By P. Ramakrishnan
We have every reason to be concerned. We wonder where this nation is heading for and what is in store for us. From the civil servant to the Umno politician, it is the same story: the non-Malays are “pendatang” and don’t have any citizenship rights. The rights conferred by Article 8 of the Federal Constitution are not respected or protected.
When an extreme group like Perkasa questions the citizenship rights of the non-Malays, the national leadership does not take them to task. When extreme elements in Umno berate and denigrate the non-Malays, the top Umno leadership does not chastise them. When one Umno delegate at the recently concluded general assembly had the temerity to suggest that the non-Malays be given the right to do business but should be denied the right to vote, nobody pointed out that it was against the constitution and that he should not be talking through his nose!
It is this disturbing silence when atrocious things are said which affect our unity that is worrying. It is this unbecoming conduct that encourages the extreme elements amongst us to be outrageous in their conduct and prompts them to continue with their seditious remarks.
It is this vocal minority that is predominant in our society and influences the trend of policy. Our political leaders dare not condemn them outright.
Utusan Malaysia fans the race baiting and gives the widest publicity without bothering to be responsible or sensible. When the powers-that-be that own and control this press do not force it to fall in line, what do we make of this?
A nation can make or break depending on the unity of its citizens. Today our unity is threatened. And if concerned voices and responsible leaders and caring Malaysians do not rise up and speak up, we will be a fragmented nation. By our silence, we will contribute to the chaos that may ensue. — Aliran
* P. Ramakrishnan is president of Aliran.