KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16, 2015:
If the late Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman was still alive, he would be disappointed with today’s Perhimpunan Maruah Melayu rally.
Recounting tales from Dr Ismail’s time, his grandson, Tariq Ismail Mustafa, said the former Deputy Prime Minister would never have allowed the gathering to tale place, especially with the recent prevalence of “racial hate rhetorics.”
“Judging from what I read of him and from tales from my family, the rally organisers would have been called to give their statements and those from Umno would probably be expelled.
“He would have shown no support for the organisers.”
Tariq Ismail said his grandfather, who was also Home Minister, was a man who held on tight to the rule of law, no matter how difficult the situation and regardless of how the nation may perceive him to be.
He relayed to The Rakyat Postthe story of a woman who came to visit the respected statesmen, known as the “man who had saved Malaysia”, bringing along with her a bag full of vegetables.
“He asked if the woman’s son was locked up under the Internal Securities Act (the now abolished ISA) to which she replied back with a ‘Yes’. He immediately told her to leave, taking the bag of vegetables with her.
“My mother, who was with him, thought that what he did was harsh, but he told her that what he did was necessary to uphold the principle of rule of law.”
Tariq went on to say that to his grandfather, demonstrations should only have been allowed if there were reasons justifying their legality.
“This Sept 16 gathering is screaming for blood. They put a shadowy figure of a man with a keris surrounded by a background that is just red.
“They should be allowed to talk, but if they are going out there screaming for blood and revenge over the Low Yat incident, or Malay rights being trampled on, stepped on, that is not right.”
He questioned as to what rights were being trampled on, stating that privileges provided under the National Economic Plan were originally meant to elevate the poor of all races.
“It’s about bringing people forward, allowing them to be comfortable and Vision 2020, which was based on NEP, was about achieving a nation that is comfortable with itself, guided by the people who are ruled by morals and ethics.”
The Sept 16 Red Shirt rally, led by a coalition of Malay NGOs and a few Umno leaders who will lead participants from various spots throughout Kuala Lumpur to Padang Merbok, has been criticised by many as stoking racial tension.