Current Affairs

The Enemy of the People

By Mohd Ariff Sabri

I will come back to the Kajang topic soon. It is now becoming more interesting as Zaid Ibrahim is entering the race. At the moment, I want to share some thoughts on a topic that has been at the back of my mind for some time. It is UMNO’s perversion of the idea of nationalism and the UMNOnisation of Islam. The danger is this. If left unchecked, UMNO will confer upon itself the right as final arbiter on who is a Malaysian or not Malaysian and eventually who is Islamic, less Islamic and so forth. In a bizarre twist, UMNO has totally outflanked PAS in portraying itself as the religious zealots bent on talibanisation of Muslims in Malaysia and eventually over all Malaysians. We are all in danger. The country is crumbling under a fainéant leader. His madmen are on the loose.

UMNO’s nationalism

It may have gone unnoticed, but the government’s loose categorization of all those who questioned its conduct on handling the nation’s security for instance as unpatriotic, is an expression of this high-pedestalled self-conferred stature. Tian Chua’s criticisms on the conduct of the security forces on the Lahad Datu invasion for instance, were used to brand him as a traitor.

The chief of army who isn’t a politician but a civil servant who swore allegiance to King and Nation joined others to brand as traitors who questioned the inept handling of the invasion. But let us question his motives over his own conduct over the whole affairs.

Why isn’t there a white paper or post mortem analysis done on Ops Daulat? What lessons have we learnt from the invasion? How much money was spent over the operations? The chief of armed forces can easily justify purchase of military assets and consumables under the excuse of an emergency situation. He didn’t even have to go through any administrative motions. Perhaps we have heard of a bar of Cadbury chocolate costing RM80?

Those responsible for equipping our soldiers with substandard armaments and equipment are traitors of the highest order to our country. No amount of pantomimes or pretentious sympathy on those who lost lives in the invasion by a band of under-nourished sarong-clad individuals can absolve nor excuse the government over its inept handling.

Instead we must ask, with the military capabilities stationed in Sabah, why wasn’t the handling of the invasion entrusted to the field commander in Sabah? We seemed to marshal our security forces as though we were at war with the Philippines. The chaotic handling I assure you is not lost on our neighbours who are better equipped militarily. Purtjaya actually moved to Lahad Datu for a short while with two ministers were stationed there over an extended period. And to do what? To handle a band of sarong clad, slipper-wearing and under nourished individuals?

UMNO’s sponsored 1Malaysia is dead. As long as UMNO divides the country into the various races, we can never achieve a Malaysian nationalism. We are moving towards an oligarchy where power seems to be divided between a select few including those entrusted to guard our nation’s external and internal security. UMNO now acts on the basis, might is right. Because it controls the federal government, it thinks it can bully everyone into submission.

It’s helped further by the legitimate coercive forces of the country- the police and the military. The military has shown it was quite inept when dealing with a mere incursion of a band of under nourished sarong clad men. The IGP and Chief of army descended on Sabah to direct operations. The defense minister as his Home security colleague were there too making it out as though we were at war with another country. Surely, these are signs to shudder about the capacity of our country’s defence.
UMNO has claimed absolute ownership on the concept of nationalism and how it shapes religious thinking. UMNO’s Nazi-like definition of Malay means only UMNO Malays are Malays. Other Malays of differing politics are apostates. There’s only UMNO nationalism which crushed all other variants.

Our country continues to be divided into UMNO Malays, non-UMNO Malays, Chinese Indians, Melanaus, Ibans, dayaks, kadazans so on and so forth. The indigenous people in Sabah and Sarawak are only Bumiputeras if they are willing to give up their own ethnicity and become Melayu. Otherwise your 10% strength serves only to add comfort to the Peninsula Malays so that they can say they are 61% strong.

The fact is Malays are only 50-51% strong in Malaysia. To the Sabahans and Sarawakians, I only ask- how come when it comes to claiming to be Malays, UMNO doesn’t differentiate you but when it comes to distributing gains and rewards, UMNO discriminates you. And still you want to be with UMNO despite the discrimination and humiliation. What is it with East Malaysians? Do they have political BDSM or what?

As long as UMNO plays us off against one another along racial lines, we cannot have a Malaysian Nationalism. So Najib’s 1Malaysia is a hypocritical slogan with no real intent. It’s already dead before it can assume life and will be buried without tombstone if it’s not already buried.

A former deputy UMNO president and a former deputy PM puts it laconically; UMNO’s survival strategy is to show that it’s more Malay than Berjaya and more Islamic than PAS. And it cannot win in both areas by being on the same level; because in the case of Perkasa, the NGO gained the earlier ground to put up the claim; in PAS’s case, Islam has long been the party’s raison d’être.

So its only option is to appear ultra-racist and ultra-religious. We are looking at the rise of UMNO’s Reich-wing nationalism and the start of UMNO’s inquisition.

One comment on “The Enemy of the People

  1. Dear Encik. Mohd Ariff Sabri,

    I salute you for speaking up as a true Malaysian..We need more people like you.. We don’t need hypocrites who stir up racial slanders ” divide and rule” ; taking the opportunity to deplete the national coffer… Many good brilliant, smart Malaysians have left the country..It is truly sad…If left unchecked, with crynonism, nepotism and corruption so rampant. Malaysia will be just be another Greece but in South East Asia..I feel very sad that national leaders provoke the unity of Malaysians of all races irrespective of race, religious, culture,social and economic background allowing and encouraging publications of racist articles presumably controlled by political parties. I always truly believe that we are Malaysians, born and bred in this beloved country but our leaders on the other hand treat us like “dirt” labelling us “pendatang”. Worse still, the former PM is the Advisor to Perkasa, a notorious racist NGO…

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