ALSO BY

Umno bully boy out to crush

It's interesting that Malay 'sensitivities' are again cited as grounds for stopping freedom of expression. Umno chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib was quoted in the malaysiakini report Umno lodges report against Malaysia Today as saying 'maybe these people (bloggers) had forgotten that Malaysia is a country with many sensitivities'.

How convenient for Umno to claim that the postings and articles in 'Malaysia Today' were disrespectful to the King and Islam. Surely, no sensible Malaysian of any race or colour would want to do that. Certainly not the bloggers that we have all learnt to appreciate, for their contribution to debate and free expression on the Net.

It would be extremely useful for the non-Malay world, and indeed the world at large, for Umno, as representatives of the mainstream governing party of the country, to at least make an effort at explaining, or better still documenting, exactly what it means by these 'sensitivities'.

Failure to do so would naturally invite observers to conclude that all these 'sensitivities' are nothing more than a convenient excuse for Umno to attempt to stifle free debate, and to continue to perpetrate its lies and blatant propaganda, especially to its core constituents, the Malay public.

For many Malaysians, these 'sensitivities' are not only self-serving for Umno, but reflect the Malay body politic's inability and unwillingness to allow debate fully in a democratic framework on all the key issues of national importance. Whether it is corruption, the NEP, education, the economy, Proton, etc.

Whilst Umno requires the rest of us to be mindful of its 'sensitivities', which seems to mean everything that can threaten its hegemony in the country, it itself has not exactly been known to be too sensitive to others at times - what with threatening your fellow citizens with the 'keris', and talk of bathing in blood, etc.

Put them under the microscope, and Umno's 'sensitivities' are nothing more than an old bag of crude bully boy tactics to crush any dissent, real or imagined.

In time, Umno and its feudal ways will ensure that Malaysia continue to regress- whether it's the standard of living, or the standards of its universities. Malaysians should not be surprised to wake up one day and find that Malaysia is classified officially as a Third World country.