Post-truth politics of Bangkit Melayu

Opinion  |  Bob Teoh
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s post-truth politics at the Himpunan Bangkit Melayu rally reeks of racism like a leaking sewer. Coming at a time when the nation is celebrating its 61st anniversary of Merdeka, or Independence, it is a gross insult to the sensibility of all fair-minded Malaysians, regardless of their ethnicity.

Tajuddin, 70, is a serial offender with a penchant for hate speech and unparliamentary behaviour. Incendiary hate speech has no place in civil society. Over time, this will only tear the social fabric of the nation apart if allowed to persist. It certainly does not serve the Malay agenda in any significant manner.

It’s about time Tajuddin is thrown into the slammer for his offensive behaviour. I have always argued that censorship should only be used in the rarest of circumstances. Tajuddin’s outburst is one of them. His does not constitute free speech. It’s pure hate speech.

The post-truth politics of Tajuddin’s “Bangkit Melayu” is both mischievous and dangerous at the same time. In a recent article, Jacqueline Jones, a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin, says:

“We live in perilous times for historians and others in fact-based disciplines. For some, truth is contingent on one’s gut feelings. Post-truth is defined as relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion that appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Bangkit Melayu is all about post-truth politics of Tajuddin and the likes of him lurking in the dark corridors of Umno and PAS, creatures of the past but very much alive. They have no place in this New Malaysia.

In an outburst on July 25 in the Dewan Rakyat or Lower House, he caused an uproar when he claimed that Malaysia's history shows that the country was “Tanah Melayu” or Land of the Malays. The speaker of the House ignored his remarks and allowed him to continue.

Tajuddin is Pasir Salak MP and an Umno supreme council member as well as former deputy minister for agriculture and agro-based industries in ousted prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s regime.

This Tanah Melayu claim is not fact-driven. It’s just post-truth rhetoric or lies, as I had pointed out in my piece celebrating Merdeka. Tanah Melayu existed in the Malay language version of our 1957 Federal Constitution where the Federation of Malaya is known as Tanah Melayu...

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