Our ugly bigots are the true blot on Merdeka
Sunday Star Editorial
SOME recent controversies have highlighted the pathetic state of Malaysian activism. This lamentable dearth of good sense is nothing short of alarming.
Quibbling over whether a meeting on Islamic conversion should be private or public obscures the larger difference between the need for discussion and the mindless intolerance of banning all dialogue on it.
Enlightened Malaysians would talk through issues before they become volatile, while others prefer to bottle up problems until crisis proportions.
Are Malaysians mature enough to discuss urgent issues without threats and violence, indeed to understand the need to pre-empt such thuggery through discussion?
The Bar Council thinks an informed public is capable of rational discourse, but a minority of extremists pretends others share their crippling incapacity.
...The authorities must also realise that appeasing the unreasonable demands of degenerate troublemakers cannot be the answer, only a means to encourage their anti-social myopia.
Their primitive outlook also wants to ban the rock concert by Avril Lavigne for alleged indecency. Lavigne’s zestful performances may be a little boisterous but never beyond control or “indecent”, and slandering the young French-Canadian from a devout Baptist family is an insult.
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, an artistic work is either good or bad, but never indecent. And since Lavigne – who has never been charged for indecency – has yet to perform here, to prejudge her performance as indecent is truly being indecently prejudiced.
Some say the concert is about freedom of expression rather than decency. It is really only about music, whether or not the music appeals to all, and no group has the right to impose its taste on others.
More Malaysians must understand that democracy is not about forcing the whims of some people on all others.
Still the calls to ban something over nothing at all, from those who dare claim their version of religious propriety will not impose on the rights of others.
People who mistake xenophobia for nationalism and cannot stand other people talking or singing need to be rejected outright.
Their menacing bigotry is the real toxic stain on the spirit of Merdeka.