UMNO and what they are now doing: The kind of fear and loathing that cause people to regard others as their mortal enemy – the fear and loathing that only racial and religious extremism can instill within us.
Umno and Barisan Nasional must start to read the signs of the changing seasons that is already blowing across our nation.
We must have a sense of faith in the intelligence of average Malaysians.
We must believe in their ability to know what is right and what is wrong and what is good and what is bad of the things that are being done in their name by the Barisan Nasional government and the state government under Pakatan Rakyat.
Who you are, what race you claim to be, what religion you profess, what politics you choose to do, what state you are from and many other variables will shape your thinking, your deeds, your beliefs and your aspirations.
Despite all these variables, if we are to reflect on our present circumstances, we must accept that this multi-cultural society that we were once proud enough to claim as our own is now a curse that burdens our people and our nation.
Today whoever talks of 1Malaysia lies! Our political leaders choose to divide us when they should unite us. Choose to consolidate their political gains by taking from us our gains as a people since Merdeka.
We are now a nation divided. We will soon be a nation heading towards a division so deep and painful that each and every one of us will begin to regard each other with suspicion and distrust.
With fear and loathing. The kind of fear and loathing that cause people to regard others as their mortal enemy – the fear and loathing that only racial and religious extremism can instill within us.
If you cannot see this happening around you, then you are blind. Worse than being blind, you choose to turn away and disregard the realities that now overwhelms the decency and civility that was once legendary amongst our people.
Realities that will have to get worse before it gets better. And what is that reality?
We are what we are now because the elected leaders whom we trusted to lead us responsibly towards 1Malaysia – the real 1Malaysia, not the political jargon of our politicians – have abused the trust we placed in them.
This BN government chooses to govern in corruption, not in meritocracy. Any responsible government works for the common good of the nation and its people. This one does not!
They do so not unwittingly, not without understanding the consequences of their actions but with malice aforethought.
They are irresponsibly taking us down the path towards economic ruin, religious strife and racial Armageddon – all in a concerted effort to divide and rule our nation for their political advantage.
Our vainglorious political leaders take us for complete fools devoid of any ability to think and care for issues of national concern.
The recent furore over the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 is a case in point – a Bill, according to Muhyiddin Yassin that was discussed in cabinet before it was tabled.
So how is that they did not consider the adverse consequences of tabling such a Bill? A Bill that allows a subject below the age of 18 to be converted to Islam with the consent of the mother, father or guardian when it should really be a joint decision by the parents.
I would put this Bill on par with the acts of Jawi in taking away the corpse of Muslims (so Jawi says!) away from their loved ones to accord them a Muslim burial.
Our silence has been taken for acquiescence. Our passivity taken for acceptance of what Umno is doing supposedly, for the good of Islam. The government has since withdrawn the Bill for it to be “perkemaskan” (streamline).
And now Umno talks about not abolishing the Sedition Act and reintroducing the Emergency Ordinance (EO) in another form!
What better time to talk about this than after the 13th general election. Perish the proposed National Harmony Act because “it is not what democracy requires” – so says the Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
And of course the repeal of the Sedition Act would lead to, horrors of horrors, widespread abuse of freedom of speech – so says Mahathir!
And of course Mahathir’s concern is that the civilized people of Malaysia will insult the Prophet Muhammad! And to add insult to injury, Dr S Subramaniam, the Health Minister, tells us that Najib Tun Razak’s announcement to repeal the Sedition Act was “a mere suggestion!”.
They are in government now and they will make the decisions.
Umno must start to read the signs of the changing seasons that is already blowing across our nation.
They must shed the incompetence and cluelessness that dog their decision-making in government.
They must curtail the brazen bravados that compel them to treat us ordinary Malaysians for fools because they think bravado and sheer arrogance will carry the day for them.
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.