KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — All parties, especially politicians, must avoid touching on sensitive issues involving race, religion and the royal institution (3R) when campaigning in the coming state elections in six states for the sake of harmony among the people, say experts.
Security and political analyst Dr Noor Nirwandy Mat Noordin said that touching on the aspect of 3R in the campaign can cause strife among the community and harm the country, in addition to contradicting the original purpose of politics, which is to fight for the people’s rights.
“The people should understand that politics aims to raise issues of interest to the people, not create disputes.
“The duty of politicians, meanwhile, is to take care of their state and Parliamentary constituencies to ensure that solutions to the problems and interests of the people can be resolved perfectly.
“The campaign carried out must also uphold the principles of the Federal Constitution and Rukun Negara,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
Noor Nirwandy, also the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Centre For Media And Information Warfare Studies senior lecturer, said several legal provisions can be imposed on any party that tries to touch on 3R-related issues.
For example, he said action can be taken against those who try to polemicise matters that are enshrined in the Federal Constitution and Rukun Negara under the Sedition Act 1948, Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and Penal Code (Act 574).
Noor Nirwandy also proposed that politicians follow a national security course as one of the conditions before contesting in the election to ensure they understand the boundaries that need to be respected and obeyed as politicians.
Yesterday, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil issued a warning to all parties to refrain from touching on sensitive issues involving the 3R during the upcoming state polls.
Meanwhile, Noor Mohamad Shakil Hameed, an observer of current issues, said political leaders should be role models and play a part in strengthening bonds of friendship and unity among the people, including among students in institutions of higher learning.
“The 3R issue is very sensitive, so avoid using it as political capital. People are getting sick and tired of the behaviour of politicians who like to use 3R as a tool to scare the people… Voters should reject politicians who touch on the 3R aspect.
“Don’t mortgage the harmony of the people and stability of the country due to narrow political ambitions. Leaders need to control themselves and also control the behaviour of the supporters and the grassroots so as not to touch on these issues under any circumstances,” he said.
Noor Mohamad, also the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Co-Curriculum and Student Development Centre deputy director, said that as young voters, students who are also the country’s future generation must be brave to give views and ideas as well as criticisms on the ideology and manifesto of any political party.
He said that as an intellectual group, students need to act maturely and professionally by giving constructive comments or criticisms and avoid being used as tools by politicians who try to take advantage by playing up sensitive issues.
“This includes playing a role and carrying out responsibilities by voting for candidates or parties that carry an agenda of integrity and good governance and rejecting the culture of corruption and misuse of power,” he said.
Noor Mohamad also hoped that the media can filter any racially sensitive news, views and comments so that the unity of the people and stability in the country is guaranteed.