from: Ravinder Singh, via email
All peace loving Malaysians would agree with communications and multimedia minister Salleh Said Keruak that speech must be controlled to avoid bloodshed.
This is not a new philosophy or a 21st century discovery for keeping the peace especially in a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural country like Malaysia.
The framers of the Penal Code, the roots which I believe go back more than a hundred years, had seen this necessity and made it an offence to say things in writing or verbally that would wound the religious feelings of any person or cause disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or of prejudicing, etc. the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.
But how is it that certain people in red shirts, and some at institutions of learning, including the government’s own Biro Tata Negara, have licence to speak with impunity about the very things prohibited by the Penal Code, if not also by the Sedition Act and other laws?
It has been “open season” for hurting the feelings of the multi-racial population, with increased intensity to the point that a Mufti has declared certain people to be “kafir harbi”. This term describes those whose blood may be spilled in the “defence of religion”.
The IGP has said he had kept his silence as it was the fasting month. He has now told Malaysians that the Mufti’s remark will be looked into. What action the police will take will show the truth or otherwise of Salleh Said Keruak’s assertion.
Sallek Keruak, please show us the proof of what you said in this Mufti’s case.
Ravinder Singh is an FMT reader
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