COMMENT | “They despise and hate the government more and more, but they don't know how to set about changing it. The country is dying for some sort of lead, and so far all it is getting is a crowd of fresh professional leaders. Who never get anywhere. Who do not seem to be aiming anywhere. We are living in a world of jaded politics. Poverty increases, prices rise, unemployment spreads, mines, factories stagnate, and nothing is done.”
– HG Wells, The Holy Terror
I realise that people may not want to read this, but it has to be said. There will never be a Malaysia for Malaysians because, ultimately, the various ethnic groups in this country do not really want this.
They do not really want a place in the sun for everyone, but rather, they want to dominate the political landscape with their preferred ideology – however one defines them – instead of a Malaysia where everyone is equal under the law.
The MCA and MIC did not start off as “running dogs” of the Umno Establishment but were willing “partners” in the creation of the Malay Malaysia state. What we see happening now in the opposition is exactly the same narrative that the MCA and MIC went through, which was a process of collusion, corruption and Islamisation that brought the country to where it is now. It is like history repeating itself with all the delusion and hypocrisy that comes with a new deal.
The chief Puad Zarkashi of Putrajaya's Special Affairs Department (Jasa) recently said something stupid. He said the “DAP fights for equality, not equitability as agreed to in the social contract”, which is dumb because the two are not mutually exclusive.
You cannot have equitability without equality but most importantly, there is no such thing as the “social contract”. Even former prime minister, and now de facto opposition leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad, acknowledged this when he said that the social contract was not a tangible document or some such throwaway line.
I have no idea what is going on with the opposition these days. Look, you cannot play the race and religion game with Umno, and now PAS. The deck is stacked and they have the winning hand when it comes to this twisted game. What you can do is not play defence. Stop trying to rehabilitate the image of DAP or out-Islamise the establishment. There is nothing anyone can say about DAP that would change minds.
Umno's big fear in GE14
What Umno is worried about when it comes to its election chances are internal sabotage, the manoeuvrings of PAS, the “situation” (as one Umno spin master told me) in Sabah and Sarawak and of course the tanking economy. This idea that Umno was ever a “centrist” party is total horse manure and could we please stop using euphemisms like “Malay narrative”?
What we are really talking about is Malay supremacy, institutionalised Malay racism, or simply put Malay political and religious hegemony. The non-Malays happily bought into this narrative because life and the economy was always “good” here in Malaysia and because we had our own space in the private sector and economy, which we dominated and colluded with the establishment in a myriad of corrupt practices all under the umbrella of “Asian values” and the social contract.
If DAP’s Lim Kit Siang cannot foresee a non-Malay prime minister in this century, it is because the opposition has never advocated such an idea. You cannot lay the blame solely on Umno, when the strategy of saving Malaysia is pandering to the Malay vote, when we have a history of large-scale corruption that did not turn this country into a failed state.
When PAS chief Abdul Hadi Awang blathers on about how Islam rejects “the theory of secularism, Malaysian Malaysia and chauvinism without denying the existence of worldly living”, can anyone point to an another interpretation of Malaysian Islam that is a counter-narrative? Hadi, of course, is mendacious as ever...