I like what Home Minister Hisham said in Labis on Tuesday that politic of racism, hatred and division is not accepted in Johor. Johorians, irrespective of race and religion will never advocate themselves to such a politic.
In a statement prior to Tenang by-election on Jan 30, he said nobody should be allowed to sow the seeds of hatred in the state because Johorians will not accept it.
Frankly, I admire how the people in Tenang are still one despite subscribing to different political ideology. The Malays, Chinese and Indians observe mutual respect and will not do anything to provoke each other into an argument or confrontation.
And Hisham is right. Johor politics differ from that of other states. I think its unique in the sense that their politicians do not really go for personal attacks or character assassination during campaigning. They normally go after professional arguments. It is only of late that one of two 'growing up' politicians have subscribed to unpleasant tactics.
I believe in what Hisham said. A few days in Tenang proved it. The unity demonstrated by its people is not similar with that of other places. The people not only know each other but also can tell one's house. The Malays, Chinese, Indians and others bump into each other mostly everyday at the 'pasar tani' and the wet market.
Some say such a social environment is attainable because Tenang is a small area. I agree but there are many other smaller constituencies in Malaysia where the people are not only politically divided but 'they screw each other' (the best to describe it,I guess!).
In Tenang, you can be a member of Umno, Pas, PKR, DAP, MCA, Gerakan and other parties but they always meet at coffee shops and other places. Members of Umno, Pas and PKR usually meet at suraus and mosques and they can talk for hours without offending one another.
Members of MCA and DAP share the same 'house of God' and meet up regularly to discuss social and political issues but they never land a fist on each other's face.
For years, this people have observed mutual understanding and respect. For outsiders who came to Tenang for the by-election, they too should recognise the fact that Tenang's unity is not easy to be rattled. Badmouth campaigning should be avoided as the people, irrespective of politics, do not like it.
In fact, both candidates Azahar (BN) and Normala (PR) are not aliens in Tenang and Labis. Both are well respected and recognised for their contribution to the constituents.
As how Hisham puts it - dont corrupt the people of Tenang with bad politics! Let's have a clean one...