Dewan Rakyat condemns NZ shooting

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN & DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By BLOOMBERG

THE Dewan Rakyat has unanimously condemned the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, over the weekend.

The tragedy, which saw 50 people killed in mass shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques, was debated by representatives after an emergency motion was put forward by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Pakatan Harapan-Port Dickson).

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had earlier approved the motion made by Anwar, and had allocated 60 minutes for the MPs to debate on the matter.

Representatives from both sides of the divide were in agreement in their disapproval of the atrocious act and on actions that need to be taken to ensure that such incidents will not happen in Malaysia.

Anwar said the Christchurch tragedy serves as a reminder that extremism and the supremacy of race are not limited to the whites.

“This extremist attitude can be transmitted to other races, notwithstanding the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans and Kadazans.

“We should celebrate differences of opinion and political views, and we should firmly reject the use of violence and coercion,” he said.

Lim Kit Siang (Pakatan Harapan-Iskandar Puteri) expressed full support for the motion to condemn the attacks in New Zealand, saying that the killings are a blot on humanity as there is no place for terrorism in any religion or country.

“Malaysians must be concerned about the senseless Christchurch massacre and be more sensitive and appreciative of the need for respect and tolerance of the diversity of religions and cultures which have increasingly become an international feature,” he said.

Lim added that Malaysians must develop a sceptical attitude to the messages they receive on social media before sharing it with others — so they will not fall victim to the vicious and toxic politics of lies, hate and fear in any part of the world.

Meanwhile, Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali (PAS-Kuala Nerus) emphasised the need to respect places of worship or religious centres as places of peaceful gatherings.

Three Malaysians have fallen victim to the attacks, with Rahimi Ahmad placed under intensive care unit at Christchurch Hospital.

The 39-year-old milk factory worker in New Zealand was shot twice during the attack, and will undergo an operation to remove bullet fragments today.

Two other Malaysians, Mohd Tarmizi Shuib and Mohd Nazril Hisham Omar, are also warded in the same hospital.

Victims of the attacks have ties to Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia, among other countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya said the government will continue to monitor the situation in Christchurch and provide assistance to the Malaysian consulate in New Zealand.

He said efforts are still in place to locate Mohd Tarmizi’s 17-year-old son Mohd Haziq Mohd Tarmizi, who is still missing.

“We have not received a full list of the victims of the tragedy. Hopefully, we will get the identity of those who are affected tomorrow (March 19),” Marzuki said yesterday.

In expressing their reject ion of the violence in Christchurch, the Dewan Rakyat also expressed sympathy for the victims and their families, as well as gratitude to the New Zealand government led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for their firm and immediate response to the tragedy.

Speaker Mohamad Ariff said the emergency motion will be forwarded to the New Zealand Parliament.

The Dewan Rakyat ended the debate with a minute of silence observed to honour the Christchurch shooting victims.