An Act Of Barbarism

On the 28th of June, it was reported that a cow’s head was dumped outside RSN Rayer’s house. “The cow is deemed sacred in Hinduism, and Rayer and his family are Hindus.” Isn’t it clearly an act of barbarism?

The perpetrator desecrated a cow’s head in an attempt to offend RSN Rayer. However, the insensitive act earned the ire of all Malaysians

To many, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this was payback because of RSN Rayer’s “UMNO Celaka” remark and his refusal to apologise. Nevertheless, what was done was beyond acceptable!

Even if the cow head culprit was offended by what RSN Rayer said in the Penang state legislative assembly, he/she should not have stooped so low! Such an abominable act is akin to a hit below the belt!

What is worse is that when Malaysians looked to our Home Minister for assurance that action will be taken, he said he sympathized with Rayer but added that Rayer had it coming because he is a loose cannon

To me the double whammy was completely uncalled for. It was bad enough that someone belittles your religion. On top of that, the appointed custodian of your rights says you deserve it

I mentioned in one of my previous articles that. s.298 of the Penal Code makes “uttering any word or making any sound in the hearing, or making any gesture or placing any object in the sight of any person with intention to wound his religious feeling” a criminal offence. The maximum punishment would be imprisonment for one year, or fine, or both

Furthermore, “causing, etc., disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing, etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion” is also an offence as per s.298A of the Penal Code. The punishment is imprisonment between 2 (min) to 5 years (max).

Seems to me like Datuk Zahid Hamidi is taking the law into his own hands. He refuses to be impartial and even adds his own unnecessary comments

Wouldn’t it amount to another act of barbarism? Failure to act on such heinous occasions would leave us in a state of lawlessness and Archie Lee Moore once wisely said, “If we resort to lawlessness , the only thing we can hope for is civil war, untold bloodshed, and the end of our dreams”

Let us just hope that our Inspector General of Police will be a good example by refusing to be indifferent in this matter!

*Read this also at The Malay Mail Online and The Malaysian Insider

Reactions and Overreactions

Unfortunately, many have misconstrued my previous article chastising RSN Rayer about his “UMNO Celaka” remark to mean that I condone what was previously said by the 3 UMNO reps as well as the actions of the mob which barged into the Penang State Assembly on Tuesday (20th May 2014)

Let me be very clear. I am completely against what was done by the demonstrators in Seberang Jaya on the 18th of January. Nothing can ever warrant the use of a tragic event like May 13 1969 to threaten your political adversary. Nothing. It amounted to a hit below the belt, and is nothing short of cheap and unethical

The reaction of the UMNO Youth members to Rayer’s statement is also unacceptable. Although RSN Rayer insulted their beloved political party using the word “celaka,” the matter could have been better handled

When Rayer said “UMNO Celaka” in the Penang State Assembly, he was protected by immunity. But when he repeated it again at a ceramah for the Bukit Gelugor by-election, the UMNO Youth should have just reported the matter to the authorities and left it as that

When they resorted to brute force, it was an indirect insult to the Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) as UMNO Youth implied the police are incapable of dealing with such a sensitive matter. It also showed their lack of respect for the laws of the land, as in order to get revenge, the mob committed trespass to land

Furthermore, an UMNO Youth leader also threatened to conduct a bigger protest if Rayer failed to apologise. Of course if UMNO Youth would like to assembly peacefully, it is within their rights enshrined in the Federal Consitution. However, do not forget that any untoward incident as a result of the protest will reflect badly on the ruling coalition.

There are definitely too many overreactions regarding the matter. Both sides of the political divide need to keep their members on a tight leash, especially those who are prone to commit violent acts. Most importantly, PDRM must act swiftly or further risk being labeled a laughing stock

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