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KUCHING, March 16: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing opined that prejudices against religions or races had prevented the New Zealand government from seeing the elephant in the room.
For security intelligence to be effective, there must be no prejudices or bias.
“Prejudices against religions or races prevent them from knowing other forms of dangers right from under their noses. The Christchurch massacre due to white supremacist is the case in point. They failed to see the elephant in the room.
“(For) security intelligence to be effective, (the authorities) must be religious and racially blind. Danger comes from all corners,” said Masing in a statement today.
He said the terrorist attack in Christchurch yesterday that killed 49 and 20 seriously injured was a reminder to all to be vigilant at all times against all forms of extremists, either religious or racial prejudices.
“In the case of New Zealand, it was racial/religious prejudices by white supremacists against non-white or Muslims.
“The New Zealand security intelligence has been, obviously, sidetracked by the belief that white supremacists aren’t violent.
“Thus, none of them are in their watch list. Perhaps, most of their focus was on Islamist extremists only,” said Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation.
He warned that the ideology of white supremacy as expounded by some world leaders is the ‘oxygen’ that allows this belief to live and spread.
“We must stop hate rhetorics,” said Masing.
Yesterday (March 15), 49 people were killed in a mass shooting in two mosques in Christchurch that appeared to be carried out by a white extremist, who posted a racist manifesto online and streamed live the attacks.
According to the New York Times, a 28-year-old Australian, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, was charged today for the massacre, while a second man, 18, was charged with “intent to excite hostility or ill-will”.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden described the massacre as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence”.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump cited the manifesto as a source of inspiration, said he did not see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world and attributed the attack to “a small group of people that have very, very serious problems”.
He was reported to have said he had not seen the manifesto. — DayakDaily