Down2Earth - Playing into the hands of terrorists

THE authorities must be lauded for heightening efforts to counter the threats posed by extremist groups that have hijacked Islam with their perverse interpretation of the religion.

The terrorist attack in Jakarta on Jan 14 was a jolt to our peaceful existence and a stark reminder that we are not invulnerable.

While security has been stepped up, the likes of the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) has offered to focus on programmes to counter the propaganda of extremist groups which have been able to recruit a number of Malaysians to fulfil their warped agenda.

With this in mind, it is an opportune time for Jakim, politicians and those who seek to divide and rule this multi-religious nation to also do some soul searching.

Have their words and conduct unintentionally aided the spread of extremist propaganda?

After all, what is the difference between the divisive politics practised at home with what is preached by these groups doing their worst in Syria and Iraq?

They are intolerant of other cultures, preach hate and suspicion, impose their beliefs on others and view those not like them as the enemy which needs to be neutralised or banished.

With such rhetoric being spewed daily, coupled with reports of segregation in schools and supermarkets and even special shopping carts, one wonders if terror groups are actually winning the war on extremism.

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LET me get this straight. After a two-year investigation into corruption in the Kuala Lumpur police force, the best that investigators can do is get one high-ranking officer on a technicality?

It is not my intention to question the ability of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). My dealings with the commission convince me that its officers are among the hardest working people who operate under tremendous pressure.

So when former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief SAC Datuk Ku Chin Wah was charged with money laundering at the sessions court on Thursday, following a high profile MACC investigation, it became an anti-climax of sorts.

Ku was charged under Section 49(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 for failing to obey the public prosecutor's notice in failing to declare in a sworn statement he gave on Jan 8, 2014 how he obtained a commission of RM961,500.

The decorated police officer – whose last high-profile case was the murder of Arab-Malaysian Bank (AmBank) Group founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi – faces a year's jail, a RM1 million fine, or both, if found guilty.

Ku, who was transferred to Bukit Aman's CID Secretariat during the investigation, has pleaded not guilty and vows to clear his name. Of course his guilt or innocence is for the court to decide but it does give food for thought on the public perception that the police force is highly corrupt.

If after all its efforts, all the MACC can get on Ku is his omission in declaring a commission in a form – which the defence is expected to argue he has paid taxes on – then either not enough resources were put into the investigation or the deputy public prosecutor is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Perhaps to pick a low hanging fruit and make an example of it?

On the plus side, charging Ku indicates that the police and the government have zero tolerance for law enforcement personnel breaking the law – even on the minutest technicality.

Now, has any politician filled up that form which first got Ku Chin Wah into trouble?

Terence hopes justice will prevail and abhors any policy of different strokes for different folks. Feedback: letters@thesundaily.com