By Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi
My good friend, Tawfik Tun Dr. Ismail recently WhatsApped me a police report he made on the statements of a young Malay religious preacher inciting the audience in Malaysia towards hatred of Buddhists and Hindus in this country.
In his report, he mentioned that the ustaz in the video related how Hindus had murdered Muslims in India and how Buddhists had murdered Muslims in Thailand, and that these two religions are in existence in this country of ours, thus Muslims must treat these people as kafirs and as enemies.
The preacher has destroyed any kind of effort of nation-building or sharing this country with all the faiths and peoples of Malaysia.
The present sitting Umno government holding the mantle of power is silent. But a former Umno man, who was once a Member of Parliament, took a stand against his own race to defend the sacred right of Buddhists, Hindus and all other faiths to live peacefully in this country.
I am proud to be a friend of Tawfik Tun Dr. Ismail and I am even prouder that he had made the police report on behalf of non-Muslims as well as good Malays and good Muslims in this country.
I am very sure that he will be roasted alive and insulted by most Malays and Muslims in this country.
Malays and Muslims do not follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad who was the kindest of souls and a mercy to mankind but they are taught by Malays who are bigots and racists and who think they have a special reservation in heaven next to Allah and the Prophet.
These arrogant Malays and Muslims do not read nor think in a wider and critical manner about democracy, about compassion for all and about mutual acceptance and understanding. They have never been sermoned or ceramahed in that manner but always and always in an antagonistic and war-like manner.
How can the Malays become leaders of the world when their thoughts are under a coconut shell and their hearts hardened like granite rocks?
Many in Malaysia despise Umno for its reputation of robbing the country, of insinuating racial hatred, of using Islam as a political weapon and of depriving the Sabah and Sarawak people their rights of wealth and dignity.
Umno Baru was formed by Tun M when the original Umno of which Tawfik and his father were the members was declared invalid after the 1987 power tussle.
The Umno that is destroying Malaysia and enriching its leaders is owned by Tun M and later on by the other presidents as a personal ‘company’ to stay in power for selfish benefits and using race and religion as its primary weapon.
Tun M and Umno Baru have succeeded beyond belief in placing the narrative of Malays against ‘others’ in Malaysia and have always been able to rally the unthinking and ignorant Malays of all walks of life to the levels of professors with PhD.
Kongress Maruah Melayu attests to this highest of all ignorance of the so-called ‘educated class’ who are unashamed of accepting salaries from non-Malay taxpayers but look down on the faiths and cultures of others.
Tengku Razaleigh had spoken of reviving the original Umno.
Many Malaysians don’t even know what the original Umno looked like, what were the values and characteristics of these original Melayu Umnos. Were they robbers of billions, foul mouthed MPs with ready four letter words, jeering high ranking leaders of non-Malay names or a Prime Minister who loves to use the word pendatang without realizing that his family was one?
Well…my fellow citizens, look no farther than the act of one Tawfik Tun Dr. Ismail in his police report.
Before this, a decade ago, it was Tawfik who took the RUU 355 to court as a lone ranger in order to restore the dignity of not only all non-Muslims but also to reinstate the true spirit of Islamic justice.
History records the words and deeds of Tun Dr. Ismail in the book ‘The Reluctant Politician’. He explained that the NEP was not a privilege of one race but a necessity of socioeconomic engineering and has a limit to its purpose.
I am one of the beneficiaries of that policy which showed the true act of understanding, tolerance and justice among all the races.
If he were alive right now, Tun Dr. Ismail would have a different say in the last 30 years of abuse of the NEP by none other than the Umno Baru led by Tun M and the Prime Ministers after that.
While these leaders cry loudly that the NEP has not reached its 30% objectives, their supreme council members and cadres live in riches and wealth most Malays like me can only dream of but never attain.
Finally, I would like to say that in my previous article, ‘The need for a new Parti Melayu Progresif’, in which I said that Tawfik represented the ideal of a modern educated, kind-hearted Muslim and a corporate figure that could make Malay leaders of the world in social, economic and political enterprises, hands down.
The new batch of leaders in Umno Baru of the present fail miserably to measure against even the shadow of my friend, Tawfik Tun Dr. Ismail who was and is the true spirit of Umno.
(Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor at a local university.)