FMT LETTER: From Calvin Sankaran, via e-mail
In his book, ‘The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters’, Professor BR Myers challenges the prevailing conventional wisdom amongst the academia that the Hermit Kingdom is a hard-line Stalinist communist state was founded on twin principles of Marxism and Confucianism.
In his brilliantly-written book, Myers observes that most “academics, think-tank analysts and other Pyongyang watchers have neglected to study the worldview of the military-first regime and instead choose to make sense of Juche Thought, a sham doctrine with no bearing on Pyongyang’s policy-making.”
Prof Myers’ central theme is that North Korea’s guiding ideology is a race-based nationalism derived from Japanese fascism, rather than any form of Communism. He summarises core principle of this ideology as follows: The Korean people are too pure blooded, and therefore too virtuous, to survive in this evil world without a great parental leader.
As I read Professor Myer’s book, a staggering revelation dawned on me – of the uncanny parallels between this bellicose pariah state and another race-first organisation that is closer to home – the DAP. The similarities between North Korea and DAP are numerous and encompass the entire spectrum of politics – ideology, world-view, policies, party propaganda tactics, governance and even leadership style.
Both of these entities are dynastical, father and son dictatorships despite their professed adherence to social democratic ideology. In reality neither is even remotely socialist nor democratic despite the regularly held show elections and lofty sloganeering.
Just like Kim Dynasty up North, the Lim Dynasty rules DAP with an iron fist. If the Korean spin doctors mythologise the Kim family and accord them with superhuman powers, the DAP mythmakers similarly elevate the Lims to tokongs and demigods.
Party leaders are relentlessly portrayed as intellectual Titans and of possessing Saint-like morality while their opponents are derided as bottom-feeding pond scum. Listen to the endless triumphalism and chest-thumping of Lim Guan Eng on his and his party’s managerial and moral superiority in ruling Penang over the “racist, inept, corrupt and immoral” BN/Umno.
Hear Hannah Yeoh extolling the religious and ethical virtues of the DAP vis-à-vis the “morally bankrupt and low-class” BN/Umno. Read the unending volley of sneering condemnations by Tony Pua, the self proclaimed economic expert, on the inferiority of Malaysia’s mainly Malay Muslim civil servants, government leaders, police, military, economic performance, weapon systems, universities and education system.
Racism forms the central tenet of DAP’s doctrine and electoral vote-winning strategy. Taking a leaf out of the Koreans’ playbook, the party positions itself as the courageous defender of Chinese Malaysians against the marauding mobs of Malay Muslims who are intent upon seizing their wealth and brutally snatch their cultural and language rights.
Like their Kimchi-loving Korean comrades, DAP’s racist message and intentions have been carefully camouflaged and couched in noble-sounding, lofty, jazzed-up and ultimately empty slogans like “Malaysian Malaysia”, “Middle Malaysia” and “Bangsa Malaysia”.
Over the last several decades the party has been engaging in a ceaseless racial agitprop to tear the Malaysian social fabric apart by using highly emotive ethnic issues such as the NEP, the quota system, vernacular education, etc.
Lately the party has ventured into newer territories and has taken on an expanded role – as the vanguard-in-chief of the Christian Talibans – an increasingly vocal, assertive and powerful group with its sacred epicenter located in Subang Jaya.
Lim Guan Eng’s venomous “Christmas Wishes”, in which he tried to reignite the “Kalimah Allah” controversy, is an excellent illustration of DAP’s new-found role and strategy of religious scaremongering by pitting the Muslims against the Christians.
For its members, popularly known as Dapsters, the party is no mere political organisation but a spiritual and religious movement. Very much like the Jihadists of Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, Dapsters often enter a trance-like state when discussing the party and exhibit a devotion to Dapism that borders on fanaticism.
For decades Dapsters had been proclaiming their party as an austere, incorruptible and morally superior socio-religious movement committed to the principles of meritocracy and equality. DAP’s starched-white uniform and the down-to-earth, simple lifestyle of their top leaders such as P Patto, Karpal Singh and Lee Lam Thye further buttressed the point.
However, as astutely observed by blogger Helen Ang (http://helenang.wordpress.com), the post-2008 DAP is a very different beast compared to the original DAP of the Founding Fathers. Helen detects a marked departure in terms of character, philosophy, practices and leadership styles between the two versions of the party and christens the new incarnation as DAP 2.0.
This hipper, turbo-charged and pimped up model of the old school DAP is exemplified by icons such Lim Guan Eng, Hannah Yeoh and Tony Pua. If DAP 1.0 can be likened to a brave and noble lion, then DAP 2.0 is best personified by a slithery, smooth-talking and double-tongued snake.
There are three identifiable core traits of DAP 2.0 leaders – (1) Propensity for ceaseless self-promotion (2) Deep devotion to the Christian Right/Evangelist ideology and (3) Mastery of political chameleonism.
Lim Guan Eng is a DAP 2.0 megastar and the quintessential political Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. To the Christians, he dons the vestment of Father Joseph Lim the fearless crusader for justice on issues such as Kalimah Allah and Lina Joy. To the Muslims electorate, he wears the skullcap and takes on the persona of Khalifah Umar Abdul Aziz and spews Quranic verses.
Hannah Yeoh, is yet another of DAP 2.0 superstar who sheds personas like a snake discards its skins, known as Malaysia’s own Sarah Palin for her confused personality and overestimation of her own abilities.
One moment she takes the stage as the Christian icon proclaiming her love for Jesus to a group of cheering youths shouting, “take Subang for Jesus”. Another moment she’s handing out cash in suraus, demurely clad in Baju Kebaya and selendang.
North Korea terrifies its neighbours and superpowers with its nuclear-tipped rockets. DAP might lack atomic bomb making know-how, yet it still inflicts massive damage to Malaysia with its very own Rocket with twin megaton warheads – racist and religious cards.