Non-Muslims the root of corruption? Is this ‘Keluarga’ Malaysia?

How many police reports would have been made nationwide, by all the ultra-patriotic Bumiputera groups, if a non-Muslim minister, politician or observer made a public statement that ‘Malay-Muslim-Bumiputeras’ are at the root of all corruption in Malaysia?

It is quite plausible that by now, investigations would have been started on the people making such remarks. And, rightly so.

But this is exactly what a senior politician and party leader said about non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras. Yet, there seems to be no investigations

On Aug, 20, it was reported in the mass media that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang wrote on his Facebook page that “…groups who chase illicit gains are the ones who eventually control the economy. They then damage our politics as they are the roots for corruption and the majority of them are non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras”.

While there is no doubt that Malaysians of all races have been implicated in corruption scandals, to single out ‘non-Muslim and non-Bumiputeras’ as the majority of the culprits, without providing any evidence, is atrocious and more than damaging to our national unity.

Where are the investigations on this matter?

With this statement, the PAS president, who is a senior cog in our current coalition government, is claiming that non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras are not capable of acting with integrity and therefore cannot be entrusted with leading Malaysia as a corrupt

I haven’t heard such hogwash and claptrap in a long-time. And, I am not going to waste my time dissecting his claims or rebutting his nonsensical declaration.

I am, however, going to say that this is the fundamental problem with present-day Malaysia.

Shouldn’t the prime minister or the national unity minister come out immediately and admonish this senior politician for making such an absurd claim, which is damaging to Malaysia’s already fragile race relations?

But to date, it is only civil society movements like Transparency International-Malaysia and opposition leaders, who have come out to rebuke the PAS president’s ludicrously racist comment.

Absolutely nothing has come from our ‘esteemed’ government leaders.

So, what ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ are we talking about?

It seems like I have gotten the answer to a question I posed a few weeks ago in this very column. I asked: “…are all Malaysians equal, or are some Malaysians more ‘equal’ than others”?

Many people took umbrage at my column titled ‘Can us ‘pendatang’ be part of ‘Keluarga Malaysia’?’, which was published on July 7 in FMT. Some academic even wrote a long-winded and convoluted riposte on why my argument was flawed.

But the fact remains that in our country, for government projects worth millions and billions, there is a practice of direct negotiations, as seen in the latest LCS fiasco. Without a transparent tender process, we now witness what has happened.

Public funds worth billions have vanished and not a single combat ship is in sight after a decade.

Is there any doubt that some members of our ‘keluarga’ get more benefits than others?

Government-linked companies or GLCs capture nearly all of our infrastructure and growth-based projects. We keep appointing politicians to become their chairpersons, and on top of that, we mainly select politicians of a certain race.

So, non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras are to blame for this?

The biggest revelation about the sorry state that we find our blessed Malaysia in, presents itself when a widely followed and revered politician like the PAS president makes a claim that non-Muslims are at the root of corruption in Malaysia, yet the authorities’ clam-up and take ‘no further action’.

Not a pip-squeak from the government benches.

What does this mean? Does the government agree that non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras are the root cause of the corruption endemic that has befallen our nation?

Are they tacitly supportive of this racist and polarising suggestion?

When the government practices double-standards or ‘dua-darjat’ like this, and then have the gall to tell all Malaysians that we are part of a family, it really sounds absurd to us common folks.

Sloganeering alone doesn’t repair the damage that opportunistic politicians cause when pandering to their specific audiences and focusing only on their agenda. Real actions that show that our administration is serious about racial unity is vital for a real ‘family’.

If the authorities decide to charge a stand-up comedian in court for uploading jokes online, alleging he insulted people, shouldn’t politicians also be charged in court for making remarks that insult ‘all’ non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras?

Because there is nothing more insulting than being told that your entire race and religion is responsible for corruption in Malaysia, is there?

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