An act of extremism has reared its head in otherwise peaceful, respectful multi-racial Malaysia.
A male with songkok and Malay traditional attire was seen desecrating a ‘kolam’ decoration at a private hospital.
The hospital later issued a statement that this “unprofessional” conduct would be investigated. Police reports have already been lodged and action has been taken.
So, now, let us pause and ponder. Let’s not just say “don’t politicise it” because it is time we asked some difficult and serious soul-searching questions.
Obviously, the hospital was wrong in labelling this horrible act “unprofessional”. It was more than unprofessional. Such acts threaten the peace, safety and security of the country.
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Is this just the tip of the iceberg? Could this act be the result of years of political indoctrination and religious extremism in the country?
Politicians have used race and religion as part of their political arsenal to win support and wrest power, may have successfully sowed the seeds of extremism among some people.
Many people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds were outraged over this latest act. It is time for us to call for a wider, national re-examination of political policies and agendas that may have made some people, like this young culprit, boldly and brazenly disrespectful.
Such behaviour if merely regarded as “unprofessional” or as an isolated incident, will not help us to cleanse the nation of disrespectful and destructive conduct.
From now, we should demand that anyone leveraging on race and religion to gain political brownie points should be hauled up. Only then can such behaviour be wiped out so that we can prepare for more meaningful nation-building.