Sultan Nazrin describes the situation with fake news and the boycott of non-Muslim goods as a “ticking time bomb”.
This is what the South China Morning Post says in an article on Malaysia.
Messages urging the country’s Malay-Muslim majority to boycott goods produced by non-Muslims have been actively shared on social networks.
Facebook and WhatsApp chat groups are filled with such calls. Mini-markets with non-Muslims ownership are in a list of places to avoid.
Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah criticised those spreading hate speech and fake news.
“Placing dolls and hurling pork at mosques, placing of a cow’s head at a Hindu temple and spreading false news on social media will spark more hatred,” he said.
“These disgraceful acts and hate speech need to stop immediately. It’s not healthy, as it puts the country in a dangerous situation.”
“Is getting political support worth acting in such a way?” he asked. “What satisfaction can they get when the blood of the people is spilled, bodies are piled up, buildings are razed and vehicles are burned?”
Halal industry woes
The paper says the local halal food and beverage industry in Malaysia has a net worth of 50 billion to 55 billion ringgit this year.
Nevertheless, Yeah Kim Leng, an economics professor at Sunway University, says non-Muslim businesses could be badly hit.
He pointed out that will happen if people heeded the boycott calls. And it will hit the halal sector – which covers food and beverage, cosmetics and health care products – which non-Muslim businesses also serve.
The boycott is yet another instance of racial and religious tensions that have plagued the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Barisan Nasional’s largest and most powerful party, the United Malays National Organisation (Umno). However, it is now in opposition for the first time since its formation.
The party, in power for 61 years lost the May elections last year.
SCMP says the transformation of Malaysia’s political landscape has been marked by a push to exploit ethnic and religious differences for electoral gain.
Lately, Umno has teamed up with the Islamic Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) to take on Mahathir’s ruling coalition.
The opposition is banking on the strong showing by the Democratic Action Party or DAP to hit the Pakatan in the flanks.
The Umno-PAS is planning a ‘monster’ rally this Saturday. It hopes the rally will boost its chances to fight the Pakatan on the national stage.
It will also mean the Malay-Muslims would have accepted a deal between the Umno and the PAS. This is something was not possible before the 2018 elections.