Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Insensitive MCA Lawyer

On Thursday, January 17, 2011, lawyer Ng Kian Nam apologized for lodging a complaint about the volume of the “azan” from Masjid Al-Ikhlasiah in KL's Kampung Kerinchi and he then had the audacilty to describe the matter as a “misunderstanding” – the latter description however was certainly misplaced. If the complaint was specific in nature, how could it give rise to a misunderstanding? And his grievance, according to The Malaysian Insider, was made directly to the Prime Minister’s Office and copied to not less than 5 Cabinet Ministers appealing for their intervention in lowering the loudspeaker volume of the local mosque’s azan on December 20 last year.

Ng, who identified himself as a MCA Youth leader even griped that the “azan” (the call to prayer) often disturbed his sleep in the mornings. Additionally, he had suggested the authorities set specific guidelines to control the volume of the loudspeakers at mosques.

This led to a noisy protest by Malay NGOs (Pekida and Perkasa) last Friday.

And so at the press conference on Thursday, Lembah Pantai UMNO division chief Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin was there to hold Ng’s hand when he said he was sorry. The former then declared he was happy with Ng’s public apology and did not want the issue to be sensationalized any further.

But when this brouhaha came to the public's attention, there was no attempt by the Prime Minister, who was the primary recipient of the complaint letter, to immediately clarify the matter or calm the potentially explosive incident. Later, UMNO had intervened to settle this issue for MCA – but let’s get this straight. Ng had admitted he did make a complaint against the said mosque. And when UMNO orchestrated the public confession, all was quickly forgiven. Yet, in a “similar”-type incident, Seputeh MP, Teresa Kok was detained under the ISA on September 12, 2008 for allegedly telling mosque officials in Kota Damansara, Sri Serdang and Puchong Jaya to tone down the “azan”. Teresa had denied this mischievous allegation, which first came to light in the Utusan newspaper.

So there we have it – two contrasting punishments for two different individuals. If you are in the opposition, then I am really sorry for you because the ISA is ever ready to manacle you. If you are a government underling, all you need to do is say sorry and you go scot free. This is today’s Malaysia! A case of double standards!

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