Malaysiakini Letter

Malays must stand up to the extremists

Ahmad Hafidz Baharom  |  Published:  |  Modified:

First and foremost, I am a third generation constitutional Malaysian Malay Muslim, as far as I can tell from my secondary school history project I did in 1996. That being said, there are those who may have a history of their ancestors and families living in this nation longer than I have.

I am partially Chinese, Indian, Indonesian Malay and Malaysian Malay, which we can all say are the four biggest populations in Malaysia currently. All I can say about this is that my parents must have taken Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s racial genetic co-mingling which he suggested in The Malay Dilemma seriously.

As much as I am a Malay, I am not a supporter of Umno, nor am I a supporter of PAS or any political party.

Instead, I align myself to individuals, among them PAS’ Khalid Abdul Samad and Mujahid Rawa (regardless of his anti-smoking crusade), DAP’s Charles Santiago and Tony Pua, PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar, Elizabeth Wong, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and Rafizi Ramli, and Umno’s Saifudin Abdullah, Ahmad Husni Hanadziah and Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

As a graduate of UiTM, I am thankful for what Umno has done in the past, but that doesn't exclude them from criticism. Nor does it exclude UiTM from criticism.

As such, I don't find an insult to Umno as an insult to myself as a Malay, nor do I see urging UiTM to be opened up to non-bumiputeras as an insult to myself.

Similarly, I do not find it taboo for a non-Muslim to wish me salam, or to use Islamic phrases. This is because I see it as a positive, as them trying to emulate our culture instead of somehow seeing it as a threat against my religion.

In other words, I am not paranoid.

In the past year or so, we have somehow seen that any insult to Umno, Ikaan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), having Iban language Bibles, urging the reigning in of religious authorities, all of this as an insult to Malays.

Umno is not a representation of all the Malays in Malaysia. The fact that they lost Shah Alam in the last two general elections is solid proof of it. Mind you, we have a more than 90 percent Malay population in this parliamentary district.

Isma’s president, contrary to his wife’s belief, is not the representative of all Malays. After all, if he thinks the Chinese are trespassers, then he is equally saying I myself am the product of a trespassing ancestor.

A Penang assemblyperson calling Umno ‘celaka’ is also not an insult to myself, because I have seen students right out of UiTM who just got their first jobs giving out the same expletive remarks when they read news coverage of the Auditor-General’s Report.

And by the way, these were former BN Youth Volunteers during the 2013 general election.

I am not a traitor to Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah for thinking that both the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) are in the wrong and have totally lost the plot by seizing Bibles and having fake ex-Christians hold a talk at UiTM, regardless of what Negri Sembilan Perkasa suggests.

And if they think they need to behead me for this, I suggest they check in with the His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor to use his royal courtyard for the guillotine.

I believe the Malays have to now take a stand against all these views, and voice it out as ardently as possible; that we are no longer represented by extremists.

Now is the time for the Malays to take a stand and tell those in charge to either stop it or face the consequences of misrepresenting us to the entire world.

It is time to take legal action against our extremists to gag them from making unwarranted statements that tarnish the image of the Malay race.

If not, then the greatest insult to the Malays would be the insult we do to ourselves by letting the voice of the loud few destroy whatever pride we have left in ourselves as a people, as a community, as a majority in this country.

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