May 13 threat: a cheap political gimmick (Hornbill Unleashed)

May 25, 2010 at 7:18 am 1 comment

By Pak Bui

The “postponed” Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) May 13 rally in Terengganu is the latest in a series of xenophobic publicity stunts by Umno and their stunted supporters.

The rally’s leading organiser Gertak’s Razali Idris announced, “I don’t want the rally to be hijacked by irresponsible parties. At the moment, a lot of people still don’t really know the purpose of the gathering and have been making comments about it without knowing the full picture.”

The “irresponsible parties” are, in fact, Gertak and the horde of similar, so-called NGOs. They have hidden their hate-filled faces behind the term “NGO”, showing scornful disdain for the description used originally by altruistic agencies such as Mercy Malaysia, Oxfam, Médecins Sans Frontières or Friends of the Earth.

Our home-grown, pathetic, Malay supremacist organisations boast grand, mock-heroic names like Perkasa (headed by Attack Frog Ibrahim Ali) and Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS, whose website appears to have been hacked, and bears the unfortunate tagline “This account has been suspended, please contact the billing/support department as soon as possible”).

Holding a rally to “motivate” Malays to mark the May 13 riots is immoral and “irresponsible”. Insecure outfits sharing such bigoted sentiments are, of course, found around the globe, from neo-Nazis in Austria and British National Party skinheads to the Klu Klux Klan in the United States. Zionists organise similar celebrations every year to commemorate David Ben Gurion’s victory in the 1948 war to evict Palestinians and to carve out land for Israel.

There are no prizes for guessing what the “purpose” of the May 13 rally was: to drum up support for “Malay supremacy” and to whip up feelings of ethnic hatred (“Melayu Bangkit!”). This in turn is meant to provide Utusan Malaysia more “news” to distribute to its credulous readers.

It is pure racist polemic, attempting to instigate antipathy against other ethnic groups. It happens each time the racist Umno leadership feels under threat, as it has done since the setbacks of the March 2008 general election and subsequent by-elections.

Najib has played a charade of being an “inclusive” PM, while encouraging ethnic and religious extremism under the guise of these NGOs. The Umno paymasters have sub-contracted out the jingoism, the ranting and raving, while Najib smiles and waves on 1Malaysia advertisements.

Najib, as we recall, allowed Malay supremacist NGOs to protest against the High Court’s decision to overturn Umno’s ban on the use of the word “Allah” by the Herald. Then he called for restraint and calm, akin to applying a band-aid plaster after an explosion has gone off.

His special aide Nasir Safar insulted Indians as beggars and Chinese as prostitutes, and escaped, so it seems, unscathed. It is conceivable that he will be “transferred” to another cushy job in future. Noh Omar made similarly incendiary remarks at a Selangor Barisan Nasional conference and offered an almost identical, insincere “apology” to Nasir’s.

It is also conceivable that Nasir and Noh were let loose by their master to spew poison, in order to make headlines in Utusan Malaysia, and stir up ethnic hatred – and then simply apologise, with a hint of a sneer, amidst the resulting uproar.

Propping up the Nouveau Royale

These Umno minions may claim they represent the Malay “race”, though Malays are far from a monolithic race, and are made up of many ethnic groups.

This is patently inaccurate.

These NGOs represent the feudal leaders within Umno, who can only cling on to power by appealing to the basest of human instincts. They hope to unite a voting bloc of Malays against other immigrants, and even against the most ancient immigrants to our shores, the Orang Asli, the Dayaks and KadazanDusunMuruts.

These feudal leaders make themselves out to be greater than monarchs – a Nouveau Royale class, if you like. The Malaysian government even bought a two-page advertisement in the New York Times, costing well over a million ringgit, congratulating pseudo-royal Rosmah Mansor, a so-called “First Lady”, for visiting the United States, as if she and her entourage were the Beatles landing triumphantly in New York in 1964.

These “Malay supremacists” would be more aptly re-named “Malay neo-royalists”. The mass delusion of ethnic identity allows rich Malays to lord it over poor Malays and other Malaysians, and to behave like the new and corrupt royalty. Malay nationalism is merely a tool.

Not all of these NGO members are complicit in this power play. Some are uneducated and simple-minded, and are misled by the political elite to buy into the Malay supremacy propaganda. They honestly believe in their chants and slogans, thanks to insecurity and an inferiority complex. They feel under threat because of the loss of support for Umno and have adopted a siege mentality.

The ascent to power

It is worth bearing in mind that the ascent to power by Najib’s father Razak, and later Mahathir and Najib himself, owed much to the May 13 riots. The excellent book “May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969” by academic and Suaram activist Kua Kia Soong, among many other publications, makes it clear that the May 13 violence was engineered by Razak and Selangor Menteri Besar Harun Idris, in a coup d’état against Tunku Abdul Rahman.

How can Najib give up using May 13 as a weapon, after he inherited power thanks to his father’s deft use of ethnic animosity? It would be like asking a glutton to starve himself.

But many Malays, even in race-obsessed peninsular Malaysia, have moved on since May 13, 1969. When Anwar Ibrahim returned to politics, he held his first public rally at Kampung Baru, the flashpoint that started the May 13 riots. It was an astute move, heavy with symbolic meaning. Many Malays have now learnt that Umno’s racist polemic is a cover for enriching their leaders and keeping ordinary Malays underfoot, and undereducated.

Many Malays refused to condone the instigation of the proposed Gertak rally. Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin opposed it, but then this was not so surprising: Gertak, Perkasa and other subcontractor NGOs are competing with Umno Youth for tub-thumping duties, and they are edging Khairy out of his future chances of wresting power.

PAS leaders, on the other hand, continue to speak sense, as they did over the “Allah” ban. PAS Youth chief Nasruddin Hassan said “We all may have different ideologies and political leanings, but racist gestures like these should be avoided…I urge the public not to attend the function. This event will just put the nation backwards, and bring back nightmares to those who have actually survived the May 13 incident.”

Enlightened Malaysians have called for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help us all come to terms with the legacy of the killings and learn from what truly happened,  instead of trotting out the violence repeatedly as a threat.

We in Sarawak, though we were spared the May 13 riots, must never ignore survivors’ stories. One such eye-witness account was originally posted on a blog by PKR state assembly representative Elizabeth Wong. It has been edited for clarity.

“It (began) when it was announced by loudspeakers that the penghulu would throw a durian party at the Lee Rubber Estate compound. Our Chinese elders advised us all to go. Harun (Idris), the hypocrite who started it all, spoke and the crying penghulu spoke with much love and affection for all races.

“I had to rush back from Batu Pahat with a few friends in several cars, although fighting was concentrated only in Kuala Lumpur…faces of hatred with foul mouths, young Malays armed with stones in their hands were seen everywhere. We made few stopovers, as there were curfews.

“A few miles before reaching Melaka, I was stoned by more than a dozen Malays. Luckily it was a straight road, I ducked and my side glass door was all smashed up! Then a group of Chinese rushed out to escort me two hundred yards away and told me to drive safely home.

“Reaching my house, I was all ready to die to protect Chinese houses being burnt up. We never burnt Malay houses (in revenge). We were after those culprits, but they were cowards, assisted by military people. (Then) the Sarawak Rangers came and were fair to all, peace was coming back slowly.”

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Comments (7)

7 Comments »

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    // <![CDATA[// Yes I fully agree with Osama the nauseating gimmick used by certain leaders in every Election especially that Big Mamak threatening the voters or else……. Lets hope a truly Malaysian Party one day will emerge to unite us as BANGSA MALAYSIA. And rid our beloved country of corrupted elites that dictates our lives and keep dividing us with Racial Politics since Merdeka & Formation of Malaysia.

    Comment by Sanitee — May 25, 2010 @ 12:42 PM | Reply

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    // <![CDATA[// PERKASA is an UMNO alterego.Its stands usually get nods from UMNO elders

    Comment by Rozlan — May 25, 2010 @ 12:30 PM | Reply

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    // <![CDATA[// First of all, we should thank Perkasa and Ibrahim Ali for the Sibu victory.

    On the surface, Perkasa and its racist cohorts look menacing and threatening to most non Malay. On contrary, their outward ‘bravery’ are but the manifestation of fear and inferior complex within them.

    When the ‘rakyat’ discovered the true faces of Perkasa and its cohorts, their existence will augur well for Pakatan Rakyat in the next GE.

    Comment by PH Chin — May 25, 2010 @ 11:58 AM | Reply

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    // <![CDATA[// Umno’s social re-engineering crap/NEP will always fail even for another 30 more years. And still the Malays are lagging everywhere (according to fake malay mamak nor yaakop), so blame who now? Blame the Pendatang for not stopping the space-time 30 years allowing the Malays enough time play catch-up game over them? Time never stood still, so do wealth and opportunities. Really if Umno wants to defy logic of quantum physics in stopping space-time, just ask Orang Asli that survived 100,000 years of existence and 1 million years of migrations from Africa. They are true survivors even without NEP craps. But don’t worry Umno, take solace from Hang Tuah words “Takkan melayu hilang di dunia” but if Hang Tuah is proven a Chinese then that would sounds more like a threat. So these brown supremacist punks like Perkasa must prove Hang Tuah isn’t a Chinese otherwise the Malay indeed facing extinction in whatever form it might be. The burden of proof now lies to Perkasa: Hang Tuah is not a Chinese chap. Till then, the only original true bumiputra is none other than Orang Asli, not orang jawa bugis minang indonesia mamak keralla india lanun suluk not even PKR tian chua’s 300 yrs baba nyonya cina melaka lineage etc. Hidup Ketuanan Orang Asli!!

    Comment by Tie Boh Low — May 25, 2010 @ 11:25 AM | Reply

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    // <![CDATA[// Politicians are just people trying to earn a living like anyone else but politics makes tonnes of money!
    Mahathir hungry ambitions to take the top job and keep it for more than 20 years made him probably the richest man in Malaysia.
    Those fat contracts he dished out to certain individuals are not given without kickbacks for sure.
    Social welfare lottery was set up for a noble cause but under Mahathir it ended up belonging to someone and profits made goes into someone’s pocket. So was Sports Toto. Bernas and Mara took over all rice milling and transport from ligitimate owners in Kedah.
    Recently some Malay NGOs wanted to have a 13May victory celebration and I suspect it had something to do with Ascot request for football gambling license. The license was approved during Mahathir reign but cancelled by Badawi.
    The Sibu by-election, a Chinese majority area, was to be held just after 13May and Najib knew it will be disasterous if he didn’t stop this.
    So is it a coincident when just before the election Ascot got its license and Mahathir then commented that he withdrew because he didn’t want people to label him as racist? Few months earlier he told Nazri, the minister in the prime minister department, that he is racist and UMNO is a racist party.
    Najib allowed the license but the catch is that Ascot will only operate the new business after the world cup, to be held from 11June to 11July.
    In the Sibu by-election, the voter turnout was lower than expected and those who failed to vote was mostly non-Chinese and pro-BN.
    In the Hulu Selangor by-election PR complaint that some Orang-Asli known to be PR supporters were prevented from voting.

    Comment by KC Chai — May 25, 2010 @ 10:02 AM | Reply

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    // <![CDATA[// Anyone with a decent IQ (except perhaps UMNO’s village idiots the likes of Froghim Ali) could see the true nature of the rally. With a devious acronym of GERTAK (intimidation) and mixing it with May 13, no one can mistake their true intention of fanning racial hate and distrust. GERTAK is an arsonist trying to burn down this country and UMNO is being nonchalant, unperturbed with the danger (a clear sign of the real mastermind for GERTAK, watching and gleaming, waiting for the right moment to seize the moment on the pretext of the ONLY party that can save this country. Just like what UMNO did by forming Perikatan after 1969). An old, tried and tested strategy but they forgot that We, the rakyat, now know the truth. Sorry Najib! Sorry Froggy! Your gambit didn’t work and actually backfired! Now all Malaysian knows who are the real enemy and a traitorous one at that!

    Comment by Nick — May 25, 2010 @ 6:55 AM | Reply

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    // <![CDATA[// This cheap political gimmick had been used for decades by BN, and followed up by the likes of MCA, MIC and the impotent Gerakan K. Malaysians, let us all send whoever who uses this scare tactic into political oblivion and never allow them to arise again.

    As recent as the Hulu Selangor by election, it was reported that MCA resorted to this tactic to scare the Chinese there, but, Malaysians Chinese are too matured now for this sort of tactic and they voted PKR in such huge numbers as if to tell MCA and Gerakan, that they do not accept such scare tactic anymore, besides, majority Malay brothers and sisters are more interested in finding a good living, rather than to be involved in such nonsense! And majority Malays have now realized that they had been taken for a ride by UMNO Baru to be used as a capital and a politcal tool for them to further their rule.

    Thank you for highlighting this tactic, as it is dirty, cheap and devious! Apparently, the “A Vote for DAP is a vote for PAS/Islamic State” which was very effective as late as the late 90′s is no longer effective, as the numbers of Chinese Malaysians who are voting PAS and waiting to join PAS are so huge. They started with 20,000 non Malay members yesterday, it is only a matter of time, they surpassed the membership of the likes of Gerakan.

    Thank you for the Kalimmah Allah issue and incessant threats by Perkasa, it made the non Malays even more determined to root for PAS. PAS had shown its real colours during the Kalimmah Allah and the incessant threats by UMNO Baru, as the real champion of all Malaysians. Just why should we vote or support parties that are linked to Perkasa? All those threats by Perkasa the self proclaimed champion of Islam and Malays, laughable indeed, just why are they so quiet with the football betting issue? As it is, Gerakan is so impotent today in the new political landscape, it is almost irrelevant, it will be good, if its members realize this, and leave the party in huge numbers to join DAP, PKR or PAS or just return to MCA.

    We pray and hope that PAS make tremendous stride in the coming GE and make its presence felt nationally. It should be allowed to contest mixed seats with large numbers of non Malays in urban areas, and we are pretty sure, PAS will do well. It took 51 years for Malaysians to realize the devil and the angel!

    PAS for all! Salam Reformasi.

    Comment by Osama — May 25, 2010 @ 12:49 AM | Reply

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Another way of remembering May 13 May 13 a class war, says Mahathir (Malaysiakini)

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