Sedition rampage continues but Zahid has not honoured his oath that police will commence investigations “within 24 hours” on any sedition report as 120 hours have passed but still no police investigations against Najib and Mahathir
Another university lecturer is the latest victim in the lengthening list of the sedition crackdown intensified by the Najib government in the fortnight before the 57th Merdeka Day celebrations – Dr. Abdul Aziz Bari of the Universiti Selangor, who will be investigated by the police tomorrow under the Sedition Act after almost 100 reports were lodged against him for allegedly insulting the Sultan of Selangor for his views on the Selangor Mentri Besar constitutional crisis.
The sedition rampage continues, as hardly a day passes in the past month without someone being investigated or charged for sedition as if Malaysians have suddenly become the most “seditious” and anti-nationhal people in the world.
However, the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi has not honoured his oath that police will commence investigations “within 24 hours” on any sedition report as 120 hours have passed but still no police investigations had been commenced against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir.
The DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng lodged police reports 120 hours ago last Wednesday against Najib and Mahathir respectively for having committed the sedition offence, but police investigations on both of them had not commenced although Mahathir had given the police a blank cheque to arrest him if he had broken the law.
Mahathir had jumped the gun, for the question is not whether the police dared to arrest him if he had broken the law, but whether the police even dared to commence investigations and to require the former Prime Minister to give a statement as part of the police investigations. This applies to the Prime Minister as well.
Can Zahid or the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar enlighten the public as to whether the police had approached Mahathir or Najib to take a statement from them as a result of Lip Eng’s police report on sedition, and if so, when?
I am not suggesting that Mahathir or Najib should serve jail-time for their sedition offences, but such double standards serve to highlight the selective and malicious police investigation as well as selective and malicious prosecution by the Attorney-General in the gross abuse and misuse of the Sedition Act to stifle freedom of expression and legitimate criticism and dissent whether by Pakatan Rakyat MPs or State Assemblymen, social activists, academicians, journalist or student leaders.
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Najib reminded them of his speech four years ago in September 2010 when he stood before them and called for a global movement of the moderates to counter extremism.
It is a pity that in his third speech to the UN General Assembly, Najib had not dwelt on the failure of the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) which from the 65th UN General Assembly, he took to other prestigious platforms including the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, the East-West Centre, the Asia-Europe Meetings and the ASEAN Summit to develop the concept.
The rise of the black-shirted Islamic State (ISIS) militants, who, in a few months of indiscriminate horror have committed appalling atrocities against civilians and minority communities of every faith and ethnic group, including kidnap, beheadings, rape and torture, is a powerful testimony of the failure of GMM.
The GMM should be in forefront of an international campaign to mobilise world opinion against the ISIS terrorists, as Najib had called on “moderates of all countries, of all religions, to take back the centre, to reclaim the agenda for peace and pragmatism, and to marginalize the extremists”.
But the GMM cannot play any role to mobilise national and international opinion against the menace to international peace, harmony and understanding posed by the rise of violent extremism and religious intolerance in Syria and Iraq when GMM is busily fighting for its survival in its own country, warding off attacks by the extremist and intolerant forces in the country!
The sedition dragnet intensified in the past six weeks is a microcosm of the larger battle between moderation and extremism being waged world-wide.
Najib should realise that moderation cannot win the battle against extremism in the international arena unless moderation is instituted as a national policy by Malaysia and all other countries, with the common objective to marginalise extremism
Just as Islam is not under siege internationally, it is not under siege in Malaysia, and those who use the name of Islam to justify extremist and intolerant outbursts and actions must be contained, not only internationally but also nationally.
If Najib’s Global Movement of Moderates is not to end up like Tun Abdullah Badawi’s “Islam Hadhari” initiative, he should immediately align his domestic policies with his international pronouncements on moderation and marginalising extremism; end the “white terror” spree in the past six weeks, drop all sedition charges and investigations; and empower the GMM to place on top of its agenda a national and international campaign to campaign to promote moderation and reject all forms of violence and extremism in the face of the global threat posed by Islamic State (ISIS).