Race relations and the moral imperative

May 14, 2013

I call on all right-minded Malaysians – be they Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak or Kadazan or any other ethnic group – to reject the racist Barisan Nasional.

COMMENT

By Anwar Ibrahim

A week has lapsed since the 13th General Election where yet another wave of change of Tsunamic proportions was unleashed.

But this change, which should have been a change in government, was forestalled by the systemic fraud perpetrated by Najib’s Umno-BN which robbed Pakatan Rakyat of its rightful victory.

This is not a question of mere electoral flaws or irregularities but a far and wide-ranging scheme of deception and cheating orchestrated at the highest levels calculated and executed to ensure that Umno’s hold on power will remain, come hell or high water.

Naturally, this travesty of the people’s right has provoked a reaction so strong — now known as Black 505 — that it has spooked the corrupters and evil plotters to seek all means possible to divert and distract the people’s focus.

Najib called the 13th GE results a “Chinese tsunami” the first of a series of blows nationwide attacking the community, while at the same time endeavouring to use the rhetoric to provoke the Malay community to respond and react.

It didn’t matter that he was talking through his hat for the reality showed otherwise — the poll numbers extrapolated from independent sources clearly indicated an increase in the number of votes from the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities in favour of Pakatan, apart from the consequential increase in the number of Pakatan Malay lawmakers elected to office.

Taking the cue from Najib’s initial racist rant, his prime media mouthpiece the Utusan Malaysia front paged their lead with a screamer: “What more do the Chinese want?” It didn’t matter to Najib that these are acts of cowardice and desperation because after all the cheating and the fraud and the taking of office with no legitimacy, how much lower can one go?

Yet, they cannot be taken lightly because they are aimed at deflecting attention from this new movement of protests by the people. And these racist outbursts and fear mongering circulated widely through the Umno-controlled media are intended to break the momentum of Black 505 and eventually to neutralise it.

Let the Umno corrupters be warned: the suppression of the people’s will may work temporarily but like a can with a limited shelf life, it will not work forever. That’s because when the will of the people prevails, nothing short of divine intervention can stop it.

You cannot put the people to sleep forever. Sooner or later they will awaken. On May 5, they signalled their awakening with a resounding vote for Pakatan – and no matter what Najib and Umno choose to call it, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this is a Malaysian tsunami. And as Black 505 shows, it will not stop until our ends are reached.

Yes, being in possession of the reins of power has rendered Umno-BN the de facto government for now even if the popular vote for Pakatan exceeds 51% and Umno-BN’s is less than 47.3%.

Stand up for Bangsa Malaysia

However, without the popular vote and having stolen more than 30 parliamentary seats from Pakatan, de jure, they have no legitimacy and are in fact usurpers. Which is why they are attempting to divert the focus away from the fraud by leading the time honoured foray into race baiting and incitement to hatred.

By venting out racist outbursts, Najib effectively gave the order to his supremacist minions to go on the war path against not just the Chinese community but the Malay and other communities who did not vote them.

The Chinese majority DAP is labelled a chauvinist party while the Malay-Muslim dominated PAS is branded as traitor to race and religion. PKR – multiracial with a strong Malay-Muslim presence – is ridiculed as a proxy for DAP with me taking the grand prize of being Public Enemy No 1 and traitor to King and country.

In the run up to 13th GE, the incessant personal attacks against Pakatan leaders were orchestrated by the highest echelons in the media working hand in glove with the powers that be. They spun a web of lies and deceit to poison the minds of the people with the endless playback of fabricated material. But under this torrent of lowly, spurious and immoral acts of subterfuge, they swore on their mothers’ wombs that they would not play the race and religion card. Yes, they did so and with great aplomb, paraded their racist Perkasa but “now born again truly Malaysian” candidates.

They kept their word for a week or two but only to break loose like a Pandora’s Box unable to hold back any more all that pent up bile and hatred. Hence, hardly a couple of hours after their self-declared victory they let loose their racist dogs of war to spew their poison on the people.

Sunday’s tirade by a former senior judge plus the hysterical declaration of a failed election candidate handpicked by Najib that the DAP is responsible for the May13th riots must surely be considered to be deliberate acts of provoking hatred against a racial group, if nothing more.

In more established democracies, such acts by deed or by word are regarded as hate crimes. In a multicultural and multi-religious nation like ours there should be no doubt that the various communities must be prohibited by law from insulting or provoking one another either through acts or speech. What more if these crimes are perpetrated by their leaders?

The desperate but utterly reckless acts of incitement to racist hatred and religious fear are now revived with a vengeance. There’s no doubt that transgressors should be caught under the Sedition Act. Indeed, the time has come for a more specific law to be put into place to punish such hate crimes and prevent them from causing further damage to the fabric of our society.

But over and above crime and punishment through legislation is the moral imperative that the task and duty of societal cohesion and harmony falls on the shoulders of every citizen, what more on community leaders be they elected or self-appointed. When human conduct runs the risk of causing great harm, laws are necessary. But compliance for fear of legal sanctions is not fool proof. Just like fighting corruption, we must be guided by the moral imperative to do what we know is inherently right and to shun what is wrong – whether or not the eyes of the law are watching us.

So I call on all right-minded Malaysians – be they Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak or Kadazan or any other ethnic group – to reject the racist Barisan Nasional – because another moment longer with this evil coalition is another moment longer with a party that is doomed to bring this nation to ruin.

Why be an accessory or be complicit to evil in the spreading of racial discontent and causing disharmony when you can be on the right side of history?

This indeed is a moral imperative. The Pakatan leaders are committed to this creed to unify all Malaysians. We have come together with the people by dint of our unshakable sense of conviction not for power or office but for the well-being and future of our beloved nation. Here’s our clarion call to you: stand up and be counted. Stand up for Bangsa Malaysia.

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