DAP Youth: Muslim students’ group Gamis abusing freedom of speech with May 13 reference

Jerry Choong
Lee said Gamis should have taken a more moderate approach to the issue. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 — DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) has today condemned the Malaysian Muslim Students Coalition (Gamis) for abusing freedom of speech, after the latter warned that the bloody May 13 riots may return as long as Chinese educationist Dong Zong still exists.

The wing’s chief Howard Lee said Gamis should have instead taken a more moderate approach like the Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (Abim), by recently hosting a joint event with Dong Zong in order to understand each other better.

“Instead, Gamis chose to be trapped by a narrow political narrative that only sees this from one perspective. The freedom of speech that students today enjoy should have been used wisely and intelligently,” Lee said in a statement.

“As a student body, Gamis must take responsibility for its statement. The freedom of speech must adhere to the nation’s laws, and I hope the police will investigate such seditious remarks.”

Lee expressed regret that Gamis used such a provocative headline, mentioning May 13, to attract the public to read its statement.

Although unsurprising, he added such attitudes are the cause of accusations that youths are unfit and incapable of political maturity.

“Furthermore, their message implied or otherwise is clearly seditious and threatens national tranquillity. A repeat of the May 13 incident has never and will not profit any parties.

“Gamis can refer back to the official government reports and newspaper clippings in the National Archive. The loss of life and damage to property has scarred racial harmony in the country,” he said.

Earlier today, DAPSY members filed simultaneous police reports against Gamis in nine locations in seven states across the peninsula and in Sabah, after the student group said on Tuesday that the May 13 racial riots could happen again as long as Dong Zong remains in existence.

Earlier this week, Gamis president Saifullah Baiduri had urged the Home Ministry and police to ban the group, on grounds of being an obstacle towards unity and nation-building.

Following backlash on social media, Gamis amended its article which initially could have been taken as a call for the May 13 riots to be repeated.

Gamis’ remarks followed in the wake of Dong Zong organising the Chinese Organisation Congress together with several other Chinese education groups, which will be held this Saturday as part of efforts to convince the government to reconsider introducing jawi script lessons in vernacular schools.

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