Liang TM: Race and religion harmony is no joking matter (13.7.16)

Leong Teck Meng 2

Today’s protest at the DAP HQ in Kuala Lumpur need not have happened. Such protests are counter-productive and can further damage the harmony of Malaysia. No one wants to see scuffles with the police and the videos of these scenes is not pretty viewing and will no doubt be circulated widely. However, today’s protest is not only regrettable but can be fully avoided.

The last such protest was in the year 2014 when a DAP ADUN had repeated the words “Celaka UMNO” multiple times which fanned emotions. I myself was on the receiving end of such ungentlemanly politics when I had debated the DAP ADUN and Penang EXCO Lim Hock Seng over the controversial Penang Tunnel project just two weeks ago.

Due to his inability to answer and to control his emotions, YB Lim had repeatedly used harsh words such as “Celaka” “Bodoh” and “Samseng” on me and the audience, which unnecessarily incited the crowd to react. It seems that DAP tend to resort to less-than-decent politics to incite hatred in order to get a reaction.

The latest incident is the so-called “American Raya” and “Dedak Raya” posts by DAP YB Nga Kor Ming. I and several friends of mine are possibly among thousands of people who read the two posts over the Hari Raya period from the long-time Facebook account bearing his name and likeness which has 442,000 followers.

I even checked that YB Nga had also shared the two posts on his personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. If need be, I am prepared to assist the police and do a statutory declaration to affirm what I saw and I am sure my friends and many others would do the same too.

His two postings have unnecessarily insulted and incited hatred on the biggest festival day for the Muslims in Malaysia. It boggles the mind why would anyone make such postings, if not to deliberately to incite or to hurt the sensitivities of many parties.

Even YB Nga now admits this when he issued a statement today to say “he had no intention to hurt the feelings of the Malay and Muslims friends”. From discussions with my friends and my observations, the anger over the postings was further aggravated when YB Nga defended the two postings and asking what is wrong with the two postings.

For the first posting, he said there is nothing wrong in posting a supposed “Selamat Hari Raya” on the eve of Hari Raya using the picture of the American flag asking people to believe in God and that image comes from the Christian preacher James Dobson and Donald Trump supporter is a well-known personality.

For the second posting, Nga initially defended the post by saying “Siapa makan cili dia yang rasa pedasnya.” and even had the cheek to say that there was no need for any parties to be overly sensitive about the caricatures.

During this time, DAP MP Teresa Kok had also told the press that DAP leaders had questioned Nga over the post in a “chat group” and that Nga had explained it was all a misunderstanding.

Predictably when the anger escalated further, YB Nga still refused to apologize and take responsibility. He then tried to wash his hands off this by issuing a statement saying that the posts was made by “cybertroopers engaged by a certain party to smear DAP’s image” which has the effect to suggest that the posts were fake.

By this time the two posts had disappeared. Soon after the long-standing page bearing his name with 442,000 followers had also been deactivated. YB Nga admitted yesterday that he is well aware of this page bearing his name and likeness but said it was run by unnamed supporters of him.

Instead of asking Facebook to stop the page due to supposed “identity theft” YB Nga admitted that he had “let them continue without taking action,” – hence giving implicit approval.

This shows that YB Nga is still responsible – if not fully then partly – for those two posts.

Therefore, he should do the honourable thing and apologize for hurting the feelings of so many Malaysians on their festival day and for his multiple lame denials and stubbornness prior to this.

The IGP had previously announced that the police is now probing the Pahang Mufti for sedition. Similarly, YB Nga is also now under a similar sedition probe and should extend his full cooperation including naming the actual administrators responsible for the postings.

Special mention should also go to DAP’s Teresa Kok for initially attempting to defend YB Nga’s posts by giving the incredible excuse that “Politicians must appreciate humour. It would be boring if such jokes were not allowed.”

If YB Teresa feels bored then I advise her to take up a hobby such as stamp collecting or go on holidays. YB Teresa should understand that other people’s religious or race traditions is not something for you or any politicians to make jokes about – especially on their holy or festival day.

Similarly, YB Teresa should also apologize for making such an inane excuse for YB Nga.

DAP politicians must respect others and not cause hurt.

If such actions were designed to deliberately provoke others to get a reaction in order to make political gains, then such behaviour must be punished by the police or at the ballot box to show that all Malaysians reject such dirty and potentially dangerous politics.

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