KUALA LUMPUR – April 21, 2015: The call by MCA for investigation of protesters and action against a Wanita Umno leader in the Taman Medan church incident is appropriate, said a party leader.
Its Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker who had called for Barisan Nasional to take action against former Petaling Jaya Selatan Umno Wanita chief Munaliza Hamzah for her role in the protest said Umno members should respect the law instead of abusing it.
Ti’s statement was highlighted in a posting by blogger Helen Ang who criticised MCA leaders for their quick ‘inconsiderate’ reaction instead of being more understanding and giving some consideration to Muslim sentiments.
“Just because Umno is in power, it does not mean that their members can do things that break the law.
“I am not whacking Umno but I need to remind them that as a part of the component parties in Barisan Nasional, they have a collective responsibility for all voters who voted from them.
“Plus, over the years it can been seen that they are chasing away all of our stakeholders to DAP,” he said, when contacted by The Mole.
Helen, in her posting ,”MCA More DAP than DAP”, had asked whether MCA had ever shown “even an iota of interest to try and understand why the cross is making Malays so uncomfortable?”
“If MCA is in effect really representing the Malay voters – you know, the people who pangkah dacing on their ballot paper – then shouldn’t MCA give some consideration to Muslim sentiments?
“Do the wakil-wakil MCA bother to turun padang to talk to their Malay constituents as almost all of them are holding office in Malay-majority areas?
“The answer to the questions above is apparently No- No- No- and- No,” she wrote.
Ti said that MCA could not continue “to pamper Umno by turning a blind eye on the party’s wrongdoing”.
His call for BN to take action against Umno members involved in the protest was therefore, appropriate, he remarked.
Ti also said that Umno needs to realize that it can no longer monopolize voters by using its “70s era” political rhetoric.
“I know that many Umno members will not be happy but they need to learn that the political setting in the country has changed.
“One can no longer secure votes by using sentiments alone,” he said.
Ti also said that though there were not many MCA leaders who were “brave enough” to criticize Umno, he was the exception.
“If I don’t do it then BN will lose the war,” Ti said.
The issue has taken the social media by storm with many Malays, including well-known personalities, expressing disgust at the shenanigans of the Taman Medan protesters who, they reminded, “do not represent the rest of Muslims in the country”.
These were sincere expressions of dismay and despair. But there were also other Muslims who felt that the protesters had been misunderstood and that the issue had been deliberately exaggerated by politicians and pro-opposition news portals.
Meanwhile Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) has defended the protest, saying that Selangor already hosts a disproportionate number of churches.
Its missionary chief, Omar Kassim was quoted to have said that the protesters were justified in their action because the church authorities had been insensitive to the feelings of Muslims residing in Taman Medan.