KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 — An Umno leader today admitted that he, along with today’s “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” was “racist” in nature, but insisted that this was still in line with Islamic teachings.
Tan Sri Annuar Musa maintained that acting in defence of Malay honour was permitted in Islam so long as other races were not oppressed in the process.
“Being racial is endorsed in Islam as long as you are not cruel towards other people. This rally if you say is racist, yes. What are you scared of? Islam has put in place guidelines, what is not allowed is racism that is cruel towards other races.
“In Indonesia, you cannot have a Chinese name but in Malaysia you can. If that is considered racial, then yes, I am racial. But my being racial is guided by religion. I am racist, Islamically,” he said after the rally ended at Padang Merbok today.
He added that the Malays have done the other races a great service by sharing the country and its resources them.
“And when has the Malays even behaved cruelly towards other races? We share this country, we shared citizenship. We share all our rights. Who was the one who made thus county open to other races? It was the Malays,” he added.
Thousands of red-shirted people were bussed into the federal capital this morning to take part in a rally officially called “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” or the United People’s Assembly, but which drew concern among traders in the city centre and ethnic Chinese business leaders.
The protest was marred by sporadic outbreaks of racism, however, with one attendee recorded calling a reporter “Crazy Chinese pig”, among other insults.
The “red shirts” first gathered at several points in the city, including Kompleks Kraf Malaysia in Jalan Conlay, the Putra World Trade Centre and the National Mosque before marching through major roads to converge at Padang Merbok near Parliament.
The rally, said to be in support of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership, was to counter to last month’s two-day Bersih 4 gathering calling for the prime minister’s resignation.
The ruling Malay party has insisted that it does not endorse the event, which has also been alternately called “Himpunan Maruah Melayu”, but has not prohibited its members from participating in today’s demonstration organised by martial arts group Pesaka.