Right-thinking Malaysians gravely concerned at the rise of intolerance and bigotry under Najib’s 1Malaysia

According to Malaysiakini, four police reports were lodged in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur yesterday over an article last Friday entitled “Persuasion, not compulsion” by the Star managing editor P. Gunasegaram for allegedly containing seditious material which insulted the Malays and Islam.

The police reports state that Gunasegaram’s commentary on the recent syariah whipping sentence meted against three women was an insult to Muslims and contended that Gunasegaram has no right to comment about Islamic jurisprudence because he is not a Muslim.

There were calls for Gunasegaram to be sacked as Star managing editor and for boycott of Star unless there is an apology.

I have not read the Star article before the police reports. The Star has no love for me and I have no love for Star. However, as a matter of principle, I read Gunasegaram’s article and I find it quite rational and sensible, there was no intention to insult or scandalise Islam and it should be the last object for criminalisation and the subject of police reports.

The whipping of women under syariah criminal offences legislation has created controversy for a variety of reasons, including for contradicting civil law where women are not punishable by caning under Section 289 of Criminal Procedure Code.

Gunasegaram made the valid point about indications that Malays, especially women, are migrating and leaving their homeland, not because they don’t have opportunities here but because as Muslims, their personal freedom is restricted – and there is danger that it will be curtailed even more.

Right-thinking Malaysians are gravely concerned at the rise of intolerance and bigotry under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia and Najib must give this disturbing trend his personal attention if Malaysia is not to be the frequent focus of adverse international attention and be a loser in the international competition for talents.

Is Malaysia’s plural society under Najib’s 1Malaysia moving towards greater openness, tolerance and liberalism or retreating into the shell of greater intolerance, bigotry and extremism?

  1. #1 by dagen on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 4:55 pm

    Remember. Umno is god. Once this is made clear all issues will vanish and we will then be able to move on and comply with the orders and wishes of umno the god of gods.

  2. #2 by Voter get Voters campaign for PR on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 4:57 pm

    “VOTER GET VOTERS” campaign .
    It’s NOW or NEVER
    Vote for a BETTER & a FREE Malaysia.

    Be an active political activist.
    Vote 4 a Goverment bend on eradicating Corruptions,Racisms,Abuse of Human Rights,IS

    A Goverment of the People,by the People & for the People.

  3. #3 by tenaciousB on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 4:59 pm

    Yeah, i for one and many whom i know admit enough is enough. Down with the big-ots and fanatics of the country. This government does not support the aspirations of any right minded civilised citizen in wanting improvements and progression.

    All ‘it’ preaches is backward development. Time has come for a radical change , a change those of the new generation want, we can’t be hassled by old folks running the current government as much as we have respect for the elders and founders but ideas change through time and this day and age a ‘Mahathirism’ does not apply and is utterly irrelevant. So is a ‘Muyidism’ or a ‘Najibism’. It’s time for a more youthful approach to governance, one that explores and invites globalisation and competency at an international level. One word sums it, get rid of BN and we may yet again have a chance at being a competitor in the region or else embrace yourselves for a devastating repression.

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 5:20 pm

    If you try to access the story now, its gone from the Star online. The crazies have already won.

    Actually, I was surprised the normally compliant Star Managing Editor himself wrote and publish the piece. I always thought it was given that BN eunuchs don’t talk about Islam except to support it.

    In fact I am wondering if there is a larger hand behind the piece. I hesitate to talk more because maybe its another plot to provoke fight between PR members.

    Its all too weird…

  5. #5 by ShiokGuy on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 5:27 pm

    Dear Kit

    I read an article on SinChew recently and it is kind of TRUE and Frightening.

    I have the English Translation here..


    Especially this Chinese New Year, I realized that it is/was so so quiet! Economy? I don’t really think so…

    Shiok Guy

  6. #6 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 5:29 pm

    Nowadays it seems that the PDRM are going all out to disrupt the opposition states.
    They use a simple mechanism – any time a BN-compliant NGO makes a complaint about anything, they just accept any old police report to act on.
    No wonder the crime scene is not improving.

  7. #7 by baochingtian on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 6:21 pm

    I’m sorry for cintanegara to show such “strong feeling” for LGE. I support the current penang state govt for its performance results – good financial audit report, good response from mppp, clearance of debts from previous taiko party, etc. Furthermore, he did not go to disney land with his whole family including any maids he may have at the expense of rakyats’ money, he does not handle huge projects with huge commission quietly with suppliers, he does not stay in million ringgit-palace and lastly the state govt has put a system in place to weed out possible corruption practices that hv siphoned off rakyats’ money into individual pockets.

  8. #8 by Thor on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 6:23 pm

    Shiok Guy,

    Malaysia is no place for us, as long as Umno rules.
    It does not hurt even a bit, even if millions were to migrate.
    The more people migrate, they more Indons, they are willing to bring in.
    Just grant them citizenship and they’re willing to obey.
    No more opposition to worry and no more fear.

  9. #9 by baochingtian on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 6:25 pm

    oops, my comment is meant for “Can Muhyiddin pass three simple tests as to whether he is sincerely and seriously committed to Najib ‘s 1Malaysia concept”

  10. #10 by Dap man on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 7:27 pm

    These people emerge from the caves far too often thee days and the only they know is to lodge police report against anyone they please.
    Never mind what the police reports are all about. They feel great since they appear on TV and the government media.
    Then they return to the caves and wait to make the next police report against Selangor and Penang governments.
    Cavemen in 2010?

  11. #11 by chengho on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 9:12 pm

    Why u wanna get involves a matter not of your concern , this is a matter people faith u just have to respect them just like many people do not understand kavadi .

  12. #12 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 10:08 pm

    The rise of intolerance, bigotry and extremism under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia is not new. It actually started during the Mahathir era where UMNO unleashed a barrage of negative propaganda aimed at controlling its supporters minds.

    The side effect of such propaganda campaigns has, unfortunately, put Malaysia under the microscope of the international community and made the country a loser in the international competition for talents and foreign investments.

  13. #13 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 11:37 pm

    Talking about meeting lesser number of neighbours and friends during the LNY; it gonna be even more ” lonely” next year. With the little DOT south looking at 6.5% growth rate and ours at 3.5%, many more will leave. it is a fact that even the more enlightened Gomen Officers cursed the process of continuous meetings with all unrelated issues being brought into straight forward problems thereby finally literary ‘killing” the solution. Our national problems have more to do with the politicians than Gomen servants!
    At the moment, I think the flow southwards will continue for some time. In fact, when she first started to work down south, a fellow Malaysian told her that she would organize a table for all fellow Malaysians to meet; she was duly surprised when she found that out of the table of 12, eight came from her home town!! Logically, whether a Malaysian works locally or overseas, it should not be an issue; it should be a supply and demand issue. But the situation is not just supply/demand issue, it has become an issue of “forcing” Malaysians to seek their chance elsewhere! I see no reason why a Malaysian should not earn his keep overseas so long that option is freely done. By creating an untendable environment for people to compete fairly, the Gomen has no right to complain that those people have no love for the country!! especially when they can earn many folds over what they can get here.
    At this juncture of the situation, most of the BN supporters are still out of reality. I’m truely sad for those still in schools; by the time they are out in the market, I wonder if they could still earn as much as the Vietnamese or even the Indonesian!!

  14. #14 by monsterball on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 12:35 am

    UMNO have nothing sensational to promote…so every opportunity they get…must create news to punish this or reward that.
    To me…this is bunkum…and not important.
    Let the Muslims solve their own problems..on their religious matters….and on this issue… I bet you…vast majority Muslims are not bothered with it too.

  15. #15 by DCLXVI on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 12:59 am

    chengho: “Gunasegaram,
    Why u wanna get involves a matter not of your concern , this is a matter people faith u just have to respect them just like many people do not understand kavadi.”

    Guna did not debate about religion in his article. As LKS had mentioned, Guna had merely pointed out that there are two sets laws concerning the punishment of women, which contradict one another. By doing so, Guna had inadvertently made the Umno-BN controlled government look silly by enacting one set of laws while breaking another set of laws. No surprise if they had mobilised their ideologically die-hard supporters to lodge police reports to divert the rakyat’s attention away from the real issue…

  16. #16 by DCLXVI on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 1:03 am

    Sorry. Typo in my previous post. The second last sentence should read:

    ‘By doing so, Guna had inadvertently made the Umno-BN controlled government look silly for enacting one set of laws while breaking another set of laws.’

  17. #17 by tameupara on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 4:18 am

    It is known psychologically that those making the accusation are actually those feel guilty about issue. They will response only when they feel not right about the canning. However, they have no way but develop a self-defense mechanism by blaming others. A typical traditional and conservative malay muslim behavior, as predicted. Too shame to live in the country full of these people who wont work hard for the country but making nonsense issue and waste nations resources.

  18. #18 by Black Arrow on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 8:00 am

    I have been saying all along that this 1Malaysia concept is just a whole lot of bull to garner votes from the non-Malays.

    It is just empty rhetoric. No substance at all. It is to con the non-Malays into voting for BN.

  19. #19 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 9:00 am

    The complainer has an Indian name…

    UMNO sudah lupa apa Melayu kerana mamak Mahathir..

  20. #20 by dagen on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 10:02 am

    Speaking of migration, one issue has been overlooked by many. Those who moved, many did so as a family – with school-going children. All my friends who moved away come under this class of people. They are mostly professionals. And at late 40s they are at the peak of their career and very experienced in whatever they are engaged in. We lost more then this crop of professionals. We have lost the next generation of potential brains and talents too -i.e. their children.

  21. #21 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 10:04 am

    Good of YB Kit to stand up for and defend P. Gunasegaram. What is at stake is Freedom of Speech and personal liberties of all Malaysians.

    Personally I was irked when Gunasegaram, at one time, lodged police report against a commenter in Jeff Ooi’s Screenshots IImran, for posting “Somebody, please shoot this Gunasegaram for good” in response to Gunasegaram’s criticisms of Tun Dr Mahathir (TDM) in “The Myth of Mahathir’s Invincibility” published in theSun. It was just a figure of speech. No need to get so upset. Being easily upset – and therefore lodge police report – is inimical to a culture & constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Expression. Today he would wonder why his detractors are so easily upset to lodge reports against him. After all he is making a fair comment on a matter of public importance and interest affecting the image of the country in the eyes of international media & community. If it were not a matter of public importance and interest affecting the image of the country in the eyes of international media , why would the Prime Minister’s first reaction to Kartika’s sentence of caning for drinking be to urge Kartika Dewi Shukarno to appeal against the sentence??? Even amongst the Muslim community this issue is still undergoing debate, otherwise why would Women’s Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil say she would seek Cabinet approval to hold a conference of ministers from other Muslim-majority countries, academics and religious experts to exchange “ideas and experiences with regards to the implementation of Shariah law after public announcement of three unmarried Muslim women being caned?

    That this is a matter of public interest and issue for all is also evinced by Pakatan Rakyat opposing the recent caning of three Muslim women for allegedly participating in illicit sex, and in case of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, even accusing the Syariah Court of disrespecting Syariah laws: See TheMalaysian Insider report of Feb 22 by Clara Chooi. The MCA is also officially on record opposing the caning of women.

    So why pick on Gunasegaram (he did not make any basaeless insulting remarks) by lodgment of police reports – of late being used as a mechanism to silence those whose different opinions one does not like – when he merely commented on a matter of public interest, albeit from his (secular) perspectives? In tenor how different were P. Gunasegaram’s comments (in terms of disagreement with the caning) from that of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (patron of Perkasa)’s as were reported in the The Star Online Wednesday August 26, 2009: – (I quote) “Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed concern that the caning sentence ordered on part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno might be too harsh. Among the questions he posed in his blog were whether the punishment might not have been appropriate given the differences of opinion stemming from the issue. “Is not Islam merciful to first-time offenders?” Dr Mahathir asked, adding that fairness and consideration were the main tenets in Islam.“We will be celebrating our independence this year by flogging a Muslim woman for drinking beer under Syariah law,” he said.” (Unquote).
    However no report was lodged against TDM! Or Poakatan Rakyat. Or MCA. The reports were just against an individual, P. Gunasegaram purporting to exercise his Freedom of Speech on an issue of public interest!

  22. #22 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 10:15 am

    On YB Kit’s remarks “Najib must give this disturbing trend his personal attention if Malaysia is not to be the frequent focus of adverse international attention and be a loser in the international competition for talents. Is Malaysia’s plural society under Najib’s 1Malaysia moving towards greater openness, tolerance and liberalism or retreating into the shell of greater intolerance, bigotry and extremism?”

    The question is whether Najib or any PM is still in control on these matrters.

    As noted, PM’s first reaction on Kartika’s case was to urge her to appeal against the sentence. Yet her sentence was confirmed and proceeds after her Royal audience.

    Even in case of Strongman TDM’s time.

    When the three girls were arrested (under Dr Mahathir’s tenure) for taking part in the beauty pageant, Dr Mahathir disagreed publicly that the girls should not have been arrested but the Jabatan Agama who arrested them had the legal right. The law is the law. Dr Mahathir had no choice but let the religious law run its course.

    Look at MCA it opposes officially the caning of the women and when Gunasegaram, the editor of The Star (newspaper ultimately owned by MCA via Huaren Holdings Sdn Bhd ) came under attack for expressing the same stand of MCA (The Star’s ultimate boss) they quickly issued public apology on 24th Feb and withdrew Gunasegaram’s comment “Persuasion, not compulsion” !

    Maybe its true that Malaysia’s plural society under Najib’s 1Malaysia is treated as second to Malaysia being an Islamic State first (whatever the Federal Constitution and what lord President Salleh Abas & 4 other Federal Court Judges said about its secular character in Che Omar’s case of 1988, not yet reversed!)

    If one does not like it, one can like Malaysian consulate driver -Mohd Shah Saemin- protest with feet and take up Australian Citizenship, and take whatever good (civil liberties) or bad (road rage) of it.

    It may be appropriate to remind ourselves of article 19 of 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights – “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receiveand impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

    Unfortunately I don’t believe Malaysia has yet ratified and accepted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that embodies this fundamental civil and political right.

  23. #23 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 10:22 am

    Frankly I find these stuff so out of point. What Malaysian want to see is public canning of corrupted politicians before they see any of these women canned..I don’t see all these so called Islamist calling for that???

  24. #24 by asmehane on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 12:40 pm

    Bro LKS,

    U miss yr point, guna exceed his right. He and u dont have the right to comment other people belief. I 4 1 wont interfere the other people religion, maybe LKS didnt read the PERLEMBAGAAN NEGARA, which clearly state that the religion of Islam is under the jurisdiction of the Rulers except Penang, Melaka, Sarawak and Sabah that come under YDA. U dont have to poke fun or disgraded other people belief, let them belief in their faith. Guna said alot of malay muslim women migrate to other countries pls present the figure….. ??????

    Bro LKS,

    U like create scene just to divert people attraction from LGE issue and the problem you ara having with Keadilan MPs. U are playing wayang kulit la.

  25. #25 by good coolie on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 1:37 pm

    Non-Muslims are also involved in this matter of caning of Muslims for drinking. We are concerned at what is happening to our Muslim brothers and sisters, and, also, as to what is happening to the constitutional safeguards against caning of women.

  26. #26 by good coolie on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 1:40 pm

    corrigendum: …”as to what is happening”

  27. #27 by lopez on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 10:44 pm

    When one side is in more numbers than the other it is already a win, but when the winning party use law to celebrate the win ……it becomes an overact .. it evolves to an act of BULLYING…the marginalized …..sorry lah….it has becomes bolihland ways.

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