All sorts of things are happening around us — things that didn’t happen before — such as the Jong Nam assassination and the abduction of a pastor. Why are such things happening in our country now?
That’s a question that is hard to answer and I’ll leave it to the experts. But, a few things are apparent. Our security at the borders are, perhaps, not as strong as it should be. Terrorists and spies — even political assassins — can cross our borders, create havoc and leave just as easily and quickly as they entered.
The latest news is that the police have identified the chemical used in the Jong Nam murder as the VX nerve agent which is classified as a chemical weapon. How did it cross our borders without being detected?
The authorities have to be responsible for such lax security but criticisms have been absent in the case of the Jong Nam killing, and, understandably, rightly so, because against a foreign threat, we need to be united.
A well-organised abduction of a pastor takes place in broad daylight and no one seems to know anything about it. Perhaps, the police were clueless about it or they know but are not willing to let on. They certainly took a long time (more than 10 days after the incident) to comment on it in the form of an announcement that a task force will be set up to investigate the case.
Then, there was the PAS rally to drum up support for its bill to amend syariah law in Kelantan to enhance punishments for some offences. The bill is to be tabled in Parliament. PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has declared that Muslims are obligated to support the bill. Again, there wasn’t even a pipsqueak from the other political parties, not even from MCA which always jumps to attack PAS on hudud and its other medieval-style interpretations of Islamic laws. Only some Malay groups spoke against Hadi, but they are a minority.
Why this silence? Elections are round the corner and no political party in the ruling coalition or the opposition want to antagonize the Muslim vote. The target voters being wooed are the conservative rural Muslims. The urban Muslim voters mostly favour the opposition but it is insufficient to form a majority. Unless a significant conservative segment swings to the opposition, the status quo remains.
In this political climate, any attack on a Muslim leader or any leeway to non-Muslims will be viewed as anti-Islamic and no politician will risk it for fear of losing votes.
The people who stand to lose most in this context are the minorities. Their interests will be remorselessly sacrificed for the sake of appeasing the conservative voter segment.
We need to be aware of the political climate we are living in now and be as wise as a serpent and as innocent as doves. We need to be truthful about our motives and actions to be honestly and transparently blameless. Now is not the time to shout for our rights. Now is the time to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).