I have always stated both in the country and abroad, that Malaysians are grateful that we have a professional formidable counter-terrorist unit whose work has kept us all from harm’s way!

And a government with pro-active Home and Defense ministers committed to keeping Malaysia safe!

But we realize as well that our borders, entry and exits points are also very porous and the large western coastline and northern border gaps do not help as well.

Of late with the political instability and pandemic struggles the polarization, race and religious baiting have entered a higher sound byte!

Just read the comment sections of online media, especially the vernacular, to see the unadulterated venom and hate displayed.

It is all race and religion based.

The clusters behind this, vocal, strong, unashamed of their comments and political or religious leanings.

They are not disturbed that their profiles appear alongside their comments.

But the sadness is these extremist ideologies, hatred, intolerance, religious baiting and bigotry, seditious tones and utterances quite explicit cannot but put fear in the hearts and minds of majority peace loving law abiding Malaysians.

But we must ask hard questions.

Who engineered this, and are we going to address them or just pay lip service?

Records will show that the danger is real not an imagination.

We have had reports of Malaysian women apparently sympathetic to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and have reportedly traveled to the Middle East to offer themselves sexually to militants!

Malaysia initially revealed that about 30 Malaysians might have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIS.

Let us not forget, closer to home Indonesians and Malaysians, are among foreign jihadists fighting the Philippine army in Mindanao as stated by Manila’s solicitor-general which is a rare admission that outsiders are collaborating with domestic Islamist groups.

Let us not forget that there are also reports that several terrorists have also have stints at our institution of higher education, while others gone rogue when their cover was blown!

And all these inexplicably has come back to haunt and hurt us, internationally!

As a nation, we must defend our Federal Constitution and the secular state; address these atrocities, race and religious baiting.

As such, it was a welcome sight that the Malay Rulers expressed in 2017 concerns over the eroding unity and harmony in Malaysia, in light of racially controversial issues that have taken place.

A statement from the rulers, signed by keeper of the ruler’s seal Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, read:

“In recent weeks, the actions of certain individuals have gone beyond all acceptable standards of decency, putting at risk the harmony that currently exists within our multi-religious and multi-ethnic society.”

I am glad and it is heartwarming that the Malay Rulers as a body in 2017 have found the present state of affairs in the country unhealthy and even dangerous.

Their stand supports the stand taken by our beloved His Majesty the Sultan of Johor and the Crown Prince!

I am glad that the Crown Prince of Perlis, and the Rulers have criticized the actions of “certain individuals which would further put our multi-religious and multi-ethnic society” at risk.

But it is disturbing and we are called again, to address the perception rightly or wrongly that the most dangerous groups in the country seem to be government-sponsored Muslim bodies and NGOs supposedly established to reach religious righteousness and instead preach only hatred and bigotry.

This made worse by claims of extremists and deviationist teachings by preachers, their converted students and visitors from abroad wanted by their own governments on allegations of funding terrorism and money laundering activities and others from just north of our borders with Thailand!

We must note the latter also uses children to collect monies for various causes but who is monitoring these activities and where are these monies going to?

I have never heard any of these groups advocating the virtues of peace, goodwill, love, generosity, unity in diversity and gentler aspects of their faith; instead there is only more hostility and supremacy preached.

We have state muftis supporting discrimination against non-Muslims; one mufti actually stated that it would be acceptable for non-Muslims to be killed and he is still in office, shockingly!

Was he ever charged by the laws of the nation?

Did he ever apologize?

That is not all, as we witness on a daily dose further intrusions into the rights, interests and practices of non-Muslims – from forms of worship these have spread into one’s culture, way of life, and social practices.

We have cases where a civil servant has refused to execute a court order and till today or others in governance making real progress in apprehending those who openly kidnapped Christian pastors, speculated to have been murdered?

Those behind do not even have the sensitivity or courage to go on record and state it so that families can have their funerals and religious duties performed in absentee!

By all these, what is the perception or message sent out to peace loving and law abiding Malaysians?

What is the message given to these extremists and shenanigans?

We cannot have it both ways – say one thing in international platforms self-righteously claiming moderation but in Malaysia’s ground zero closing both eyes to the continued attacks, race, religious baiting and seditious utterances that goes unattended in domestic political expediency?

Even the utter despicable treatment of animals namely dogs over cats smacks of a travesty of justice and double standards?

The question raised today is, has moderation left Malaysia for good?