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‘Slap’ incident being blown out of proportion

May 19, 2017

We are witnessing too many 'bizarre antics' arising from the incident when Sulaiman Yassin slapped David Teo right in front of our PM.

COMMENT

david-teo_serang

By TK Chua

I believe all must show decorum when we are in a meeting or forum. There must be mutual respect among participants, speakers, VIPs and organisers.

I am not sure if David Teo acted rudely or not. If he was not, why was he attacked at the meeting? If he was rude, did he deserve a slap from another participant?

In any meeting, I am sure there are protocols to handle difficult participants, more so if a VIP is hosting the event or is the main speaker.

I am sure there are security personnel on standby ready to take appropriate action when dicey situations arise. Usually, troublemakers will be escorted out of the meeting in an orderly manner.

If Teo was indeed rude and disruptive, why was he not handled by security personnel and escorted out of the hall?

Since when did it become the job of Sulaiman Yassin, another participant in the meeting, to maintain order in the hall, even if he may be a keen supporter of our PM? There was really no justification for Sulaiman to attack Teo. By doing that, he was in fact showing little respect to our PM.

Now several NGOs have come forward to demand Teo apologise for the ruckus. Are these NGOs acting on behalf of any party directly involved in that incident? To whom do they want Teo to apologise to and for what purpose?

Since when can an NGO appoint itself as an arbiter in any dispute or conflict? Since when do these NGOs know for sure who is right and who is wrong?

More and more bizarre antics are being witnessed. Now another person has come up with the allegation that Teo was paid to disrupt the meeting. This is indeed a serious accusation directed not just at Teo but also at the party(s) allegedly behind the funding.

Does this person have any evidence to make such a grave allegation? If he has the evidence, he must show it now. If he doesn’t, this would amount to bullying or deliberately causing hatred among the people.

I think our country deserves better. It is totally unbecoming for a small incident like this to escalate into a big issue.

I do not know Teo personally. I do not know his motive or the manner in which he talks. If he has offended the PM or disrupted the meeting, I think he has been “punished” (slapped) enough. He has also apologised to the PM and to Sulaiman (at least this is what I have gathered from news reports).

I think the police have rightly made the report on the incident. It is best we leave it to the professionals. They are in a much better position to decide whether there was a grave provocation which caused the “slap” to take place. The police will know how to deal with people resorting to physical force to settle disputes.

Some people said the PM should have acted quickly to deescalate the issue. To be fair, I disagree. At the spur of moment, it is difficult for anyone to react correctly under such circumstances.

Similarly, NGOs and private individuals, be they politicians or activists, have no expertise or knowledge to decide on who was right and who was wrong.

Please let the police handle the case.

We talk about unity and harmony every day. We talk about decorum and mutual respect. I think Malaysia is being torn apart by some very evil people.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

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