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Baru: No double standards, Umno Youth broke the law

 | July 14, 2016

Judging by the standards set by Umno Youth and accepted by the leaders, the Orang Asal, Indians and Chinese can take similar action if they feel “insulted”, says Sarawak Opposition Chief Baru Bian.

baru bian

KUCHING: Sarawak Opposition Chief Baru Bian has taken to task Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob for supporting Tuesday’s protest at the DAP headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the minister had made a “deplorable attempt at justifying the violent behaviour” of the Umno Youth and their supporters in red shirts.

He said it would follow that the Orang Asal, Indians and Chinese could behave in a similar manner if they felt insulted.

“Not that they would, but if they did, the chances are that they would be arrested.

“We cannot blame the Umno Youth members as they are tasked to defend the integrity and dignity of the Malays who were insulted,” Ismail Sobri was reported to have said.

Baru, who is a senior lawyer in private practice and Ba’Kelalan assemblyman, said the actions of the Umno Youth went beyond their right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

“The violence displayed by them was a breach of the law and must be dealt with by the law.”

The law must be applied to all, irrespective of race or religion, he cautioned.

“The leaders of this country must learn to be colour blind and to be more judicious in the statements they make.”

Acts of violence must be condemned, and not defended, justified and excused, he added.

Baru said social activist Marina Mahathir was spot on when she said that the failure of the political leaders to take action against Muslim Ulama and Muslim groups found to insult others had caused extremism and the Islamic State mentality in Malaysia.

“This case (last Tuesday) is no different.

“The loutish behavior of Umno Youth is encouraged by the leaders of this country, when they make excuses for their inexcusable and even criminal actions.”

Baru said Ismail Sabri was condoning the thuggery and hooliganism of Umno Youth members and supporters. Even if he felt insulted, he said, “as a minister and a leader, he is expected to rise above this simplistic thinking”.

“Violence of the kind displayed by the youths is unacceptable, no matter what provoked it.

“We would expect him to condemn the behaviour of these youths and advise them to leave the alleged insult to be dealt with by the authorities”.

By defending them, Baru lamented, he was only serving to legitimise and fortify their misguided sense of superiority.

Baru also wondered who tasked the youths to defend the integrity and dignity of the Malays and the ambit for this so-called task.

They are but the youth wing of a political party and they do not represent the whole Malay community, Baru said.

“(Constitutional law expert) Aziz Bari said he was sure that the many moderate Muslims in this country were horrified by their actions.

“The minister’s statement will be taken by these thugs to be a pat on the back for them and vindication of their actions.

“What might they do next time when they feel their dignity and pride have been insulted?

“They may be emboldened to be even more violent.”



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