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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Racism requires two hands to clap


Yes, in 2008 we agree to support Pakatan Rakyat. But the support came with certain conditions attached. You are, of course, free to renegotiate these terms and conditions if you want to and rescind what has been agreed. In a democracy this is allowed. But then, in a democracy, we are also free to look at these new terms and conditions of our relationship and decide whether we want to accept them or not.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
“Dear RPK, I find your articles actually getting more and more racist. What is this about?” asked one reader by the name of ‘Nanda K’.  Well, violence begets violence, as the saying goes, and racism begets racism. Racism requires two hands to clap and is the opposition any lesser racist than, say, Perkasa?
Have a look at this newspaper cutting:
Why must the Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim say ‘Melayu masuk DAP PR lagi kuat’? Is DAP a non-Melayu party, meaning a Chinese party? Is that why if Melayu join DAP then PR would become stronger -- because the Malays would dilute the Chinese in DAP? What if the Malays do not join DAP? Would DAP then remain a Chinese party and hence PR would become weak?
The statement ‘Melayu masuk DAP PR lagi kuat’ is itself a racist statement. It shows that even Pakatan Rakyat plays the racial politics game just like Barisan Nasional. Can’t you all get this through your thick head?
So who is the racist here? I or the Pakatan Rakyat leaders who talk about Malays, Chinese, Indians, etc? When you talk about it that is okay. When I talk about it I am a racist. If you stop talking about Malays, Chinese, Indians, natives, and so on then I can also stop talking about it. But if you continue talking then I have every right to also keep talking.
That is called democracy.
Sure, my articles of late have been about Hudud. But I am writing about Hudud only because the Pakatan Rakyat leaders are arguing about Hudud. If they can argue about Hudud, if this is their democratic right to agree to disagree, then in what way have I lost my democratic right to also talk about Hudud?
Isn’t this what democracy is all about, to respond to what people say?
Look at the Bernama news item regarding Karpal Singh below. PAS said that Karpal opposes Hudud because he is a non-believer. This appears to have upset Karpal a bit and he stressed that he is a believer.
What is a non-believer? Is a non-believer someone who does not believe in God? Then he would be called an Atheist, not a non-believer. An Atheist does believe. He believes that God does not exist. Hence he is a believer, a believer in the fallacy of the existence of God.
Or is a non-believer someone who subscribes to a different religion to yours? Such people do believe in God. They go to church or a temple to pray. They believe that God exists. The only thing is they follow a different path to yours. But they are a believer who does believe in the existence of God. Hence should these people be labelled as non-believers?
In the run-up to the March 2008 General Election, we launched The People’s Declaration, which was endorsed by six non-Barisan Nasional political parties, the three Pakatan Rakyat parties included. And this is what it said regarding the plan to Promote National Unity:
We will initiate measures to build and foster unity among the various ethnic and religious groups, having as our aim the evolution of a people with the common aspiration of justice and equality for all. To that end, we will:
• immediately dismantle any and all remaining practices of “divide and rule” in public administration from the days of the BN administration;
• cause to be established a Ministry in charge of Non-Islamic Religious Affairs;
• put in place an affirmative action programme at Federal and all State levels to eradicate poverty and marginalization from amongst the weak and backward groups irrespective of race, social background and religion;
• pay special attention to the Orang Asli in the Peninsula and all the indigenous groups in Sabah and Sarawak, and amend various laws and regulations pertaining to them so that justice is served, including establishing a Commission to protect Native Customary Rights (NCR) land and to resolve disputes relating to such lands while respecting their traditions and customs;
• strengthen national integration by restoring the rights and privileges that were promised to the people of Sabah and Sarawak;
• establish an independent Ethnic Relations Council, reporting directly to Parliament to help in building a united Bangsa Malaysia;
• establish a Commission for Shari’ah Law at the Federal level;
• reduce the influence of party politics in the respective State Religious Councils, mosques and other religious institutions;
• allocate land for graves and places of worship for all faiths without any discrimination;
• increase inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogues to strengthen mutual understanding among the people; and
• encourage the development of a Malaysian culture based on common moral values and ideals. This requires an open attitude towards the diversity of cultures of the various ethnic and sub-ethnic groups in the country, taking account of the country’s history and evolution.
I am very clear on what my agenda is. And my agenda is in writing. And we asked Pakatan Rakyat to endorse this agenda, which they did.
More than two years later, in 2010, we launched the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) and in a talk in London with Anwar Ibrahim, Tian Chua and Tunku Aziz Ibrahim, we raised the issue of The People’s Declaration and emphasised that we were not happy with what we viewed as Pakatan Rakyat sidestepping this matter.
That public chastisement of Pakatan Rakyat was not well received and thereafter MCLM was boycotted. It appears that what we proposed above, amongst many others, and which we thought had already been agreed upon prior to the March 2008 General Election, was no longer the game plan.
That is okay with me. Malaysia is, after all, a democratic country and no one can be forced to agree to something they do not believe in. Well, a democracy works both ways. Just as you are under no obligation to agree to what you do not believe in, I too am under no obligation to agree to what I do not believe in.
However, while you are free to accept or reject whatever you want, I do not appear to have that same freedom to do what you do. In the run-up to the March 2008 General Election, we made it very clear that we will support Pakatan Rakyat subject to certain conditions. And one of these many conditions included an end to racial politics and a separation of politics and religion.
Yes, in 2008 we agree to support Pakatan Rakyat. But the support came with certain conditions attached. You are, of course, free to renegotiate these terms and conditions if you want to and rescind what has been agreed. In a democracy this is allowed. But then, in a democracy, we are also free to look at these new terms and conditions of our relationship and decide whether we want to accept them or not.
As far as I am concerned, we entered into a marriage contract. And this marriage contract was very specific. If you wish to terminate this marriage contract then I am at liberty to reassess the marriage and decide whether to continue with the marriage or end it.
Which part of this concept do you not understand?
Today, Pakatan Rakyat is still allowing race and religion to interfere with the plan to reform the country after promising back in 2008 that all this nonsense will end. In that case, since you have done a U-turn on what we agreed upon, does that not also allow me the right to do a U-turn as well?
Agreements that were bilaterally agreed cannot be unilaterally changed. That is the long and short of it all. And if those of you reading this piece are too stupid to understand this concept then you deserve another 50 years of Umno-Barisan Nasional rule.
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Karpal reminds PAS of welfare state goal
(Bernama) - Any attempt by PAS to espouse hudud law in the country now would reflect poorly of the decisions made during the last PAS Muktamar, DAP chairman Karpal Singh said today.
He said PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had, during the party’s 57th Muktamar last June, publicly stated there was no mention of Islamic state in the al-Quran but there was mention of welfare state.
He said this communicated that PAS had given up its aim to set up an Islamic state and opted for a welfare state.
In a statement here today, he said hudud was not included in the Pakatan Rakyat’s common policy framework Buku Jingga.
“Likewise, it will not be included in the common manifesto of Pakatan Rakyat, it cannot be,” added Karpal.
He was commenting on a statement by PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi that Karpal was a non-believer based on his (Karpal’s) consistent stand in rejecting the hudud.
Karpal said: “No one, no party, no organisation can claim to have monopoly of God. I must state, with all the force at my command, that I believe in God.”

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