gaza & malaysia – charity with an agenda

it’s too late to blog now so what i’m going to do is simply CnP (that is ‘cut and paste’ for the uninitiated) job direct from malaysiakini an interesting article. it talks a lot about DOUBLE STANDARD!!


Gaza & Malaysia – Charity with an agenda
JJ Ray |
Jan 28, 09 12:49pm

The government’s untiring efforts to raise money for the people of Palestine is being justified as an humanitarian act and not one which is religion-focused.

Millions of ringgit have been raised and street protests have been held by the Muslims in Malaysia.

Unfortunately, with blessings from the government, schoolchildren too have been dragged into these protests.

It is very apparent that as the issue concerning Palestinians involves Muslims being persecuted by the Israelis, the Malaysian government has become extremely worried and is leaving no stone unturned to provide any form of assistance possible.

But the people know better. While the efforts are being justified as a human rights concern and not one due to religion, the truth is really out there.

Certainly for Malaysia, being a predominantly Muslim nation, watching fellow Muslims in other parts of the world being slaughtered riles her up. To get very angry because innocent people, young and old alike, are being crucified is understandable but the justification must be genuine.   

To quote human rights as the reason for rendering assistance is once again the Malaysian government’s way of taking its people for a ride. It is no secret that the government is concerned because the persecution involves Muslims.

Had it been the killing of other races, for sure the government would not have bothered to raise millions and cry out for justice nor would it have “used” children in its street protests.

The world at large is very, very angry at the slaughter of the Palestinians but to offer support because the element involved is religion is unacceptable.

It is all about Islam and Muslims

If religion is not the concern, then why the calls for Muslims to boycott American products like McDonald’s, Starbucks, etc? Why not ask all Malaysians to boycott “all things American” by way of the human rights approach?

And why must the concern be heightened at this stage? Is it because the attacks on Gaza are becoming incessantly unbearable? Why was there no concern about the human rights of the people of Palestine several months back?

And is there any assurance that the so-called concerned people of Malaysia will continue to respect human rights of the people of Palestine or is the concern just a knee-jerk reaction?

Indeed, it came as a shock to hear Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi attributing human rights as the reason why Malaysia is terribly concerned with the persecution of Palestinians.

This is an outright lie because Malaysia’s worry is very much because the lives of Muslims in particular are at stake. This therefore makes Malaysia’s concern religion-based.

It is tiring to see how the Malaysian government is taking the people for granted by seeking funds for the people of Palestinians on the pretext that it is all about human rights. The truth is it is all about Islam and Muslims, not about human rights.

Yes, the persecution of the Palestinians is a violation of their human rights but then Abdullah and company must not create lies to lend a helping hand. Let those interested in helping do so sincerely because of the rape of human rights of the Palestinians.
It is bad enough that the people of Malaysia are being lied to that the government is going all out to help the Palestinians because it is all about “human rights”. 

To make things worse, the likes of Abdullah and his deputy Najib Abdul Razak, have proved what hypocrites they are when they resorted to using children to carry out street protests. Why must the children be involved?

Don’t get our schoolchildren involved

On Jan 9 this year, the ever-controversial Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein declared the government’s intention of mobilising the country’s five million schoolkids and their 360,765 teachers in a mass rally to protest the brutalities of the Israelis.

It was stupefying to note how politically-motivated Hishammuddin is that he is willing  to take students and teachers away from their duty just to serve the government’s political agenda. Who bears responsibility over the safety of our schoolchildren then?

What about the psychological trauma the pupils will undergo being exposed to the atrocities of the Israelis? Has Hishammuddin ever thought of these? 

Yes, many children have been killed by the Israelis. Still, gathering all our schoolchildren for the sake of supporting the government’s own game plan is not welcomed.

If Hishammuddin is so concerned by the abuse of human rights in Gaza, then let there be street protests by children and teachers each time the education system screws up and education suffers or each time a student or teacher is abused.

Or for that matter let children, teachers and parents take to the streets in a show of protests each time a child is abducted and the police fails to solve the case? Or let the children and the non- governmental organisations participate in street protests each time children’s rights are abused.

Or when domestic workers like Nirmala Bonat are inhumanely abused, allow the people to vent out their anger by hitting the streets.

Why are the police silent now when schoolchildren are being involved in street protests? In 2003, about 200,000 people including children crammed their way to Stadium Nasional in Bukit Jalil in a show of protest against the United States invasion of Iraq.

What is disgusting is the government’s double standards in supporting issues, all done to meet an agenda.

If indeed the Palestinian issue is heart-wrenching for Abdullah and Najib, what about the persecution of human rights back home? The censorship on freedom of expression is conveniently misused and abused by the “powers that be”.

A crappy way of showing leadership

In the Palestinian issue, even children are roped in as a form of freedom of expression. But why the unnecessary brouhaha when children supported the Jerit protests? Was that too not because they were concerned about the abuse of human rights in Malaysia?

Why condemn the Opposition for using children in their bicycle rally from Sungai Siput to Parliament House as a show of protest against the Internal Security Act? Was that not a demonstration against the abuse of human rights?

It appears that for Abdullah and Najib, it is only they who have the final say in determining who can and cannot engage in street demonstrations. What a crappy way of showing leadership!

When there are cases of child abuse being reported, where are our leaders and where are their enthusiasm in tackling such serious incidents? Why does Abdullah and Najib instruct teachers to collect pupils for street protests as a sign of fighting heinous crimes against children?

Why are our so-called leaders silent when many cases of abandoned babies are reported and when women cry rape? Why are there no aggressive efforts to ensure rape survivors are compensated in the form of monetary claims to help them seek professional counselling?

Why must human beings be so choosy in rendering help or aid to another in distress? Is the glamour behind it the only reason why help is calculatively offered?
There is no intention to insult the efforts of the federal government in wanting to raise as much money as possible for the people of Palestine.

What is sadly intolerable is the fact that human rights have never been on the agenda of our government and never will be because the government has never learned the ABC of human rights.

Looking at how the prime minister has conveniently latched on to the human rights agenda to justify the government’s help, it is high time that the government be educated about the ABC of human rights and then go on to educate the people too.

Media should not sensationalise war

For the ever-generous Malaysians, do they ask themselves why they without qualms drop their hard-earned notes into the Gaza donation boxes? Are they donating because they feel for the people in Gaza who have become refugees in their own homeland or is there any other explicit reason?

Where are these “sensitive” corporations and individuals when there are cries for help by the less underprivileged people? Are they offering help now because they want to win the hearts of the country’s top politicians like Abdullah and Najib?

The help towards the Palestinian people’s plight has become a vehicle to propagate Islam especially. How then can the non-Muslims place their faith in the Barisan Nasional government when it is not capable of being honest in its intentions?

The media too plays a crucial role in jolting the politicians back home on the importance of recognising and respecting human rights.

The media also must never sensationalise such tragedies nor portray journalists covering such horrors as heroes. Let the reporters do their job without any lure of glamour.  

On the issue of the Gaza tragedy, schoolchildren in Malaysia are being forced to participate in demonstrations. Was parental consent a concern with the government? Why not educate the young and old alike on the topic of human rights?

Why the unrest when the Bar Council organised its previous human rights march? It is obvious our government does not practice what it preaches. So the question of leadership by example remains just that – a question.

Until and unless the Barisan Nasional government decides to get its act together and is genuine in offering help, the trust from people back home will always waiver.

JJ RAY started her career with a mainstream publication. A non-conformist, she soon saw the barriers that went up whenever, through her writing, she tried to make the world a home for one and all.

Leave a Reply