2015 Wesak Day Message By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 3.5.2015
As we celebrate this year’s Wesak Day celebrations, it is timely to note the theme adopted by the Malaysian Buddhist Association is “Unite People Harmoniously; Uphold Country, People and Buddhism”. The characteristic Buddhist rejection of violence and hate must extend to action to save Malaysia from religious extremists and racists who are willing to bully, threaten or even bribe to eliminate diversity and moderation in Malaysia.
Malaysians were recently shocked by the barbaric action of religious extremists, led by local Selangor UMNO leaders and the brother of the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, in forcing a church to take down its cross.
What is even more shocking is that this irresponsible and uncivilized act escaped unpunished. Before that, Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali escaped unpunished for asking for the Malay Bible to be burned, which was even justified by a BN and UMNO Minister. This follows a series of provocative acts by religious extremists against non-Muslims by misusing the good name of Islam.
At the same time, there are racists from both MCA and UMNO who preach the language of hate, exclusion and even violence. UMNO Ministers have blamed Chinese for everything that is wrong with the economy even though everyone knows that their failed economic policies, mismanagement and financial scandals such as the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and most importantly, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is the cause of rising prices.
On the other hand, MCA Wanita chief Heng Seai Kie has told the Chinese in the country not to oppose the GST as the system will see the Malays paying more. This is ridiculous and irresponsible as GST affects all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.
Such reckless games by racists and religious extremists are dangerous to nation-building, stability and national unity as it creates suspicion instead of understanding, recriminations instead of respect and tension instead of harmony. For this reason, Buddhists must actively pursue action that not only promote peace and harmony but also co-operate with all parties to reinforce diversity and moderation against these religious extremists and racists.