by Ramon Navaratnam
The Malaysian Insider
February 26, 2014
“Dear fellow Malaysians,
Like most Malaysians , I am deeply disturbed by the serious developments that have been unfolding in our beloved country Malaysia in recent times.
It is depressing to read mass media reports on the increasing number of “hate incidents” occurring all over our country.
I ask myself constantly, what is happening and why are these extremists, who commit these hate crimes, doing so and worse still, why are they getting away with it?
Why has the government and the police not come down hard on these destructive elements?
Why are those who are brazenly and unashamedly preaching and practising hate on racial and religious grounds not being publicly reprimanded and/or brought to book immediately?
The authorities are relatively “silent” and are causing great uncertainty, unrest and disharmony among the people by their relative slow, if sometimes ineffective, response.
There is now growing speculation among the public that some parts of government may even be quietly helping to stoke hate and social and religious unrest behind the scenes.
This is serious and can lead to grave implications for our country and all our people now and in the future.
We have all contributed to build up our beautiful and blessed country and all can be lost almost overnight.
This no exaggeration as this can more easily happen in a uniquely complicated multiracial and multi-religious society such as ours.
I myself believe that most Malaysians are mature and patriotic and loyal enough to resist violence of any kind from all quarters.
However, I also believe that we cannot take peace and national unity for granted.
We must fight the extremists or be overcome by them as history elsewhere has shown so clearly for all to see.
But some seem blind!
We must act immediately to stop all irresponsible and destructive and male fide individuals and groups from creating and cultivating hate, dissension and disunity.
As a simple but proud and patriotic citizen, I appeal to the government and the powers that be to take severe and speedy action against all those who defy our precious constitution, the Rukun Negara.
We all need to re-dedicate ourselves, especially our leaders, to basic human and genuine religious values that strongly cry out to promote peace, national unity and love and goodwill for all god’s children.
We all hope and pray that the government will take lead, with god’s guidance, to maintain and sustain the peace, wellbeing and national unity in our dear Malaysia.” – February 26, 2014.
* Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam is the chairman Asli’s Centre for Public Policy Studies.