M'sians must reject siren song meant to destabilise Harapan gov't
MP SPEAKS | There had been various waves of attacks of lies, fake news and hate speech on social media on leaders and parties in the Pakatan Harapan government, whether focusing on Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Bersatu, or PKR President Anwar Ibrahim and PKR, or Mohamad Sabu and Amanah.
Since yesterday, the target of the lies, fake news and hate speech on social media is the DAP, which was bombed with lies, fake news and hate speech that it is the “komunis moden (modern communist) in Malaysia” and that there will be no peace in Malaysia unless there is no “communist” in the cabinet.
If the social media attack is to be believed, Malaysia has a Special Branch which is one of the most incompetent in the world, which will be most unfair to the Special Branch, as the DAP had never been accused of being communist or a communist sympathiser for the past 53 years.
Furthermore, we are today in an age where communism has lost its power and influence as representing the irresistible wave of the future.
In this connection, the statement by an adviser to the police deradicalisation programme, Ahmad El Muhammady warning that the nation could witness a repeat of the May 13, 1969 race riots bear serious consideration.
Speaking at a forum titled “Violence and national security: Are we ready?” yesterday, Ahmad, who had interviewed dozens of militants, expressed concern over the open polemics regarding race, religion and political ideologies.
A lecturer at the International Islamic University, Ahmad said the heated temperature was evident on social media.
He said: "If you don't trust me, open Facebook and read the comment section. As a deradicalisation researcher, the views in there are only a step away from something radical.
"Is there a possibility that the country is heading towards May 13, 1969? I'm confident that it could happen. It is waiting for a trigger.
"This is my warning: if there is not enough efforts to stymie the heat among the people, don't be surprised if the May 13 incident recurs."
Last week, I had warned that the siren song sung after the historic May 9, 2018 decision in the 14th General Election is becoming louder and more brazen because of desperation, urging that patriotic Malaysians must reject this siren song for it can only end up in Malaysia becoming a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state.
The whole purpose of this siren song is not to compete with the Pakatan Harapan government to make Malaysia a top world-class nation of unity, justice, freedom, excellence and integrity and to show the world that Malaysia is a success story from the alliance of civilisations and not a basket-case of a failure from the clash of civilisations.
Instead, its goal is to destroy the Harapan government, even if the price is to usher in an era of division and instability and to destroy the Malaysian nation altogether.
Immediately after the 14th general election, these conspirators had hoped that the Harapan government would disintegrate and implode from internal contradictions because it was an untested coalition of four political parties – DAP, PKR, Bersatu and Amanah.
When this did not take place, the decision was taken to launch an untrammelled campaign of lies, fake news and hate speech to destabilise the country and incite inter-racial and inter-religious polarisation and conflict, and this is why Malaysia has suddenly become a major test case in the world as to whether a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation like Malaysia can survive the existential threat posed by fake news and hate speech.
With the toxic nature of lies, fake news and hate speech in the Internet age, and their mutation into more toxic forms on the ubiquitous social media, Malaysians can now better understand why the Doomsday Clock 2019 is positioned at two minutes to midnight – closest it’s been to midnight since 1953 during the Cold War – because fake news has been recognised as a third factor after nuclear risk and climate change which posed an existential threat to humanity.
In August this year, I said the Malaysia I want to see is one where the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans come out of their own universe to interact with other communities; to learn, appreciate and accept that Malaysia is not to be identified with any one community but with all the different communities who have made the land their mother country.
This is what the basic Malaysian documents in the past six decades, whether the Malaysian Constitution, the Rukunegara or the Vision 2020 of Bangsa Malaysia were predicated.
In other words, a Malaysian is a Chinese who is not 100 percent Chinese but has an extra dimension which could be described as Malaysia-plus; a Malay who is not 100 percent Malay but with a Malaysia-plus dimension; and an Indian who is not 100 percent Indian but with a Malaysia-plus dimension. They keep their separate ethnic identities but they share a common core – as a Malaysian.
All Malaysians must ask: Who is the “Other” in the Malaysian context?
Is the “Other” the Chinese and Indians to a Malay Malaysian, the Malays and Indians to a Chinese Malaysian, and the Malays and Chinese to an Indian Malaysian?
If this is the answer, then we have not yet succeeded in Malaysian nation-building, for the “Other” must be a non-Malaysian, whether from Indonesia, China or India or any other part of the world.
Malaysia seems to be trapped in an extraordinary situation which, if not addressed, will only lead to greater division and disunity, stagnation and failure to leverage on the best values and qualities of the Malay/Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western civilisations which meet in confluence in Malaysia to build a great Malaysian nation.
This extraordinary situation is one where the Malays feel threatened, the Chinese feel threatened, the Indians feel threatened, the Kadazans feel threatened and the Ibans feel threatened.
Every community is made to believe that its culture and ethnicity is facing an existential threat.
But who is creating all these threats to all racial groups in the country?
Malaysians must develop a new self-confidence of “reaching for the stars”, a new “Malaysia Boleh” spirit, to exorcise the various contrived, imaginary or other fears and demons for Malaysia to excel itself in as many fields of human endeavour as possible so as to achieve a golden age for Malaysia in the future.
LIM KIT SIANG is Iskandar Puteri MP.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.