Federal Minister from Sabah
Mohd Shafie Apdal
Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister
Read here and here as reported by Bernama
This UMNO Minister from Sabah responsible for UNITY and CULTURE believes that the draconian "arrest and detain-first,investigate-later" Internal Security Act should be used to maintain racial and religious harmony among Malaysians.
This is what he said, "We should appreciate its (ISA) MERITS in SOLVING sensitive issues affecting various races and religions in the country."
That is HOW an UMNO-Minister (from Sabah) responsible for a Ministry to maintain UNITY and CULTURE, goes about to solve UNITY problems between races and religions: Bring down the ISA hard on ordinary Malaysians !
Mohd Shafie Apdal is introducing another controversial RACE RELATIONS ACT (another smaller version of ISA?) which was approved by the UMNO-led BN Cabinet.
Mohd Shafie Apdal said that if Malaysia has no Race Relations Act , it is akin to Malaysia WITHOUT a Federal Constitution to uphold Islam as an official religion.
In other words, according to Mohd Shafie Apdal, Islam needs to be protected with the dreadful un-Islamic ISA and the Race Relations Act!
Mohd Shafie Apdal, we would like to think, is a religious person as that other self-professed deeply devout Muslim, PKR MP Zulkifli Noordin from Kulim-Bandar Baharu, who had a very weird view that as Member of Parliament, Islam comes FIRST, while REPRESENTING the interest of multi-racial and multi-religious electorate comes SECOND, and that became the reason why he behaved like a thug in the company of other UMNO thugs at the Bar Council Forum protest.
Certainly we do not need a Member of Parliament coming from PKR (Pakatan Rakyat)such as Zulkifli Noordin representing Malaysians with a misguided view of an MP's priorities for his multi-racial and multi-religious voters. (Read here and here and here the bad behaviour of PKR MP Zulkifli Noordin)
Likewise we say, Malaysian voters DON'T need an MP and a Federal Minister with a moral outlook and the dim-wit intelligence of the like of Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Mohd Shafie Apdal is unsuited to represent the interests of multi-racial and multi-religious people of Sabah and much less as a Cabinet Minister in the Federal Government.
As a Muslim, his views on the ISA is against all the moral teachings of Islam (read here the views of Mufti of Perlis)and shows that he does NOT believe in the Rule of Law as a means to hold a multi-racial and multi-religious country together. Mohd Shafie Apdal's justification for having ISA and the Race Relations Act is a clear indication he is unqualified to be a Minister responsible for "Unity and Culture" at a time when race and religion are dividing the nation.
We appeal to Sabahan voters with this message: Mohd Shafie Apdal is an example of a BAD representative for multi-racial and multi-religious Sabahans.
We ask Sabahans to ensure that politicians like Mohd Shafie Apdal are prevented from being ever elected again in the next General Election or by-election.
Menteri Perpaduan, Kebudayaan, Kesenian dan Warisan Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal berkata Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) tidak perlu dikaji semula kerana ia MASIH DIPERLUKAN di negara berbilang kaum dan agama seperti Malaysia.
Mohd Shafie berkata ISA mempunyai peranannya tersendiri dalam menangani pelbagai isu yang timbul daripada struktur masyarakat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum dan agama bagi memastikan ketenteraman kaum dan kesejahteraan negara sentiasa terjamin.
"Tak perlu dinilai semula. Apa yang penting kepada kita ialah kita kena melihat kebaikan ISA kerana ISA ada kebaikannya," katanya kepada pemberita selepas majlis berbuka puasa bersama masyarakat setempat di sini hari ini.
Beliau berkata dalam masyarakat majmuk seperti di Malaysia, kerajaan perlu menguruskan isu-isu yang diangap sensitif seperti agama dan kaum agar ia tidak mencetuskan perkara buruk. Read here for more
The Internal Security Act (ISA) is still needed to maintain public order and harmony among various races in the country, said Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
"There is no need to review the act. We should appreciate its merits in solving sensitive issues affecting various races and religions in the country," he told reporters after witnessing the handing over of aid for the poor by Media Prima in the TV3's "Bersamamu" programme at the Inabah Kamal Mosque here Sunday.
The proposed Race Relations Act had been approved by the cabinet to to deal with matters affecting the sensitivity of each race and religion."
Sarawak Planning and Resource Management Assistant Minister Datuk Sri Awang Tengah Ali Hassan (had said) that Sarawak did not need the act.
Shafie likened the statements as suggesting that the country did not need a constitution to uphold Islam as the official religion, the position of the rulers and the Malay rights. "Without the constitution, what will be the platform of our actions?" he asked. Read here for more
From Dr. Azly Rahman
Read here: Article" Race Relations Act - why now?" by Azly Rahman in Malaysiakini
Race Relations Act - Why Now?
This sounds like a good idea; but after 51 years of independence?
We should have had this act to prevent the emergence of race-based parties and to ensure that all citizens be given equal opportunity and the rights and privileges accorded to them as a result of surrendering their natural rights to the state.
After 51 years of the institutionalisation of ethnocentrism and many times outright racism in terms of allocation of resources, open-secret indoctrinations, and the exploitation of racial and religious issues for political gain, we are now proposing an act to improve race-relations?
I am now puzzled – by the inherent contradictions we are confronting and will continue to confront vis-à-vis this proposed act.
Since the government had asked citizens like me to make suggestions and seek clarification concerning this proposed act, I have the following questions:
- How will we judge the existing race-based parties that live and breathe on racial sentimentality to the point of being seditious in their pursuit of hegemony?
- How will this act be used against governmental institutions such as the Biro Tata Negara whose livelihood has historically been based upon making sure that the damaging ideology of Malay (Pseudo) supremacy will forever prevail?
- How will this act be used against public-funded educational institutions that promote "Ketuanan Melayu" which is clearly antithetical to our will to teach multi-racial understanding?
- How many members of Parliament will be arrested under the Race Relations Act based on the nature of speeches they had given?
- How many teachers and public servants will be investigated for using their position to deny their students and clients respectively the rights to be treated equally before the Constitution - rights accorded regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, color, creed, and religious orientation?
- How many years of the possibility of multicultural education and intercultural understanding have we lost as a consequence of not having a Race Relations Act way back on Sept 16, 1963 during the formation of Malaysia?
- How many racist policymakers in governmental and non-governmental sectors have we produced as a result of no Race Relations Act?
- How many racist youth party leaders have we given birth to and how many can we afford to see "cloned" and "artificially inseminated" as a result of the absence of any act that erases racism and curbs arrogance and greed?
- How will this proposed act, if passed, abolish the Internal Security Act that has been used to crush amongst others, those who oppose race-based policies and fight for racial and social justice?
- How will this act allow for the passage of a new brand of politics – one that sees a truly multiracial party ruling the country and implementing policies based on the philosophy of equality, equal opportunity, excellence and empathy?
We are proposing this act at a time when we arrest our citizens for no good reason and no trial, using the instrument of oppression no longer suitable for an ultra and hyper-modern society such as ours.
We are proposing this out of desperation and out of sync with the mass sentiment of the day; at a time when the Berlin Wall of our Balkanized race relations is crumbling by the day, each brick in the wall ripped off by the power of the digital tsunami.
We are hearing this proposal coming from a race-based coalition government that wants to ensure that the divide and conquer and sub-divide and sub-conquer policies of British colonialism prevail in the filter-funneled minds of our little brown brothers and sisters.
Perhaps what we need is NOT another act to add to the ambivalence of acts such as The University and University Colleges and the Internal Security Acts but to go deeper into our public institutions and ask why we have not progressed much in race relations after all these decades.
We should investigate further how the New Economic Policy itself as a grand Stalinist-inspired programme of national development has contributed not only to the deterioration of race relations but has cemented racism in newer forms – both subtle and open.
We should investigate how the topic race relations has been taught in our community centers, schools, universities, and other public institutions to see what goes into the mind of our citizens by way of schooling, indoctrination, training, and education – to see what went wrong and what is still not right.
We should examine governmental policies and see if we indeed uncover practices that promote equality, equal opportunity, and empathy in place; policies that ought to have improved race relations, inclusionary, and integrate rather than disintegrate the different races.
This will be a mind-boggling noble proposal for us to contribute ideas. Do we need a new act? Or will a new government with a brand new ideology suffice?
But as peace and justice-loving Malaysians, let us offer constructive ideas to this proposed act.
Let us propose that ONLY a truly multiracial party that has the will, motivation, intelligence and the set of acquired skills should be given the mandate to implement a Race Relations Act.
Any communal-based party is too much a contradiction to put their act together on this one.