Editor’s Note: Berita Harian has just reported that the police have completed their investigation paper on the Himpunan Pemuda Islam Terengganu (HIMPIT) 2023 march and has submitted it to the prosecutor’s office for further action.
According to Terengganu Police Chief Datuk Rohaimi Md Isa, the state police has sent the investigation papers to the Office of the Director of State Prosecutions (PPN) yesterday (Feb 22) and is now awaiting further instructions from the parties involved.
“The Criminal Investigation Department of the Contingent Police Headquarters (IPK) took 36 statements from the organisers and participants involved,” he told the Malay mainstream paper. “The investigation is conducted in accordance with Section 4(1)(a) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 14 of the Minor Offenses Act 1955.”
THE PAS Youth’s Program Himpunan Pemuda Islam Terengganu (HIMPIT) which included a military march by members clad in war costumes and with “weapons” of war from ancient expansionist empires such as the scimitar, has disturbed, distressed and unnerved many moderate Malaysians, including Sabahans and Sarawakians.
While the PAS Youth chief has described the war costumes as strange, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had defended the war-like costumes and weapons and even likened them to Chinese opera.
Tuan Ibrahim has insulted the Chinese community and demeans Chinese culture by equating this war-like costumes by youths marching and shouting aggressively on public roads with Chinese opera that is performed on a stage.
There is no doubt that the “military” march by PAS youths has sinister connotations not associated with peace and harmony in contrast with Chinese opera viewed by an audience that is solely about entertainment.
While PAS ties itself up with knots in attempting to justify organising a political event with symbols and weapons of war, they should avoid racial stereotyping by drawing parallels with Chinese opera. Unlike PAS youths marching who require minimal training, actors of Chinese opera undergo a difficult and rigorous training to be able to perform on stage.
Tuan Ibrahim is wrong. He should not be talking about Chinese opera if he does not know what he is talking about. Just as Tuan Ibrahim is wrong about Chinese opera, he is also wrong to say that the HIMPIT event by PAS was meant to be peaceful.
Clearly PAS has struck fear into the hearts of Malaysians as a clear and present danger to the diversity, harmony, tolerance and mutual respect in our multi-cultural society mentioned by the King in Parliament as essential to forge a united nation to overcome our economic challenges to ensure a better life for all. — Feb 23, 2023
Former finance minister, Lim Guan Eng, is the Bagan MP and DAP’s chairman.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.