A ‘bad’ Umno win and the non-Malay fate - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Sunday, April 01, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Our worst enemies here are not the ignorant and the simple,
however cruel; our worst enemies are the intelligent and corrupt.” – Graham Greene, ‘The Human Factor’
COMMENT | I really wish when Umno
“konco-konco” (to use a Mahathir term) make threats against the Chinese
and Indians, they would elaborate on them, so the pundit class – that
would be people like me – can make an accurate threat assessment. I am kidding, of course. I enjoy riffing off these goons because
their generalities allow me to fill in the blanks and explore narratives
often ignored for a more palatable fare.
The Umno grand poobah's son, Nazifuddin Najib, claimed
that if Umno lost the upcoming general election, the bumiputera power
that also protected the Chinese and Indians would be lost. Insidious
words for a tragic election. Who exactly wishes the Chinese and Indians harm in this country? The
only threats, which have always been made or existed, are those
emanating from Malay/Muslim hegemons.
However, Nazifuddin (photo) is correct but not in the way he
thinks or people who despise Umno think. It is a little more
complicated than merely reverting to the Umno playbook and this election
is perilous not if Umno loses but depending on how “badly” Umno wins.
If Umno wins with an iron-tight mandate from the Malay community then
the non-Malays are safe.
However, if Umno wins by merely scraping through and with the aid of
the electoral legerdemain of the mendacious electoral redelineation,
then the non-Malay community is in trouble. A “bad” Umno win would embolden the Islamic deep state and with other
Islamic powerbrokers, make Umno conform to extreme Islamic narratives
that even Saudi Arabia is attempting to withdraw from. Bumiputera power is Umno power and the only people who could
challenge it are the Malays. However, the Malays in this election are
not challenging bumiputera power. What they are challenging - and led by
the most cunning political operative this country has - is the right to
replace Umno as the wielder of bumiputera power.
So, if Umno loses then the non-Malays would have a coalition made up
of Malay/Muslim political hegemons who partnered with the “Chinese”
dominated (DAP) opposition and the Chinese and Indians in this country
would still be protected by bumiputera power courtesy of Bersatu. Meanwhile, depending on how Umno wins (1) by commanding the lion's
share of the Malay vote (2) by having to rely on PAS (3) by heaven knows
what permutations arise if Sabah and Sarawak do not maintain their vote
bank status, then would this mean that the Chinese and Indians would
not be protected?
Who exactly is threatening the non-Malay communities and what exactly
do these threats entail? Bumiputera power manifests in so many ways and
the only vulnerable points of the non-Malay communities are the urban
centres which so far have been shielded from the excesses of the Islamic
deep state. And there is a reason for this. Nobody wants to destroy the economic
infrastructures that pay for the rights and privileges that Malays are
warned are always in jeopardy.
Already right-wing Malay sites are pushing the narrative that if the
“Malay” opposition is wiped out, the political landscape would be
defined by a Muslim (Umno) hegemon against a Christian (DAP) dialectic. This, of course, is something that I warned about last year when I wrote about theirrelevancy of the non-Malays to Malaysia’s future. Three points are worth revisiting.
1. I sincerely hope that Bersatu and Amanah make headway in this
upcoming election and become viable Malay power structures in their own
right because if they do not and the DAP remains the last political
party standing in this election, this would be the end of oppositional
politics in this country.
2. If you thought that the Chinese community was getting it bad from
Umno now, you would be witness to the community getting it worse if
Bersatu and Amanah are wiped out by PAS and Umno. Indeed, all PAS has to
do is hold on to Kelantan and maintain the status quo in Terengganu and
this would be a victory, even if they lose in Selangor.
3. We are already witnesses to the Islamic games a weakened Umno
plays with PAS but consider what would happen if a strong Umno is held
accountable by the Islamists and a sizeable Malay population
indoctrinated by years of racial and religious supremacy unburdened by
alternative (perhaps more moderate) Malay power structures?
This redelineation shenanigan carried out by Umno is a double-edged
sword. It only means anything if there is a Malay tsunami in Umno’s
favour. If there is a Malay tsunami and Umno wins but is crippled –
politically – in the process, it would be worse for Umno. Check that.
This, of course, does not take into account what happens in Sabah and
This is really an all or nothing game. If Umno wins “badly” then the
non-Malays are in trouble. This is why it is imperative there is a huge
voter turnout and there is a decisive opposition win. Now some would argue that if there are no clear winners, this would
be a problem too. It would only be a problem to the non-Malay/Muslims
opposition parties because Muslim/Malay solidarity and the political
permutation it could involve trumps any other kind of political
partnership with non-Malay powerbrokers.
This is the last great fight of the Malay community before the next
great fight where the choices would be between some sort of imported
Islamic extremism and a bloated regime, staggering under decades of
corrupt rule, infiltrated by extremists working in the deep Islamic
state. I would rather we fight this fight and hopefully stall the next one
for a couple of generations at least, instead of turning our backs and
thinking that this election does not mean anything.
Civil society group Komas thinks that the redelineation exercise is a racial tragedy
waiting to happen. Get real, folks. This election is a racial tragedy
and it will be worse if the opposition does not win the fight.