Action against Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol repressive, undemocratic

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Mustafa Akyol - Photograph: Malay Mail Online

Such action only emboldens those who push for polarisation and superiority or pre-eminence of one group or one religious belief over another, says Suhakam.

The incident where an internationally respected Turkish journalist, author and public speaker was detained and arrested and subsequently released after 17 hours not only blemishes the reputation of Malaysia as a moderate nation, as we professed internationally and reiterated recently, but also adds serious uncertainties to all Malaysians as to how arbitrary actions can affect the fabric of our society.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) does not believe that the action of Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (Jawi) reflects a changed policy of the government, but evidently, a sector of government has been allowed to take arbitrary measures albeit as interpreted by them in defence of their interpretation of principles.

Such extreme action in our multi-religious, multi-racial and moderate Malaysia in our view is repressive, undemocratic and intended to be intimidating. There is no question that this must be stopped by the government and such actions that reflect hostility, narrow-mindedness and intolerance of civil, intellectual and religious discourse should not be committed again.

Such action only emboldens those who push for polarisation and superiority or pre-eminence of one group or one religious belief over another. There can be many Malaysians who interpret such actions as the government being inclined towards accommodating them. Suhakam strongly counsels the government to take stock of the drift towards religious extremism and fears that if such situations continue, Malaysia would change qualitatively for the worst.

Tan Sri Razali Ismail is chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

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Lim Oon TinBob Ho Recent comment authors
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Lim Oon Tin

NOT A MODERATE MUSLIM COUNTRY !!
CANNOT TAKE CRITISIM EVEN FROM A MUSLIM
JOURNALIST. THAT WRITES WHAT HE SAW !!
CALL THIS COUNTRY DEMOCRATIC ???
SECULAR ???
MORE LIKE TALIBAN COUNTRY ??
VERY UN DEMOCRATIC! !!
JAKIM NOW MORE POWERFUL THAN THE GOVERNMENT ???

Bob Ho

So right.