Malaysiakini Letter

Some quarters staying too silent on Ismail Mina

Ramon Navaratnam  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | Almost all Malaysians were shocked and deeply disappointed by the divisive discussions that took place at the recent “Rise of the Ummah” Convention.

It was even more depressing to hear that a senior former education officer Raof Husin, urged the government to “return the exclusive right of government scholarships to bumiputera students and do not give them to others.

For crying out loud, what was Raof doing right through his long career in the education service. Was he promoting or degrading national unity?

I wonder how he got away with this anti-unity attitude? Has he got many followers and our people can legitimately ask: is our government condoning this negativity and divisiveness?

The other shocker emerging from this conservative convention was the equally damaging statement by Muslim cleric Ismail Mina Ahmad. In his comments, he reportedly tried to erase the great patriotic contributions and ultimate sacrifices made by non-Malays in especially the Malaysian Armed Forces and the Royal Malaysian police, in the defence of our dear country.

How can anyone be so unfair and discriminatory to our fellow Malaysian citizens, unless of course, they are blatantly racial?

 Commendable reaction

Its most welcome that the MCA president Liow Tiong Lai met with 90 NGOs and roundly asserted that “it is important that all are given equal opportunities to attain a high level of education.”

It is also laudable that the secular group Bebas spokesperson, Azrul Mohd Khalib has boldly called on Malaysians to reject the demands of this narrow, negative and conservative convention. Bebas has rightly pointed out “to the real need to focus on the future, where we do not need to depend on racial discrimination and bigotry to succeed.” They are rational and right.

Many other loyal individuals and organisations have also bravely spoken up. The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism Christianity, Sikhism, Taoism led by its president RS Mohan Shan, the MIC treasurer general S Vell Paari,the MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairperson Ti Lian Ker have all stoutly criticised this threat to national unity from the parochial conservative convention.

Government’s response

 But with all this furore, the government has surprisingly been so far so quiet. Why, I wonder? Is it because of the approaching GE?

On the contrary, the government should come out against racist and unrighteous remarks. The government is indeed expected by all right thinking Malaysians and especially voters, to state its firm stand against these divisive and disruptive remarks that are against historical facts, national unity and the future of the non-Malays.

Both former educationist Raof and the religious cleric Ismail Mina Ahmad, have apparently violated the spirit of our precious Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara, which provide the foundations of our national unity, fairness, justice and socioeconomic progress.

The question that rises in the public mind is then - should not the government take the lead by expressing its official stand against attempts to cause public restlessness, disharmony and even unrest?

In fact, the authorities could be reasonably expected to take the appropriate actions under the laws of the land, against those who undermine national unity.

So many Malaysians would appeal to the government to please be Fair, Inclusive and to actively promote national unity our beloved country. This is particularly pertinent, at this time, before the GE14.

This positive move by government, will definitely benefit all patriotic Malaysians, who will be grateful for government`s leadership to effectively promote greater peace and harmony in our nation.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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