Elected opposition MPs, state assembly members and student activists too have been stopped from speaking, points out Farha Yusof.
A speech getting stopped by the authorities … and then a commotion starts. Sound familiar?
Yes, such an incident would not be something alien to opposition figures when delivering their speeches. Anwar Ibrahim, in his capacity as Malaysian opposition leader, would receive such treatment now and again.
Rafizi Ramli, the MP for Pandan, is no stranger to this sort of treatment either. Remember the incident where a mike was taken away from him during his speech at the International Islamic University Malaysia a few weeks back.
But surprise, surprise, Dr Mahathir was also blocked from delivering his speech today at the Umno headquarters, the Putra World Trade Centre in central Kuala Lumpur.
It is not that I want to be sympathetic with Mahathir. But he should have been allowed to speak, just as Anwar Ibrahim and Rafizi Ramli should have been allowed to speak.
I was shocked by the Inspector General of Police’s tweet this morning – but what can we do? The call to cancel the forum was unreasonable and illogical to any sound person in this country.
At least one of our questions over the last few weeks has been answered: would Prime Minister Najib Razak dare to face Mahathir? A definite no, so far.
The 1MDB scandal saga continues with secrecy and perhaps #Something2Hide?
Parliament is an avenue for answering matters of public interest. Actually, there is an obligation to do so under Article 43 (3) of the Federal Constitution, which clearly states that the Cabinet is collectively responsible to Parliament.
But is this avenue used and given due consideration? Parliamentary affairs are not at a level that can be considered satisfactory at the moment; that is why there are calls for parliamentary reforms.
Why waste public funds further with solidarity meetings with the Prime Minister. Please instead answer the many queries of the Malaysian public at the proper avenue in Parliament – and in public dialogues like this.
There’s another issue that must be highlighted here: dear Malaysian public, be consistent in your stand; it is not only Mahathir who has been stopped from speaking.
Elected opposition MPs and state assembly members have also been stopped from speaking, and some have been charged. Student activists too have received similar treatment.
Open your eyes, once and for all.
If you want to seek justice, be fair and equal, regardless of the person’s position in society and his or her ethnicity.
“I am just an ordinary man, I don’t carry arms, I can’t do anything or harm anyone…. Why should anyone be afraid of me?” wondered Mahathir.
Yes, Dr Mahathir, that is the question the rest of us are asking as we seek a better Malaysia.
Farha Yusof, who is currently pursuing his tertiary education, is involved in social activism in the Klang Valley.
Farha participated in a recent Aliran Young Writers Workshop on Federalism and Decentralisation, supported by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. “The workshop has taught me how to express the concerns of the public and students through better and more effective writing,” he says.