Bolstering and Breeding Bigotry in Bolehland

By Martin Jalleh

The light, lenient, ludicrous and laughable court sentences on the cow-head protestors lends credence to the growing belief that Umno lives and lasts on bigotry

On 28 August last year, more than 50 people, shortly after their Friday prayers, marched from the Selangor state mosque in Shah Alam to the Selangor State Secretariat to protest the relocation of a 150-year old Hindu temple to their neighbourhood.

Amidst strong chants of “Allahuakbar!” they dragged and paraded the severed and bloodied head of a cow. One of their leaders shouted “I guarantee bloodshed and racial tension (if the temple relocation takes place)”.

Some of them made fiery speeches, spat on the severed cow’s head, kicked it, stomped on it, dumped it in front of the gates of the State Secretariat and proudly posed for photos, as police stood stoically, silently and submissively by.

Malaysian Hindus (who consider the cow a sacred animal) protested vehemently and called it a “sacrilegious act”. Other non-Muslims described it as “sickening” and “scandalous”. Many Muslims in the country considered it “shameless” and “so un-Islamic”.

A Muslim wrote: “These hooligans don’t represent all of us”. Another added: “As a Muslim, I am ashamed at the behaviour of these hoodlums especially during the holy month of Ramadhan. I really wonder who the head honchos are behind this unscrupulous act.”

The world watched in shock at how such a provocative act, or as some would later call it “barbaric behaviour” could have taken place in Malaysia – a country which its government boasts of as being a supposed showcase of a multi-racial-religious society today!

Hishammuddin’s Hypocrisy

In spite of a nationwide outcry and the lodging of 98 police reports against the cow-head protestors, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein who often hypes about racial and religious harmony decided to hijack the role of the police, Attorney-General (AG) and even the judiciary.

He went out of the way to meet in his office with the protestors – the very people who had committed what was clearly a seditious and sacrilegious act. He even daftly declared them innocent, defended their actions and deemed legal action against them as unnecessary.

According to him, the protestors were the ones who were “victimised”. They had no intention to stir racial emotion! It was not the first time an animal head had been used in a protest! The police allowed them to proceed because the numbers of protestors were small. Hishammuddin humoured the whole nation!

So desperate was he to justify the heinous act that he would even declare: “In this day and age, protests should be accepted in this world, as people want their voices to be heard. If we don’t give them room to voice their opinions, they have no choice but to protest.”

Hishammuddin’s hypocrisy could not hold when, about a week after the cow-head protest, police arrested 16 Hindraf leaders who were in the midst of holding a peaceful candlelight vigil to voice their strong protest against the sacrilegious act in Shah Alam.

(According to Lim Kit Siang, Hishammuddin’s “obsession to defend the Umno role in the cow-head demonstration” was “to further the Umno/BN agenda to weaken and topple the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor State Government”.)

In comparison, the PM very dramatically said he was deeply disturbed by the despicable act, demanded that the issue be nipped in the bud and directed the IGP to act swiftly and sternly. It is 11 months since the incident and the Shah Alam Sessions Court delivered its judgment on the matter on 28 July 2010.

Pathetic Patail

The Court fined 12 cow-head protestors RM1,000 each after they pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of taking part in an illegal assembly. Two of the protestors were fined RM3,000 for sedition while one of the two was also ordered to serve a week in jail.

The actions of the cow-head protestors as so accurately described by Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, were “extreme and provocative”. Very naturally the public had expected stiff, stern and severe court sentences that would stop the country from sliding further down the slippery slope of religious extremism.

Sadly the sentences defied all logic. They were glaringly light, lenient and ludicrous. They made the AG’s Chambers, the judiciary and the government laughable. Once again the loud and oft-dramatic resolve by the powers-that-be to check extremism by Muslim groups have proven to be only lip service.

A fine of a paltry sum of RM1,000 to RM3,000, a preposterous jail sentence of only a week for one of the protestors – such pathetic punishment for outright religious bigotry can only come from a predictable judiciary ready to please and pander to the wishes of its political masters.

“I hope in future the accused will all be more sensitive in their actions. It is also hoped that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to others in future,” the words of judge Hasbi Hasan rang hollow in the court as the guilty heaved a sigh of relief – devoid of any sense of remorse.

For taking part in such a diabolical act of desecration which could have triggered off serious racial and religious disturbances, four of the protestors who had maintained their innocence and were supposed to go through separate trials, were discharged – after AG Gani Patail decided not to press further charges!

The gravity of the offence warranted a stringent and not a farcical deterrent sentence. The implications of the offence to worsening race and religious relations were very grave. But the AG was not at all serious in sending out a clear message that such offences will not be tolerated. Neither was the Court!

It did not seem to matter to the AG that the public could see through the “big show” of toughness put up by his Chambers and the Court. Such a charade reduced the PM’s initial proclamations of swift and severe action to mere pious pronouncements and pretentious promises meant to placate public anger.

Further, one is prompted to ask would the Court sentences be the same if a group of Hindus were to spit and stomp on the Holy Quran and left it outside the gates of the Selangor State Secretariat? Would they be discharged due to their insistence of being innocent?

Ramon Navaratnam, chairman of the Centre for Public Policy Studies puts this succinctly: “I would say this warrants the maximum sentence, if not, much higher than that…Frankly, the public would be asking would the sentence commensurate with the crime if it was other ethnic groups involved.”

P. Uthayakumar, Human Rights party secretary-general was more blunt: “I urge the attorney-general to appeal against the Sessions Court’s sentence and further prosecute them (the four perpetrators) under Section 298(A) as I believe this clause would have been used if it were the Muslims who were offended instead.”

(Commenting on the ongoing hearing of three Muslim youth charged for fire-bombing a church, lawyer Annou Xavier wrote in an e-mail that little is to be expected of the outcome of the trail as the (ill-prepared and inexperienced) prosecution team has demonstrated little regard to the seriousness of the case). )

Breeding bigotry

The cow-head protest should come as no surprise. It is the logical consequence and culmination of years of the authorities closing an eye and sometimes both, to the provocative and extreme acts of Muslim groups, whilst putting up a facade of a thorough investigation and taking fair and firm action.

Five months later, in the aftermath of a landmark ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court which ordered the lifting of the Home Minister’s ban on the Catholic church publishing the word “Allah” in its weekly paper, Herald, arson attacks, vandalism and other incidents took place in 11 churches and a Sikh temple.

What gives extremist Muslim groups the audacity to insult other faiths, incite religious hatred, and be so intolerant and insensitive to non-Muslims? Perhaps it has to do with them being very confident that they can display their insolence with impunity. They are well-provided and protected and their fines may even be paid – by Umno.

Umno is in a desperate state. In spite of its many claims of having changed, it continues with its political culture of divide and rule and of a siege mentality by politicising religion and creating unfounded insecurities amongst Muslims and a distrust of other religions.

Very ironically and tragically it appears that Umno can only unite the Malays and Muslims by dividing the country! The party that harps on supremacy and superiority whether it is with regard to race or religion, at the same time claims that Muslims can be very easily confused, convinced and converted!

Umno thrives on bigotry. It survives on religious extremism, fanaticism and fanning fears and fantasising enemies! Its members and all Muslims in the country are made to believe that they must stamp their superiority over the rest, and this is made all the more easier by Executive Supremacy!

According to Umno’s brand of Islam, the Malay/Muslim majority in this country must dominate, dictate, decide and even define what the minority (non-Muslims) can and cannot do; discuss, deliberate and debate on in public; and display in print.

The saddest outcome of the cow-head protest is that we have accepted the distinction between “Muslim and non-Muslim dominated areas”. Yet, there was a time when Bolehland’s citisens of diverse races and religions so successfully and confidently co-existed and lived together side by side in mutual respect and admiration!

After being PM for 15 months, Najib has failed to fight the fires of religious fanaticism, aggressively fanned by his own party. He takes flight and hides behind his 1Malaysia slogan – a faltering façade and flop which makes him look so utterly foolish! 1 Malaysia has become one big joke!

The inadequate sentences of the cow-head protestors make it very clear that burgeoning bigotry will continue to rear its ugly head in Bolehland as long as the Umnoputras rule Putrajaya. May Allah (oops, did I convert anyone) help us!

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 3:47 pm

    Aiyah, RM1K and 3K, stiff penalty oredi loh
    Y ppl still complain?
    Normally dis kind of protest by UmnoB-friendly protestors went without punishment 1

    Another aiyah, Y DAP got >1 Boon Hock 1?
    Teoh Boon Hock n now Tee Boon Hock
    All news makers

  2. #2 by Loh on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 4:05 pm

    ///In spite of a nationwide outcry and the lodging of 98 police reports against the cow-head protestors, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein who often hypes about racial and religious harmony decided to hijack the role of the police, Attorney-General (AG) and even the judiciary.

    He went out of the way to meet in his office with the protestors – the very people who had committed what was clearly a seditious and sacrilegious act. He even daftly declared them innocent, defended their actions and deemed legal action against them as unnecessary.///

    ///“I hope in future the accused will all be more sensitive in their actions. It is also hoped that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to others in future,” the words of judge Hasbi Hasan rang hollow in the court as the guilty heaved a sigh of relief – devoid of any sense of remorse.///

    Clearly the judge, Hasbi Hasan, disagree with Hishammuddin Hussein that the protesters were not innocent. Hishammuddin proved that he was not able to differentiate simple case of right from wrong on the obviously offensive actions of the protesters who happened to be Malays. To Hishammuddin Malays can do no wrong, and thus Hishammuddin can do no right in the country with Malays in the majority. Hishammuddin should be sacked as Home Minister. If not Najib should be removed as PM, through the next general election. UMNO must be defeated so that the nation can live.

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 4:32 pm

    The truth is Mahathir believed in that his enemies are hypocrites (even though he never had much evidence and logic all flawed) and hence he is justified to fight them with his own hypocrisy, part and parcel of his larger philosophy of ‘the end justify the mean’.

    In other words, Mahathir, as far as hypocrisy is concern not only believed in an ‘eye-for-an-eye’, he believed in ‘if you take my eye, I will take your head or all of it if I can’.

    That Mahathirism promote bigotry is a surprise to no one and that it now part and parcel of pollution of the Malay minds and culture that traditionally did not do so. Such behaviour is what Zaid Ibrahim calls the failure to upheld the value of Malayness – there are a long list of other things of course.

    Such pollution unfortunately is part of our society and will never go away. If we manage to contain them somehow, we will be lucky. You can be sure that such bigotry will result in horrors in the future. Shocking behaviour much worst than this one – the stuff of tabloid news and 24-hr news channel coverage. And we can thank Mahathir for pushing it right in the middle of us as fast as he could.

  4. #4 by ktteokt on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 4:55 pm

    This simply shows that UMNO is the legislature, executive and judiciary all in one! Justice is dead in Malaysia and only a change of government can alter that!!!!

  5. #5 by jontye on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 6:33 pm

    These people are religious but definitely not GODLY. Does God likes people who create conflicts and unrest, thrive on division rather than unity ? As long as they remain hostile toward the God, they will remain hostile toward their global neighbours.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 7:11 pm

    This is a sick country managed by an appointed UMNO B sick PM….who enjoying lying and making deals.
    PakLah said.”I am People’s PM”…got 92% support and got no balls to keep his words.
    Najib said…”I am People’s PM” trying to out-do PakLah by adding.. “People First.Performance Now”….got exposed by Sibuans…yet he felt no shame whatsoever.
    All the race and religious issues seen and heard…are being instrumented by invisible hands ..FOR or AGAINST.
    Havoc in our country was planned…but vast majority Malaysians stood firm ..united.
    Test after test…done.
    Bribes and deals done.
    No good results for Najib.
    Ling new kid on the block …made as sacrificial save ring leader.
    What else new that we have not seen?

  7. #7 by yhsiew on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 8:48 pm

    ///This simply shows that UMNO is the legislature, executive and judiciary all in one! Justice is dead in Malaysia………/// #4 by ktteokt

    Just watch how the verdict on Ling Liong Sik’s case is delivered. I guess it will be “no proof” or “insufficient evidence”.

  8. #8 by lopez on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 8:59 pm

    it so obvious, whether team A or B for the matter to Z, all the same….just help get rid of them from our future

    no need to say so many times….

    it just make them so damn malu , … can make them becomes amok or more stubborn like the buffalo in their sawah.
    then who to blame if at instance they run out naked into the streets..
    That would chase all the FDI further away unless they quickly get the courts to approve such acts , home miniskirt would sure agreed ..this is really courageous like drawing a six shooter.

  9. #9 by frankyapp on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 9:07 pm

    Just lightly hitting a police man Dap Pua got rm 2000 fine,yet these cow head hooligans who almost have created a nation wide racial tumoil just got away with rm 1000 each is pretty ridiculous. It’s affirmed the double standard of our judiciary under the BN admin.

  10. #10 by Thor on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 9:40 pm

    BN is doggone for sure!
    Many like me are waiting aimlessly for the next GE to appear.
    With all those thuggish and dirty act exposed and backfired most of the time, Umno themselves too are working real hard to hasten their departure.
    MCA and Gerakan are “dead” and no longer a help to BN.
    MIC and PPP are half as dead too, hoping to be revive by our self proclaimed “money god” (a copycat of chinese one).
    With all these ongoings, Umno have no other alternative but to rely heavily on Sabah and Sarawak in the next GE and these means big money.
    And where are they going to get such a huge amount of money to “buy” such election???
    No amount of money is enough at the present moment, ‘cos with too many cronies to feed and distribute, how are they gonna tackle such an ever expensive election in Malaysian history within a short period.
    By removing subsidies and increasing prices of goods are just not good enough to satisfy not even their daily need.
    Our PM must be having a very, very big headache by now and no amount of Panadol can stop it.
    Unless, he’s on his way to a third country to borrow the money or even to Germany as to seek Paul “the octopus” help, for the prediction of a proper “winning” date.
    With ten days of emergency leave, it could be possible.
    Well, I guess it’s time for our hero RPK to find it out!

  11. #11 by lopez on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 9:48 pm

    hey, when the next guy to you is a cousin , and the next guy to the next is an in-law and the one above you may be your another distant cousin….and one behind you could be your little sister’s fiancée.
    you dont want get into family dabble dabble you know…that the benefit of getting more than one women in their low life.
    all can be scot free especially when just one of them is in the gomen service or in the regime’s de facto gomen.
    free this and free dat…so now maybe it can explain why they are not to the idea of paying for anything at all.

  12. #12 by Thor on Friday, 30 July 2010 - 10:04 pm

    Oh! one more thing I need to advise RPK, if he were to bump into Najib.
    Put on a better disguise please, as not to get your identity expose.
    Proper way is to put on a costume of a cow!
    In that way, he will be mistaken you as his deputy.
    Just joking!!!

  13. #13 by monsterball on Saturday, 31 July 2010 - 2:43 am

    Hishammuddin is not a Minister for Malaysians at all. He is totally not qualified with his low IQ.
    Either is Najib.
    These two crooked racists hypocrites love to divide and rule and Hishammuddin have made so many double talks and contradictions ….which vast majority Malaysians know…he is just a low down UMNO B politician out to fan for trouble.
    His is a low class showman with a big mouth…out to find was and means to upset the country hoping he will be a hero….but all his actions…speeches are useless because he provoke and then….his balls shrunk.
    He brand of politics is outdated and he has no brain to be original at all.
    He is non productive…moved from one Ministry to another.
    All UMNO B ministers are first class in their jobs…no need to replace and rock the boat…even when the appointments made by Najib..are proven idiotic….and no use to Malaysians.
    Any good government will replace him …wasting time…but Najib needs an idiot like him…because he is a yes man…very important to Najib who must perform a miracle to stay as PM.
    Race and religion applied and will be tested again to hope Malaysians will get nervous and vote for peace and harmony…by not rocking the boat and mark “x” to UMNO B.
    There is no doubt in Malaysians minds that UMNO b will try anything to stay in power…and foreign investors have no confidence in Malaysia at all.
    If the government keep on provoking….denying and do not mean what they say or say what they mean …no serious huge investors can trust Najib at all.
    Hishammuddin??….why he is a pain in know what..and a total shame to Malaysians..which does not bother Najib at all…because Najib is such a liar and full of that too.

  14. #14 by raven77 on Saturday, 31 July 2010 - 8:19 am

    Remember the IGP who was shot dead, Rahman. If there were people like him around….all these fellas will be in Kamunting indefinitely and he would have started investigating Hishamuddin and Toyol….

    THis UMNO government is so bankrupt dead , they are clutching at straws…..and when they hit the ground , they are going to wish they werent born….

    The PR must now focus on SPRM and their dirty tricks bringing Indons and using false ICs..

    The only way to counter this is Indian ink, as used in Iraq and India..otherwise SPRM fellas are going to get a bashing….

    I dont think the average Malaysian out on the street is going to take this nonsence any more..

  15. #15 by undertaker888 on Saturday, 31 July 2010 - 9:39 am

    Not only him, all umnonites are hypocrites. If there are all the crimes you can see in this world, you can find them in this party.

  16. #16 by boh-liao on Saturday, 31 July 2010 - 10:04 am

    Don’t forget, NR n HH r related n share a common blood

    Well, d cow-head protestors only abused d head n shouted racist slogans, but did not BITE d cow-head, unlike silly PR kaki who gigi
    So, fined less loh

    Lots of ppl can’t wait 4 d next GE 2 come 2 kick out BN n vote in PR
    Sure can happen ah?
    Funny thing in M’sia is ppl curse n swear against UmnoB, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, BN b4 GE but come GE, lots of ppl still vote 4 BN
    Y ah? Kia si, kia su, kia luan, kia what hv u ah?
    Y ah lots of voters voted 4 BN in d last 50 years 4 BN 2 rule, rob, rape, sodomise rakyat while enriching their own BNputras?
    Nation going 2 b bankrupt soon

  17. #17 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 31 July 2010 - 10:59 am

    ‘…..they pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of taking part in an illegal assembly….’

    All they committed was taking part in an illegal assembly. Small matter-lah. Not serious matter.

    So the judge gave them a very ‘stiff’ punishment they can all laugh at and live with.

    The public is once again let down.

  18. #18 by monsterball on Saturday, 31 July 2010 - 11:39 am

    “Kia si, kia su,kia luan, kia what hv u ah?”…boh-liao.
    How right you are but lets hope those “kia” Malaysians stop being selfish and greedy and live with dignities for unity and true freedom.

  19. #19 by monsterball on Saturday, 31 July 2010 - 11:47 am

    Watch out!!
    Sex maniac Soi Lek is performing…..
    He said he does not know much about Ling’s case.
    This sidekick of Ling have started his lying.
    And this is his masterpiece…..
    He said a PM from PAS is possible…guiding all Malays to focus who they want…PAS or UMNO B…purposely leaving out keDAILan and DAP.
    He dare not of PR elected candidate is possible to be PM.
    Soi Lek is saying PAS will win the majority seats and not DAP or keDAILan.
    See this sex maniac can twist for loopholes.
    He is searching for all sorts of holes to punched in…..hahahahahahahahaha

  20. #20 by monsterball on Saturday, 31 July 2010 - 12:12 pm

    So many have said that Ling is a disgraced to the Chinese community and is finished like Eric Chia.
    Few have challenged him to rise to the occasion and be brave to expose the real truths and get the Malaysian Chinese to forgive and respect his last lapse of his life.
    You think he has the balls to confront and expose his MASTERS and risk his son’s future?
    Big strong like a weightlifter he is…but deep inside…a ig liar..very selfish…very cunning…very crooked…no principles in life….and that’s why Mahathir love him and he was high and mighty under Mahathir’s dictatorship for 22 years.
    Ling like to see Malaysian Chinese kowtow to Mahathir as their King.
    Mahathir purposely employed a Chinese chauffeur followed by few bring Chinese down.
    Ling sold Chinese souls to Mahathir………but we know the arrest is a side show ..a prelude to 13th GE…that UMNO B is serious to stamp out corruptions.
    How ever this and previous side shows…always prove…Chinese are most corrupted.
    Except fort Harun Idris..who else…yet it was Mahathir who pardoned Harun..once he became PM…for it was Harun who brought him back to UMNO.
    As you can see UMNO B is only interested to help each other….yet Malays think this party cares for all Muslims.

  21. #21 by PoliticoKat on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 7:18 am

    Actually the best example of how far bigotry has infected Bolehland is seen in the experiences of African students that come to Malaysia.

    It is normal for the Malays to think ill of the Chinese as they have been taught and trained to think that the Chinese are useless parasite who are stealing the land and wealth of Malaysia, their home, the land of the Malay ancestors.

    Now the Malay youth have been primed to attack the chinese community. Some even do so in the real world, be it in words or fist fights. As their anger against Chineses is at a boil.

    “What did the chinese ever do to help Malaysia win its Independence? Semuanya telah bergantung kepada pimpinan Melayu. All the Chinese ever did was join the Communist”

    And, yes the Chinese are a safe target. No matter how hard you punch them (in words or fist), they will passively take the beating.

    But what the AMNO leaders have not foreseen is that bigotry is not easily confined. It extends and spreads.

    The cow heads people are an example. They attacked the Indian community. And unlike the Chineses, the Indians do not take a beating lying down. The Indians will fight back.

    This is the reason why more senior AMNO leaders quickly made an apology of sorts to diffuse the situation, least it actually become a major outbreak of racial fueled violence.

    And least not we forget the frosty relationship Kuala Lumpur had with New Delhi awhile back after we ill treated their expatriate computer programmers. After a certain politician said “Indians stop complaining how they are treated and should be grateful for being allowed to work in Malaysia.”

    But i digress. I was talking about Africans. If you were to read the forum of African students who had come to study in Malaysia, you will find that they are a frightened bunch. They have suffered beatings, targeted for muggings, and there are warnings when seeing a local girl as you might attract a bunch of youths who will give you a piece of their mind. (Police as usual are singularly unhelpful) (And there are occasional post of corrupted administrators in the schools)

    The situation is considered severe enough that some African nations have stopped sending their students here because they think it is unsafe. Such news won’t ever reach international papers, and those it affect Malaysia in its plans of being an educational hub of Africa and middle east, we don’t hear a word or sound.

    And what has Africans to do with the Malaysian situation? Nothing! And that is how bad things have become. They are outsiders, true outsiders that never had any significant role in Malayan history. Yet they are targeted.

    The bigotry has grown to not only encompass the “traditional” Chinese enemy, it has grown pass the politically invisible Indians, it has grown to include true strangers to this land.

    The only blessing we can count is that this bigotry has not yet include people of European descent. Their aura as former colonial masters, and current state of being citizens of developed nations and the world only superpower, have kept them off the attack list.

    Yet sometimes I wonder for how long? Could it possible for Malaysia to reach a point where we have a generation of true and honest xenophobes? People so confident in their innate racial superiority that they will attack all others?

    Such condition can happen and such people do exist. We only need to look at white supremacist for our answer.

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