Malaysia is for Malaysians

  • Opinion
  • Sunday, 23 Dec 2018

THIS is supposed to be the season of giving and love. What we have instead, if some quarters are to have their way, is a season of hate. They wanted this to happen. They made it happen and now they are screaming for revenge and for a scapegoat. 

This has always been the modus operandi of those with no other capital to attain power. They have no shame to use the tragedy of a young man’s death for their political agenda. 

What is most disappointing is that those we elected to be the change agent has become part of that agenda. Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Youth on Tuesday issued a memorandum urging the Prime Minister to remove the de facto Unity Minister P. Waythamoorthy over the the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim in the Sri Maha Mariamman temple fracas last month. Now, Bersatu Youth is helmed by the Youth and Sports Minister – a twenty-something, supposedly open-minded and critical thinker. What an absolute disappointment. 

Those baying for blood and scapegoating the unity minister seemed to have conveniently forgotten that the attackers of innocent devotees at the Hindu temple in Seafield, which caused the riot in the first place, were allegedly Malay thugs. 

So why were there no calls for the resignation of the Youth Minister, who couldn’t control the alleged Malay youths who attacked the temple? Where is the indignation by these defenders of justice for those Hindu devotees who were also harmed and injured?

Neither is there talk of those who came to Adib’s aid, who are said to be part of the temple’s community.

No matter what the cause, the scapegoat is always the other and you will hear no talk on what is perpetrated on the minority. This is Malaysian racism 101.

Nobody has yet to be adjudicated as the perpetrator(s) to the injuries that caused Adib’s death. We actually have not even ascertained for a fact what the cause of said injuries was, and yet, the said “cause” has been bandied conclusively in the media.  

In contrast, we know for a fact that the thugs entered the temple with machetes and devotees were seriously injured by them. Have the police welcomed witnesses to volunteer evidence without having them summarily arrested on sight? How much has our media or our Home Minister exposed the extent of the heinous acts carried out that night at the temple? Why the silence on this?  Why is it when it comes to these injurious acts in a place of worship, there is a blackout of regret and outrage? Is the life of Indians of less value than those of Malays? 

What I see is the playing up of extremist Malay outrage and no attempt by the authorities and government heads to balance the narrative and provide a strong leadership to demand calm while presenting a unifying direction. Instead, their timid voices have made the extremist outrage louder, spreading its narrative to the majority population.

This is an utter failure on the part of the Pakatan Harapan government leadership. None more so than that represented by the Bersatu Youth leader. 

But overall, this whole incident has shown that the general Pakatan Malay leadership has been an abject failure. Instead of being a beacon of reason and unity, it has shown an inability to provide strong rational leadership to the Malay community.

Do not blame the masses for its inability to transform itself if the leadership – and its elites – is out of its depths in how to provide such leadership. A society is only as good as its best. 

I call for all segments of our society to be calm and to be reasonable. To not be looking for any scapegoat.

No minister is responsible for the thuggery and heinous acts committed inside the temple and none of the ministers is also responsible in causing the riot or the injuries that caused the death of the brave young man, Mohd Adib, on that fateful night. 

We have lived in harmony for a long time since the dark days of 1969. Those who have lost power know that the only way for them to escape justice is to return to power in whatever way they can, even if they tear our society apart. They know that whipping our majority into an emotional frenzy is all the defense they have. 

Government leaders, especially the Malays, must step up to the plate and put things into perspective. There are more reasonable Malays that understand this but you must show the courage to be the voice of the silent, reasonable and peaceful majority. There are a lot more decent and thoughtful Malays who abhor what we are seeing today than the loud extremists. Do not allow racists and extremists to control the narrative. To do so merely provides them with further courage to wreak havoc upon our population.

We cannot allow their wanton act of poisoning our well to continue unchallenged. Be leaders, not cowards. 

We cannot mourn forever. We need to act but act in a reasonable way with courage and conviction of what is right and to ensure justice is for all.

This is also the season to renew and give love. This is the season to act out of love for all our fellow Malaysians.

Let us come together in unity – Malays, Chinese, Kadazans, Ibans, Indians, Sikhs, Orang Asal and Asli, Bidayuhs, Kenyahs, Kayans, Bajaus, Muruts, Kelabits, Melanaus, and everyone else of us, to make a better nation for our children and our children’s children. 

Shout down the voices of outrage and hate. Shout up the voices of love and unity.

Malaysia is for Malaysians, forever and always. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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Opinion , Politics , Siti Kasim , Siti Thots column


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