Ahmad Ismail’s suspension: Give ABB a break

It is easy to criticize, especially when you have a blog handy. But Unspun feels that it is also important to give credit when credit is due.

Prime Minister and Grand Poobah of Umno Abdullah Badawi has led the Umno supreme council in coming to a decision to suspend Ahmad Ismail’s membership for three years and strip him of all his party posts for making racially provocative remarks.

There are some critics who think that this is too little too late (see Kit’s blog) and or just a show. But Unspun thinks that for the soft person he is and the presures from the more garroulous elements within Umno, what ABB did took some courage. He did right and he should be commended for taking a decision that sends a message to other Umno trouble makers.

What now. Some in Malaysia are demanding their pound of flesh of Ahmad Ismail. Some say he needs to be charged under the ISA. Others say sedition.  It would be interesting to examine the motives for those who all for such harsh punishments. Are they motivated by a sense of justice? If so how much of this justice resembles the Nietzscherean definantion of justice being the spirit of revenge. revenge for what? Perceptions of being racially slighted and targeted by the government apparatus, is what Unspun thinks.

There has been so much resentment and ill feeling building up among races in Malaysia that it is the natural inclination of many Malaysians to seize the opportunity to get even. Hence the call to savage Ahmad Ismail, or the inability to give credit where credit is due.

This type of outlook is counterproductive. If anything right minded Malaysians should praise and reinforce good behavior in their Prime Minister. That would embolden him to make more right decisions.

Putting the Ahmad Ismail issue aside as something solved would also be a productive move. The man has been rebuked and his career as a politician tarnished. there is no more need to hound the man and make him a martyr among the more extreme racialists. Perversely, there is no bigger insult or damage that can be done to Ahmad Ismail than to ignore him. People like him thrive on the reaction of others. The reaction gives him reknown, even it is in the form of notoriety. Ignore him and he will be shouting in the wilderness.

Move on, Malaysia, move on.