Hishammuddin’s keris-wielding disqualifies him as a symbol of national integration

Hishammuddin keris-wielding disqualifies him as a symbol of national integration

The Sun is the only English and Bahasa Malaysia newspaper to report my questioning the Education Minister and UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussin for his infamous keris-wielding in Parliament yesterday.

Hishammuddin was answering the query during Question Time on “the effectiveness of Students’ Integration for Unity programme since it was put into practice and whether the programme has achieved its objective”.

I had prefaced my supplementary question with the observation that Hishammuddin was “well-known” for his keris-wielding incidents in the context of extremist and communal demands in utter disregard of the rights and sensitivities of all races in a plural nation to the extent that he had been asked when he was going to use the keris, forfeiting his credibility and legitimacy as a symbol of national integration; and whether he would apologise for the keris-wielding incidents.

This set off a pandemonium in Parliament with Umno MPs creating a din to drown out my question, leading me to observe that UMNO MPs dared to defend the “keris-wielding” in the context of extremist and communal demands but dared not be questioned on the rightness of their actions in Parliament.

Sun’s report < strong>”Keris-wielding gesture brought up again” follows:

Keris-wielding gesture brought up again

KUALA LUMPUR (April 17, 2007): Months have passed but the controversy over Umno Youth chief Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein’s keris-wielding at the last Umno general assembly has not died down.

A shouting match between BN and DAP MPs erupted in the Dewan Rakyat today after Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) questioned the education minister’s credibility in answering a question on national unity.

“You are well-known for waving the keris and not sensitive of the feelings of the different races. As long as this matter has not been clarified, the minister has lost credibility to be a symbol of unity,” he said in a supplementary question to Hishammuddin.

Lim’s statement did not go down well with the BN MPs, who responded with boos.

“Waving the keris is something very normal in Malay culture,” Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) shouted from his seat.

Datuk Idris Haron (BN-Tangga Batu), Datuk Alwi Che Ahmad (BN-Ketereh) and several other MPs also stood up.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Lim Si Cheng had his hands full trying to restore calm.

“Yang Berhomat, sit down!” he shouted several times before asking Lim to continue with his question.

Lim then posed his question to Hishammuddin: “Are you willing to apologise (over the keris-wielding) incident?”

His words immediately drew flak from the BN MPs again.

At this juncture, Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin (BN-Jerai) tried to invoke the standing orders to stop Lim from making further remarks but was stopped by the deputy speaker, who asked Hishammuddin to answer the question.

“Why did Ipoh Timur make a baseless allegation early in the morning? Maybe he wants to use this as material in the Ijok by-election,” Hishammuddin said.

“I want to advise you that you still lost although you and your counterparts had raised the issue in Machap (by-election). So even if you raise the issue in Ijok again, you will continue to lose,” he said.

  1. #1 by Taiko on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 8:54 am

    Good move, Kit. Keep reminding the people what Heshame did. We’ll remember his fierce shout as if he’s facing the ‘enemy’ – us the non-bumis!

  2. #2 by lakshy on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 8:57 am

    Typical, talk but dont answer the question.

    Anyway, YB you should not use the word National Integration and Hishamuddin in the same sentence. Wont make sense to anyone for his antics and also for his sending his children to international schools, and the education policies that are divisive and not nation building.

    The system seems to be developing more ulamaks!

  3. #3 by Libra2 on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 9:30 am

    That SOB never answered the question.
    UMNO Mps came to his defence but surpriingly the MCA stooges remained dumb.
    So its keris in one hand and word about unity from the mouth.

  4. #4 by ahkok1982 on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 9:47 am

    juz ask him if he thinks tt local national schools n local unis are e pinnacle of national unity. then ask him where are his children studying. nothing to say…
    actually cant blame umno [deleted], e police, e ACA, e customs or any gov dept for being corrupt. e citizens themselves r corrupt for as long as i can remember.
    get stopped by police = pay money
    wanna get work in gov dept done faster = pay money
    wanna get some upgrades in Machap = vote BN

    it takes 2 hands to clap n 2 parties to b corrupt. one to pay n one to receive. If BN is willing to give upgrades in return for votes, n if e ppl in Machap r not part of e corruption, they wont sell their votes to BN.

  5. #5 by lks on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 9:50 am

    When i read newspaper nowaday regarding parlimentary debate, there are always shouting matches. Are there any real debate going on?

  6. #6 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 9:54 am

    If Hishamuddin were to do that in the campus of VA Tech today in the aftermath of the havoc wreaked by Korean student Cho who singlehandedly snuffed out 32 innocent lives, he would not only be referred to counseling but would be placed in a mental institution.

  7. #7 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 9:58 am

    Having said that I think Kit, in the interest of unity, must learn to let go of this keris wielding episode.

  8. #8 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 10:18 am

    I love it when Sdr. Lim gets the monkeys all riled up. Its like throwing a banana into a crazy monkey cage. The funny thing is they think they look like they are fighters but all they look like are scared, brainless and spineless…

    I disagree that Sdr. Lim should let go of this issue. Hissamuddin and those who think they can still get away with hypocrisy must be paid the full extent of the price to firmly write the boundaries of which national integration must be or the temptation of assimilation is still too strong and dangerous..

  9. #9 by greenacre on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 10:32 am

    People need food and job to go on with their life but politicians need more than that to go on with their struggles and one of them happens to be issues…small…petty…mundane or gigantic

  10. #10 by blueheeler on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 10:33 am

    Good job pushing all the right buttons in Parliament. I got a feeling that Hisham is destined for greater things in the M’sia govt, but he’ll always have to contend with the fact that he was wildly, angrily waving a weapon around in public was captured on tv for all to see, over and over again…

  11. #11 by rojak on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 10:44 am

    Keep it up LKS.

    Surely we can not allow someone who practice disunity to preach Unity. Mockery if we allow it to happen.

    Whats more he’s the Education minister. What sort of example has he set? How can he speak for integration if he promote disintegration. Might as well ask the Devil to be the defender of all things that are good.

    He does not even believe in his own education system. He sent his children to international schools as mentioned by above bloggers.

    We must be steadfast in our quest for a M’sian M’sia (by the way what does DAP meant by this?). Never permit wrongdoings to be cast aside all in the name of “unity”. Neither should we forgive crimes committed by them. Let God do the forgiving.

  12. #12 by bhuvan.govindasamy on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 11:09 am

    Hishammuddin intends to force unity with the point of the keris.

  13. #13 by grace on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 11:33 am

    You must know that BN reps are mostly underqualified. Some of them were there by virtue ofbeing popular among the local folks. Their qualification may be as high as PMR or SPM with detailed results od mostly grades 8 or 7 . They really do not understand what is the meaning of debate. Worst still they do not know the function of parliaments.

    That is the reason why they are the law breakers themselves.

    That is the very reason why I admire the likes of Lim Kit Siang, Karpal and Dr Tan Seng Giaw for being so patient enough to put up with them . they are reallyworst than monkeys. By calling them monkeys you are actually complimenting them.

    I would grade them no better than kerbaus and donkeys!!!

    You at least are patient to read the local debate. For me, I rather spend my time reading sports os some other articles.

  14. #14 by MALAYSIANbukanMALAYSIAN on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 11:34 am

    To that Brainless Keris Head Achoomuddin!

    One to one, you’re a dead man. Hide under your mother’s skirt, you only know yakity yak!

    Wushu against Tae Kwan Do, swooooosh………you disintegrate and end up with just an empty skull. Why? You never had a brain anyway!

  15. #15 by Danniel on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 11:43 am

    We have reasons to believe that this poor low-self-esteemed He-shame-mule-din is trying to get some cheap publicity by waving his stupid blood-sucking kris in the public like a freaking psychopath. In his desparate struggle to go up the UMNO power ladder, all he can do is making hell of a din and shouting here and there to make himself heard, like a helpless donkey crying out loud desparately for its mother for attention.

    He-shame-mule-din, please show and prove to us that you are still qualified to be the Education Minister. Otherwise, bring your idiot kris into your grave and leave the nation’s education system alone !

  16. #16 by meursault on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 12:03 pm

    “Waving the keris is something very normal in Malay culture,” Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) shouted from his seat.

    ‘Waving’ is probably not the right word to use. It should be ‘brandishing’ because it was done menacingly. In any case, I doubt it is normal. We don’t see our Malay friends doing that wherever they go.

  17. #17 by lakshy on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 12:34 pm

    Hey, any ideas why is the coronation of the King was not declared and gazetted as a public holiday?

  18. #18 by jango ang on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 12:51 pm

    We will never rest in peace until Hisham goes on his fours and apologise.

  19. #19 by sotong on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 1:40 pm

    It takes great courage to stand one’s ground. It takes greater courage to admit one’s mistake.

    We have a bunch of politicians with too much pride and arrogance but very little/no leadership with real dignity and responsibility.

    Does the Minister needs the support of MP from Jerai who threatened aggression, hatred and violence? It would be his best interest to have nothing to do with him.

  20. #20 by smeagroo on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 1:46 pm

    UNcle Kit

    Dont you see that those goons in parlaiment are paid to do their job, to dorwn out the oppositions in everyway they can. They are there not becos of merit but bcos their mouth are bigger and their brains are smaller.

  21. #21 by democrate on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 6:41 pm

    “Waving the keris is something very normal in Malay culture,” Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) shouted from his seat.

    Order him to get into Tanjong Rambutan other wise Tampoi will do !
    this rascal is 100% A RACIST!

  22. #22 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 6:51 pm

    A politician of whatever political affiliation be he an UMNO member or an XYZ member, such antics in such a forum limited as it was to a particular group of people, are uncalled for, insensitive and fail to consider the feelings of those present who are not members and who may be seen as the target of such antics.

    Playing to the gallery, fishing for support of his Party has a downside – that kind of behaviour is bound to be seen as highly irresponsible, short sighted and divisive by those who do not share his views.

    Why then did he do it? Is it sheer folly?

    He was doing what some of the others were doing albeit less openly or to the same degree i.e. beating the drums of narrow nationalism. In this case it is narrow Malay nationalism.

    Some five decades after our political independence from Great Britain, the fact that some of our political leaders still see the need to beat the drums of narrow nationalism to gain popular support for their cause speaks for itself.

    This is about a community fast going down the proverbial slippery slopes. How do we stop it?

  23. #23 by Zeebra on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 9:32 pm

    waving a KRIS is normal in Malay culture…..hahahaha….gangterism is normal in Chinese culture…. can we start some new gang-gang here and gang-gang there????

  24. #24 by Sintiansai on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 9:51 pm

    “Waving the keris is something very normal in Malay culture,” Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) shouted from his seat.

    I find this sentence very funny.

    Does this means that my malay neighbours and friends have keris kept in their pockets all the time? [deleted]

  25. #25 by aawilliam on Thursday, 19 April 2007 - 12:44 am

    Is this Sri gading MP that said that the LRT should have separate compartment(couch)for women and man?IF yes then this message is for him.Hello pakcik,YB KIT is not asking you the question lah bodoh!!!!! [deleted]

  26. #26 by accountability on Thursday, 19 April 2007 - 2:10 am

    keep it up Uncle Kit!

    and did you notice that Keris-mudin still did NOT answer your question?

    the BN is the pinnacle of irony and hypocrisy!
    threatening other races, enforcing neverending discriminative policies, and buying votes (through promises of development – aren’t they supposed to do that as their duty??!)

    as the Education Minister, keris-mudin should be ashamed of himself – just look at the BN MPs he has sitting with him; all poorly educated and cannot hold a proper debate without descending into shouting monkeys when asked a question they can’t answer!

  27. #27 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 19 April 2007 - 5:38 am

    ““Waving the keris is something very normal in Malay culture”

    Waving the keris is certainly not part of Malay culture let alone a normal part of Malay culture. This is obvious to all. But what is the point the speaker is trying to make here??

    Is he trying to rationalize away the aberrant behavior of someone he sees as having played too much to the gallery in tying to make his point? If that is the case then perhaps LKS should take statements like this at face value and let the matter rest.

  28. #28 by sotong on Thursday, 19 April 2007 - 10:22 am

    As long as it is one’s culture, one could do whatever you like.

    Criminals will condone and accept criminal behaviours.

  29. #29 by pamelaoda on Thursday, 19 April 2007 - 8:35 pm

    ““Waving the keris is something very normal in Malay culture”

    Interesting! I always go to this club whereby it is patronised by foreigners to learn Japanese and their cultures. It is like a United Nation here and people always asked me what is Malaysia like ie cultures etc..Now I can print this out and distribute it to them! With picture some better still and must bold the name this is our Education Minister !
    At least in future if riot happened in Malaysia, people outside of Malaysia would know the truth story.

  30. #30 by japankiller on Thursday, 19 April 2007 - 8:38 pm

    his picture look very ungly !!!

  31. #31 by Count Dracula on Friday, 20 April 2007 - 1:29 am

    Yeah! Look at the microphone. He looks like a man desperate to give a blow job.

  32. #32 by Johorean on Friday, 20 April 2007 - 4:43 pm

    It would be interesting to list out all the Ministers’ educational qualifications on the main stream newspapers. Those with doctorate degree will need to announce which university they attended and what major. On top of that, probably give a brief description on the research paper they had completed. So what exactly is the educational level of our education minister? It has been almost 50 years and we are still “playing” around with our educational system. Other countries are already on the fly and we are still unclear which direction to take. Will we face the same situation again where we have a complete generation of Malaysian who cannot even communicate well in English? What a shame.

  33. #33 by sammyvellu on Saturday, 21 April 2007 - 12:17 am

    With the amount of monies being passed on in brown envelopes in Machap & Batu Talam, I wonder if BN still has enough sponsors for the Ijok constituency.

    Why can’t the ADUN in my area die so that a by-election can be called? Even if I get the brownie, I will still vote any opposition

  34. #34 by sammyvellu on Saturday, 21 April 2007 - 12:19 am


  35. #35 by DiaperHead on Saturday, 21 April 2007 - 12:58 am


  36. #37 by Jonny on Saturday, 21 April 2007 - 12:06 pm

    Don’t worry, he will come back to the mainstream when he becomes PM. He will carry a keris, a ‘guan-gong’ Chinese sword, etc. I doubt he has the C4 though.

  37. #38 by ukay on Sunday, 22 April 2007 - 4:55 am

    Please do not ask Hishammudin to apologize. It is an absolute waste of time, as his apology will not be sincere. A racialist politician (as many in the BN are), he will do the same thing again when he thinks it will score some points in the murky politics he indulges in. Even as the Minister of Education his proposed policies may sound great when he gives press statements but i can assure you that when implemented the realitywill be a far cry from the original utterances. Not many policies of the BN Govt.are thought through before they are implemented.

  38. #39 by ktteokt on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 11:27 pm

    This is what UMNO is good for, instigating hatred among the various races in Malaysia. And Hishammudin is just the right person to do the “donkey job”. Remember the days of “suqiu” where he led the whole group of hooligans threatening to burn down the Chinese Assembly Hall? Imagine such an uncivilized Minister of Youth and Sports and top UMNO man doing such a barbaric act.

    Anyway, UMNO not only treats the outside world this way. Even within UMNO itself, much “back stabbing” is going on. Remember the days when Mahathir just retired and tried to make noise on the way the nation is governed under Pak Lah? UMNO threatened to throw him out of the party. Such is the truth about UMNO which stands for “United Malays National Organization” which was said to be established in 1946. After more than half a century, it has still failed to achieve its objectives of uniting the Malays. Is it then right to display such a signboard on top of its headquarters in PWTC, claiming to be “united”?

    What a shame it is! It is still entitled to put up the UMNO signboard with a little modification in its meaning, which should read “Uniting Malays National Organization” and not otherwise.

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