IT can perhaps be said that Bersih 4 marked a historical milestone in the political maturity of Malaysians. Along with the massive turn-out, the rally was peaceful, culminating in the Merdeka Eve celebrations.
We are grateful that the Royal Malaysia Police showed restraint and stepped aside as the protesters exercised their rights to have a peaceful assembly.
Bersih 4 was a rally for all Malaysians regardless of background. However, even before the rally, some quarters would like us to believe that Bersih 4 was an assault by the Chinese to undermine the Malay-Muslim leadership at the helm of the country’s administration and comments continue to be made about the under-representation of Malays among the rally participants.
In this regard, we would like to record our appreciation to the Inspector-General of Police for having dissuaded the anti-Bersih “Red Shirts” from holding a parallel rally. This defused what would potentially have been an explosive situation, bordering on racism and bigotry and threatening our racial harmony.
However, this threat by the “Red Shirts” has not completely passed, for a rally dubbed “Himpunan Maruah Melayu” is being planned for Malaysia Day. The location chosen for the rally, the depiction of a keris-wielding warrior with an incendiary caption underneath its promotional posters, dispel any doubt that the intent is one of provocation and intimidation.
As a community, we have admittedly lost a major portion of our honour and dignity. Despite all the supposed advantages, we lag behind in many areas – education, share of the nation’s wealth and economic pie, and a relatively small middle class. And we fare the worst in terms of social ills that blight our younger generation.
But we do not redeem our honour and dignity by blaming other races while helping an embattled political elite. One redeems one’s honour and dignity by upholding the principles of truth and justice, holding accountable those onto whose shoulders trust and responsibility have been placed. We redeem our honour and dignity by remaining true to the moral teachings of Islam and exposing the hypocrisy of those who use religion to cling to power.
The Red Shirts do not represent the voice of the Malay Muslims. Any call towards incitement of racial strife must be dealt with swiftly.
We urge the police to once again act with professionalism to maintain peace and order in these uncertain times.
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever fights under a banner of folly (not for the sake of Allah), supporting asabiyyah (tribalism and racism), or getting angry for the sake of asabiyyah, he dies in a state of jahiliyyah (ignorance).” Hadith Sahih, Sunan Ibn Majah, No. 3948
Statement endorsed by the following Muslim individuals and organisations:
1. Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
2. Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (IKRAM)
3. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
4. Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM)
5. Dr Amir Farid Isahak
6. JIHAD for JUSTICE
7. We are Malaysians
8. Malaysian Indian Muslim Action Council
9. Ipoh Tamil Muslim Development Association
10. Persatuan Kebajikan Muslim Kinta
12. Persatuan Promosi Harmoni Malaysia
13. Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM)
14. Pertubuhan Pemuda GEMA Malaysia
15. Research and Information Centre on Islam (RICOI)
16. Dr Maszlee Malik, President, IIUM Academic Staff Association