Why are former government members defying royal advice?

Why are former government members defying royal advice?

I am shocked and surprised that some Opposition leaders who were formerly in government are defying royal advice about fake news and hate speech and are totally reckless about jeopardising national unity in Malaysia.

I would advise these Opposition leaders, who were formerly government leaders, to repent and to heed the advice of the various Rulers and play their part to curb fake news and hate speech dominating the social media.

The Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, for instance, had said that after 62 years of achieving independence, the act of instilling the feeling of hatred among the races and religions was being committed more often.

He expressed his concern that the political climate in the country after the 14th general election was getting hotter through acts carried out by political leaders.

Sultan Nazri Shah said various provocations, which were extreme in nature, were being made, including disseminating slander through social media and insulting Islam and the various religions in the country.

He warned that such acts were like setting up time bombs, which were waiting for the right time to explode.

Playing up people’s emotions to influence them

The Perak ruler said that the true facts and authenticity of the news concerned are not important, since emotions play a bigger role in influencing people, including the learned, to the extent that their minds are being poisoned and possessed.

Every incident, from crimes on the road to the disciplinary action of teachers in schools or employers at the workplace, the colour of leaders’ attire, errors in raising the national flag, and changes in school curriculum were being negatively interpreted according to racial and religious dimensions.

Describing such situations as “very unhealthy” and placing the nation in a dangerous and worrying situation, Sultan Nazrin Shah stressed that the majority of Malaysians love peace and are becoming “more restless and fearful”.

He said the heated climate must be immediately brought down, and the acts of instilling racial feelings and spreading the feelings of enmity among the religions must be stopped without delay.

The Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (photo) also reminded Malaysians not to easily believe fake and slanderous news on the social media that can jeopardise the country’s peace and security.

Sultan Sharafuddin said every citizen should have a responsibility to avoid any form of conflict and disunity arising from negative elements of some parties, aimed at destroying the nation’s unity that had been built over the years.

The Selangor Sultan also advised Malaysians in conjunction with the 62nd National Day Celebrations: “Practice tolerance and strive to understand each other, and at the same time, celebrate the differences in customs, culture and religion so we can continue to live in an atmosphere of independence in the real meaning of the word.”

Will the Opposition leaders, especially those who were formerly government leaders, respond patriotically to these royal calls and support strong actions against fake news and hate speech in the social media, especially those designed to incite suspicion, doubt, distrust and hatred among the different communities so as to generate the baseless fear that each community is facing an existential threat with regard to its ethnicity, rights, religion and culture?

The former important personality of the previous government, whom I met at the Subang Airport while waiting for my flight yesterday, agreed with me that fake news and hate speech to incite suspicion, distrust, fear and hatred among the races and religions must be curbed, if Malaysia is not to become a failed and rogue state.

Will Opposition leaders who were formerly leaders of the previous government prove that they are decent and patriotic Malaysians by responding positively to these royal calls, even if it means breaking from former government leaders who are only interested in a launching a movement for a klepto-theocracy in Malaysia, using fake news and hate speech to pit race against race, religion against religion?

Lim Kit Siang is Iskandar Puteri MP of the DAP.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Leaders Online.

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