Racism is getting worse in Malaysia, says Sin Chew

(Mysinchew) – Lush and sunny year round with breathtaking scenery and free from natural disasters, Malaysia is a veritable paradise on earth.

The country’s multiracial population and her cultural diversity are our gifted strengths that have been aptly promoted in Tourism Malaysia’s “Truly Asia” slogan.

Indeed, if you were to stay here for a whole year, you would be able to take part in the celebrations of Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Dumpling Festival, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali, Thaipusam, Christmas, Wesak…and the list goes on, not to mention Gawai and other festivals celebrated by East Malaysians.

In addition, the full spectrum of Malaysian delicacies will scintillate your most demanding taste buds. Just join one of the many gourmet trips the country has to offer, and you will get to taste the irresistible culinary offerings from the Malays, Chinese and Indians here.

By right we should appreciate and maximise the potential of our well gifted natural endowment instead of sabotaging it. But unfortunately our politicians and government officials do not think likewise, re-emphasising the superiority of monoculturalism and monoreligionism. Our differences, not our similarities, are being infinitely magnified. As a result, racist problems and religious tolerance have taken a dive in this country.

In Malaysia, anything can be politicised and exploited by irresponsible politicians for their own benefit with the motive of turning that into votes in their favour.

Zakir Naik, the Indian Muslim preacher on New Delhi’s wanted list for money laundering, has been accorded VIP reception here. He is not only granted permanent residence, but also generously condoned for stoking racial emotions. Our government remains unperturbed by calls from New Delhi to have him repatriated.

It is unbecoming for a government to protect a wanted criminal who has repeatedly made highly seditious remarks, without taking into consideration the feelings of non-Muslim citizens here.

In a similar manner, when a certain country is said to have offered asylum to Jho Low — the central figure in the 1MDB mega scandal — and has repeatedly rejected our pleas to have him sent back here, the IGP gets incensed. I wonder how the government feels about this.

The recent Malay Dignity Congress has sent powerful shock waves across the country’s non-Muslim society. As federal territories minister Khalid Abdul Samad from Amanah has said, there isn’t problem with the congress per se, and the problem lies with its contents which have spawned racial hatred and conflicts.

A supposedly respected university vice chancellor has all of a sudden become a politician issuing highly sensitive racist remarks. If he really wants to stand out, he should have joined politics and not stayed back to mislead his students.

The congress also proposed to wipe out Chinese and Tamil primary schools within six years. As if that is not enough, scholarships should be awarded exclusively to bumi students scoring at least C or D in SPM.

The Malay ultranationalism has nurtured exclusionism that renders all non-Malays imaginary enemies. Such a perverted ideology strongly advocated by our rogue politicians will not do their Malay compatriots any good in the first place.

When a race is excessively taken care of by the government, its competitiveness will be invariably weakened. It is not easy to cross to the other side of a tall and thick wall that stands in the way, and the only “crack” is to put all the blame on non-Malays.

It is also not unusual for these politicians to label Chinese and Indian Malaysians pendatang. And when the Basketball association has carelessly and ignorantly displayed a five-point Jalur Gemilang, the local Chinese community is again implicated.

Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin is yet another typical ultranationalist who had the honour of being invited to attend and address the Malay Dignity Congress, and seated alongside Tun Mahathir and PH ministers. But when he started talking, he wasn’t any different from PPBM, Umno or PAS politicians.

He later urged the government to take stern actions against those involved in displaying the wrong version of national flag for they, as citizens, had done something extreme and disparaging to the country.

Thanks to instigation by such people, racial relations have become an increasingly rare commodity in Malaysia. Whenever a road accident takes place, people will first ask what race, and will mercilessly blast on social media if the people involved in the accident are not from their own ethnic community.

When an ambulance arrived at the scene of an accident in Alor Setar recently, some onlookers attempted to prevent the rescuers from stopping the bleeding of a victim as he was not a Malay.

The seditious remarks repeatedly made by our politicians over the years have sadly worked their way among this generation of Malaysians.

This country will be very much more peaceful if we banish all those rogue politicians to an uninhabited island far from human civilisation.