Press Statement: 10th May, 2013
RACISM REARS ITS UGLY HEAD IN BAYAN BARU
The racist article published by UTUSAN MALAYSIA and Najib’s shocking “Chinese Tsunami” statement had gained momentum amongst the racists in Bayan Baru, Penang.
On 9/5/2013, a group consisting of multiracial students from Bayan Baru’s Universiti Sains Malaysia became victims to violence perpetrated by an unknown racist group. The students were entering into the compound of USM to present an anti-racism petition when they were stopped and violently assaulted by a group of about 100 men.
The aggressors were witnessed to have attempted to disperse the multiracial group of students with pepper spray, some even resorted to physical assaults against the students and had called the Chinese students among the group as “Cina Babi”.
The fracas took place in the presence of the police and campus’ security personnel but no actions were taken to disperse and ensure the safety of the students. Instead, the students were chased out of the campus by the security to face the wrath of the violent racist group.
Desperate and feared for their lives, the students sought refuge in SUARAM’s office across the campus but instead of dispersing the violent group, the police saw it fit to knock on SUARAM’s office together with members of the group to search for the students for questioning.
SUARAM strongly condemns the complicity of the police and the incomprehensible actions and/or inactions by the police in defusing a potentially life threatening situation faced by the students. More shocking, several students were questioned by the police but none of the thugs were reprimanded.
It is saddening to see how responsible adults could easily be incited by racial sentiments and resorted to violence against a harmless group of students. The students were merely playing their part in fighting racism, which should be admired and encouraged as a noble cause. It should even be participated by all peace loving Malaysians across the country.
SUARAM demands the police to immediately reprimand the aggressors and provide an explanation on the police’s ridiculous and incomprehensible actions taken against the students. SUARAM also urge for an explanation from USM on their failure to protect the students from the dangerous group.
On this note, SUARAM reminds the mainstream media and the Barisan Nasional to stop playing into racial sentiments and take concrete steps to eradicate racial violence.
On behalf of SUARAM