Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Monsters in Our Midst

"If only closed minds came with closed mouths."


It's now two days after the 13th Malaysian General Election. Pakatan Rakyat lost the majority of parliamentary seats (89 to Barisan Nasional's 133) but won 5.489 million votes to BN's 5.220 million. What this basically means is that PR is more popular with the voting public than BN as a whole, but BN gets to shamelessly rule us anyway because they managed to magick 46.5% of the totality of Malaysian voters into 59.9% of the parliament's seats.

I like how government-controlled newspapers like The Star and News Straits Times reported BN's 46.5% but carefully avoided mentioning the far more pertinent and mindblowing story that PR received more overall votes than BN did. They also craftily avoided tallying the votes that PR's constituent parties received in their breakdown, preferring instead to list them individually. I would love to have a been a fly on the wall in their meetings when the editors of these papers discussed how they could spin doctor the numbers to make BN look good.

In other propaganda news, Najib blamed their unprecedented decline in popularity and seats on the so-called "Chinese tsunami" of voters jumping onto the PR boat which proves once and for all that our unwelcomed Prime Minister does not understand percentages or even simple mathematics because even if every Chinese voter in Malaysia voted for PR, they will only make up half of the total number of people who voted for PR.

Yes, we as a race is a natural disaster. I can't wait till the day we become the "Chinese Question" and hear Najib's "Final Solution".

Compounding the racial tension is Najib's UMNO-owned paper, Utusan Malaysia, which characterised the Malaysian Chinese electorate as a greedy, ungrateful group with political aspirations of robbing the Malay people in their article: "Apa lagi orang Cina mahu?" ("What more do the Chinese want?").

More disturbingly, pro-UMNO blogger Papagamo had been arrested today for hate speech and for trying to incite the Malay people to take violent actions towards the Chinese people in a twisted reenactment of the bloody 13th May race riot of 1969. My wife was one of those who made police reports against him and one of Papagomo's fan, Shahrizad, who proposed that the Malays should take to the streets to "kill all the Chinese scums in Malaysia" and to "slaughter all Chinese like pigs".

Crazy Malay Blogger
Terrifying, isn't it?

Today, one of my friends shared a screen-cap of a Facebook conversation in which one of the clerks working in my old medical school repeated some deeply troubling racist sentiment stirred by the people who demonised the Chinese in this election. It hit hard for MMMC alumni (which is a pretty equal mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian doctors) because we have always seen her as one of the most friendly and helpful staff members of the admin office,

Racist MMMC clerk
It's the second one from up top.

What she said, translated fully into English, was essentially,

"For those Chinese who are not satisfied with the Malaysian government, you are welcome to go back to your own country. Don't stay here because you are not welcomed here. Go back to China, work for 8 hours and be a billionaire. You are merely living in other people's country yet you are so ill-bred. Can't even speak Malay yet you complain so much."

This is a longstanding racist canard describing ethnic Chinese people in Malaysia as mere immigrants when in actuality, we are full citizens holding legitimate documents certifying our citizenship. It suggests that we shouldn't exercise any of the rights that we are entitled to. I speak Malay just fine, and I can't even write in Chinese. And I can't go back to China because I would actually be a foreigner there. Her outburst really came as a rude shock to me and my old med school friends. Many are now petitioning for her resignation.

Cina balik China
I mean it's not uncommon. Just today, I got told on Twitter by a separate person that I should go back to China for making the image macros above contrasting Najib's statements.

But then again, this isn't the first time a beloved MMMC figure had her darker side exposed. In 2010, our sweet motherly cafeteria lady and her son were charged with beating their Indonesian maid to death (and rumours surfaced about her longstanding abuse in their hands). There are monsters in our midst and it is frightening how seamlessly they blend into normalcy. I guess you just can't know, can you?

Anyhow, amongst the alumni in the Facebook discussion thread that are branding her racist and screaming at her to resign, there are some of these witchhunters who have made racist remarks about the Malay people to me in private in the past. There are also some of them who have openly made racist remarks about the native Indians in India back when we were in the Manipal campus on the subcontinent - I am itching to call them out. I wonder how they can feel so righteous in calling repercussions on that admin clerk now, having done basically the same thing themselves but escaped the witch-hunt.

Monsters in our midst indeed, even amongst those hunting for monsters.

Is an unstoppable, coast-devastating force of nature,
k0k s3n w4i


shanaz@RS said...

haha, that Najib before and after election poster cracked me up. And it's indeed scary that we've got demons lurking behind so-called innocent faces. Why do people not think with their brains, for flying spaghetti monster's sakes, we're all of the same human breed. Stop with the race card. It's tiring. Bah!

k0k s3n w4i said...

shanaz@RS: The race card is useful. It divides us into manageable little pieces.

nicoletta said...

I'm in love with that Najib graphic.

In 2006 I was working part-time in a restaurant in KL over the summer holidays and became pretty friendly with one of the waitresses. Some months after I'd left the job it came out in The Star that she was arrested. According to the article her husband had been discovered in an abandoned condo, cut into eleven pieces and stashed in a fridge.

I've no idea where she is now.

nicoletta said...

By the way, in response to your earlier question, Julian is an NZ citizen :) Since I have an NZ permanent residency he was automatically granted citizenship on birth.