Is reasoning with Najib and UMNO/BN government about iniquities and injustices of Sedition Act a dialogue with the deaf?
Rank and blatant injustices seem to have become the order of the day in Malaysia – five years after Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s premiership.
The latest example is the police arrest of a protestor who held a slipper against a poster of Najib during a protest outside Parliament last Wednesday.
In fact, nobody knew about the incident until the photograph of the man placing his slipper against the Prime Minister’s poster was circulated online by UMNO/BN cybertroopers.
What the protestor did was wrong but all over the country today, Malaysians are asking what type of justice we have in the country when a person could be arrested for being photographed holding a slipper against a poster of the Prime Minister during a protest against fuel subsidy cuts and the goods and services tax (GST) when the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri can tell Parliament that Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali would not be charged over his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible as Ibrahim Ali was defending the sanctity of Islam!
What is worse, Nancy compounded her lack of understanding and insensitivity of the gross injustice of her parliamentary statement with the subsequent clarification that Ibrahim Ali’s action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution!
If Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn the Malay-language Bible is allegedly protected by Article 11(4) of the Constitution, is the protestor photographed holding a slipper against a poster of the Prime Minister protected by Article 10 (1) on freedom of expression?
The arrest of the protestor and the immunity of Ibrahim Ali have further highlighted the rank and blatant defects and abuses in the administration of justice in the country, at a time when the Najib premiership is shocking the nation and the world with a “white terror” regime unleashed by a blitz of selective and malicious sedition prosecutions against Pakatan Rakyat leaders, activists and intellectuals.
Malaysians must wonder whether they are engaged in a dialogue with the deaf when they try to reason with the Umno/BN authorities against the “white terror” sedition blitzkrieg when there are UMNO/BN MPs who could even propose that sedition suspects should be treated as guilty until proven innocent or brag about the “fair trial” for sedition in Malaysia when “in China or during Japanese occupation, those found guilty of sedition are shot dead”.
I have no doubt that if there is an independent and impartial exercise of prosecution powers instead of selective and malicious prosecutions on sedition, Utusan Malaysia would dominate court time and space and head the list of sedition charges and trials in Malaysian courts.
In such a situation, are these UMNO/BN MPs still in favour of treating sedition suspects as guilty until proven innocent or to be “shot dead” when found guilty of sedition?
If reasoning with the Prime Minister, the Attorney-General and Cabinet Ministers about the iniquities and injustices of the recent sedition dragnet is a dialogue with the deaf, then the Malaysian Bar’s “Walk For Peace and Freedom against the Sediton Act” tomorrow is not only historic and memorable but most appropriate and timely.
It is indeed shocking that the Minister for Information, Communications and Multimedia Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek could be so complacent about Malaysia’s poor Press Freedom Index (PFI) ranking by Reporters Without Borders, placed No. 147 out of 180 countries, when he should have spoken up in Cabinet that Malaysia’s press freedom index ranking could worsen if the government continues with its “white terror” sedition blitzkrieg against the media and academicians in trying to stifle legitimate criticism and dissent.
The tragedy in Malaysia today is that although no Cabinet Minister would defend the sedition “white terror” blitzkrieg in private, no Minister would dare to speak up in Cabinet and government to call for a halt for such a travesty of justice and trampling of democracy.
Even the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idrisz Jala who had twittered his opposition to the sedition charge against Prof Dr. Azmi Sharom was not prepared to take a stand against the sedition blitzkrieg against Azmi and others in Cabinet.
Is Najib the mastermind behind the sedition blitzkrieg, or is the Prime Minister no more in full control of his government, with an Attorney-General who is marching to the beat of a different drummer heading in the opposite direction of Malaysia as the world’s best democracy as pledged by Najib?
Is this why even Najib’s own initiative, the Global Movement of Moderates, is coming under attack and close to be regarded as a seditious organisation with increasing calls from extremist groups and individuals for the head of the GMM Chief Executive, former Higher Education Deputy Minister, Datuk Saiffuddin Abdullah?
If Najib cannot even protect his own brainchild, the GMM, and speak up to stop the extremist demands against the GMM Chief Executive, what is the worth of Najib’s pledges about wasatiyyah (moderation) and Malaysia as the world’s best democracy?