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Ramasamy to PMX: Politics of survival, politics of 3R avoidance are harmful for country

Publish date: Wed, 29 May 2024, 12:28 PM

I AGREE with Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who at the recent National Journalists’ Day (HAWANA) 2024 celebration in Kuching highlighted that there is a porous boundary between the right to criticise and inciting hatred by touching on 3R issues - royalty, race and religion.

But then Anwar or his Madani government should not ban any discussions on the 3Rs just because by touching them is by definition an incitement itself.

In this country, we have a constitutional monarchy. At the same time, race and religion constitute the criteria on which politics are organised and translated into power through periodic elections.

While the position of the royalty is above politics, race and religion are closely intertwined with the nature of politics. It cannot be assumed that touching on the role of the royalty within the ambit of the Federal Constitution is tantamount to incitement.

Similarly, race and religion are the twin inter-connected principles as to how society is organised. But merely touching on these two cannot be interpreted as move in the direction of incitement.

I believe that in a healthy and vibrant democracy, there cannot be any political or legal restraints on what can be discussed and what cannot.

The government in power cannon act as big brother to stifle discussions in the name of political stability or fear of racial or religious conflicts.

“Regime longevity”

There are more than adequate laws in the country to prevent those trying to cause incitement against the royalty or against race or religion.

What the government says is permissible or not should be taken with a huge dose of salt. The government’s thinking on the 3Rs might not be motivated by altruistic reasoning but for reasons of political stability would ensure regime longevity.

In the last more than one year or so, the Madani government seems to focus on regime longevity.

In a more precise sense, Anwar wants to last as the PM for one term at least. Hence, the thinking is such that for this to happen, there is need to curb discussions on the 3Rs.

This is why Anwar does not touch on the royalty even on harmless matters. He also consciously steers clear on controversy issues touching on race and religion.

As result, Anwar has come to be seen as weak leader without any sense of direction. However controversial the 3Rs issues are, Anwar should not avoid discussing them with the objective of controlling and managing the situation in the country.

The present politics of 3R avoidance is something not good for the country. On the sock-gate issue, Anwar - by not intervening and managing the crises - had allowed the matter to fester with ominous implications.

On the question of home arrest for incarcerated former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Anwar has to-date avoided the issue by saying that such is the prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA).

There are many other instances where Anwar sought to avoid matters on 3Rs. He should be bold and forthright in managing combustible issues in society whether they touch on the royalty, race or religion.

These cannot be avoided from a progressive perspective just because the government is apprehensive of their impact on the political stability and its longevity. - May 29, 2024

Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the United Rights of Malaysian Party (Urimai) interim council.

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Rama Prof, 🧑‍🏫 you are genius.

3 weeks ago

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