Monday, June 19, 2006

Mob rule

June 19, 2006

Mob rule must be checked at all costs

May 14 2006 was a sad day for all Malaysians. On that day the forum, "Federal constitution, protection for all" by Article 11 was abruptly called off as a result of mob pressure. Indeed it is very distressing to know that a legitimate forum by law abiding citizens can be interrupted by mob rule in the very presence of the police who should provide the necessary protection
Although the strong condemnation by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nazri Aziz was reassuring, nevertheless it is not enough to quell the fears of ordinary peace loving citizens of the minority faiths.

Is this type of mob rule going to be the norm in the future? To add to this fear is the way the police force is reacting to the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). The thought of mob rule taking over the country sends shivers and fears among citizens who love peace and want to solve problems by negotiations and discussion in a civilized manner.

The federal constitution is the document that guarantees the rights of all citizens. If that itself is blatantly trampled upon by brutal means how can we expect to be given our legitimate rights as citizens of this country?

The majority of Malaysians is sensible and law abiding and would engage in dialogue to solve whatever problems that surface from time to time. We should not allow a small group to upset the peace and harmony we have today. They should not be allowed to use the threat of violence to suppress the problems facing us.

The government, under the leadership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, should come out strongly against these people who resort to mob rule. Recently the prime minister has condemned the preaching of hate and violence and has called for moderation and dialogue between Islam and the West. In the domestic scene too, all parties should heed his call, to reconcile their differences in a civilized and peaceful manner. Dialogue is the only way towards this end not threat of force and violence.

As Christians and belonging to the minority group, we should continue to impress the government by peaceful means, to invoke dialogue to settle our problems amicably. As we ask the government to be more open to dialogue, let us show them that the Catholic Church too practices such principles in all its dealings.

Meanwhile the Church must introduce special prayers and intercessions for freedom to profess our faith as enshrined in the Federal Constitution without threat and intimidation. Let us ask God to enlighten the hearts and minds of our leaders to see the wisdom of accepting us as equal citizens of our beloved country.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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