Media Statement (25 June 2014)
BERSIH 2.0 condemns in the strongest language Prime Minister Najib Razak’s call upon UMNO members to emulate the ‘bravery’ of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS, also known as ISIL) terrorists and views this as a grave threat to parliamentary democracy.
ISIS has been committing gruesome crimes against humanity of beheading and indiscriminate killing of civilians and prisoners of war. The group is turning Iraq and Syria into another killing field of ethno-religious hatred after the former Yugoslavia and Burundi-Rwanda.
Najib’s praise for ISIS is an assault on humanity and civilisation. His call for its emulation is a covert call for the politics of blood.
It is an international embarrassment to Malaysia and the people of Malaysia that their Prime Minister has lauded a terrorist group for its criminal actions.
Glorifying the terrorism of ISIS signals a readiness of UMNO to replace electoral and parliamentary competition with military and violent domination. This statement is extremely alarming given the growing number and intensity of hate speech under Najib’s premiership since 2009.
BERSIH 2.0 calls upon the prime minister to immediately retract and his terrorism-glorifying statement and apologise to all Malaysians as well as the people of Iraq and Syria.
Najib’s outrageous statement is both an insult to the thousands of victims in Iraq and Syria, making Malaysia a terrorism-friendly country, and a betrayal to Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy, which he has taken an oath to defend when he was sworn in as a parliamentarian.
BERSIH 2.0 urges all Malaysians including Najib’s colleagues in UMNO and Barisan Nasional to condemn Najib’s statement and demand his retraction and apologies–unless they agree with the call for UMNO to emulate ISIS.
This is a critical juncture that all Malaysians must stand together and put the interest of nation and humanity before that of parties and factions.
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which comprises:
Maria Chin Abdullah (Chairperson), Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa (Deputy Chairperson), Masjaliza Hamzah (Treasurer), Farhana Abdul Halim, New Sin Yew, Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah Vice-chair), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak Vice-chair),Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula Vice-chair), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula Vice-chair), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula Vice-chair) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula Vice-chair).