Another day, another bogeyman raised

by Farah Fahmy
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 24, 2011

JUNE 24 — In all the furore surrounding the Bersih 2.0 rally, I couldn’t help noticing that all the things and events used to scare us are being dragged out yet again, presumably so that we would all be scared of history repeating itself and therefore stick to the status quo.

First up is of course the spectre of May 13. Time and again self-serving politicians bring this up to remind us to toe the line. You know what? I was born after 1969. I didn’t live through those events, and all I know about May 13 I learnt through my own endeavours.

If May 13 is so important to us, and if we’re always exhorted to remember it, then why, if we so much as try to discuss what happened then, are we told NOT to do so because it may be detrimental to our racial sensibilities?

I mean, come on. How can we be expected to remember something that we don’t fully know about, and that nobody seems to want to discuss objectively? It’s as if we rakyat are little children told by our adult politicians not to open a cupboard because monsters hide in there. What rubbish.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my country, and I have no wish to see it descend into Arab Spring-like chaos, but I think our politicians should give us a bit of credit too. Most of us are actually mature adults capable of holding rational discussions.

Yes, the events of May 13 were horrendous, and I fervently wish that it would not happen again, but I also think that we need to bust the myth of May 13 by discussing it openly so that we can learn from it — the lessons learnt in its aftermath might need reviewing after more than 40 years.

Then there’s the other favourite bogeyman — the Jews. For a country that doesn’t even have a Jewish population, politicians of a certain type in our country are obsessed by the Jews. Anyone accused of blackening the country’s name is denounced as an “agent of the Jews.”

Have any of these people even met a Jewish person? Funnily enough, they’re just like you and I (contrary to what an ustaz told me years ago, they don’t have hooked noses either!) and quite frankly, I think most Jewish people have other things to think about than worrying about our country!

I don’t quite get this obsession with the Jews actually. Is it because of Israel, and its treatment of the Palestinians? Is it because we want to show solidarity with the Arab world? Is it just because they’re Jews?

Well, at the risk of sounding callous, the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is no better and no worse than the treatment of the Talibans towards their fellow Muslims when they were in power in Afghanistan (where were the demonstrations and agitations against the Taliban then, eh? And what about those Saudis and their penchant for beheading maids who have the temerity to strike back against employers who abuse them?). There are bad people everywhere. Should we demonise an entire race just because one country oppresses some of its people?

Yes, I too feel anger when I see the demolition of houses in the West Bank; when I see the shelling in Gaza. I too feel anguished when I read about men and women forced to abandon their ancestral lands simply because a wall has arbitrarily split their land into two. I too feel loathing when I read about the attitudes some of the Israeli settlers have towards the Palestinians.

But you know what? If I was an Israeli I would probably feel a lot of hatred towards the Palestinians too, because Hamas and its ilk have made life unpalatable. All I’m saying is, there are two sides to every story. Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are whiter than white and I find it extremely tiresome when a Malaysian politician peddles the Jewish line to score some points because it just comes across as being ill-informed and plain nasty.

In fact, what I find even more seriously disturbing is our prime minister inviting the likes of Robert Mugabe and Omar al-Bashir to our country to attend the recent Langkawi International Dialogue conference. I know why they were invited, but really, the excuse that we need to have dialogue with these types of people is nonsense.

Mugabe has personally bankrupted his country and presided over the death of many, many Zimbabweans. The many accounts of life in Zimbabwe, especially during election campaigns, are absolutely shocking and I am sickened at the thought of that man pontificating about how evil the West is, on our soil.

Yet still our PM invites this man to our country? It’s like saying we’ll invite someone like Hitler to our country so that we can engage him in dialogue. Why bother? With some tyrannical, despotic leaders it’s just not worth the effort.

Then there’s the explanation given by our PM on why it was all right to invite al-Bashir to our country — we’re not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), so we don’t have to comply with their rulings.

Goodness, how far our ethical standards have fallen! In the 1980s we boycotted South Africa because of apartheid. Now, it seems that we are more than happy to play with the leaders of tyrannical states rather than abide by the ways of the civilised world.

Actually, if I were a politician, I wouldn’t need to go too far to find something to scare Malaysians with. Forget May 13 or the Jews. A government that sees nothing amiss with playing host to murderous tyrants, and giving them a platform to air their views … let’s just hope our politicians aren’t thinking of learning from them, especially during the Bersih 2.0 rally!

  1. #1 by voice2009 on Friday, 24 June 2011 - 7:42 pm

    Anti-Corruption fighter/supporter don’t quit

    Justice fighter/supporter don’t quit

    As long as keep move forward

    The Justice will be rewarded

  2. #2 by azmin on Friday, 24 June 2011 - 7:57 pm

    Just to clear up some confusion, ya?
    You stated, “In the 1980s we boycotted South Africa because of apartheid”. It (the boycott) did not start in the 1980s. It started in the 1960s launched by the then PM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj. On June 8th 1960, the Tunku arrived in London and announced an immediate boycott of goods from South Africa. That trade boycott cost S. Africa over 5 million sterling a year. He also campaigned for an Asian trade boycott (largely successful). Our Tunku was a man of principles.
    “If May 13 is so important to us, and if we’re always exhorted to remember it, then why, if we so much as try to discuss what happened then, are we told NOT to do so because it may be detrimental to our racial sensibilities?”
    Ya, why?
    …..because discussion will lead to questions, questions will lead to probes and probing and digging will lead to, perhaps, what really happened on that day?

  3. #3 by voice2009 on Friday, 24 June 2011 - 7:58 pm

    Make it that day

    The day we stand up as one for injustice, corruption

    The day we stand up as one free us, our family, our children from the injustice, corruption

    The day we will make a history of MALAYSIA

    We are the anti-corruption fighter We Don’t Quit

    We are the Injustice fighter We Don’t Quit

    For we love our country, our family, our children

    That day we will make our country a better place to live

    That day we will stand up for injustice and corruption

  4. #4 by mendela on Friday, 24 June 2011 - 8:24 pm

    To me, May 13 was scary. It was about the killing of innocents. The killing of many innocent Chinese by the few fanatic Malays!

  5. #5 by bruno on Friday, 24 June 2011 - 10:08 pm

    Umno and its crony NGO’s have throw everything at the opposition.And the beauty of it is that all the shit have hit the fan and flew back straight into their faces.The more dirtier they get and kept on abusing and flaunting their power at the people’s faces the more wrath they get accumulated against them.

    They have already thrown the kitchen sink.Then they try to intimidate the people.When it backfired they came out and threatened the lives of innocent law abiding citizens.If thats not enough even the master bedroom’s toilet is out on the streets.Next this cowards and their spouses will be doing their businesses squating above the drains outside their mansions.Even the drains will not be spared.They will be more dirtier and soiled when they are done.

    When their political lives are hanging on a thread,even with their last political breath they still are going all out trying to instigate their fellow Malays.They are trying to get the Malays to run loose on the streets to create chaos.This lowdown Umno and its crony Ngo’s are not bothered what the end results and consequences will be. As long as their objectives can be achived they don’t mind the damage done.That is how far these pariahs are willing to go.

    But what these cowards and pariahs don’t get it is that present educated Malays don’t have the same mentality of the Malays four decades ago.It is now openly well known that two Umno stalwarts planned the May 13, 1969 racial clash.No fair thinking Malays is going to get sucked into this nightmare again.Umnoputras, this coming GE 13th you are definitely cooked.

  6. #6 by Winston on Friday, 24 June 2011 - 10:47 pm

    All these problems are created to distract the PR from keeping an eye on the next GE which could be just round the corner.
    So, keep a very keen eye on the goal post!
    Make it the aim of the PR to take Putrajaya in the next GE!
    Anything less will not do!!!

  7. #7 by limkamput on Friday, 24 June 2011 - 11:03 pm

    This is kutty’s strategy which the present leaders are well honed to perpetuate. It is called the defiance strategy, behaving typically like a spoiled kid. They have no logic or reason to offer or counter anymore. So they resort to raw power, associating with rogue third world tribal leaders and appealing to right wing fascists among us, like race supremacy, hatred for Jewish and all others not sharing the same faith as them.

  8. #8 by bruno on Saturday, 25 June 2011 - 12:05 am

    All Bersih organisers,supporting NGO’s,rally participants and all opposition politicians take a break and have a wonderful weekend.Take your families out and have a nice time or stay home and chit chat.In the time being forget about Bersih.Forget about anything that that has to do with politics.

    For the next two weeks or so leave the empty streets to Umno’s animal brained holligans and paid goons to vent their anger and frustrations.Let them kick,punch and smash the garbage bins,benches,concrete barriers and lamp posts.If that is not enough they can smash their masters Umnoputra cars too.

    The authorities cannot use the draconian ISA on things like garbage bins,benches,concrete barriers,lamp posts and Umnoputra cars.Can they.Well if they wanted to they can.There is no law to say they can’t.And the authorities cannot ISAed any Bersih supporters because they are nowhere in sight.

    After two weeks of anger venting by these moronic goons on these things these goons will be a spent force.They will be to weak even to get on all fours.Then all the Bersih crowd has to to is to assembled at KLCC on July 9, 2011 and just march over these goons.My bets are on “BERSIH”.

  9. #9 by Mike Tee on Saturday, 25 June 2011 - 5:42 am

    I am sure Robert Mugabe has a lot of tricks to offer to Najib, like how to rig votes , mobilised one’s own’s supporter and goverment, armies & police forces to kills the opposition supporters, run down the country economy and robbed the minorities’s farmlands and business, mass exportation of refugees (mainly opposition) to the neibouring countries. That was what Mugabe did to his country Zimbawe, what else advice can you get from meeting Mugabe ??????
    Can’t you see that we are already going in that direction althought in a smaller scale???? Mass exodus of talented people to oversea and neibouring Singapore, police authority is threatening the proposed peaceful demonsters; high court judges only fine Datuk T’s petty 3 grands for peddling porns; robbing of business licences like haulage, zoo operator, franchiese; refuse private Chinese secondary school at the same time run down the primary schools; fabrigation of opposition leaders; harassment of opposition using goverment agencies like MCAA, poor Teoh died under a very suspecious circumstances for a non existance allegation.
    We are now not too far from Zimbawe, soon Mugabe will be our regular guest and advisor.

  10. #10 by Winston on Saturday, 25 June 2011 - 6:32 am

    I am just wondering whether LKS is aware of what we have posted here, other than his moderator!
    Shall we have an answer?

    (Have faith. All views appreciated. – kit)

You must be logged in to post a comment.