- Judging racism
- Pakatan to hold convention on national unity
- Racism won’t stop the will of Malaysians, says Anwar
- RACIAL SLURS: The people are watching you, Umno
- Race relations and the moral imperative
Posted: 14 May 2013 09:26 AM PDT
There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong.
It's the simple principle that underpins the functions of any judicial system. And those we entrust to apply this principle and pass final judgment on others execute a duty that is heavy and almost divine in nature.
Through the ages, it's the reason why society demands that men and women who are elevated to this office embody certain qualities with a high standard of behaviour, in a sense making them almost perfect; men and women who have the highest moral code of conduct, imbued with integrity, honesty, intelligence and not just a wide knowledge of the law and experience in life but also who know respect, courtesy and the ability to emphatise with the vicissitudes of life that cause many to end up standing before them in their courtrooms.
It's a simple principle, and one he no doubt would've faced and applied each day he sat on the bench as a judge. One would like to believe that former Court of Appeal judge Justice Mohd Abdullah Noor was appointed to his high office because he embodied all those qualities and that he always had the means and knowledge to determine and conclude when confronted with an issue, which side was right and which side was wrong.
We assume that before making a judgment, any judge would have to be satisfied that all he or she has had the opportunity to appraise all the relevant information.
So, it is stupefying when this former judge stood before his audience at a recent public forum and lashed out against a certain segment of the Malaysian population with threats of imminent repercussion for lawfully exercising their constitutional right to vote for a coalition of political parties that we can only now assume he personally didn't support. This he did in the face of clear empirical evidence that rejection of the ruling coalition was from the majority of the electorate and not, as he believed, just Malaysians of Chinese descent.
In his opinion, their voting for candidates and parties other than those from the BN to form government was an act of betrayal against the ruling coalition tantamount to disrespecting one particular race, which justified the exacting of revenge by that race on them.
This to him, was right. Nevermind that those who didn't vote for the ruling coalition were lawfully exercising their rights as citizens.
Confronted with the fallout from the elections, this former judge chose to throw his weight behind racists and backed a divisive agenda that does nothing at all to heal our country. Instead of being a rational voice of reason, he added his voice to a racist chorus calling a segment of our fellow citizens, "penumpang".
Distorting even further Article 153 of our Federal Constitution, he proposed that all businesses in Malaysia should have 67 per cent of their equity ready for the Malays to take up at any time, effectively copying the destructive indigenisation policy of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe. He then went further and proposed a narrow classification of the Malaysian populace as either just Malays or Non-Malays, thereby socially regressing to apartheid-era South Africa, – a time in history that earned that nation much shame and scorn internationally.
To him, all this was right too. Nevermind that all of his suggestions went directly against the very words and spirit of the Constitution, a sacred instrument he had taken an oath to preserve and protect as a judge. Nevermind that racism is morally wrong, wrong, wrong whichever way you look at it.
One would like to believe that a man with so many years on the Bench would be more capable of exercising a measure of dignified restraint. A judge should be the first to counsel that "an eye for an eye" never ever leads to a fair outcome. But far from it, he revealed himself to embody all the qualities Malaysians had hoped a man in his position didn't have.
By his words, he has shown himself to be totally indifferent to the plight of the majority of Malaysians in wanting a different government they believed to be better. He exposed his own personal prejudices and had no hesitation in using the bully pulpit to victimize a segment of the Malaysian population based purely on their race, reducing them to a racial stereotype – one that lusts for economic and political control – much the same way that National Socialists in Germany vilified and regarded the Jews as a threat to their national survival.
Whenever a man finds it right to publicly express such views, he invites society to examine his moral compass. That in turn leads to a re-examination of his life's work and legacy as a judge.
Sadly, the path of such an examination almost always leads to our own front doors. Our judgment of Datuk Mohd Noor becomes an indictment of ourselves as a society. In many ways, he is our own creation. Our own inaction made it possible for such views to be aired not just by him but also by many others, over and over and without any fear of reprehension.
In the end, it's us. How did we stray so far from our own collective moral compass that we allowed silence to prevail for so long in the face of growing racial extremism?
There are two sides to every issue – one side is right and the other is wrong.
When we prefer to stay silent and choose neither, then we have no one but ourselves to blame when the wrong side triumphs.
Posted: 14 May 2013 04:24 AM PDT
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is planning to hold a "national unity" convention to address the escalating racial tension sparked by Umno's constant attempt to blame the non-Malay voters for Barisan Nasional's (BN) dismal showing at in the May 5 general election.
PR secretariat member Datuk Saifuddin Nasution said his three-party coalition saw the need to organise the convention so it can work on a formula for "genuine unity" in light of Umno's intensified race baiting that began instantly after the election results were announced.
"The convention will be held in the near future so we can discuss on a recipe, a formula for genuine unity.
"This is because we are looking at a dangerous pattern where Umno seem to be unable to move away from the sentiments of race politics," he told a press conference after chairing PR's secretariat meeting at PKR's headquarters here.
The PKR secretary-general said PR is also considering suggestions that it invites its political rivals to participate in the convention, an idea that will be deliberated at tomorrow's presidential council meeting.
"We will leave it to the leadership to decide if the invitation will be opened to all. The details will be discussed by the presidential council and an announcement will be made," he said.
BN's lynchpin Umno have continued to blame the coalition's poor polls results on a "Chinese tsunami" it claimed was triggered by the DAP, a term that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had coined after the results showed BN winning with a smaller majority of 133 federal seats and ceded an additional seven seats to PR.
Since then, Umno-owned Malay paper Utusan Malaysia ran daily reports with incendiary headlines like "Apa lagi Cina mahu? (What more do the Chinese want?) And "Golongan muda Cina monopoli perhimpunan haram" (Young Chinese monopolise illegal rallies) and "DAP terus cetus provokasi" (DAP continues to incite provocation) in a continued attempt to shape the Election 2013 result as a Malay versus Chinese vote.
Other pro-Umno leaders have also joined in the growing chorus of attacks on the Chinese community with one accusing DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang of being the main protagonist to the bloody May 13 race riots in 1969 while another had blamed racial disparity on vernacular schools and demanded that it be shut down.
Leaders from both sides of the political divide have called on Najib to rein in Umno's right wing elements and put an end to the racial politicking, of which failing to do so would cast doubt over the prime minister's "national reconciliation" programme.
Some PR leaders claimed the race politics played by Umno was also an attempt to divert attention from the mass fraud that purportedly took place at the May 5 ballot.
Saifuddin said the pact has agreed to continue holding rallies nationwide to protest the results following the overwhelming turn-outs it had at rallies held in Penang and Kelana Jaya last week.
"Despite the numbers, some reached 100,000, the rallies took place peacefully and without any untoward incidents.
"The rallies is good for the people to voice their dissatisfaction through the principles of the Federal Constitution," he said.
Saifuddin also chided the police and critics of the rallies for calling the peaceful demonstrations seditious, arguing that the authorities should instead reprimand those behind the race baiting like Umno and Utusan Malaysia.
"Calling for the closure of vernacular schools is more seditious than we are doing," he said.
Meanwhile Saifuddin said he welcomes Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan's dare that PR invites the Elections Commission (EC) for a meeting to raise its complaints of polls fraud.
Ahmad claimed yesterday that PR's refusal to engage the EC on the matter proved that the opposition had no evidence to back its allegations.
"I agree with Ahmad Maslan to invite EC chief Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof for a meeting so we can raise our complaints one by one. In case he rejects our invitation I am sure that Ahmad Maslan could assist us in arranging the meeting. I now throw the ball back to him and ask that he be ready to make this happen," he said.
Posted: 14 May 2013 04:23 AM PDT
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim warned his political foes today that using racism to frighten Malaysians away from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would never work, claiming nothing short of "divine intervention" would stop the groundswell of support for the federal opposition pact.
The PR de facto leader, who has vowed never to surrender until PR claims its place in Putrajaya, repeated his conviction that it had been through fraud and cheating that saw Barisan Nasional (BN) "rob" its victory.
Anwar (picture) said the recent incessant raising of racial slurs by top BN leaders and BN-controlled media was an attempt by the pact to divert the attention of Malaysians away from the allegedly fraudulent polls.
"Let the Umno corrupters be warned: the suppression of the people's may work temporarily but like a can with a limited shelf life, it will not work forever.
"That's because when the will of the people prevails, nothing short of divine intervention can stop it," he wrote in a blog posting today.
"You cannot put the people to sleep forever. Sooner or later they will awaken. On 5th May, they signalled their awakening with a resounding vote for Pakatan — and no matter what Najib and Umno choose to call it, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that this is a Malaysian tsunami.
"And as Black 505 shows, it will not stop until our ends are reached," he said, using a now often-used term to refer to the May 5 polls as a day that signifies the "death of democracy".
Election 2013 saw BN's over half-a-century rule continue unbroken when the ruling pact returned to power with a narrow-margin with 133 federal seats to PR's 89 seats, just 21 seats more than the 112 needed to form a simple-majority government.
But more significantly was BN's loss of the overall popular vote for the first time since 1969, garnering just under 48 per cent to PR's 51 per cent, a point that the federal opposition blames on gerrymandering and vote-rigging.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his victory speech in the early hours of May 6, said it had been a "Chinese tsunami" that caused BN to bleed more seats than it did in Election 2008, a move that triggered widespread criticisms against the prime minister for using race to characterise the vote trend.
Analysts suggested otherwise, noting that the popular vote showed that large numbers of Malay voters had opted to boot BN from Putrajaya. The trend, they added, had rather reflected an urban-rural divide and not a Malay-vs-Chinese vote.
Agreeing, Anwar said the polls numbers extrapolated from independent sources had clearly indicated an increase in the number of votes from all races for PR, apart from the consequential increase in the number of PR Malay lawmakers elected to office.
Anwar alleged that BN had ordered its "supremacist minions" to go on the warpath against the Chinese community, the Malays and all others who had not given their vote to BN.
Anwar noted that the Chinese-majority DAP has been labelled a chauvinist party, the Malay-Muslim-dominated PAS branded a traitor to race and religion and his PKR, a multiracial party with a strong Malay-Muslim presence, has been ridiculed as a proxy to the DAP.
"With me taking the grand prize of being Public Enemy No. 1 and traitor to King and country," Anwar said.
But the former deputy prime minister, who has put his retirement plans on hold after the allegedly fraudulent Election 2013 insists his and his team's suspicions are right, and called on Malaysians to reject BN, a party which he claimed would only lead the country to ruin.
"I call on all right-minded Malaysians — be they Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak or Kadazan or any other ethnic group — to reject the racist Barisan Nasional because another moment longer with this evil coalition is another moment longer with a party that is doomed to bring this nation to ruin," he said.
In anticipation of the likely outcome of the polls, Anwar had deliberately declared a PR victory just two hours after the count began on May 5, explaining later that the move was to show Malaysians that he knew BN would make itself victors despite losing the popular vote.
Today while Team Najib is finding its footing back in the hallowed halls of Putrajaya, Anwar and his troops have been organising mammoth rallies nationwide to prove their indignation at the polls outcome is shared by a large segment of Malaysia.
They have held three such events so far — in Selangor, Penang and Perak — each one drawing ten of thousands of people, and will be moving on the Kuantan, Pahang, tomorrow and in Johor on Thursday.
Anwar urged Malaysians against being complicit to Umno and BN's "evil" spread of racial discontent and harmony post-Election 2013, claiming it was a moral imperative to stand with PR, which he said was the "right side of history".
"Here's our clarion call to you: stand up and be counted. Stand up for Bangsa Malaysia," he said as he rallied Malaysians of all creed and colours to back what he described as a multiracial PR pact.
"This indeed is a moral imperative. Pakatan leaders are committed to this creed to unify all Malaysians.
"We have come together with the people by dint of our unshakeable sense of conviction not for power or office but for the well-being and future of our beloved nation."
Posted: 13 May 2013 11:44 PM PDT
Looks like the general perception among the rakyat that UMNO and its cohabiting-partners are hell bent in getting the multi-racial population to repeat May 13 of 1969, is not too far-fetched after all.
But thank God, this is 2013 and not 1969. The pervasive use of and access to the internet media probably has played its effective role in not getting the citizens all riled up and blinded by this race madness that seems to preoccupy the people aligned to 'die' for UMNO.
Najib led the racial slurs
The run-up to the elections was spiked with racial slurs. The outcome of the elections results was also pinned on race-divisiveness. And the leader of the pack, the in-coming Prime Minister himself screamed "Chinese tsunami" – giving the infamous main stream media further steam to peddle the damaging and most unbecoming allegation by a PM – who is supposed to be the leader for all citizens in a country.
The drivel has not slowed down neither does it seem to show any signs of stopping. It would be nightmarish to think what would have been the precipitate outcome if we did not have the internet media but only had to rely on fixed line telephones and main stream media (TV, radio and newspapers).
In all likelihood, we would have all witnessed another May 13, as staged groups plundered and fought bitter battles on the streets while getting the population at large to believe that the Chinese and Malays are killing each other.
Thank God for the internet media together with all the smart technologies we enjoy today, none of the outdated mechanisms of the Mahathir era are working. And it will not work. But the die-hards – even supposedly learned ex-judges and founders of seemingly global organizations and even academicians are not getting the drift at all, as they cling to the mantra of 'divide the race to reign in the power'. Poor chaps, these fellows must be far, very far behind on the information revolution.
Living side by side
Fools must come to terms with reality and stop being the fools that they are. Malaysians are a very united multiracial society. They trust and work side by side; they study side by side; they recreate side by side; they celebrate side by side; they live side by side.
So do not try to divide the country's unity along race margins. Yes you can try as you may; you can continue to do that using all the money you have to subscribe and enlist your bloggers and hackers in addition to your self-sponsored main stream media.
But Malaysians will get to the bottom of things even if you try to repeat May 13. This is an empowered society – a time unprecedented in the history of human communication. Every one person who carries a hand phone or has an account on the net is independent yet completely networked.
If the 13th general elections is being branded as fraudulent, it is also because of this empowered new media independence. In the past we only had the TV, radio and newspapers – the controlled mouth pieces of UMNO and BN. We could only swallow what is sold to us.
This is no more the reality today. As in the song by Sting & Police, "Every Breath You take", UMNO needs to know, you are in a new world order where,
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
We'll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Oh can't you UMNO fellas see
We'll be watching you.
Posted: 13 May 2013 10:33 PM PDT
By Anwar Ibrahim
A week has lapsed since the 13th General Elections where yet another wave of change of Tsunamic proportions was unleashed.
But this change, which should have been a change in government, was forestalled by the systemic fraud perpetrated by Najib’s UMNO-BN which robbed Pakatan Rakyat of its rightful victory.
This is not a question of mere electoral flaws or irregularities but a far and wide-ranging scheme of deception and cheating orchestrated at the highest levels calculated and executed to ensure that UMNO’s hold on power will remain, come hell or high water.
Naturally, this travesty of the people’s right has provoked a reaction so strong — now known as Black 505 — that it has spooked the corrupters and evil plotters to seek all means possible to divert and distract the people’s focus.
Najib called the 13th GE results a ‘Chinese tsunami’ the first of a series of blows nationwide attacking the community, while at the same time endeavouring to use the rhetoric to provoke the Malay community to respond and react.
It didn't matter that he was talking through his hat for the reality showed otherwise — the poll numbers extrapolated from independent sources clearly indicated an increase in the number of votes from the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities in favour of Pakatan Rakyat, apart from the consequential increase in the number of Pakatan Malay law makers elected to office.
Taking the cue from Najib's initial racist rant, his prime media mouthpiece the Utusan Malaysia front paged their lead with a screamer: "What more do the Chinese want?" It didn't matter to Najib that these are acts of cowardice and desperation because after all the cheating and the fraud and the taking of office with no legitimacy, how much lower can one go?
Yet, they cannot be taken lightly because they are aimed at deflecting attention from this new movement of protests by the people. And these racist outbursts and fear mongering circulated widely through the UMNO controlled media are intended to break the momentum of Black 505 and eventually to neutralise it.
Let the UMNO corrupters be warned: the suppression of the people’s will may work temporarily but like a can with a limited shelf life, it will not work forever. That’s because when the will of the people prevails, nothing short of divine intervention can stop it.
You cannot put the people to sleep forever. Sooner or later they will awaken. On 5th May, they signalled their awakening with a resounding vote for Pakatan – and no matter what Najib and UMNO choose to call it, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that this is a Malaysian tsunami. And as Black 505 shows, it will not stop until our ends are reached.
Yes, being in possession of the reins of power has rendered UMNO-BN the de facto government for now even if the popular vote for Pakatan exceeds 51 per cent and UMNO-BN's is less than 47.3 per cent.
However, without the popular vote and having stolen more than 30 parliamentary seats from Pakatan, de jure, they have no legitimacy and are in fact usurpers. Which is why they are attempting to divert the focus away from the fraud by leading the time honoured foray into race baiting and incitement to hatred.
By venting out racist outbursts, Najib effectively gave the order to his supremacist minions to go on the war path against not just the Chinese community but the Malay and other communities who did not vote them. The Chinese majority DAP is labelled a chauvinist party while the Malay-Muslim dominated PAS is branded as traitor to race and religion. KEADILAN – multiracial with a strong Malay-Muslim presence – is ridiculed as a proxy for DAP with me taking the grand prize of being Public Enemy No. 1 and traitor to King and country.
In the run up to 13th GE, the incessant personal attacks against Pakatan leaders were orchestrated by the highest echelons in the media working hand in glove with the powers that be. They spun a web of lies and deceit to poison the minds of the people with the endless playback of fabricated material. But under this torrent of lowly, spurious and immoral acts of subterfuge, they swore on their mothers' wombs that they would not play the race and religion card. Yes, they did so and with great aplomb, paraded their racist Perkasa but 'now born again truly Malaysian' candidates.
They kept their word for a week or two but only to break loose like a Pandora's Box unable to hold back any more all that pent up bile and hatred. Hence, hardly a couple of hours after their self-declared victory they let loose their racist dogs of war to spew their poison on the people.
Sunday's tirade by a former senior judge plus the hysterical declaration of a failed election candidate handpicked by Najib that the DAP is responsible for the May13th riots must surely be considered to be deliberate acts of provoking hatred against a racial group, if nothing more.
In more established democracies, such acts by deed or by word are regarded as hate crimes. In a multicultural and multi-religious nation like ours there should be no doubt that the various communities must be prohibited by law from insulting or provoking one another either through acts or speech. What more if these crimes are perpetrated by their leaders?
The desperate but utterly reckless acts of incitement to racist hatred and religious fear are now revived with a vengeance. There's no doubt that transgressors should be caught under the Sedition Act. Indeed, the time has come for a more specific law to be put into place to punish such hate crimes and prevent them from causing further damage to the fabric of our society.
But over and above crime and punishment through legislation is the moral imperative that the task and duty of societal cohesion and harmony falls on the shoulders of every citizen, what more on community leaders be they elected or self-appointed. When human conduct runs the risk of causing great harm, laws are necessary. But compliance for fear of legal sanctions is not fool proof. Just like fighting corruption, we must be guided by the moral imperative to do what we know is inherently right and to shun what is wrong – whether or not the eyes of the law are watching us.
So I call on all right-minded Malaysians – be they Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak or Kadazan or any other ethnic group – to reject the racist Barisan Nasional – because another moment longer with this evil coalition is another moment longer with a party that is doomed to bring this nation to ruin.
Why be an accessory or be complicit to evil in the spreading of racial discontent and causing disharmony when you can be on the right side of history?
This indeed is a moral imperative. The Pakatan leaders are committed to this creed to unify all Malaysians. We have come together with the people by dint of our unshakable sense of conviction not for power or office but for the well-being and future of our beloved nation. Here's our clarion call to you: stand up and be counted. Stand up for Bangsa Malaysia.
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