September 16, 2015 will be a double test for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, firstly as to how committed he is to the Malaysia idea; and secondly, whether he would show leadership and not allow the country to be held to ransom by irresponsible elements who want to provoke racial tensions and temperatures in the country by holding a racist “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur.
Although the Prime Minister has an appointment with the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak at Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu on Malaysia Day to sign the commemorative Malaysia Day document to re-enact the formation of Malaysia 52 years ago, this is meaningless PR “public relations” gimmick unless it is accompanied by substantive announcements by Najib on the concrete measures Putrajaya will take to end the half-century of neglect and underdevelopment of Sabah and Sarawak – like increase of oil royalties to Sabah and Sarawak and the granting of autonomy on education and other jurisdictions to the two states!
The other test for Najib on Malaysia Day is whether he would allow the country to be held to ransom by irresponsible elements who want to provoke racial tensions and temperatures in the country by holding a racist “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur.
Although the “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” was announced as a counter to the Bersih 4 overnight rally, there is no basis whatsoever to compare them on the same footing, as Bersih 4 is an expression of the highest patriotism and love of the nation by Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region, gender, sex or politics while the “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally represents the worst in Malaysia – the racist, intolerant and bigoted in the country.
The hundreds of thousands who converged in Kuala Lumpur on August 29 and 30 for the Bersih 4 overnight rally never had to worry about racial clashes or conflicts, as these were furthest from their mind as they want to celebrate the coming together of like-minded Malaysians who want a good, accountable and transparent government which is committed to the holding of clean, free and fair elections.
Malaysians at the Bersih 4 rally came together as brothers and sisters, united citizens of a nation.
Any thought of possible trouble is not whether there will be racial clashes or conflict, but whether the Police would deviate from their duties to uphold peace and order and arbitrarily fire tear gas or shoot water cannons into the peaceful Bersih 4 crowd.
But the “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” is a different kettle of fish altogether, as it is not an expression of Malaysian patriotism and inclusiveness, but the creature of the worst in the country – communal intolerance, hate and intimidation.
Right from the beginning of the announcement of the “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu”, Malaysians all over the country, regardless of race or religion, are asking with concern whether there would be racial trouble in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 16 – which was never the case with regard to Bersih 4 overnight rally, when such a question was never posed or thought of.
This is because the pre-publicity for the “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” was thick with imagery of communal intolerance, hatred and intimidation with one message – that it would be a Malay confrontation with the Chinese who allegedly “dominated” the Bersih 4 rally.
This is a gross misuse of the name of Malays as the “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally threatening communal peace and the other communities in the country does not have the blessing of the Malays, not even the three million UMNO members, but merely the mischief of the self-serving few who want to claim credit for defending Najib in the midst of his many woes.
If the organisers of “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” are serious, will they address the issues which are the main causes for undermining “Maruah Melayu” like the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal, the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal bank accounts and the Altantunya Shaariibuu murder case, which resurfaced in a special Aljazeera investigative report today posing the question which had haunted Najib and Malaysians all these years – what was the motive and who was the mastermind for the murder of the Mongolian?
[Speech (2) at the launch of the Johor Parti Amanah Negara in Johor Baru on Friday, 11th September 2015 at 11 pm]