No one would expect the three new MCA/Gerakan Ministers will fail their make-or-break test in their first week in Cabinet.
Firstly, no one expected the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to put them in a bind by making his May 13 threat at a Ramadan event in Pagoh on Friday night.
Secondly, instead of reprimanding or at least dissociating themselves from the May 13 threat, both the MCA President Datuk Liow Tiong Lai and the Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong sought to sanitise Muhyiddin’s May 13 threat by describing it as a “reminder” to Malaysians to stand united.
Muhyiddin was of course not making any such reminder as his reference of another May 13 was solely in the context worsening ethnic relations arising from the Malays and Islam in Malaysia under increasing attack, painting a false picture of Malays and Islam under growing attack by non-Malays and non-Muslims, which is not only untrue but utterly irresponsible coming from a Deputy Prime Minister as there is no basis for such political scenario.
Do Liow and Mah agree that Malaysia is today facing a scenario where there could be a recurrence of another May 13 because of worsening ethnic relations as a result of Malays and Islam coming under incessant attack by non-Malays and non-Muslims?
And if so, who are these non-Malays and non-Muslims who are guilty of such incessant attack on the Malays and Muslims in the country?
What is the role of the Government, Cabinet Ministers, the DPM and PM if the country is in such dire straits on the verge of another May 13 riots?
Isn’t this itself proof of government negligence and incompetence to allow the country to slide to a situation on the verge of another May 13?
If the scenario of Malays and Islam under relentless attack by non-Malays and non-Muslims is completely fictitious and a figment of imagination of a small group of provocateurs and extremists out to sow and incite racial and religious hatred, conflict and tensions, how could Muhyiddin’s reference to another May 13 be a “reminder” to Malaysians to stand united?
I do not think Mah was being responsible when said he had not read the “whole thing” of Muhyiddin’s May 13 reference although it is the third day of the controversy – yet he had no hesitation in passing judgment on the matter.
Mah said “we are fighting very hard for 1Malaysia”. Who is “fighting hard” for Malaysia? Is he referring to Muhyiddin, whose “Malay first, Malaysian second” stand was a repudiation of Najib’s 1Malaysia policy to create a nation were Malaysians regard themselves as Malaysians first and race, religion and region second?
Mah said “It’s about time Malaysia treated the moderates as heroes instead of saying moderates are neither here nor there”.
He estimated that of the Malaysian public, 15 to 20 per cent hold leftist views and a similar number lean to the right, while 60 per cent are in the middle. He reckoned that right now, the ones who make the most noise are on the right, and they are the ones treated as heroes, and the media gives them the most coverage.
The future of plural Malaysia is in the hands of the moderates. But if Mah is right, that there are some 15 to 20 per cent of the population “from the right” who are extremists, then Malaysia is in deep trouble.
I believe that the extremists in Malaysia are still an overwhelming minority while the moderates in Malaysia an overwhelming majority.
Let us not forget that in the 13th General Elections last May, some 52 per cent of the electorate voted for Pakatan Rakyat while Barisan Nasional formed the federal government on a minority vote – first time in the nation’s history.
Those who voted for the Pakatan Rakyat, whether DAP, PKR or PAS, are moderates who want a democratic change of government and do not want another May 13 riots.
Those who want another May 13 would come from the minority of the Barisan Nasional’s 47% minority vote – which I would put as a tiny percentage of the national vote in contrast to Mah’s claim of 15 to 20 per cent of the population.
But it is this small group of loud-mouthed extremists and provocateurs, representing a tiny percentage of the population, who are holding the country to ransom in the past year with the incessant stoking and incitement of racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension but who seemed to enjoy patronage from those in power in their immunity and impunity for breaching the peace and breaking laws – and periodically issuing May 13 threats.
I have said that a person is not fit to be a DPM, and Ministers are not fit to be in the Cabinet, if they are not prepared to ensure that there cannot be another May 13 in Malaysia.
Is the Cabinet tomorrow prepared to demonstrate that it is a Cabinet of patriots, fully committed to ensure that there will not be another May 13 riots in the country ?