Thursday, August 06, 2009

Falling into Umno's race trap

CM must not fear meeting critics

It was disappointing that the group of Islamic non-governmental organisations who went to deliver a memorandum to Penang Chief Minister(CM) Lim Guan Eng were denied a meeting with him and had to engage in a shouting match with his political secretary instead.

Objection: Hafiz leading members of Forum, an umbrella body for more than 20 Islamic NGOs in the state, in shouting slogans at the Komtar foyer after handing over a memorandum to Mansor pertaining to Ooi’s statement which he made purportedly linking JIM to religious extremists(The Star)

The group comprising about 15 people represented more than 20 Islamic NGOs in the state were escorted out by security personnel. The action of the CM’s aides caused a great deal of displeasure and anger among the protesters who were unhappy with the remarks made by Jeff Ooi, the CM’s chief of staff, which they consider is unfair and anti-Islamic.

If only Lim had just spared some time to meet the protesters in a cordial manner over a cup of coffee , he would have won over the people and the whole incident would have been turned to his favour. Unfortunately the people had to go away with resentment and anger and which does not augur well for a people-friendly Pakatan Rakyat government that is blind to colour and creed.

Jeff Ooi must retract his statements and apologise. He failed to understand the sensitivities of those who are so steadfast to religious beliefs, which may seem alien to him.

DAP members, especially the younger ones, must be careful in what they say and do and not regret for their arrogance and ignorance later. They may be over zealous to bring change but that must not come at the expense of hurting the sensitivities of the others.

Change must be induced but gradually if it is forced quickly, we may lose everything we have gained so far. We have waited without hope for 40 over years; can’t we wait a bit longer especially when we have hope on our side now? Otherwise Pakatan may become a 'One term wonder' as Lim Kit Siang says.

DAP must be seen as multiracial and tolerant to all and not perceived as being anti-Malay or anti-Islam. If it does not change its image among Malays, it would be falling into the political trap of Umno's race politics. If that happens it will spell disaster for Pakatan and the hopes Malaysians who yearn for an ethnically united, peaceful and progressive Malaysia.

Dr.Chris Anthony


Anonymous said...

JIM is not an islamic extremist group.

Jeff ooi said that it is.

So how can you say that it is an UMNO trap?

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