Malaysiakini Letter

Did China subtly warn Malaysia?

Karamjit Gill  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang’s visit to Petaling Street traders recently had drawn lots of criticism from Barisan Nasional. Huang was accused of getting himself involved in the local political scenario. Wisma Putra apparently summoned Ambassador Huang to explain his visit.

Although Huang claims his visit was solely for the Mid-Autumn Festival, reference to the traditionally celebrated Chinese festival is merely an excuse. Does China through their representatives usually do such things? Just take a look at the events prior to Ambassador Huang’s visit and you will understand the motive to his Petaling Street walk-about.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak conveniently left town. Inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar had gone to Mecca for pilgrimage. Red-shirt rally leader Jamal Md Yunus threatened another gathering in Petaling Street. Numerous Umno leaders spoke in defence of the red shirt rally and made pleas for Malay unity and defending of rights.

Digital media spoke in volumes of a possible riot during the rally. Tension was sensed to the bone. Despite requests to cancel the rally, Jamal was still persistent for it.

One day before the supposed rally, Ambassador Huang made a ‘friendly’ visit to the traders in Petaling Street. Do you think he came at his own accord? You can be rest assured he was instructed by the Chinese government to do what he did. The Chinese government is so particular about their conduct, that there is no way China was not aware of Ambassador Huang’s action.

Although Huang’s speech was in general, he did highlight China’s rejection towards any form of extremism, racism and insinuated that they will not rest on their laurels if Chinese interests in other countries are at stake. China indirectly fired a warning missile to the Malaysian government.

Immediately Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi changed his tone, urging Muslims in Malaysia to respect other religions. Instantly, the planned rally in Petaling Street was cancelled. We only know what Ambassador Huang said publicly. We have no idea what else was conspired at inter-government level.

Although some Umno ministers condemned the Chinese government for not allowing Muslims to practice their fasting rituals during the month of Ramadan in certain areas in China, the fact is Malaysian voice does not matter. China is such a powerhouse that they do what they feel like doing.

If Umno has a disagreement with the Chinese government’s action in China, why not urge the Malaysian ambassador in China to pay a visit to Muslims in those areas and make public statements. Would our Malaysian ambassador in China dare to even attempt doing such a thing?

The world today is different from what it was in 1969. Today, it is all about authority. Is the government so silly to think that international powers like China and India would do nothing if Chinese and Indians are ill-treated in other countries? The best thing to do for a small developing country like Malaysia is to stay united and not stir sentiments of extremism and racism.

People from different educational backgrounds and walks of life will have different things to say with regards to the action of Ambassador Huang. However, Huang’s special appearance in Petaling Street has sent a very strong message on racial discrimination to everyone in the country. Most importantly, the brainless gathering planned was called off and that itself is something to be happy about.

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