(Petaling Jaya, Friday): News reports that police has given the Federation of Peninsula Malay Students (GPMS) permit to hold the first of its nation-wide mass rallies in Kuala Terengganu tomorrow to protest against the Suqiu Election Appeal and to counter with its 100 Malay Demands have come as a shock to Malaysians.
This is because the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had repeatedly called for a halt to the Suqiu controversy, the last time only last Saturday (December 30) in Muar when he reiterated that all quarters should stop talking about the Suqiu issue as "such comments would not bring any benefit".
When asked whether action would be taken against anyone who continued to harp on the Suqiu issue, Abdullah said:
Abdullah should explain whether his call to "all quarters" to stop "the reckless escalation of racial tension", first made in his speech at the Sixth World Federation of Foochow Associations Convention in Kuala Lumpur on December 17, 2000 still holds.
At that time, Abdullah had referred to GPMSís response to what he described as Suqiuís "belligerence in presenting unreasonable demands" as "infantile and confrontational" and that the "stoking the fire of intolerance and acting selfishly to the detriment of a strong, peaceful and united Malaysi" is not the way to build a Malaysia for all Malaysians".
Malaysians had thought that the Suqiu controversy had come to a rest, especially as the Suqiu Committee had in two recent statements reiterated that it had respected and never challenged Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution on the special positions of the Malays and natives of any of the states of Sabah and Sarawak.
As Abdullah had himself said that certain elements are "instigating" to "aggravate the situation and cause tension in the country", he should explain why the police had given a permit for the GPMS mass rally in Kuala Terengganu in its reckless campaign to escalate racial tensions which he had denounced.
If GPMS is allowed to defy Abdullahís repeated call for a halt to the
reckless escalation of racial tensions over the Suqiu controversy, his
credibility as Home Minister, Deputy Prime Minister as well as the next
Prime Minister would be greatly undermined.