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Rafidah Aziz: Don’t Let Short Fuses Ignite Racial Tension

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PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have everything to lose if they let racial issues divide the nation, says former Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (pic).

Rafidah said that she was “saddened” by the incident at Low Yat Plaza over the weekend.

“I am so saddened by the mob violence at the Low Yat. And that there seemed to have been racial undertones to it all.

“Why must it be so?” she posted on Facebook earlier this week.

She questioned the need to turn the sequence of events into a bigger matter than it actually was.

She also questioned the need to turn it into a racially-motivated issue.

“Why must things be looked at from the racial perspective? Malay customer and Chinese vendor etc,” she wrote.

She said Malaysians needed to embrace the fact that this is a multiracial country.

“I have gone through that sad dark period in our nation’s socio-economic history triggered by the May 13, 1969 riots.

“It is not something to be proud of. It is something from which we need to learn valuable lessons.

“One important lesson is that we must let our minds be free of prejudice, bias and parochial tendencies, and see things only as they are with no negative embellishments.

“It is so important to accept our multiracialism and its diversities, and never for whatever reason use race as the excuse and justification for any of our actions,” she said.

She added that the unity that the present generation enjoyed has been “tirelessly forged” by past generations in the country and should not be taken for granted.

“Do not allow short fuses to ignite racial tensions and view everything purely from the racial perspective.

“Act rationally (and) not (be) driven by mob and herd mentality,” she said.

“Let calmness and good sense prevail,” she added.

Rafidah was referring to a protest late Sunday night in front of the Low Yat Plaza that turned violent, injuring five people including two journalists.

The protest came about after a brawl was captured on video featuring a group of Malay youths attacking Oppo salesmen in the Low Yat Plaza.

It was later revealed that the brawl started after one of the youths and another friend were reprehended by the salesmen after allegedly stealing a phone from a kiosk in the mall.

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