Sunday May 27, 2012
Speak up against disgraceful behaviour
On the Beat
By WONG CHUN WAI
Many of us who may be highly vocal against one side are not prepared to register our unhappiness over what is wrong when it does not suit our political palate.
IT’S incredibly disgraceful. It’s a form of harassment, plain and simple, and any decent-minded Malaysian should know when to draw the line. The protests outside Bersih co-chairman Datuk S. Ambiga’s house should stop.
I do not think any politician or non-governmental organisation leader, regardless of their political allegiance, would want to see a protest outside their homes.
For that matter, none of the protesters outside Ambiga’s house would be amused if they woke up one fine morning to find over-weight people doing butt exercises outside their gates.
If these protesters believe they have helped Barisan Nasional with their silly antics, someone had better tell them they haven’t.
So, BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor understandably condemned these protests, describing them as unbecoming of Malaysians, and urged authorities to put an immediate end to them.
“We understand that you are upset because of Bersih 3.0 but this country has laws. You want to sue Ambiga, go ahead, but gathering in front of her house to cook things she doesn’t eat (beef burgers), showing your backside, then organising a pasar malam – what is all this?” he asked.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said such protests were wrong and that although these people were affected by Bersih 3.0, it did not give them the right to harass Ambiga.
We need to stand up and speak up against what is not right. It has nothing to do with politics, but respect for plain decency and privacy.
I think the protesters have made their point and they should now stop troubling City Hall and the police with plans for more protests.
Ambiga, I am sure, has many admirers for standing up for what she believes in. However, there are also many who do not share in her political enthusiasm.
While the majority of those who took part in Bersih 3.0 were peaceful and law-abiding, a large section was also rowdy and out to create havoc. Ambiga should have come down harder on such rowdiness but she didn’t.
It is clear that the actions of the protesters outside her home cannot be defended. Likewise, those who attended Bersih 3.0 with the intention of starting a street battle do not deserve to be defended.
Malaysia, unfortunately, has become so politically divided that we do not see right and wrong in the correct perspective. Blind loyalty rules the day and we are in danger of sliding down its slippery slope. Many of us who may be highly vocal against one side are not prepared to register our unhappiness over what is wrong when it does not suit our political palate.
It is wrong to beat up Bersih 3.0 protesters, wrong for protesters to beat up policemen and certainly wrong to beat up journalists on duty.
Let’s stop assuming that every protester wearing a yellow T-shirt or a law enforcement officer in a blue uniform is an angel.
Stone-throwing and disrupting the ceramah of a rival political party surely cannot be right. It should not be tolerated and the police must not allow this trend to continue. This is just plain rowdiness. It does not matter whether Barisan members have been provoked; surely, there must be a better sense of restraint.
Similarly, why have Ambiga, the opposition politicians and their supporters been silent on the heckling of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he spoke at an investment promotion event in London?
It was wrong – plain and simple – but yet they seem ready to overlook such uncouth behaviour because it involved Bersih 3.0 supporters.
Or are we going to hear that they are government agents and planted by the Special Branch, which now seems to be another excuse to defend bad behaviour?
The political temperature has hit near boiling point. The sooner the general election is called, the better it will be for all of us.
Let’s get it over and done with. The silly season, as newsmen call the election period, has come earlier than expected. Let Barisan and Pakatan Rakyat settle this once and for all so that we can all go back to our normal lives.