COMMENT | I only ask because
Khairy Jamaluddin is the minister for youth and sports and M Saravanan,
the alleged agent provocateur behind the attack on Tamil Malar
employees, is his deputy. Why is a deputy youth and sports minister
confronting journalists at their places of work and “attempting to stop
violence” carried out, in his own words, by “MIC Youth boys”?
If the allegations are true - that this is not the first time he has
confronted members of the press at their work premises - what does this
say about the Youth and Sports Ministry? Personally, I have always held the view, and hold it still, that any
organisation - especially that of the state and political parties -
which has a “youth” bureau, has a strong whiff of fascism. This is
especially so in Malaysia where racial and religious divisions are not
only politicised but are codified in our legal system.
So, what is the official position of the Youth and Sports Ministry
when one of their leaders is part of an investigation of possible
“rioting”? On that subject, I have a question for the newly-minted
inspector-general of police (IGP). What kind of outfit are you running
here? When Dang Wangi police chief Mohd Sukri Kaman claims that the
incident where journalists are assaulted in their premises is
investigated as “a riot between two groups, and it involved many
people”, it is a shameful excuse of public service. If you want to know
why people have so little faith in our police and justice system, all
you have to do is look at this latest incident and the way the police
are categorising this case and carrying out their investigations.
IGP Mohamad Fuzi Harun claims to be aware of the demands of his new
job and the expectations of the average citizen. Then his first priority
in this case is to ensure that investigations that involve a ranking
member of the ruling coalition is investigated in a transparent manner
and this horse manure of blaming both sides - which is what this section
is - should be abandoned.
Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo is absolutely correct when he asks, “If a
group of persons comes to confront you at your premises, and you
respond reasonably, can that be said as rioting?” Indeed, what can the
average citizen take away from this? When you defend your home against
robbery or trespassing, you could be charged with rioting? When you
defend your business against the intrusion of thugs or criminals, you
could be charged with rioting?
Or is there a more insidious reason why this media organisation is
implicated in the violence? Could it be that the state wants to impute
there is legitimacy in the conduct of one of its actors – a deputy youth
and sports minister – and that the provocation for such an act was
because the news organisation was carrying out its duties of reporting
the news? Is this a warning to all news agencies in Malaysia?
If Tamil Malar was indeed engaging in “fake news” as
Saravanan claims, then why does he not sue the daily? Such a legal
remedy does not embarrass the Youth and Sports Ministry and is within
his rights as a citizen of this country. Why is it that these MIC Youth
boys act as his emissaries and that he needs to go Tamil Malar to “stop” a violent incident from occurring?
Is this the function of the Youth and Sports Ministry or does Khairy,
as the head of this organisation, have no issue with his deputy
engaging in such behaviour? We always hear of how the ministry wants to
engage with young people but how does the behaviour of the deputy
minister affect this process? Is this really the kind of behaviour that the Youth and Sports
Ministry endorses? In a functional democracy, this deputy minister would
have been suspended from his duties – whatever they are – until
investigations were completed and the heads of his ministry would have
weighed in condemning the violence that occurred.
Waging war on free press
I guess Khairy is too busy doing whatever it is he does to be
bothered by how a deputy in the ministry he leads is allegedly waging
war on the free press and allegedly engaging in violence against
citizens of this country. All this, of course, has nothing to do with
the ministry which supposedly is an avenue for young people to express
their hopes and desires for this country.
On the other hand, does Khairy think that this is an issue that only
affects the Indian community and this has nothing to do with the
ministry he leads? This is a fair enough proposition, I suppose. If
Indian representation in the Umno regime is mere tokenism, then why
should the behaviour of a deputy minister – any non-Malay deputy
minister – be of concern to the ruling Malay elite. After all, the
allegations of gangsterism within the Indian community is an established
narrative that serves the purposes of the ruling elite in this country
This merely means that people would go, “well there is that MIC
gangster culture, what do you expect” narrative and the Malay ruling
elite would just think it is the price of making a display of Indian
representation in the ruling coalition. I am down with that too, but it
just goes to show how full of horse manure the Ministry of Youth and
Sports really is.
I always get calls from people claiming to be connected to the MIC
whenever I write articles critical of the political party. The calls
always follow the same pattern. The MIC is attempting to rehabilitate
its image in the Indian community. The MIC is attempting to go to the
grassroots and solve the problems faced by the disenfranchised of the
Well, this incident proves that the reason why the Indian community
is abandoning the MIC is because the community, unlike the Youth and
Sports Ministry, has had enough of the thug culture that is all
pervasive in the MIC.
Do not blame journalists for merely reporting the writing on the wall.