Against an avalanche of a new wave of Facebook personalities utilising social media live broadcasts to preach racially-tinged political messages, Klangite Mohd Azhar Osman has become a rare preacher of unity and harmony.

Showcasing a popular breakfast eatery in Klang in his latest Facebook live update, Azhar chided several personalities who he said do not represent all or any segments of Malaysians, but instead were carrying political narratives that sowed racial discord.

Carrying the image of tough guy warriors of certain causes, such personalities have been gaining in popularity against the seemingly less sexy messages of unity, love and harmony that few utilise the social media live broadcasts to preach.

“Their brains are “mereng” (screwed up),” said Azhar. “That is not what Malaysians are. You can see here, where we all enjoy our food together, side by side. This is uniquely Malaysian and this is what we should share and show everybody, not those messages that sow disunity and racial discord.

“This is our real culture. We have no problem with each other, unlike what those politicians are trying to tell everybody,” Azhar added.

“As you can see here today, in this place, there are Indians, Chinese, Malays all together, enjoying our food in harmony. This is the harmony that is ours, unique to Malaysia, not anywhere else.”

In recent weeks, several personalities sought to trigger further racial discord among netizens, but Azhar sought to show people that the animosity between races in Malaysia portrayed online was far from the truth.

On January 6, lawyer Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz lodged a police report against a school in Puchong for putting up festive decorations such as red lanterns in conjunction with Chinese New Year. As bemusing as it may seem, Khairul Azam actually cited in his report that the decorations were in breach of Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, which relates to Islam as the federal religion.

“Let’s not use such interpretations. All this while, we have all been living in accordance to the constitution. Nobody has broken it,” said Azhar.

Whichever side of the political divide you are on, lanterns never harmed anybody. Even Muslims taking advantage of Chinese New Year festive sales at the sprawling shopping malls across the country. – Pic: talkedabout.org

In calling for Malaysians to unite and spread the messages of harmony, he also called on them to celebrate Chinese New Year with their friends.

“I will be visiting my Chinese friends during the Chinese New Year. There doesn’t have to be any fear or distrust towards them. I am sure they also know how to respect us and our culture, especially as Muslims,” said Azhar.

While some politicians are determined to sow unjustified fear towards lanterns among Muslims through complaints such as those lodged by a lawyer against a school in Puchong, they do not seem to scare anyone away from shopping malls. – Pic: talkedabout.org

Azhar’s public Facebook posting has gained almost 4,000 views since it was broadcast this morning. Still a far cry from the political operatives spreading the divisive messages, where some such as sacked traffic policeman-turned blogger-turned Umno Youth exco Wan Azri Wan Deris or Papagomo, who averages about 7,500 viewers per Facebook live broadcast.