Friday, August 15, 2008

Blame the politicians for protesters’ conduct

Blame the politicians for protesters’ conduct

THE conduct of protesters outside the Bar Council building and the few of them who were escorted into the auditorium by the police last Saturday, resulting in the disruption of a forum, puts Malaysia’s political maturity behind 20-30 years.

The protesters could not have been so bold and confident if not for the earlier media statements of some politicians calling on the council to call off the forum or do it behind closed doors because of the subject’s "sensitive nature". The home minister was even reported to have said that the council should bear the consequences if it went on with the forum.

One would have expected these same politicians, in this day and time, to prevail upon the extremist groups for tolerance and understanding. Religious tolerance can be nurtured only by dialogue and understanding. Politicians should take the lead and be seen to be encouraging such dialogue in the process of educating the citizenry.

After 51 years of independence and being a sovereign state, currently in the UN Human Rights Council and now taking the chair of the executive committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the government’s role in promoting religious tolerance domestically is not only dismal but also shameful, going by last Saturday’s events.

Being a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-lingual state, Malaysia today could be a shining example to other nations of inter-ethnic and religious tolerance. We are sadly not so. Malaysia’s human development in this area is most disheartening.

The conduct of the police last Saturday once again demonstrates the continued deterioration of the integrity and credibility of the Malaysian police.

Param Cumaraswamy
Kuala Lumpur

seals: Blame the politicians again as law makers they kept this matter unsolved that dragged the matter till it has to be discussed in an open forum by Bar Council.

No comments: