What will they do about racism now?

By Kee Thuan Chye

COMMENT Let’s wait and see what action will be taken against Siti Inshah Mansor, the principal of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Kulai, for the racist remarks she allegedly made at the Merdeka celebrations in her school.

The police will be concluding their investigations soon, under Section 504 of the Penal Code. If they have a case, Siti Inshah could be charged with provocation, which carries a maximum imprisonment of two years, a fine or both.

Meanwhile, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has called for her to be sacked. MCA president Chua Soi Lek calls for her to be transferred to a desk job and given counselling. How generous of Chua.

If she did what she is said to have done, she should instead be drawn and quartered, like in the good old days. Or have her head put in a cangue – you know, like in the Chinese movies, where the head and hands are locked up within a square wooden contraption.

Or she should be given the Japanese treatment – force-fed water while someone jumps on her bloated tummy, or hung from a tree by her thumbs, and displayed publicly for all to see that this is what happens to racists.

Of course, I’m being facetious, but this must surely be the fantasy of anyone who feels disgusted by any racist act. All the more so if it is committed by someone who is a principal of a school, who should be spreading the message of racial unity instead of – God forbid! – racial hatred.

Siti Inshah is alleged to have said that Chinese students are not needed in the school and can go back to China or Sekolah Foon Yew (a private Chinese school in Johor), and that the prayer strings Indian students wear on their neck and wrist make them look like dogs, and only dogs would be tied this way.

If the allegation is true, what could have possessed her to make her say such things? That is something that must be ascertained. Even if she had been provoked for some reason or other, it is still not her place to react this way to the students. She has a huge responsibility as a school principal to restrain her racist impulses.

Given the seriousness of the situation, if the allegation is true, how then can she be allowed to get away with it? If she were to be exonerated, imagine the damage she could further cause given her influential position.

If it is true that she behaved like a racist, her name should instead be remembered in the Hall of Shame.

Racial slurs

So far, however, among the Barisan Nasional parties, only the MCA and the MIC have criticised the action. Has any Umno leader come out to say anything against it? And if so, why not?

Siti Inshah is also alleged to have called her non-Malay students penumpang (passengers or tenants) in this country. First, we had Umno politician Ahmad Ismail calling non-Malays pendatang, now there’s penumpang. What will they think up next?

These racial slurs are getting out of hand. And that’s worrisome. It’s symptomatic of the times. We are getting more divided along racial lines than perhaps ever before.

That’s what you get when you allow the mainstream newspapers to go to town scaring the Malays into believing that the non-Malays are a threat and will soon take over the country. When someone like Zaini Hassan can write irresponsibly and mischievously in Utusan Malaysia about a “large-scale war” breaking out that will be bigger than that of May 13, about an alternative constitution being written that will abolish the special position of the Malays and Islam. What rubbish!

That’s what you get when you allow newspapers and individuals to go around telling non-Malays they must be submissive, grateful and not speak up for their rights, or go home – to China or India.

That’s what you get when you allow organisations like Persatuan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) to go on their high horse and slam every reasoned argument made against their credo. So now, for every little thing they don’t like, they run to the police station to make a report.

That’s what you get when you give them so much face, to the extent of granting them a publishing permit virtually overnight; when you cut them so much slack by saying nothing when they challenge government policies that seek to address the nation’s fall from economic competitiveness.

And then no less than the Deputy Prime Minister invokes the ghost of May 13, pulling the perennial Umno stunt, to tick off Chua Soi Lek for asking for more non-Malay participation in the economy.

Damoclean sword

Not only is Muhyiddin Yassin behind the times in that regard; he actually warns that this could anger the Malays and it could amount to a spark similar to that which set off May 13. Who is stoking the racial fire here? If a personage like the DPM says it will make the Malays angry, some people might be bound to take that seriously and really feel angered. If the DPM mentions May 13, that might put ideas in some fanatics’ heads.

Why must Muhyiddin say something potentially flammable like this? As the nation’s No 2 leader, he should instead avoid bringing up such a thing instead of brandishing it like a Damoclean sword.

But then, that’s what constitutes the central problem of this country. Politicians will make capital of anything without thinking of its consequences. They are short-term players looking for short-term gains. And this short-term playing has been extended for decades in the sick politicisation of race.

Do we have to keep reminding them of the dangers of this game and still see nothing done about it even when the cows have come home? By then, it will be too late. The wound caused by racial discord might have become so infected that it can no longer heal.

The treatment has to start now. And if the people who are in charge of administering it are not up to it, if instead they are exposing the wound to even more bacteria, then we should be looking for an alternative cure.

  1. #1 by lorry_driver_malaysia on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 12:49 pm

    Not only she must be sacked, she must also apologise to all the chinese and indians in Malaysia.

  2. #2 by lorry_driver_malaysia on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 12:51 pm

    chua is always generous, especially to ladies.

  3. #3 by Fatty Doc on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 12:55 pm

    “They are short-term players looking for short-term gains.”

    Of coz it is SHORT term. Do you think they have anymore time before the 13th GE?! If not now (to get what they want), then when?? ;)

  4. #4 by k1980 on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 12:58 pm

    Moo will promote her to the post of IGS (Inspector General of Schools) so that her methods can be applied to every nook and corner of the country

  5. #5 by Bunch of Suckers on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 1:10 pm


  6. #6 by Godfather on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 1:24 pm

    Siti Anshah doesn’t have to worry. The Education DG has absolved her, calling it a “misunderstanding”. They will transfer her, but to a bigger job, and will probably give her a pay raise, and plum scholarships for her children.

    Kee Thuan Chye, you can call for whatever action you want, but the action that will be taken will be one which deems her to be a patriot.

  7. #7 by c730427 on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 1:38 pm

    I honestly feel sorry for my innocent Malay friends who appreciates the concept of 1Malaysia!

    A principal like this deserved to be spit, slap and give rotten eggs on her face.

  8. #8 by SENGLANG on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 1:45 pm

    The best medicine is send her to a psychiatrist for mental treatment. The best is available in India or China. She may choose one of her choice.

    There after send her for reeducation. After that send privatized her and make her the Principal of Koon Yew In Johor by paying her a fat salary, am sure she will accept it.

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 2:05 pm


  10. #10 by k1980 on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 2:09 pm

    The real meaning of 1malaysia— The general election losers get appointed as federal-appointed co-ordinators, controlling the development funds of the winners! Lose you win, win you lose!


  11. #11 by boh-liao on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 2:15 pm

    All civil servants n civil ppl must make a pledge (thanks 2 Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand):
    I work 4 d rights of d living n dead, not 4 d ruling government

  12. #12 by k1980 on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 2:29 pm

    //Chua Soi Lek calls for her to be transferred to a desk job and given counselling. //


  13. #13 by tak tahan on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 3:16 pm

    Another good buddy for cintanegara and families.Racist unification association member.Bravo bravo

  14. #14 by yhsiew on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 5:10 pm

    Do not be surprised if Siti Inshah Mansor was “taught” by UMNO to make this kind of derogatory remarks.

  15. #15 by boh-liao on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 6:18 pm

    If we think dis is d last of d racists, don’t even start 2 imagine it
    There r many in the pipeline n like woodworms, 1 by 1 will come out 2 make similar statement n b rewarded by UmnoB/BN
    Of cos, Utusan will keep fanning n poisoning, stirring up ta~hi
    Fascinating, all this happening in Aug – bulan suci, Phor Thor, n 31.8

  16. #16 by boh-liao on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 6:52 pm

    BINGO! Even b4 d Kualijaya case is settled, more racist woodworms oredi crawled out in Sungai Petani
    “Balik Cina” “Got buy AirAsia ticket 2 go back 2 China or not? Ticket cheap what” – getting very creatif too
    Ai say, racist teachers really dying 4 promotion, transfer n awards fr MOE!

  17. #17 by cemerlang on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 8:26 pm

    Emotional and not professional. Puan Cik Siti Inshah Mansor of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Kulai has to learn from her mistake despite being great as a pengetua. Her punishment should make her learn and not make her more disgusted of non Malays. It is wrong and sinful to give a promotion or an award as a way of punishing the person. Promotion and award giving should be done with the purest of all good reasons. If you use that to degrade a person, it is very cruel. If that person is a dysfunctional worker, then don’t promote and don’t award that person. You are doing him a better favour. It is better to be cruel outright than to be cruel quietly. People are not stupid. Siti Inshah brings shame to Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra. His soul is turning and tossing around. Don’t send her to the desk because the desk is meant for clerical staff. She is a teaching staff. She is able to teach and manage but she is unable to lead. You must get all these clear. Let her retain her seniority and her position and let her continue to teach because who can teach professionally if it is not professional people like her. Let her teach agama, psychology, behavioural subjects, moral subjects, civics, dry but soul enriching subjects. She should become a counsellor, be in charge of students’ affairs and in charge of all students’ activities especially community activities. She should interact more with her problematic areas. It is easier to strike her off without her learning anything but it is very hard to teach her to change her mind forever but if it is successful, then the reward will be much more happier. Reason.

  18. #18 by Loh on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 8:32 pm

    Mamakthir wants to project himself as a racist who saves Malays but he is not even true Malay. He is a racial-opportunist who creates conflicts among different races so that he could fish for gains in muddy water.

    Malaysians of different ethnic and religious backgrounds have lived in this mixed environment for too long to ever feel strange about people of different backgrounds. We do not see people of different races go for each others’ throats living lives, but we hear only so-called leaders who eye for political appointments speak out against other races, especially those from UMNO, principally to gain name recognition, and hence a chance to be picked for political advancements. Some leaders would even take lives as bet for such opportunities, as what ended up on May 13. They go for high stake bets not out of love for the country or their communities but because politics are the best paying corrupt practices in Malassia. Until corruption can be stamped out in this country, political posts would continue to be most wealth-rewarding, and politicians would chose the easiest means to gain recognition.

    Malassia does not suffer from racial conflicts. It suffers from corruption which allows politicians to make race an issue for political career advancement.

  19. #19 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 9:39 pm

    Ok, let’s not be fast and loose with names-calling. It doesn’t bode well for 1Malaysia. I mean, except for this one:

    If ever there is an idiot, it must be this small-minded, elegantly silent Minister of education. Which university did you say he graduated from?

    Aw, cut out the name-calling. If ever there is an idiot, welll…..

  20. #20 by iamwhatiam on Friday, 20 August 2010 - 12:42 am

    Feel sorry for the non-malay students that she has taught before being a pricipal. Most probably failed them due to the racial reason.

  21. #21 by boh-liao on Friday, 20 August 2010 - 2:48 am

    Do U know anyone who is qualified 2 b a voter in d next GE BUT has NOT registered 2 b a voter?
    Ask d person 2 REGISTER now n get ready 2 VOTE later
    Stop racism easily by getting rid of BN

  22. #22 by writecom on Friday, 20 August 2010 - 4:08 am

    Nothing to say but it seems we have a ‘ali baba’ PM who’s appointed & controlled by TDM & his cronies. So much racial issues has been surface without any stern action and seem that najib don’t have the ‘marbles’, to take any action. Any inaction will lead to his downfall. It’s also nice to know that UMNO & it’s coalition partners are weaken by the day and hopefully someday all their corrupted or racialism UMNO cronies will be put behind bars.

  23. #23 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 20 August 2010 - 6:59 am

    She must have been those recruited into the teaching service at the time when the Gomen didnot know what to do with unemployed ones. With that kind of ability, competition isn’t her cup of tea. It is a pent-up frustration that she had to express out to those she couldn’t influence because she just didn’t have that extra grey matter to do it. we have seen many around, like the Tee guy. Many of these “jokers” thought the world owes them a living when they are equipped with some alphabets behind their names! even from those half-past six Us! Being parrots, they can only vomit out what they are taught; they have stopped thinking too long ago to even know what they are babbling about!
    Najib has to decided fast, otherwise his term will definitely the shortest in the history of PMs. Maybe, if he can see and think furhter than all his “supporters” who are merely looking for more goodies, he could pull the carpet off their feet!!! what about it Najib? looking at the mood of the nation, you hardly have any choice!!

  24. #24 by baochingtian on Friday, 20 August 2010 - 9:36 am

    #17. At her age at that position, she is matured to know what should and what should not. We shouldnt waste the country’s resources on her anymore. She has to be removed and repent for her own actions.

  25. #25 by Winston on Friday, 20 August 2010 - 9:53 am

    There is a silver lining to the dastardly deeds of such people as this headmistress.
    They serve to strengthen the resolve of the electorate to dump the UMNO/BN government.
    And cast their votes for the PR.

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