When pseudo-Malays seek control

By Mariam Mokhtar | 4:49PM May 21, 2012

Umno believes that it represents all the Malays. It doesn’t. Millions of Malays have rejected Umno and without Malay support, Umno will become extinct. Bersih has awoken the Malays and therefore Bersih is Umno’s biggest threat.

The Bersih 3.0 rally forced the worst out of the Umno Malays last week: there were supposedly Malay traders who offered free burgers despite bitterly complaining about loss of income; ex-soldiers flashing their flabby posteriors, making us glad they had left the service; a senior police officer who mocked the law by condoning protests opposite private homes; a defence minister who believes he is above the law and has probably planned his escape in a submarine which cannot submerge, and a formerly ‘respected’ senator who resigned from his party and now tells us to accept corrupt politicians.

The traders protesting in front of Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan’s house must be well to do. No food vendor gives away food. Giving away freebies is like cutting off a limb.

Despite the traders’ claims of business losses, some Bersih 3.0 protesters were sceptical: “I was at the rally and ate at a mamak restaurant in Jalan Masjid India. I was lucky to get a seat and had my usual fare which normally costs RM3.20. That day, the bill was a whopping RM5.80. Traders losing money?”

Real traders would not compound the problem by wasting more resources on a publicity stunt. As every entrepreneur knows, time is money. When Malay traders play politics, one wonders why the NEP target is difficult to achieve.

The racial undertone is another worrying aspect of the attacks on Ambiga. If the co-chairperson of Bersih, the poet laureate A Samad Said, were also to be targeted, many placid Malays would be enraged. Malays fighting each other would destroy former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s insinuation that Bersih is a battle between Malays and non-Malays.

In fact, the same selective harassment was evident at last month’s anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rally at the Universiti Putra Malaysia campus in Serdang. There were chants of “Reject Ambiga, Reject LGBT” in a mass bout of hysteria led by Gabungan NGO Malaysia’s Radzi Daud. He labelled the LGBT as those “who are insane” and said “Anyone who is LGBT is one who has had their souls taken by Satan”.

People like Radzi fail to question the high levels of adultery, promiscuity and incest amongst Malays, or the dumping of newly-born infants in front of suraus.

At the same anti-LGBT rally, Alam Warisan president Azam Moktar blamed the “immigrant ethnicities” for trying to change Malaysian social values and for “trying to set fire in Malaysia”.

The apoplectic Azam, clad in traditional Malay garb, declared: “Today I withhold this keris. But if one day I can’t tolerate anymore, I will use the keris against the enemy of this land!”

The irony is that many immigrants from India and Indonesia who were, or are, in the cabinet claim to speak for the Malays.

Moral high ground

In Malaysia, it is not what you know but who you know that is more important. The anti-LGBT people wouldn’t dare attack Marina Mahathir, who condemned Ambiga’s treatment prior to the Seksualiti Merdeka Festival last November. Marina was livid with TV3 for reporting the event as a “free sex festival”.

“……..two years ago, I officiated Seksualiti Merdeka without any incident. It is an event to explain and educate them of their rights within the laws, and not outside.……there are no words to describe, at certain parties calling this a free sex festival,” she had said.

“I have been defending the LGBT community’s rights for over 20 years now. In fact, I defend the rights of all who have been discriminated against…..”

Next week, 60 petty traders have threatened to disrupt the peace in front of Ambiga’s house. We should uncover who controls the slush fund assisting these traders. Government agencies including the police and health inspectors appear to condone their acts. There is also an apparent relaxation of the normally cumbersome bureaucratic red-tape.

You can arrive at your own conclusions just by plain observation. Most of the petty traders who have appeared in front of Ambiga’s house appear to be Muslim Indians. People who frequent street markets in Kuala Lumpur are aware that many stalls are manned by foreigners, mainly Indonesians. These pseudo-Malays have claimed the moral high ground, whilst Umno Malays have besmirched the character of the ordinary Malay.

Two days after the burger protest, some people purporting to be ex-soldiers disgraced their former units and indirectly, the Agong, to whom our armed forces swear allegiance.

An army veteran alleged: “These ex-soldiers cannot be true soldiers. Servicemen are proud of their traditions and their brigade. These men have no shame. I am told they were Rela members who were paid to do the ‘dance’. The going fee was RM50. The paymaster had expected a much larger crowd. Unfortunately, only a handful turned up.”

His criticism was endorsed by a former soldier who had written to the newspapers: “What they did was not just crude, it was rude……..like all officers of the Malaysian Armed Forces from the Army, Navy and the Air Force, we were trained as officers as well as gentlemen and we were, and still are, expected to conduct ourselves in an exemplary manner at all times, even after we have retired or left the service.”

The recent unpleasant scenes have been stage-managed by Umno. For Umno Malays, Islam is not their religion, Umno is their new religion. Sadly, ordinary Malays are too timid to stand up to Umno and are fearful of questioning our Umno-appointed religious scholars. How ironic that a Canadian Muslim woman had to address Malay shortcomings because we were too afraid to confront our fears.

Why should the pseudo-Malays hide behind the cloak of the ordinary Malay and press their divisive agenda to the forefront? Until Malays start using their intellect and speak out on things that matter, Malaysia will always be a place where there are Malay, Chinese, Indian and ‘bangsa lain-lain’ issues but never, Malaysian issues.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 2:26 pm

    The rakyat do well to vote in a government which treasures peace and has regard for the rule of law.

  2. #2 by casperclc on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 3:48 pm

    Well done Mariam for having the courage to speak out in defiance of sinister forces with their warped agenda but more importantly this piece of yours will go a long ways to comfort many a lay person threatened by fighting words and vile posturing of these sinister elements.

  3. #3 by Albert Choong on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 4:11 pm

    If only more true Malay intellectuals from the Malaysian Malay community speak up for Malaysian unity and nation building, then our journey towards a united and high income Malaysia with better welfare for the poor citizens will be speeded up. Pakatan Rakyat should put in more effort to head-hunt for more community leaders with conscience to join them. Three cheers to Ms Mariam Mokhtar!

  4. #4 by sotong on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 5:24 pm

    Freedom to peaceful protest in a real democracy is more important than disruption and inconvenience to business….this is not an daily/monthly event.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 6:08 pm

    ///How ironic that a Canadian Muslim woman had to address Malay shortcomings because we were too afraid to confront our fears.///

    She is Irshad Manji (Ugandan/Egyptian mixed parentage). Extremely articulate intelligent and passionate she challenged critics to explain how Allah, in all His glory, could have made “misfits or abominations”. According to report of 22nd May by Malaysiakini’s Hazlan Zakaria, Irshad Manji argued- “Again, (going) back to the Quran, everybody is a deliberate act of creation on God’s part. So even gays and lesbians have been created by God,” the Uganda-born Canadian said in an exclusive interview.

  6. #6 by raven77 on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 11:00 pm

    If you are nobody Malay…you dont have a chance in UMNO Malaysia….the streets are your only alternative….just like they were for a whole lot of Arabs….

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 11:50 pm

    No surprise what, MMK d Indian controlled UmnoB 4 many many years

  8. #8 by waterfrontcoolie on Thursday, 24 May 2012 - 12:09 am

    It is high time the REAL Malays of the nation open their mouths more often! Their identity has been hijacked!!!!

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