When ‘Hidup Umno’ rings loud in our schools - By Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, October 04, 2017
Malaysiakini : “The command of the old despotisms was
‘Thou shalt not’. The command of the totalitarians was ‘Thou shalt’. Our
command is ‘Thou are’.” – George Orwell, "1984"
COMMENT | I sincerely hope there
were no non-Malay students in the “class decoration and performance”
event at that school in Putrajaya.
When someone shouts “Hidup Umno”,
they are calling for Malay and Islamic supremacy in its purest form. A
non-Malay child forced to express such nonsense seems cruel in ways that
the systemic discrimination in this country does not. I suppose this
type of oppression goes on in myriad ways in government schools all
across the country, and the fewer non-Malays there are, the more
virulent the Umno propaganda is in those schools.
This, of course, makes you wonder what is going on in all those
religious schools that are apparently safety hazards. If Umno is pushing
the race and religion card in public institutions that are supposed to
be non-political and multiracial, I cannot help but think of the kind of
propaganda that is going on in those religious schools, where young
children are taught that their religion is superior to everything else.
If folks wonder why Muslims youths are being radicalised, it is because of events like these. I wrote about this before -
“When you: “1) Vilify political opponents as anti-Islam. “2) Persecute other Muslims and label them deviant. “3) Carry out propaganda programmes that claim that the Malay/Muslim
community is under siege from religious and economic agendas supported
by non-Muslim Malaysians. “4) Maintain that by virtue of race, you are superior to other Malaysians.
“When you do all of the above in an effort to define what it means to
be ‘Malay’, then do not act surprised that young Malays gravitate to
similar ideologies that make them the centre of the universe, and
violence an acceptable means to achieve hegemony.”People dismiss this school event as just another embarrassment for
the ruling party, but this in reality was another blatant Umno display
of hostility towards the democratic process, the constitution and civil
The next time some establishment apologist talks about creating unity
through national schools, I hope rational Malaysians will consider that
sending their young to any place but these fetid breeding grounds of
hate and discrimination is better than allowing them to chant “Hidup
Umno” while young teachers are invited to join Umno with promises of
positions of influence.
I would even argue that home schooling is better than allowing your
children to be exposed to this kind of horse manure. At least then the
only time they would witness such state propaganda is when they read
about it in comment pieces like this, mocking the state and its minions
for carrying out such programmes.
When Ku Nan invited all those “comel” (cute) teachers to
join Umno and become “division chiefs, branch chiefs, secretaries”, all I
could think of – was he referring to the cute male teachers as well? That I suppose is the qualification to become anything in Umno. Cute
young Malays, relying on their sexuality, to advance in the Umno
hierarchy. On the one hand, the Umno state cracks down on Malay sexuality on
cultural and religious grounds and on the other, we have a high-ranking
Umno minister encouraging "cute" young teachers to join Umno for
It all gets a little confusing because, Umno – and now with the help
of PAS – is pushing for an extreme kind of Islam, so this idea of cute
people bartering themselves for political favours has to be done in a
manner that conforms to the religious practices of the state-sanctioned
religion. And there is that cowardice again. Ku Nan has no comment on the
"kosherness" of such an event. Umno hacks behave indecently and then
they do not have the cojones to own up to it. The ban on a beer festival
becomes a game of passing the buck. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid
Hamidi claims that it is a police matter when the festival is banned.
The police claim that it was merely acting on orders from above.
Then the situation becomes one of "advice" and not banning. All the while, a hack from another state makes bizarre justifications as to why such festivals are allowed in his state without any problems. This is what “Hidup Umno” is all about. And I get that some folks
approve of the establishment and would chant along when asked, but when
you force kids to do it then you make them accomplices through no fault
of their own.
Ku Nan is right. Anyone who supports Umno is in the same boat. The
good ship Kleptocratic Inc, where subservience and opportunism go hand
in hand with religious oppression. Where a political party can flaunt
the rule of law and standards of decency and do this for the cause of “bangsa” (race) and “agama” (religion).
When former prime minister and now de facto opposition leader Dr
Mahathir Mohamad laments that he could not change the Malays – "What
else (can I do)...I have tried to be an example, tried to teach,
scolded, cried and even prayed. (But) I have failed. I have failed to
achieve the most important thing – how to change the Malays" – I hope
the opposition now realises that there is no need for grand agendas to change the Malays.
What is needed is the political will to stop these types of
propaganda events, maintain a separation between mosque and state, and
ensure that our public institutions are independent. If they can do
that, which is not something that is beyond the opposition, and
something that, contrary to what people think, is not some kind of
utopian ideal, we can start the process of changing this country.
Ku Nan is ‘Exhibit A’ on why anything is better than Umno and
hopefully that day will come young Malaysians are safe in our national