Kadir Jasin: How to live if we don’t delve on 3R matters at all?

IT IS against the Federal Constitution and custom for the authorities to prohibit people from touching on matters related to race, religion and royalty (3R) as these are part of citizenry right for freedom of speech as well as being a common feature in the lives of Malaysians.

However, what should be prohibited or voluntarily avoided is to fan these three sentiments intentionally as incitement to disrupt public order, according to veteran journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

“We are a country of many religions, kings and races. How are we going to live if we are not allowed to touch on these things?” he penned in a Facebook post entitled “Impossible Not to Touch on 3R”.

“Normally, even when we touch only a little bit on 3R, there must be quarters who will brown-nose (kaki ampu) by claiming that we are overstepping or violating the limits. They will go to the extent of filing a police report. These people behave like spoiled children who will refer every little thing to their mother.”

Datuk A. Kadir Jasin

For context, Kadir’s rant came in reaction to a statement by Pahang Police chief Datuk Yahaya Othman who is reported to have warned all parties involved in the Pelangai state by-election campaign “not to touch on matters that may disturb public order, including the 3R issues, namely race, religion and royal institutions”.

Elaborating further, Kadir expressed certainty that there is no element of incitement if one talks about the call to prayer being too loud or that a religious procession causes traffic jams. Or similarly, about kings being involved in business or that there are many poor Malays despite being accorded privileges.

“Of course, it is not racist and inciting if we talk about Chinese and Tamil national type schools that should be closed due to lack of pupils or action taken against dangerous tahfiz schools,” the former group editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times pointed out.

“After all, if there are kings who can be interviewed by the mass media or active on social media platforms, surely the public can give reaction. Or when kings are involved in business and secure government projects and assistance, the common people certainly have the right to know and offer their opinion.”

Added Kadir: “I’ve raised this 3R issue and furnished examples once in a discussion with senior management of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on Sept 5.”

It is worthwhile mentioning here that Kadir is a signatory of the group of veteran journalists, media practitioners and journalist bodies who recently protested against the action by the MCMC to give pro-Perikatan Nasional (PN) MalaysiaNow a “two-hour” notice to take down reports on the recent commotion in the Dewan Rakyat between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Putrajaya MP Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin. – Sept 26, 2023

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