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Malaysia strikes back against racial related violence

June 20, 2018


An act of vandalism in Malaysia, similar to the Telipot Mosque Incident. Photo: Star Media Group Berhad


Published 19 JUNE, 2018




KUALA LUMPUR – Following the Telipot Mosque Incident in which a place of worship for the Malay race was vandalised, racial related violence has been on the rise in recent months (The Nanyang Siang Pau, 1965).


In response to increasing racial tensions and violent incidents, the Malaysian Parliament today introduced and debated on a council directive aimed at combating against such incidents.


A directive was introduced with two main clauses – the first calls for clandestine investigations into such incidents. The second calls for postponement of news reporting of racial-related incidents.


Lim Swee Aun, Minister of Commerce and Industry reinforced the fact that the directive is detailed enough to allow for preemptive action to be carried out in a “fast and efficient way”. Tan Siew Sin, Minister of Finance has also pledged his Ministry’s support in funding the actions of this directive.


However, contentions lie in the second clause. As the opposition Members of Parliament have stated, “it could be tantamount to media suppression and the hindrance of free speech.”


By that logic, Tan Chee Khoon, Leader of the Opposition alleged that the directive is a “criminal operation” due to the suppression of the free press..


D.R. Seenivasagam of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) supported his view, calling for the immediate removal of the second clause.


Cutting through the tense atmosphere, the Parliament Members found time for a quick chuckle as Mr. Devan Nair rallied for guaranteed internet access to all Malaysians – internet however does not exist in Malaysia today in 1965.


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