Wednesday, April 10, 2013

THE TIME IS HERE & NOW: Rally behind Pakatan whatever your race & religion

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 07:37Written by  Moaz Nair, Malaysia Chronicle

THE TIME IS HERE & NOW: Rally behind Pakatan whatever your race & religion
Parliament was dissolved on April 3, 2013 and the 13th general elections will be held any time before the end of May this year. This time, all Malaysians – Muslims and non-Muslims have all the reasons to rally behind Pakatan Rakyat to net Putrajaya.
Only by Pakatan Rakyat netting Putrajaya can racial politics long sponsored by UMNO be ditched once and for all.
The recent screening of the controversial movie “Tanda Putera“ to students in Muslim-dominated higher institutions of learning is another clear sign that UMNO still has to resort to the race card to rope in Malay-Muslim support for the party.
This is perceptibly another desperate move by UMNO to survive in politics. On the contrary, PAS being an Islamic party does not make allowances for this load of codswallop adopted by UMNO. PAS and majority Muslims in the country understand Islam more and they strictly follow the Qur’anic precepts when it comes to the issue of race and religion.
Against the teachings of Islam
Racism is understandably against the teachings of Islam. The Qur’an explicitly states that human race is the creation of God and people are created different not to look contemptuously at each other but perpetuate inclusiveness and promote a life of peace, harmony and understanding.
The Qur’an says: “Oh mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (Not that you may despise each other)”. 49:13
“Tanda Putera”, a movie by a local producer, purportedly depicts what happened during the 1969 May13 incident in the country.  It was a racial riot cramped in a small section of the city of Kuala Lumpur that saw some people killed and properties annihilated.
But then, Malaysians have long forgotten this tragedy.
According to most students who watched the movie they were awfully disappointed.  The movie it seems is padded with fictitious scenes with the sole intent to demean the non-Muslims and also tag the Muslims as an “intolerant” group.
Towards the end students were also treacherously drilled by individuals allied to UMNO with unpleasant commentaries to debase among others BERSIH (The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections –  a coalition of non-governmental organisations which seeks to reform the current electoral system in Malaysia to ensure free, clean and fair elections) and the alternative  media or news portals falsely saying that they are sponsored by “foreign agents” to create disharmony in the country.
The purpose of showing the movie to the audience was none other than to sow the feelings of hatred among Muslims for the non-Muslims. But according to those students who were forced to watch the movie Muslims in the country cannot be easily swayed by this political exploit by UMNO.
To demean the non-Muslims
The organisers were even promoting the young to read dailies and watch television that are pro-UMNO and reproached them for reading the alternative media. This must be real insult to the intelligence of students of higher learning.
The concluding commentaries by the organisers were meant to demean the non-Muslims in the hope that Muslims will hate the Chinese, especially. This is blatant provocation all in the name of politics. They were also disparaging the opposition parties without realising that the bulk of supporters for the opposition are Malay-Muslims.
In fact, there are more Muslims in the opposition parties than in UMNO today.
The only voice of protest against the screening of the movie came from the Opposition parties – Muslims and non-Muslims. But surprisingly, MCA top leaders have not explicitly condemned this despicable act of some UMNO leaders who are trying to score some brownie points in politics for screening the movie to a select group of Malaysians.
By virtue of their silence, they do not deserve to represent the Chinese or non-Muslims in the country anymore. They just deserve to be voted out by all Malaysians.
The screening of the movie did backfire.  The organisers’ sinister objectives boomeranged when students mocked them after the show. The organiser had apparently underestimated the mind of the young university students – thinking that they were too naïve and could be easily swung by them into buying their propaganda.
The organisers were certainly not pleased when students did not fit in to their warped line of thinking.  They finally came to realise that they had insulted the intelligence of the young minds and left the scene in despair.
Going red in the face after being lampooned by some students they left the auditorium after their unaccomplished mission.
96 percent had already made up their mind
Of course there are scenes in the movie that can affect race relations in the country. But UMNO still insisted that it should be shown to select groups of university students – the Muslims, with the hope that these students would support them in the 13th general election after being swayed by the movie’s leitmotifs.
In a recent survey made on university students who are eligible to vote in the 2013 general election it was found that 96 percent had already made up their mind which party to vote. So UMNO’s falsehearted strategy here has failed to work.
And according to students, the screening of the movie “Tanda Putera”, which was forced onto them to watch, would not change their stand when it comes to which coalition to vote in the coming general election.
Only UMNO is still adamant that the May13 issue is relevant for their political survival after 56 years of independence.  Shockingly, one top Gerakan leader who represents some Chinese in the party was also reported to have been supportive of this skewed strategy promoted by UMNO.  For his stand he has now earned the wrath of the Chinese and non-Muslims voters.
For that matter, none of the other top leaders of the component parties in Barisan Nasional led by lynchpin UMNO has openly objected to the screening of the movie to students.
Rally behind Pakatan Rakyat
Since the screening of the movie “Tanda Putera” is backed by UMNO and with the tacit support from Barisan component parties, Muslims and non-Muslims in the country should now rally behind Pakatan Rakyat to trounce Barisan Nasional in the next general election.
True Muslims abhor racial politics. The non-Muslims – the minority in the country – too have the odium for racial politics. The people of Malaysia have grown to appreciate the reality that as Malaysians they have to live and let live with tolerance and understanding.
After almost six decades of independence Malaysians have naturally become wiser – except for UMNO – and they do not want a Malaysia that is still soiled with race politics and bigotry.
Disappointingly, the country has been led by a coalition for almost six decades whose members are parties that define themselves on explicitly racial lines: one for Malays, one for Chinese, and one for Indians and a few for Orang Asal.
With a much liberated Pakatan Rakyat around now the cohesion of those homophobic groups has begun to rip to shreds.

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