Thursday, August 14, 2014

Israel and sedition

Will it be seditious singing carols containing the word ‘Israel’, asks MCA

MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Datuk Ti Lian Ker said the investigation of a student who had ‘liked’ a pro-Israel Facebook page was ‘totally ridiculous’. – Reuters pic, August 14, 2014.MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Datuk Ti Lian Ker said the investigation of a student who had ‘liked’ a pro-Israel Facebook page was ‘totally ridiculous’. – Reuters pic, August 14, 2014.MCA has poured scorn on a sedition probe into a student who had liked a Facebook page titled "I love Israel", asking if the authorities will also question those who sing Christmas carols containing "Israel" in the lyrics.
Saying the investigations were "totally ridiculous", MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Datuk Ti Lian Ker asked if those who sang the popular Christmas carol, "The First Noel", would be investigated under the Sedition Act as well.
"Will anyone, including children carollers, singing the chorus of 'The First Noel' which ends with 'Born is the King of Israel' be subject to questioning under the Sedition Act?” he asked in a statement today.
"For Christian pilgrims who have received the green light from Malaysian authorities to make a spiritual pilgrimage to Israel, will they too, be investigated for sedition?"
Penang police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said yesterday that a Form 5 student in the state was being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act after he "liked" a Facebook page titled "I Love Israel".
"This investigation is totally ridiculous, more so coming from the police in Penang which has a Jewish cemetery believed to be the oldest in Asia. This will further erode the image of the authorities among the public," Ti added.
"Such action by the police against a top scholar only adds towards victimisation of the student and the perception by non-Muslims regarding selective persecution of religious minorities."
Instead, Ti said, the public expected the police to prioritise combating crime including home burglaries, car thefts, snatch thefts, white collar crimes, kidnappings which have become synonymous with the coastlines of eastern Sabah, organised crime and others.
The Hindu student, who attends a school in Taman Tasek Mutiara, is now embroiled in controversy after his liking of the page became known to one of his teachers.
The teacher shared it on her Facebook page, criticising the student and attracting criticism and threats from other Facebook users.
There were calls to boycott the student, and one Facebook user said the student should be burned, following which the boy and teacher lodged police reports.
However, the boy said he had accidentally clicked "Like" for the pro-Israel page.
Penang education department director Osman Hussain also said yesterday the teacher responsible for the Facebook posting that led to the student being vilified and threatened on the social network would be served a reminder not to take to Facebook to discuss her students.
"If she does it again, she will be transferred out of Penang," he said today, adding that the department’s hands were tied since it was now a police case.
Ti said that despite the department's action on the teacher and its efforts to "reach an amicable solution" to the case, it was worrying that the boy continued to be bullied at school while another student was beaten up after being mistaken for him.
"MCA’s fears that the teachers’ call to burn the boy will lead to victimisation appear to be coming true," he said.
"It is wrong for any teacher to advocate or preach violence, especially so when we are dealing with young impressionable adolescents. Young minds may get swayed and have a tendency to go overboard with emotions and lash out violence indiscriminately, more so when they find justification in God or their religion."
However, Ti said the criticism against the Malaysian police for the probe did not mean that MCA was not against the atrocities committed by the Zionist regime against Palestinians Muslims and Christians on the Gaza Strip.
"Do not be mistaken. MCA wholeheartedly opposes the atrocities committed by the Zionist regime against Palestinians Muslims and Christians on the Gaza Strip."
"But we urge the authorities and educators to practise common sense and not misuse the boycott call against McDonald’s and Starbucks into vigilantism," he added. – August 14, 2014.

Ignorant hate turning Malaysia ugly
A Penang schoolboy is now being investigated for sedition after ‘liking’ a Facebook page titled ‘I Love Israel’. Lawyers say this is a frivolous case. – Facebook pic, August 14, 2014.A Penang schoolboy is now being investigated for sedition after ‘liking’ a Facebook page titled ‘I Love Israel’. Lawyers say this is a frivolous case. – Facebook pic, August 14, 2014.Is it a crime to like Israel? That was the main question posed after a Penang fifth former is being investigated by police under the Sedition Act for clicking "like" on a Facebook page titled "I Love Israel".
The student's action would have gone unnoticed except a teacher had shared the student's action on her Facebook page, where she criticised the student that led to more criticism and threats from other Facebook users.
There were calls to boycott the student, and one Facebook user commented the student should be burned.
So this is now a police case, with Penang police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi saying the case was being investigated under the Sedition Act.
What is the crime? Since when did a "like" in the Facebook social network site become a criminal matter or drama in a school? Why is a 17-year-old being persecuted for what he does on Facebook?
"He is now living in fear for liking the page. He has since shut down his Facebook page and lodged a police report yesterday.
"The boy and his teacher had gone to give their statements at the Seberang Prai Selatan district police headquarters," said Rahim, adding that other teachers and students in the school would be called to assist in investigations.
As if police have no other work, they now have to look into what a schoolboy does on a social networking site? Must all Malaysians hate Israel and if they don't, they have to be vilified and be investigated by police?
What ever happened to encouraging debate or explaining to students that Israel has oppressed the Palestinians? Whatever happened to teachers just sticking to what students do in class and not outside?
Whatever happened to common sense that a "like" in Facebook is not a police case nor is it a national tragedy or even an issue in real life?
Why is a schoolboy being investigated by police over such an issue? Can't he have his own thoughts on the matter? Are we a country where our hate is prescribed without explaining the reasons for it?
This ignorant hate is turning Malaysia ugly and this schoolboy is not the first to bear the brunt of such ignorance and hate.
The motorist named Kiki faced tough cyberbullying after her incident in Kuantan during the fasting month.
Did she deserve that treatment from her fellow citizens? Does this schoolboy need to go through a police investigation under the Sedition Act for liking Israel? What was his crime?
Perhaps his crime is not thinking like sheep, which Malaysian students have now become after years of rote-learning and listening to teachers on various issues. But it is these kinds of people that companies want – those who can think rather than those who just follow.
There are enough reports that speak of the ills of our education system, but this Penang teacher takes the cake for making a big issue out of a student liking Israel on Facebook.
There is no law against that in Malaysia. It is neither seditious nor criminal to like a country on Facebook, not even under Communications and Multimedia Act.
But what the teacher did just shows how ignorant hate has made Malaysia ugly. We hate people and countries because we are told to. And we don't have the ability to figure out or influence those who don't unless we use the law.
We have become an intolerant society where those who don't follow the majority voice are treated badly, or even investigated by police.
We have made ourselves exist only because we have social media accounts, not that it is the person that makes his social media exist. And now we have some teachers snooping on their students' Facebook pages.
Good, our teachers are now our children's nannies, not educators.
And our students must be sheep, not thinking Malaysians capable of figuring out life for themselves and that a "like" in Facebook is not cause for a police investigation. – August 14, 2014.
Have the police no serious crime to investigate that they have charge a student under the sedition act.
So this is no longer a free country - it has to be that of the ruling party desires.
If we see carefully we will understand more on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
First: :who started the fighting? - HAMAS (a terrorist organisation -  people who attack innocent civilians). How would you like if someone just throw big stones at your house. Hamas had fired 4,000 rockets into Israel.
Second: HAMAS fired rockets from residential buildings, mosques, and even one church, knowing that Iraeali response will be to hit the launching area, which unfortunately will destroy the building with inhabitants. They deliberately do this for mileage and make the world hate them.
Third: Hamas told the residents not to leave, whereas the Israelis warned them to leave.
Fourth: what are the tunnels for - smuggle Gazaen cuisine into Israel? No to infiltrate into Israel to attack innocent settlers!
 



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