On Racism


By Azmin Ali, VP Parti Keadilan Rakyat

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (Keadilan) views with grave concern the continuing occurrence of incidents where racial hatred is incited, the latest being the statement made by the Johor  school headmaster during a school assembly.

It is unacceptable to suggest, as stated by the Department of Education that it considers the matter closed and that the matter has been settled between the said principal and the students and/or their parents.

This incident has been widely publicized and is a matter that affects the whole nation. It is also irresponsible to suggest that it is merely a misunderstanding.

Keadilan demands that the said Principal be suspended pending an investigation and if found true that she did indeed make such remarks, she should be immediately removed.

These recurring incidents of incitement of racial hatred and racial insults are a manifestation of a bigger problem i.e the Barisan Nasional Government’s tacit encouragement of incitement of racism and lack of real  political will to curtail such behaviour.

As long as draconian laws such as the ISA and Sedition Act exists and used to stifle healthy discussions and openly allowing extremist groups  to continue inciting racism with impunity, this problem will fester.

Keadilan’s view is that statements such as that made by the Johor principal are not isolated incidents and must be dealt with a holistic and comprehensive approach.

Our answer is to provide a genuine multiracial political paradigm based on principles of fairness, respecting human rights, democracy and justice to all and to reject race based politics.

Further, we and Pakatan Rakyat are committed to the enactment of a Race Relations Act to deal with such instances of incitement of hatred, to provide mechanisms for resolution of such problems when they occur and to safeguard unity and harmony of the rakyat.