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We are moderate Malaysians, we are not alone

By TAY TIAN YAN
translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily

The moderate movement has been kicked start. Regardless of race and religion, there is only one common identity for us – moderate Malaysian.

We showed banners with the word "moderation" printed on them, and all banners symbolise the same spirit.

It is also the call of 25 prominent Malays. We now know that there is a group of people sharing the same idea with us and their feelings might even deeper than us. It confirmed that there is actually a huge voice calling for moderation in the Malay community. It seems like a bridge connecting us is built and we are not alone.

However, since when has the country become so?

Prior to this, we had neither Perkasa nor Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma). There was no religious and racial extremist organisation, and there was no extreme remark and idea tearing the country apart.

No one questioned the Federal Constitution and everyone accepted that the Constitution protected all, and served as the supreme restriction safeguarding the common interests. Hudud law was a peripheral idea which was not in line with the mainstream thinking and living of Malaysia. Although the Islamic law was part of the legal system, it was applied only to family and custom affairs.

Although there were different views and political stands, national unity and understanding were always prioritised.

However, all these were not a mater of course. While the people indulged in the excitement of political struggle, gaps showed in the society, allowing different intensified forces to find space and get nutrients from political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). They grow and become strong.

Provocation and split are their most powerful weapons.

The status of Islam has never been threatened, but they created remarks claiming it has; Malay rulers' have been respected, but they wrote a script claiming lese majesty; the economic status of Malays has been consolidating, but they chanted sovereignty.

Firstly, they differentiated Malays and non-Malays, Muslims and non-Muslims. Then, they created split in the Malay Muslim community, stressing on racial and religious purification, excluding moderate and enlightened Malay Muslims and surppressed them with racial doctrine and conservative religious teachings.

Their high-pitched voices got attention and gradually expanded to the authority to speak. Their extreme words and deeds seem to have become politically correct, not to be doubted and challenged.

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali, Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman, and controversial figure Ridhuan Tee Abdullah have risen and become protagonists of racial and religious struggle, grabbing headlines and triggering public concern.

Originally nobodies of the society have suddenly become key players who wish to lead the country towards the direction they want to go, just like the Pied Piper of Hamelin in the folklore written by Brothers Grimm, who played his pipe to lure villagers into the river and drowned.

In the name of race and religion, they went wild, as if they represent the race and religion.

However, the Malays are traditionally kind. The doctrine of Malay Muslims is moderation and elites in the Malay community are enlightened.

Watching Perkasa, Isma and extreme politicians distort their race and religion and harm the society and country, they eventually came forward and made a voice for moderation.

It might be a watershed. The moderation forces began to fight back and indifferent Malaysians started to think. Silent Malaysians began to speak and awakening Malaysians want to start taking actions.

I hope that it is going to bring a snowball effect. If the 25 prominent Malays is a start, hundreds of thousands of Malaysians should join and become the infinite 26, insisting on being moderate Malaysians, and safeguard the moderation spirit of Malaysia.

 

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