OCTOBER 5 ― ACCIN supports the terse statements by the Badminton Association of Malaysia and the minister of Youth and Sports condemning the racist and uncalled for statement by an individual in the social media regarding the national women singles player, S. Kisona.
BAM added, that as a sports body in the country, it will not tolerate any form of rasicm or discrimination. It added, it is not an easy endeavour to be able to compete on the international stage which requires a lot of dedication, sacrifice and ability.
The statement by Borhanuddin Che Rahim, the deputy head of the BERSATU Pasir Putih Division was criticised strongly by many net citizens for its racist slant. The comments against Kisona were made after Malaysia’s defeat in the Sudirman Cup to Japan last Saturday.
For the record, Kisona, 23 from Seremban is a senior BAM player who won the women’s singles in the 2019 SEA Games.
Hate Speech Commission/Committee
This incident and many more before this, direly requires a Hate Speech Commission/Committee that will be able to evaluate and judge quickly any form of retribution independent of the present judicial and adversarial defence and prosecution system which may take a long time to conclude.
Borhanuddin, besides being forced to resign from his political position in shame, can also be sentenced to do community work for a period of time and compelled to donate to worthy welfare and educational causes.
Are existing laws adequate?
National Unity Minister Halimah Sadique stressed in the Dewan Rakyat that the existing laws were regarded adequate to tackle issues linked to religion and race, currently.
“Those who deliberately disrupt unity and harmony can be investigated and charged under the existing acts,” she said when winding up debate in Parliament.
Among the existing regulations were the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
If the existing laws are adequate, we call on the Unity Ministry to act on this deliberate attempt to disrupt harmony.
Unity in diversity
Racism in Malaysia, transcends all races and religious beliefs. It is the sport of the ignorant, bad hearted and extremist. There must be good governance principles and SOPs to manage these differences that are bound to happen in a multi racial, multi religious society.
We as Malaysians must be proud and thankful for our diversity. Diversity is strength.
We should be proud of the cause of this diversity, a migratory culture. Migratory culture has been present since time immemorial.
Studies have shown tacitly, that Malaysians are basically a racial and religious based society which put strong emphasis on racial and religious identity. That is how our society has evolved over many years. Maintaining sensitivities and sensibilities between the different segments of the population and seeing ourselves as one Malaysian family is crucial to peace and harmony.
Besides implementation of confidence building and inter racial understanding and harmony measures, ACCIN proposes that it is the right time now to establish the Hate Speech Commission/Committee to effectively address the issue of hate speeches which may be isolated cases but have far reaching consequences.
* Ir Mohd Jamaludin Shamsudin is the CEO of Allied Coordinating Council of Islamic NGOs (ACCIN).
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.