Correcting the IGP

ARSONISTS attacked eight churches between 8 and 11 Jan 2010 all over Malaysia — something unheard of in the country’s history. And yet, on 9 Jan, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan advised churches to tighten security at their premises because there were not enough police officers to guard them.

By Shanon Shah (The Nut Graph)

On 11 Jan, 130 Muslim non-governmental organisations volunteered to work alongside voluntary corp Rela to prevent further attacks. Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) executive secretary Datuk Nadzim Johan said, “We wouldn’t want our Christian brothers to be in danger. This is an offer of peace and goodwill.”

Yet, PPIM’s 2 Jan press statement “strongly objected” the High Court decision to allow Catholic publication Herald to use the word “Allah”. PPIM said it was worried the decision would “spark chaos in the country due to the sentiments of Muslims who were sensitive with issues that touched on their faith”.

What is the picture that emerges after we put together the IGP’s stand and the stand taken by these Muslim NGOs? Firstly, our official law enforcers have abdicated responsibility in a moment of crisis, the moment law enforcement is urgently required. Secondly, this state-created vacuum has been filled up by special interest groups. In other words, the very people steadfast against Christians in Malaysia exercising freedom of religion are promising to “protect” them.

It could well be that the Muslim NGOs have noble intentions and might guard churches effectively. But this doesn’t change the fact that the state has inadvertently given the green light to vigilantes to take the law into their own hands, even if this is framed as a neighbourhood watch-like effort.

Seriously, how hard would it have been for Musa to have said, “The police force is committed to upholding the law and protecting those who are most vulnerable to attacks in these difficult times”?

Read more at: Correcting the IGP