SOSMA, POKA and other laws that were supposedly created for “security reasons” are the products of “consensus” decisions by the BN component parties.
We now see these laws being used against civil society, e.g. cartoonist Zunar and Bersih chairperson Maria. What security threat to the nation are such persons? On the other hand, persons like the leader of the red shirts is free to take the law into his own hands and block roads and manhandle members of the public.
The public and many civil society groups had objected to such laws being introduced and it is likely that for record purposes (minutes of Cabinet meetings), non-UMNO cabinet ministers had voiced the feelings of their supporters.
However, end of the day, the laws were passed.
Going by what MCA secretary-general Ong Ka Chuan said about “consensus” decisions and the BN spirit, this would mean that the non-UMNO cabinet members had agreed to the passing of such laws. How were they persuaded to give their agreement? Some promises or assurances must have been given that they will not be used against civil society as feared by many, but strictly for national security matters, like an armed uprising.
Since the MCA and other non-UMNO cabinet ministers had agreed to the passing of these laws, could the MCA secretary general and leaders of the other non-UMNO parties in the Cabinet tell us honestly whether the promises and assurances given on the use of these laws to obtain “consensus” agreement, have been honoured in the arrests and detentions of civil society persons who are no security threat to the nation? Do tell us honestly in plain, straightforward language.
Please also tell us how the fear of losing in the elections is a threat to national security? If anything, the possibility of losing elections is only a “threat” to the personal job-security of those in power. But isn’t such a possibility a risk that people in politics in a democratic country take?
The “consensus” system, it would appear, has become like the camel in the story of the Arab and his camel where the cunning, scheming camel got the permission of his master to inch little by little into the tent to protect itself from the cold and finally kicking the master out and taking full control of the tent for itself.
Thus little by little the “consensus” system, in the spirit of the BN, has got the non-UMNO parties to give in to the wishes of big brother, and pass laws that should not have seen the light of day.
Are the younger siblings of UMNO, like the hapless Arab in the tent, now ready to give a little bit more room to big brother by giving “consensus” agreement to RUU 355 in the BN spirit, regardless of the consequences that would follow for the nation?