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I am shocked by the MCA's claim that 95 percent of the Chinese community has voted for the ruling BN in the Pengkalan Pasir by-election. This is disturbing especially when one considers the video-clip showing the abuse of an alleged ethnic Chinese woman in a police lock-up (After all, BN has full authority over all police actions).

The horror and revulsion felt by the Chinese community when they viewed the video-clip obviously did not translate into votes for the opposition. Sadly, Malaysian politics is still dictated by racial sectarianism. Despite being independent for 48 years, we still have not been able to remove the shackles of bigotry manifested by the colonialists through the introduction of their "divide and rule" policy.

What is the bottom line then - that the Chinese community in Malaysia when asked to choose between an 'Islamic state' or a 'police state' will choose the latter because they feel it is the lesser of the two evils. Or one can say that the Chinese community in Malaysia prefer the 'devil they know rather than the devil they don't know'.

It is ignorance at its utmost to choose a government that blatantly tortures and abuses its citizens just because we are unable to see beyond the Islamophobic propaganda being churned locally and from abroad. Why the fear of Islamic parties that we prefer to return to power those who trample on our rights with impunity. President Hosni Mubarak returned to power in Egypt with 89 percent of the vote. President Nazarbayev returned to power in Kazakhstan with 91 percent of the vote. Who else to blame but ourselves when we vote for an abusive government.

There is without a shred of doubt that one can say that those behind the abuse of the woman in the video will go unpunished. There is also no doubt that similar abuses will happen again which most Malaysians will view as trivial until an abuse finally occurs which involves a member of their family.

What is definitely certain is that we will put those politicians back into power who tacitly encourage wrongdoings by the police by not making them accountable (for example, by allowing for detention without trial and an assortment of extrajudicial powers).

The 'war against terror' is not being fought in Malaysia. But the abuses and torture of innocent individuals, which has become its trademark, has already made its debut here.

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