From Dr Rafick to Dr Ridhuan Tee
Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah writing in Mingguan Malaysia (27th December 2009) under the heading “Antara tuduhan penjahat dan jahat” certainly invoked a myriad of responses from the public. Outright, I must admit that I am shocked that such writing came from a learned Muslim like him.
The core of Dr Tee writing is on the defense of Utusan which has been labeled as a racist newspaper. To make things worse, he uses his creative mind to extrapolate the racism to all staff of Utusan. This is wrong and does not augur well for a man of his stature. He claims people who call Utusan as a racist newspaper can invoke cause serious disharmony among the various ethnic groups in Malaysia. It appears that in his vocabulary, writing a racially seditious article is fine but calling one that writes such article is seditious. Having said that, he is right when he questions why various (opposition at federal level) political party tabloid is not labeled as evil when they write seditious materials?
I have to agree with Dr Tee that most political tabloids are racist. To this aspect, this includes UMNO, MCA, MIC and other component member’s newsprint as well. PR various tabloid is also in the same league. It is only expected as the political parties in this country are structured along ethnic lines and not based on values. BN was able to maintain power by juggling the balancing game of productivity and fanning racial sentiments. They invoke the sense of fear among the people from time to time and they also showed as if they are the only good guys that can maintain the racial harmony in this country. They are good at this pulling and pushing game. Unfortunately not many can see it from a helicopter view.
In a guarded manner, Dr Tee admits that Utusan is also fanning racial sentiments. What Dr Tee failed to highlight is that Utusan is not a political party tabloid that is restricted to its members. It is a newspaper with long historical followers behind it. Based on 2007/2008 newspaper circulation, it commands 13% of market share. This is even ahead of The Star newspaper by 1%. Via its large customer base, it easily influences the masses. It is also able to enhance the flame of racism far more successfully than any other political tabloids which is only restricted to its members.
Dr Tee also failed to highlight the fact that Utusan being owned by the powers at-be and appears to have the legal immunity in fanning this racial flames which the other political party tabloid don’t. In my humble view ALL MALAYSIAN must stop thinking and do things along ethnic lines. Malaysia survival depends on it. If the country fails, those in the country will be doomed.
Dr Tee also touched on the issue of Islam and ethnic dominance in this country and hide behind the term of “social contract”. Respectfully, as one Muslim to another I felt his understanding of the matter is to shallow and has been oversimplified. He is looking at it with a tunnel vision. Allah did not create all Malays to be Muslims. Neither did Allah restrict Islam for the Malays only. A person ethnicity and religion is two dichotomous issues. Tee himself is a living example where he is a Muslim (and probably a better Muslim than me) and a Chinese.
Fact is the religious freedom in this country is enshrined in the Federal Constitution (FC). It is engraved in stone. The right of practicing one religion is clear and it is not superior then the other religion despite Islam being the official religion of the country. To use the social contract as the basis of denying others of their right is very wrong and totally un-Islamic and is a sign of weakness. As a Muslim, I detest those who say that we Muslims are weak. Dr Tee had embarrassed me on this matter and I take offence of it. We must appreciate that the “social contract” is an UMNO creation that is being used as a defensive line to ensure their political survival. Legally and socially, such thing does not exist.