Petaling Jaya – Former Senator and DAP stalwart S.Ramakrishnan (pic), in a press statement released on Wednesday (25 October 2017) argues that UMNO’s collaboration with PAS and the weak leadership of Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak have resulted in Malaysia losing its glitter as a moderate country. The following is the full text of his press statement:
“Malaysia once touted as the best example of a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country is now increasingly showing signs of becoming a hardliner Islamic state. Once a model of moderation, the country seems to be turning ultra conservative under the weak leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and a politically weakened UMNO, the dominant party in Barisan Nasional.
The weakened state of UMNO is unable to assert itself against the seditious, intolerance and racist rants by narrow-minded religious preachers and remains silent when such abuses are made by petty peddlers of prejudice.
And by its continued silence, BN is giving covert support to these fringe groups and is losing the moral and political authority to prevent the hardliners from polarizing the multi-ethnic and multi-religious population. UMNO’s shrewd strategy to split PAS from Pakatan Rakyat and turn it into an ally has muted and blinded the conservative Islamic party towards the 1MDB, FGV and GST fiascos. PAS, in turn, pushed UMNO to support Hadi’s private bill on Act 355 amendment which exposes UMNO’s opportunistic but desperate state of affairs that it has fallen into.
A strong electoral performance by UMNO in GE14 will result in PAS exerting pressure to table and adopt the amendment to the Syariah bill RUU 355.
The previous slogans of multiculturalism, multi-religious and multi-ethnic have now been exposed as mere cheap propaganda meant to hoodwink the gullible. All efforts and resources allotted to foster and build national unity in the past 60 years have gone to waste. To divert attention from 1MDB, Felda and FGV, the increase in the cost of living due to GST and weak Malaysian Ringgit, UMNO leaders are using highly sensitive race and religious issues to fan the fires of bigotry.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s threat that the Chinese community would be the first target should Malaysia plunge into chaos is nothing new. UMNO leaders have always held this line of thinking whenever they become politically vulnerable. But in good times like the recent high medal achievement in SEA games and during festivities, UMNO leaders have praised all races for their hard work and tolerance. But the same UMNO leaders will spew racial and religious venom easily when they are in danger of being rejected.
Their leaders micromanage the race and religious relations with a stick and carrot trick. Race relations is a tool of UMNO leaders to manipulate relations when they want to show national unity and use the same racist rants to create suspicion and distrust among different ethnic communities. But it’s saddening that no MCA or MIC leaders have protested this strategy or condemned it. Instead, to divert attention from the excesses of Umno, they find fault with the DAP.
Even when narrowly minded preachers were delivering divisive and exclusive racial and religious hatred speeches, the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues did nothing to stamp them out from the start.
Their silence implies tacit support. While they maintained a dangerous silence, the Sultans of Johore and later the Sultan of Selangor, fortunately, came forward to reprimand and condemn these narrow-minded and hateful speeches. To add injury to insult, one deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s office had the nerve to announce that the Barisan National (BN) government is working towards making Malaysia an Islamic state! No reprimand or rebuttal had come forth from UMNO leaders or other BN component leaders to this announcement.
UMNO, the longest ruling party, is finally losing its moral authority and legitimacy to continue leading the country. Its increasing reliance on religious hardliners and racism to cling on to power is casting doubt on its ability to lead the country forward. It seems, that Malaysia is hell-bent on marching into the past, without a care for the present or future. People see the hope of development through technology and good governance and not through ideology.”
(The views expressed here are entirely that of the writer and do not represent the views of selliyal.com. We do not take responsibility for accuracy or veracity of facts and/or information stated in this article)