Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blowing things out or proportion...

Our society today, seems to be suffering from a fear-driven hallucination or a hallucinating fear. We always blow up certain happenings or incident to become out of proportion and thereby make people scared or anxiously intimidated. It's a good way of
diverting attention, taking away people's concern about certain things to focus on something else less distructive or harmeful ( or so the party concerned think!) But the red herrings could turn out to be tiny red piranhas.

A heated debate in Parliament can be blown up (by whom is often uncertain) to become a racial conflict or a constitional crisis. A street brawl can be turned into a political issue involving racial, religious or cultural conflict. A breach of discipline by students in a school is often bloated up to become a sign of moral degredation or social dystrophy. We are so quick to give an ordinary, everyday, and normal social delinquency, a national significance, heralding a multiracial confrontation.

The case of setting fire to churches and throwing pig's head into a mosques is one example of an historical fact, brought up for political debate, went to the High Court for a ruling and now causing so much anxiety and vexation. While the issue of using the word Allah for God by non-Muslim should not go the court at all but be resolved by the religious authorities, any attempt to burn up a building is a simple case or arsony no matter with what motive. So is throwing any remains of any dead animal into the mosque, or church or temple for that matter. The culprits should be taced, brought to book and punished. End of story.

But why should the Police be giving warnings to people: Don't play with fire! There's no law against playing with fire, unless "fire" means something else in this case. Can the Police take action against people for 'playing with fire'? when the term "fire" is not defined if it means anything else other than the thing that burns. Even the ban on playing with firecrakers, does not seem to be fully implemented. In this case the crime is for desecrating a place of worship. Why don't the Police say so and not imply an act or arsony which the attempt to burn churches involved?

I think Malaysians should stop blowing things out of proportion now and giving acts of crime and violation of the law a racial or political implication. We should be able to view a crime or a violation of the law as just that and let the authorities concerned deal with it without giving it a prolonged racial, cultural or religious overtone. Nor should the Press use such event as a springboard for a lot of speculations, conjectures and fodder for anxieties and threats. Don't manufacture "news" for the sake of increasing circulation but rather give more analysis and insights into genuine national issues and matters of human interests

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