Today, the UMNO mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia carried the front-page headline “Akta Hasutan perlu dikekalkan – MASIH RELEVAN” quoting two former Inspector-Generals of Police, Tun Hanif Omar and Tan Sri Musa Hassan who want the Sedition Act to be continued, not to curb freedom of speech but to avoid tensions and feelings of ill will between races and religions.
Three days ago, in the Mingguan Malaysia weekend column, Awang Selamat, which is the name for Utusan Malaysia’s editorial voice, violated the Sedition Act and incited racial and religious sentiments with the dastardly lie that the DAP wants to do away with the system of constitutional monarchy by turning Malaysia into a republic!
This is a downright, malicious and seditious lie.
The massive, highly-funded and demonic UMNO campaign to paint the DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Rulers failed miserably in the 14th General Election, for the DAP had proved for over five decades that DAP is a patriotic Malaysian party dedicated to the betterment of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region and committed to the fundamental principles of the Constitution.
No one can be loyal and committed to the fundamental principles of the Malaysian Constitution if he is anti-Malay or any racial group in the country; anti-Islam or anti any religion in the country; or anti-Malay Rulers or the institution of constitutional monarchy.
I had been the most demonized political leader in the past 50 years. I was accused of being a communist; responsible for the May 13, 1969 riots, leading the street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur shouting anti-Malay and anti-Islam slogans although I was never in Kuala Lumpur after the May 10, 1969 General Election; painted as quite a devil, a puaka, even jembalang; that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam; a stooge of foreign powers; that I dominate Pakatan Harapan and made other leaders like Tun Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Mohamad Sabu into my stooges and puppets and that I wanted to be Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan won the 14GE.
In our plural society today, there are still Chinese who are living completely in the Chinese world, Malays who are living in a completely Malay world, Indians who are living in a completely Indian world, and the same goes with the Ibans and the Kadazans.
Our greatest challenge in a New Malaysia is how to reach out to them, the Chinese living in a completely in the Chinese world, Malays living in a completely Malay world, Indians living in a completely Indian world, to share with them a larger Malaysian picture and perspective – to share our ideals that this beloved Malaysian nation belongs to all of us, that we have a shared destiny.
Can this spirit of oneness as Malaysians transcending race, religion, region or party politics prevail in our country so that we are not distracted from our Malaysian Dream to build a great Malaysia for all Malaysians?
How do we nurture the bond of oneness among Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or even party politics and stop the rise of intolerance, hatred, bigotry and extremism in our plural society through lies, fake news and false information?
This is our greatest challenge as Malaysians in a New Malaysia to reset nation-building policies and directions.
Utusan Malaysia and its ilk stand opposed to this Malaysian Dream, enunciated as far back as 61 years ago by Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, for the plural nation to be “a beacon of light in the disturbed and distracted world”.
I will like to end with a question – as Utusan Malaysia wants the Sedition Act to stay, quoting the two former IGPs, will Utusan Malaysia agree that it should be charged in court under the Sedition Act for violating the Sedition Act and inciting hatred by peddling the lie DAP wants to abolish the system of constitutional monarchy and turn Malaysia into a republic?