The majority must learn to be sensitive

By A Vaithilingam, Free Malaysia Today

Some recent actions and utterances by our politicians and public servants who are of the majority community have been most insensitive, hurting the feelings of the minority. Can it be thoughtlessness or the feeling of superiority by these people who feel almighty?‬

We already know of cases when some members of the teaching profession lost their cool and slandered with belittling racial remarks that have caused distress and fear among some young schoolchildren.

Yet these shameful acts by teachers who are supposed to be the beacons of good human values have gone largely unpunished, although in legal terms they seem to have infringed the Sedition Act.

I feel that by allowing these “criminal” acts to go unpunished, it has resulted in others from the same profession to also continue to taunt the minority.

Civil servants who continue to slander other Malaysians, especially from minority ethnic groups, only face the sanction of being “investigated” with some minor internal transfers.

The negligence by the government leadership to take decisive action to show clear signals that such insensitive actions are unacceptable, has created a perception that this is condoned, thus giving freedom to other civil servants to go ahead with remarks against the defenceless.‬

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been quite popular with the substantial number of Indian voters in Hutan Melintang and Bagan Dato areas. Until his recent statement questioning the patriotism of non-Malay Malaysians. Was he just careless or was this deliberate? Now, he has no choice but to withdraw the statement and apologise to the Chinese and Indian communities to regain their confidence.‬

Religion has similar majority control treatment. Although the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat governments have generally stopped demolishing temples, the “Little Pharohs”, that is, civil servants of local councils, have had their ways demolishing places of worship, with no regard for sensitivities of the worshippers in these communities.‬

Deepavali advertisement

Conversion is so very sensitive in this country, yet on Deepavali, which is an auspicious religious festival for Hindus, the message from our national film production development board, Finas, is an advertisement featuring a Hindu who has converted to Islam. This advertisement was repeatedly highlighted and telecast in Astro and RTM.

The storyline of this advertisement is most insulting to Hindus in general, even to the extent of showing the Muslim wife of a Hindu convert not wanting to eat food at the table of her non-Muslim in-laws. What exactly is the meaning of this advertisement here, if not to belittle the Hindus?‬