Malaysia: Racism Rears Its Ugly Head – Or Is It Just Politics?

The state government of Perak in Malaysia mulls if it should “take action” against two bloggers who purportedly insulted the Perak royalty and the sanctity of Islam through their writings recently. The (new) Menteri Besar, or Chief Minister for the state, Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, was reported to have said that the writings purportedly had roused tension within the Malay community in the state.

Dr Zambry was quoted to have said:

Their writings clearly have gone beyond decency, respect and loyalty. They have shown their utter contempt against the Malay rulers and Islam… They have committed sedition and probably treason… these writers have no respect for the constitution and the country.

Although he was reported to have said that “the state government would not let the matter lie quietly”, no details as to what cause of action will be taken.

Meanwhile, member of opposition party, Democratic Action Party (DAP),  Loke Siew Fook, who is believed to be one of the purportedly offending bloggers, has denied that he had written racist posts on his blog. As such, he was reported to have lodged a police recently of this. On his blog, he states:

I wish to deny strongly that neither DAPSY [DAP Socialist Youth] nor I have ever issued any statements that insult Islam or the Royalty. Those are lies spread by certain irresponsible parties out to tarnish the image of the DAP and tried to paint DAP as anti-Islam and anti-Malays.

Furthermore, a news report quoted him as saying:

These are lies spread by irresponsible parties who are out to tarnish the image of the DAP. They are trying to portray the DAP as being anti-Islam and anti-Malay.

He has also stated his innocence on popular Malaysian blog, Rocky's Bru. DAP Party veteran, Lim Kit Siang, echoed the same on his blog:

This is clearly part of the latest gameplan of a master strategy by Umno (member of ruling coalition) to tarnish the image of DAP and DAP leaders as anti-Malay and anti-Islam in a larger political conspiracy to break up and destroy Pakatan Rakyat (opposition coalition).

Meanwile, Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has called for an investigation into the “seditious statements” made. Do bloggers have cause for concern or is it just politics?

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