Thursday 2 June 2011

No tolerance for violence — Lim Mun Fah

JUNE 2 — A group of people claiming to be supporters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has launched violent attacks against an anti-Lynas group when the IAEA was having a meeting over the Lynas rare earth plant at the Hyatt Regency.

The pro-IAEA group shouted at the anti-Lynas group before surrounding and harassing them. They also manhandled Badan Bertindak Anti-Rare Earth (Badar) chairman Andansura Rabu and damaged the windscreen of his car.

Also, the group threatened two women reporters and attempted to grab their cameras. They acted so brutally, like rogues.

It is indeed surprisingly strange that no one has actually been arrested when such bullying acts were conducted in a public space of a civilised society.

Malaysia is a democratic and liberal country and its people enjoy the right to peacefully express their views and wills over a particular event or policy. In other words, Badar might mobilise the masses to protest against the Lynas rare earth plant project while those who support the plan might also gather to express their stand.

However, all demonstrations or petitions must comply with laws and regulations. Protestors or petitioners must never go beyond the basic code, do whatever they like and launch violent attacks.
Obviously, the so-called pro-IAEA panel group has seriously violated the regulations. It was an organised group but unfortunately, its members were not complied with even the most basic order, not to mention about being well-mannered.

They looked like trouble-making rogues and everyone was filled with disgust at them.
Is it necessary to be so agitated? Is it necessary to spit? Is it necessary to be so rude? Such behaviour is undoubtedly one of the worst examples which would not only badly affect the moral cognition of our children but also bring a great humiliation to our civilised society.

It is particularly worrying that such violent and irrational behaviour is not an isolated example as there were also the cow-head protest and a series of brutal demonstrations in the past. Recently, these kinds of violence and extreme words and behaviours, with political manoeuvring and power scrambles hidden behind most of them, have gone rampant.

In the face of violence, Badar seemed a bit helpless. The police’s attitude is clearly critical here. The police should make a prompt decision and arrest the violent troublemakers to warn the others, instead of keep tolerating and being a peacemaker.

We condemn violence in any form, including linguistic and physical violence. We must always stay alert, not connive the fermentation of such violent acts and let it become a matter of course. Otherwise, the distinction between democracy and anti-democracy would be blurred while some people would lose their humanity and behave wildly! —

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

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