Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 29th August 2009:
The cow-head sacrilege an ominous warning that Najib’s first National Day celebration as Prime Minister will go down as a Black National Day if the genii of racism and religious chicanery are allowed to get out of the bottle
All patriotic Malaysians of goodwill and reason must condemn in the strongest possible terms the cowhead sacrilege in Shah Alam yesterday where a group of protestors claiming to be residents of Section 23 in the area protested the construction of a Hindu temple and threatened bloodshed and committed the ultimate act of religious insensitivity, insult and offence to Hindus by severing the head of a cow and stomping on it.
If such an ultimate act of religious insensitivity, insult and offence had been committed against Islam, Utusan Malaysia would have gone to town not only with full front-page coverage and denunciation, probably half the newspaper today would be devoted to it. Why the thundering silence from Utusan Malaysia?
In other multi-religious societies, such an ultimate act of religious insensitivity, insult and offence to one of the major religions in the country would have led to mayhem, riots and loss of lives and it bespeaks of the high degree of maturity, mutual tolerance, goodwill and co-existence that cool heads had prevailed in the response to such a deplorable act of sacrilege.
In a multi-religious society, the act of sacrilege to one religion must be regarded as an act of sacrilege to all other religions and the entire nation.
Let this serve as a overarching consensus of all political parties, mass media, NGOs and Malaysians if we cherish and love this nation.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is to be commended for his quick response in ordering the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan to take swift action against those responsible for the cowhead sacrilege.
But why was the police so slow in its response to such a public act of religious sacrilege, when tardiness in dealing with “national security threats” had never been a weakness of the Royal Malaysian Police Force?
Police intelligence cannot be so obsolete that it is not aware of the act of sacrilege being planned and executed, when the organizers had taken pains to ensure that their protest would get the maximum mass media coverage – reported, photographed and videoed!
With two days to go before August 31, the cow-head sacrilege must serve as an ominous warning that Najib’s first National Day celebration as Prime Minister will go down as a Black National Day if the genii of racism and religious chicanery are allowed to get out of the bottle – as in plural Malaysia there is not just one genie but many genii threatening to tear apart the multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural fabric of Malaysia.
It must deeply trouble all right-thinking Malaysians regardless of race, religion or political affiliation that despite Najib’s 1Malaysia policy to serve as an overarching inclusive policy to build a united nation of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures, recent trends have worked in the opposite direction.
The past weeks in particular have seen various top political leaders and mass media acting with utter impunity and immunity to crank up racial and religious animosities to polarize the country along race and religious lines – as happened in the recent Permatang Pasir by-election – making a total mockery and repudiation of Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan.
These divisive, polarizing, centrifugal forces emanating from top official directions must stop if Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan is not to meet an even quicker end of all Prime Ministerial mottos – including Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s short-lived “Islam Hadhari”.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor