T C Goh
KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has cautioned politicians from both sides of the divide against playing race and religion cards, especially for portraying politics and elections as a ‘jihad’ (holy struggle).
This came from Its President Tan Sri T C Goh who also called on voters in the six states, the Chinese voters especially, to come out in full force to cast their votes in the state elections this coming Saturday, to decide their future, as well as that of the nation.
“As a citizen and a registered voter, we should make good use of our sacred vote to perform our civic duty under our democratic system to elect the best government to rule the country. But, no one should attempt to depict elections as a ‘holy war’!” he underscored.
Goh, who is also President of the Federation of Chinese Association Sabah (FCAS), strongly denounced the statement of certain politicians who attempt to portray the imminent state elections as a ‘jihad’.
He contended that in a multiracial country which practice democracy, politics and elections should be conducted in a healthy, rational and accommodative manner.
He reminded that in world history, there had been many holy wars which involved various religions, and they were often violent and bloody.
“Hence, no politician in his sound mind should simply invoke such a term (jihad) during an election campaign in a peaceful and harmonious country like Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.
He further noted throughout the history of this nation, the most regrettable cases ever occurred during election campaigns, both at Federal and State levels, were certain politicians playing up race and religion issues, but no one had resorted to invoke a ‘jihad’, until very recently.
He thus hoped politicians from both sides of the divide could practice more restraint, and to refrain from uttering such irresponsible, insensitive and inflammatory remarks like “pendatang” (immigrants), “Chinese are rich”, “non Malaysa are in control” etc, which could sow discord and ill feelings among Malaysians of different races, and ultimately ruined the country.
Goh reiterated that the six state elections will be a major challenge and a significant ‘wind vane’ for Malaysia, besides being a crucial ‘balancing act’ between secularism and theocratic rule.
He hopes with good cooperation from the people and all quarters involved, the coming six state elections will be smoothly and peacefully conducted.