September 26, 2016
Stop Thuggery and infantile behaviour, starting with Najib at the Top
by Scott Ng
In the wake of the exposure of Ali Tinju’s threats against Bersih Chief Maria Chin Abdullah, perhaps it is time to evaluate ourselves as a society. These past eight years or so have been rife with incidences of provocation and thuggery coming from both sides of the fence.
The death of PAS’ Tuan Guru Dr.Haron Din last week was met with all kinds of derision, the comments sections on social media exploding with black sarcasm and self-righteous, arrogant posturing.
Now, PAS deserves the flaying it gets, but to speak ill of the dead – and by this we don’t mean by dredging up their sins, but instead attacking their faith and character for no good reason – is to crawl down to the bottom of the rubbish heap.
Some will claim that they hold to the principle of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a vicious insult if you disagree with me”, but no one benefits from an endless cycle of criticism and pushbacks. After all, one must consider the biggest reason for PAS’ dive back into religious fundamentalist communalism.
That reason was the emergence of the DAP two years ago as the dominant driving force of the opposition agenda following the incarceration of Anwar Ibrahim. The DAP’s liberal agenda was always at odds with PAS’ aspirations for a more religious state of affairs, and with one taking the spotlight the other could not stay silent for long.
The post-mortem demonisation of Haron Din and the thuggish behaviour of Ali Tinju are just mere examples of how we have gone way too far in letting politics divide us. We’re now allowing our political preferences to dictate our every interaction. Apparently, we cannot find common ground because we insist on the ironclad worthiness of our political stands.
Compromise is a dirty word in this day and age, but the truth is that the firmest way forward is usually paved on the middle ground.
Regardless of differences in political inclination, we are all humans and Malaysians first and it is recognition that common decency should guide our interactions that will heal the cracks that are preventing our national cohesion. Too often politicians from the big city are accused of not understanding the needs of the countryside, and the country folk are frustrated by the ignorance of their city cousins to their most basic needs.
We must see past the divide-and-conquer tactics of our politicians. We as a society must stand united, and the first step is to show mutual respect, which means we must eschew extreme arrogance and aggression, whether these come through words or deeds. No one has ever convinced someone else of the rightness of his argument through force.