‘Nothing to Hide’ violence - the shape of things to come

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“See, people with power understand exactly one thing: violence.”

- Noam Chomsky

COMMENT | Would it surprise anyone that when the dust of this recent scuffle at the Nothing to Hide 2.0 forum settles, the perpetrators – always young Malay youths – would be portrayed as the aggrieved party, much like the thieves of the Low Yat fiasco? Umno has always been protective of its voting base with Malay oppositional voices harassed and intimidated when it comes to courting this specific demographic.

While I have been skeptical of the efficacy of this particular tactic of the opposition when it comes to using the 1MDB issue as a vote getter, the response from the regime and the attempts to derail any form of dialogue points to how much this regime fears the architect of modern Malaysia – Dr Mahathir Mohamad -and his designs on the throne of Putrajaya.

While the current Umno grand poohbah holds solidarity prayers with Muslims begging God for peace and stability, the Najib refuseniks busy themselves with the task of destabilising Umno hegemony. There is no point talking about a Malaysian tsunami because the violence in this event, the harassment that Malay oppositional figures face, the use of the state apparatus to investigate Najib refuseniks’ sympathisers points to the reality that the next general elections will be the ultimate Malay scuffle.

While some would argue that the questions asked by these so-called provocateurs were meant to derail the forum, the reality is that those questions form the basis of right-wing Malay politics and are the means to which Umno has maintained hegemony.

Those question about the Memali incident, Bersatu’s simpatico with the DAP and the supposed sins of jailed political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim – rights, race and religion – were meant to demonstrate that the former Umno prime minister had abandoned the Malay community and conspires with the ‘Chinese DAP’ to supplant the rightful place of Malays and Islam in this country.

So, while urban opposition propaganda promulgates the narrative that we are all in this together, the reality is that this “scuffle” between the Malays in the existential threat facing Umno today. This fight will eventually determine not who controls the destiny of the Malay polity – mainstream Malay politics is based on “ketuanism” – but rather who controls the gravy train.

Nothing will come of any investigation into this matter as nothing has ever come of any investigation where the Umno ‘titushkas’ have used political violence to disrupt the numerous oppositional and other activists’ forums meant to highlight or discuss the malfeasances of the state.

Ironically, a friend of mine from PAS told me just recently that he remembers the time when the Umno ‘titushkas’ disrupted ceramahs and various other political gatherings to demonstrate that the opposition could not maintain stability in their own house, then how could they with the country.

In case anyone assumes that it is prejudicial to jump to conclusion as to Umno’s role and my description of the Umno provocateurs, read the comments of Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi with regards to the intersection between organised thuggery and Umno –

“He said, ‘The 6,171 Malays, they are not real thugs (samseng), they were Pekida members and were part of the Tiga Line group, Gang 30, Gang 7 - these are festivities (kenduri-kendara) gangsters." Furthermore, he added, ‘I tell our Tiga Line friends, do what should be done.’”

And what exactly should these groups be doing? I would argue that if three years ago you made the claim that Tiga Line was disrupting Bersih activities, you would get Umno members saying that these thugs are only doing what needs to be done...

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