Clear and present danger?

Rom Nain
Oct 11, 2012

Many Malaysians surely must be sick to death – I know I am – of the latest ploy by hateful people, many within this regime, to split this country even further, to cultivate distrust at a time when they themselves have lost the trust of the people.

I am talking, of course, of this pathetic ‘strategy’ of churning out one bogeyman after another to frighten Malaysians, especially Muslims, presumably in the forlorn hope that we will all run back into the exploitative arms of this regime and its underlings.

Nasharuddin Mat Isa’s latest diatribe and Utusan Malaysia’s latest sojourn into the realm of lies and fantasy are illustrative of this desperation.

First, Utusan, not for the first time, in its Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia, brings up the topic of the Christian community and talks about a couple of Malaysia’s top church leaders apparently criticising Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng.

The report, titled Jangan heret gereja (Do not drag the Church [into politics]), quotes two top church leaders as apparently reacting negatively to an earlier call by Lim.

Lim’s call, at a dialogue with about 300 church leaders, was for the church to stand up against injustice and to build a better community.

Nothing wrong there, I would think. Indeed, if we were to recall the work of the liberation theologists in Latin America and even in Marcos’s Philippines, these church leaders were certainly right out there fighting injustice. Closer to home, Father Paulino Miranda, parish priest of the only Catholic church in Shah Alam, comes to mind.

Islam, too, is resplendent with tales of leaders and scholars speaking out, even rising up, against injustice and tyranny. Among the more ‘acceptable’ scholars in Malaysia, Perlis mufti Dr Juanda Jaya and USM Islamic scholar Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, have indeed spoken out against wrongdoing and misrule, Asri famously speaking up for street demonstrators awhile back.

Be that as it may, certainly in an attempt to make Lim look bad and, perhaps, in an attempt to emphasise to the Christian community – can you imagine anyone from that community reading Utusan? – that they should keep their houses of worship free of politics, the paper paraded this nonsense on their front page last Sunday.

But, of course, the church leaders have now come out openly to say that they had said no such thing, that they were misrepresented and that the report ‘is a complete lie’.

In response, quite predictably if I may say so, Utusan’s reporter comes out, guns blazing, saying that she stands by her story.

It is a mere coincidence, I’m sure, that she should say this a day after the two church leaders reportedly said they would not take legal action against the rag because they had other things to do.

No apology, no retraction

So, it looks as though there will be no apology, no retraction, by the paper since, from past experience, these niceties only happen when such disputes end up in court.

This doesn’t say much, of course, about the integrity of the paper and its reporter. But we must remember that this is the same rag whose deputy chief editor not so long ago declared that the paper is willing to ‘spin the truth’.

Nasharuddin’s recent outburst also concerns the Church and Christians. His is a more toxic, hate-filled accusation that Sarawak DAP had ‘held prayers seeking the formation of a Christian state during its thanksgiving dinner after the 2011 Sarawak state elections’. For him, ‘this was a strategy being planned by Allah’s enemies’.

His is a nasty presentation that could easily be seen as attempting to drive a wedge between the political parties in Pakatan, especially the DAP and PAS, and also between their members and supporters.

At a wider level, it certainly seems like an pathetic attempt to drive a wedge between Muslims and Christians in Malaysia. It is the latest in a long line of conspiracy ‘theories’ hatched by irresponsible, certainly divisive, people and parties uncaring about the implications of their outbursts.

Rightly, both Muslim and Christian leaders have come out to speak up against Nasharuddin’s unsubstantiated and, for me, despicable, allegation. However, I believe that the rest of us too need to speak out against these hateful allegations that are manifestly untrue.

Indeed, first, there’s the ongoing rubbish being churned out about the purported rise and ‘threat’ of a really-innocuous and often oppressed LGBT community. Then, next, we’ve been asked to beware the continuing menace of the Jews.

And, now, as many times before, we are supposed to heed – and halt – the ‘clear and present danger’ of the Malaysian Christian community (all 9.1 percent of the Malaysian population, as compared to the paltry and invariably weak 60.4 percent Muslims that make up the Malaysian population).

As one bogeyman after another, one moral panic after another is unleashed on us all, there are clearly two ways we could address these preposterous lies.

We could, of course, rubbish them, as one veteran ex-journalist is bravely, and humorously, doing in his blog, uppercaise.

But we should also band together, certainly at the next general elections, based on a common desire to respect each other and to live together peacefully in this place we call our home.

And rid our home of the vermin posing as our leaders when, clearly, they are just venomous creatures looking out for themselves.

ROM NAIN is a media analyst and academic who is weary of incompetent, unethical leaders and their apologists and spin doctors in the media who try to get away with murder while professing to rub shoulders with God’s angels.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 8:18 am

    UMNO/BN is a clear and present danger to Malaysia. But its not for these negative mud-racking politics. The negativity is just a symptom of running out of ideas what to do next. And hence the options are pretty predictable.

    You vote for UMNO/BN, you vote for higher taxes as well as other things including power, gas, water, toll & transport, education, health-care, housing and income that will not keep up and chance of falling too or unemployment.

    ALL OF UMNO/BN govt problems and our current challenges WAS PREDICTED long time ago. We simply chose to ignore it out of our own weakness. Its time to stop being weak – that means everyone..

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 8:55 am

    BN is desperate. Knowing that they have lost trust of the people, they come up with one bogeyman after another to frighten Malaysians.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 9:59 am

    When Anwar becomes PM after PR takes federal power, he will turn Malaysia into a Christian state. Will that make sense, guys??

  4. #4 by Cinapek on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 10:12 am

    Mr Rom Nain, great argument. But with this evil corrupt regime, the end justifies the means. They are devoid of shame and could not care less what damage they are doing to the nation and its people. Their one dominant priority is to stay in power because as RPK has rightly pointed out, they must win the next GE in order to stay alive. Lose, and the entire BN will be wiped out and its leaders will be running from pillar to post to stay out of jail. They have no choice and must pull out all the stops to win even if their antics look silly and stupid and has no basis.

    Nasharuddin and those “independent” MPs are nothing more than bankrupt politicians trying to stay relevant knowing full well they have nothing left to offer the voters. They are hoping their twisted comments might win them some cookie points that will entitle them to some crumbs from BN’s tables, if BN wins the GE.

    Such irrational moves clearly indicates the desperate state of affairs BN is in. They know they have little or no chances to convince the people due to their 55 years of abused governance which even the massive handouts cannot reverse so they have to resort to such lies. Believe me, it will get dirtier nearer to GE date.

  5. #5 by Winston on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 10:24 am

    One thing is very clear.
    And that is, the MSM has no fear whatsoever of being sued for doling out the falsehoods of their political masters.
    Because if they are sued and lose their cases, their political masters, with so much looted from the taxpayers over the decades, have no problems paying the damages!

  6. #6 by waterfrontcoolie on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 10:31 am

    We all know that the Propaganda machinery has gone full time; 99% lies and 1% half-truths. How different is such tactic from those employed by Hitler or Stalin? By their reaction, it is so obvious that BN is addicted to Corruption as with the exception of a small handful, the rest of BN leaders will continue to talk about irrelevant issues. They TOTALLY avoid those topics related to SUB-gate, Cow-gate, FZ-Gate and used the Toilet-paper Press to hoodwink the rather large percentage of Malaysians who are ‘purchased’ with their own sweat-and-blood money! Just wait if they are returned after GE13 and see how much they will have to pay back under GST. GST is good and workable when the nation is ready for it, and we are certainly not ready as our Gomen machinery is only half-ready and those involved will take advantage to bleed the bottom half of the population! There is no doubt we are rolling down the mountain towards where Greece is today! This has been the path taken by our fellow Asean members when they were rules by similar mind-set leaders: Marcos, Ne Win etc. We Asians are suckers for emotion even when the leeches keep bleeding the nation dry! Is this our innate fate? or indeed the majority of us have been so imbued and indoctrinated just to crawl on fours forever? Or is it part of the Asian feudalism mentality that never want to go away?

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 10:36 am

    This is clearly a case of insecurity experienced by some personalities. They then react by shooting at everything and everywhere hoping that something might hit their ‘bogeyman’. They are paranoid people who see ‘ghosts’ all around them and live in constant fear. The problem is these paranoid people often cause uneasiness, panic and alarm with their rantings and running arounds.

    Who are the ‘Allah’s enemies’ this Nash fellow referred to ? Can he enlighten us ?

    On the other side, the Church should stop turning their cheeks all the time as otherwise it will only invite paranoid people to attack you constantly. On earth there are man made laws which we all mortals have to obey. Stand up for your rights when necessary and take legal action to protect your rights and your religion. Else don’t complain when people run over or stomp you with impunity.

  8. #8 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 10:46 am

    Can not the followers of other faiths hold thanksgiving prayers for all that their Gods has bestowed upon them ?

  9. #9 by negarawan on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 11:33 am

    Utusan Malaysia and UMNO has been instigating racial and religious disorders since the 1960s. In his memoirs, LKY recounted how Jaafar Albar and Razak used Utusan to stir up racial sentiments between the Malays and Chinese which resulted in strife and bloodshed. Corruption in UMNO has been rampant since Tunku’s time. In his oral history, Goh Keng Swee recounted how TAR enticed him with hundreds of acres of rubber plantation to make him accept UMNO’s plan for the newly formed Malaysia. UMNO is an evil and chauvinistic party which all right minded Malaysians must reject.

  10. #10 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 11:34 am

    Last deepavali I gave u my nambekai but the very next day u gave it away.

    Last by-election, I gave u my tolong but the very next day u gave it away.

    and on and on and on …

    pooordah umno pegi matilah lu semua.

  11. #11 by Winston on Saturday, 13 October 2012 - 12:27 pm

    Where else does one find the “elected” government of the day going hell-bent against the interests of its citizens?
    Let this be an object lesson to all those who think that politics is unimportant and any government will do!!!
    Now, Malaysians are paying the ultimate price!!!!!!

  12. #12 by rockdaboat on Sunday, 14 October 2012 - 2:25 am

    Ha ha ha, BN is really panicking now!
    They behave like ants trapped in a wok with fire burning below!
    They have lost the ability to think!

    PM said 13th election is a life and death situation for the Malays!

    WRONG, life and death situation for UMNO only!
    Malays will be liberated if BN loses the election!

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