The Truth Behind Tarnishing the Country’s Image

By G.Kanchana

The criticism on those presumably tarnishing the country’s image has been the focus of some who believe that playing the race card and discrediting the country’s image does not help to find permanent solutions to the problems at hand.

Of late these were the views of the Malaysian Indian Youth Development Foundation (MIYDF) chairperson SA Vigneswaran who also stated that pinpointing the ruling government would not solve the issues and that everyone has a part to play. Previously KK Eswaran, the president of the Indian-based business group, the Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Maicci), similarly lashed out at government critics for negative remarks on the country’s leadership. Both Vigneswaran and Eswaran believe these irresponsible acts of some were to push forward their respective agendas and serve their own interest.

The above refers of course to the activities of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Waytha Moorthy’s circulation of a booklet titled “Malaysian Indian Minority and the Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2008” during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Chennai. Waytha Moorthy had declared that Malaysian Indians are ill-treated and marginalised and called for the Indian government to impose trade sanctions against Malaysia in importing palm oil from Malaysia.

What both Vigneswaran and Eswaran fail to understand is that it is not Waytha Moorthy who is tarnishing the image of this country rather it is the ruling government and UMNO through its acts of racist and discriminatory policies and practices , injustices, religious extremism and marginalisation of minorities that has put our nation to shame. In the past 50 years the rights given by the Federal Constitution to the citizens of this country was well manipulated and manoeuvred to the advantage of UMNO and the BN Government. Corruption, cronyism and nepotism became so deep rooted into the society that it became part of the Malaysian culture. Basic human rights such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of press are noticeably deprived.

This is well portrayed in various international surveys and statistics. The dishonesty, lack of transparency and integrity of institutions such as the police, immigration and judiciary and high profile political involvements, have repeatedly brought the focus of the world to Malaysia. The humiliation involving high ranking immigration officers almost denied Malaysians their 6 month visa privileges with Britain. The scandalous Lingam Case, the mystery behind the death of Altantuya, the ambiguity of Anwar’s previous and present sodomy matters, various shoot to kill policies of the police and death in custody, already tainted Malaysia’s name. Not forgetting the use of ISA to suppress dissent and incarcerating human rights activist for indefinite periods.

These are only a few of the examples that tarnished Malaysia’s name internationally. The portrayal of Malaysia on the surface as being a democratic nation, peaceful and harmonious is false and it needn’t take Waytha Moorthy to demonstrate it. Read the US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights in Malaysia and you will see.

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