By Anwar IbrahimBy Najib Razak wants the world to know about us:"The recent arson attacks exemplify what's wrong with the way Malaysia regards its non-Muslim citizens. The attacks were provoked by a controversy over the use of the word "Allah" by Malaysia's Christian community ... Since then, an already tense situation boiled over, largely due to incitement by a few reckless politicians, the mainstream media and a handful of nongovernmental organizations linked by membership and leadership to the United Malays National Organization, the ruling party." - Muslims have no monopoly over "Allah""Many Malaysians have been appalled by the irresponsible and dangerous finger-pointing of a few politicians who put personal political interests before Malaysia's national interest. They try to score political points by hammering on sensitive issues. My government chooses a different path. We will reach out to all parts of Malaysian society in the coming days to foster open dialogue and work to resolve sensitive issues together." - Finding Unity in Malaysia's DiversityDangerous finger pointing, reckless politicians. Do read the two articles, which were published by the WSJ on Jan 25, and compare the messages that the writers are trying to convey to the world.
In his article Muslims have no monopoly over "Allah", Anwar started off with:"Malaysia has once again resurfaced in international headlines for the wrong reasons. Over the last two weeks, arsonists and vandals attacked 10 places of worship, including Christian churches and Sikh temples."My question when I read this was: Why no mention of attacks on suraus/mosques? The logicial answer is, perhaps Anwar had written the WSJ article before the alcohol bottle incident in Sarawak on Jan 16. That is quite a while ago. Anwar's webmasters should update his WSJ article on his blog and do it quickly so people won't accuse him of misrepresenting the facts. Add the pig heads incident, too, so as to give the full picture.
The PM, on the other hand, writes about Muslim groups volunteering to safeguard churches in their towns. Muslim social activists writing petitions to oppose these senseless acts of vandalism, and Muslim civic groups standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Christians, Hindus and Buddhists to ensure that all people can freely worship as they wish."Christian and civic leaders have urged calm and interfaith dialogue; they are fully aware that those who perpetrated these acts do not represent the Muslim majority in Malaysia."Anwar does not waste the opportunity given by WSJ to attack his former party and the man who stands in the way of his political ambitions.Najib made no reference to Anwar at all in his WSJ article. At first I thought the PM's reference to "finger-pointing politicians who put personal political interests before Malaysia's national interest" was a jab at Anwar but then I realise that it describes quite a few politicians I know of in BN and in Pakatan."Malaysia's international reputation has taken a beating since Prime Minister Najib Razak was sworn in last year. Despite his efforts to promote national unity, news about the caning of a young Muslim woman charged with drinking, the mutilation of a cow head in protest of the construction of a Hindu temple, ill treatment of Muslim converts who revert to their earlier faith and even the outlawing of the practice of yoga by Muslims have many at home and abroad wondering which direction Malaysia is headed under Mr. Najib's leadership. There are already misgivings about governance, human rights, the rule of law and rampant corruption; Malaysia dropped 10 spots on Transparency International's 2009 Corruption Perception Index, our worst showing in over 15 years. The vision of Malaysia as a peaceful and stable location for investment, tourism and migration is now in peril."
Do read Pasquale's Rebuttal, here.