By LIM SUE GOAN
Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily
The disturbances triggered by the "Janji Demokrasi" rally have stimulated people to think and I hope that everyone has been inspired, or the political situation will deteriorate.
Part-time model Ong Xin Yi and college student Muhammad Ammar A Rahman had indeed misconducted during the rally. Meanwhile, it is also facts that the police should not have handcuffed Ong when she surrendered herself and the police is having a double standard on law enforcement. What is actually causing young people to get lost, as well as a law enforcement agency to lose its professional standard?
Both Ong and Muhammad Ammar are 19 years old. They said that they have no political background and had no intention of joining the rally.
Ong said that she had no intention of committing sedition and had simply followed others who were doing the same.
This is what we called a "trap" that lead members of the public to unconsciously commit wrongdoings during mass activities. Emotions run high under the atmosphere of which everyone is booing. If someone takes the lead and some others instigate, some people would just easily lose their rationality and follow what others do.
Therefore, young people who participate in political rallies must always remind themselves of what they can do and what they cannot do. There are certainly many cameras in such occasions. Those who instigate and boo might not get into trouble, but playful young people could become the scapegoats.
Parents should also educate their children not to blindly follow suit to avoid risking their own future and causing their families worry.
Ong surrendered herself and she is not a criminal. It is too much for the police to handcuff her.
It also lacks professionalism for the police to have taken prompt action against "Janji Demokrasi" rally participants who have committed wrongdoings, but is helpless in dealing with those who have humiliated and protested against Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
The action of stepping on pictures of the Prime Minister and wife was considered an offence under sections 290 and 504 of the Penal Code for being public nuisances and intentionally causing insult with an intent to provoke break the public peace, respectively. Meanwhile, baring buttocks over the pictures of the Prime Minister and wife was considered an offence under section 509 of the Penal Code for a word or gesture intended to outrage the modesty of a person. There is no single specific legal provision allowing the police to deal with those who insult national leaders. And the point is not about identity and status, but the rule of law.
Therefore, regardless of who is being insulted, including Bersih co-chairman Datuk S. Ambiga, actions should be taken against the person committing the insult to maintain the prestige of the police and the Attorney-General's Office.
As Home Minister said, similar incidents might take place again before the general election. The fact is, similar incidents have been taking place. For example, a bus, which Pakatan Rakyat leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was in, was blocked and splashed with paint, causing a bodyguard to draw a pistol and point it at the public. The bodyguard was detained and released after his statement was recorded. If the police enforcement is not strong enough, it will encourage more acts of provocation and eventually, trigger a conflict.
Political erosion in professionalism is one of the sequelas of political penetration in important area, as well as a price of pan-politicisation.
Based on the current situation with mass fanaticism and less professional law enforcement agencies, it is inevitable to have chaos before the general election. People, however, are more worried about the situation during and after the election.
Can party supporters accept the election results? Would the police be capable enough to maintain law and order if there is an outbreak of physical conflict?
Politics has caused people impetuous and only the rule of law can clarify confusion and bring things back to order. If even the rule of law spirit goes bad, who else can save us?