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Why hasn’t the PM taken Nasir to task?

Why hasn’t the PM taken Nasir to task?

Aliran is totally disgusted with the way certain so-called political leaders behave and express themselves, completely ignoring the reality of this country and dismissing the history of this land. Without a care, they spew filth from their dirty mouths and seem hell-bent on creating havoc.
It is rather unfortunate that our top leaders do not castigate them or take them to task for the harm they are likely to cause to the unity of the various communities. They are very dangerous and can create misery for the majority of Malaysians who do not approve the conduct of these troublesome elements – in fact most Malaysians condemn such unscrupulous behaviour.

The latest outpouring of venom comes from the very top, from someone close to the Prime Minister himself. His top aide, Datuk Nasir Safar, threw caution to the winds, revealed his puerile mind and uttered some rubbish that is not supported by facts.

His offending remarks at a two-day 1 Malaysia seminar in Malacca yesterday were outlandish: “Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese especially the women came to sell their bodies.”

He even had the audacity to threaten that the government could revoke the citizenship of Indians any time if excessive demands were made by the community.

Another outlandish claim by him – that the (federal) constitution was drafted by Umno and that other parties were not involved – only goes to show how daft he could be. Let’s not forget history. The Federal Constitution is the product of our shared and joint commitment to the creation of an independent state which was then known as Malaya. Does he even realise that there was a Malaya before Malaysia?

He had, of course, denied having said all these offensive words. That’s what they all say whenever there is a strong reaction to their derogatory remarks. If Nasir did not utter these seditious words, and if he was indeed misquoted and misrepresented by those who were present, then Datuk, sue them! That is the only solution before you to safeguard your dignity and preserve your integrity. You cannot hoodwink the rest of the country with your unconvincing explanation and denial.

When people like Nasir are not taken to task and disciplined publicly, we have a situation where it is assumed that there is a tacit approval from the top to carry on.

We have the case of Datuk Ahmad Ismail of Penang who was slapped with a three-year suspension of his Umno membership for calling the Chinese “pendatang”. The strong reaction from the Chinese community, forced the hand of Umno to take a firm stand on this issue. But recently that three-year suspension was lifted, drastically reducing the sentence and making Ahmad’s crime appear not that grave after all.

Then we had the cow-head incident, the Allah demonstration, the Perkasa launch all of which only demonstrated that there are no stopping people who go overboard with their offensive remarks. If only the Prime Minister and his Deputy had condemned the behaviour of these elements in very strong and unequivocal terms from the very beginning, then the message would have been conveyed that no nonsense would be tolerated. We would not be in this difficult situation today – simply because they failed us as our national leaders.

If the PM does not address this serious issue sincerely and forthrightly, it will be the undoing of his premiership; it will be goodbye to his 1 Malaysia slogan. While he is trying to proclaim his 1 Malaysia policy, there are elements all over the country undoing our unity and harmony. We have them in our schools, our universities, in the police, in the judiciary, in the civil service and other places of influence and power poisoning minds and polluting the body politic.

If they are not weeded out and severely punished, we will no longer be the model country for a plural society.

Nasir’s resignation is not going to obviate his crime or lessen his offence. He owes an apology not only to the Chinese Malaysian and Indian Malaysian communities but to the entire nation whose peace and harmony could have been affected by his callous remarks.

It is not sufficient for the PM to distance himself from Nasir’s insensitive and seditious remarks. He must order him to apologise unreservedly. The PM must ensure that Nasir is not recycled to head other entities or appointed a director to any business concern. He must be punished and must be seen to have been punished. Only then would it be seen as meaningful redress of this grievous wrong.

P Ramakrishnan
President
4 February 2010

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