by Sin Chew Daily
The Bersih 5 convoy has been met with frequent disruptions from the Red Shirts right from its onset, and as the heat picks up, Red Shirts leader cum Malaysian NGOs Coalition Chairman Jamal Yunos has allegedly warned in his Facebook account of an imminent repeat of the May 13 1969 racial riots.
The post, which has further escalated the tension and sparked widespread attention in Malaysian society, was subsequently deleted while Jamal denied he had posted any seditious message on FB, arguing that it was a fake account.
Whatever the case, it is utterly important for the police to thoroughly investigate the incident and bring the culprit to book. No one must be permitted to make use of the May 13 incident to create restlessness in this country.
Racial harmony and social stability did not come easy in Malaysia and we must not allow anyone to sabotage them.
The May 13, 1969 incident was a tragedy that inflicted painful memories among many Malaysians, and must never be manipulated by anyone to create heightened tension, especially in view of the current tension arising from the conflicts between Bersih and the Red Shirts.
The mere utterance of May 13 could aggravate racial emotions and trigger social unrest.
While the person posting the seditious message on FB indeed has his or her ill intentions or motives, such a selfish act of jeopardising public interests for the sake of one’s own interests is immoral and irresponsible and must be sternly punished.
If the post was meant to intimidate and bruise the Bersih 5 rally, then the disruptions caused by the Red Shirts to the Bersih convoy must be considered a crude manifestation of violence.
This is not the first time the Red Shirts have attempted to disrupt the Bersih 5 convoy. Their brutal acts must be censured in the strongest terms.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he did not believe the Red Shirts’ violent means could solve the problem, and that they had posed a serious threat to national security.
The Red Shirts’ stand is very clear. They are always on the opposite side of Bersih 2.0.
While the two sides might not agree with each other, there should be better ways to handle their differences in a civilized society like ours. Resorting to violence is not an option at all.
All individuals in a democratic country have the right to express their viewpoints and choose whichever side to support, but in no way should they resort to violent and unlawful means just because they don’t agree with their rivals.
Ours is a country ruled by law and no one can be spared from the constraints of law and take the law into their own hands, be they the Red Shirts or Bersih.
There are more civilized ways of settling our disputes and differences, and absolutely no need for us to regress to the primitive barbaric way of settling disputes through violence.
Sin Chew Daily is a local vernacular publication