My Anthem

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I promised ye more on the ilks like Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, didn't I?

So from the English Section of Harakah

is my second article uploaded on Monday (I understand from the Editor it will be featured in the PRINT edition coming week."Minta maaf" for some obvious typos --  is the piece that bears linkage to the preceding blogpost here/hear!

Malaysia in a state of restlessness

YL Chong | .

It is not a good state of affairs, and it has been around with us since the 12th General Elections of March 2008, conciding with the major part of the current prime minister's reign. You can feel the tensions in the air. The average citizen or man-in-the-street can feel the vibrations, and they are not shy or timid to voice out their concerns at the neighbourhood mamak stall or kopitiam. Are most of the leaders of the Bariasan Nasional government clueless to the situation?I believe they are aware, but it's just a case of "... have eyes but do not want to see".
The ordinary people fell insecure on many fronts -- leave aside the daily grind to put three square meals every day on the family table, with rising prices every month on basic food and other essential items.  We don't feel safe because the politicians and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) mainly funded by the Government's BN component paries are raising temperatures mouthing their the cacophany of raised voices, based mostly on racial and or religious oneupmanship. The people are getting tired seeing the same Perkasa -- Ibrahim Ali, are you there? - or born lately, Isma leaders getting prime time coverage in the mainstream media, especially Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and TV3. These protagonists. featuring latest emerging Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman
All seem to enjoy immunity from action by the authorities. Top it up with certain individuals, outstanding is Utusan Malaysia's columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah -- the convert who tries overly hard to "out-Malay" the Malays! -- who get away with blatant incitement of the non-Malays especially the Chinese Malaysians. Such wayward and extremist behaviour is on the rise, in my honest opinion, because of the "double standards" employed by the enforcement officers. One set of standards for Umno members and their supporters, and the other harsher standards for all others -- so clearly evident that the ordinary people don't trust the government and officials to act fairly and equitably.
Yes, one cannot deny the rising trend of incitement by extremist leaders of political parties or non-government organisations via word and action that blatantly disturb public peace and order, such as seizing on the Bibles using Bahasa Malaysia; seizing a child given by a civil court order to allow custody by the mother who is a Hindu, when the father, since conversion to Muslim, used a syariah court order to counter the civil court order; and the removal of a man's body undergoing non-Muslim funeral rituals by Muslim enforecement officers.
I believe many of the these "wayward" incidents took motivation following  certain minister's poor benchmark for good civil behaviour and here I recall just more than a year ago, then newly appointed Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, soon after PM Najib Tun Razak announced the new Cabinet post-13th General Elections, quoting from the blogpost of Din Merican:-
Sheer Arrogance, Zahid Hamidi
Newly-appointed Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysians who are unhappy with the country’s political system should leave the country, stressing that loyal citizens should respect the Rule of Law. In his first opinion piece printed in Utusan Malaysia since receiving the portfolio yesterday, Ahmad Zahid wrote that the illegal gatherings held across the country by Pakatan Rakyat was a form of escapism and the denial of the fact that it failed to take control of Putrajaya.
Malaysia inherited the political system from the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries also use the first past the post system where political parties contesting in the election will only have one representative in each constituency with the principle of a simple majority of votes !He said Opposition leaders, especially those from PKR and DAP, have been irresponsible in confusing young Chinese voters and their followers who are “politically blind” to dress in black to protest against the result of the 13th general election which they believe is for them due to the popular vote.
If these people wish to adopt the list system or the single transferable vote used by countries with the republic form of government, then they should migrate to these countries to practise their political beliefs. Malaysia is not a country to translate their political beliefs, even if they are really loyal to this country, they should accept the political system and the existing system to form a government as enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he said. (Stress in bold is by the writer)
For the past few years, we have had many incidents when the loyalties of the non-Malays had been been questioned. Many of Ridhuan Tee's Sunday writings reflect that he wishes to completely deny his "Chinese roots" and wishes other Malaysian Chinese to do the same. My rebuttal is that one's ethnic origins will always stay with us, and we cannot deny the "Chinese" blood in us, however much Ridhuan may deem his conversion into Islam as elevating his status to "talk down" to others from his moral high ground. We must remember headlines such as Utusan Malaysia's provocative  "Apa lagi Orang Cina mahu?" and warn that such provocations could have caused civil unrest or public disorder if not for the control and discipline of the recipient-listeners. One can't help but ask the question: Who is funding all these NGOs who seem to sprout out with leaders such as Perkasa's Ibrahim Ali and Isma's more and more extremist minds?
As a Malaysian, I don't wish to have anyone question my freedom of speech and loyalty, and I also would defend my full and equal rights of a citizen to any other Malaysian, even if that other is a Minister -- whether of Chinese or Indian or Arabic or Indonesian ethnic origin!
What can dissenting Malaysians do about such extremism?
But most citizens feel hapless that they can't do much about the present state of affairs. Worse yet, and in my humble opinion, the nation's chief executive officer is behaving like a modern Nero, the Emperor who played the fiddle while Rome burnt.
A vocal NGO, Sisters in Islam (SIS)  had welcomed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's official launch of the initiative of Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMM) in January 2012, a timely action well lauded nationwide and internationally. However, SIS in a statement later noted that "... Rising threats and violence, including on religious grounds, should not become the norm among Malaysia’s diverse population. But sadly, recent incidents have shown the ugly face of intolerance and violent threats by certain quarters, including non-state organisations, major political parties and the police. These include increased threats to human rights defenders, freedom of religion and minorities."
Our country is blessed with many and rich natural resources. For a neighbour nation like Singapore which is deprived of natural resources and yet make it to "developed nation" status, there is no reason for any ethnic group or class of citizens in Malaysia to be trapped in poverty. We owe it to ourselves to elect a truly democratic and responsible, accountable government that is corruption-free. We may feel helpless as individuals, but when you sign up as members of a political party, you make a difference by acting as a united front. We must replace the voices of destrustive extremism with voices of dissent for reform and progress, for a Better Malaysia because we deserve that.
But as citizens and as voters every four to five years, we hold the power to change the government, at both the state levels -- such as in Selangior and Penang and Kelantan -- as yet-to-happen at the Federal level too. As voters, citizens must not sell their votes for BRIM1, 2, 3 and 4 of RM500 or RM650 or even RM1,000 -- BRIM  stands more aptly for "Bribe Malaysia"!
I am sad to note many people just would shrug their shoulders and accept the situation of prevailing restlessness with a sigh and an air of resignation that "we can't do anything about it". The saddest option is to see them falling into the very trap that Zahid Hamidi had set us: Many parents planning their children's education are hoping to see their children go overseas where they perceive they would have a better chance for a better life.And the children are advised to stay put in their country of residence like Australia, United Kingdom or United States of America. And believe me, many of our bright talented young ones are being recruited by the republic south of the border, via the attractive ASEAN scholarships! Why do you need a TalentCorp when ministers are doing a fine job chasing talented Malaysians away?
To those planning emigrating to foreign shores, my question is: Won't you be trading one set of local problems with a new set of problems in the foreign country? There is no heaven on earth. We must not sell ourselves short: We owe it to ourselves, our children and grandchildren to stay back and fight -- to undo the wrongs and injustices and inequities, and strive for a better Malaysia. There is hope yet -- as long as Harakah and Suara Keadilan are still around and not to allow the big bullies like Zahid, Ibrahim Ali and Ridhuan Tee get away scot-free! - ES

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