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This morning’s news here on the university student who posted a threat to bomb our PM’s helicopter speak volumes about our authority’s seemingly “kesian (pity)” attitude. The pity here is definitely wrongly placed. The culprit is 24 years old and certainly old enough to vote and he should be responsible for his actions and face the consequences. Ignorance is no defence.

In light of the recent blasts near the court on the day Anwar was acquitted on 09 January 2012 and the frightening conclusion that the bombs were home-made by an expert, we cannot take this kind of “joke” lightly. If the authorities let this daredevil off the hook, they would be opening a Pandora’s box setting off many more such “jokes” on the net and you would not know which one is actually going to be fatal!

Prosecute the culprit unless he is found to be mentally ill and let there be a lesson to anyone who dares issue such a threat and become a menace to our peaceful society. Don’t set a precedent of non prosecution only to regret later considering a challenging general election is around the corner.

Notice that I said “our PM” because I respect the post. It could be anyone holding the post beside Najib. And so it is our duty as citizens to protect the sanctity of the most important government post of our country. If we fail to give this joker a deterrent punishment, not only do we not respect the post and human lives, but we will give a wrong signal to many young people out there whose power to cause havoc is at the click of their fingertips.

During the UK riot in August 2011, two men posted messages urging people in their areas to come out and burn down the city and both were speedily prosecuted and sentenced to four years’ jail each! Too harsh you think? But that immediately stopped the posting of more of such incendiary messages.

The UK authorities were clear and firm in their handling of such threat on social media networks used by millions of people and some might be like-minded/copycat and flood the net with similar irresponsible messages.

Even if the bomb threat is aimed at an Opposition Leader, the identified culprit should also be prosecuted and the same punishment under the relevant section of the Penal Code, meted out. In short, this man should not be let off scot free! This should be extended to anyone, regardless of race,creed and political inclinations, who dares to make such threat publicly.

This is not about an opposition sentiment because an opposition will always oppose whatever the government does. And this is not about the government’s right to response, this is about ensuring that people do not make jokes on matters which are sensitive to public security and inimical to public order.

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