On the Beat | By Wong Chun Wai

Condemn unruly behaviour

They could have protested loudly outside the 02 Arena on Najib’s arrival or departure but they chose to heckle him inside.

I do not think Datuk S. Ambiga would appreciate it if she gets booed or heckled while giving a speech on law at an international event when she does not touch on Bersih 3.0.

Likewise, I believe most Malaysians did not appreciate the “burger stall” protest by members of the unheard of Malaysia Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance outside Ambiga’s house last week.

Its president Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah had threatened to return with more stalls but he has wisely called it off, saying: “We are afraid that if a large group was gathered outside Ambiga’s house, provocation may occur, resulting in fights.”

Their protest was then followed by a group of army veterans who, in a bid to show they were turning their back on Ambiga, did “butt exercises” in front of her house. This is intimidation, it is as simple as that.

The police and City Hall have done the right thing by sending officers to her house to prevent such protests. Certainly, she is entitled to her privacy and none of us would be amused if someone did the same thing outside our house.

Another group calling itself WargaAMAN had also planned a “thosai” protest outside the house of Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar but it was called off.

Just weeks earlier, Perkasa had staged a noisy protest outside Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s residence and scattered posters featuring Lim with the Nazi sign.

They also hung on the gate a framed picture of Lim with a garland, resembling a picture for a funeral.

This has happened to other leaders, too. Last year, students of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Tanjung Malim carried out a mock funeral for the government with “funeral pictures” of the PM and Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin.

In the 2008 elections, Penang Wanita MCA leader Tan Cheng Liang found her picture being used by Pakatan Rakyat members in a “funeral rite”.

It is time for rational political leaders, regardless of their allegiance, to condemn such unruly and despicable behaviour. This is not our Malaysian culture and we should not allow such practices to flourish by keeping silent because the target is not in sync with our political belief.

So when Najib was heckled, the only ones to chastise such rowdy behaviour were from Barisan Nasional and when Perkasa members held the mock funeral at Lim’s house, the DAP members angrily reacted.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin must be commended for voicing his objections against the “butt exercise” protest.

So should Tan Cheng Liang and Wanita MCA national vice-chairman Heng Seai Kie, who expressed similar sentiments about such events including the protest outside Lim’s residence.

This has to cut across political lines. A wrong is a wrong but when we compromise our principles for political expediency, then we are going down the wrong way.