Harmony is a two-way street


Salleh Said Keruak

Today, 68 civil society groups and non-governmental organisations got together to form a new movement called Negara-Ku, which is co-chaired by Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said.

The mission and vision of Negara-Ku is to “reclaim the nation in the face of all the extremism and racism which are being allowed to grow.”

Offhand this appears to be quite a noble cause but on close scrutiny it begins to look more like Bersih, an anti-government movement. The statement issued during the launch itself is already very political and anti-government in tone.

“There is no leadership being shown, and what leadership there is seems to condone the divisiveness,” said Ambiga, clearly meant as a criticism of Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.

In short, the government, or Najib’s administration, is being blamed for what they call ‘divisiveness’ plus the alleged increase in racism and extremism. This is the usual ‘it is all the government’s or Umno’s fault’ blame-game that the opposition is fond of playing.

Even if we agree that the country is badly divided and that there is an increase in racism and extremism, we cannot deny the fact that the opposition, too, is playing the race and religion card to the hilt.

Can we deny that the focus of right-wing Chinese movements to push for Chinese schools is not divisive? What about the move to abrogate Article 153 in the Constitution and the call to end the Bumiputera policies, in particular regarding education?