General Elections? Not as important as UMNO Elections later this year. Art tells us to keep calm and watch the racists? (Reproduced from the author’s facebook post.
The ultra-right rhetoric started immediately after the Barisan Nasional was declared to be “victor” in the recently concluded General Election.
In his victory speech, the Prime Minister was quick to make known his assessment on why Pakatan Rakyat had managed to wrest 7 more parliamentary seats and poked massive more holes in Barisan Nasional’s cheese of State seats. To rub salt in the gaping wound, Pakatan Rakyat managed to procure a majority of popular vote as compared to the Barisan Nasional.
His assessment was that the results are caused by the now famous (or infamous) Chinese Tsunami.
Dr Mahathir of course had to add on a day later. He said the Chinese had refused the Malay’s “hand of friendship.” He blamed the results on “ungrateful Chinese” and the “greedy Malays.”
Utusan Malaysia lapped it up and screamed “Apa lagi yang Cina mahu?” as its headline. Kosmo followed the trend by saying “Cina talam dua muka.”
Meanwhile, what is not reported in the mainstream media is what Dr Mahathir further said. What is it? Well, he said he did not expect Datuk Seri Najib to perform worse than Tun Abdullah. He also said that he was “shocked” that the Barisan Nasional has performed worse than 2008. He also faulted the Barisan Nasional strategists and planners.
To be fair, the Prime Minister did say he viewed racial harmony as “imperative to us.” He pledged a “national reconciliation process.”
When questioned yesterday on Utusan’s headline, he defended Utusan, saying that Utusan should not be blamed because the Chinese newspapers also stoke racial sentiments. He also disagreed that the GE results are caused by the widening urban-rural gap, obviously refuting what A Kadir Jasin, an ex-UMNO journo’s view which was widely published on the internet.
It is of note that A Kadir Jasin, hitherto a loyalist, had suddenly appeared to have openly and publicly criticised the Prime Minister’s assessment of the results.
If the Chinese Tsunami theory is correct – and let’s assume it is correct for the moment – wouldn’t the obvious thing to do is for the Prime Minister to say “we recognise a degree of frustration expressed by the Chinese community and we will do our level best to address this” rather than stepping into attack mode immediately after winning a mandate in the GE?
We should remember that there is a bigger and more important election than the General Election in 2013. And that is the UMNO election. Under its constitution, UMNO must hold its election once in every 2 years. The 2 years have long gone. Under its Constitution too, the Supreme Council may postpone its election for 18 months. That 18 month period is expiring and an election must be carried out this year.
All these nationalist cum extreme-right rhetoric are nothing but early posturing for that election. We have seen that before. Everybody will try to out-Malay and out-Muslim as well out anti-Chinese-Christian-Jew each other. Everybody will also try to out-defend the Malay and Islam each other till they froth in the mouth.
Because that is how it works and what will work in that election.
By way of conclusion, don’t be surprised that this rhetoric would continue in the next six months or so. And they will get worse by the day as UMNO’s election fever hots up.
What can we do as citizens?
I don’t know. Perhaps I will just buy popcorn and root beer floats every day and enjoy the show.
At the end of it, I might say ‘I want my money back, I want my money back….”
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