Anwar must impose zero tolerance on incitement of racial, religious hatred

YESTERDAY’S (Dec 20) speech by Sultan Nazrin Shah not to tolerate attempts to incite racial and religious hatred which would provoke hostilities in Perak should be the national policy of the country.

I call on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to have zero tolerance for incitement of racial and religious fear and hatred in plural Malaysia as it can destroy the country.

These zero tolerances for the toxic politics of lies, fear, hate, race and religion must be evident from the start of the Anwar premiership with firm action taken against those exploiting racial and religious differences in plural Malaysia.

In my 57 years of political life, I have travelled to and visited more parts of Malaysia than an average Malaysian.

Lim Kit Siang

I can say with conviction that there is no anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan, anti-Dayak or anti-Muslim, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu or anti-Christianity sentiments on the ground, but certain political personalities and political parties continue to poison the minds of the people that the Malays and Islam are under threat.

This dangerous practice reached an unprecedented level during the recent 15th General Election (GE15) campaign.

Where does the threat to Malays and Islam come from?

In my 57 years of public life, I have never accused anyone of being anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan, anti-Dayak or anti-Islam, anti-Buddhism, anti-Hinduism or anti-Christianity, and yet I have been accused of being a racist, anti-Malay, anti-Islam, a communist and lately an Islamophobe without any iota of evidence whatsoever.

In the aftermath of the prevalence of fear and hate speech on the social media in GE15, I welcome the recent event where 100 ethnic and religious groups gathered at a Christmas dinner to usher in the Yuletide festivities which was attended by more Muslims than Christians. More such events to enable Malaysians to understand the different religions in the country should be held.

As Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman hoped, Malaysia should be “a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”, and one aspect where Malaysia can be “a beacon of light” to the world is to be a model country of inter-religious peace, tolerance, acceptance and harmony.

Perhaps the time has come for the Government to establish a commission with the specific task to promote inter-religious understanding and harmony in the country and to uphold Article 3 of the Constitution on Islam as the religion of Malaysia, but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony.

There should also be a special section in the police force to deal with hate speech which promote hate and fear among the different racial and religious groups, especially on the social media. – Dec 21, 2022


Retired DAP supremo and veteran lawmaker Lim Kit Siang was the former MP for Iskandar Puteri.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Main pic credit: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Facebook

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE