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Hate groups – cancer within the system

Chaos ensued when a group believed to be from Umno Youth and several Malay NGOs makes a forced entry into the state assembly hall - Photograph: Masry Che Ani/theSun

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Once we have embraced compassion and respect, it is only then we can begin to heal as a nation, says Syerleena Abdul Rashid.

Chaos ensued when a group believed to be from Umno Youth and several Malay NGOs makes a forced entry into the state assembly hall - Photograph:  Masry Che Ani/theSun
Chaos ensued when a group believed to be from Umno Youth and several Malay NGOs makes a forced entry into the state assembly hall – Photograph: Masry Che Ani/theSun

Fear is a tool often used by governments to regulate its citizens and manipulate their moral judgment.

In Malaysia, the powers that be have seemingly found a way to outsource violence and bigotry by supporting ultra-right wing groups. Hence, statements and remarks that are incredibly seditious in nature are often brushed off with mere warnings. Action is almost never taken and if so, it is done too lightly and appears glaringly insincere.

But Malaysians need to understand that these hateful acts are just part of a game to bait vulnerable Malaysians.

Malaysia’s history has been chequered with tales of violence and intolerance with events dating back from pre-colonial days to events that led to our nation’s independence (and the subsequent formation of the Federation of Malaysia which included Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore).

Malaysians are often reminded of the horrors of May 13, and in recent times, we’ve grown too familiar with the vicious template of violent tactics orchestrated by certain powers who seem to find a certain level of cruel amusement in manipulating multi-cultural communities and pitting us against one another by exploiting religious issues.

Malaysians now wonder if these acts of instigating violence or racial hatred are only a prelude to something else. Do the powerful elite plan to unleash another May 13, if or when they lose the next elections?

This is obvious by the growing number of NGOs who seem to disgorge nothing but bigoted doctrines and extremist interpretations over religious matters. The escalating “Christian fear” and the variety of racist slogans that have become increasingly prevalent are nothing but empty threats to create fear amongst the most gullible of communities that have somehow forgotten the existence of a Muslim monarchy and a solid Constitution that protects their “rights”.

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Now they have also begun to target groups that advocate human rights and they do this by stooping down to immature name-calling that lacks substance or factual data to support their claims of “ungodliness”.

Present day Malaysian society is faced with many uphill challenges and it is only normal that we find ourselves questioning the leadership qualities exhibited by those appointed to govern our nation. Surely, any sound-minded leader would condemn such appalling behavior but alas, this is not the case for Malaysia – not for now at least.

Unfortunately, the government has other things in mind.

Issues related to bigotry and discrimination towards Pakatan Rakyat politicians (or to any Malaysians not aligned to it) are often not seen as a priority, or worse, seemed to be encouraged in one way or another.

Recently, a group of Umno Youth members have begun their onslaught. Reported acts of hooliganism have been brought to our attention – again.

We have read reports regarding the threats made by several rowdy supporters from the far right and how they managed to break into the “unlocked” Penang State Assembly hall.

We also witnessed the unnecessary disturbances at the recent Teluk Intan by-election aimed at drowning out the Pakatan candidate, Dyana Sofya.

We have seen how Dr Ong Kian Ming was verbally assaulted by another group of unruly supporters.

Then, another band of overzealous brothers decided to attack the DAP headquarters in Kuantan.

We have seen the videos and we know how ridiculous these attacks are.

Although leaders from Pakatan Rakyat have openly condemned these acts, most of those from Barisan Nasional have chosen to stay mum and those who were vocal only spoke of how these acts were justified, thus indirectly admitting consent.

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I would like to reiterate that no rational leader can approve of such behaviour unless he or she has a hidden agenda.

So how do we deal with political tyranny subsumed by fanaticism, bigotry and vile behavior exhibited by other fellow Malaysians?

We can start by spreading the message of peace and tolerance. Malaysians must, above all, refrain from responding impulsively and emotionally when dealing with such brute ruffians, no matter how ridiculous and asinine. Never forget that certain factions are only waiting to see who will cast the first stone.

Malaysians must understand that there is not a single religion that condones violence or aims to create disunity amongst people of different religions or race. Those who uphold such skewed interpretations of religion are fanatics, extremists and mad. We need to get in touch with positive values and confront racial matters differently, not through more violence and hate.

There is a saying in Islam that goes, “The strong person is not the good wrestler. Rather, the strong person is the one who controls himself when he is angry” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 73:135) and this is something we need to remind ourselves and believe to be true.

Once we embody this notion, no amount of threatening words can hurt us, and once we have embraced compassion and respect, it is only then we can begin to heal as a nation.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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22 Jun 2014 1.39am

Well said Syerleena! Unfortunately, it seems there is a real and present danger that the harmony enjoyed by the rakyat may be in danger if the BN were to be outsted in the next election. Even now with the BN government the MO employed by certain groups of people out to create chaos supposedly under the pretext of protecting a particular race and religion seemed to get away without prosecution. In fact, some of their acts were even justified by the politicians. The recent trespassing and intrusion into the Penang State Assembly by a group of Umno members were even brushed-off by a top Umno politician as “natural reaction”. No action were taken when an offer of reward was given to the first person who slap a Pakatan MP. It was simply reasoned by a minister as ” not a threat as it was not carried out”. Would it be deemed a threat still if the MP was slapped? Wouldn’t it be battery instead?

Ed G
Ed G
21 Jun 2014 11.15am

In a mature democracy, the ruling party would normally behave respectably by manifesting that they are the bearer of law and order while calling for others to do the same. But in this so-called Bolehland, some members of the youth-wing of the ruling party are the ones acting in a despicably thuggish manner that is clearly outside the boundaries of the law. Instead of taking actions to put these members in their rightful places, we heard two of the most senior ministers, namely the DPM and the Home minister publicly expressing their support for the thuggish behavior of their youth-wing. And just like all the other brewing issues that are threatening the fragile peace and harmony of our multi-racial society, the de facto head of the country who is the PM himself, chose to maintain an elegant silence without making any decisive stance expected of a true leader. Against such a backdrop, due credit must be given to those victims of the ‘insane politics of hate and hooliganism’ whose manifestation of calm and rationality put the nation’s leaders to shame, that is if they are capable… Read more »

21 Jun 2014 7.59am

To instil fear was and still is the tool used by the Umno schmucks to stay in power, it was used (in) 1969. If you remember Alliance lost the Selangor state election then and the trio of from Umno consisting of the late Tun Razak, ex Selangor MB Datuk Harun and egregious Mahathir got to together. First to oust Tengku and at the first time also to grab the PM position from Tengku. Just so The late Tun Razak cab become the ultimate powerful man in the cabinet, no doubt he did not openly want to be seen behind the plot he created the National Council to be headed by himself. The national council was to replace the cabinet thus making him the PM the entrie May 13 … I was in the Federal cinema when the … samsengs together with the armed men … waited outside the cinema with their guns began shooting at us. All these were done not to prevent fightings from going on, how could the people coming out of a cinema be a threat to anyone ? Yet a lot of… Read more »

Ed G
Ed G
21 Jun 2014 5.07pm
Reply to  charleskiwi

Unofficial versions of the happenings during the riot of 13 May 1963 based on first hand information can certainly provide a clearer insight to what actually happened then. In its own way, this revelation can help in doing justice to those who had lost their lives as well as those who had to continue living with the physical, emotional and psychological scars of the event. Above all else, the realization of the horror and mindlessness of the riot strips the May13 threats, that are proudly repeated by the establishment and its supporters ad nausea, of its moral pretense leaving behind for all to see the manipulative conscienceless bigots.

21 Jun 2014 1.09am

Some people are totally bereft of any conscience. They scoff at the universal maxim: Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you.. They are unable, or rather refuse, to put themselves in the shoes of their victims. These people need a more tangible way to feel the pain that they cause to others. They must literally be treated like “mad …” so that they can feel in their own flesh and conscience the pain and humiliation that they inflict on others. These brainless brain-dead groups of misguided fringes of society often ride roughshod over the feelings of others, getting their own way, finding faults, issuing threats and call for violence. In a democracy, everyone has the right to criticize or comment within the bounds of the law, but one doesn’t have the right to be intolerant, promote hate and call for violence. These hate groups are “bold” when it comes to violence, but very cowardly when it comes to logics and arguments. They are not good at reasoning. Absolutely no rational discussion is possible with these brain-dead people. We have had enough of… Read more »

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