Syed Albar: Consider this a warningPosted: August 17, 2008
BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Government will invoke the Sedition Act against anyone who fans racial or religious sentiments during the 10-day Permatang Pauh by-election campaign, said Home Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar.
He said a 3,000-strong police force had been deployed to Permatang Pauh to keep watch and prevent any untoward incidents.
Full news on the StarOnline HERE.
Laws like these are fun, aren’t they? Even before ANYONE can start campaigning, the Sedition Act is put up by the government as ammo.
Just like the Bar Council forum, where even before the forum happened, Ali Rustam suggested that the government use the ISA to lock the Bar Council people up.
It is no coincidence that these laws, no matter how archaic, are still in place in Malaysia. The government seems to be able to find a use for them every time.
Back to the “warning”, Syed Hamid Albar says that the Sedition Act will be used on anyone who “fans racial or religious sentiments”.
What exactly constitutes “racial or religious sentiment”?
Let’s do some big “IF”s here.
IF Anwar Ibrahim says that he’s going to do away with the NEP should he become Prime Minister, is that considered fanning racial sentiment?
IF Anwar Ibrahim says that everyone, Malay or non-Malay, are sons and daughters of Malaysia, is that racial sentiment?
IF the candidate from BN (..cheking for his name..) Arif Shah claims that because Anwar did not swear on the Quran while Saiful did, and because of that Anwar is not religious or Islamic enough, is that religious sentiment?
IF Arif Shah says that Anwar Ibrahim will “sell out his own race” just to get votes from the non-Malays, is that racial sentiment?
We can never be too sure about what Syed Hamid Albar has in mind when he says religious and racial. Because a Catholic newsletter, Herald, has been slapped with a warning letter because apparently, and according to Syed Albar, praying for a fair by-election in Permatang Pauh, and preaching that their followers do the same has nothing to do with religion. Read HERE.
In the meantime, photographers were again assaulted in Permatang Pauh.
BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 16 — Two press photographers were assaulted by about 30 people wearing Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) T-shirts during the nomination for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election today, with one lensman taking a severe beating and losing his RM15,000 digital camera.
The mob had set upon Mohd Sairen Mohd Nafis, 26, of the New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad (NSTP), when he was photographing Barisan Nasional (BN) workers while standing on a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
More at Malaysian Insider HERE.
Second incident already. And both incidents involving photographers. What is it with PKR supporters and photographers anyway?
But I did stop to think about this. If it is true that these people were PKR supporters, or maybe even PKR members, then PKR has simply got to put more control on their people. Give them anger management classes or something like that. In the season when their leader is trying to make a comeback, this is not the kind of behaviour they should be portraying. In fact, they should NEVER assault anyone. Period.
But then, there’s also the possibility that someone “put” these people there to assault the photographers, and pretend that it was done by PKR people. Not saying it’s true, not saying I know anything you don’t. Just saying it’s a possibility.
PKR supporters and members should know better than anyone else that actions like these don’t sit well with anyone, and it’s the small things that count. Small things like these are the ones that could be a deciding factor, or at least a swinging factor.
If they don’t already know the seriousness of their actions, assuming that they are responsible, they might do well to remember that a 3,000-strong police force is in Permatang Pauh.
If they’re not the ones responsible, and if the 30 people wearing PKR shirts were planted there by someone else, I have only this to say: Can we have a clean by-election please.