Govt strangely silent on Perkasa’s racist threats

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Free Malaysia Today
June 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang wants to know why the Najib administration is so silent on the racist threats made by extremist Malay group Perkasa and bloggers.

The Ipoh Timur MP said the government has so far been silent on the groups’ May 13 threat against a planned mass rally calling for free and fair elections by Bersih despite the seditious nature of such a warning.

“If such incendiary, blood-curdling threats had been uttered by anyone in Pakatan Rakyat, he or she would have been clapped in jail without much ado,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby here.

Perkasa chief, Ibrahim Ali, who has declared himself to be a “war general” leading a counter rally against Bersih on Sunday, said his outfit should not be held responsible for any untoward incidents should the poll reform group continue with its protest on July 9.

He also warned the Chinese against joining the rally, asking them to stay home and “stock up on food” in reference to the Emergency period imposed during the racial riots of 1969 that left scores dead.

“Imagine if chaos erupts. If the Bersih rally is not cancelled… I believe the Chinese community will have to stock up on food,” Ibrahim was quoted as saying.

The same sentiment was expressed by bloggers. One of them, who calls himself “panglima perang cyber” or “cyber war general” sent out e-mails of the warning with an attached video found on of the gory May 1998 racial riots in Indonesia that caused the deaths of hundreds of Chinese.

“Are the Chinese in Malaysia willing to accept the same fate as their brethren in Indonesia if our country goes into chaos?” said the blogger in an e-mail thread posted today.

Lim demanded to know why these groups enjoy “immunity” for “such seditious, incendiary and treasonous utterances”.

“Two days have passed without any action or response from the police or the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein although they are capable of lightning-speed reaction when alleged infractions of the law are committed by Pakatan leaders”.

He said what was worrying was not Ibrahim as he is irrelevant and “a clown” but the silence of the government.

The Election Commission said it would consider meeting Bersih representatives for a dialogue on poll reform if the outfit cancels its planned rally.

While Bersih has not responded to the gesture, Lim called on leaders from the ruling coalition to join in the rally “to support the civil society initiative for free and fair elections”.

The rally is dubbed as Bersih 2.0. The planned rally is a second attempt at such protest and is expected to gather around 300,000 people. The first was held in October 2007, with some 50,000 flooding the city streets.

Umno Youth will also be holding its own counter-rally on the same day despite warning by its former chief Hishammuddin that similar action will be taken against them should they continue with their rally which has been deemed illegal.

  1. #1 by HJ Angus on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 11:19 pm

    This is the most significant indicator yet that the government is in FAILURE mode.
    The rule of law and order has been replaced with the bullying stance.
    It is time ALL Malaysians realise that we NEED to change this government for the futue of our children.

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 11:31 pm

    The Govt should not keep silent. For the rest of us it is Ok to express disgust or ridicule at what Perkasa’s chief says. But to go one step further and to call for his arrest on the charge of sedition? This has now spread to even members of the ruling establishment – eg Khairy Jamaluddin & lately, State Gerakan chief Dr Teng Hock Nan (see Malaysiakini). Is such a call necessary?

    It should be highlighted that PR’s defacto chief (Anwar) is on record for saying that he does not support calls for sedition laws or the Internal Security Act to be used against Ibrahim Ali (in that instance it was about calling jihad against Christians, who were accused of trying to undermine Islam’s position in Malaysia). “As a matter of principle, I don’t support ISA or the Sedition Act and therefore I do not condone the use of these (laws), even as a temporary measure”.

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 11:33 pm

    PR’s defacto leader (Anwar)’s position –against invoking sedition law against Ibrahim Ali- makes certain sense (from a certain angle). Now if one takes a libertarian position of opposing the very existence of Sedition law itself how can one, with internal consistency, urge its application against someone that one dislikes, by the same breath, also dismissive of the intellectual substance of what he said? For one thing if it lacks intellectual substance, then it ought to also lack the requisite credbility to influence & incite in manner disruptive of the peace – unless of course one were to equally patronise the audience by arguing the view that the audience are likely emotional, lacking maturity and intellect and therefore get easily incited by what he said.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 11:37 pm

    The other point is the extremity of Ibrahim Ali’s remarks set a new and very high standard/threshold for sedition to be activated. If his remarks are not prosecutable now, then rightly very few people’s remarks after him ought, as a matter of legal precedence, be prosecutable for sedition.

    Why our de facto law minister already told Malaysiakini that it would be unfair to take action against Ibrahim as he was only one of many people uttering seditious comments of late, and uttering this kind of ‘seditious’ statements has become a norm! If it’s really a norm that even the defacto law minister confirms, then sedition is or ought not to be anymore so easily legally prosecutable – as one does not procecute a norm amongst people- and thanks to Ibrahim Ali, he has achieved by way of unintended consequence what many other defenders of freedom of speech have failed to do – to render the Sedition Act irrelevant.

    In fact the more he attacks Bersih the more he helps publicise it to general populace in which more would get provoked to join the march.

  5. #5 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 11:42 pm

    Let us begin the party!It’s getting interesting and’s better to have it than nothing else materialized since independant day from British day.Katak,come hopping on the street and see how many hops you can trust forward!Yo Man!Yo Yo!

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 11:53 pm

    For past 30 years Malaysians are prohibited (at the pain of punishment for sedition) to utter seditious statements in the interest of racial harmony. But has racial harmony been promoted by self censorship in last 30 years? Now if uttering ‘seditious’ statements were a norm as what Nazri said – and we hold his word to it – it may signal a new order where people learn to be more tolerant of the other’s racist remarks that lead to them being insignificant and not a threat to collective peace or harmony. There are ultimately two approaches to this question: either clamp down anyone who makes racist / ‘seditious’ remarks (without favour & bias) or tolerate seditious remarks from anyone, and everyone learns to be less prickly or sensitive to what he says. If the first cannot be done, then let it be the second! After all the sedition law is inimical to the onward march of civilised thinking that stresses on tolerance. ‘Tolerence’ is not easy to cultivate and certainly difficult to prove if it were not tested against provocative and extreme remarks proscribed by sedition laws.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 4:03 am

    Conscience of majority Malaysians want PR to govern.
    It has reached a stage…Najib knows that his days are numbered and like a wounded tiger..he has wild ideas how to stay in power.
    Malaysians are getting sick of the nonstop provocations ad insults….but these crooked shameless politicians will not allow a fair and just election for sure.
    Yes…the signs are so clear.
    These corrupted rouges and thieves are trying very hard to make Malaysia upside down and fanning for racial clashes.
    But this time….Malaysians are not easily provoked or fall int their traps… 1969.
    It will be freedom with no violence like India….although Najib’s Donkey Kong wants a fight between Malays…it will not happen.

  8. #8 by monsterball on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 4:14 am

    When thousands of innocent Malaysian lives are at threatened s for no reasons…you can be sure vast majority Military and Police officers will not take sides.
    The selected police commanders loyal to Najib….will have to focus to save lives and not play politics anymore.
    Malaysians are getting much smarter than 1969.
    Dirty politics can go on…as long as innocent Malaysians are protected at all cost.
    PR and especially Anwar have his supporters under his strict control not to resort to violence.
    It takes 2 to clap a hand and Najib will find the hands of PR politicians will not fall into his low class traps.

  9. #9 by Winston on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 6:38 am

    To say things that stir up racial trouble is seditious.
    It’s an offence, no matter who did it.
    And also, whether the person who uttered these words is credible or otherwise does not come into play.
    The fact is that there will always greater fools than the person uttering those words who will believe him.
    And based on such believe, such fools may act on them and cause harm to others.
    And that is the CRUX of the problem.

  10. #10 by Comrade on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 8:01 am

    Ibrahim Ali is just an actor
    Umno having the clown protected
    The real problem is the protector
    Come GE13, ensure BN is defeated
    The winner PR will implement 1M better
    Where seditious crooks will be prosecuted

  11. #11 by Comrade on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 8:24 am

    I missed out two lines in my posting #10

    Ibrahim Ali is just an actor
    Umno having the clown protected
    The real problem is the protector
    Come GE13, ensure BN is defeated

    The winner PR will implement 1M better
    Where seditious crooks will be prosecuted
    Where good governance is the crux of the matter
    Where the CAT formula will be implemented

  12. #12 by wanderer on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 8:44 am

    MIC lost its power of speech
    MCA missing in action
    UMNO lost its jingle bells!!!
    Mad dogs, mad cows and mad false peeled dick men
    roaming in our streets, attacking anything that moves…..

  13. #13 by Antitheist on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 9:22 am

    It’s pretty obvious if you ask me. Najib & Co are quiet because they love what’s happening. If July 9th turns nasty, then abracadbra…. State of emergency… No need for GE…. Lock up opposition…. ETC….

  14. #14 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 9:48 am

    No no, more likely emergency (using Bersih as excuse) is a greater threat to Najib, being used as a ploy by the ambitious to usher and displace him from the seat of control and open up the succession path.

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