‘As our deputy premier and home minister, Zaid Hamidi, stated, the diversity of religions and cultures in Malaysia has been the symbol of our strength and unity, my appeal is – let us not allow an outsider and others supporting a wrong, non-defensible and untenable cause, divide us further!’
Zaid Hamidi Correct That Our Diversity Of Race & Religion Our Strength!
As an opinion shaper and lead consumerist, not just in Malaysia, but, both ASEAN and APEC, I fully support what Malaysian deputy premier and home minister, dear friend, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today urged, that Malaysians reject any form of religious extremism as this could jeopardize the peace and harmony in the country.
It is also encouraging to hear the deputy prime minister encouraging Malaysians to celebrate the diversity of religions and cultures in Malaysia, which has been the symbol of strength and unity of the country all this while.
We all know that no sane Malaysian will disagree the need to set aside the differences among us, which today has left the country polarized and in a state of extreme disintegration, as religion and race is weaponized at each and every turn, when legitimate questions and concerns, are raised by the civil society or affected communities!
Only to see it been shouted and threatened down, by fanatics, persona non grata types and sometimes racist politicians, NGOs in political expediency!
Which is why, I am indeed glad to hear Zahid, stating that there is no place in Malaysia for any kind of extremism, whether Islamic, Buddhist or Christian!
I am encouraged at his statement today, after being extremely shocked at his 18th of April keynote speech, of all places, at the Human Ecology International Conference 2017, where he spoke of “social disorder but worse than that, our streets will be littered with blood and dead bodies” if our social contract is broken?
That address and its timing, was a colossal mistake by his minders and speech writers, which portrayed the deputy premier in bad light, to an international audience, after winning positive reviews, post his US and UN stint with stakeholders!
More so, in the aftermath of very strong rebuke from all walks of peace loving and law abiding Malaysians, and others, on the questionable permanent residence status accorded, to a foreigner who is wanted by his country of birth, on money laundering and other serious chargers, and, who is banned from several other countries!
This individual’s speeches have often touched on Christianity and Hinduism, and rightly, he has been criticized for stoking hatred among those of different communities.
Now in Malaysia, he is on record creating a diplomatic row with New Delhi, as he fires away salvos after salvos, and allegations, against that government with whom, we have a friendly diplomatic relationship!
Which is unfortunate!
And as a result, creating a serious standoff between Malaysians of all race and religious persuasions!
Sabah and Sarawak have already gone on record saying he is not welcomed there!
However, on record we have extremist racist groups and political parties clamoring for him!
One has even given him a “warrior’s award!”
This is a warrior who is running away from warrant of arrest from his native country on criminal charges, refusing to meet his accusers on home soil in full glaze of the international community!
That is not all, as we have a former respected religious leader, who goes on record to incite a poem!
A poem which was posted on Friday allegedly criticizing religious practices of Hindus and appeared to be defending an unnamed preacher from an “evil government”.
Does not leave much to one’s imagination and you need not be a rocket scientist to know whose being the target!
Even to a nonpartisan reader, the said poem ridicules Hinduism!
However, after huge pressure from domestic sources, the religious leader does a U-turn and goes on record stating that it was meant for India!
I am advised this mischievous act, has since caught the eye of New Delhi politicians, NGOs, and Hawks, who took cognizance of the former’s vulgar outburst and assault on India and Hinduism and now preparing their own response, which may affect our trade and bilateral ties, which includes several MOUs initiated, recently by our beloved Premier, Najib Tun Razak, during his recent high powered visit to India!
Inexplicably, we are now told that the said poem has since being taken down!
It is very hurting and saddening that an outsider’s presence and his inappropriate defense, has truly today exposed, that we are a truly, a polarized nation divided by race, religion and the ugliness, it can introduce when weaponised, in a multi-racial, religious nation like ours, that got its independence from the British, in 1957 on an undertaking our founding fathers gave them, which is been challenged at each turn of events, sixty years after?
As an opinion shaper, I appeal to others, who similarly are influential members of a community, group, or society to whom others turn for advice, opinions, and views.
Let our opinions and response, be legitimate, fair, reasonable, beyond repute, nor, an incitement and free of the politics of race and religion, two fundamental elements, that can create chaos in a multi-racial and religious contexts, when used, abused by political, race and religious shenanigans, to bully, intimidate, threaten and abuse!
As our deputy premier and home minister, Zaid Hamidi, stated, the diversity of religions and cultures in Malaysia has been the symbol of our strength and unity, my appeal is – let us not allow an outsider and others supporting a wrong, non-defensible and untenable cause, divide us further!