Understandable But Unacceptable

Recently, Khairy Jamaluddin (who is also the UMNO Youth Chief) criticised the actions of the UMNO Youth members who stormed the Penang State Assembly seeking for RSN Rayer who infamously uttered “UMNO Celaka.”

In the exact statement, Khairy Jamaluddin (henceforth KJ) also said that the actions of the members were ‘understandable’ as they were “extremely upset”

Prima facie, it would appear as if KJ’s statement is an oxymoron. On one hand he criticises the actions undertaken, yet on the other hand, he says it is understandable. This of course led to many netizens including accusing KJ of being a political chameleon

Netizens say that KJ said it to please the public and yet maintain support from the members of his party. KJ’s criticising of the actions by the mob would mean he believes the conduct of the thugs was unacceptable

Upon further inspection, what KJ said isn’t oxymoronic. All it takes is a proper analogy and what KJ said would make perfect sense

For example, where a young girl has been murdered in cold blood and the father exacts revenge by killing the perpetrator, many would regard his actions as understandable but unacceptable

It is understandable because the father loves his daughter and the actions of the murderer took her away from him forever. Even the courts would sympathize with the father in such a situation

However, the courts cannot disregard the fact he has murdered another person. The taking of another person’s life is morally and legally wrong no matter what the reason. As such, the father will still be tried for murder

What the courts can do is to use the murder of the daughter as a mitigating factor in which the father may be handed a lighter sentence or whatnot. The father may even be given a suspended sentence if the court thinks it is just and equitable taking into account the circumstances of the case!

Ergo, it is possible for an action to be unacceptable but understandable. This doesn’t mean I condone the actions of the mob as I clearly stated my stance in “Reactions and Overreactions.”

What I’m merely trying to point out is that maybe KJ isnt a political chameleon after all. It isn’t fair to judge and condemn him without first critically assessing the logic behind his statement(s)

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Recently, firebrand RSN Rayer found himself in hot soup over his “UMNO Celaka” remark during Tuesday’s Penang State Assembly. The assemblyman also repeated a similar thing at a ceramah for the Bukit Gelugor by-election

Just as the majority of Malaysians were praising DAP’s bravery for fielding Dyana in Teluk Intan, RSN Rayer utters a statement that amounted to pouring cold water on DAP’s efforts. Instead of all the positives about Dyana and Teluk Intan, Malaysians are now focused on the ramifications of RSN Rayer’s statement such as the mob which stormed the Penang State Assembly

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Reputation is like fine china once broken it’s very hard to repair.” DAP’s reputation is now smeared because of what RSN Rayer said. Worst still, he refused to apologise or retract the remark, hence further worsening the situation

As an elected representative, he represents the people of Seri Delima. Regardless of the issue, nothing warrants the use of foul language, especially by a wakil rakyat.

Although he “only used the word at three particular Umno reps, who were part of a rally in Seberang Jaya on January 18 organised to protest against Machang Bubuk assemblyman Lee Khai Loon who did the “I love Kangkung” flash mob that allegedly insulted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak”, why stoop down to that level? Using a derogatory word to counter the hurtful things that were said doesn’t make him any better than them

Furthermore, he is setting a bad example for future leaders. As a politician, he must know that he must weigh each word as many look up to him and even more await an opportunity to catch him off guard. By calling the 3 UMNO reps “celaka,” what is he teaching the future generation? Curse whoever you dont like?

DAP’s disciplinary committee must reprimand RSN Rayer as well as get him to apologise for his statement and retract it. It is a fait accompli that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Apologising would definitely avoid a bigger protest as threatened by an UMNO Youth leader

* This article can also be found at Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider