Why no action against those threatening spectre of May 13, asks Zaid

Former federal minister Zaid Ibrahim says such provocation should not be tolerated as it glorifies rioting and destruction of life and property.

PETALING JAYA: Former federal minister Zaid Ibrahim has questioned police for not taking action over threatening remarks that May 13 racial riots may recur as long as Chinese education group Dong Zong exists.

He said police can do many things to uphold the law.

“When leaders say there will be rule of law, it means the police will enforce it, regardless of who violates the law.

“When people violate the law and no action is taken against them, it shows some groups are immune from the law. This is not the rule of law,” the lawyer told FMT.

He was asked to comment whether police should take action against groups such as Malaysian Muslim Students Coalition (Gamis), who warned of bloody May 13, 1969 riots as long as Dong Zong still exists.

Gamis president Saifullah Baiduri had further claimed that Dong Zong is a “pus within the nation’s unity” and had urged the home ministry and police to ban the Chinese group, accusing it of opposing nationalistic government policies that work towards unity.

Zaid added that such provocation should not be tolerated as it glorifies rioting and destruction of life and property.

Asked on Dong Zong cancelling its scheduled Dec 28 closed-door meeting in Kajang to discuss Jawi lessons in vernacular schools after police obtained a court injunction, Zaid said he expected the police to be partial during the Barisan Nasional days, but not now.

“I expect them to tell the would-be rioters they will be punished if they proceed with their threats.

“It seems nothing has changed. The Chinese, it seems, are not able to get the same kind of protection as the Malays who famously organised the Malay Congress,” he said, adding that Dong Zong was merely trying to organise a peaceful gathering, but the security forces felt they were unable to protect them.

In a statement to FMT, he further said the cancellation of the Dong Zong congress only means that rights can be trampled on by threats of violence and that those who use force and promise a riot like a repeat of May 13 win.

“Police do not think they can maintain public order and peace if the Malays threaten to use force and violence on the non-Malays. Democracy is now dead,” he added.

He said this is where Malaysia is now at a stage where the Malay and Muslim groups will be encouraged to continue their harassment of the non-Malays due to weakness in the country’s security apparatus to maintain public order.

“As a Malay, I feel ashamed that these small group of Malays and Muslims would go at such lengths to deny others of their basic rights.

“Despite that, they are still taken seriously by the police. What has caused them to have such an attitude and behave like thugs? It must be their education and the values they were taught.

“Our education minister probably disagrees with me, but how else can we explain such behaviour?”

He further related such failures to the Islamisation policy in 1988 where people were told to assimilate Islamic values into the Malaysian education and administration of the country.

“We were told that with Islamisation, we would be a liberal democracy ready to achieve developed status in 2020,” he said.

Zaid further said that Malaysians were then told that Islamic values mean humanistic values, which are universal in nature.

“It did not turn out that way. The product of our Islamisation policy is seen in the conduct and behaviour of our leaders and younger members of various NGOs when faced with issues they dislike or disapprove.”

He called such groups “vile, uncouth and fascinated with fascist ideas, who exhort violence on those they do not like”.

“They have a complete distaste for human rights and democracy and the rights of minorities. Where are all the Islamic values of tolerance, compassion and respect for the rights of others? There are none to be seen,” he added.

 ‘More failures ahead unless measures are taken’

Zaid said after 30 years’ of failures, Malaysian leaders still persist with another wave of Islamisation policy, referring to Islamic Propagation Foundation of Malaysia (Yadim) wanting to promote dakwah in schools, colleges and universities.

Zaid said this was a sign that their appetite for more indoctrination of failed ideas and values has not been satisfied.

“What new things will they teach the Malay and Muslim youth that will change their character as Malays? I hope not more fascination with violence and the denial of basic rights of others who do not belong to their group.”

The only small hope Malaysia has is the presence of multiracial parties in the country and the aspiration that more Malays will join them.

He said it will teach the Malays to remain humble and appreciate the contributions of others while the association with the Chinese will help them to be more focused on business and economy.