by Lim Kit Siang
In his royal address opening Parliament on Monday, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not only endorsed the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) set up by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to preserve the country’s harmony and seek a common ground on various religious and ethnic matters, he “called on all parties to refrain from making any statement or action that might be deemed provocative or sensitive”.
The Yang di Pertuan Agong said: “Be mindful that when unity disintegrates, the country will head towards destruction. Therefore, we should reinforce unity by cultivating mutual respect and moderation in life.”
But the Yang di Pertuan Agong has been openly challenged and defied by the provocative and insensitive statements and actions of extremist organization Perkasa and other NGOs, led by Ibrahim Ali, which rejected “wholesale” the NUCC and have set up the National Unity Front (NUF) as an alternative to the NUCC.
Yesterday, former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamed was announced as the first chief of the Perkasa-backed NUF to challenge what the Yang di Pertuan Agong said in his Royal Address to Parliament on Monday.
The NUF is to counter the NUCC on the ground that the composition of the NUCC, chaired by former Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Samsuddin Osman, does not reflect the Malaysian society and that NUCC members are guilty of “sedition” and being insensitive to the Malays and Islam.
If DAP or any of Pakatan Rakyat parties had done what Perkasa had done, in going against the King’s Speech on the NUCC, we would have been accused of being anti-national, anti-Agong and traitors and all sorts of actions would have been taken against the DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
The question is why instigators and extremists like Ibrahim Ali and his ilk whether in Perkasa or other NGOs spawned by him had been allowed particularly in the past ten months a free hand to incessantly incite racial and religious animosities and hatred which, if unchecked, can only result in the destruction of multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia by provoking racial chaos and religious confrontation?
The Kajang by-election on March 23 is both significant and important, not only for the 40,000 voters of Kajang but also for the 30 million Malaysians – for it is an opportunity for the Kajang voters to speak loud and clear on behalf of all Malaysians, that they reject instigators and extremists who refuse to recognize that moderation and the preservation of inter-racial and inter-religious peace, harmony and solidarity must be the No. 1 duty and challenge of every patriotic Malaysian, regardless of race, religion, region or politics.
Even if the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is not prepared to take a stand on the importance moderation and preserving the inter-racial and inter-religious peace, harmony and solidarity in the country, then let the ordinary voters in Kajang in the by-election take a stand on behalf of the 30 million Malaysians – that ordinary Malaysians want the Prime Minister to act swiftly and boldly against instigators and extremists who want to destroy very fabric of Malaysia multi-racial and multi-religious society through their politics and language of hate and bigotry.