Kee Thuan Chye on Kerismuddin and “spaceman”

(Thanks Kee Thuan Chye for drawing my attention to his excellent conversation with Malaysiakini columnist Helen Ang, which I had missed. It is so good that I am putting it up on this blog as I believe many had missed it too – including his brain-storming theory that Malaysian sports have started going downhill from the 70s because of the NEP and Helen’s provocative nudges.)

Kee to deciphering Umno semiotics

Helen Ang
Nov 15, 07 12:51pm

Kee Thuan Chye is an author, actor-director and dramatist. He has written four major political plays: ‘1984 Here and Now’, ‘The Big Purge’ [read at the Soho Theatre in London, 2005], ‘We Could ****You Mr Birch’ and ‘The Swordfish, Then the Concubine’ [adjudged one of the top 5 entries to the International Playwriting Festival 2006 organised by the Warehouse Theatre in the UK.

He’s also a journalist of 30 years’ standing, beginning his career at The National Echo in 1977.

Q & A follows: (The views expressed here are strictly the interviewee’s own and do not reflect the stand of any organisation that he is with)

Helen: You’re someone who works intimately with language and having broad experience of the mass media — which in Malaysia is the channel for communicating the dominant narrative. As such, I’d like to get your reading on the ideas behind some of the things said and done at the recently concluded Umno general assembly.

Let’s start with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi saying: “The act of unsheathing and kissing a keris is part of our cultural heritage but its meaning has been twisted to spread fear among non-Malays, and the image of Umno and Malaysia has been smeared overseas.”

The PM was referring to Youth chief Hishamuddin Hussein who at the wing’s assembly in 2005 started his so-called ‘tradition’ of brandishing the keris. He has since said he expects non-Malays to eventually become “de-sensitised” to his waving this ‘symbol’, and in fact pronounced that naysayers should get used to it.

Deputy PM Najib Abdul Razak believes the act should be celebrated by all races. What do you make of the semiotics of the Umno keris? Is it a “symbol of protection for everyone” as Hisham and the local media would have us think?

Kee: I certainly don’t think it is a symbol of protection for everyone. This kind of talk is typical of Umno politicians who often twist semantics for the purpose of fooling the people. Well, it can fool those who are easily swayed by superficialities but not the intelligent public. Many Umno politicians appear to be pretty superficial themselves and therefore tend to misperceive that the thinking of the rakyat is mainly of the lowest common denominator.

The keris is a striking visual image. When it was first brandished in 2005, it naturally sent fear waves among the non-Malays. The body language of the person wielding it and the words uttered in accompaniment and, more significantly, the tone in which they were uttered combined to even more dramatic effect.

In 2006, the second time it made its appearance, the event looked choreographed — with Hishammuddin raising the unsheathed keris heavenwards and his Umno Youth brethren raising their fists in unison alongside him, in rows of solidarity. It was fearsome, like a military phalanx. All the signs pointed to aggression.

Hishammuddin was theatricalising a moment, and it was theatre with a powerful message — all the more effectively communicated because it was televised ‘live’ and it went out to millions of viewers.

And when you unsheathe a keris and hold it in that way, you’re bound to incite certain sentiments among your followers and to provoke them to ask when you are going to use it, as Hashim Suboh did. This inevitably recalls the moment of a day 20 years ago when Najib reportedly wielded a keris and vowed that there would be Chinese blood on its blade by the end of that day.

In Hishammuddin’s theatrics, the context was clear. It was an Umno Youth assembly, which is a strictly Malay gathering. The aggressive stance, the iconic Malay keris and the invocation to uphold the Malay struggle — all these pointed to an ethnocentric concern.

Other races were certainly not being defended; on the contrary, they were implied to be the enemy.

With weapon in hand, Hishammuddin was unequivocal in his assertion that Umno Youth wanted the return of policies favouring the Malays and would take action against those who opposed the movement’s proposal to revive the NEP. He later said that the keris represented Umno Youth’s “renewed spirit in empowering the Malays”.

So now for Hishammuddin to say that he would use the keris again in 2007 as a protector of all Malaysians — not just Malays — is disingenuous. Any intelligent Malaysian can see through the doublespeak.

What is even worse — and insulting — is what he said about “desensitizing” non-Malays to the issue of the keris. Only a person with a supercilious attitude would behave that way. What he implies by that statement is that non-Malays must accept what he does, no matter how revulsed they are by it. It’s like slapping someone in the face and then slapping him again and again, and telling him that he has to tolerate it each time until he gets used to it. What arrogance!

The arrogance surely stems from the idea of ketuanan Melayu that has been the focus of Umno’s propagation the last few decades. One could read into that “protection” doublespeak an implicit statement of Malay supremacy lording over the other races. This is the same kind of arrogance exhibited by Puteri Umno in its recent criticism of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). A mere wing of Umno had the gumption to tell a partner of the Barisan Nasional to “stop making noise”.

This is the same kind of arrogance exhibited by Hishammuddin when he issued a warning to the MCA leadership last July to stop saying that Malaysia is a secular state. The leader of a Youth wing had the gumption to tell a senior partner of Umno’s in the BN to shut up. On an issue of national significance, to boot.

In supporting Hishammuddin’s keris antics, Abdullah reveals himself to be contrary to what the mainstream media have hailed him as — “a Prime Minister of all Malaysians”.

It undoes what he had been trying to do throughout this year’s Umno general assembly, which was to be conciliatory towards the other races by not bringing up issues that would be sensitive and threatening to them, particularly religion. No doubt Abdullah knows he cannot afford to alienate the non-Malay voters in light of the upcoming general election. He could have reminded the Umno delegates about this on the eve of the assembly when he briefed them on what issues to avoid. He could also have advised Hishammuddin to take that soft approach with the keris this time.

It was all rather predictable. Umno is inadvertently transparent that way!

In any case, how could Abdullah be considered a PM of all Malaysians when he was the one who stopped any further discussion of Article 11 of the Constitution; did little to clear the air about whether Malaysia is not a secular state; did nothing to quash a proposal by none other than the Chief Justice (then) to replace common law with Syariah law; rejected a proposal to set up an inter-faith council; told ministers within his own Cabinet to withdraw their memo to him calling for a review of laws that affect the rights of non-Muslims? One could go on.

Well, to go on to next in the hierarchy, Najib’s address this year was themed ‘Reaching for the Stars — Elevating a National Civilisation’, doubtless to ride on the “Malaysians walking a few inches taller” hype generated by the first Malay to go into space. I note a resolute semantics when one man’s ‘space tourist’ is another man’s ‘angkasawan’, while a cynic’s ‘joyride’ is the administration’s ambitious ‘space programme’.

The use of ‘angkasawan’ is blatantly deliberate; I find the English papers parroting this Malay word too. I’d read earlier that Nasa does not see Dr Sheikh Mustaphar Sheikh Abdul Shukor as an “astronaut” but rather a “space participant”. Is the ‘angksawan’ another case of Boleh creative accounting (adding and subtracting)?

Given the political reality we are in, a reality that has evolved under a campaign of institutionalised racial discrimination over the last 30-plus years, very few Malaysians would have expected the candidate for space to be other than a Malay. The non-Malay contenders were, to put it brutally, merely tokens. The final selection came as no surprise then.

The more cynical among us would also have deduced that it was all part of the Malay agenda of creating “towering Malays”. And there was not only one candidate, there were two. The second is now a spaceman-in-waiting, and to all intents and purposes, he will get his day in the stratosphere, because he will add to the list of “towering Malays”.

(I like the use of the term “spaceman” to describe each of our two aspiring angkasawan; as my dear friend Azmi Sharom pointed out astutely in his column for The Star recently, Sheikh Muszaphar is a man and he was in space.) More important, however, are the questions on a lot of people’s minds: What did our spaceman really achieve? And what has our nation achieved? Did we build our own rocket? Did we find a new way of going to space?

I would say we found a new ‘leng chai’ poster boy to set women’s heart aflutter … but in any case, to look back, there was the less than enthusiastic reception of the Everest conquerors that were Indian. Whereas a Malay man swimming the English Channel was rewarded with a Datukship — a feat that even a 12-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy (Thomas Gregory / 11 hr 54 min in 1988) accomplished minus the sort of state support and sponsorship given our Malaysian ‘hero’ Abdul Malek Mydin (17 hr 40+ min).

Non-Malays who have accomplished greater feats tend not to be lionised as much. As you rightly pointed out, the Indians who scaled Mount Everest got short shrift. This also happens in the field of sports.

The Sidek brothers were elevated to legendary status for their success in badminton, totally overshadowing the non-Malay greats who had led the way long before them (Wong Peng Soon, Ong Poh Lim, Ooi Teik Hock, Eddy Choong, Tan Aik Huang, Tan Yee Khan, Ng Boon Bee, etc).

When Mohd Hafiz Hashim won the All-England singles title in 2003, he was rewarded with a car, land, money and a hero’s welcome home. When Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong won the All-England doubles title last March, they were rewarded with only a fraction of what Hafiz got. Not that such rewards are necessarily good. Sadly, Hafiz hasn’t outdone himself since 2003.

Lack of a maintenance culture.

I have a theory that our performance in sports started to decline with the inception of the NEP. Before that, we had great athletes like Jegathesan, Rajamani, Ishtiaq Mobarak and Nashatar Singh, and our football team was as good as South Korea’s. But from the ’70s onwards, things took a turn for the worse. I put it down to the decline in national morale. And of course also to the team selection criteria.

Where does it all lead?

It all leads to further superficiality. That’s what our leaders are good at — creating the myth of Bolehness by resorting to the accomplishment of superficial ‘feats’. These would include having the tallest flagpole in the world, at one time the tallest building in the world, the paean to Bumiputeraism called Putrajaya (which now appears to be a white elephant), etc, etc. Is there a biggest ketupat in the world too?

Most certainly, but could have been eaten by now.

But what it amounts to realistically is spending millions and billions of ringgit, which you and I contribute to whether we like it or not. To the movers of the cause, it doesn’t matter what the cost is as long as it serves the Bumiputera-building exercise. I think that’s unfair. Non-Bumis also deserve an even chance. We contribute too. I was disgusted when I visited Putrajaya at night a few weeks ago — all that money spent on maintaining it, all that energy to light up the streets and the buildings, and all for what?

To blink at spacemen in Russian stations? But do go on …

I’ll tell you what disgusted me even more recently. When I visited the Independence Memorial in Malacca last May and looked at the exhibits (pictures, write-ups, etc), I found almost everything centred on the efforts of the Malays. The contributions of non-Malay nationalists were blatantly neglected or marginalised. A handful of Chinese and Indian leaders got mentioned in passing, but that was about all.

Unless I missed it, I didn’t even see a single portrait of Tun Tan Cheng Lock in there. And he was the leader of the MCA at the time. Not only that — his record shows that he was a true nationalist who was president of the All Malaya Joint Council for Action (AMCJA) which, together with Pusat Tenaga Rakyat (Putera), rallied for Merdeka long before Umno got wise to the idea.

I don’t buy that ‘National Civilisation’ hogwash. “National” is just another abused word for “Bumiputera”. But many non-Malays have been conditioned into believing the Umno propaganda, first from having their mindset programmed in school, then from being exposed to the spin-doctoring of the mass media daily and the grand-scale theatrical extravaganzas staged by the BN government occasionally.

When the general election comes around, they will probably vote like they have been doing over the decades.

  1. #2 by smeagroo on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 8:36 am

    A good read. Now pls get this truth to those chinese folks living in rural areas.

  2. #3 by Libra2 on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 9:08 am

    I have read Kee’s writings in the Straits Echo in the 70s. He was and is a fine writer.
    Well said friend and I hope we forward this write up to all our friends and place them in our blogs.
    Since MCA Chinese have no “maruah”, let them continue to lick the Malays’ shoes.

  3. #4 by shiock on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 9:34 am

    Good one.
    With regards to the spaceman, what is the experiment results and achievement that we have concluded after coming back from space?? Will it be published by the institutions concerned to the public??
    Pls don waste anymore money in the space programme or buying the used up rocket but instead take care of the development in the country for the benefit of all instead of one spaceman “shiock sendiri”.

  4. #5 by boh-liao on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 9:48 am

    Yeah, the nation has been systematically brain washed at all levels by Umno to accept ketuanan Melayu and to forget /ignore the contributions of non-Malay in nation building.

    Umno is ever so ingenious in staging wayang and coining appropriate terms to boost the image of ‘Malays boleh’, while manipulating the system. Yes, a genius political group at using superficiality to enhance Malays’ image, i.e., building mountain from a mole hill.

    Like having an open mass selection of our space tourist (or rather spaced man) – the whole process is a charade to justify and glorify the ultimate candidate as the best of the nation to send up to space. Of course, the spaced person has to be a Malay, a foregone conclusion. Actually, these days, any healthy individual, male or female, with a pile of money can be a paid space tourist in one of Russian space rocket.

    Like entry to universities by almost all Malay students through the easier route of matrikulasi, but is glorified as meritocrary.

    Like the multiple titles that most Malay politicians, civil servants, academics, etc. lug in front of their names (eg, Dato Seri Dato Prof Dr Ir XXX – titles longer than name) to announce to the world that they are VIP, achiever, boleh, etc.

    Welcome to the engineered world of Umno. The master engineer was our ex-PM, Dr M.

  5. #6 by disapointed86 on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:13 am

    what i can say about the interview is simply brilliant..i hope it will englighten the non-malays out there to be more intelligent for the coming election..we will never have bright future under such government..VOTE THEM OUT!

  6. #7 by Jimm on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:14 am

    I totally agreed with you, Boh-Liao.
    This scam of tricking the Ketuanan was a wonderful ideas from The Done Master era. Eversince TMH exercising the family planning program to all Non-Malays in the 70s and offering immediate Nationality to their ‘brothers & sisters’ from our neighbour to control the voting results, we have to thank quite a list of UMNO’s leaders for all these.
    What is more pity here are those real Malays , their entire roots have been tainted badly by their acclaimed leaders.
    Their culture are no longer what we all used to know and familiar with now.

  7. #8 by k1980 on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:23 am

    Go on, you Indians, vote for the BN (and die a miserable death)!
    The new Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (T) Ladang Bukit Jalil may be boxed in by cemeteries, a crematorium and a detention centre. “The cemetery land will be segmented according to the different religions, 13.97ha in total, while our 103-year-old temple and new school have been allotted 0.4ha to share. “How are the children going to study, sandwiched between a crematorium and graveyards?

  8. #9 by Joetan on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:30 am

    This article serve as an eye opener to the non-malays and exposed the tricks played by the UMNO which blind the eyes of the non-malays in this bolehland.

  9. #10 by shaolin on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:38 am

    ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ is a racist statement!! What else when
    KerisMuddin unsheathed the Malay keris, held aloft, weild-
    ing it high and chanting the slogans – [deleted]

    Intelligent Chinese people WILL definitely know what it
    means, right??!! On the contrary, if The UMNOputras are
    in our empathy, Will them let us repeatedly slap their faces
    and tolerate and be get used to it??!! They certainly WILL
    kill you brutally instead!!

  10. #11 by megaman on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:43 am

    So ?

    The mass media in Malaysia has been castrated by the BN-ruled government and worse, it has been turned into a ridiculous lap dog serving its masters.

    The only way to get a better picture of the happenings in Malaysia is through third party news agencies or online. However, access and reports by the external agencies has been censored, ridiculed, cast aside and plainly restricted meanwhile the majority of the population has yet to have access to the Internet (and even if they have, how many knows how to utilize it properly to surf socio-political blogs or websites?).

    Compounded to the lack of access to the creditable media, the entrenched political apathy, no thanks to the decades of brain-washing and conditioning through national education and exposure to government propaganda and also simply the fact that most common folk is basically struggling to feed their family and themselves, it comes as a no-brainer why after decades of effort by YB Lim, after so many sensible words and pinpoint criticisms of the government flaws, Malaysia still managed to get itself into such predicaments.

    Trying to explain the follies of all the government white elephants to my friends and relatives is like trying to reason with a herd of cows. Thanks to the buffoonery of our current government this is easier now but how many saw through the follies of the government’s white elephants or ill-executed projects ?

    Proton, the national car program
    In order to create a successful car program, the basics have to be in place first,
    a) a strong pool of engineers and scientist capable of performing useful R&D
    b) supporting industries in place; plastics, metalworks, machining etc etc.
    c) competent commercial organisation(s) leading the way (leaves the work of doing business to the businessmen, government and politicians shouldn’t interfere)

    Instead we have the following:
    a) large amount of tax money pumped in to create Proton
    b) critical car components like engines, transmissions etc imported from overseas or manufactured by foreign companies while locals provide cheap plastic parts or lower precision items.
    c) a protectionist policy to artificially pump the sales of national cars domestically while it fails to gain any major foothold in any oversea markets.

    No wonder Proton is in such dire conditions now.

    Centralizing the admistrative HQs is a good idea but its not tackling the main issue at heart which is the productivity of the civil servants.
    Putting them all in one location which is so far off the central business district in KL and pumping in billions to create new facilities is simply not going to work because:

    a) Civil services’ main purpose is to support businesses operating in Msia and citizens or foreigners living in Msia. If you require people to commute all the way from the city centre to Putrajaya, it is a plain waste of time spent of traveling and it makes it less accessible to the public

    b) If the process itself is not well-thought of and defective, no amount of nice counters or government buildings or online forms going to help speed things up.

    c) Millions spent on landscaping, lighting, facade etc etc. Yes, it is important to make it look nice but is it money well-spent when there is so much more that requires urgent use of these funds?

    CyberJaya and MSC
    Many fails to realize that it is people that creates IT not the other way round. It is Bill Gates that create Microsoft not Microsoft that creates Bill Gates. It is the pool of intelligent graduates and engineers that created Silicon Valley not Silicon Valley creating itself.

    You can spend billions on high-speed Internet, great industrial parks for IT but it is going to end up an empty shell simply because not enough talents are available to attract more talents or even to maintain itself.

    Sepang F1

    The cancelled crooked bridge to replace the causeway
    When the government gives the reason that the new bridge would allow ships to pass through to Tanjung Pelepas and people believed this, I nearly fell off my chair in amazement. Have you seen the Johor Strait ? How can container ships pass through such narrow and shallow waters ? If they can, how many can pass through per day and are there any plans for ship piloting systems to guide the ships because we can’t afford to have a collision in such narrow locations. And has anyone think whether the ships would have problems navigating the second-link as well ?

    I fell off my chair a second time when the government wants to carry ahead with the project despite not getting Singapore’s support. We would have longer commutes over the crooked half-bridge and no matter how many lanes we have on our side we are stuck in the bottleneck on the original half of the causeway.
    Has anyone think of the poor school children of JB that has to commute daily over the bridge just to attend school in Spore?

    And for the finale, I feel like throwing my chair at the PM.
    Where in the world has cancelling a project becomes more expensive than continuing with it ?

    KTM Komuter, LRT and basically the whole transport system in Msia
    One ticket for KTM Komuter, another for LRT and yet another for the buses.
    Reach one KTM Komuter or LRT station still have to find ways to get buses to get to another location with a long waiting time.
    If you are lucky to get onto a bus, you have to contend with bad bus conditions and cramping.
    Taxis are not better, a lot of them are smelly, cramped, expensive, sometimes if you are unlucky you get unscrupulous drivers and still have to indicate your destinations in case the taxi drivers don’t want to go there because of traffic jams (I won’t blame them for this).
    If you are driving; bad road conditions (potholes etc), tolls, confusing road signs and best of all, massive traffic jams.

    No central plans at all to properly think about the whole transport scenario in Malaysia.

    KL Tower and Petronas Twin Tower
    Need I say more for these ? I am tired of typing so much.

    and on and on and on … I can go on like the Energizer bunny for this.

  11. #12 by sotong on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:46 am

    Grossly misguided pride, arrogance and inflated confidence as a result of decades of bad leadership and role model are doing a lot of damage to the victims and the country as a whole.

  12. #13 by megaman on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:48 am

    Missed out on Sepang F1. On hindsight, I feel I should strike out this item from the list as I feel that there are improvements and I am plainly not so well-informed with regards to this.

    Maybe others would like to add their comments on the Sepang F1?

  13. #14 by oknyua on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:54 am

    Guys, before I get a bashing for being a bumiputera, Datin Peduka Chew Mei Fun has me classified as a Pribumi (The Star 25th July).

    Existing word: Bumiputera
    New Addition: Pri-bumi
    In process: Umno-bumi, super-bumi and sub-bumi. For the Chinese, I am sorry guys, your classification could be “Never-bumi,” even if you have been here since Parameswara. (Never mind those that came yesterday and are already “bumi”).

    So officially I am not a Bumiputera. (I hope readers see the subtle way they circumvent this.) I dress in loin-cloth, tatoo all over my body. A long parang harnessed on my waist and a spear in my hand. I walk around suspicious, in case I see someone with a “Keris.” Who knows, I may need to fight him before he spills Chinese blood.

    If I meet a Chinese, that could easily be settled. I’ll call him for ba’kut teh. I don’t mind paying.. what did you order, big bone, small bone?

    (YB Lim, the above factual joke is a sad reminder)

  14. #15 by Jeffrey on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 11:19 am

    As I said before it was Franklin D. Roosevelt (wasn’t it?) who said a leader can’t get too far ahead of his followers, meaning he has to embody their conscious values and the unconscious, sublimal impulses as well as prejudices.

    Recently Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was reported to have said that he wanted the Malays to be more confident and to shed the fear that had been in their minds since before independence.

    (The fear here, I take it, refers to the feeling of fear and apprehension has dominated the thinking of the Malays that they would lose out to other races in a country thjat belonged to them before the advent of the British and coilonisation).

    See report in NST 5th Nov here:

    There is also a constant look out for role models that can serve to boost confidfence to address these fears – role models of “Glocal and Towering malays” the Malay man swimming the English Channel Mohd Hafiz Hashim who won the All-England singles Misbun, Cartoonist Lat all conferred Datukship and of course ‘angkasawan’ Dr Sheikh Mustaphar Sheikh Abdul Shukor who likely would be.

    To be sure, primacy of BM over English, Keris waving, Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP in susbsitution of meritocracy and (biggest of infrastructures beating everyone else such as Petronas twin Tower KLIA) were all part of these effeort to address these fears.

    In addressing these fears, a lot of opportunists had used the pretext to make money and cause wastage in the mega projects; the country’s multi-racial harmony education system and public service suffer and have been strained because of the NEP.

    And in the case of the primacy of BM, pupils who have otherwise performed well in the Primary Assessment Test (UPSR) but not well in Bahasa are not allowed to proceed to form one but have to stay back one more year, developing an inferiority complex if not doing something drastic.

    In this connection I read with profound sadness that 12-year-old S. Subashini, who studied at a Tamil primary school, hanged herself in her home in Changkat.

    The poor girl had been disappointed that she had not obtained the expected results in the UPSR examination.“She had been crying since obtaining her results on Thursday,” sobbed Sivakumar, who said his daughter was a hardworking and bright pupil. “I do not know what went wrong,” he added, saying that while she was confident of scoring at least 4As in the examination, the results showed that Subashini had only obtained 4Bs, 2Cs and 1D – See link:
    Now what is that 1D for?

  15. #16 by pwcheng on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 11:49 am

    The Chinese is fighting a loosing battle, the Indians has lost he battle and other races has been battered even without fighting any battle.
    Democracy is half dead in Malaysia, and of course UMNO will play to the gallery and keep on drumming that Malaysia is democratic though it is obviously inclined to autocratic. There already exist two different set of laws and they keep on telling us to make use of the tainted ballot boxes which will has more and more tainted and more and more ignominious as time goes by. How can we make any changes with those tainted ballot boxes and the monkey tricks which they played to have heavy advantage over the alternative party!
    They can have demonstration and burning other people’s flag as and when they like but when we want to have a peaceful march to redress to the citizens’ plight, water cannon with chemicals will rain on you and get you arrested after creating all the traffic jams in the city and later blaming on the marchers and later show some stupid Chinese businessman in TheStar protesting against the marchers. These stupid Chinese businessman do not realize that a day’s loss is better than a few generations of misery.
    We have leaders from top to bottom who can lie to their teeth and corruption is already a way of life for them.

  16. #17 by Jackychin on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 11:53 am

    A war quote:

    Starving and outnumbered, we must stand our ground and fight bravely for the good of our people…

    For all non-UmnoPutras, stand ur ground…

  17. #18 by dawsheng on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 12:41 pm

    “The Chinese is fighting a loosing battle, the Indians has lost he battle and other races has been battered even without fighting any battle.” pwcheng

    We are not fighting any battle with Malay, if you insist we are fighting a battle than I can only say we are fighting among ourselves. If we are fighting, we must ask what are we fighting for and among the Chinese, how many people are willing to fight for it? The truth is among the Chinese we haven’t reached any consensus in what we should be fighting for. Among the 3 major political parties dominated by the Chinese, 2 are fighting for more businesses (money) and one is fighting for for an idealogy (a Malaysian Malaysia), the formers focus in fighting at the present to get as many crumbs as possible while the latter focuses in fighting for the future so that the Chinese can be equal citizens in their own country. And you call that fighting, I called it dreaming.

  18. #19 by dawsheng on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 12:55 pm

    “….some stupid Chinese businessman in TheStar protesting against the marchers. These stupid Chinese businessman do not realize that a day’s loss is better than a few generations of misery.” pwcheng

    A typical stupid Chinese businessmen is the one who chase after fame and fortune, and that’s typical of Malaysian Chinese but just how many Malaysian Chinese are businessman whether you are big, small or medium? I say it is sizeble. It is not wrong to protest against the marchers of Bersih rally, in fact it will contradicts any business principles if those businessmen didn’t protest as nobody will be paying for their business’s losses inccurred due to the marchers. Any aspiring political party who wish to win votes and form the next govt must first win the hearts of these stupid businessmen.

  19. #20 by sec on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 1:02 pm

    I have come across The MCA politician now telling the Chinese; do not let AAB down; if AAB down Najib will be in power which May 13 may happen again .
    How we counter this dirty tactic of the MCA during the GE

  20. #21 by sotong on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 1:13 pm

    If there is any battle, the politicians are creating illusionary battles so as to divide and rule the ordinary people.

    Nobody wins from this divide and rule policy!

  21. #22 by mwt on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 2:26 pm

    The hollow and superficial achievements are exactly what you can read what the SIL says in the Al Jazeera Forum on Election reforms – “plethora of changes that have taken place by the election commission to make election process in Malaysia more free. Transparent ballot boxes, indelible ink being used to make sure the voters do not vote twice, trying to erase away from the electoral roll people who have passed on and things like that.”
    Now what about the behind the scene moves in transferring voters and all the gerrymandering to divide (a geographic area) into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections?
    Look at the Malaysian Parliamentary & State constituencies – all differing widely in size or population because of gerrymandering.
    For those who have seen & heard the Video Clip on the forum discussion and if you have missed anything, here is the chance to reread and confirm in the transcript. Nazri’s definition of Malaysian Democracy & SIL mentioned of “the media would be able to regulate themselves”

  22. #23 by St0rmFury on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 3:05 pm

    These stupid Chinese businessman do not realize that a day’s loss is better than a few generations of misery. – pwcheng

    They have a right to voice their opinions too you know. Isn’t that what democracy and freedom of speech is all about? All we can do is explain to them that it was the police roadblocks which caused the jam, not the marchers. What they choose to believe is up to them. But you must understand that we don’t get to decide what is best for them. That is what BN is for.

  23. #24 by akarmalaysian on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 3:21 pm

    always remember…umno is not the ruling power in this country…it is always the people.the people has the wisdom and the power.thrs nothing wrong with people fr umno,mca or mic…its only the individual leaders and the greedy associates thats behind these parties to get what they want for themselves by watever means.thr are a lot of malays who dun support umno…a lot of indians who dun support mic and a lot of chinese who dun support mca….and a lot of malaysians who dun support the government at present today.if its only a fraction of people they think they can do without in their parties then they are very wrong.we hv black sheeps in every organisations…and the worst ones at present today we can only find them in can we respect leaders who dont heed the peoples can we respect who leaders who are so race biased themselves.and how can we respect leaders who held up weapons to talk kok in front of people….worst still who wud deem any respect for a moronic leader who said he will shower the weapon with blood at the end of the day.respect and tolerance is one thing whr we hv to learn fr our culture since childhood cos we live among people of all races in our country.but these idiots are taking things for granted.if u are asking me whom i respect for any leaders in the government of today…i rather talk to my dog.

  24. #25 by pwcheng on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 4:10 pm

    dawsheng Says:
    November 19th, 2007 at 12: 41.35,
    Please note that what I meant was fighting for our rights and not fighting against anybody as what you had inferred. That was what we all had been fighting for.

    dawsheng Says:
    November 19th, 2007 at 12: 55.14
    It is sad to note that we talk so much about sacrifices when fighting for a good cause. Think of the 40,000-50,000 marchers who has to sacrifice their valuable time and that is exactly what I meant and if I read you right you seems to be very contradictory, once you said they have the right to protest because of their losses and the next you implied that they are tools of the politicians.
    When are we heading for if we find people like you who wants to fight for he right but no prepared to be united. That is the root cause of the failure of the Chinese because we are disunited.

  25. #26 by pwcheng on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 4:12 pm

    when are we heading for should read as where are we heading for

  26. #27 by raven77 on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 5:07 pm

    Sooo…the country that was won by all has now been hijacked away from the non-Malays……..then…how is it non-Malays still support the BN via MIC, MCA and Gerakan………God only helps people who help themselves…….non-Malays must help themselves first, at least at the ballot box……otherwise there is no case… this age of information….there is no excuse unless its a complete lack of guts or non-Malays are content with this symbiosis……Kee Thuan Chye may have his points..but if principles maketh a man……then this will truly be evident in the next GE…..and Kee will have to realise then that the problems in Malaysia actually take a 360 degree turn back to the non-Malays.

  27. #28 by shaolin on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 5:45 pm

    Thank you for your invitation to Bak Kut Teh. You are our
    friend. Please tell your kawan2 to vote for Opposition Parties.

    I like argument on your PriBumi and all other Bumi status
    one might label you and yet You are NOT a Bumi…!! Becoz
    you are NOT a Malay Bumiputra!! So very little benefits are
    set aside for you!!

    If you are a true Malay Bumi, then the story Will be different!

  28. #29 by cancan on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 7:41 pm

    The Umnoputras are living in a state of constant fear.

    They fear the losing in number of their race,so they want to put the Javanese in our place.

    They fear of losing the NEP for their race,so by hook or by crook,they will make sure it will no be displaced.

    They fear the progress of the other race,so they will change the rule of law to suit their taste.

    They fear of losing their political control,so they threatened the people with race,race,race!

    They want some face,so they send a passenger to space.

    At the end of the day,these Umnoputras mahu jadi hantu pun tidak boleh!

  29. #30 by undergrad2 on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 9:34 pm

    It is all about nation building. But what are we building and what nation??

  30. #31 by undergrad2 on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 9:48 pm

    “Recently Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was reported to have said that he wanted the Malays to be more confident and to shed the fear that had been in their minds since before independence. :

    Aww..C’mon Mr Prime Minister! You guys put it out there and now claim that the Malays fear and suffer from lack of confidence. You only say that so you and your bunch could continue robbing the nation in the name of affirmative action. Period. We have long seen through this smokescreen and have been able to see through to what is real and what is not.

    UMNO is afraid to face the truth. The truth is that UMNO will become irrelevant unless it adheres to the policy of ‘affirmative action’ for the Malays. This is a negative approach to take and there is a cost for it. The nation is already paying for it. It can only become worse through time.

  31. #32 by undergrad2 on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 10:47 pm

    “Becoz you are NOT a Malay Bumiputra!!” shaolin

    Is there a Malay who is not a bumiputra?

  32. #33 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 3:36 am

    “Guys, before I get a bashing for being a bumiputera, Datin Peduka Chew Mei Fun has me classified as a Pribumi (The Star 25th July).” oknyua

    “Pribumi” is an Indonesian word for “bumiputra” – the latter is derived from Sanksrit.

  33. #34 by Filibuster on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 5:27 am


    To overcome the UMNO juggernaut everyone has to work together regardless of race – to blame society’s faults on one race is not the right thing to do I feel. Not all Malay people should be painted in the colors of UMNO, likewise not all Chinese should be painted in the colors of DAP – if you do that, then you are subscribing to the way Hishammuddin wants you to think – after all, if the people are divided, then obviously they will support single race parties – which fits nicely into the BN’s “seemingly one race per party” organization.

    It takes real unity from the people to stand up and overthrow the juggernaut – when that happens, then we can proudly stand up and say that we “bersatu-padu”.

    Undergrad2 Says:
    It is all about nation building. But what are we building and what nation??

    Exactly – the nation seems like it’s going nowhere at the moment – yet money is being spent every day in the name of a new ambitious project that ultimately doesn’t benefit the people.

  34. #35 by DarkHorse on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 5:45 am

    I used to think this way when I was in school but when I reached university all that changed. I wonder why?

  35. #36 by Filibuster on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 6:33 am

    Look no further than subjects like languages, where students are encouraged (to score A1s / As etc) to write (usually) pro-establishment points down – even if there is a problem it’s put onto Western influences, radicalism etc. I’m not saying that is wrong, but that is only one way of thinking about things – a good eye-opening thing about university is that we are frequently exposed to debate – meaning that each situation, however bad it may be painted during our studies, would look different if we put ourselves in the shoes of the other side.

    Would think that subjects like History is rather imbalanced as well – we tend not to learn a lot about World History, but more about local history (and then again, a lot has been downplayed – e.g. Hang Tuah, May 13 riots, Singapore’s split from Malaysia, list goes on…). But then again, history is rather subjective, the things we learn in secondary is simply the surface, or “one way to interpret events” – obviously by going online and searching things out, we can learn about what happened through the eyes of others.

    Moral is another very interesting subject. Apparently it is illegal to teach this in some countries (can someone verify this?) – because it is tantamount to forcing people to conform to a certain way of thinking. It is hypocritic how students are taught about various good values in society, encouraged to do community service, etc, and then find out some of these very values are sorely lacking from the Government of today.

    Don’t want to write what they want you to write? Then you don’t pass, I suppose.

  36. #37 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 7:56 am

    “Would think that subjects like History is rather imbalanced …”

    History is written from the perspective of the victors. So we are told how Stamford Raffles discovered Singapore, how Francis Light discovered Penang etc. How could they have discovered anything when there was already a thriving community on the islands?

    How could Columbus discover America when there were native Americans already there? They did commit genocide though – which is never highlighted. Now they want to tell the Turks they committed genocide during the First WW!

    Why was it not recognized that it was the Chinese who first circumnavigated the globe in 1492??

  37. #38 by St0rmFury on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 9:09 am

    History is a joke. Poor Hang Tuah and his buddies…

  38. #39 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 9:20 am

    The opposition cannot continue to play the game according to UMNO’s rule.

  39. #40 by limkamput on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 3:04 pm

    Undergrad2, your comment on history is totally out of context again. I can also say that studying Commonwealth history gives us a sense of constitutional developments of government. Not everything was bad and not everything was written from the point view of victors. Typical narrow-mindedness.

  40. #41 by shaolin on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 10:14 pm


    I agree All Malays are PriBumis however Malay-sia govern-
    ment WILL segregate The Malay Bumi from Iban Bumi,
    Kadazan Bumi, Portugese Bumi and from all the rest of
    Bumis in this country.

    The reason is simple. The government can give Malay Bumi
    more privileges and benefits than other Bumis.

    It is because of that, Non Malay and Malay status is created
    so as to differentiate the Race when you apply for jobs,
    Bumi shares or even to university seats …etc.

    I am Non Bumi so I MUST NOT dream of any benefits or
    windfall from Malay-sia government becoz it sucks…!!

  41. #42 by ChinNA on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 10:30 pm

    What can we do to salvage the situation in Malaysia? It is not for lack of examples and success models. We have success stories in ASEAN.

    What then is holding Malayasia back? Maybe Malayasia is what is holding Malaysia back.

    Thinking out loud.

  42. #43 by shamshul anuar on Thursday, 27 December 2007 - 10:47 pm

    DEar Boh Liao.

    I refer to your statement with regards to “Ketuanan Melayu”. I beg to differ. The “nation is not brainwashed …” . The fact is actually staring at us. The only reason why Malays control the politics is due to the fact that they form the largest etnic group.

    And UMNO, being the dominant polical party in the country, naturally will have more influence as compared to other parties. I do not understand why that is an issue.

    Surely, you are aware of another “Ketuanan Cina” in economy. Malays do not make noise about it. DEspite whatever weaknesses they have, they also try to upgrade their economic status.

    As for Kee Thuan Chye’s remark, I am afraid he refuses to see the reality. So far, none of the opposition party offer credible challenges to BN. I mean DAP and PAS are not seeing eyes to eyes. DAP, despites non racial based party maintains a very anti Malay attitude . PAS , although maintains Islam as its principle , does not seem able to be honest , a hallmark of islamic attitude.

    But BN has been there since independence( initially the cooperation of UMNO, MCA, MIC). DEspites its weaknesses, It does deliver. And do remember Malays( vast majority) are not willing to gamble on a political party like DAP or Keadilan that are indiferent to their concerns.

    Please do understand that vast majority of Malays find it difficult to vote for opposition like Keadilan when Anwar went to Jakarta and accused Malaysia( of which he was part of it once) many baseless accusation.

  43. #44 by kaybeegee on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 9:13 am

    Saudara Shamsul, will a United Non Malays National Organisation as a political party work? After all Sabah and Sarawak, the other 2 states out of 3 in Malaysia have Bumiputras as well. Add the Indons and Filipinos who have chosen Sabah as their homeland they might outnumber the Malays.
    Not all Indons are Malays by the way.
    Why dont you accept the fact that the BN of today is not the Alliance of yesterday.
    UMNO has hoodwinked many into believing Malaysia was granted independence 50 years ago. Are you on of them?We are starting a campaign to put history in perspective. Aug31st 1957 was meaningful for Malaya. But Malaya is no more a political entity, not a sovereign Nation. Why dont you show your people that you can think,and you know the difference between Independence and creation/formation.
    Today when we speak of the Government we think UMNO. the other component parties are there to fill up the numbers at the generosity of UMNO. It is all “yes Sir, yes Sir 3 bags full”by the non UMNO Ministers. Substitute Sir for UMNO.Any Ah Chong and Muthu but not Samy knows that. The Malays already knew it.
    Nowadays you hear the song Malaysia Berjaya on radio. It comes always just before elections. As a boy I sang “satu bangsa satu negara…..Malaysia berjaya. (song was not from Aug 1957)
    Innocent and naive to repeat “satu bangsa satu negara….”
    So all the non Malays including those not biologically malay but classified as such by the Constitutuion should stand united as ONE and work with the Malays as equals.

You must be logged in to post a comment.