KUALA LUMPUR – This Wednesday, which is Sept 16, will be a historic day for Malaysians. On the same day, 52 years ago, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (which is now Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore agreed to the establishment of Malaysia.
However, many quarters have expressed concern if this year’s celebration in the federal capital to commemorate the event will be without any unpleasant incidents with the ‘Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu’ (Resurgence of Malay Dignity) rally being planned.
The rally is planned at several locations, including Bukit Bintang, Pudu, Petaling Street and to end at Padang Merbok here.
A survey carried out by Bernama found that many quarters are open about having peaceful assemblies, but they are skeptical about the one being planned to be held this Sept 16.
More so, when they see the design on the “Merah” (red) shirt that is being promoted for the event. The shirts are being sold at several locations.
The “Merah” shirt has a silhouette of a man doing the “silat” (Malay art of self-defence) and printed with the words “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” and “Tanah Tumpah Darahku” (My Native Land).
Adil Ismail, 29, an employee with a private company here said the Malay dignity needed not be upheld by holding assemblies.
“There are many better ways, like through economy or help give a new lease on life for the Malay drug addicts. Show the characteristics of the Malays, like being courteous and humble.
“We don’t want to win the battle, but lose the war,” he added.
N. Bahveshen, 34, said if the planned rally was racist in nature, it would destroy the harmony that had existed among Malaysians.
“Sept 16 is a public holiday. I plan to take my family (to the Malaysia Day celebration), but if the rally is on, I will have to cancel my plan. I don’t want to endanger my family,” he added.
Salehien Abdul Rahman, 22, said such a rally could create fear among the public, including foreign tourists.
“Tourists will not feel safe,” said the bank officer, adding that such a rally would have a negative impact on the country’s economy.
Netizens also gave their views on the matter on their Twitter account and they included:
Syed Husin Ali @syedhusinali, who wrote: “Indeed, the Redshirt has the right to a peaceful assembly, but don’t stir racism. Do not threaten bloodshed through posters”.
LeonardThen @EesanThen wrote: “BajuMerah rally should be stopped. Investors always lose faith when there’s racism”.
Twenty non-governmental organisations (NGO) are against the holding of the proposed rally, with the name “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu”.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim had said that police would not allow such as gathering due to security factor. – BERNAMA