MARCH 3 — The spectacle of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng being subjected by some Malay thugs to public harassment and humiliation on February 26 as he was leaving the anti-Lynas rally at Padang Kota in Penang caused a great deal of genuine pain to the sensibilities of men and women of goodwill in this nation.
Is this what the notion of “the new Malay” is really all about? Have they totally abandoned the natural courtesy and graciousness of their forebears? What has happened to the “adat”, or have they forgotten that too?
We may not like his politics but was that appropriate behaviour towards another human being? Lim is the head of government and must be shown all the courtesies attendant upon that position. That, in my book, is the norm of a civilised society, and anything less is unacceptable.
I attended a similar rally in Kuantan on the same day. It was a joy to see a well-behaved crowd of mainly young people from all over the country, including some from overseas, lending support to an important environmental concern without resorting to unruly and obnoxious behaviour.
The Kuantan police deserve the highest praise for their professionalism. They were there when needed, but otherwise remained in the background.
The Penang police, by comparison, were a disgrace to their uniform. They stood there, taking it all in but did absolutely nothing to stop the rowdyism that was showing all the signs of developing into violence.
Based on the video clips I watched, they did not go to the aid of the chief minister when he needed their intervention. This is the kind of attitude and behaviour that the police must change if they want to earn our respect and support. The police must be non-partisan.
* Tunku Abdul Aziz is a former member of the Police Royal Commission.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.