By Ravinder Singh
The fruits are ripening and the harvest has started. If the fruits are bad, don’t blame those who had no control over the farms or orchards.
Those who must bear the blame for producing a bad harvest are the farmers.
They had the means to ensure that the seedlings planted were good, to ensure they had the proper nourishment, to ensure the seedlings were not covered up by weeds, to ensure that pests were kept at bay, to ensure no poison was introduced into the farms in the guise of fertilisers.
Now, as the Malay saying goes, “bila nasi dah jadi bubur”, what is the use of crying over spilt milk?
Social activist Marina Mahathir is lamenting that the failure of political leaders in not taking action against Muslim ulama and Muslim groups found to insult others has caused extremism and the Islamic State mentality in Malaysia.
She has not explained why the ulama and Muslim groups (and I should add Muslim individuals, too) started insulting others in the first place. They were not born with any poison in their minds or hearts against others.
Poison must have, and did, get into their hearts and minds first before they started insulting others.
The question that begs an answer is how did this poison get into the hearts and minds of these ulama and Muslim groups and individuals in the first place?
How much of the poison got in directly through formal teaching and how much through informal teaching?
It is public knowledge what the Biro Tata Negara had been teaching. Recently, a university was found to have been teaching derogatory things about other cultures and religions. A university professor has been relentlessly and prolifically writing vitriol about others.
What has been happening in the mainstream schools, with teachers and head-teachers disparaging the non-Muslims students to the extent of sending them into a washroom to have their recess time meals, out of sight of the fasting Muslim students?
What education is this to the Muslim students about the non-Muslims?
What about the recent rise of the cries defending the feigned “sensitivities” of the Muslims to this and that. These “sensitivities” had not existed before.
The authorities are always quick to downplay these incidents and announce they have been “amicably” settled.
At a seminar on national unity last year, I had asked minister Idris Jala, a panel speaker, why racist teachers in schools were not sacked. His quick, nonchalant reply was that the government does not sack its employees.
That’s giving face and encouragement. That’s telling the bigots that you can go on and the government will defend you. That’s letting the fire burn. Is it for fear of losing their votes?
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has confirmed that the June 28 hand grenade attack in Puchong, Selangor, was an act of terrorism.
But if multipronged action is not taken, the terrorists will keep appearing wave after wave, day after day.
Of course, the immediate thing is for the police to try and flush out the terrorists before they cause more harm and deaths.
Long-term plans must also be activated immediately if there is sincerity in tackling the terrorist menace. All racist teaching in institutions of learning must end. Shut down the BTN.
Teachers in all institutions of learning and religious teachers found to be racists and poisoning the minds of children, directly or indirectly, should be charged and sacked.
Religious leaders who incite racial strife should also be charged and sacked.
If the IGP is serious about maintaining peace and harmony and puts this as top priority, then he should demonstrate this with the firmest action against the mufti of Pahang for his kafir harbi remarks. No excuses, please.
He can be the highest religious officer in the state, but the edict he pronounced is a signal to bigots and low-lying terrorists to become bold. I wonder if it is mere co-incidence that the first officially acknowledged terrorist attack came just a few days after this mufti’s edict.
If the authorities “tak sampai hati” (are not willing) to take the firmest actions, acts of terrorism will become a common occurrence, like road accidents.
Ravinder Singh is an FMT reader.
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