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Cleric wrong, non-Malays have also defended King and country

Mohamed Arshad Raji  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | It was reported that Ismail Mina Ahmad, the chairperson of the Ummah, an umbrella group for Muslim organisations, asserted that only the Malays had battled the communists during the Emergency era.

He also said only the Malays had fought against the British and Japanese.

The other assertion by the chairperson of Ummah was that outspoken minorities (referring to non-Malays) posed a danger to the position of Islam in the country and Malay political rule, aiming to usurp power, and even wanting to be prime minister.

Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) is not in any way angry with Ismail Mina Ahmad (photo), as what he purportedly said does not reflect on himself as a person well-versed in current affairs and history.

Being elderly and a vulnerable person, others could have easily manipulated him with sentiments relating to religion and race, especially with the general election looming and all kinds of underhand tactics would be employed.

A cleric and an elderly person is usually one with wisdom, promoting love, peace, understanding, and compassion. Certainly not one promoting hatred.

Patriot is very disappointed with those who had sponsored Ummah for their forum that peppered with hate speeches and distorted historical facts.

At a time when our economy is facing so much of uncertainty, a stagnant growth since 2016, government debt at 53.2 percent to the GDP, 1MDB debts to be paid, 50,000 to be out of jobs this year; any action that causes disunity would be a disfavour to our nation and society.

Non-Malays served valiantly

Ignorance breeds contempt if allowed unchecked. Patriot has to repeat here what we had mentioned before. Since the pre-independence years - through the first and second Emergencies, from the early years of the Home Guard, Templer’s Super 12, the Federation Regiment, the Congo peacekeeping mission, the Confrontation, the urban communist terrorism, jungle warfare in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak - the non-Malay officers and men, which included Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, Orang Asli, Ibans, Dayaks, and Kadazans; had fought gallantly alongside their Malay brothers-in-arms.

In the Air Force, numerous non-Malay pilots flew their helicopters in dangerous mission for supplies and evacuations, and enemies shot at their aircrafts.

These officers and men had their share of casualties, and also their much-deserved share of gallantry awards. In addition, the much cherished success of our security forces against the Communist Party of Malaya insurgents and urban terrorists was to a large extent attributed to the many dangerous and highly classified covert operations of the police Special Branch and military intelligence, many members of whom were of Chinese ethnicity.

Another fact - the CPM was not totally ethnic Chinese. The 10th Regiment of the CPM was predominantly ethnic Malays, whose leaders included Abdullah CD, Rashid Mydin, and Samsiah Fakeh.

Furthermore, terrorism and savage killings committed by the MPAJA (Malayan People Anti-Japanese Army) after Japan had surrendered, and who later took up arms against the British, were based on ideology, and not race.

Duty to correct

Distorting history to suit one’s alleged political purpose and instill hatred towards non-Malays is totally irresponsible.

Patriot calls upon the ministers of defence and home affairs to set the record straight regarding the different ethnic groups' participation in serving our country, combating against our nation’s enemies and the communist insurgents.

Similarly the chief of Armed Forces and the inspector-general of police have to openly state the same. The chief of the Armed Forces Religious Corps (Kagat) needs to also make a statement to guide other clerics against deviant teachings about our history.

We have to remember those who had once served our King and country with valour. Those men comprised different races, and their heroic and valiant deeds, and their sacrifices must never be forgotten.

Keeping quiet to such distortion of facts is not an option. It is abdicating leadership responsibility.

Brigadier-general (rtd) MOHAMED ARSHAD RAJI is Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan president.

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

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