The perpetrators of such crimes against humanity must be brought to justice to send out a clear message that such terrorism and barbaric insanity are outside the pale of human civilisation - that the challenge confronting mankind in the very first year of the new millennium is not a clash of civilisations but a clash with civilisation itself posed by savage and barbaric terrorism with utter contempt for the sanctity of human life.
The United States government has fingered Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida (one of the 29 ‘Foreign Terrorist Organisations’ [FTOs] designated in the US Department of State’s Office of the Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism report “Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000” released in April 2001) as the prime suspect in last Tuesday’s hijacking and mass murders.
If the United States has evidence that Osama and al-Qaida are behind the Sept. 11 atrocities, it should satisfy the international community of such evidence, and it will be the responsibility of all nations, governments and peoples to act as one to bring them to justice for such dastardly crimes against humanity.
Terrorists should be treated as terrorists. There should be no comfort, sympathy or support from any quarter for such crimes against humanity as perpetrated on Sept. 11.
However, the United States should be mindful of increasing global concerns that while seeking to root out the criminals responsible for the Sept. 11 carnage, there must not only be compliance with international law, innocent civilians should not be treated, victimised or murdered as if they are terrorists - or there will be no difference between governments and terrorists.
The time has also come for the United States and the international community to address and resolve long-standing intractable political crises in various parts of the world which have created the despair and desperation which are fertile ground for the spawning of terrorist movements. Otherwise, the taking out of Osmana bin Laden can only serve to inflame passions and create hosts of new Osmana bin Ladens, a recipe for a spiral of more violence, bombings and mass murders.
It is also a matter of concern to Malaysians that the Sept. 11 terrorism and mass murders are being recklessly and irresponsibly exploited by the Barisan Nasional, especially in the run-up to the Sarawak state general elections on Sept. 27.
In the past few days, the television channels had been spewing out lies and poison seeking to create fear among the Sarawak voters by warning them that the only way the Sept. 11 terrorism and mass murders in New York and Washington could be avoided in Malaysia is for them to fully support the Barisan Nasional and reject PAS and the Opposition in the forthcoming Sarawak state general elections.
I call on the Barisan Nasional to stop exploiting the New York World Trade Centre terrorist mass murders for the the Sarawak state general elections and end its irresponsible, baseless and reckless propaganda that the only way Malaysia can avoid such atrocities is for Sarawakians to support the Barisan Nasional and reject PAS and the Opposition, as this is a completely untrue and a downright lie.
Let the Sarawak state general election be a free, clean and honest election where the people of Sarawak can vote in a free and informed manner,without the dirty tricks and threats of fear and intimidation - such as trying to use the World Trade Centre horrors to frighten and stampede the voters to support the Barisan Nasional.