By Khen Han Ming
The newly minted Inspector-General of Police, Mohamad Fuzi Harun, may have every right to say that unidentified terrorists were planning to sabotage the upcoming Better Beer Festival on Oct 6 and 7.
It is, however, disappointing to note that the police’s reason for objecting to the event was to “avoid any incident beyond our control and to ensure public safety and security”.
Sure, threat conditions change, but that does not mean we have to give up our civil liberties in order to accommodate terrorists. Are we admitting that we are powerless or ill-prepared to face an imminent terror threat?
It is a shame that the top echelon of the Malaysian security forces needs to give in to the fear factor, which is exactly what the terrorists want.
We need to be mindful too that our politicians are indirectly helping the terrorists every time they use fear as a campaign tactic. And media outlets give their help to the terrorists and politicians every time they publish sensational stories about a plot or threat.
If we become terrified, and if we share our fear, we encourage the terrorists to intensify their actions and increase the effects of terror.
We need to fight terror by remaining steadfast in its face and refusing to be terrorised. There are things that our government can and should do in order to fight terrorism, most of them involving intelligence and investigation.
We need to ignore the disruptive interference of those trying to use terrorism to advance their political careers or increase their publicity by taking advantage of the media.
We must recognise that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and our real job is to fight those politicians who use fear as an excuse to take away our liberties and promote a security drama that wastes money and doesn’t make us any safer.
If the goal of the terrorists is to sabotage the beer fest, cancelling the event altogether would only acknowledge that they have succeeded in achieving their goal without ever putting up a fight.
Khen Han Ming is a principal consultant at JK Associates.
The views expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.