Umno continues to heighten irresponsible and incendiary race and religious rhetoric will drive Malaysia towards becoming a nation of extreme contradictions with the latest accusation that the Penang Government funds its programmes using funds from non-halal sources
Umno has continued its relentless attacks on the DAP, particularly the Penang state government with the latest being that the state government funded its welfare initiatives with funds contributed by non-halal entities such as the Penang Turf Club, and by extension, the Muslims in the state are benefiting from “unclean” money.
While the Penang Government has disclosed the fact that the accusation is completely and utter baseless when it was shown that such contributions are only channelled towards the eradiction of non-Muslim hardcore poor, the more critical point is perhaps “so what if it is?”
Umno leaders have shown utmost hypocrisy when even the Finance Ministry, who is led by the Prime Minister himself, have replied in Parliament that the Federal Government does not separate it source of revenue from halal and non-halal sources in its consolidated funds. This means that the revenue from gaming sources such as Tanjung PLC and Berjaya Sports Toto as well as alcoholic beverage companies such as Guiness Anchor Bhd (GAB) and Carlsberg are used for the benefit of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region. And that is absolutely how it should be.
What is more worry however is the tendency of the desperate Umno leaders who wants to cling on to power at all cost will start calling for ludicrous ideas to be implemented by preying on the fears and insecurity of the wider public.
By calling for a separation of funds from halal and non-halal sources, Umno politicians are opening a whole new Pandora box which will lead ultimately to Malaysia becoming a global basket case. Is the Penang opposition leader, Azahar Ibrahim arguing for a case whereby Muslim companies, individuals and organisations cannot trade with say, alcoholic beverage companies like GAB even for the purchase of stationery or furniture because GAB derives its revenue and profits from non-halal sources? Or worse, is Umno arguing for the farcical case where Ah Chong the butcher, or Muthu who works for Berjaya Sports Toto, cannot purchase nasi lemak from Pak Ali because the latter should not “benefit” from such sources of income?
Will Najib put out a new proposal during the announcement of the 2011 Budget calling for a duel currency system where the halal Ringgit is used for transactions which are halal while the non-halal Ringgit is used for transactions which involves non-halal items or services, and hence preventing Muslims from sourcing any of the revenue or benefiting in any way, from sources of funds which has at one time or another “passed through” non-halal transactions?
Najib has called for “moderation” at the United Nations and his call must be supported. However, Najib must first reign in his party of hare-brained extremists who are using all means, including racially and religiously extreme views to politically assasinate DAP and Pakatan Rakyat who are clearly winning over the rakyat with its inclusive, moderate and progressive policies.
The relentless race and religious attacks by Umno must cease immediately to create the conducive environment for “moderation”, to defeat “extremism” and to bring Malaysia back into the forefront of the international investment map.