Zero tolerance for racism or zero action?

By Thomas Lee

It is nearly a month since the controversial racist remarks allegedly made by Johor school principal Siti Inshah Mansor on 12 August 2010 was highlighted in the media, but no action has so far been taken on the case.

On the contrary, the case involving 27-year-old rapper Wee Meng Chee, popularly known as Namewee, who last week uploaded a video titled “Nah” on the YouTube criticizing Siti Inshah’s alleged racist remarks uttered against students, was investigated straight away by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which questioned him for more than seven hours.

It was reported that the police also went to Meng Chee’s house in Muar 15 minutes before midnight on the eve of the 53rd Merdeka celebration, leading him to post this message on his Facebook: “3 POLICE CARS FINALLY CAME TO MY MUAR HOME TO ARREST ME***** this happened 15 minutes before our 53rd National Day Celebration. YES, I’m still here but for how long more, I don’t know … my beloved MALAYSIA, where is our justice system?! (THIS IS NOT A JOKE)”.

Federal CID chief Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin has also confirmed that Meng Chee was being investigated under the Sedition Act.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang wants to know why the police are investigating Meng Chee for sedition when there is nothing seditious in his three-minute rap against the Kulai secondary school principal for making racist slurs against students while the school principal is still scot-free for her seditious racism.

Siti Inshah’s case concerns her remarks likening Indian students wearing prayer threads to dogs, and ordered dissatisfied ethnic Chinese and Indian students to “return to China or India”.

Her remarks sparked a nationwide public furor and drew calls for her to be sacked. Several police reports were lodged against her, but despite setting up a task force to probe the allegations, Deputy Prime Minister cum Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has so far stonewalled on taking any action.

She had reportedly made the derogatory remarks during the launch of the school’s Merdeka celebrations on Thursday 12 August 2010.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had recently declared that there should be “zero tolerance for racism”, yet there has been no concrete action taken against the racists and extremists, some within the ranks of his own party, who are making his 1-Malaysia concept into a worthless slogan, and causing him to be held in contempt by the people.

The unremitting incessant racist comments by the mercenary newspaper columnists and the igneous fiery rhetoric of the ardent fervid racist politicians promoting the supremacy of one particular race are creating an atmosphere of dread and fear among the people.

The chorus of protests and condemnation against such racist propaganda seems to have fallen on the deaf ears of the power-that-be, with no vocal and visible actions being taken to curb the racist politicians and civil servants.

For example, in the Siti Inshah case, Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom trivialized the whole serious matter as simply a “misunderstanding”, instead of viewing her racists remarks as something that hurt the feelings of others, jeopardizing the peace, harmony and unity of the nation.

Alimuddin’s thoughtless dismissal of the grave scenario exposes him as being incapable and incompetent in understanding the severity and gravity of the consequences of such damaging remarks, which could destroy the peaceful co-existence of our multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural, and multi-lingual nation.

The Najib administration has a duty and accountability to take fast and hard actions against those who fan the racial fire, threatening the peace and harmony of the nation, and creating disunity among the people.

First of all, Najib and his ministers cannot keep silent in the face of such racist rhetoric and racial power play among the nefarious politicians, especially those promoting the supremacy and superiority of any particular race.

Najib wants to create a 1-Malaysia community, but it is surely obvious that his ideal has not been filtering down to the people, with several extremist rights groups going all out to create disharmony.

Over the last one year or so, the dubious and shady characters of certain rights groups have been going around disparaging the non-Malays calling them “immigrants” or “passengers”, and asking them to leave the country. There was also the so-called cow-head protest, and the arson attacks on places of worship.

There were also acts of sabotage against a duly elected state government by creating problems and scandals with racial or religious overtones, such as the doctored picture of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Secondly, the Najib administration must go all out to rein in the unscrupulous malevolent elements in positions of power in the civil service and weed them out to preserve and protect the harmony, peace and unity of the nation.

Fast disciplinary and legal actions must be instituted against those who cast aspersion and obloquy on people of other races, like the school head who made racial slur against the non-Malays, and the police officer who told a snatch theft victim to “go back to China” when she couldn’t speak proper Bahasa Malaysia while making a police report.

Thirdly, the Najib administration should heed the proposal by DAP national chairman Karpal Singh to enact a Race Relations Act as a deterrent to prevent further racist remarks from being uttered by irresponsible individuals.

I believe that such a legislation would contribute much to enhance race relationship in Malaysia. I suggest that the following objectives be used as guiding principles for such a legislation:

  1. To promote greater integration and better relations among people of the various races and ethnic groups.

  2. To eradicate racial discrimination, harassment and abuses.

  3. To promote racial equality in the civil service, and education institutions.

  4. To support private sector employers to ensure equality of opportunity and good race relations.

  5. To increase public awareness of racial discrimination and injustice through education and the information media.

  6. To win the hearts and minds of the people and unite them to create a just, fair and equal society.

If Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is truly serious and earnest about “zero tolerance for racism”, then he must act positively and constructively in dealing with the increasingly intolerant racist insurgency that is gathering momentum and threatening the fragile and friable mosaic of our multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural, and multi-lingual nation.

  1. #1 by Taxidriver on Monday, 6 September 2010 - 10:39 pm

    Don’t place any hope on Najib to solve the country’s problems. He is a lembik PM…. 10 x worse than Badawi. Najib is PM only in name. The actual one holding power is Satan’s no. 1 disciple in Malaysia, specially brought in from Kerala to cause divisions among the races.

  2. #2 by Taxidriver on Monday, 6 September 2010 - 10:59 pm

    ”We cannot take action without a proper “siasatan” by the Poohlis because we don’t want to punish the wrong person. IF SHE REALLY MADE THOSE REMARKS, I repeat, IF SHE REALLY MADE THOSE REMARKS, we will take the appropriate action. Let the Poohlis ”siasat” first”

    From the statements made by Muhyiddin, one must be a fool to expect any form of action against the Hate-mistress.

    Hello, DPM, since the Hate-mistress had apologized to the parents of the students, it is obvious that she did utter those hurtful words to the students otherwise why would she apologize?? Don’t be another Abdul Razak Musa.

  3. #3 by Taxidriver on Monday, 6 September 2010 - 11:23 pm

    Can we expect someone to sincerely deal with racism when he himself is the head of a Racist Organisation. Racism can only be effectively checked when power is taken away from that organisation. Be patient. Wait for 13th GE. After that we must make those who stole the RM 52 billion worth of Bumiputra shares cough every sen out. This money must go back to the rightful owners, namely, the poor Bumiputra Malays.

  4. #4 by ekompute on Monday, 6 September 2010 - 11:42 pm

    I will sooner trust the secret societies than our so-called government.

  5. #5 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 12:35 am

    Deep in his heart, he wants to do the correct thing. He always reminds us of his Dad. But so hard because of the support needed for the party. Kelantan gone. Penang gone. Kedah gone. Selangor gone. Perak gone. Remains 9. If he does not hold on to these, then it will be truely gone. Not all Malays support UMNO and not all UMNO members are Malays. BumiNONputras also do not support just one party. The young blood is quick to act and so he has to swim in this river which leads to where, only God knows. You people are also part of the government. Opposition but in the government. You can do something too.

  6. #6 by bennylohstocks on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 1:26 am

  7. #7 by kpt99 on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 1:49 am

    Musa Hasan says third party meddling police force is greatest disappointment of his entire service as an IGP.Uncle Lim you were right when you said that there is rifts between IGP and Hisammuddin.Public perception of police force will deteriorate more after Musa Hasan statment

  8. #8 by ekompute on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 2:33 am

    QUOTE: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had recently declared that there should be “zero tolerance for racism”, yet there has been no concrete action taken against the racists and extremists…

    Najib is obviously a strong supporter of NATO… No Action, Talk Only. He can’t walk the talk, so he talk and talk.

  9. #9 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 7:09 am

    In his Monday speech to Putrajaya staff, the man is struggling to make his points and worst, kept on the straight and narrow of the same old formula that no longer works.

    Its a lot worst than no action. He is spinning his wheels in the same spot. He is freaking clueless what to do. Not surprising given that his main policies are in shambles.

    The hawks are just waiting for some crap to hit the roof to move him out. A scandal, a bad by-election/state election, a slowdown in economy or a public disaster and someone will go to him and ask him to pack his things.

  10. #10 by undertaker888 on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 7:37 am

    Don’t depend on HatE-ducation Minister moo head to do anything. he is condoning it for polical purpose. Let them do their evil deeds. Evil only begets evil.
    no right thinking person are supporting them anymore.

  11. #11 by ekompute on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 7:51 am

    Bigjoe: Not surprising given that his main policies are in shambles.

    Right, right, right. I don’t even know what his main policies are these days. He killed his own 1Malaysia and NEM with his wishy-washy speeches and I wonder what is now left. Seems like he is not ready to face the electorate anytime and so I guess he is now preparing for the day when UMNO is going to lose the general election. Would it be another May 13 or would it be a hurried flight out of Malaysia while taking his breakfast, similar to what Marcos did some 25 years ago?

  12. #12 by dagen on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 8:58 am

    Jib is all over the place with his 1malaysia. In fact I got the impression that he is just about 1malaysia and nothing else. Maybe he should hv a Menteri Hal Ehwal 1Malaysia and delegate all his 1malaysia duties to that minister. Or better still. Assign those duties to his deputy “toasted face” Muhideen.

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 10:31 am

    Plenty of talk, but zero on walk d talk
    We r going 2 hv more slogans but as usual no delivery of claims 2 do n dat
    Talk, talk, talk, ain’t we all sick of words?

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