Perak Mufti calls non-Malays bigots, claims Anwar used to colonise Malays

14 May

By Emily Ding

Harussani did not name which race he was referring to. — file picKUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria has accused non-Malays of racial bigotry and using Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to conquer Malays.

Following a narrative championed by Umno’s right-wing, he told the party’s Utusan Malaysia newspaper that non-Malays were angry that their plans to colonise “us” did not materialise.

Harussani did not name which race he was referring to, but was repeatedly quoted using the word “they” in reference to his claims of plans to conquer the Malays.

“This is not just politics but racial bigotry…they follow him (Anwar) to protest so that they can colonise us and destroy the Constitution but their plans failed and they are angry.

“They did not bother voting for Malays while we help them defeat the Malays. But still they lost and now they say the elections are not right,” he told Utusan Malaysia today.

Right-wing elements in Umno, including Utusan Malaysia, have been putting forward a Chinese versus Malay argument in dissecting the results of Election 2013.

While Najib’s Umno won a few more seats than it did in 2008, Barisan Nasional (BN) slumped to its worst ever electoral performance, failing to retain a super majority in Parliament and losing the popular vote stakes to the three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties.

Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak had suggested a “Chinese tsunami” had caused his BN to record its worst-ever electoral results.

Utusan Malaysia, the newspaper owned by Umno, has also suggested Chinese voters were provoking race tensions by voting against BN, with one headline last week asking the question “Apa lagi Cina mahu? (What else do the Chinese want?)”

The newspaper — seen as being aligned with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — and other party leaders have consistently argued that votes against the Umno-led BN were akin to voting against the Malays.

This is despite the fact that PR parties PAS and PKR are largely Malay-Muslim in their membership. The DAP also fielded Malay candidates in the elections.

Yesterday, Najib defended his party from accusations of racism, and instead accused the DAP of being racists.

Despite the claims from Umno, analyses of the Election 2013 results point to an urban-rural divide rather than a Malay-Chinese division in the way Malaysians voted last week.

While a majority of Chinese backed PR parties, a significant number of Malay voters also voted for the opposition parties, particularly in urban centres.

The opposition has claimed vote rigging and fraud cost them the elections, and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been attending mammoth rallies throughout the country to drum up backing to challenge the results.

This is not just politics but racial bigotry… they follow him (Anwar) to protest so that they can colonise us and destroy the Constitution but their plans failed and they are angry. — Harussani Zakaria

Yesterday, PKR alleged the results of up to 27 seats won by marginal numbers by BN were suspicious and would likely face challenges in court.

But as Anwar continues his rallies and Najib considers his options before naming a new Cabinet, Umno’s right-wing has seized on making the case for a race split in the votes, and are lobbying against ministerial jobs for more moderate or progressive MPs.

The race rhetoric reached a peak yesterday when Datuk Zulkifli Noordin raised the spectre of May 13 by accusing the DAP and Lim Kit Siang of being behind Malaysia’s worst race riots even as Umno leaders continue to blame last week’s poor election results on a “Chinese tsunami” that was fanned by the PR party.

The controversial Perkasa vice-president, who was a direct Barisan Nasional (BN) losing candidate in Election 2013, made the allegations in a series of tweets sent out on the eve of the 44th anniversary of the riots.

“Tomorrow is May 13… the 44th anniversary of race riots in Malaysia which was the atrocity of chauvinists including Kit Siang’s party which used the slogan Malai-Seh or Die Malays,” he tweeted late Sunday night.

Lim has frequently been the target of right-wing Malay groups who have singled him out for blame for the riots even though he was not even in Kuala Lumpur when the riots broke out.

But former Umno member Tamrin Ghafar had cleared Lim while on the stump of the Election 2013 campaign trail, saying that Umno itself was behind the riot.

The son of former deputy prime minister Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba said he was told by former home minister, the late Tun Ghazali Shafie, that the May 13 riots were likely the result of an internal Umno coup against founding prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.

It was also reported this week that a former judge had warned the Chinese that they were risking a backlash from the Malays for voting against Umno.



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