Gerakan criticise Isma for racist statement claiming Malaysia is for Malays Cheah Soon Hai: Stop utilising scholarly findings irresponsibly and reject ethnocentrism

Press statement by

Gerakan Deputy President

Dato’ Dr Cheah Soon Hai

28 February 2014

Following a statement made by Islamic NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) vice-president II, Abdul Rahman Dali claiming that Malaysia is the land of the Malays while at the same time telling the Chinese and Indians not to question the Malay position has drawn an outcry from Gerakan Deputy President, Dato Dr Cheah Soon Hai. He said that such statement is not only racist in nature but it also reflects the mentality still unwarping Abdul Rahman Dali.

 

Cheah stressed that we must accept the political modernity of the day with realistic reference to the citizenship and national sovereignty. He strongly believed that Malaysians of all backgrounds – regardless of gender, ethnicity, faith or affiliation should embrace the diversity and richness of multiculturalism in our multiracial society as the proud characteristic of our nationhood. He maintained that no one in the country could stand on its own without the harmonious co-operation and understanding between its people as he firmly reiterated that Malaysia is for all Malaysians.

 

“While freedom of speech should be respected, it does not mean that one can utilize scholarly findings irresponsibly that could lead to the spread of degrading ethnocentrism and racial supremacism. As it could incite racial mistrust and tension that unravels our current establishments and derails development planning for the future,” said Cheah.

 

Cheah said Gerakan as a Malaysian party calls upon the government of the people to lead the effort in constituting a more inclusive democracy and nation-state with a truly Malaysian identity. He cautioned that the National Reconciliation Plan cannot afford to be sidetracked or undermined by irresponsible antagonists, it would end up in failure if nothing concrete is being done to ensure its effectiveness.

 

“I firmly believe that more focus and effort should be directed towards the building of social unity instead of condemning ourselves into acts of damaging racial politicking and divisive sectarianism for selfish political gains. Extremist groups should repent and stop the irresponsible incitement,” added Cheah.

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