Oh, Umno, we all doth protest too much?

MARCH 28 — When Lokman Noor Adam and gang crossed the road to manhandle the anti-Najib student protesters in Kuala Lumpur last week, they was well within character.

If you don’t already know, ex-PM Najib Razak was set to speak at a venue across Universiti Malaya’s mosque.

Activist students hold up protest placards, including the famous clown caricature. Umno supporters set upon them, grabbed and destroyed the demeaning displays, all caught on video.

Physical altercations and police stations are no strangers to the Umno Supreme Council member. Nor was it different when he was Keadilan youth secretary in the noughties. Roughing it up since Reformasi should be the sticker on his car.

Since the change of government, Lokman’s been busy.

Today’s rendition is about violence and political expression.

To Lokman, public humiliation of national leaders can’t be condoned. He’s consistent, in that when his brother Azman Noor Adam was arrested for online postings against the prime minister, he did not defend his brother’s keyboard warriorship.

To the protesters, Najib has been party to a series of questionable transactions and decisions; he therefore must be held accountable.

To the public opposed to Najib, it's evidence of Umno’s violent proclivities.

To the public sympathetic to Najib, the provocation was unnecessary.

To others, who cares?   

A political view will matter to some, objectionable to others, and to the vast majority unimportant.

That’s the proper starting point, to be aware. While the overly involved speak of their conviction, they are subject to the masses’ view.

Truth

We believe in different things. We do.

Which is fine, because democracy is about opposing views, incoherent, irreversible and absolute. That’s life on the planet.

However, some disagree on the right to disagree.

Lokman and gang, Najib included, have no clue. They believe truth is in the hands of those in power. Can’t blame them, they grew up in a false reality. One built on strength being true, rather than reason.

And here they are, in a reality opposed to the one they grew up in. Sorry you lost the election, even despots must be deposed.

It must be frustrating for them. But we are not responsible for their feelings.

Feudal lords

To those raised in power, the new world must be an abomination.

The dirtiest having some worth, what kind of madness is that?

There are those convinced something is true because the people who present them are from the right pedigree. Not their facts but their background.

Well, welcome to the 21st century.

Ideas

To begin with, we disagree.

That’s how ideas operate.

Lokman wanted ideas not to offend.

Because while the ideas offend your side, they don’t to the rest of the world. If he is unclear about this concept he does have the number of the Rembau MP from the Umno WhatsApp group.

Here’s reality; to be constructive, in any society, ideas should be challenging, otherwise they are not ideas.

What is protest?

In Malaysia today, there is a debate, about how much one can protest.

The answer is as much as they want to if they can afford it.

Let them protest until they are blue in the face.

What if they are wrong? Who knows if they are wrong? Who really does?

Those certain about right and wrong, they are the true opponents of democracy.

Umno, has a simple view of protests. When they do it, it is right, and when someone else does it, it is wrong.

Those silly kids

They made placards. They stood by the road. That’s their only sin.

Who cares if they are wrong or right? What is wrong or right?

They have an opinion, and that is the beginnings of a democracy.

The lads from Umno can’t stomach democracy because it makes them look stupid. Well matey, if it does, maybe you should review your own ideas rather than be upset.

I mean, if to the regular human person, your party, your leader, your basic approach to government appears stupid why not rethink rather than be upset about the world?

Are you that daft, that amazingly incompetent to realise that your backward ideas are obsolete?

Is it that protests upset you because they brazenly point out your party’s stupidity? Dude, read up the Emperor’s New Clothes.

Actually, read. Anything. Stupid has been out of fashion for decades.

*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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