third-generation Malaysian. We need to acknowledge that many honest and hardworking Malaysians from all racial and religious backgrounds contributed to the development of our country," she said.

Fran, who is well known for her signature tune, Setia, in the 1980s, said each time she was asked to sing Setia at any event or function, she sang it with "pride and love" for her country.

She added that she was blessed with supportive fans from all walks of life, noting that 80% of her fanbase were Malays.

"I believe that they embrace and respect unity and harmony for every single Malaysian. Peace and goodness be in all your hearts always and I thank you for your support and love," she said.

Fran also noted that as peace-loving Malaysians, one must not be indifferent but instead, stand up and speak out against any form of social injustice, bullying, abuse, and to pressure the government to do the right thing.

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