Respect minorities? Good speech Muhyiddin but tell that to your allies!

By Lim Lip Eng


I would like to applaud Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s keynote speech at the first online Asean Digital Ministers’ Meeting today.

He had suggested that Asean should take a tougher stance against hate speech, including harassment based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability or nationality.

“Such speech, if not contained, will promote violence and attacks, be it verbal or physical, against individuals, and this should be discouraged strongly even in his backyard,” the Prime Minister had said.

For far too long, the majority of Malaysians have watched with disgust the way how PAS and Umno politics have been playing up racial and religious issues, destroying the multiracial fabric of our society.

So, I wonder whether Muhyiddin is serious about his speech as he has done nothing to contain such incendiary rhetoric done by two of his strongest coalition partners.

As the Malay proverb saying goes, “Mengajar anak ketam berjalan” (teaching the baby crab to walk correctly), Muhyiddin has to walk the talk and not just paying lip service to his international counterparts.

Moving forward, Muhyiddin and his Perikatan Nasional Government should enact specific laws to deal with such hate speeches, as proposed by the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC).

While the DAP does not necessarily condone the LGBT, it does not mean that laws should be enacted to persecute them.

Instead, if religious leaders think that this is a “wrongdoing”, then some form of counselling should be provided to help LGBT people return to mainstream society. – Jan 21, 2021


Lim Lip Eng is the MP for Kepong.

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

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