Johoreans, will you set the lead for a better Malaysia?

By P. Ramakrishnan

Will you vote out Pas and Umno and pave the way?

‘Race and religion’ has dominated our political life in ways that have harmed our unity and harmony and peace. Race and religion has been deliberately exploited in an alarming and disturbing manner for the survival of the greedy political elite. Race and religion has been shamelessly used to perpetuate power and position to serve selfish political interests.

For this, the blame must fall squarely on Pas and Umno – one uses religion to seek support while the other uses race to advance its political dominance. They concoct lies and spread hate against the minorities to cling on to power. Both discriminate against others – one uses religion, the other uses race. But the effect is the same. They keep us divided, fragmented and suspicious of one another. They keep us apart.

If we are to grow and evolve into a united nation for the betterment of the country, the elements that contribute to this division must be destroyed.

On 26 January 2020, Hadi Awang alluded to what could happen if others – meaning non-Muslims – rule Malaysia. He said, “If we are patient with each other (Muslims), even if (the leadership) is cruel, we can be cow herders at least, but under other people’s rule, we will become pig herders.”

On 8 January 2019, Hadi Awang delivered a warning to Muslims to place their trust in Muslim leaders regardless of their wickedness, claiming that believers will end up in hell if led by non-Muslims. He reiterated, “But if the one who leads is a non-Muslim, even if he were the kindest, (others) can work however they wish [but] without any limits of what is ‘halal’ and ‘haram’ they will still end up in hell.”

On 23 March 2022, Pas MP Khairuddin Razali said, “There are long-term (needs) that require us to win the next general election with a two-thirds majority. (Upon achieving this), the electoral boundaries need to be changed to benefit Muslims.”

Whatever they advocate, it is only to benefit the Muslims and deny everything to the non-Muslims.

Their position does not reflect the pristine purity and sanctity of Islam or the values enunciated in Islam. Their political position compels us to ask, “Are you a good Muslim?”

If you are a good Muslim, you should not be talking nonsense, claiming that if a non-Muslim was to lead the country – even if he was a kind, noble and ethical person – the Muslims would go to hell. It is not for Pas to decide who goes to heaven or hell. They don’t have this authority and they shouldn’t be playing God.

It is absurd to exhort Muslims to support and trust Muslims regardless of their ‘wickedness’! Isn’t there a sense of right and wrong in Islam? Definitely there is, but these half-baked politicians will claim anything to remain in power. They can lie, discriminate and act unjustly for their selfish interests.

Umno is no better. They are no angels either! They use race to create fear and hate and lie to the Malays that the non-Malays are out to take over the country. The Malays are fed with untruths to poison their minds by stating that the non-Malays are against the Malays and Islam.

But they haven’t provided a shred of evidence to justify their unfounded claim. Which non-Malay or party had ever said that they are against the Malays or Islam? If any non-Malay or party was crazy enough to utter this nonsense, would the laws of the nation have spared him? They would have been promptly charged, convicted and imprisoned.

The Malays have nothing to fear; they have no reason to hate or be suspicious of the non-Malays.

G25 spokesperson and former ambassador Noor Farida Ariffin noted at a forum that racism seemed to be “systemic”, citing government institutions which she claimed were covertly in support of racism.

“For example, Biro Tata Negara (the National Civics Bureau) is supposed to promote national unity but it’s the opposite – it’s been used to promote Malay supremacy.

“They say things like ‘Malays will be a minority in their own country’ but no one has stopped to think that Malays dominate the government, the armed services, the civil service and also every sphere of public space,” Noor Farida pointed out.

Under Umno’s rule, some of the things that happened were appalling and unforgiveable. Don’t we remember with anger how non-Malay students were forced to eat in the toilet during the puasa (fasting) month? Is that the right place to eat? Why were they condemned to the toilet for a meal? This never happened when Tunku was the Prime Minister.

Many of us remember that during our school days, our Malay classmates who were fasting used to sit with us at the same table and carry on a conversation while we ate during our break. This was never an issue. Were the Malays of yesteryears made of sterner stuff?

Umnoputras, in the name of the Malay community, cheated and looted supposedly for the benefit of the poor Malays. But they did it solely to enrich themselves – not to uplift the poor Malays in whose interest they profess to be serving. This has been their ploy to deceive the poor Malays.

It is time for Malaysians to wake up! Reject politicians who cannot serve all Malaysians fairly and justly. They have no place in this great country of ours for their narrow-mindedness and bigoted views.

As long as Pas and Umno are around, things will never get better for Malaysia. We will never be a united nation; we will never live together as brothers and sisters in harmony and unity.

Johoreans, the fate of Malaysia will depend on how you cast your votes on 12 March. The future of this beloved country is in your hands. Vote out Pas and Umno and create a new dawn that will lead us to a better Malaysia!

But on the other hand, despite the above argument, if Umno wins handsomely, getting the two-thirds majority it is seeking, how would history judge you, Johoreans? The kleptocrats would not have won on their own – they would have won with your help!

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

10 March 2022

P Ramakrishnan is the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on its executive committee, and has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.
Rebuilding Malaysia

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