Malaysiakini Letter

Religious tolerance should go both ways

Saravanan  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | After 60 years, the country has got independence from Umno and the corrupt BN government. It is a big success for all Malaysians. As Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants to achieve Wawasan 2020 we have to work towards that direction. Although we have less than 18 months to go, at least we can try to make the nation a better country.

I admire Mahathir for the idea of Looking East which is one of the positive ways of progressing the country. Unfortunately, while we progress towards the betterment of the economy, the new government is forgetting that we have growing number of racists, religious bigots and extremists in our midst.

No country in this world will progress with the uneven treatment of their own citizens. Discriminating and marginalising policies were the main agendas of the previous government. So the current government has to work towards minimising the racism, religious bigotry and extremism in society.

It's always been the habit of some people to mock other races and religions in Malaysia. This been going from the time of the past governments so in this New Malaysia, there at least should be a solution to keep Malaysia a peaceful nation.

However, the present leaders are seeing the same scenarios from the past but they just keep quiet. I am afraid that the current government will become another Umno Barisan 2.0.

As an Indian activist, I can feel for my community in the way some issues have been handled. Zakir Naik is just holding a permanent residence in Malaysia and he is not even a voter. Yet our government respects and pampers such preachers without even listening to the Indian voter who voted in Pakatan Harapan without any doubt.

Article 11 of the Federal Constitution restricts the propagation of other religions to Muslims. We the Indians in this land always respected the law and never preached to others about our religion.

But here you have Zakir Naik (and other preachers) mocking other religions either during sermons or inflammatory postings on social media. Every Malaysian should look at how the previous dealt with and how the current government deals with such issues.

As an activist, I have observed very clearly that if Islam is insulted in this country, the authorities are swift to take action. But why is no action taken against Zakir Naik and his students after he comes here and insults other religions?

In fact, he is then given permanent residence!

This letter is not written to give a bad name to the current government but when exactly will this country treat all its citizens equally? If the propagation of other religions to Muslims according to Article 11 is an offence then how about Zakir Naik and his local followers mocking other religions openly?

Seriously, are we heading towards a civilised country status or are we preparing our country for extremism? If we bring the country towards intolerance, then Malaysia will never be a successful nation because of this cancer which is killing our beautiful nation.

The Home Minister will do well to make sure that every police report in this country is investigated regardless of who it is against. The ministers, meanwhile, should realise their salaries are paid by us so there is no way to brush our complaints.

We are sad that many police reports have been abandoned and there is only selective action. Wake up Malaysia from this nightmare of race, religious bigotry and extremism.


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

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