Why are there people who insist on creating the scare that DAP is anti-Malay or anti-Islam when they know these outrageous charges are fake news and false information?
DAP is a Malaysian political party, promoting the rights and interests of all races and religions in the country, and we have within our ranks Malaysians from all races and religions, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans and Orang Asli; whether Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs or Taoists.
DAP is not anti-Malay and anti-Islam as demonstrated by the record of the nine-year DAP-led Penang State Government, serving interests of all Malaysians in Penang, regardless of race, religion or socio-economic background.
We cannot be anti-Malay or anti-Islam for this will be anti-Malaysian, which comprise the diverse races and religions in the country.
Why then are there people who insist on creating the scare that DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam when they know that these outrageous charges are fake news and false information?
The answer is very simple – these are the real enemies of a peaceful, harmonious united, progressive and prosperous multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural Malaysia who want to create disunity, division and discord by setting race against race and religion against religion because this is their only way to hold on to political power.
We are living in a very troubled world, where the voices of extremism and fanaticism want to hijack public discourse and mainstream space by preaching hate, distrust, suspicion, intolerance and conflict.
Malaysians do not want to see in the country the bombings and killings of innocent people, including children, as happened in Manchester, London, Paris, Jakarta, Mindanao or most recently in Teheran, whether by Islamic State or other extremist and fanatical elements.
It is time for Malaysians to wake up and realise that moderates of whatever race, religion or politics will lose out by default to the extremists and fanatics, if they are not prepared to stand up to defend and fight for moderation in the country and refuse to cede any ground in public discourse or mainstream space by professing zero tolerance for extremism and fanaticism.
History tells us of the heavy price moderates have to pay when they failed to stand up against extremism or fanaticism of any form.
Nazi Germany is a good example. A victim of Nazi Germany admitted that very few people were true Nazis but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care.
The majority just sat back and let it all happen, and before they knew it, they had lost control and the Nazis were in command of everything.
It was the same with the Japanese. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet.
Same with Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?
Malaysians must learn from these precious lessons of history, that peace-loving moderates, of whatever race, religion or nation should not be made irrelevant by their silence.
It is pointless Malaysia preaching the Wasatiyyah principles of moderation, justice, fair play, balance and excellence on the global level, if we allow and cede extremism and fanaticism room in public discourse and mainstream space.
The holy month of Ramadan should not be defiled by lies and falsehoods, especially on the social media, like lies, that DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam.
I just returned from a three-day visit to Sabah where we see wasatiyyah lived in real life and not just preached from the minbars, pulpits or international conferences – for there are scores of ethnic groups in Sabah with adherents of diverse religious faiths not only in one village but in one family, all living harmoniously with understanding, tolerance, solidarity and unity, taking part in each other’s religious festivities without distrust, suspicion, venom or hatred!
Let us all in Malaysia be inspired by the Sabah example to celebrate inter-religious harmony, understanding, solidarity and unity with zero tolerance for extremism!