Why do we continue to let incidents of communal violence fester.
The most important case for the government on the national security front is the immediate tackling of the breakout of incidents that lead to a spiral of communal violence. From my own observation, these start as minor violations of law and order, cynically exploited by street-level to national-level politicians. Due to a lack of political will, the costs of escalating minor incidents into full scale riots is very low. What it calls for is an impartial and ruthless implementation of the law – a zero-tolerance policy that is implemented both to punish the perpetrators and to serve as a deterrance for potential ones.
The solution to these problems is simple and does not need one to resort to lectures on secularism or human rights. It just calls for good policing. Malaysia and Singapore were able to effectively curb complex race riots in the 60s and early 70s because of a political realisation that zero-tolerance of communal violence is a necessary element of state policy in a heterogenous society. Sure enough, there have been no racial riots there since.
Communal violence is The Enemy Within.