Can racist rabble-rousing still work post March 8?

It just occured to me that two consecutive May 13s have taken place since the political map-changing Malaysian General elections of 2008.

Despite a record number of Parliament and State seats falling to the Opposition, there was a telling absence of widespread insecurity on the part of this country’s majority voters: the Malays.

Life was still the same in the streets. The makcik who sells nasi lemak in my predominantly Chinese neighbourhood still enjoys roaring business, her only troubles coming from the City Hall enforcement who wants to put an end to her illegal makeshift stall.

I have yet to lose any friends because of politics, Malay, Chinese, Dayak, Indian, Ceylonese, Kadazan or otherwise. The major disgruntlement was over how the establishment screwed the people over. But that was a complaint even I have.

You see readers, in the matters of civil rights, common interest, nation-building, economics and other sober goals, I ceased to see myself along the lines of ethnicity, if I ever did to begin with.

52 years after Independence, I guess Malaysians of different ethicities have ceased to be suspicious of each other on grounds of skin/race/religion. Except for the politicians and their likes.

Which is why it is baffling why a certain newspaper editorial still continues to fan the embers of racial sentiment.

Awang…oh Awang, you cannot be as dumb as to write this sort of drivel.

I take offence at the insinuation that my life here is at the behest of the kind people of Umno. I’m a child of this tanah air too. I was born here. I’d die rather than betray my country.

But if people don’t care for Umno, that should not be equated as anti-Malay. To say that is just plain stupid.

Why do people (Malays and non-Malays alike) hate Umno? You don’t have to be rocket scientists to know.

The excesses we have seen over the years just makes the bile rise. Again and again. The corruption, the crimes, the violation of trust, the abuse of power….I could go on.

It’s not that the Pakatan Rakyat is clean as a whistle. It’s just that the scale of excesses on the BN side of the fence is far more dirty, so dirty that anything looks white by comparison.

Look at this PKFZ scandal. RM10 billion ringgit! I can’t even fathom how much one billion ringgit looks like. And that much money is squandered through shady deals, inept governance, lackadaisical attitude to the taxpayers’ money and sheer negligence.

That’s what we are opposed to. The status quo is a horrible state of being, for this country, Awang! And this is what many Malaysians feel. I think I can quite safely assert that we have moved beyond seeing people along racial lines.

Zaid Ibrahim is a Malay too, last I checked. And yet he too finds it disturbing to read yesterday’s editorial.

Yes, I agree that thousands of the immigrants were granted citizenship in those early days after Independence. But post-1970 it was another story wasn’t it?

The system was such that the likes of Khir Toyo, whose father wasn’t a citizen here, could go as far as to become the MB of Selangor, but a friend of mine who has lived here since 1953, still can’t get his citizenship.

Why? With Indonesians, it is always “kita serumpun” isn’t it? You buta sejarah fellas actually forgot the Konfrontasi period? Remember Ganyang Malaysia?

And since you embraced the Indons and they started turning up here in droves to work and to settle down like Khir Toyo’s father, the numbers grew.

But today, you don’t treat them any better these days, do you?

In fact, Malaysia can be positively evil on immigrant workers and refugees. Yes, there are bad apples here and there but imagine without those immigrant workers, who would work your construction sites?

The poor blokes who died last week in Jaya Supermarket collapse are cases in point. Now they mati katak. I hope the government has the decency to send their bodies back to their homeland to be buried.

Another thing,  the part about kindness and generosity you guys at Utusan so readily associate with Malays certainly does not extend to the monsters that are in authority today. Monsters like those who tortured Kugan to death. Monsters like those who bombed Altantuya to pieces.

This government allowed for these heinous crimes to happen. This government screwed its own people by  allowing the folks in resource-rich state like Terengganu and Sabah to remain poor.

This is what we object to. Not Malays, not bumiputeras. Imagine guys, maybe RM10 billion could have built roads to Bario.

RM10 billion could have built several universities and funded hundreds of scholars, so our kids and sisters and brothers who aced their exams need not fight over university places or scholarships.

This is one of the real costs of corruption and of absolute power. And we all suffer in the end.

While the likes of Awang Selamat lament about the loss of status quo with such narrow, parochial views, the country is slowly sinking into the abyss. But of course Utusan doesn’t care. After all, it didn’t even bother running the story about the PKFZ fiasco.

Sorak la Awang. Jangan tak sorak. Kampung dah tergadai dah.


14 thoughts on “Can racist rabble-rousing still work post March 8?

  1. Awang Selamat is churning out articles using same themes and sounds like a broken record.

    His article of 31 May 2009 was with heading “Melayu dikhianati?”
    An earlier one by him on 7 December 2008, was titiled “Melayu dikhianati”.
    Yet another one on the eve of Christmas 2000 , had the heading “Bangsa Melayu dikhianati”
    An article on 29 Nov 2008 was also about the same subject- under title BISIK-BISIK AWANG SELAMAT!

    See how he has been at it from Dr M’s days in power, and he stopped for a while when Pak Lah was PM. But when it was sure that Najib was successfully inching his way to become PM, Awang started it again.

    Anyone from Pakatan want to lodge a report with the authorities, if you guys feel so strongly against such articles?

    Let there be some action taken lah. First lodge a report.
    Then leave it to the authorities to follow up.

    Without reporting to the authorities, no use discussing about this online.
    It does not help nor convince the simple rakyat that those who ‘champion’ for the people, do not even want to do a police report.

    Try walk the talk, for once.

    Whether the law will take its due course, let the enforcers decide.
    But first things first – Anyone want to do the report?

  2. G oh G,

    Lamenting on Awang’s kotek-mengotek diatribe is like asking a bronze-smith to machine lathe silencers to fit M16 rifles.

    Hehehe I read what you wrote elsewhere on the arms cache found in Perak. Totally unrelated, of course, but WTH.

    Utusan’s obsession with ‘perkauman issues is exasperating.

    Civil society’s peaceful, calm response to the results of GE12 in the early morning of 9th March 2008 is an untold story yet to be written.

    Malaysians have grown up and are holding fast onto their renewed ability to create their own destiny in this nation.

    Unlike the umnoputras.

    Awang oh Awang, dah lah kampung tergadai, bila lagi nak jual tapak sireh nenek moyang hang kat pembeli besi burok?

  3. Aku pun Melayu. Bila Awang Selamat tulis rencana yang begitu kurang asam, saya rasa sangat sangat malu. Kita sudah dewasa sebagai sebuah negara yang makin maju – tak perlu lagi sorak pasal kaum – ikut lah suara Rakyat – hidup Pakatan Rakyat

  4. Can racist rabble-rousing still work post March 8? Answer = YES!

    Especially if “progressive” & “educated” bloggers & commenters keep using racially insensitive language in their discussions of Malaysian issues. Discuss everything by all means, but please use neutral language. Stereotypes, generalizations & emotional language will drive moderates of all races away & make them easy prey for rabble rousers.

    Malaysians need to be able to discuss topics of national interest, even sensitive ones, calmly, rationally, with goodwill and without trying to fan racist sentiments, or succumbing to them.

  5. All Malaysians;especially Malays must wake up and underastand that no one race is supreme;we are all one tiny speck in this vast universe and our days are quite numbered before we enter the kingdom of *Heaven or Hell*;so play your part to make this life a meaningful one with no baggage when you enter the next life!Sadhu3!

  6. This is part of a comment left by Ju, a visitor at my blog:

    “I don’t like the way that KM in his blog insults and makes fun of other races. He allows his commentors to spew hate filled comments as well. Similarly, I don’t like the way the racists non-malay bloggers and commentators hantam the Malays in their blogs, MT etc.”

    Malaysians like Ju are reasonable people, but we have human emotions just like anyone else. They will discuss inter-racial and inter-religious issues, but just like anyone else, insensitive language will cause a visceral defensive reaction which kills off any chance of discussion before it even begins. Even if the gist of what is said is true, stereotyping, insults and condescension will make us doubt the good-will and cause more misunderstanding, unfounded fears and reinforce race prejudices.

    Discussing inter-racial and inter-religious issues is what we all aim for, but doing so with insensitive language will increase the chances of racial rabble rousing and inciting racial conflict.

    Commentators at some progressive blogs already have a reputation for being racially & religiously insensitive. That reputation is preventing us from engaging with reasonable Malaysians like Ju, while giving demagogues like kijangmas & awang selamat all the ammunition they need to rabble-rouse to further their own chauvinist agendas. We have thus become their best recruiting tool. We all need to ask ourselves if the momentary “shiok” we feel when we “hantam” someone’s race, religion & culture is worth the long-term hurt & ill-will it causes. Surely we can find better & fairer ways to express ourselves. If we truly want a united Bangsa Malaysia, civility in our National discourse is an indispensable necessity, not a luxury.

    • I have not made any racist comments against any race in my blog. In fact I was railing against racist demagogue. And I think I am fairly mild in my opinion. The issue that is facing us all is common good, the country’s future and the stumbling blocks to these ideals, which is corruption and bad governance.

      There is no where in my blog that I “hantam” a race. I just hantam Awang Selamat’s ill-conceived editorial. That I am not gonna apologize for.

      • Madam,

        My apologies if I had come across as implying that you had made racist comments. Anyone who has read your blog will know that is not possible.

        However, some “progressive” blogs have had commentators who make insensitive comments. I just wanted to point out the fact that such blogging & commenting does make the ravings of demagogues like awang more appealing to the targets of such comments.

        Today in Malaysia, criticizing someone from community A is sometimes taken as proof that we are being anti-A. Therefore we need to be extra careful in the language we choose to use.

        My apologies again if my words have offended,

  7. Pingback: Suara Keadilan Online : English Edition » Can racist rabble-rousing still work post March 8?

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