Home  >  Opinion

Stop the slide please

  • There are many Muslims who say the Chinese shouldn't be "self censoring". Stick to your culture and don't be cowed, they say.

By Mohsin Abdullah

A few days ago I read a news report in the Malaysian Insight which said several major businesses (presumably Chinese owned) would be avoiding canine decoration as Chinese Malaysians prepare to usher in the Year of the Dog this February 16.

Meaning no dog themed CNY decorations.

Why? To avoid "offending Malay/Muslim sensitivities".

I don't agree with what they are doing. But I can understand.

In fact, there are many Muslims who say the Chinese shouldn't be "self censoring". Stick to your culture and don't be cowed, they say.

Well and good, but remember Auntie Anne's popular Pretzel Dog?

And ever wonder why A&W's Coney Dog is no more and replaced by coney beef or coney chicken (and root beer is now sold at A&W outlets as RB)?

To avoid all kinds of kecoh kecoh self censorship seems to be the order of the day. Or turn the other cheek if you like.

Here's the thing. Oversensitive and overzealous people seem to be having it their way, so too the likes of the cleric who gave the fiery speech at the recent Malay/Muslim NGO gathering.

As for the cleric, he was reported to have told his audience at a convention of Malay/Muslim NGOs that only the Malays defended the country against invaders, be they against the British, Siamese, Japanese, or communists.

But he has now clarified that this was not what he had actually said, and that his remarks were "taken out of context".

As I was not at the convention, I can't say what he actually said, how it was said, and how it sounded. To be fair, I'll take the clarification at "face value".

And I don't intend to repeat his explanation on how his remarks were "taken out of context". You are free to google if you want to know his full clarification.

His clarification, however, did not mention anything else which was reported and "credited" to him, like saying the Chinese want to be prime minister of the country.

As his clarification was silent on this, I'll take it he is standing firm on the allegation.

Obviously the cleric does not believe or choose not to believe what the Chinese have been saying all this while, that they are "resigned to the fact" only Malays can be prime minister of Malaysia.

By "resigning to the fact", the Chinese are being realistic of the environment and situation of this country, political or otherwise, I was told.

Yes, and it could very well be for continued peace, harmony and stability of the country. But, if you were to ask me, I do not agree to the Chinese "resigning to the fact " because to me every Malaysian with the right credentials can be prime minister regardless of race or religion.

Another speaker at the same gathering where the cleric spoke called on the government to end federal scholarships to students from minority communities.

A few days later, the so-called Malay rights group Perkasa, not surprisingly, jumped in support of the call citing the May 13 tragedy.

In calling for more scholarships for bumiputra students, Perkasa reminded "others" that the May 13 bloodbath happened due to the "economic divide between communities".

It's not only about the cleric or his fellow speaker at the convention, or Perkasa. There are also others who have said things hurtful to non-Malays and divisive for us rakyat.

We have been thorough all this before. We have heard it all. Yet we are still going through and hearing it now.

This being election year, we will hear more such sickening, divisive talks.

We are not naive as not to know politics of race and religion are easily exploited to win votes.

To say the obvious, our leaders must act fast to put an end to divisive rhetoric for the sake of the country and all its citizens.

Can they do it? Will they do it?. And the big question remains whether they WANT to do it.

Let's celebrate the Year of the Dog, not go to the dogs!

(Mohsin Abdullah is a veteran journalist who writes about this, that and everything else.)

 

广告

Copyright © 2018 MCIL Multimedia Sdn Bhd (515740-D).
All rights reserved. Contact us : [email protected]