Why Malaysians are angry: A response to Wong Chun Wai

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In a recent comment piece in The Star, the paper’s Group Chief editor, Wong Choon Wai asked, “Can we stop being angry people and try to make sense of the issues affecting the nation?” Tan Seng Hai responds.

Wong Chun Wai - Photograph: chartnexus.com

This is in response to Wong Chun Wai’s ‘On the beat’ column (“Of Angry Birds and angry Malaysians”: The Sunday Star, 24 July 2011) where he asked Malaysians to stop being angry on the many issues affecting the nation.

It was a very well written piece, well placed and sounded almost logical and rational to those who read only the mainstream media.

Allow me to give Wong 10 good reasons why Malaysians are angry … in fact Malaysians are very, very angry.

1) We are angry that we have been denied our constitutional and democratic rights to a peaceful gathering. We are angry at the police brutality on a frail, tender 65-year-old auntie who was sprayed with chemically laced water and tear gassed for exercising her democratic rights when she was walking alone to demonstrate peacefully what she believes in.

2) We are angry at the lies, the biased reporting and the cover-ups by mainstream media (The Star included) to serve their political masters. We are angry at the way the mainstream media demonise Bersih 2.0.

3) We are very angry at the double standards of the police in arresting activists and opposition politicians. While some self-proclaimed nationalists and race champions openly spew seditious statements to incite religious and racial hatred and no action was taken against them, others were arrested for merely wearing yellow T-shirts.

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4) We are angry with the Home Minister and the IGP for their handling of the recent series of events occurring in the country. We are angry with the lies and denials they make in light of clear evidence from photos and videos.

5) We are angry at the continual police harassment and intimidation of civil society groups and activists who are perceived as a threat to the political hegemony of the current BN government. The arrest of a bus-load of Parti Sosialist Malaysia (PSM) members on trumped-up charges of trying to revive communism and rebelling against the Ruler is blatant police harassment and intimidation.

6) We are angry at the Home Ministry and the police for using the outdated and draconian Emergency Ordinance (EO) to detain the PSM 6 without trial. We are angry that they were detained on flippant charges of trying to revive communism, waging war against the Ruler and inciting people to join Bersih 2.0.

7) We are angry at Prime Minister Najib for his hypocrisy in saying one thing and flip-flopping the very next moment. We are angry at him for having an audience with the Pope to improve bilateral ties and immediately on returning back to Malaysia, he publicly questioned the Malaysian Christians by saying “We wish to tell our friends, the Malaysian Christians… if they respect us, we will also respect them.”

8. We are angry that Royal Commissions after Royal Commissions have been set up and recommendations have been made to improve our institutions but no significant changes have been made. We have not forgotten the Royal Commissions to investigate the Lingam video, police brutality on Anwar Ibrahim while in police custody and Teoh Beng Hock’s death while in MACC custody.

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9) We are very angry that there are too many deaths in custody of several authorities and nobody is held accountable and responsible for the deaths. We are angry that 1535 detainees have died in police custody between 2003-2007, 1300 illegal foreigners have died in immigration detention camps between 2002-2008 and two deaths in MACC custody most recently. We are angry that one death is one too many and wonder how many hundreds more went unreported and unnoticed.

10) We are angry that the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) and the EO continue to be used and abused by the authorities. We are angry that there are still 25 persons detained without trial under the ISA and 819 persons detained under the EO.

Wong Chun Wai asked, “Can we stop being angry people and try to make sense of the issues affecting the nation?” But the real ‘gem’ of his article was when he asked “Or better still, just laugh at them (the issues)?” I wonder if Wong has found it in his heart to laugh at Auntie Anne Ooi (Auntie Bersih) or the PSM 6 who endured the uncertainty of being put in solitary confinement indefinitely without trial. Did he laugh at the Teoh Beng Hock and Sarbani issues?

Wong, I wonder if you are laughing.

Tan Seng Hai is a Penang-based activist

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Gopal Raj Kumar
6 Sep 2011 6.05pm

This man is a journalist. It says a lot about journalism in Malaysia and about his depth of knowledge about the constitution and the laws of the country. Perhaps he ought to restrict his comments in future to subject he is more familiar with and can comment on authoritatively. There is no absolute right to march in the constitution. The responsibility of any harm to this “auntie” lies squarely with her for taking part in what was an illegal rally. Additionally responsibility for any injury to anyone must rest with Bersih and its leaders and supporters. Together with your freedoms come responsibility. If there are issues about corruption then the courts and not the streets are the proper place for settling such matters. Ambiga Sreenivasan and other lawyers who took part in the rally as lawyers ought to have known that and ought to have acted more maturely and confined their actions first to the courts. This self righteous contrived litany of “why we are angry ” does not impress. The police and the government acted too leniently in my view and in the view of… Read more »

OneMalaysian
OneMalaysian
6 Sep 2011 4.12am

The Star’s Group Chief editor, Wong Choon Wai asked, “Can we stop being angry people and try to make sense of the issues affecting the nation?”

It is precisely because Malaysians have become aware, and have made sense, of the issues that they are angry. How can you not be angry at what the BN government is doing to Malaysia, unless you are a co-conspirator and are gaining from the situation, like Wong Choon Wai and his MCA-owned Star newspaper?…

Malaysians are being persecuted by BN, their rights have been taken away, and their money have been squandered – let’s be very angry, stand up for our rights, and be counted by voting for a true government of the people.

paulthye
paulthye
29 Aug 2011 5.15pm

Digusting piece of artcle.No need to
react, we act. Stop reading star paper,
we have alternate source of information
through d website.

OMG
OMG
24 Aug 2011 6.16pm

wong, choon hai……………..

mamat
mamat
21 Aug 2011 1.58pm

……boycot STAR ,support MOON

Pegasus
Pegasus
9 Aug 2011 10.23pm

Wong is a …, who writes creepy boring stuff that does not reflect whats happening on the ground…more of his own … imagination…! star paper is only good to bungkus nasi lemak…!!!

TRUTH
TRUTH
9 Aug 2011 3.14pm

We are angry at Thieves… and so many of our Leaders STEALING & LOOTING our National Wealth.
We are angry that they use Racism to divide the Good people of Malaysia.
We are angry that so many died in polis custody esp from ethnic minorities
We are angry with cheating at the polls esp postal votes
We are angry at the way Polis, Macc & Judiciary is being used as political tools
We are angry with the lies and cover ups in so many cases-Altantuya,Kugan,Aminrul, Beng Hock. REFORMASI is the word !

Serious Shepherd
Serious Shepherd
9 Aug 2011 12.15pm

WCW’s article is like the green pigs in the Angry Bird game simply pretend that they did not steal the birds’ eggs, and simply calling the birds as angry without any reason.
In the UK, the MPs don’t steal eggs, or profit from natural resources.

Anonymous
8 Aug 2011 11.06pm

Kotor is the right word to describe UMNO BN from the more than 50 years of track records of oppressions of the Rakyats
… the Police Force … tools of violence and their blatant mismanagement of Malaysia
… rampant corruptions and cheating and plundering the coffers of the Federal Government.
Kotor is the word aptly describe UMNO BN and the underhand dirty tactics they use to suppress the press and misinform the general public of Malaysia. Malaysians of all races must get rid of this (in the next GE).
Kotor evil regime with the thorough cleansing by Bersih which is the spirits of all the Rakyats for the well-being of all the future generations of all Malaysians in the next GE..

AgreeToDisagree
8 Aug 2011 3.40pm

3 things we lack make for anger and no sense of country :

1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy.
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution….

charlie chan
charlie chan
8 Aug 2011 2.51pm

MR wong C W- as a human, wnot you be angry with the following events in our nation- 2 jet engines missing, millions of illegals on our shores n crime rate goes up. billion dollar PKFZ scandal. sand theft in johor as reported in star, mas – loosing millions yearly, rising food prices n high inflation rate, a failed education system m a declining economy, our nation is in a big mess- are you MR wong happy with the above events? corruption destroyed our nation now? are u happy?

TM Tan
TM Tan
8 Aug 2011 8.49am

Mr. Wong, if by the providence of God, you or someone you love, becomes victim to what we are angry about and you reacted with laughter – then we won’t think you are a selfish and uncaring opportunist!

Charlie Oscar
Charlie Oscar
8 Aug 2011 5.10am

Tan Seng Hai,
The Rakyat Are So OPPRESSED And SO FEARFUL That We Might Be ARRESTED So A Lot Of Us Dare Not Go To The STREET For A PEACEFUL Walk.

So, WHENEVER We WANT, WE JUST WALK IN The MIDDLE of THE STREET For A Peaceful Walk WITHOUT Bothering About Others???
Does It Mean That We ALL Do Not Have To Abide Laws and Orders???

Please have some PITY on Aunty Ooi!!!
She Looked So…ooo LOST Walking ALONE In The MIDDLE Of The STREET!!!
Why did People who saw her Only cared about take photographs of her and Did Not Tell Her To Walk On the Road-side!!!
Well, some people can be so Selfish and Cruel!!!

Charlie Oscar
Charlie Oscar
8 Aug 2011 5.01am

Aliran,
What a load of Bulls@#t!!!
What took you so long to come out of this piece of Bulls@#t???
Why 10 reasons when It Is So Very Simple???
EVER Since 308, The Pembangkang Rakyat (PR) and Their Supporters like ALIRAN, Have Been POLITICKING, POLITICKING and POLITICKING… Non-Stop!!!
That Is Why Malaysians, The Rakyat, ARE ANGRY!!!
Don’t You Agree???

1288
7 Aug 2011 9.24pm

dont buy the star

Malaysian First
Malaysian First
7 Aug 2011 9.20pm

My beef as a Malaysian who’s equally of age with you, Mr Wong CW is that; if you felt the magic of being Malaysian before, why do you gloss your editorial with conciliatory overtones to please the warlords and yet, write the truth at the same time? You have to make a stand ultimately, wouldn’t you agree?

YKH
YKH
7 Aug 2011 8.24pm

We are very angry because of people like you!

telur dua
7 Aug 2011 7.22pm

Maybe he did not laugh at the Teoh Beng Hock and Sarbani cases but that doesn’t mean he is not a laughing stock.

RAJAN
RAJAN
7 Aug 2011 6.56pm

Mr Wong another name for your kind of editor journalism is … ‘journal prostitution’. As a responsible editor of this long running newspaper admit that you simply do not have the guts… to write on anything critical,meaningful or responsible that ought to highlight the various issues affecting the nation.Instead you are just apple polishing on all the above issues just to put the blame on the public who are also your newspaper buyers.What a paradox and what kind of life are you living and is this the way you earn your living to feed your family? Simply said you have sold your souls to the devils to put on a decent front…

Madness
Madness
7 Aug 2011 6.47pm

Wong, do you realise how so many of us working class are struggling with everyday expenses that are going up and up , and we must work like a dog overtime or join direct sales or part time insurance just hoping to earn a few bucks more to mitigate the inflation? Our only hope is credit cards, which will drown us soon but what can we do Wong,teach us how to laugh it off.Teach us how to be grateful to the present indifferent government who are more interested in cornering DSAI than giving us poor folks a real helping hand OR BOOSTING THE ECONOMY.PLEASE TEACH US TO JUST LAUGH IT OFF, WONG.

Foo
Foo
7 Aug 2011 5.52pm

Mr or is it Datuk Seri Wong CW,
Please don’t play deaf, dumb and blind. You and so-called journalists and your papers and your BN papers are part of the reasons why Malaysians are angry, damned angry!

gregwar
gregwar
7 Aug 2011 5.01pm

Well responded Mr Tan. In the beginning I too thought that Wong piece was well written. But after a couple of paras I gave up reading as it turned out to to his usual self-serving style. Yes, Wong all of us Malaysians are angry with our Prime Minister and all his ministers, the police and also the media. Your paper is becoming a mouth piece of the party and the government. Diamlah!!!

charleskiwi
7 Aug 2011 4.55pm

How can this Umno/Bn lackey ask us not to be angry when all he does is just to please the deceitful and corrupted Umno and last but not the least the porn artist political master.
To begin with he does not know what freedom of expression is, he would not have the audacity to wear anything that is yellow in colour least he get locked up.He does not have anyone dear or close to him die in police custody and so on and so forth.
In short he is quite happy so long he is able to receive his monthly pay. What a life to live and he just wants everyone of us to live like him. Caged up…!

sharin malayland
sharin malayland
7 Aug 2011 4.18pm

i very angry wit dap,pas,pkr,dun dream tis … to win putrajaya…

Chatgoo
Chatgoo
26 May 2012 10.38am

U shud share a name like wong chun hai !!

wck
wck
7 Aug 2011 3.54pm

wong chun wai is laughing out loud paid handsomely ..luxuriously ! as long his masters used him

Ex MCA
Ex MCA
7 Aug 2011 3.37pm

We are also angry that: – there are large numbers of poor Malays (despite 40 years of NEP) & non-Malays – Massive losses (in billions RM) were suffered by the country in MAS, Port Klang, tin & forex trading – The sorry state of affairs (independence & professionalism) in the judiciary, police, MACC, EC, AG Chambers. – RM 52 out of RM54 billion (at IPO price) bumi equity that was disposed for quick profit which has resulted in the 30% bumi equity being a contentious issue even today – Corruption is rampant in the country which has become an incurable disease – Selected UMNO Malays, war lords, cronies & family are so filthy rich when large number of rakyat remain poor. – Untold misery is inflicted on the masses through “artifically inflated” car prices due to protection of Proton & AP beneficiaries. – there is systematic discrimination & marginalization of the non-muslim minorities due to blatant abuse of Article 153 based not on reasonable proportion as stated in the Federal Constitution but rather based on abnormal & obscene proportion – Lopsided Agreements with the IPP & Tolled… Read more »