PETALING JAYA: Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) has called on the government to clarify and provide the true version of events on the contribution of the various ethnic groups in combating the nation’s enemies.
This follows a reported claim by elder cleric Ismail Mina Ahmad that only the Malays had battled foreign colonialists and communist insurgents, and that outspoken minorities were trying to usurp power in the country.
Patriot president Brigadier-General (Rtd) Mohd Arshad Raji said Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein should set the record straight on the matter.
He said Chief of Armed Forces Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor and Inspector General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun should do the same, with the former also needing to make a statement to guide other clerics against deviant teachings.
“We have to remember those who have once served our King and country with valour. Those men comprising different races, their heroic and valiant deeds, their sacrifices must never be forgotten,” he said.
“Keeping quiet to such distortion of facts is not an option. It is abdicating leadership responsibility,” he said in a statement today.
Mohd Arshad said Patriot was not angry with Ismail as what he purportedly said did not reflect on himself as a person well versed in current affairs and history.
“Being elderly and a vulnerable person, others could have easily manipulated him with sentiments relating to religion and race, especially with the general election looming and all kinds of underhand tactics would be employed,” he said.
The Malay Mail Online yesterday reported Ismail who is chairman of Ummah, an umbrella group for Muslim organisations, as saying that only Malays had resisted the British colonialists and Japanese occupiers of the Second World War.
He claimed that as only the Malays fought the communists, the community became a target of the predominantly-Chinese insurgency that lasted for forty years.
Ismail also reportedly said outspoken minorities posed a danger to the position of Islam in the country and Malay political rule, aiming to usurp power, and even wanting to be a prime minister.
Mohd Arshad said non-Malay officers and men, which included Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, Orang Asli, Ibans, Dayaks, and Kadazans, had fought gallantly alongside their Malay brothers-in-arms since the pre-independent years.
“In the Air Force, numerous non-Malay pilots flew their helicopters in dangerous missions for supplies and evacuations, and enemies shot at their aircrafts,” he added.
“These officers and men had their share of casualties and also their much-deserved share of gallantry awards,” he said.
He said the success of the security forces against Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) insurgents and urban terrorists was to a large extent attributed to many dangerous and highly classified covert operations of the Special Branch and military intelligence, whose many officers were Chinese.
Mohd Arshad added that the CPM also consisted of Malays, including leaders like Abdullah CD, Rashid Mydin, and Samsiah Pakeh.