BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA (TMI)
February 16, 2014
The attack by Utusan Malaysia today against non-Malays smacks of an Umno agenda, said PAS leaders who criticised the article written by Mingguan Malaysia’s deputy editor Azman Anuar.
PAS central committee member Khalid Samad (pic) said Utusan was representing Umno and not the general Malay population when they launched an attack against non-Malays in the article.
Mingguan Malaysia is the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia.
In the latest series of attack, Utusan had accused non-Malays of insulting Islam, Muslims and the Malay rulers and warned them to observe their “limits”.
“What they are doing will only fuel more hatred against Umno and Barisan Nasional. The Malays in general are not going to be affected,” said Khalid.
The Shah Alam MP described the threat issued by Utusan Malaysia as irresponsible and inaccurate, backed by a hidden agenda.
“Put out the truth… Where was the insult? Who has been insulted? Even in Teresa Kok’s satire Chinese New Year greeting, she has explained it all. There was no insult hurled at the Malays,” said Khalid.
He said Umno does not represent all the Malays. In fact, he said, Pakatan Rakyat has been gaining strength and support from the largest race in the country.
“We don’t solve political differences with high-handed tactics like this. Umno should know that people are rejecting the party. Utusan Malaysia should retract the article,” said Khalid.
He said Umno was out of ideas and decided to engage in racial politics after its popularity among non-Muslims and Muslims declined.
Meanwhile, PAS Research Centre executive director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said nothing can be gained by using the “language of war”.
“The Malays should stop being paranoid and stop thinking that they are under attack.
“They form the largest race in the country, Islam is the official religion and Malay rights are enshrined in the Federal Constitution. So, stop having a besieged mentality,” said Dzulkefly.
He said Utusan’s article and the rhetorics by some Malay non-governmental organisations of late are not helpful in developing a better Malaysia.
“If they are under the impression that they are doing good for their ethnic group, they can be assured that they are actually doing a great disservice to both Malays and Islam,” said Dzulkefly.
“Imagine that you are the one at the receiving end. How would you feel? So be careful with the words you use. Why use violence to show your dissatisfaction?”
He pointed out that although there had always been a racial and religious divide, the situation had worsened of late.
“I believe political leaders, religious authorities, the media – mainstream and alternative – should be able to converse and have a national dialogue to enhance understanding and not aggravate an already divisive situation,” he said.
He said there is always a place and time to voice out dissatisfaction and opinions.
“It is time for all of us to unlearn and relearn for the larger interest of the nation. It is time after five decades of our independence to engage in a national dialogue,” said Dzulkefly.
On Teresa Kok’s Chinese New Year video, Dzulkefly said the group which offered a reward to those who slapped Kok have instead counter the video with another satire.
“If you don’t like it, make another video to challenge Kok’s.”
Chairman of PAS National Unity Bureau Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa also chided Utusan Malaysia for its article.
He said the article was uncalled for.
He said this showed that Utusan was being used by certain parties to “launch” its personal agenda by attacking non-Malays.
“They should stop inciting hatred. They should instead talk about peace and respect,” said Mujahid.
In his article, Azman had said that the “laidback, compromising” attitude of the Malays had led to non-Malays overstepping their boundaries and daring to question previously off-limit subjects.
“Non-Malays have apparently forgotten that Malaysia’s majority population is Malays. They have no respect at all for the Bumiputera. Why has this happened? It is because we are too compromising, too afraid to take action against those who have insulted Malays and Islam.
“In the end, it appears as if non-Malays are the landlords and Malays are the tenants, immigrants and the minority in our own country,” Azman wrote in his article entitled “Melayu, Islam dihina di Tanah Melayu!”.
“Ever since respected and knowledgeable Malay leaders withdrew several years ago, non-Muslims have become emboldened in insulting the Malay community and Islam,” he said, without naming the Malay leaders.
He said non-Malays appeared to have forgotten that their ancestors became Malaysian citizens due to the Malays’ compromise.
“Now that they have prospered and gained a firmer foothold both economically and politically, non-Malays forget that it was given to them by the Malays,”
Saying non-Malays were playing with fire, Azman, who was recently promoted to his current post in the newspaper organisation, also accused them of refusing to respect Malay culture, language and customs.
“It is just a matter of time before the hornets who are attempting to defend their nests against intruders will retaliate,” he wrote. – February 16, 2014.