Malaysia needs leaders to rise above partisan politics, not stoke racial conflictAnd this is the man who craves to become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia. God help us because without divine intervention, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) will lead the country speedily down the path of suspicion, anger and confrontation, pitching Muslims versus non-Muslims.
He stoked the fire sufficiently last night at a buka puasa function when he warned non-Malays against insulting Islam and creating tension, drawing attention to a video which showed a man mimicking the Muslim ablutions with dogs, to the sound of Eid prayers and a popular Hari Raya song.
There can be no justification for this smut. None whatsoever.
And if the authorities can find out who produced this video clip, they should use the full force of existing laws to send a message that in multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia, the most serious crimes involve inciting religious and racial strife.
But at the same time, there must be fairness and honesty when a national leader touches on the sensitive topic of race and religion. And this is where the deputy prime minister and deputy president of Umno failed spectacularly.
Have the authorities established that a non-Muslim produced this video?
Or was it produced by parties that want to drive a deep and sharp wedge between the races and profit politically from the division?
Even if the video was produced by a non-Muslim, isn't it provocative and wholly irresponsible to generalise and warn non-Muslims in Malaysia about poking fun at Islam?
National leaders may admonish from time to time with the intention of nipping in the bud anti-social and destructive behaviour. But Muhyiddin was playing to the gallery last night, perhaps auditioning for the run at the Umno president's position in October.
He was also dishonest.
He said that Muslims in Malaysia never insulted Christians and followers of other religions. He obviously chose to block out Datuk Ibrahim Ali, Datuk Zulkifli Nordin and others from his mind.
Ibrahim Ali threatened to burn the holy book of Christians and Zulkifli mocked Hinduism. And not one charge has been brought against them. And every day that the government allows the duo and their ilk to enjoy their freedom, it condones and abets in their hurtful statements against Christians and Hindus.
So please, Muhyiddin, do not even begin to assign blame on creating tension in this country without being honest.
What Malaysians expect of the government is fairness and justice.
But what we really crave are leaders who will rise above partisan politics and keep the peace among Malaysians. – July 31, 2013.