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Uncivilized enemies and politics

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Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 17th May 2012: 

Time to restore decency and civility to politics and public life

When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib spoke about “uncivilized enemies” who will lead Malaysia to ruin at the UMNO anniversary gathering at the Bukit Jalil Stadium last Friday, Malaysians immediately thought of two “uncivilized” acts which occurred only the day before – the Perkasa “funeral rite” in front of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s house in Penang and the setting up of a burger stall in front of the house of Bersih 2.0 co-chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan’s house at Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

Since then there had been a third “uncivilized” act which had never happened before in Malaysian politics and public life in the nation’s 54-year history – the utterly insensitive and deplorable “butt” dance by a group of armed forces veteran in front of Ambiga’s house two days ago, with the promise of more and bigger “uncivilized” actions to come!

What is most shocking is that these “uncivilised” actions had at first the approval and support of important personalities in government – especially the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar and some Ministers who asked what was wrong with setting up a beef burger stall in front of Ambiga’s house.

As a result of the tide of adverse public reaction in the past week, there appears to be a belated realisation in some official circles that such insensitive and deplorable “uncivilised conduct” have gone beyond the pale of the acceptable and permissible for ordinary decent Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, class, gender or age.

This explains for the condemnation of these “uncivilised” actions by those who had earlier held their silence.

This is however completely inadequate.

The time has come to restore decency and civility to politics and public life in Malaysia.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Cabinet must come forward to speak loud and clear their condemnation of these three “uncivilised acts” in the past week and to set the tone and example for decency and civility in politics and public life in Malaysia enroute to a developed high-income nation in 2020.