To The Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Cabinet,
One month ago, on a Sunday morning after Church, I was driving near Jalan Duta. I was so overcome with emotion that I pulled by the side of the road and wept silently for about three minutes.
What has happened to this beautiful country of Malaysia? How come there are now so many racial and religious problems facing our country?
In addition to the outright looting and plundering of our country’s resources and wealth, there seems to be a group of evil people who want to disrupt the peace and harmony that we cherish and have enjoyed so far.
What a shining example of progress! We are told that 18 years ago, they ended the terrible practice of Apartheid. Look at South Africa today. They are hosting the football World Cup Finals, and this Sunday, all sports fans across the world will watch them host the final of the World Cup.
In 18 short years, they have erased the practices of Apartheid and made tremendous progress.
I had a chance to visit Prague in the Czech Republic three years ago. It was a very enjoyable experience. What really amazed me was how they transformed from a Communist set-up and thinking to a very robust Western-style capitalistic economy in 20 years. A very short time indeed.
In the 60s, Martin Luther King was singing “We shall overcome, we shall overcome some day.” Not much later, they had leaders the likes of Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, etc.
Today, the US has Barack Obama as president, a person of Negro-African parentage.
What about Malaysia?
After 54 years of Independence, we still have the likes of Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who continue to harp on raw racial issues. Also the former PA of the present PM who in a 1 Malaysia talk in Melaka called Indians “beggars” and said Chinese women like to “sell their bodies”.
To say we are insulted is an understatement, we are incensed! With such racial bigots around, how do we expect Malaysia to progress like the three countries mentioned above?
An Umno friend remarked recently “Why is your Catholic Church so bad that it took the Government to court over this issue?” I asked him to check the facts and background of the issue.
There was no issue until Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, the former home minister made it an issue. The truth is that The Herald has been using the word Allah in their Bahasa Malysia version since 1982.
This is because many Catholics in Sabah and Sarawak are more conversant in BM. The Editor of the Catholic Herald was warned many times in writing about the use of the word Allah.
To protect their rights, they took the Government to court and won. Then the real problems started.
We remember the call by Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in encouraging Muslims to come out in big numbers after prayers on a Friday to show displeasure about the use of the word Allah.
I want to ask Najib and Hishamudin, since when in this country have demonstrations been allowed?
Also the leaders of the government in waiting, such as Lim Guan Eng, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim signed a joint statement that they have checked the historical records of the Middle East, Egypt, etc.
They said there were no problems with non-Muslims using the word Allah. So Umno was checkmated again!
In the recent Sibu by-election, the head of SUPP George Chan, called us gangster West Malaysian politicians.
He said “Allah has never been a problem in Sarawak, do not stir up religious emotions here”.
Our reply to him was: “Brother, we did not create this problem, your BN Syed Hamid started it”
Burning of houses of worship in January 2010
This was a black mark in our nation’s history. It started with the Metro Tabernacle Church at Desa Melawati. Today, three Malay youths have been charged for this attack.
What many people are not aware of is that God intervened to avoid a near-disaster from happening. One hour before the church was fire-bombed, the Senior Pastor was at the entrance of the church. He had some urgent work and just used his slash card to open the door.
However, God prevented his possible death. Out of the blue, he developed severe stomach cramps, so he returned to his house to ease himself.
I quote from the DPP’s Azlina Radzi statement: “We are not interested in the motives of the accused, but in whether they committed the offence of attacking the Church.”
What a ridiculous remark. How can there be an attack if there is no motive? Unless one can prove that they are insane and fit for Tanjong Rambutan!
Why, after 54 years of Independence, do we still have still so many race and religious problems remaining? Why do we allow a small group of religious and racial bigots to dictate terms and try to destroy the unity, peace and harmony that we enjoy and cherish?
Dr Tan Kee Kwong
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