Offences involving “three R” – the baiting of public sentiments touching on race, religion and royalty – have snowballed by the day, with only half-hearted action taken to curb such incidents.
Why has it been only Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Noh who has been hauled up to answer for his insults?
Why not others like Pas president Hadi Awang and former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who have repeatedly offended the country’s ethnic minorities and sparked anger and outrage?
Some suggest our laws are inadequate and are calling for the crafting of new laws. Some say that issuing warnings with no effective action is just a mockery.
In short, we appear to be lost in trying to stop offences involving the “three Rs”.
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But we need to stop it to put the nation on track for nation-building and unity and for peace, harmony and goodwill.
Recently, out of sheer frustration and determination to generate a “unity wave”, 61 NGOs, led by Patriot, Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia, Rasuah Busters – including the 1.3 million members of the Malaysian Youth Council NGO – converged to form Gabungan Patrotisme Dan Perpaduan Kebangsaan (National Patriotism and Unity Coalition or GPKK).
This initiative has drawn the attention and support of many more well-known NGOs in the country.
A lawmaker in East Malaysia has taken pains to mention GPPK, urging NGOs in Sarawak and Sabah to join this unity wave.
Amid all this, the question that is being asked is why are the authorities unable to stop these public slurs, which may already be dividing the people?
As one well-known blogger pointed out, there appears to be no real political will to stem out offences involving the “three Rs”.
No nation is secure, nor can it progress if it does not invest in its internal harmony and national unity. Unity lies at the heart of the development and growth of any country, regardless of whether the nation is multi-ethnic or multi-religious.
At the ground level, ordinary people have repeatedly showed their ability to coexist in unity.
Politicians, however, have drummed up ‘race’ rights, religious intolerance and suspicions. Some have even chipped away at the royalty.
To deny that this is happening in the country is to just look the other way.
This is just wrong.
The fact that many of us are talking, writing and sharing our concerns and fears about the politics of the “three Rs” suggests that we as a nation are being derailed because of serious differences in our political aspirations.
The government should marshal its strengths to free the nation from the diabolic tentacles of the “three Rs”.
If not, it would be left to civil society to step up and rescue the nation.
If nothing happens, it will not be long before we become a failed state, where only crooks can thrive.