By Co-President Gan Ping Sieu on the Ruckus in the Nothing To Hide 2.0 Event
Monday, August 14, 2017

The ruckus at the "Nothing To Hide 2.0" event yesterday points at a worrying trend of a radicalised society resorting to violence as a form of expression. Worse still, some top leaders shirk from their responsbilities in managing the polarity and aggravate the discord for short-term political gains at the expense of nation building.

Yesterday's shameful event is the latest in a series of violent flare-ups that had marred what should have been civil discussions. In a democratic society, civil debates are the cornerstones for the germination of ideas and to seek consensus. Violence, disruption and harassment show intolerance of discourse and do not bode well. Malaysians, especially youth, should choose dialogue, not brute force. 

I have taken part in various debates and discussions in the past, including with those who share vastly different views from mine. Thankfully, they were relatively civil and I was often able to emphatise with opposing views better after that.

In yesterday's event, both organisers and police have to share responsibility. Surely trouble would have been anticipated (based on what happened in the first event) also featuring Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Were steps taken to prevent it? 

The authorities must act swiftly and decisively against the provocateurs to show that it has zero tolerance against those who resort to violence. Any delay or hesitation in going after the perpetrators will send the wrong message that political discourses containing elements of violence is tolerated or even condoned.

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