blogtunm.blogspot.com Tun M
1. One of the most powerful political weapons is labelling. In one word a label can literally destroy the character of a person. After that anything he says or does would be tainted by the label he carries. He becomes no longer effective, politically.
2. He would be barred even from speaking the truth. The Jews won a great social and political battle when they were able to label anti-Semitism as defamatory. Even when what is said is absolutely true and is meant to correct wrong statements, it would be regarded as defamatory and rejected.
3. In Malaysia today the label that has effectively prevented the truth from being heard is “racism” and “racist”.
4. Fear of these labels has prevented the truth from countering the lies that have been spun and spread.
5. There is no doubt that such a thing as racism exists. It is the extremism which reflects the mindless and belligerent championing of race regardless of the rights and wrongs involved.
6. But to argue in favour of one’s race based entirely on truth and proven facts; to argue in order to correct wrong assumptions and deliberate lies; to defend the truth and to expose lies – these are not manifestations of racism, nor is the speaker a racist.
7. In today’s debate on racial issues in Malaysia the stage has been reached where truth and facts have been suppressed through fear of the racist label.
8. Like the thief who cries thief, the real racists use this label to deny the rights of others to counter their allegations.
9. To warn that unsubstantiated condemnation as racist will stifle fair debate and may lead to the violence of frustration may sound like crying wolf. But the warning bells must be sounded for even in this country racial violence have been known to happen.
10. Openness and free speech are said to be among the virtues of democracy. When a Government denies this, it will be condemned for denying democratic rights. But labeling as racist to prevent truth from being heard, to prevent rationale debate, is no less undemocratic than the censorship exercised by Governments.
11. Racism in a multi-racial country should not be tolerated. But to cry “racist” so as to prevent the truth from being heard is as good as to apply censorship. In fact such labelling is much more racist than the alleged racism of the truth being spoken.