The Malaysian Insider
8 July 2014
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has stirred up a hornet’s nest with his recent statement “it is not impossible for another race riot to occur again in the country”.
His colleagues are in open support of what he said, i.e. the statement is “a reminder to behave”.
Opposition politicians and many members of the public think otherwise, i.e. that it is a veiled threat to do a “May 13” unless the BN wins big in the next election.
So how should that “May 13” statement be read?
There are always two main parties to any communication – the message creators and the message receivers.
Messages can be straight to the point or have hidden meanings. The receivers of the messages can take them at face value or interpret them according to the orientation of their minds.
One person can make the message, but millions may be hearing or reading and interpreting it.
Messages must therefore be seen in the context in which they were made (e.g. who made it, when, why, on what occasion, in what tone and body language) and the audience to which they were directed (closed door group of same mental orientation and equally matured minds as the speaker/writer, general public consisting of morally good citizens and also, bigots, racists extremists and jihadists [for short I will call them ‘brej’] with minds that see those different from themselves as their enemies).
A few recent historical facts must be taken into account to understand how the brej, with minds that see those different from themselves as their enemies, would have understood the “May 13” reminder. These groups, the brej, are the area of concern, not the millions of peacefully living citizens.
Some people had carried banners asking whether people wanted another May 13 and walked the streets. Although this would be an offence under the Penal Code (PC), no action was taken.
A cow’s head was thrown at the gate of a Hindu home. Again it is an offence under the PC but so far no one has been apprehended.
Firebombs were thrown into churches. This is an offence under the PC, but we have not heard of anyone being brought to book.
Before the last election the Prime Minister himself had said that he would defend Putrajaya even with broken bones and crushed bodies. What ideas would this have given the brej? Are those ideas no longer in their minds?
Prior to that the keris had been waved in Umno’s (or Umno Youth’s?) general assembly and words uttered that it would be bathed in the blood of certain people. Did the brej not hear it and how did they interpret it? Have they no more memory of this?
After the last General Election a senior, retired judge lashed out at certain people for having betrayed the Malays and that when this is done it touches their “pantang larang” and the traitors must be prepared to face the “dendam kesumat” that the betrayed would unleash. How did the brej understand this?
The above list is not exhaustive, but just a sampling of the messages that have been heard or read, and actions seen, by the brej lurking among the peace loving citizens.
Have their wicked minds not been influenced to become more wicked by these statements that were made by persons in high office and by seeing that those who throw Molotov cocktails into churches and cow’s heads at the gates of others go scot-free?
The “pantang larang” and “dendam kesumat” has been laid out as an excellent excuse for the brej to hide behind, and for no action to be taken as it is something that “can’t be helped”.
This was reinforced by the Home Minister in the cow’s head case when he said that the victim deserved it for his big mouth. So it is not unlawful to release “dendam kesumat” in any way.
The Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan had this to say in defending the DPM’s “May 13” statement: “Is racial tension on the rise? Yes”. “Is religious bigotry getting worse? Yes”. “Do we need a reminder to behave? Yes”.
Yes, a reminder to behave is certainly required. The multi-million dollar question is who needs that reminder?
The millions of peace-loving people of various races, cultures and religions who have lived as brothers and sisters for centuries, or the small groups of the brej out to create mischief and trouble in the name of defending race and religion?
Giving the “pantang larang” and “dendam kesumat” excuse is like being a father who does not want to control his few years old tantrum throwing child who is breaking things in a shopping mall but instead turning around and telling the store hands to leave him alone as he is “just a small boy, so let him enjoy himself”.
Highly irresponsible. You can only expect the little boy to throw more and worse tantrums in future as he knows that he is protected by his father.
The DPM’s “May 13” statement was therefore not a reminder to the brej to behave themselves, but veiled words of protection like those of the tantrum throwing child’s father’s.
On a balance of probability, are the “May 13” words of the DPM more likely to goad these brej to carry on their ugly agenda or to make them “behave themselves” and not create trouble?
All those who feel that the words of the DPM were harmless are actually giving more weight to those words which the brej are going to take as approval of their agenda as they have gone scot-free so far despite doing unlawful things.
So it is not wrong for right-thinking persons to be extremely concerned that those words would only emboldened the brej.
A minister has admitted that “racial tension is on the rise” and that “religious bigotry is getting worse”.
So what has the government been doing to stop these brej? How come so many extremists have been discovered suddenly? How come some of them have gone to foreign lands on jihad? How come they are found in institutions of learning?
It is these brej who need “a reminder” by having the book thrown at them. Please do that Muhyiddin and show us that you mean well for the nation. Mere words will never be “a reminder” to the brej who are behaving like spoiled kids.
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. It may look cruel to throw the book at the brej, but if you want to be kind to the nation, you have no choice. If you don’t reign in the brej, no one will believe that your words about “May 13” were a reminder not to create trouble. – July 8, 2014.