DAP MP Ramkarpal Singh has asked the PH government to criminalise racist statements if it is serious in fighting the rising racist remarks made by certain leaders and politicians.
The Bukit Gelugor MP said racially fuelled statements are at the “chronic” stage, raised by irresponsible politicians and leaders with their own specific agendas.
“It has become a chronic problem. If not looked into, it will worsen,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.
“Every other day, there are provocations created by certain quarters. This matter must be looked into so that the harmony of our country is preserved.”
He cautioned that racial tension is set to worsen if immediate measures are not taken as the tension is felt among various races. He urged Putrajaya to treat racism as a crime.
Ramkarpal, a lawyer by profession, gave several examples of anti-racism laws in the UK, Australia and Bolivia.
He said since 1986, the UK had adopted laws on public order to nab anyone found to use or stir up racial or religious issues or display materials that are offensive.
“It is an offence in the UK, but it is occurring here every day,” he said.
Ramkarpal said the PH government in the past had said that there are plans to fight racism but I “have not heard anything.”
He said even Nazir Razak, the brother of former prime minister Najib Razak, had supported strengthening laws regarding racism, a move to bring all Malaysians closer.
He also touched on remarks by academic Zainal Kling at the Malay Dignity Congress on the social contract with other races. On Sept 6, Zainal had said it is timely to remind those belittling the social contract that they only gained citizenship as a result of the Malays’ kindness and courtesy.
“Isn’t that racism? Isn’t that a sensitive issue that can anger others,” Ramkarpal said.
He said perhaps no action had been taken against the organisers due to the lack of laws. “If there are laws to fight racism, then action can be taken against the organisers?”
“Where did this social contract come from? Did you (organisers) pluck it from the sky? To my knowledge, there is no social contract,” he said.
Hearing this, Noh Omar (BN-Tanjong Karang) said: “You don’t understand the social contract.”
But Ramkarpal replied: “That is the problem. Sooner or later, people will believe that it exists.”
He hoped laws will be introduced, as done by other countries, before the tension worsens within the various races. – FMT