Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Media statement by Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and International Secretary for Wanita DAP Kasthuriraani Patto on Saturday 5th December 2020 in Penang:

Menteri Besar of Kedah needs to re-learn the history of Kedah with its Hindu-Buddhist-Islam influence thousands of years ago and should utilize this to be an architect towards nation building in forming a cohesive society in historical Kedah.

The Menteri Besar of Kedah from PAS has once again displayed his clear lack of leadership in his recent statements made on the demolition of Hindu shrines and temples in Kedah and most recently making personal attacks against the Indian community by labelling Indians as alcoholics.

This un-statesman like statement coming from a Head of State is shocking as it is downright rude, insulting, ignorant and shows the dreadful lack of content of character.

Muhammad Sanusi Nor must realise, in a multilingual and multicultural Malaysia, where leaders are expected to build bridges between communities, ethnicities and religion, he must set higher standards for himself and not behave like a destructive tool to demolish harmony amongst peace loving Malaysians.

Perhaps a quick history lesson should clear the air for him.

Kedah or what was known as ‘Kadaram’ was also the bedrock of the Hindu settlement with artifacts and inscriptions in Tamil and Sanskrit left by the Chola Empire which further cements the foundation and establishment of commercial and political relationships between the Chola Empire and Malaya.

Apart from that Lembah Bujang, a gold mine known as one of the richest archaeological sites in Malaysia and South East Asia, dates as far back as more than 2500 years ago and is fertile with historical majesty. With the splendid Hindu-Buddhist remains there, it is evident that the presence of Hinduism was deeply rooted in Kedah, as well with Buddhism and Islam over the centuries.

Well before the establishment of any Government in modern Malaysian history.

The Menteri Besar of Kedah should remind himself that freedom of religion and belief IS protected and enshrined in the Federal Constitution in Article 3(1) which states that “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”. Article 8 also states clearly that (1) “All persons are equal before the law and (2) “…there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent place of birth or gender in any law..”. Article 11 of the Federal Constitution also explicitly speaks of freedom of religion and that (1) “Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion…”

The Menteri Besar’s action and justification to demolish temples, shrines and other religious relics or places of worship without an amicable solution displays his ignorance to history and shows his disregard against rule of law and the spirit of harmony and patriotism as upheld, defended and protected in the Federal Constitution.

Kedah Menteri Besar needs to just look over his shoulder to the state of Penang which is a cradle of what a united Malaysia looks like, and how freedom of religion and belief is respected and protected, with the latest construction of the Pusat Harmoni or Harmony Centre in 2019 aimed to promote religious harmony and togetherness for all Malaysians, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Taoists by the EXCO for Social Development and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs YB Chong Eng, and under the guidance and guardianship of YAB Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang.

Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor must be reprimanded by PAS and be reminded that his forefathers, as well as the forefathers of all of us, who came here generations ago are the cornerstone of this nation today, a Malaysia we all call our ‘tanahair’. This is OUR HOME and this is OUR MALAYSIA.

Kasthuriraani Patto
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
International Secretary for Wanita DAP
Democratic Action Party