Kangkung & May 13
Kangkung ‘insult’ brings out a tardy but bloodthirsty Umno
JANUARY 19, 2014
Among banners at the Umno gathering yesterday were one which read ‘Because of DAP’s leaders mouth, May 13, 1969 happened… Want some more?’ – January 19, 2014.The script might be off by days but Penang Umno finally protested yesterday over PKR assemblyman Lee Khai Loon for organising a kangkung flash mob against Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak last week.
And what an overreaction it was. It had to be the late, late show by Penang Umno which decided to go over the top and raise the threat of May 13 and bloodshed over the adverse reaction to their national leader’s remarks.
But does Umno need to always raise that threat of bloodshed? Does it think it can always ignore the law and hold a protest without any action from the police, unlike other groups?
How is it that 600 Umno members or supporters can take to the streets of Seberang Jaya with provocative banners, including one asking if the state’s ruling coalition wanted another May 13, without any police action?
The banners yesterday read: “Because of DAP’s leaders mouth, May 13, 1969 happened… Want some more?”, “Insulting the PM is like insulting the Malays”, “Penang Malays survive by eating kangkung”, “ABCD – Asal Bukan Cina DAP” and “DAP is the enemy of Islam”, and reflect Umno members’ penchant to overreact.
But hasn’t Umno always claimed innocence on the question of who caused the 1969 riots? Yet the swiftness in which they rely on it as their weapon suggests some affection to that black mark in Malaysian history.
Umno members protesting against the ‘insults’ on their party president in Seberang Jaya, yesterday. – January 19, 2014.The May 13 riots happened 45 years ago and should be kept in the past. It should not be the bogeyman that anyone should use to shut up debate or quell dissent.
Raising the spectre of May 13 would only strengthen the case that Umno had a hand in it and will always use it to blackmail Malaysians into accepting its rule, rather than deciding freely which government should run the country.
The reality is that Penang Umno is way too late in defending the Prime Minister now, or venting their anger at the Machang Bubuk assemblyman for organising the flash mob.
And suggesting bloodshed makes the protest even more farcical.
Umno members must realise people are just poking fun at their president, and arguing back does not require anyone spilling blood. That is surely too late, too much and too silly a response to the antics of the PKR politician and his cohorts.
Penang Umno secretary Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir and Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya are right in saying it has undermined and damaged their leader, but does it mean retribution must be by blood?
Is that all they can think about instead of an intelligent debate over the issues of the day? Or is this the quality of Umno members these days?
Umno does not need mob mentality or throwaway remarks about kangkung prices if it wants to keep its popularity among the people or take on its political foes. Doing so only suggests the Malay nationalist party is in decline and bereft of ideas and intelligence.
Or maybe that is the Umno of today, stuck in a rut of zero sum games where May 13 is the be all and end all solution for all its woes. – January 19, 2014.
Now, Penang pro-Umno mob descend on DAP rep’s service centre
JANUARY 19, 2014
A man said to have engaged in a war of words with the pro-Umno mob being assaulted by protesters who gathered at DAP MP Lee Khai Loon’s service centre in Bukit Mertajam, this morning. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, January 19, 2014.Umno members today burnt a mannequin bearing a mugshot of Machang Bubuk assemblyman Lee Khai Loon, spitting and stepping on it in front of his service centre, for his role in a flash mob last week deriding Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s now famous ‘kangkung’ speech.
The mob of about 300 gathered at Lee’s service centre in Alma, Bukit Mertajam, bearing handwritten placards condemning him. One man was even seen mooning at Lee’s portrait.
Some of the placards were pasted on the shutters of an unused shoplot nearby, and the crowd vented their anger against DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang and his son Lim Guan Eng, the Penang Chief Minister.
The protest comes a day after Penang Umno members protested yesterday in Seberang Jaya with slogans threatening another May 13-style riot, and marched about 1 kilometre towards the Sunway Carnival Mall with banners.
Today’s protest was also joined by leaders of several pro-Umno organisations including Penang Malay Congress, Penang Pekida and Perkasa.
They made fiery speeches to defend Najib, whose kangkung (water spinach) analogy has been recently at the centre of cyberspace humour.
Lee had earlier led a flash mob where an effigy of Najib was stuffed with the vegetable. – January 19, 2014.
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