Insults and slogans

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Haron Din - Photograph: Wikipedia

While what was expressed after Haron Din’s passing was unwarranted, let us not take it to levels that many would not agree with, says K Haridas.

I am perplexed how former journalist Sidek Kamiso was arrested for allegedly insulting Islam over the death of Pas spiritual leader Haron Din.

I can understand if it is stated that he insulted a Muslim leader and the course of action would be for the family to initiate.

Yes, Haron Din was the spiritual leader of Pas, which is an Islamic political party. He stood three times for elections and lost. He was a preacher, bomoh, politician and faith healer who was held in high esteem – but he was never a prophet.

To claim that any statement about him made since his demise is an insult to Islam is setting a dangerous precedent. He was in the public space, and while what was expressed was unwarranted, let us not take it to levels that many would not agree with.

We are into dangerous territory as we will have to be very careful when we comment about muftis and other learned individuals when certain individuals among them come up with illogical statements.

Further, which school of thought from within Islam do you come from, and if this is contrary to the prevailing thought process in Malaysia, then it would appear that the interpretation of the inspector general of police would obviously be final and conclusive!

The problem is not with Islam but with Muslims who think that they are better than others.

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We have in this incident to look candidly at the intelligence of the inspector general of police. Very soon we could find people arrested for speaking against MO1 as this may also be construed as insulting.

What disturbs me most with regards this issue is the manner in which Sidek Kamiso was arrested and then taken to Johor Baru. Is there in this instance a serious misuse of power?

He was arrested in the wee hours of the morning. The manner of entry into his house and the way his wife and children were startled is not something smart. Who is to determine whether a warrant is required or otherwise? The man is not a terrorist! It is actions like these that make people lose confidence in the police.

Has there been selective prosecution? Action must be taken to ensure that the inspector general of police both understands the law and works within the confines of the requirements. He must be held accountable.

Former Malacca Chief Minster got away with insulting the Sultan’s son by paying a fine of RM1,900; no action has been taken against the Umno leader from Langkawi who allegedly insulted the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. What about Perkasa vice president Zulkifli Noordin’s statement following the death of Karpal Singh? One could say that his remarks were insulting. Where will all this take us as a nation?

All this describes a nation in limbo without leadership and clarity. There are too many slogans with little substance such as “1Malaysia”, “Satu jiwa satu hati” and “People first, performance now”.

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But no leader has come out with any clarity on the issues of the day. Those who can give clarity are silent while the cronies go on squeaking and embarrassing themselves and the nation.

So we are left with remnants of the NEP now in leadership who shout their heads off without thinking and add insult and injury to the nation.

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