Abdullah Badawi, the Malaysian Prime Minister reacted angrily to purported claims by HINDRAF of ethnic cleansing occurring in Malaysia. Let's look at the situation from the minorities' lenses.
We have been killed before – May 13 1969 killing of the minorities was initiated by UMNO leader Harun Idris as a response to street taunts from roaming groups of minorities who were celebrating their electoral victory. The taunts were aimed at the Malays. As a response to these uncalled for taunts, the Malays reacted violently, killing hundreds of minorities. The subsequent (and expected) violent response from the minorities resulted in some Malay deaths. Published articles and books support this statement.
We were killed again – in March 2001, six Indians were killed by a Malay mob and 42 others injured as a response to a small misunderstanding. There have been no arrests, prosecution or formal reckoning of this event. Published news articles and analyses support this statement.
We are promised mass death at every opportunity – every year the UMNO Youth Leader raises his dagger and kisses it to sow fear in the hearts of the minorities during UMNO annual assembly. This is cheered loudly by the participants of this annual hate festival with enquiries from the floor as to when the dagger will bathe minorities’ blood go unchecked. This is further reinforced by open threats issues by UMNO ministers via the print media promising the same, only sometimes in a more circumspect manner but carrying the same threat of a repeat of “May 13”. Published news articles support this statement.
We are asked to leave Malaysia regularly – almost every other week one UMNO individual or another finds it necessary to call the minorities to “pack up and leave” Malaysia, despite these minorities being full-fledged Malaysian citizens. Published news articles support this statement.
Our cultural and educations rights are choked – we are prevented from building new places of worship. When some are allowed, these buildings are not allowed to carry obvious icons (e.g. a church cannot have a steeple or a cross, thus making these appear like a warehouse or shop lots). The Hindu temples are being destroyed systematically on the basis of illegal structures, not withstanding the fact that the illegality is in itself illegal as the structures were built prior to any planning submissions were in place. Published news articles, first person eye witness comments, video recording etc support this statement.
UMNO government has not signed key international treaties - Malaysia is not a signatory of the Human Rights Declaration, not a signatory of International Criminal Court and not a signatory of United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Based on the preceding statements, which are factual, one must conclude that although there is no sustained genocide or ethnic cleansing currently in progress in Malaysia, elements of such an event are already in place.
The minorities in Malaysia obviously have learned from what has happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany, Serbian Nationalist led Bosnia genocide, Cambodian genocide and what the Hutus did to the Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda.
Surely the Prime Minister does not expect the minorities to wait until genocide happens before reacting?
Instead of being angry at memorandum purportedly written by HINDRAF, the leader should look at his political party’s history of using threats of ethnic cleansing and take the necessary actions to stop maintaining political power based on xenophobia.
One wonders how effectively the Prime Minister is briefed on the happenings in the country.
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."