Since May last year, there has been a profound rise in the number of random civilians who posts words or pictures which are preaching hatred on their social media pages by mocking the sovereign rulers of the country and the people who support them, and insulting the practices and ideologies which are taught in Islam, the religion of the Federation. These posts are obviously stirring up the anger of all patriotic citizens, not only the Malays and the Muslims, and are causing a divide between the people.
As a multiracial country, people of all races and religions would feel angry about such acts because they feel compassionate for their fellow compatriots. These people would also feel angry at the disrespect shown to their sovereign rulers who they owe to for the peace and success of their country. However, it is sad to see that the number of people from other races who are standing behind the sovereign rulers and the Malays is minute. The rest of them have either chosen to join the charade of hate preaching or to ignore the whole fiasco altogether. And this is where the divide happens.
When the Malays embraced and welcomed the induction of the Chinese and the Indians as citizens of Malaysia, only to have a majority of these people mock and insult their religion, they feel very much betrayed. This feeling subsequently leads to indignation which leads to them standing up to protect the sanctity of their religion and race. When the Malays unite to stand up for the king, their religion and race, there are people who dislike this unity and instill fear into the hearts of the people from other races—specifically the Chinese and the Indians, by accusing the Malays of attempting to oust them from the country. This provokes the other races to mock and insult the sovereign rulers and the Malays even further. Thus, when the fight is no longer between individuals and the patriotic citizens but race against race, it poses as a grave danger to the peace of our country.
There needs to be a stop in the derogatory usage of our sovereign rulers, and the teachings, traditions and practices of the Muslims as items of mockery and ingredients for jokes.
The Malays were generous enough to relax the citizenship law and grant citizenship for the Chinese and the Indians, who came from their subsequent countries to find a better life. For about 54 years since the establishment of the Social Contract of Malaysia—the basis on which the citizenship of the Chinese and the Indians stands, the people enjoyed a peaceful and joyous life in a country which celebrates its unique multiracial identity, safe for the communal altercation which took place in 1969. All this is now placed at stake because of some foolish and shallow acts done without thorough thought. The impending doom of a communal riot similar to the 13th May 1969 incident seems ever so close at hand.
This is exactly the reason as to why law is established in a country.
Peace is brought forth when there is order, and for there to be order, a law needs to be established, upheld and practised. The citizens of a civilised country should feel responsible to protect, uphold and respect the law. The government should be the one who sees that the law is being practised and exercised justly—for what is the use of the law if it is not being practised? The amendment of the Sedition Act 1948 in 1971 which criminalises speech with “seditious tendency”, including that which would engender “feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races” was done exactly to curb the communal altercation which we are going through today after experiencing the deadly 13th May 1969 incident.
The failure of the people to understand the severity of their actions and the reason behind the laws which have been established in the country is saddening and horrifying, and the failure to see through that the law is being practised and upheld is encouraging such acts which are preaching hatred and causing a divide in our country. Thus, until the law is practised and upheld again, the number of such disrespectful, immature and thoughtless acts will only escalate.