NST’s principled stand

0
47

The NST on 17 May came up with a refreshing editorial in support of democratic rights in the light of the disruption of the Aliran/Article 11 forum on 14 May. This editorial was all the more commendable bearing in mind that Charter 2000-Aliran has been critical in the past of some of the daily's earlier reporting. (We have now enabled the comment feature for media-related entries here; so you may add your comments at the end of this post. All comments will be moderated; so they will not appear immediately.) 

 
Whoever wrote the editorial displayed maturity in noting that such forums "serve a useful purpose in the all-too-limited space available for the public address of such issues, and are by-and-large utilised thoughtfully by civil society here".
   
Here is an extract from the editorial: 

Deeper questions must be asked of the protesters, however. What they were protesting — ostensibly, threats to the Rulers and the Syariah — was only tangentially concerned with the agenda of the ill-fated forum.

Instead, this was a recrudescence of the inchoate misapprehensions that continue to afflict this issue, despite progress on reconciling the jurisdictions of Syariah and civil law in this country to better manage the interfaces of Malaysia’s many faiths.

The failure to articulate sensibly positions on such matters bedevils efforts to resolve them, as the Aliran/Article 11 forum had sought to rectify — and as the protesters proved. The mob’s actions deeply damaged whatever cause they were presuming to espouse, as they came across as misguided, badly led and belligerent.

Their intimidatory tactics contributed nothing to the discourse, let alone any resolution thereof. Professing to protest in defence of their culture, religion or race, they seemed all the more out of touch with the national reality.

In short, last Sunday’s protesters on Penang Road sent a message of confusion and ignorance — no wonder they were angry and pugnacious. But they picked the wrong targets for their dudgeon. Their true adversaries would be the rabble-rousers whipping them up and herding them haplessly down a dead-end path.

Zainah Anwar's comments in her NST column on 19 May were also welcome. She said:
 
The police, in asking law-abiding citizens engaged in rational and peaceful discussion on constitutional matters to consider aborting their meeting, set a dangerous precedent. Those who threatened peace and public order were allowed to prevail over those who believe in dialogue and the Constitution. 
Sign Aliran's 'Save our Democracy" petition
Sign Aliran's petition calling for a review of the decision to grant Riza Aziz a DNAA
Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments