kickdefella under Sedition Act

Kevin gave me a heads up about Sheih aka kickdefella being arrested.

Just confirmed this at Haris’ blog HERE.

Sheih was taken in under the Sedition Act.

To call this crazy is an understatement.


Race takes front page

And it’s not even about races where gold medals are up for grabs. This kind of race that is so dominantly taking up the front pages of our news portals is as absurd as the sodomy case being made into national news and political fodder.

Just two days ago was our National Day. Hari Merdeka. Celebrating 51 years of “self-rule”. Our “beloved” Prime Minister stood in front of Malaysians just two days ago and so solemnly said:

No one citizen is recognised as being of a higher position than another in this nation. This nation belongs to all of us. Whether we rise or fall as a nation, depends on all of us.

Behind that timely call for national unity, which incidently is found in almost every National Day speech since 51 years ago, lurks the ugly head of racism that the very people ruling the country today have.

What we have in the front page news today is about this one Ahmad (UMNO politician) who, during the campaigning in Permatang Pauh, likened the Chinese in Malaysia to “squatters”.

This is most definitely not the first time that we’re hearing about how some foolish UMNO politicians have spouted utter nonsense which I can only pray is something that they don’t believe in. In fact, during the same campaign, didn’t our very own Deputy Prime Minister also say that the Chinese in Malaysia should be happy that Lee Chong Wei today is still called Lee Chong Wei, and not some other name like, say, Muhammad bin Abdullah?

Currently, this Ahmad of UMNO who called Malaysian Chinese “squatters” is under fire from DAP and MCA.

Our Prime Minister, who so “lovingly” claimed that this country of ours belongs to all of us without exception, literally brushed off the anger and protests by various people (although almost all were Chinese, and God only knows why) by saying that he will “ask Ahmad not to do it again”. He went as far as being apologetic for Ahmad, saying that “You know-lah what happens during campaigns”, like as if that’s a legitimate reason for what Ahmad said.

That aside, I find this rather amusing:

Several DAP leaders today lodged a police report against Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail for calling the Chinese immigrants, which the MCA’s Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn described as seditious.

“The DAP wants Umno leaders to take stern action against him; moreover, the police should also investigate him under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act 1948,” said Ng [Wei Aik], who lodged a report at the Patani Road police station in Penang with Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N Rayer.

Meanwhile, Fong said the matter of citizenship for non-Malays should not be questioned, just as some religious issues should not be called into dispute.

“An apology from Ahmad is not enough. A sedition charge should be considered against him,” he told reporters in Putrajaya.

More from Malaysian Insider HERE.

If I may say so, I find two things very glaringly wrong here.

1) Fong Chan Onn said that the matter of citizenship “should not be questioned, just as some religious issues” are in Malaysia.

I have an issue with things that “should not be questioned”. Because for one, what Ahmad said was not “questioning” per se, but more like “stating” something that is so obviously a lie. And secondly, I believe that issues, whatever they may be, are supposed to be subject to intellectual discourse, and not lumped into a whole pile of “things that should not be questioned”.

2) What constitutes sedition?

No, I’m not liking what Ahmad said. In fact, I’m as outraged as any other person would be. But the Sedition Act is flawed in my opinion. And it should not be something that people use whenever they hear or read something that they don’t like.

In my opinion, this Ahmad character should be held fully responsible for his very irresponsible remark. As the president of the political party involved, Pak Lah should be more firm in dealing with what is an absolute disgrace to his speech calling for the solidarity of Malaysians far and wide. A mere telling off that might or might not happen behind the scenes is just not going to cut it.

It is because of the lack of any firm action whatsoever that the matter has boiled up to what it is today. Had Pak Lah reprimanded the man, and took disciplinary actions, making it crystal clear that utterances like these are not to be tolerated, the matter would be much subdued, and not blown up to the point where the Sedition Act is being flaunted.

But then again, as I’ve said, this is definitely not the first time that politicians, particularly from UMNO, who have said things like this. It is precisely because of the lack of any real disciplinary action that we are getting more and more of these issues cropping up every now and again, and becoming more and more regular.

Note: PKR is not without it’s own flaws, some very similar to this Ahmad case here. Before PKR turns into a new-era UMNO, I hope it learns from the mistakes of others.


Syed Albar: Consider this a warning

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.