Ruckus Outside Parliament Building – Is This Malaysian Culture?

After watching the ruckus outside the Parliament House involving UMNO Youths and Member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor Karpal Singh on TV3 and NTV7 just now, I could only think of one question: Is mob culture Malaysian culture? Notwithstanding Karpal’s provocative utterances in Parliament the day before, such scenes of disorderly behaviour should not have happened or allowed to happen within the compound of the august Parliament building.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Ruckus Outside Parliament Building – Is This Malaysian Culture?”

  1. I look at it this way, Peter.

    We could have had a culture of vigorous, passionate and yet civil debate. We could; all we would have had to do was allow people to speak, allow people to argue and fight it out and make fools out of themselves and others.

    What happened instead was that we ended up with a culture of high-handed repression disguised as morality. Suppression of dissent in the name of “Asian values”.

    Let me tell you something. Either you let people speak, or you let what they have to say fester. And when it festers, it becomes poisonous.

    At this point, mob culture is our culture. And it must be. Because if you don’t let it out now, if you don’t let these people burn themselves out and discredit themselves and suffer the consequences of their actions (freedom of speech does not guarantee freedom of consequence, or freedom from response), it will get worse.

    So let them riot. Let them be indecent. And yes, punish them if they go too far, if they engage in criminal acts or libel or abuse.

    Because if you don’t let them it’ll get worse.

    I hear you. The question was sacarsm directed at the oft-repeated “This is not our culture / Ini bukan budaya kita” line politicians like to bandy around when people opposed to them organise protests. Personally, I am all for freedom of expression, having participated in a few, as long as they are within the limit of the law. I totally agree with all that you wrote here but bringing that kind of disorderly behaviour to the vicinity of the Parliament is not acceptable from my point of view irrespective of the irrational antics of MPs when debating in the Parliament. You know, you make a better politician than many of those that we voted into the Parliament. I like your style. 🙂

  2. Ugh, I’d rather listen to my grandfather’s advice to his children; he was in UMNO during their foundation and ended up being one of their elder statesmen:

    “Don’t go into politics. These young turks — they don’t know how to play decently or fairly any more.”

    Very true those words. If there are more wise people like your grandpa, we would not be in the political mess we are in now.

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