RPK sowing fear, says ex-comrade

Haris Ibrahim takes offence at a Malaysia Today article claiming that racism has become worse.

K Pragalath, FMT

Social activist Haris Ibrahim has accused Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin of fear mongering with his statement that racism in Malaysia has reached a new height.

Haris apologised to followers of his blog for an article he posted last January, in which he defended Raja Petra, popularly known as RPK, against accusations that the latter had turned his back against the struggle to oust Barisan Nasional from power.

In a blog posting referring to a Sept 21 Malaysia Today article, Haris accused RPK of trying to “sow the seeds of fear”.

The offending article came under the headline “Cina sudah kurang ajar! Dah lupa 13 Mei ke?” (The Chinese have become rude! Have they forgotten 13 May?”) It declared: “Racism in Malaysia has reached a dangerous level never seen before since May 1969.”

In response, Haris said: “The only thing racist in this country is Umno, BN, Dr M and the mainstream media.

“And now, of course, RPK’s untiring efforts to sow the seeds of fear.”

Haris’s article argued that the various races in the country had become more united, offering as evidence the Bersih gatherings and other recent public protests against the ruling regime.

“Did the tender scenes of the makcik in the Ganesha temple in Jalan Pudu putting bits of salt in the mouths of those anak bangsa Malaysia of all ethnicities and gender, seeking refuge in the temple after being hit by tear gas and chemical-laced water, smack of racism?” he wrote.

“Have the anti-Lynas campaigns been racist? No!”

Haris and RPK were founders of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement, one of the objectives of which was to identify election candidates for Pakatan Rakyat. Haris quit the movement early this year.