The prime minister I am always falsely convinced has hit his nadir, but Abdullah Badawi will always find a way to outdo his previous gaffes and misjudgements with ease that the rest of us can only say is the sign of a drunken bumble-bee.
“We should all stop inciting race matters.” My good man – you go over to Penang, get your picture ops with the 13 division heads because you don’t want to upset these men, and ask the rest of us to shut up. I’ve never thought of Badawi as the prime minister of all Malaysians – nor have I regarded the ones before him – but surely for the rest of Malaysia who still insist on it, the proof is now irrefutable; for Badawi the Umno vote comes first. The rest of us can just stand in line and wait for his mercy.
There will be no apologies, since Ahmad Ismail has reiterated that all he said were historical facts. And this I like to talk about, history I mean.
History is written by winners, and for 50 years Umno’s written it. The grey areas are aplenty and their explanations are as absurd as they are audacious.
Like explaining why a substantial number of Penang Umno members would look more Indian than me. The Penang state museum has an interesting way of re-telling history.
That Indian Muslims in Penang became Malay because they spoke more Malay than Tamil, and stopped using terms like Mami and Mamu. Cultural transformation is equivalent to race transformation, I would love to see Ahmad Ismail explain why many of his members qualify more than the squatters he talked about. Eh?
Or how about the historical distorting of the value of the Malayan Communist Party. Very scant mention is made of the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA). They are the fellows who fought the Japanese. So what were the holier than thou division heads of Umno – Penang or from any of their odd localities – think of that contribution. I am sure Lieutenant Adnan is a Malaysian hero, but to herald him and not those who as tenaciously fought for the homeland is a little crude.
Not bad for a group made up of mostly squatters, don’t you think Ahmad?
Or the distortion of what transpired during emergency. That it was a battle between Malayans seeking independence from a British colonial ruler. It did pit Malayans against Malayans under the employ of the British – but the purpose was not anti-Malaya, if anything it was pro-Malaya.
Or that the British hastened independence so that they don’t lose moral authority in the situation. By displacing all lefties and trade unionists in the wave of crushing local dissent and leaving Umno as the only option left for Malayans seeking independence at the ballot box.
The PM cannot be faulted here. He was never the bookworm and he probably would resolve any academic disagreements by asking everyone to pray.
The point is, history is about interpretation. And when honesty goes out of the window, the profane may become the truth.
I’ll be most happy to hear any arguments on why there is more merit in calling Indians in Penang Malay, or how the MCP have harmed people in their fight for Malaya.
Because it is about interpretation. The Malayan soldiers under the British army, are Malayans, but they are also serving the colonial master. So killing them is justified? And is it equally justified to kill a band of people trying to topple their colonial rulers – whose rule has no moral basis.
Were Americans flooding Berlin in May 1945, freeing Germans or trying to destroy the German government. Are those who come over to Malaya after the second world war, able to claim the collective history of the Malay people in the peninsula, because they too are Muslims?
Indeed history is sordid as it is revealing. But you are never going to get away by making a silly statement like – “I am only making historical statements” in a country that has never quite been frank about its past.
Let’s establish our historical data, and the myriad of interpretations they hold.
Then we can deal with Ahmad Ismail’s ‘historical facts’.