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From Our Member Pusat KOMAS, Malaysia – Race Relations made worst by Opposition Parties Incitement

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Race Relations made worst by Opposition Parties Incitement

Pusat KOMAS is baffled, at the same time amused by Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan or popularly known as Tok Mat’s statement blaming the PH government for the deteriorating race-relations in Malaysia. Such statement reflects the ignorance of Tok Mat as well as his counterparts who have constantly been spewing out racial slurs and heavily misusing race and religion as their reliable political tool, reminding us of a Malay simpulan bahasa (proverb) – baling batu sembunyi tangan.

It is well known that serious efforts taken by Pakatan Harapan’s government to foster and strengthen the racial unity among Malaysians were left to face a series of misinterpretations by none other than the collaboration of UMNO – PAS for their own political mileage.

For instance, the initiative to ratify the ICERD which aims to eradicate racial discriminations through a need-based affirmative action instead of a race-based affirmative action. On the other hand, the appointment of Sabahan as Chief Justice was chastised by these parties, ironically the same group who champions Bumiputera rights.
Based on our media observation, we would like to highlight five key incidents to the Malaysian people and Tok Mat of several disgraceful racially motivated incidents orchestrated by the newlywed UMNO-PAS, even prior to their wedding:

1) Ratification of International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 
The ratification of an international convention designed to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination was irresponsibly misinterpreted by the former Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin. He raised the question regarding the privilege and special position of Malays and Muslims as enshrined in the Malaysian Federal Constitution if the ratification takes place. Subsequently, UMNO and PAS went around the country spreading false narratives about the ratification of ICERD and called for a mass rally in Kuala Lumpur as a sign of protest.

2) Appointments of non-Malays/Muslims
After the appointment of Tommy Thomas and Tan Sri Richard Malanjum as the Attorney-General and Chief Justice respectively, both UMNO and PAS continuously propagated that the special position of the Malays and Islam are under threat.

3) Tok Mat remark on non – Malay ministers in the Cabinet
UMNO’s acting president, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan or popularly known as Tok Mat made the infamous ‘Penumpang’ remark in a speech leading to the Semenyih by-election.

Having said that, Tok Mat came with a not so surprising U-turn providing the fact that he is the UMNO-BN candidate for Rantau’s upcoming by-election. In his latest U-turn, he denied the ‘penumpang’ remark was directed at non-Malay ministers in the Cabinet but at the non-performers in Mahathir’s cabinet.

4) Tuan Guru Hadi Awang
Not long ago, PAS’ President Abdul Hadi Awang in a similar fashion, demanded gratitude from the non-Malays to the Muslims of Malaya who welcomed them despite coming as coolies. He credited the Muslims as people with compassion for accepting the non-Malays as fellow Malaysian.

5) Ismail Sabri – “Jihad” remark
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yakob, the opposition leader, made an insensitive remark that UMNO & PAS are “waging Jihad” against the PH government that is anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

These five key incidences highlighted are examples of the propagation by opposition parties to stoke fear and hatred in New Malaysia that lacks any essence of truth. It is disappointing to see these parties fan the flames of racial and religious propaganda to keep the racial tensions alive for their respective political agenda.

New Malaysia is a blooming democracy that needs to be watered with ideas of inclusivity, humanity and unity. This is a collective responsibility of all that includes UMNO and PAS too, therefore it is futile and irresponsible to blame the PH government for these shortcomings. It is time for opposition parties to look themselves in the mirror before pointing fingers at others.

Released by,
8 April 2019