Journalist Awang Selamat's recent lead article in Utusan Malaysia on PAP-DAP offered bizarre insinuations and is an attempt at using history to play off one race against another.
He does so by elevating circumstantial events – namely, PAP and DAP’s historical connections, Lim Kit Siang’s association with Lee Kuan Yew and other political trivialities – into what he thinks are incontestable inferences.
Of course, the participation of some Singaporean diplomats in the Bersih event recently was screamed off as another definitive proof of Singapore’s grand design to take over Malaysia.
Awang Selamat must be suffering from scotoma – the mind sees what it wants to see. Awang Selamat sees the sinister and diabolical plots by Singapore at every corner.
Hence, Singapore’s endorsement of Penang’s DAP is interpreted as re-establishing DAP as Singapore’s Trojan horse. To do what? Take over Malaysia and gas-chamber the Malays?
Awang Selamat’s bizarre insinuations are exceeded only by his silliness.
Is he telling us that Singapore has waited for 48 years to gobble up Malaysia?
In which case was Lee Kuan Yew’s (LKY) visit to Malaysia seen as a scouting mission to identify possible allies for the eventual Singapore takeover of Malaysia?
And so when LKY visited the husband-and-wife team of Najib Tun Razak and Rosmah Mansor, was that to be read as an endorsement of a particular way of governing the country? First Family incorporated? A new genus of democracy? Spousal Guided Democracy?
What about LKY’s visit to Pahang? Should we impute that LKY wanted to make Pahang as its landing beachhead? Can we then say that the Pahang menteri besar has been identified as a collaborator in the grand design by Singapore to take over Malaysia?
One can’t debate on this piece because in the end, it comes to “you say this, I say that”. Because of that, Awang Selamat’s leader report does not merit any intellectual treatment. It only deserves condemnation.
We can’t reach an agreement even to disagree.
Aimed at spooking Malays
But then, that is the quality that comes out from the men of quality planted by Umno in the mainstream newspapers.
Utusex (Utusan) Malaysia is no exception. Are we to believe these reports spun by this mainstream newspaper, where the publishing of the Muslim prayer times and the results of the 4-digit lottery and Toto are true while all others are lies and deception?
The surefire thing to spook Malays into gravitating to Umno is raising fears that PAP and, by extension, Singapore are behind a grand design to destabilise Malaysia. How so?
By giving endorsements to opposition parties such as DAP and PAS. We are all aware of the embellished stories surrounding the photograph showing LKY’s meeting up with Nik Aziz Nik Mat.
Now if negative inference can be elicited from such “documentary evidence” what are we to make of the LKY’s endorsement of the husband-and-wife team of Najib and Rosmah governing Malaysia?
Will we also make the inference that because LKY visited and was reported to be generous in his assessment of Rosmah, she must be in line to lead the country next?
Can we then infer that Rosmah wants to be the next prime minister?
Let me try to explain Utusan Malaysia and by extension, Umno’s paranoia over Singapore.
Why does the presence of Singapore which has been derisively described at times as the little red dot, inspire fear, distrust and envy all at once? Because, to Umno, Singapore represents its antithesis. Singapore represents the symbol of opposition to what Umno stands for.
So what does Umno stand for? Umno stands for privileges and despotic rule. Umno sees itself as the benevolent despot deserving of total obeisance, most notably from Malays.
Blame all on Singapore
Singapore? Now Singapore represents what is possible when one is economically independent and when one refuses to accept privileges as given and one’s rule as divinely set.
Because to incorporate the opposite values represented by Singapore into the Malay psyche would mean the end of Umno’s hegemony.
What more when today Umno is no longer the only legitimate voice to represent Malays. For that Singapore is blamed.
To an increasing number of Malays Umno stands as the vehicle for privileged Malays. This blasphemous idea adopted by that increasing number is attributed to Singapore’s messianic mission to break all vestiges of the past.
For all its outward democratic appearances, Umno is still a feudal political party.
PAP’s old battle cry of Malaysian Malaysia is forever seen as a threat and challenge to Umno’s feudal dominance.
Why should Singapore be blamed if more Malays who have attributed no relevance to Singapore are now challenging Umno hegemony?
Rising political awareness and social consciousness among Malays are principal causes, eroding Umno’s shaky and unprincipled foundations.
Can any party stay relevant if it feeds on fears and prejudices and one which refuses to recognise the value of organic growth of its own people?
People want vision and people are inspired by freedom and want to break from feudal vestiges.
Bad for Penang, good for Johor
Hence because of these psychological elements, the presence of some Singapore diplomats at the Bersih 3.0 gathering is taken to impute some sinister design by Singapore to take over Malaysia, thunders Awang Selamat.
That is imputed from LKY’s visit to Penang and the subsequent comments made by Senior Minister Lee on Penang’s development. Singapore cannot be allowed to assist in the development of Penang because it’s now DAP-led, but Singapore money is most welcome into Iskandar region inn Johor.
Singapore’s congratulatory messages to DAP were taken by some people as poof of some sort of covenant between DAP and PAP to take over Malaysia.
The fact that Penang has a Chinese majority appears to produce in the lecherous minds of Utusex Malaysia, a belief of some sinister plot by Chinese to threaten Malays.
PAP and, by extension, Singapore has always been the useful and convenient bêtes noires of Malaysian politicians unable and not capable of finding a rational explanation for their own failings.
In this case, Umno has generally failed the Malays. The blame for its failings is transferred to PAP and Singapore.
DAP does indeed have some historical links with Singapore’s DAP and its current adviser Lim Kit Siang may have even served under LKY, but the association was severed when Singapore separated from Malaysia.
Since then, with the emergence of the newer generation, that association remains just as it is – a historical chapter. The PAP has carved its own path with its own envisioned destiny. DAP meanwhile has developed into an integral part in Malaysian politics with its own separate identity.
DAP is not PAP’s stooge or fifth columnist in Malaysia. The current younger generation DAP leaders are not cultured in PAP’s political crucible. (Remember we used to experiment growing beansprouts in a crucible?)
This is an irresponsible piece of journalism capable of being produced only by the mental retards in Utusan Malaysia.
The usefulness in that piece of story lies not in its disingenuous manipulation of bits and pieces of bedtime stories.
Its usefulness lies in being able to exploit irrational fears between races.
It’s just that – a pathetic attempt at using history to play off one race against another.
The downside of Awang Selamat’s paranoid piece is that it exposes the vulnerability of Umno.
Umno is fast losing Malay support because of its own hypocrisy. All Umno leaders do business with Chinese towkays but it shamelessly inspires antagonism among the common Malays and Chinese.
I have said it before – Umno has almost perfected the art of running with the hare while hunting with the dogs.
The common men – Malays and non-Malays – are hares while the privileged Malays, Umno elites and the comprador Chinese are the hounds.
In answer to Awang Selamat – bukan, bukan begitu Encik Awang.
The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman but joined DAP earlier this year. He is a FMT columnist.