The UMNO party elections campaign have rocked the country with intolerant, incendiary, racist and even seditious pronouncements by contending UMNO candidates which run afoul of what former Deputy Prime Minister and one-time Deputy UMNO President, Tun Musa Hitam had cautioned UMNO candidates against in a recent interview where he said:
“… often times, to show one’s Malayness they become anti-other groups or accuse others of being anti-Malays. Only then they become heroes. This cannot be.”
Two UMNO politicians who had blatantly and irresponsibly played the race card utterly reckless of the damage they do to 56 years of nation-building in the country are Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in their campaign for the UMNO vice presidency on Oct. 19.
In a bout of Chinese-bashing, Ali Rustam blamed the Chinese voters for his defeat in the Malay-majority Bukit Katil parliamentary seat in Malacca, oblivious of the fact that he would not have lost in the May general elections if he had not also lost the support of the Malay voters in his constituency.
Is Ali Rustam going to blame the Chinese again if he loses in the UMNO Vice Presidential elections next Saturday?
Zahid’s racist, incendiary and seditious rantings are more serious as it compromised his high office as Home Minister.
If the Inspector-General of Police has transgressed the law, the Home Minister with the support of the Prime Minister could initiate proceedings against the No. 1 policeman in the country, which had been done when Tun Dr. Mahathir initiated action, proven to be unconstitutional and a gross abuse of power, when he removed the No. 1 man in the judiciary in 1988 – Tun Salleh Abas, the Lord President.
But if the sitting Home Minister has committed a crime, what can the Inspector-General of Police, as the top police officer to uphold law and order in the country, do if there is no support from the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General?
This is a question many Malaysians are asking after Zahid’s controversial speech that the police “shoot first” when dealing with suspected criminals at the “security briefing ceremony with community leaders” in Malacca last Saturday.
Ali and Zahid are so far the worst examples of what Musa had warned UMNO candidates against, that they should not try to become Malay “heroes” by showing “one’s Malayness they become anti-other groups or accuse others of being anti-Malays”.
This is also a total repudiation and negation of the 1Malaysia signature policy advocated by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak but who has fallen silent on the policy in the past five months since the 13th general elections.
While the country, in fact the world, awaits the response and stand of the Prime Minister to the intolerant, incendiary, racist and seditious pronouncements of UMNO leaders and even his Home Minister, whether he is prepared to dissociate himself from such blatant flouting of the law of the land, ordinary Malaysians must reaffirm their support for a Malaysian Dream, which is not anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan or anti-Dayak but pro-all Malaysians.
It is most deplorable that in the five months after the last general elections, instead of national reconciliation efforts for Malaysians to unite behind a common Malaysian Dream, racist lies and falsehoods were escalated to cause greater racial and religious polarization in the country – from lies about my contesting in Gelang Patah to cause a confrontation between the Chinese and Malays before the general elections to the equally dastardly lie after the May 5 general election results that
the DAP “wants the Chinese who already dominate the economy to dominate Malaysia’s politics as well”.
This fitted both the Umno and MCA agendas – the former to allow UMNO leaders to play the race card by creating the false sense that the Malays are under siege while the latter to permit MCA leaders to claim that Malaysia is facing a two-race confrontation instead of a two-coalition system to ensure justice, freedom and fair play for all Malaysians.
Before, during and after the 13th General Elections on May 5, DAP had advocated a Malaysian Dream, which I spelt out on April 8 as envisioning “a plural society where all her citizens are united as one people, rising above their ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic differences” with “undivided loyalty to the country…to develop the greatness of the country deriving from the best from the diverse races, religions and cultures so that Malaysia can become one of the leading nations of the world in all fields of human endeavour”.
At a period when some Umno politicians are irresponsibly playing the race card, it is all the more urgent that Malaysians should reject such extremist, intolerant, racist and religious appeals and instead, reaffirm their commitment to the Malaysian Dream, which is not anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan or anti-Dayak but pro-all Malaysians to build a nation which all Malaysians can feel proud and stand tall in the world.