The past months have witnessed public displays of anger, frustration and disappointment over the play of religion on politics, said DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago.
Some leaders, he added, are perceived as weak and others as manipulative for using race and religion to appeal to certain segments.
“I don’t have to tell you that this is potentially dangerous in multiracial Malaysia,” he told Malaysiakini this evening.
Against this backdrop, the Klang MP opined that it is not the best time for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to officiate this Sunday’s ‘Malay Dignity Congress’ at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam.
“Mahathir has repeatedly said he is the prime minister for all Malaysians and this is the most opportune moment to make good on that promise. And he is the PM of Pakatan Harapan which is premised on equality for all,” he added.
Therefore, Charles said the organiser’s justification that Mahathir, who is also Bersatu chairperson, is attending the congress in his capacity as a Malay leader does not hold water.
“Such events would only exacerbate the pockets of tension in society,” he warned.
Earlier, former minister Zaid Ibrahim also said Mahathir should not officiate the congress as it would lead to a surfeit of speculations.
He also disagreed with the organiser’s claim that the congress is in response to certain quarters challenging and questioning the position of the Malays and Islam.
Previously, the event’s secretariat chief executive Zainal Kling said the Malays feel belittled.
“Many of the questions not only belittle Malays but also question bumiputera rights, the position of the royalty, belittle and question Islam and also cultural issues such as the national language,” he added.
Yesterday, PAS confirmed that its president Abdul Hadi Awang would be attending the congress whereas Umno, which has also been invited, has not made a decision on whether to participate. – Malaysiakini