Was a plan being hatched and, if so, what and how?

Posted on January 12, 2008

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On the eve of the Hindraf rally, I had put up a post entitled ‘Why I will not walk this Sunday and why the walk must not proceed’

In essence, I had sought to explain my reasons why I would not walk to support the cause and why I felt the rally should not go on as scheduled.

In respect of the latter, this is what I had said :

The organisers of the Hindraf rally are expecting Malays to attend their rally, but not in the spirit that held sway on 10-Eleven.

In his letter to the PM dated 20/11/2007, Uthayakumar pointedly states that ‘a malay muslim group and Indian gangsters together with the police Special Branch are trying to disrupt our said peaceful assembly and create chaos and possible violence on 25.11.2007. Please investigate this matter and take the appropriate action accordingly’.                       

It is becoming increasingly plain to me that the Hindraf rally planned for this Sunday will present to UMNO and BN the perfect stage to resurrect their ‘May 13′ bogeyman, blame the ‘chaos and possible violence’ that Uthayakumar himself anticipates on the recent call by civil society to allow the right to peacably assemble, demonise the struggle for greater democracy as that which is plunging this nation into racial tension, and trumpet again that BN is the only one that can maintain racial stability in this country.

A day after the rally I posted ‘Sorry, I was wrong to…’ . Having first confirmed from the MSM and the various internet news portals and blogs that there were no reports of ‘inter-racial clashes or incidences instigated by agent provocateurs’, I had unreservedly apologised to all of you and admitted that I was ‘ wrong to fret unnecessarily and without good reason that any skirmishes in the course of the rally that might be successfully spun as inter-racial clashes and hyped as the prelude to another ‘May 13′ might drive civil society back into its ’slient majority’ days, undoing the little progress we have seen of late’.

Yesterday, in a Malaysiakini report entitled ‘Racial action plan : UMNO says no such thing’ , it was reported that Umno leaders had denied that there was a written directive signed by UMNO sec-gen Radzi Sheikh Ahmad about a ‘racial issue action plan.’According to the Malaysiakini report, PAS’s Salahuddin Ayub has filed a police report in Kuala Lumpur over the letter in question and urged the police to determine the authenticity of the letter as its contents could threaten national security.

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Malaysiakini offers the following translation of the main text of the letter in its report.

 “I take this opportunity to announce the supreme council’s decision which met on Dec 19 that state liaison committee secretaries and division chiefs have to ensure the implementation and the success of the ‘racial issue action plan’ together with the help of BN (Barisan Nasional) component parties.“

The (BN) state liaison chiefs will give a briefing on how to carry out this ‘racial issue action plan’ which has been agreed upon by BN component parties that met on Dec 6,”

The fact that in his police report, Salahuddin alludes to a possible threat to national security gives you an idea of what he makes of this ‘racial issue action plan’.

Let’s be fair, though. 

‘racial issue action plan’ does not necessarily have to be something negative. For example, it could have been a plan to diffuse any negative racial sentiment arising from the Hindraf rally. That would not be negative. That might even be seen as very responsible.

Since Radzi is supposed to have signed the letter, he will have to confirm what this ‘racial issue action plan’ is all about.

Problem is, Malaysiakini reports that Radzi could not be reached for comment and other Umno leaders have since denied the letter.

Malaysiakini also reports that a BN source said there was no meeting held on Dec 6 and that UMNO supreme council member Norza Zakaria said he was not aware of any such letter or plan.

Add to this statement by Seremban Umno division chief Ishak Ismail that his division and other divisions in Negeri Sembilan did not receive the letter and that of Dungun Umno division chief Rosli Mat Hassan that it was impossible for Radzi to issue such a letter which could lead to disorder in the country and that he suspects the letter to be the work of PAS, and this whole matter now takes on very sinister proportions.

First, the suggestion that someone has forged Radzi’s signature to a document to give the impression that UMNO and BN are starting a ‘racial issue action plan’. If this is the case, then ‘racial issue action plan’ cannot have any noble intent.

If this is Radzi’s contention, he should make a police report that his signature has been forged. Anything short of this will not suffice.

If however, denials by BN and UMNO members of knowledge of this letter and plan are a cover-up, this will strongly support Salahuddin’s suspicions.

Let’s await Radzi’s reaction.

Meanwhile, unless I missed it, MSM did not report this news.