When silence implies consent | Selangor Times
Monday
26·06·2017
Issue 118

 

Selangor
When silence implies consent
Writer: Azmi Sharom
Published: Fri, 03 Feb 2012

On Jan 21, a mob of supposedly Umno supporters attacked a forum organised by Hindraf and the group calling itself ABU (Anything But Umno). From the videos posted online, it is clear that this was an unprovoked attack.

Unless you take the police line which said that the forum was organised in a Malay area and therefore such an attack was to be expected. An odd logic since many of the organisers and speakers were Malay.

Be that as it may, there are also accusations that the police did not act in an impartial way and did not do enough to stop those who instigated this attack. Well, if this is true, it does not come as much of a surprise.

Any group which gathers and is seen to be in favour of Umno (I would say the BN but I can’t think of any examples of a BN mob), seems to be treated with kid gloves.

A few weeks ago a group of rotund men made a video where they threatened to commit battery on a university student for daring to take down a flag of their dear leader Datuk Seri Najib Razak. As far as I know, no action was taken against them.

Now, I wonder if these kinds of thuggish behaviour will actually turn people against the BN. For those who are directly involved, it most certainly will. But for those who were not at these places and did not get hurt by these thugs, I really do wonder.

After all, the BN is busy right now spreading goodies all over the place. They promise that they are going to fix Tamil schools, build houses for the Orang Asli and there’s cash being handed out left, right and centre (unfortunately, not in my direction).

So does the electorate care that in this country, mob behaviour is practically condoned? Should they care?

Of course I can write on about justice, rule of law and might not being right. But as much as I believe in these ideals, the Malaysian mind being what it is, a more pragmatic approach is required. What then are the pragmatic consequences that spring from having a government that is not willing to come out and condemn such behaviour?

The most obvious concern would be the hindrance to free speech and expression. Free speech and expression, as the government is so fond of saying, does not include violent behaviour. How correct they are. Threatening and hurting another person cannot be seen as a legitimate form of expression.

If a group of morons on motorbikes can storm a hall and get away scot free, then naturally people will be afraid to express themselves, or to even come and listen to others expressing themselves.

Without open and free expression, then a country can be run into the ground by the corrupt and inept without the people knowing about it. In other words, if we want to be successful and prosperous, we need to have free speech. We need differing opinions so that we can be informed and act accordingly.

The second pragmatic concern is that if our law enforcement agencies are not going to clamp down on such behaviour, then really, what are they there for? Their motto is currently “firm, fair and prudent”. Firm with whom, fair to whom and prudent in what is the question to be asked? Any gathering organised by people not from or sympathetic to the ruling party will get the police knickers in a collective twist because they are always spouting on and on about public safety.

Well then, I would have thought that when public safety was actually threatened they would jump at the chance to show off their prowess. It does not look like it. However at the time of writing a man has been brought in for questioning by our boys in blue, so I am hoping they will prove me wrong.

The final concern is simply this, if a leadership is not willing to say outright that mob violence is wrong, even when that mob seems to be supporting their agenda, then it means that this is a government for whom the ends justifies the means.

This means that we the people cannot be safe for they are leading not with any principle but by pure pragmatism and when that happens, anything can happen.

 

 Selangor Times

 

 

Also by Azmi Sharom:

Ethics, morals needed more than ever

SOMETIMES reading the news makes one rush to the bathroom for a long hot shower. 

 

We live in warped logic

DON’T get it. I just don’t get it.

Greater professionalism in police

Peaceful is as peaceful does

1AI was sitting in Merdeka Stadium on Saturday with a couple of friends, watching the venerable old lady of independence fill up with people, I playfully wondered if  photographers from the mainstream media had been there earlier to take a photo of an empty stadium to be used as “evidence” that no one turned up.

Rotating parties for better governance

IN my last article I wrote about the importance of changing the system of local government that we have. By that I meant we should reintroduce local government elections as well as overhaul the Local Government Act in order to ensure a more transparent and accountable local authority.

Importance of local government elections

THE Batu Caves condominium project has raised some interesting talking points. The most obvious of these, the one taken up by the many comments I have read on the internet, is the sheer bald faced cheek of the BN government.

Can bully boy tactics win?

Oh what a glorious night! Twenty-three years of humiliation, with nothing but self-deprecating humour to comfort oneself, finally laid to rest on that one glorious night.

New wine, old wineskin

It is telling that during the Suhakam inquiry into the Bersih 3.0 rally a police officer revealed when questioned that he did not know that the right to assemble was constitutionally guaranteed for the people of this country.

Really, you can’t make it up

Rais Yatim should be given a present from people like myself who write current affairs articles. 

Scripts for Tinseltown

Hollywood, having run out of ideas, has turned to Malaysia for inspiration. Below are two potential blockbuster movies which draw their plots from the pages of Malaysia’s newspapers.

And so it begins...

The scare tactics that are so beloved by the ruling coalition. We have seen it before of course. Like an evil babysitter, the BN has constantly thrilled at telling horror stories to keep us in our place.

Only the uncaring will not care

If the government is not quaking in their boots after last weekend, then they must be in total denial.

Informed, not phony, reasons work better

There have been two consistent arguments used by the Barisan to persuade the electorate to vote for them. The first and more popular claim is that we should vote for them because they have experience.

Nation of idiots in the making

We are on the brink of becoming a nation of idiots.

Hope Springs eternal

THIS year, the most amazing political event to have occurred in the world could very arguably be the Arab Spring. Popular uprisings all over the Middle East have seen dictatorships fall like ten-pins in the centre of of a camel race. The process continues still.

 

Lack of respect for the Constitution

It’s quite apt that it was during a mass circumcision ceremony that Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz made his announcement that Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 is going to be removed. We, the people of Malaysia, just like the poor little nippers at that ceremony, are going to be rid of something.

 

 

VIEWS

 

 

MEDIA

 

 

 

TECHNOLOGY

From Windows to a Mac: A guide

 

 

FOOD

In for a sweet treat

 

 

TRAVEL

A Majestic presence

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Selangor Times. All rights reserved. Designed By Senedi
Twitter