‘Melayu Bangkit’ rally the last thing we need, say ex-servicemen

National Patriots Association president Mohamed Arshad Raji.

PETALING JAYA: An NGO comprising veterans and retired police officers has hit out at Umno for organising the “Melayu Bangkit” rally over the weekend, saying it only created tension and hindered Malaysia’s headway in becoming a more progressive nation.

The National Patriots Association (Patriot) said Saturday’s rally in Pasir Salak, Perak, was the last thing the nation needed.

Adding that Malaysia was enduring “economic and social stress”, Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji said the rally had contributed nothing to the well-being and betterment of the nation and its people.

“Abandon this unhealthy tactic to stir race and religious issues. By all means, function as an effective opposition as a check and balance to the ruling party,” he said in a statement today.

He criticised some of the speeches made by Umno leaders at the rally, including the party’s secretary-general Annuar Musa and Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam who accused the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government of failing to protect Malay interests and the Malay rulers.

They also voiced fear that the federal government would be taken over by DAP or a non-Malay administration.

Arshad said these speeches showed that Umno leaders were “mentally challenged”. He added that the rights of Malays and the Malay rulers were well entrenched in the Federal Constitution.

“If Umno, which led the nation for the last 60 years, still says that the Malays and the Malay rulers need to be protected, then there must be something seriously wrong with the previous government policies led by Umno itself,” he said.

He also slammed Umno leaders who resorted to name-calling when talking about Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, saying this showed they had lost respect for the elderly which was not reflective of the Malay culture and would set a bad example for the younger generation.

According to Malaysiakini, Lokman had called Mahathir a “mamak” and a “demon”.

Arshad said Umno leaders should conduct themselves as mature politicians and articulate national and social issues well.

“This is the best way to redeem their lost credibility,” he said, adding that the party could see a speedy demise if it did not change its ways.