Decades of racism, extremism have come back to haunt this country

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Malaysia lacks top brains during a critical time because instead of recognising meritocracy to produce talents, the racist government chose kakistocracy to nurture incompetent leaders.

Hundreds of Muslims, mostly migrant workers and refugees, had formed a huge crowd outside a “surau” in Taman Pelangi, Juru, Bukit Mertajam, on Tuesday morning (July 20). While there’s nothing wrong with holding Aidiladha prayers, there were two issues with the event. First, they were doing it on a road in the housing area. Second, the country is under lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Clearly, they had violated the standard operating procedures (SOP). Even though they are non-citizens, they spoke and understood local language – Bahasa Malaysia. It means they knew about the SOP, but deliberately ignored them. They stubbornly performed their prayers on the street outside the surau, despite being told to disperse after the surau management closed the gate upon hitting the 100-person limit.

Penang police chief, Commissioner Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain, apologised for failing to stop the mass gathering. The police chief also revealed that the surau management had chosen to refrain from alerting police to avoid stirring any religion-biased issues. But even if the police had been alerted, would they have dared to disrupt fellow Muslims in the middle of performing their prayers?

So far, 49 suspects (48 Bangladeshis and one local) out of over 200 people have been detained for three days. Why not detain all the 200 violators? If not for a video of the gathering that went viral on social media, the foreigners would not be detained, let alone an apology from the police. Will there be any arrest at all if those who breached the SOP are local Muslims?

Try getting 200 non-Muslims to pray on the street next to a temple and see if only 49 suspects will be arrested. Like it or not, the country is incredibly screwed up due to more than 60 years of racism, which eventually turned to extremism. Politicians, especially during Mahathir administration (from 1981 to 2003), have been playing the race and religion cards to stay in power.

Now, the chicken has come home to roost. It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that the failure of Muhyiddin in containing the Coronavirus pandemic has everything to do with racism and extremism. Mahiaddin alias Muhyiddin is a well-known racist who considered himself a “Malay first”, instead of Malaysian first. Can you imagine Donald Trump publicly call himself a White first?

Yes, Muhyiddin is more racist than former US President Trump. And because Muhyiddin chooses the path of racism, his backdoor government’s policies are naturally racist and designed to attract only the Malay-Muslims vote bank. Such short-sighted political strategy means he constantly has to appease Malay voters, even though decisions made will trigger new Covid-19 clusters.

For example, the government knew that the opening of Ramadan bazaars was a disastrous decision. It was absolutely not necessary. Yet, in order to pacify the Malay community, who were very angry because such tradition had been banned last year in addition to Muhyiddin’s economic mismanagement, the weak administration had agreed with the mega markets.

On April 15, just two days after the beginning of the fasting month, a total of 904 Covid-19 positive cases was already reported, traceable to visits to Ramadan bazaars. Stunningly, to make up for interstate travel restriction during the Ramadan, Senior Minister “turtle egg” Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that bazaars nationwide – numbering 1,073 in total – were allowed to operate until 2am.

As if Ramadan bazaars were not enough to infect and kill people, who happened to affect mostly the ethnic Malay, the clueless and incompetent government poured more fuel to the fire by extending the bazaars’ operating hour with the intention to make the community even happier. With 2,000 daily Covid cases at that time, it was both a political and a racist decision.

In contrast, during the Chinese New Year, the government announced that only those from the same household were allowed to have reunion dinners together, as if they had been eating alone at different corners of the house all year long. Even family members who lived in different units in the same apartment were not allowed to gather for the traditional reunion dinners.

Of course, the Chinese New Year did not create a single cluster, but the same cannot be said about the Hari Raya Aidilfitri, The racist policy saw 200,000 people managed to evade the police roadblocks to return to their hometowns for Hari Raya celebrations. Amusingly, “turtle egg” Sabri, who is also the defence minister, claimed he had no idea how it happened.

From below 2,000 daily Covid cases before the opening of Ramadan bazaars, it skyrocketed and has never looked back ever since. On July 21, the country hit another record – 199 deaths in 24 hours – the highest since the pandemic started last year. With 11,985 new infections on the same day, total confirmed cases shot to 951,884 while the cumulative death toll stood at 7,440.

It appears even God was not interested to help the so-called Malay-Muslim Perikatan Nasional government. If the leaders of UMNO, Bersatu and PAS, the three main component parties forming the backdoor government, were good Muslims, they would not have closed one eye and allowed the pandemic to deteriorate with racist and half-baked policies to suit their selfish agenda.

The authorities knew PPR public housing flats were breeding grounds for Covid-19 because the residents breach SOP most of the time. They don’t wear face masks, let alone practise social distancing. You could literally hear ambulance sirens in the low-cost flats every day. But the authorities rarely patrol the housing area for obvious reason. The majority of the residents are Malays.

Only after the PPR housing flats were seriously infected with Covid that the authorities deployed barbed wire and placed it under EMCO. PPR Desa Rejang in Setapak, for example, had 300 positive cases and seven deaths in a short period of June 1-17 before the EMCO was enforced. By then, the virus had already spread beyond control, contributing to the endless number of daily infections.

This may be a sensitive issue, but till today, there are many Malays who still refuse to mask up because they believe as long as they pray, they are protected. In fact, they believe the mosque is immune to Coronavirus. It didn’t help that so-called holy men like PAS president Hadi Awang rarely spoke about wearing masks or the vaccination programme.

To make matters worse, Hadi said early this month that the Covid-19 pandemic is a test from God and only Allah can overcome the battle against the disease. Such an extreme and radical view could dangerously promote complacency. It creates a false perception that it doesn’t matter whether the Muslims wear masks or not as it’s all about “God versus Covid-19”.

In the same breath, does that mean non-Muslim countries like Singapore, China, and even the US have received more blessing from God than Malaysia since those “kafir” nations seem to have successfully defeated or suppressed the virus? It’s not rocket science that besides breeding racism and extremism, playing the race and religion cards also produce clueless and incompetent leaders.

One of the reasons Mahathir has been keeping very quiet lately is because he realised that if he continues to criticise Muhyiddin administration, it will eventually boomerang back to him. After all, almost all the MPs of his former Bersatu (PPBM) party are now part of the super bloated Cabinet of 72 ministers and deputy ministers. So, the failure of Muhyiddin is also the failure of Mahathir.

Muhyiddin’s mishandling of Covid-19 and mismanagement of the economy is the biggest proof that the past racist policies only produced leaders with “IQ of a carrot”. Worse, the country lacks top brains during a critical time because instead of recognising meritocracy to produce talents, the racist government chose kakistocracy to nurture incompetent leaders – crooks, traitors, racists, extremists, and whatnot.

The best part is the gullible and ignorant Malays who swallow the hook, line, and sinker of racist politics is the same group of people forming the majority who has now plunged into poverty and starvation as a result of Muhyiddin’s failed and racist government. There’s a reason why the government cannot and will not divulge Covid’s death toll based on ethnicity.

When Mahiaddin proudly announced four days ago that 100% of the adult population will be vaccinated by October, he thought he could fix the problem, claim the victory and become a hero. Even if the target is achievable, which is not, the Covid cases will remain. It’s wishful thinking to achieve 100% inoculation. In truth, there are millions of illegal or undocumented migrants and refugees.

Officially, there are about three million, or nearly 10% of the country’s population of 33 million, undocumented migrants that account for 30%-50% of Covid-19 cases reported daily. Unofficially, however, it’s believed an estimated four million to six million migrants are roaming the country. And they certainly are not part of the 100% adult population to be vaccinated by October as trumpeted by Muhyiddin.

Again, it was the government’s racism and extremism policies to import migrants from Indonesia and Bangladesh, which contributed to the 200 stubborn Bangladeshis who prayed on the street in defiance of SOP. The threat of arrest also means the three million to six million migrants and refugees will not step forward for vaccination. They are like walking zombies spreading Coronavirus.

And we have not even talked about the massive influx of Rohingyas welcomed into the country during the Najib Razak administration backed by extremist Abdul Hadi Awang. For decades, the previous Barisan Nasional government preferred to chase the Malaysian Chinese and Indian talents out of the country and import low-skilled workers from Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Even when faced with the prospect of 1,000,000 Covid cases and 10,000 death toll, the government’s racist policies that gave birth to racist medical groups had proposed recently that recruitment of new medical graduates be reviewed to ensure that Bumiputera graduates could serve in permanent positions in the health ministry. The Chinese and Indian doctors can go fly kites. – Finance Twitter