Will IGP crack down on those who incite racial issues? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, December 07, 2020
Malaysiakini : “The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate
organised religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror
and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of
it. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction,
dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of
vested interests.” - Jawaharlal Nehru
| Last year, Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador issued a
stark – is there any other kind? – warning to racial and religious
provocateurs that the state security apparatus would come down hard on
anyone who incites racial issues.
In this country where race and
religion are not mutually exclusive, especially for the majority, this
“no warning” warning was supposed to deescalate the heated online
rhetoric that was spilling into the real world. Hamid (above) was specific in his rejoinder, saying:
"I will not hesitate to arrest them (those inciting racial issues). I
have instructed my men to investigate cases classified as involving
religious and ethnic sensitivities.
"Don't wait, investigate and arrest. I repeat, no more warnings." Warning
the public not to be fooled by “the political games of certain
parties”, he claimed that the state security apparatus would come down
hard on parties posting provocative – in his example videos – content
that would stir up racial and religious animosity.
The recent statement by Jeram assemblyperson Mohd Shaid Rosli (photo) that Puncak Alam was “Malay territory”
certainly counts as inciting racial issues. I have no idea what “Malay
territory” means and what I want to know is, does the state security
apparatus designate certain areas as “Malay” territories and is there a
different set of procedures when executing their functions in these
Indeed if a non-Malay argued that certain territories
were "non-Malay" territories, I would argue that statements such as
this one were bordering on seditious. In fact, I would argue that the
Malays would take great offence, and would consider it a "provocation"
if a non-Malay political operative made such a Facebook posting.
Also the remarks
by the Kedah MB that the MIC and DAP political personalities “should
not appear drunk on two to three bottles after only consuming one", is a
direct racial slur relying on stereotypes to deflect from issues that
affect minority communities.
After all, in Hamid's warning of the
state security apparatus not tolerating those who incite racial
sentiment, he had this to say about political leaders: “Many
irresponsible statements are made. They (political leaders) should be
held accountable after we had successfully upheld the democratic process
(in the last general election).”
Of course, since the upholding
of the “democratic process,” there has been the Sheraton Move. I wonder
if since the democratic process has been subverted, does this mean that
in this new post-Sheraton Move terrain, that the warning by the IGP has
been nullified as well?
Keep in mind that whenever political
operatives use race or religion they understand what they are doing.
Take for instance the “Pejuang” operative who chose this moment to
burnish his racial and religious bone fides.
Remember what political operative Mukhriz Mahathir (photo) regretted and admitted to stirring up racial and religious issues and demonising the DAP.
also touched on the issue of Bersatu’s religious credibility and the
tensions that arise when a monolithic state religion determines racial
and religious attitudes of the majority, saying: "We are talking about
the fight against corruption, alleviating poverty – how is that not
Islamic? Are you telling me this is not what the Malays want?”
the fact remains that the race-based parties have an abysmal track
record in fighting corruption and advocating for good governance and
Pejuang especially is now discovering that it really has no Malay/Muslim
base. So what do they do, they revert to the old Umno playbook that
Mukhriz regrets - or he says – playing from.
Jaya Grocer was
understandably spooked by the “protest” of this state assemblyperson but
what makes it more insidious, is that Shaid claimed that any objection
was the sale of alcoholic beverages and not about “non-halal” products.
When something is deemed “haram” on religious grounds, any discussion of such an item becomes moot. Ab initio
a discussion cannot take place because the item is already considered
“haram” by certain folks. Hence, any objective discussion is supplanted
by religious discourse and those objecting to religious interference.
any distinction between what is acceptable “non-halal” products are
based on the whims of religious and political operatives and the power
they exert over the economic and social fabric of the communities they
Shaid makes this distinction because he knows that
there are non-Malay/Muslims who would stupidly agree most often working
under religious imperatives of their own, that the sale of alcoholic
beverages should be reduced or banned outright. In this way,
non-Malays/Muslims become complicit in the shrinking of our public and
Keep this in mind, what this Jeram assemblyperson managed to do, was what the vigilantes (above) of Gugusan Manjoi in Ipoh failed to carry out, that is to restrict the sale of alcohol in what they considered Malay areas.
Kedah MB knew exactly what he was doing when he implied that the
political operatives were drunk on the toddy of popularity. What this
plays into is the stereotype that Chinese businesspeople enable the
alcohol excess of Indians by selling them alcohol.
an old trope but one that is particularly attractive especially to
non-Malay converts to the religion of the state, but more importantly a
dog whistle that non-Malays are ganging up on a Malay menteri besar.
course, I doubt the IGP will take any action against these people. I
suppose like me he is wondering why the subject of alcohol seems so
intoxicating to these political operatives.