Archive for September 21st, 2015

Ali Rustam and the prolonged May 13 trauma

Aidila Razak
21st Sept 2015

COMMENT National Silat Federation (Pesaka) chief Mohd Ali Rustam seems to be suffering from prolonged trauma.

The symptoms were striking in his interview with Mingguan Malaysia yesterday on the achievements of Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu on Sept 16.

Asked what the rally, meant to ‘reclaim Malay dignity’ had achieved, Ali turned Dr Who to travel close to five decades into time to the race riots of 1969.

“They (Bersih 4 organisers and participants) try to show that Kuala Lumpur belongs to Bersih and the DAP gang, and Malays should balik kampung (go back to the villages). But now the villagers are coming to Kuala Lumpur.

“They think we have lost our self-worth and that Kuala Lumpur does not belong to various races. They think Malays don’t belong to Kuala Lumpur, and it is only for DAP and Bersih.

“They try to show they are brave and that Malays are not. They held rallies four times, and yet no Malays were brave enough to fight back,” he said.

Note the mention of taunts of ‘balik kampung’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno’s red terror gambit

by Dennis Ignatius
21st Sept 2015

COMMENT When illiberal regimes lose their legitimacy, when they run out of excuses, when they feel their power slipping away, they almost always resort to scaremongering and scapegoating.

Suddenly, imaginary threats are everywhere. Everyone who does not toe the line becomes an enemy, an agent of dark unseen forces, part of some sinister conspiracy. All criticism, all dissent becomes seditious, unpatriotic, anti-national, a threat to national unity.

The ensuing tensions then provide the context and justification for further repression and for increased curtailment of fundamental liberties. What’s left of democratic space slowly vanishes.

Is the same thing now happening in Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »

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If Cabinet on Wednesday will not apologise for shameful abdication of responsibility in giving “green light” for divisive and racist Sept. 16 Red Shirts rally, will the Ministers step forward to tender separate individual apologies?

A day immediately after the Sept. 16 Red Shirts Malay rally, I had asked the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to apologise to Malaysians for the most shameful abdication of responsibility in allowing Malaysia Day to be desecrated and racial harmony and social peace to be undermined by the divisive, racially-charged and provocative Red Shirts rally.

It does not appear that Najib will be ready to tender such an apology, as he had transformed his “silent blessing” before the Red Shirts rally to active endorsement after the rally, closing his eyes, ears and mind to the racist slurs, provocations and breaches of law committed by the participants of the Red Shirts rally.

If Cabinet on Wednesday are not prepared to apologise for its shameful abdication of responsibility in giving “green light” for the divisive and racist Sept. 16 Red Shirts rally, will the Ministers step forward to tender separate individual apologies?

I still hope that Najib can realise that he is Prime Minister for all Malaysians, and not just for Malays, UMNO or an UMNO faction. Read the rest of this entry »


Deepening Malay Polarization More Dangerous Than Inter-Racial Divisions

Bakri Musa
21st Sept 2015

Over 46 years ago a largely Chinese group of demonstrators celebrating their party’s electoral victory triggered Malaysia’s worst race riot. Last Wednesday, September 16, 2015, an exclusively Malay rally in predominantly Chinese Petaling Street of Kuala Lumpur triggered only the riot police’s water cannons.

What flowed on Petaling Street last Wednesday was clear water, not red blood as in 1969. There was also minimal property damage (except for loss of business) and no loss of life. That is significant; that is progress.

Malaysia has come a long way since 1969, the current shrill race hysteria notwithstanding. However leaders, political and non-political, Malays as well as non-Malays, are still trapped in their time-warped racial mentality of the 1960s. They still view the nation’s race dynamics primarily as Malays versus non-Malays.

That is understandable as the horrific memories of that 1969 race tragedy, as well as the much earlier and more brutal Bintang Tiga reign of terror, had been seared into the collective Malaysian consciousness, permanently warping our national perception.

The challenge today is less the risk of inter-racial conflagration of the 1969 variety, more a Malay civil war similar to what is now happening in the Arab world and what has happened on the Korean Peninsula. Last Wednesday’s red-shirt rally illustrates this point. Read the rest of this entry »

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