Saturday, July 2, 2016

Mahathir's Blog posting is missing the point

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Blog posting today is along the same lines as The Wall Street Journal’s report regarding Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s arrest and indictment for alleged corruption. The WSJ tried to give the impression that Guan Eng was actually arrested and charged because he criticised Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

And this is precisely how Mahathir is talking. Mahathir is saying that people are being arrested or are being sacked from the party for insulting other people or for calling other people all sorts of nasty names. Surely Mahathir cannot be serious by suggesting that, for example, if someone were to say that Muslims are following the religion of Satan (like what they say in some countries) that is not a crime and no action should be taken. Even in the more liberal and democratic UK they will not allow you to say things like that.

Was it not Mahathir himself who said that Malaysia is a unique country and one with so many different ethnicities that absolute or total freedom cannot be allowed? Mahathir reminded us that the Malaysian situation is very delicate and it does not take much to spark a riot. This is why the government has to control what you can and cannot say in case someone says something that triggers bloodshed. And now Mahathir is saying the opposite.

Mahathir does not seem to understand the meaning of the word criticise. Calling someone a dog or pig cannot be classified as criticising. We also have libel and slander laws that make it a crime to allege something against someone that is not true. In this game of politics we must not lose track of decency, the truth and the legality of what we are doing. Mahathir appears to now believe that the end justifies the means or matlamat menghalalkan cara.

No comments: