COMMENT, May 18 — In the mainstream media, AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman Rani is being vilified for expressing disgust at Utusan Malaysia’s blatant racism against the Chinese community in the aftermath of Election 2013.
But Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s declaration that Malaysians unhappy with the election results can leave the country is being explained as a “personal opinion” and not the government’ stance.
Why the double standards?
And labelling Azran as anti-Malay is the unkindest cut as he only criticised Utusan Malaysia for its racist stance; he never attacked Malays. If anything, he should be lauded for his stand against racism.
Thus far, all mainstream media can do is trot out either discredited politicians and mosquitoes to agitate for action against Azran — ranging from Wanita Umno leader Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to former Penang PKR Wanita chief Aminah Abdullah, saying in a text message that Azran’s act was akin to “waging war” against his own people.
Really? Why can’t Azran post “I am Malaysian. I am anti-racism. I am disgusted by Utusan’s editorial stance” in his Facebook and Twitter account without being slammed for it.
AirAsia X chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz had to insist that Azran’s comment was made in his personal capacity after being twigged about it by her wing successor Shahrizat.
“No one has the right to deny others like Azran to state their views, albeit personal ones, in the social media on any issue,” Rafidah had said.
Didn’t Shahrizat say the same thing last year over her family’s cattle farm project having nothing to do her with her political career?
“It is a personal thing. They mentioned Shahrizat when I had nothing to do with it. I want to clear my name and my family’s name,” she said when testifying in her defamation suit against PKR politicians.
The thing is, Azran is not the minority. Most Malaysians will not accept or tolerate the blatant racism of Utusan Malaysia that appeared on May 7.
The mainstream media should instead focus on the racism that seems to prevail in Malaysia, rather than pick on a Malaysian who has stood up against such racism.
We need to tell the mainstream media and politicians like Ahmad Zahid that there can be a difference of opinion in Malaysia that should not result in vilification or asking people to quit or leave the country because they are not with you.
Utusan Malaysia, Ahmad Zahid and their supporters are not the Malaysia that we are now or aspire to be, especially under the 1 Malaysia concept.
Their responses are troubling and if it is the dominant notion, then we have become a nightmare of the Malaysian dream.