GERAK condemns the recent violent threats made by vicious individuals against student leaders from the Universiti Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany).
Threats of this nature – and those making these threats – have no place in civilised society.
Unfortunately, they have become commonplace in Malaysia and often little seems to be done by the authorities to stop them and charge them or better, to educate these groups and individuals.
This inaction or slow reaction by the authorities must change. Threats of violence against law-abiding citizens must be investigated quickly and resolved effectively.
This time around, the threats followed police investigations of a Facebook post by Umany on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Malaysian politics.
The Umany students had every right as citizens to voice their concern and many of us believe they insulted no one, and certainly were not seditious. But the authorities were nonetheless swift in moving against them.
Gerak believes the police investigation was uncalled for, akin to using a sledgehammer to strike down a fly.
It is sad and duplicitous that, on the one hand, we urge our students to question and and to be critical, yet when they are, as in the case of Umany, we detain, interrogate and intimidate them.
In any case, Umany has since taken down the post and apologised.
Now they are being threatened with death and personal injury. These threats of violence must be roundly condemned, investigated, and nipped in the bud. Just as the authorities were quick to detain and question the students, so must they now move just as quickly against those making these threats.
Sadly, often such threats are racially motivated and reflect blind hatred, without the perpetrator showing any sign of understanding what the issues are actually about.
Gerak believes that this unthinking hatred, reinforced by self-serving politicians and others who should know better, must be strongly countered by everyone concerned, certainly by the authorities and those with influence at every level of Malaysian society. – November 21, 2020.
* Professor Zaharom Nain is Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia chair.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.