Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Let’s stamp out racism

Brave New World (The Star)
September 3, 2009

"Not only must we condemn the cow-head protest in Shah Alam last week but we must look into ourselves and make sure we don’t think and speak like racists."


The cow-head protest in Shah Alam last week left me feeling utterly disgusted. The men who organised and participated in that foul act are nothing but rank racists, and by cloaking their activities in a veil of piousness they show themselves to be even more despicable.

Yes, I was furious, but sadly I was not surprised. How can I be and how can anyone else be? We have allowed racists to have their way for so many years now.

Their appalling words and actions get progressively bolder and it just builds and builds until we have these men feeling they have the right to insult another religion in the most vile and brutal manner.

In the light of how Malay and Islamic supremacist thinking and expression have caught hold in the last few years, this sickening behaviour is simply a natural progression.

It happened because we allowed it to happen. Those bigoted thugs did what they did because we did not stamp down on the racists among us hard.

We allowed racist politicians to spout their garbage about “immigrant races”; we allowed them to tell our brothers and sisters to “go back to where you belong”; we allowed them to wave weapons of war; and we allowed them to ask for the weapons to be bathed in blood.

It’s too late for any politician to condemn something now when all the other acts of bigotry that have been brewing in the past few years were not even protested against because they suited their political needs.

It is too late to be making pleas of unity on National Day when not enough has been done before.

Let’s look at something recent. Two books that attacked the Mentri Besar of Selangor and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim are blatantly racist.

They claim that Selangor is for Malays only. They claim that the Pakatan Rakyat state government threatens Malays because they hire non-Malay staff.

In other words, the government must only hire Malays so that only Malays get benefits from the government. This is racism pure and simple. But because it suits the ruling party, as these books attack Pakatan, nothing is said.

Racism is racism, be it some vile words published in some cheap self-published drivel, or a bleeding cow head stomped and spat upon. Racism is racism and it must be fought.

When it is not fought, when it is not faced down every single time, then those without the courage to fight it are merely accomplices who, through their cowardice or selfishness, support it.

And how should we fight it? The law that should be used is the Penal Code. The Sedition Act is a blunderbuss of a law and could be used against genuine dissent as well. Let us not look to that archaic leaving of the British.

Use the provisions in the Penal Code that make incitement an offence. Charge these people under the Penal Code and lock them away.

But that is for the authorities to do, if they so choose to. We, the people, must look into ourselves and make sure we don’t think and speak like racists. We must be even more careful that we do not infect our children.

We should speak out against racism and we should tell our political leaders that if they do not fight racism then they are supporting racism and we will not support them.

We must make sure that what happened in Shah Alam faces utter and complete public contempt. Only in that way can we ensure it is not repeated.

(El: But Azmi, yours is an increasingly lonely and disregarded voice.)


Malaysian Heart said...

(El: But Azmi, yours is an increasingly lonely and disregarded voice.)

Sir, we must never allow voices like yours to become lonely and disregarded.


MagM said...

Dear Azmi, I once emailed you before about how I respect you and I sincerely mean it. After reading this article, even more so. Every now and then, I am tempted to turn into a racist too because of incidents like the cow head thing coz it makes me so angry with these people but then I tell myself that I cannot and should not allow myself to be like them and also not every one is like them. The saddest thing is that voices of people like you and the many out there who wants to do away with racism is drowned by these hooligans. This is always the case coz the good peoples' voices are not loud enough and we are too civilized to go out to protest or things like that. I just wish that all us non racist people would get together and form a non political team to show we are one. Thanks again Azmi and may God bless you.

zozdaniel said...

The Advocate of 1Malaysia, The Prime Minister of Malaysia should have called for the immediate arrest of those rascist protestors rather than subjecting to matter to be under investigation.

Isn't such rascist group a big challenge to 1Malaysia? Very often we see our BN leaders Double-Speak to suit their own agendas.

The Merdeka celebration has just passed, and soon the meaning of UNITY just disappear.

What happen to the national unity Department or Ministry? They are present in name only.

Malaysians should start keeping a diary on the behavior of Rascist Leaders and hang them on our toilet wall. Lets start with the month of September, 2009. no.1 Hishamudin. no.2 Mukriz.

Please add in the list if you could identify them. By the end of the year, we shall List out a list of ten most Rascist Malaysians to be condemned.

komando said...

Dear Azmi, it has been a long time since I read anything from your good self. Well we are saddened by all this hula bula, what can we all say but feel totally disgusted!
We shall all see more provoking and mindless acts, just watch.
Its getting from BAD to WORST!

Anonymous said...