PETALING JAYA: A public discourse is where people express themselves in different ways and one has no right to resort to violence if there are differing opinions, said a documentary filmmaker.
Referring to a scuffle between veteran actor-comedian Sulaiman Yassin and movie producer David Teo at the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue on Wednesday, Zan Azlee Zainal Abidin (pix) said this is a form of gangsterism.
“If somebody talks and if you don’t agree with what the person is saying, then you counter by talking in a dignified and intellectual way.
“But he (Sulaiman) didn’t even let Teo speak properly and finish what he wanted to say,” he said when contacted Friday.
Zan Azlee said it was also wrong for Sulaiman to act in a way which the actor claimed was to teach Teo some manners.
“If somebody does anything wrong, no one has the right to be a vigilante and take matters into their own hands.
“Everybody has the right to voice their opinions. And it is a town hall dialogue, and if you’re not allowed to speak, then why is it called a dialogue in the first place?” Zan Azlee asked.
He also said actor and producer Datuk Rosyam Nor, who was the moderator for the talk, could have better handled the situation.
“He should’ve been more responsible in controlling the crowd,” he said.
During the dialogue in Sri Perdana, Putrajaya, Teo was reportedly unhappy with Rosyam for not giving all the participants an equal chance to speak with guest-of-honour Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Sulaiman, better known as Mat Over, apparently angered at the way Teo was speaking, then walked up to him from the audience and tried to slap him.
The pair were quickly separated by security personnel and escorted out, and the programme continued without incident.
They were later brought back in at the end of the session and were called to the stage, where they made peace by shaking hands and hugging each other. They also shook hands with Najib.
A video of the incident has since gone viral.