One reads of torch attacks and Molotov cocktails. In some far flung land, where society is fractious, where sentiments are vulnerable, where neighbours fight over arid earth.
But not here. Not this fertile land of beautiful islands, lush rainforest and blessed earth of natural resources. Not this land of gentle people who co-exist, even if a tad uneasily, but certainly not aggressively.
Until this dark day.
Not to put the blame on any one party. But the fact of the matter is – the government has failed. It started by failing to engage sincerely with the various religious groups. It then puts a ban on the use of the word “Allah” by a Catholic newspaper, notwithstanding that there is already legal safeguard against converting a muslim. Can the government honestly say that it does not know that recourse can be sought against an administrative ban via judicial review? Then, on the decision of the judiciary – even when pending appeal – the government had yet again failed, by doing little to calm what are inevitable sentiments. Thus leading to this dark day.
Leaders of our country should realise that their remarks and actions – and inaction – impact on the society which it leads. Never had I thought that at the turn of the decade, our country would face its darkest hours that are unprecedented in my lifetime.
And so what if the government says it would not hesitate to take action against those who threaten the security of the country? The very same government department that is supposed to safeguard the security of the country has failed from the start to prevent all this from happening through ingenuous engagement.