Yesterday, the extremist group Perkasa claimed the “kangkung furore” can result in a repeat of the May 13 racial riots if it continues to be played up, claiming that the issue has become racial and is against Malaysia’s multi-racial society.
A Perkasa spokesman said many people are seen as disrespecting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib on this issue.
He said: “The May 13th incident may repeat itself if people want it to happen again. If the kangkung issue goes too far, it is not impossible that it might.”
Can there be a repeat of the May 13, 1969 riots?
Yes, if extremists and intolerant groups and element are allowed to continue and even to escalate their campaign of incitement of racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict using lies and falsehoods without immediate action by the authorities to put an end to such irresponsible, inflammatory, incendiary and seditious spewing and incitement of racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict in our plural society.
An example of such incitement of racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict is the protest by Umno Penang and its allies on Saturday, which took the form of the worst form of political gangsterism and thuggery, threatening with the rhetorical question: “Does DAP want another May 13” and which carried the most blood-curdling racist and religious slogans and banners, even with one banner in blood red with the screaming words: “Because of DAPs leaders mouth, May 13, 1969 happened…Want some more?” and other inflammatory banners like “ABCD – Asal Bukan Cina DAP” and “DAP is the enemy of Islam”.
This was the most irresponsible, dangerous, incendiary and seditious incitement of racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict when in the first place, the DAP was not involved in any manner with Lee Khai Loon, PKR Machang Bubuk Assemblyman’s “kangkung” flash-mob which the Penang UMNO and their allies were protesting against.
Although Lee’s protest action could be regarded as excessive, offensive and insensitive, he had made it clear it was never meant to insult the Prime Minister but to highlight the people’s burden and hardships as a result of the price hikes.
Lee should consider an apology especially as there are those who regard such protest action as excessive, offensive and insensitive (and I am one of them), but an even more important consideration is not to allow irresponsible quarters trigger-quick to look for excuses to distort and manipulate incidents in their campaign to incite and inflame emotions to escalate racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension in their ultimate objective to create another May 13 in the country.
Anwar Ibrahim is right that Lee’s kangkung flash-mob of the stuffing of kangkung into the mouth of Najib’s effigy is nothing when compared to the butt dance by pro-government groups comprising army veterans in front of Bersih co-ordinator Ambiga Sreenevasan in 2012.
The “butt dance” was clearly much worse than the “kangkung flash mob” but no Umno protests had ever been staged against the utterly tasteless butt dance!
Lee has to decide whether to apologise for the incident, which hopefully will start a virtuous circle for all political leaders and activists to be extraordinarily sensitive to the sensibilities not only of a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural society but also the very inflamed political situation at present because of the presence of irresponsible, dangerous and reckless quarters out to “fish in troubled waters” including creating another May 13 to serve their selfish short-term political interests.
There can however be no excuse whatsoever for the protest demos like the one organized by Penang UMNO on Saturday to incite and inflame racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict using lies and falsehoods.
The time has come for all Malaysians to separate patriots who want an united peaceful, harmonious and prosperous Malaysia from traitors who want to create another May 13 by inciting racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict.
The line between patriots and traitors must be drawn to save Malaysia from another May 13.
Patriots talk of language of peace, harmony, unity and tolerance in Malaysia while traitors preach division, conflict, hatred and intolerance.
Like “thief shouting thief”, those who want to create another May 13 go round asking whether others want to create another May 13!
Are Barisan Nasional leaders prepared to join Pakatan Rakyat leaders in a summit to ensure triumph of patriotism with the message of peace, harmony, unity and tolerance over treason preaching division, conflict, hatred and intolerance?
Malaysia is in unusual times. This is a time when all political leaders, regardless of their political affiliation, must prove that they in the ranks of patriots who want an united, harmonious, prosperous and successful Malaysia, and have no hesitation or compunction in dissociating themselves from traitors who are preaching racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict to create another May 13.
One test whether one is being patriotic or treasonous is whether a political leader or movement is dousing or inciting racial and religious fires in the country.
In Selangor, concerns have been expressed that Catholic priest Rev Father Lawrence Andrew’s life may be at risk as long as Selangor Umno continues with its 30 roadshows which single him out as the main instigator of non-Muslims using “Allah” in the state, when Andrew’s statements were based on the consensus of the Catholic community.
The Prime Minister and the Cabinet tomorrow should put a stop to the Selangor Umno roadshows which could only spark suspicion, anger, mistrust and tolerance undermining inter-religious harmony and national accord in the country.