‘The Thayaparan article’s headline says it all – manufactured outrage.’

Anonymous 2471001495206239: It looks like in this country, non-Muslims must be very careful with just about anything to do with Islam.

In this case, English daily The Star caused public outcry with its May 27 front page, which featured a picture of Muslims praying under an unrelated article with the headline “Malaysian terrorist leader”.

Things can get horribly “wrong” and non-Muslims can find themselves in “a quicksand situation” – the more you struggle, the deeper you sink.

Hot Khong: I don’t always agree with Commander (Rtd) S Thayaparan, but he’s right about many things on this one.

For example, how the authorities didn’t seem bothered with the “Lim Kit Siang is racist and anti-Islam” essay contest, the claims that DAP is anti-Islam, or that Indian preacher Zakir Naik disparaged non-Muslims.

“Manufactured outrage” is very appropriate here. I asked my Muslim friends what they thought about The Star’s “offensive” front page and they said that it wasn’t a big deal and probably just a mistake that should be ignored.

Gen Half Track: Commander Thaya is a colleague I know, who has never been afraid of speaking his mind.

He did that while in service, which probably answers why this brilliant mind never made it above the rank of commander, and he is doing it now with greater gusto without fear or favour.

An average mind would never in its wildest dream think that what The Star has done merits such blood-letting censure, especially after the paper had apologised.

There are those who have labelled The Star as a ‘toilet’ paper. If indeed it is, then it has to be the best toilet paper compared to its competitors. Bravo Zulu, mate.

The Analyser: The bottom line here, Commander, is that practically everyone in politics in Malaysia has an authoritarian streak and everyone is sitting around waiting to be offended so that they can be outraged, which will give them (they think) the right to be repressive.

Malaysia has its own special ‘Vocabulary of Repression’, using words that are generally regarded as outdated in the rest of the world, but in Malaysia hold pride of place.

Similarly, nobody has any real respect for freedoms of any sort. Freedom is perfectly okay to allow me to do what I want to do, and for you to do whatever you like… so long as I agree.

It doesn’t matter to which racial or religious group you belong; the situation is basically the same. And it will remain the same regardless of which racial autocracy is in power.

Anonymous 29051438068738: The headline “Malaysian terrorist leader” was probably read by routinely “sensitive” Malaysians as “Muslim terrorist leader”. (Apparently, “Malaysian terrorist” could not possibly refer to an Indian, Chinese or Kadazan).

And when they viewed the large picture of the faithful in prayer, a picture that appeared to reinforce what they thought they had read, their suspicions were instantly confirmed – a devious plot by a Chinese/Christian-led newspaper to rub it in.

As for the manufactured part, the factory line put in place by MO1 (Malaysian Official 1) and his team of “moderates” wasted no time to utilise the raw “anger” spewed by Zakir Naik-inspired, rent-a-crowd NGOs to give Malaysians what they have today – a unifying month with identified “enemies of Islam”.

Ace: The article’s heading says it all – manufactured outrage. How true and appropriate.

Thayaparan, you really hit the nail on the head when you say, “Really? What ‘causes prejudice against Muslims’ is when a university lecturer accuses an established opposition party of having a Christian agenda without offering any proof.

“What cause prejudice to Muslims is when the state organises an essay contest on an opposition politician which entails libelling the politician as racist and anti-Islam. What causes prejudice is when Muslim politicians object to a chief minister of a state attending a buka puasa event.”

Indeed, the current regime has lost all sense of decency and fair play.

Anonymous_1430830507: MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong has called for greater sensitivity from the media in the wake of the fallout over The Star’s front page.

The MCA leadership should protest the Home Ministry’s decision to issue a show-cause letter to The Star, given their position in the government as well as their ownership of The Star, but sadly they have missed this opportunity, and perhaps this is not so surprising to Malaysians.

Peter Kandiah: Will the Home Ministry take into account Wee Ka Siong’s statement? After all, he is from the government and a cabinet minister.

The Analyser: Malaysia would be a lot better off if everyone was a good deal less sensitive.

This is a nation of delusional individuals whose delusions are propped up by the reluctance of Malaysians to call a spade a spade.

This country has got itself into a situation, largely as a result of the demands of insecure men and women, where everyone is afraid of a bit of straight up and frank honesty.

Tpn: Wee forgot to say that the Home Ministry should be fair to all newspapers. Utusan Malaysia can get away with any sensitive topics and no action is taken. Double standards.

Fairman: One-up for the Institute of Journalists (IOJ) for calling for the state to cease action against The Star.

Very shameful of NUJ when it is the IOJ that is lending its voice of support to The Star.

– Mstar