|Nazri tells Utusan to stop racist agenda|
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani – MI
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — Umno maverick Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has continued to condemn Utusan Malaysia for its “outdated” racist propaganda, saying the Umno-owned newspaper must accept that Malaysia is a multi-racial country.
“They should stop it because how would we (the Malays) like it if people say that Malays are lazy and stupid? We would also get angry. Don’t do to others what we don’t want others to do unto us,” the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department told The Malaysian Insider.
The Umno supreme council member had earlier castigated the Malay daily for defending the controversial National Civics Bureau, or Biro Tata Negara (BTN), for its courses which he said were racist. The opposition has also claimed that BTN propagated political indoctrination.
“And more so now, under the prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) and 1 Malaysia, we must accept that Malaysia is a multi-racial country,” he added.
Utusan has been a mouthpiece for Umno ultra-nationalists and a tool for defending the party’s “Ketuanan Melayu” (Malay supremacy) policy.
The newspaper has also been criticised for being used to attack the opposition and ratcheting up racial tensions.
“I have reiterated that we must learn from Nicole David and other athletes. It is not acceptable to be a racist in 2010. It does not matter if we keep saying that we are not racist if our actions show otherwise. Enough with racism already.
“50 years after Independence, where are we headed to? Are we still going to deny that the Chinese and Indian community have any right to stay in this country? I think it is outdated,” Nazri added.
The Umno-owned newspaper was responsible for running daily stories criticising calls to allow former communist leader Chin Peng to return to Malaysia, linking it to what the newspaper says are moves to question Malay rights.
The paper also suggested that DAP was anti-Islam and said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was willing to betray the Malays to be prime minister — both incendiary subjects in mainly Malay-Muslim Malaysia.
Its articles have labelled the Chinese community as “pendatang” (immigrants) and the Indian community as “keling”.
Nazri added that Malaysians can longer accept categorising minorities with derogatory names.
“Malaysians, including the Malays, can no longer accept calling Chinese as immigrants and Indians with derogatory terms like ‘keling’.
“I think that if we want to act on a few that question Malay rights, then we should attack them only but not the whole community. If there are one or two individual Chinese or Indians that question Malay rights then we attack them only. We should not label the whole community as anti-Malay.
“As an elected representative, I know that that all the races are enjoying good relationships, so we should not take one or two bad examples as a basis to attack the whole community. I cannot agree with that. I am very much against racism. I hate racism,” he explained.
In one of those rare moments, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz find themselves on the same page, when it comes to Utusan Malaysia.
Yesterday, Nazri reportedly condemned the Umno-owned Malay daily for its outdated racist propaganda, saying it has to accept the fact that Malaysia is a multi-racial country.
He had said that Malays would also be incensed if someone was to ridicule them and therefore the daily should refrain from playing the racial card.
Commenting on this today, Lim said the minister’s comments could not have come at a more appropriate time.
“We feel Utusan has crossed the limit in its news reports that tend to instigate racial hatred where at some point they labeled the Indian community as ‘keling‘ and said that non-Malays are anti-Islam,” he added.Although Nazri and him share different political ideologies, the Penang chief minister stressed this was not a political issue, but “of freedom and being a Malaysian.”
“We are on different political platforms, but for the sake of truth, we are with Nazri who urged Utusan to stop all the racist campaign against other races,” said Lim.
‘We can’t be suing them everyday’
On the possibility of initiating legal action, the DAP leader pointed out that the party cannot be doing this on a daily basis.
Lim, who himself has sued Utusan for ‘misreporting’, said: “If we want to, we can sue them everyday. But we can’t do that because we don’t have the capability, time or financial resources to do so.”
“At the same time, we know that some of the journalists are professional but their bosses are the ones who like to manipulate the facts,” he added.
According to him, other ‘racist’ bloggers have followed in Utusan‘s footsteps and among others, accused the Penang government of banning the traditional martial art, silat.
“But we never banned it, instead we have promoted silat and even sent athletes to participate in the martial art (competitions),” he said.
In view of this, Lim urged Utusan to heed Nazri’s advice and at the same time, called on the police to investigate the paper for ‘inciting racial hatred’.
Last week, two police reports were lodged against Utusan over an article which demeaned the Indian community.
Why not a single Minister from MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP, Sabah and Sarawak dare to be as outspoken as Nazri to speak out against racism as well as BTN and Utusan Malaysia’s racist outpourings which subverts the very basis of a multi-racial Malaysian nation?
Thursday, 17 December 2009, 12:07 pm
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz is proving to be a political leader of surprises, not only with his bold and courageous denunciation of Biro Tata Negara (BTN) divisive, racist and seditious indoctrination course but in speaking out forthrightly against Utusan Malaysia’s unadulterated racism.
Condemning Utusan Malaysia for its “outdated” racist propaganda, Nazri said the Umno-owned newspaper must accept that Malaysia is a multi-racial country.
It is a tragic and terrible commentary on the success of the nation-building process that 52 years after nationhood, a national daily which is owned by UMNO, the party in power in the past five decades, has refused to accept that Malaysia is a multi-racial country and continue to call Chinese as immigrants and Indians with derogatory terms like “keling”.
With such racist mindset and mentality in the corridors of power, Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and policy has no meaning whatsoever, and it is no wonder that the public preview of the 1Malaysia programme for the seven National Key Results Area (NKRA) initiatives today has to be put off.