Media statement by Steven Sim, MP for Bukit Mertajam
05 JUNE 2017 | BUKIT MERTAJAM, PULAU PINANG
Waves of terror are hitting our world.
Hate crimes whether driven by racial, religious or political ideology or any sorts of prejudices are breeding violence everywhere.
From terrorist incidents in London and Manchester to Daesh attack in the Filipino city of Marawi, to road rage in Johor, the public lynching of a suspect molester in Kedah, the tragic fatal ragging of a navy cadet in a local defence university, missing pastors and many more, all these exposed the vulnerability of our society, abroad and at home, to hate crimes.
This is a very horrifying trend. Our society is being forcefully separated along extreme ideological lines. People are encouraged to hate one another, to shun one another, to bully one another and even to kill one another because of our differences.
In our beloved Malaysia where people of different faiths and races had lived harmoniously for centuries, today, we are seeing extremists trying to divide us; from labeling non-Muslims as kafir harbi, to forbidding them to break fast with Muslims to promoting hatred and intolerance against people of different religions, for example in the case of Kamarul Zaman Yusoff’s irrational crusade against Hannah Yeoh.
Further confirming the realness of the threat facing us as a nation today is the fact that since 2013, almost 300 people were arrested in Malaysia for suspected involvement in Daesh, and that 90% of those who were detained and rehabilitated still believed in their former cause. (Source: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/1175/)
This shows how deeply rooted extremist ideas can be within our society and how difficult it is to eradicate them.
As such, no party should allow or worse, exploit and manipulate, extremist personalities and movements for political gains. Malaysia with our fragile multicultural society cannot afford to take this gamble.
It is, therefore, critical and urgent for all parties especially UMNO being the ruling party, to come forth with the strongest condemnation against extremism, and to denounce this destructive climate of hatred and intolerance.
It is time for the great silent majority of Malaysians to be silent no more. If we do not speak up now, we will lose our beloved tanah tumpah darahku to those who seek to destroy Malaysia and rebuild it in their own image, where hatred and extremism prevail.
Steven Sim Chee Keong
Member of Parliament, Bukit Mertajam