Malaysiakini : “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” ― George Orwell, author of ‘1984’
COMMENT | I have got the perfect solution for this Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran’s ‘pendatang’ kerfuffle. Maybe Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa
can organise a meeting between Kulasegaran and Umno Youth chief Asyraf
Wajdi Dusuki to settle their differences whereby the end results would
be that Kulasegaran acknowledges that Malays were never ‘pendatangs’ and
that the police would carry on with investigations on the numerous
police reports filed against him. All this, of course, would be done “behind closed doors” – where have
we heard this before? – and as usual, the non-Malays would come out of
such meetings chastised while the idea of Malay supremacy would be
Alternatively, Kulasegaran could resign. But why stop there? Every
non-Malay political operative should resign because sooner or later they
are going to slip up and say something hurtful to the sensitivities of
the Malay community. Hold on, maybe there should be a law that
non-Malays cannot run for any kind of public office. And perhaps that is what former minister and Bersatu member Rais Yatim wants. In a tweet reported in the press, Rais said this:
“When a minister or civil servant is urged to quit because of his
‘mulut celupar (rudeness) about an issue with a negative impact on the
nation, the implications are huge. “This minister has lost his credibility because he is unable to present himself as a cabinet member,” Rais (photo) tweeted in Bahasa Malaysia.
How times have Malay political operatives displayed "rudeness" which
was dismissed by the ‘bangsa’ and ‘agama’ crowd? Do not get me wrong. If
Kulasegaran had done something that warranted his resignation, then I
would have no problem for calls for his resignation, but what exactly
has he done which warrants a loss of credibility? Do the other Malay
political operatives in Harapan think that Kulasegaran should resign? Or
is this just a Bersatu thing?
There are many who think that Rais has no business being in Harapan
because he is a political operative with a history of rudeness, not to
mention political scandals. Will anyone in Harapan call for Rais'
dismissal from the coalition? I thought not.
I made this suggestion here
- "When you consider the racist rhetoric coming out of Umno
powerbrokers, government ministers and government institutions, the
religious bigotry from the same, Umno should just drop this charade of
democracy and ban all non-Malay/Muslim political parties. This way, the
Malay community, or least that section of the Umno voting base, will not
have to be encumbered by the existential threat the non-Malays
supposedly pose to their ‘bangsa’ and ‘agama’.”
Whenever issues like this crop, I always think, if only there was a
law that would protect the sensitivities of the majority. I mean
clear-cut laws that would give justice to the poor souls who were
offended by the harsh words of political operatives. Wait a minute. Harapan is going to give us such a law. Oh boy, I
can’t wait for the Racial and Religious Hatred Act to come into force.
Surely what Kulasegaran said runs afoul of this law? Then, I won't have
to think if there is any validity to what Kulasegaran said.
That’s the use of this law, right? To protect the religious and
racial sensitivities of Malaysians? So, when some Malays claim that the
non-Malays are out to usurp their power and privilege and demonise
non-Malay political operatives, this should run afoul of the law but
most probably will not.
Why? Because, as former Umno supreme council member Annuar Musa claimed,
racism is allowed in Islam - “Being racial is endorsed in Islam as long
as you are not cruel towards other people. This rally if you say is
racist, yes. What are you scared of? Islam has put in place guidelines,
what is not allowed is racism that is cruel towards other races.”
But wait. Say you do not buy religious-sanctioned racism, Sungai Besar Umno chief Mohd Jamal Yunos (photo) claimed that his racism was constitutionally endorsed
- "We have no problems to say we are racists or what. I admit I am
racist, but my racism follows the constitution. I am defending our
rights. Malays have to be racist..., but it must follow the social
Hey, if I’m wrong then somebody from Harapan should set me straight.
Are lies about the non-Malay community considered in the kind of speech
that this Act aims to discourage? Speaking about lies, what about
history and context? If such offends the sensibilities of anyone, would
they be a defence under this law?
What if what Kulasegaran said is fact? Don’t be ridiculous. Here in
Malaysia everything is ahistorical but more importantly, the reality
distortion field of ketuananism means that words flowing from the mouths
of non-Malays are judged on a different standard – a standard which
changes at any moment – than those from the ‘bangsa’ and ‘agama’ crowd.
Right, so the validity of Kulasegaran’s statement is not important.
What is important is that it has hurt the official narratives and
sensitivities of the majority Malay community.
Now, I don’t know if the average Malay even cares what Kulasegaran
said but the ‘bangsa’ and ‘agama’ political operatives care. If this was
under BN rule and something like this happened, and it has before, the
non-Malay component party would meekly apologise – no doubt necessitated
by the public opprobrium of Umno Youth – and the natural order of
things would be restored.
Some folks think that Kulasegaran is not blameless in all of this.
That’s a fair criticism when it comes to Malaysian politics. I mean, why
even dredge up something like this, right? I blame the whole Bangsa
Malaysia Kool-Aid. On the one hand, we are all supposed to be Malaysians
but on the other, we incessantly talk about race. Of course, talking
about race when you are Indian is frowned upon but when it comes to the
Chinese/Malay dialectic then apparently it is okay.
Besides this whole ‘pendatang’ issue is passe. A couple of years
back, the former Umno poobah reassured the Chinese community in a
Gerakan convention that the Chinese community were not ‘pendatangs’.
Then MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon labelled those who engaged in such
rhetoric as political dinosaurs.
“We have been here for three or four generations. This is our
homeland and no one has the right to call any Malaysian pendatang,” he
said. Chong praised Prime Minister Najib Razak for insisting that
Chinese were not pendatang during Gerakan’s delegates conference
While I can understand the political fallout from Kulasegaran’s
statement, I really have no issue with it. I have no need for Malay
leaders to legitimises my ethnicity and citizenship of this country and
if what Kulasegaran said reminds people of historical fact even if
certain groups use it as political capital, so be it.
Umno used to shield its political operatives and ignore the baying of
its members for blood. Harapan should grow a pair and do the same. The
more Harapan does not control the narrative, the easier it becomes for
the far-right nutjobs to control the narrative.
And as history
demonstrates, Malay political structures have very little backbone when
it comes to bucking trends, even if such strategies may very well end up