Preacher Firdaus Wong has slammed DAP, MCA with flawed arguments over Palestinian Solidarity Week

Letter to editor

THE arguments put forward by independent preacher Firdaus Wong Wai Hung to criticise both MCA and DAP for their voices against the portrayal of teachers and pupils as ‘jihadists’ against the Israeli regime are flawed to say the least.

If Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim knows how to respect both DAP National vice-chairman Nga Kor Meng and his MCA counterpart Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker for their differing views, who is Firdaus Wong to whip up what I consider is flawed arguments against the two.

In a democratic nation, we welcome debates. No one is a winner or loser in a debate but the healthy exchanges would further enhance our understanding of the issue.

Firdaus has pinpointed to a cosplay act in conjunction of National Day at SJKC Pandamaran to use as a comparison of what happened last Friday (Oct 27), claiming that the pupils of the school in Klang “also lifted toy weaponry,” therefore, no difference with pupils and teachers donning the Hamas garb.

The context for the two events is different. One was done on the National Day where the cosplay (costume play) act did not suggest any act of violence.

Perhaps, some day when Firdaus or someone from PAS becomes the Prime Minister (PM), all cosplay acts would be banned from shopping malls and schools. Perhaps, even movies like Clash of the Titans would not be allowed in the cinemas.

The Israeli-Hamas conflict is a sensitive issue as it is an on-going war with many civilian casualties. It is not the role of schools to groom jihadists to go and fight the war in the Middle East.

As such, there is no comparison between what is an innocent cosplay act and an act that is seemingly promoting violence and war.

It is synonymous to comparing a toy gun carried into the bank by an adult and the nerf guns used by the children in the playground. In the eyes of some parents, even playing war games is not encouraged for their children.

Firdaus has to bear in mind that the incident which took place in certain schools last Friday was never sanctioned by the Education Ministry. In fact, possession of imitation guns that look like the real thing are prohibited in Malaysia.

For this reason, I urge the authorities to also monitor the sale of such imitation arms online. What the children and a teacher were seen holding in the viralised videos are clearly imitation arms that should have been banned.

Going by his argument, Firdaus should carry the same type of toy gun and enter a bank or place it in his car booth to test if he would be arrested.

The incidents in the schools were obviously never sanctioned by the Education Ministry which led to the Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek asking for stern actions to be taken against the errant parties.

Anwar when informed immediately issued a directive to ensure that no similar incidents happen during the Palestinian Solidarity Week event which only began in earnest on Sunday Oct 29.

Besides being sheer display of defiance, these incidents have also opened up the can of worms which need further attention by the police as we do not wish our public schools to be the breeding ground for terrorism. Our children should not be taught to carry weapons of war.

After all, if Firdaus wants to fly to Gaza to fight against the Israeli or become the human shield to Gaza fighters, nobody is going to stop him but parents have every right to voice out their concerns that such acts of going on a jihad could be staged out in public schools.

Many concerned Muslims, including commentator Mariam Mokhtar and Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Datin Nor Azimah Abdul Rahim have also expressed their disgust with what happened last Friday (Oct 27).

There are many other Muslim friends who expressed similar unhappiness with what they saw happening on that day.

Suffice to say that similar acts of people going to war were also staged by PAS supporters in the run-up to the recent six state elections. It is such acts when viewed by the general public that turned people against the brand of Islam that is held by these extreme elements.

I would not wish to go on to rebut Firdaus’ other argument that both Nga and Ti echo the views of Israel and the US on Hamas as Firdaus should realise by now that people are not impressed with his convoluted argument. – Nov 1, 2023


S. Arumugam
Petaling Jaya

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

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