KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Utusan Malaysia said today the government must take stern action against those who fan racial and religious sentiments, saying that the country is at risk if these groups remained unchecked.
The Umno-owned newspaper, in echoing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s message over the weekend, said these groups were willing to divide society with their narrow political understanding.
Last Saturday, Najib said the government will not compromise with groups acting for their own interests, warning that they were playing with fire.
“No compromise should be given to these groups that play with racial and religious issues. If they still continue then stern action must be taken. Like it or not, preventive and corrective measures must be taken.
“It is true by closing one’s eyes and hoping for unity without any pro-active measures by the government and community leaders from each race will only promise tragedy,” Utusan said in its editorial today entitled “Reject groups stoking religious and racial issues.”
The editorial said the groups were willing to become “champions” of their various communities for political mileage without considering the impact on the country.
“If this issue continues to be played then Malaysia will be inherited by a generation that is divided because they will constantly disputing issues involving race and religion,” said Utusan.
Utusan, known for its fiery racial editorials, recently caused public outrage when it alleged that church leaders were in a plot with the DAP to turn Malaysia into a Christian state and install a Christian prime minister.
The Malay daily has also called on owners Umno to spearhead a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi movement” involving all Malay parties, claiming that the DAP was intent on toppling the country’s Malay leadership.
The opposition has claimed that Utusan was becoming Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s voice against Najib’s 1 Malaysia platform, saying that Putrajaya was divided by two separate ideologies.
Today, the editorial also warned that the groups will not succeed in their racial games because the country has shown that diversity is not a barrier and the people have experienced lasting peace without any racial riots.
“We have to learn from the downfall of other nations. Learn how Islam fell and why Islamic countries cannot unite and ultimately nobody will gain from it,” said the paper.