No action again and again …

2 April 2013
R. Nadeswaran
The Sun Daily

THE images on television were horrific. Smoke billowing from the embers in a village in Myanmar and a mob burning down a branch of the iconic Fashion Bug chain in Sri Lanka. These are the results of religious bigotry. Groups calling themselves “religious” have succeeded in manipulating and contradicting the tenets in every religion – moderation and non-violence.

Common sense should remind us that fanatical organisations and individuals have no place in society and religion, when used as a tool for political expedience, the results could be persuasive. In Sri Lanka, Buddhist monks are leading right-wing groups against the Muslims while in Myanmar, a group called 969 is leading the onslaught against the Rohingyas.

Islamophobia and any other forms of religious chauvinism and extremism have no place in modern society. Fortunately for right-thinking Malaysians, we can confidently affirm that acceptance and understanding of each other’s religion has been a major factor in bringing about a strife-free country.

But occasionally, a handful break that confidence by making utterances that are totally deplorable, unacceptable and above all nauseating.

When a lone voice makes such remarks, the general tendency is to dismiss the person as a voice in the wilderness and take the stand that “let barking dogs lie”. But when more bigots champion the same cause, it is time to sit up and question them.

With the hustings around the corner, race and religion have become two more weapons in the armoury of self-centred politicians, cronies and supporters.
When race and religion combine with politics, it could be a potent mix. Hence, when some try to score brownie points by belittling religions, it tends to upset the majority.

Rabble-rousers have no place in our society; especially those who choose to eschew the norms of society like respect for values, reverence for religion and good moral principles. When the long arm of the law which is supported by legislation fails to address the issue by taking these guilty parties to task, it encourages not only others to follow suit but breeds yet another generation whose hearts are filled with hatred and contempt.

Over the weekend, I watched a video clip of a politician making wretched remarks about religion and religious beliefs. It was not met with anger but with disdain watching a supposedly man of religion with a skullcap and clothes to boot making such disparaging remarks. It is not his God-given right to make such derogatory remarks and add insult to injury; he seemed to be making a joke out of religion.

Some have rallied behind him saying that it was made years ago, but when it was made is not the essence of the issue. The fact that he made those remarks remains indisputable. Why are these extremist views becoming a common feature?

The answer lies in not acting against them. There seems to be no deterrent and everyone is of the opinion that if you are affiliated to the ruling party, you can get away with it.

We have in the past heard of people asking to burn religious books and ridiculing those who head to Batu Caves. And yet, no one has lifted a finger to question their actions and motives. This yet again encourage more to become chauvinists.

There’s no place for religious bigotry in our multi-religious society. A healthy “my religion is better than yours” debate among matured adults in a confined area may be acceptable, but when tensions are running high, it has no place in the public domain.

If the authorities fail to act, then again the deep-rooted suspicion of selective prosecution will lend credence to itself.

IT looks as if that the Election Commission has taken a stand that it need not address issues of concern raised in the media. It has been more than a week since several issues of importance were raised in this column. They affect the credibility of the commission.

Answers would have assured the public that the commission is indeed independent and that it responds to complaints of irregularities in the rolls.

Unfortunately, the commission does not think on the same lines. It has taken the stand that it is not obliged to address issues raised by citizens encouraged by a recent court ruling that “it is not answerable to anyone”.

Public perception of the commission is at a very low ebb. If it continues to act high and mighty, it is inevitable that its reputation and credibility will hit rock bottom. But does anyone care?

  1. #1 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 - 9:00 am

    Oh come on Nades. Get to the point quickly will ya. Just say, get rid of ibrahim, hasan and gang in GE13!

    Hows dat ppl?

  2. #2 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 - 10:03 am

    no action again and again because umno=ag=macc=police=army=bank=samseng….

  3. #3 by Taxidriver on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 - 8:04 pm

    I don’t really care about all the insults by UMNO or Pekasa. They can call me pendatang or descendant of prostitutes, I leave the matter to God to seek justice on my behalf. I will just do my my bit for my fellow citizens who, like me, want to save the country from becoming bankrupt. I will just vote for ABU. All racial slurs and religious insults will then disappear together with all the racists. To my Malay, Chinese, Indians, Kadazan, Dayak, Dusun ……. brothers, Unite to seek a better future. Ini Kali Lah!

  4. #4 by chengho on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 - 10:29 pm

    Lain Kali , unless u want Kalimullah

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