Sedition & Fatherly Advice


Read these first:-

Negaraku

(This image uploaded onto Facebook by Anwar Miswan allegedly shows movie-goers not standing up when the national anthem was played. No doubt, there is no excuse for not standing up when the national anthem is played but can this construed as treason? How about corruption or misuse of taxpayers’ money? Image Source)

A couple of days ago, this nation celebrated Hari Malaysia (the day when we welcomed our brothers & sisters from Sabah & Sarawak into the Federation of Malaysia) and couple of weeks earlier, the Independence (the day when we got our independence from the British).

And every year, it has been one of the much waited celebrations as a nation. It reinforces the notion that we are all united as one, no matter we come from. But lately it has come to a point where one had to ask “is there a point in these celebrations?” and “what we are really celebrating?”. Have we really gained our independence and had become a very united people with a common goal and vision? Or we have this sabotaged by the very people who suppose to drive the message of unity and moderation on a regular basis?

Don’t get me wrong – there is no question whatsoever of the level of patriotism among Malaysians. When the country is faced with calamity or tragedy, you can easily see on how Malaysians from all walks of life and different background, culture and religion united. The recent tragedies of MH370 and MH17 is one such instances.

But then again, lately anger and rude statements against politicians or even the Government has been wrongly construed as a severe wrongdoing against the country itself. It is wrongly construed as sedition. A prime example has been this:-

Seri Delima assemblyman R. S. N. Rayer is to be charged with sedition tomorrow at the Sessions Court in Penang over his “celaka Umno” remark, which he had uttered in the state assembly against several Umno members in May.

(Source)

And it gets worse:-

What is considered “seditious” under the Act is very wide. Section 3(1) of the Act uses the phrase “seditious tendency”. According to a Suaram report, theoretically even an article on water cuts may amount to sedition, since it could be interpreted as the tendency “to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State.” Many have said the problem lies with the arbitrariness of determining what is actually “seditious”, making the law very political.

(Source)

Rayer may have been rude or vulgar or as some would have said, “kurang ajar” but when does that statement amounts to sedition? Seriously it is difficult to place Rayer’s “celaka Umno” under the provisions of the Sedition Act so we have to wait and see how the court proceedings go. What is and amounts to sedition anyway? But interestingly after a string of people been caught and charged for sedition, the Old Man uttered this in public:-

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malays in the country are lazy, dishonest and complacent.

In an exclusive interview with Mingguan Malaysia, Dr Mahathir said Malay men are also lagging behind the women, with many of them preferring to become ‘Mat Rempits’.

“The Malays are lazy and they are not interested in studying. If we go to the universities, 70% of the students are women, so where are the men?,” he asked.

(Source)

Doesn’t that borders sedition too?

And I strongly disagree that Malays are lazy, dishonest and complacent. I worked with some of them who seems to have endless energy, commitment and passion. And there are lazy people in all races in this country – Malay, Chinese, Indian and others. There are village idiots in every sector of the society in this country. But yet, there is no sedition charge made against the Old Man. No arrests or street protests whatsoever. Even the ultra Malay group is taking this insult as a fatherly advice, something that would have been unthinkable if the same had been said by someone else.

And even if you take the Old Man’s words as gospel truth, didn’t he too played a crucial part in all of this? After all, he was the PM for 22 years and shaped the direction of the community?

That brings back to the question what amounts to a real sedition and what amounts to angry, rude and perhaps dumb statements. Will now uttering the word “celaka” amounts to sedition – no questions asked? It is not going to go well for country if we are still striving for a developed status by 2020.

Presently it does not look good and the PM is keeping his silence again. Yes he spoke of coming up with another law to replace the current Sedition Act but without him stepping in to stop these senseless prosecution of citizens under sedition, how we can feel confident that the new law will not be an old wine in a new bottle?

Still with me?

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Did You Get The Message?


“If we have listening ears, God speaks to us in our own language, whatever that language is.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Read these posts first:-

(I have said this before and I will say it again – all you need is mutual respect on each others beliefs, culture and religion and we can get along just fine no matter what happens. Image source: http://www.ausgamers.com)

Read this:-

The 25-year old youth is being probed under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act and Section 298 (a) of the Penal Code for deliberately making statements to hurt the religious sentiments of another. Gopinath was alleged to have insulted Islam last week, which prompted several social media users to create the ‘Kami Benci Gopinath Jayaratnam’ page. The page currently has 5,529 followers.

Yesterday, Gopinath’s home in Taman Klang Jaya was attacked by several men, who destroyed furnitures and damaged his car. No one was injured in the attack as Gopinath and his family was not at home.

A group calling itself Jemaah Fisabilillah Klang said it masterminded the attack and even posted on the Kami Benci Gopinath Jayaratnam’s page that they would track down Gopinath’s family.

(Source)

And missing from the police’s list was this:-

A few years back, Shah Kirit was caught when his video came out in the public. In the video, he was speaking in a closed forum ridiculously explaining and insulting Hindu religion to the core and making sexual remarks about Hindu gods.

When the video came out, Shah Kirit apologized to the public, and despite numerous police reports against him, he was never caught. Tell me my Muslim brothers, if someone is to insult your religion like in this video, will you ever forgive him?

(Source)

It is claimed that there are about 4,200 different religion in this world.

When it comes to religion, some people sometimes (some all the time) do not keep in mind that the issue itself is very sensitive and in the history of mankind, minor sparks (cartoons included) have caused violent demonstrations, major conflicts and tragedies. And it sometimes creeps into absurdity too – no, not the religion itself but on how weak some a##holes conduct themselves with the religious issues (the fact that it is creeping to the young minds seems to be worse of the worse). Just imagine if each followers of the 4,200 religion start to hurl damaging statements at each other.

(Eddie Griffin’s simple and yet powerful message when it comes to religion – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Think about it for a second. Does it make a lot of sense than some religious zealots shouting that my God is better than your God? )

The law concerning religion hatred and slurs no doubt has to be fair and need to be enforced fairly on all who insult any religion but at the same time, let’s ask a more serious personal question – how will one attacking another’s faith & beliefs makes one own religion look and sound better?

Does your own religion (any religion) or your karma get cookies points whenever you “score” an insult on another’s religion? Absolutely not! Your religion (or faith or belief, whichever you want to name it) or your karma scores cookies points (if any) when you talk well about your own religion and do not make any cross reference to others and in the end, walk the talk. Do goodness to others, do charity to the well-deserving, do sincere kindness to all regardless of race & culture and at the end be humble.

But once you start to insult others (no matter was the excuse is), the situation can quickly escalate to worse and before you know it, it will be a tit for a tat. One insult another’s religion, the person insults back (without thinking much) and others gets angry (often in high emotion) and goes to do more damages and this goes on and on. When does this madness stop? What happens when there is no else to be insulted?

After all, what is religion and what is the underlying message?

To many it means many things but the underlying message has to be something positive, laced with love for fellow human and mutual respect and I know that no religion in this world will profess its followers to say anything and act in bad faith or bad intention. No religion in this world had professed that you need to kill or harm others in order for you to spread the religion. Whatever you say or do is between you and God and not to be manipulated to be imposed on others.

This is one of the reasons I don’t usually go to temples – the only time I am “forced” to go is when my wife wants to go too (or when I know I can get good parking spots). My reason of going to temples is simple – I am going to have my moment with God in an atmosphere that is calm, peaceful and conducive. I want to have a heart to heart talk with Him. If I am going to a place that is crowded with people, the queue (in front of the altar) is long & you have wait your turn, waiting hours (for prayers) are long due to the crowd, impression that my prayers becomes “invalid” because I don’t say or do something prescribed by the priests or the priests are more interested on how much collection that is coming for the day (usually during the “special” prayers), forget about it – I rather stay and pray at home. I know God can hear me even though I don’t say anything or I don’t chant anything that sounds exotic. At the end of the day, it is just between me and Him.

Let’s not escalate the seeds of disunity in the country further with attacks on each others religion & faith (we do not add this to the on-going delicate racial issue). Don’t be dumb, don’t be naive too – the world is not made of one race or one religion. There are millions of people in this world who practice a different faith from you and for them, their religion is true and well. If you don’t agree with this, well it is just too bad. Spending time and resources to claim the other religions are false and untrue is pointless and a gross waste of time. The sooner you appreciate the situation, the sooner we put aside the difference and be true to our own faith.

Remember, the underlying message of the day is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and not “my religion is better than yours”.