After the 1969 Malaysian elections, Umno, the ruling party, redrew the city boundary of Kuala Lumpur to consolidate its Malay majority. Almost 40 years on and Umno discovers, much to its horror, that this plan worked for only one generation. And Umno now talks about how to grab back the 'Malay states lost to Chinese hands'. As Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia Today says: "The more Umno talks, the more damage they create."

 

I have been attending quite a few Umno (United Malays National Organisation) brainstorm sessions, organised for the specific purpose of conducting a postmortem on the March 8, 2008 Malaysian general elections. Of course, not all were open forums like the Hotel Singgahsana and Holiday Villa ones. Many were closed-door sessions. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as 'closed-door' to Malaysia Today. We not only have our tentacles in the meeting rooms and boardrooms but in the bedrooms as well.

For example, one closed-door session chaired by Muhammad son of Muhammad, the 'expired' politician who managed to convince an Australian court that he speekee no Ingleesh, and handpicked by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to head the 'Grab Back Selangor from the Opposition' campaign, came to the conclusion that Malaysia Today was a contributing factor in Barisan Nasional's disastrous performance.

And what should they do about it? The Vice-Youth Chief of Umno PJ Utara came out with the perfect solution. "Arrest Raja Petra!"

And why do these 'highly-educated' Umno people want me arrested? Because the voters exercised their democratic right in a general election. It seems it is a crime for the voters to vote for any other than Umno and Barisan Nasional. Why then hold the elections? Why not Umno and Barisan Nasional just abolish the elections and the government rule perpetually? Then no crime can be committed because no one would then be able to vote and therefore they will not be able to vote against Umno and Barisan Nasional.

Has it not occurred to these Melayu Baru that not only is voting your right but voting for whomsoever you like is also your right? There has been no crime committed here. So why must I be arrested when what the voters did was merely to exercise their democratic right as enshrined in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia? Read the Constitution properly. It says that elections will be held after three years and before five years from the last election and all eligible citizens may register as voters and exercise their right to vote. It does not say anywhere in the Constitution that the voters must vote for Umno or Barisan Nasional.

As I said, education is wasted on these Melayu Baru from Umno and the Chinese and Indians should thank Umno for the biased New Economic Policy and the manipulation of racial quotas in local universities. I, for one, do not wish for my children or grandchildren to receive a local university education if the end product would be graduates with the narrow and outdated mentality of the likes of these Umno Melayu Baru.

Anyway, back to the Umno brainstorm sessions I attended. The latest one was on April 26 at the Holiday Villa in Subang and the guest of honour was Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. First of all, Muhammad son of Muhammad instructed the Umno branch and division heads and committee members to boycott the event, so the hall was not full in spite of it being quite a small hall (they actually announced this in the gathering). Most of the key people were absent save for those such as Tamrin Ghaffar, Mazlan Harun, Fahmi Ibrahim, Kadar Shah, etc. - who most of you have probably never heard of. I would not go so far as to classify them as 'expired goods' but they would certainly not be in the same league as the powerbrokers, kingpins and warlords.

Kuala Lumpur... can still be controlled through Dewan Bandaraya, the Datuk Bandar, the Minister of Federal Territory, etc. This means, even if all the seats in Kuala Lumpur fall to the opposition, the government will still be able to retain control - like what is happening now even though 10 out of 11 seats are under opposition control.

The theme of the entire session was that the Malays have lost political power. In 2004 there were 119 Malay Members of Parliament if the number of seats that Umno and PAS won are combined. This time around the number of Malay Parliamentarians was reduced to 101. They very cleverly left out the 20 Malay Members of Parliament from PKR which would bring the 2008 total to 121, which is higher than in 2004.

Maybe Umno considers PAS a Malay party. Therefore the 23 PAS Parliamentarians are included in the head count - while PKR is considered a Chinese-Indian party so the 20 Malay Parliamentarians from PKR are considered 'non-Malays'. Anyway, the bottom-line is: there was an increase in Malay Members of Parliament this time around, so this 'Malays have lost their political power' argument is an outright lie. The figures speak for themselves. We have more Malay Parliamentarians now than in 2004. Period.

But does it really matter what race these Members of Parliament are? What is important is that they do their job, serve the people, and run this country well. I would rather have a sincere, dedicated, honest, hardworking, and God-fearing Chinese, Indian, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist Wakil Rakyat than a slimeball, scumbag, crooked, hypocritical, manipulative, Malay-Muslim whose sole purpose in life is to cheat, rob, rape, plunder and murder people who get in their way and interfere with their plans.

And is this not what we have witnessed over 50 years, in particular the last 40 years or so since they ousted the perfect Malay gentleman called Tunku Abdul Rahman?

While on the subject of the Tunku, allow me to talk about what was revealed at the session in Holiday Villa. Other than Tengku Razaleigh, who read out his speech from a prepared text, the other two speakers were Mazlan Harun and Fahmi Ibrahim. Mazlan is the son of the infamous Datuk Harun Idris, the engineer and architect of the equally infamous 'May 13' race riots in 1969. Fahmi Ibrahim was Datuk Harun's political secretary.

The MC had a very strange way of introducing Tengku Razaleigh. The MC, who spoke too much and spoke more than what he should, introduced Tengku Razaleigh as a very short man and short men, said the MC, are known to be very smart. Now, what has a man's height got to do with how smart he is? Next, the MC said that Tengku Razaleigh may be considered too old at 71, but that does not mean he still does not have a few good years left in him.

So, now, [Umno is] conducting postmortems all over the country to figure out what went wrong. But what they are saying gives an impression that they do not yet have their fingers on the pulse... And they keep reflecting on May 1969 when, according to them, the same thing happened. But they had solved the problem in 1969. How come, now, the problem has cropped up again, after almost 40 years or one generation?

Fahmi Ibrahim then spoke about how the Malays once lost political power in 1969 and Tun Razak, who had ousted the Tunku and had taken over as Prime Minister, summoned Datuk Harun and told him to come out with a plan on how the Malays can grab back political power and prevent this fiasco ever happening again.

They decided that the only way to grab back Selangor and ensure that Selangor remains in Malay hands would be to isolate the non-Malays. And this would be done by kicking out Kuala Lumpur from Selangor and then by creating a new 'Malay city' called Shah Alam. They sat down to redraw the Kuala Lumpur boundary and two weeks later they submitted the new Kuala Lumpur master plan to Tun Razak.

The federal government then annexed Kuala Lumpur and, in the same process, the non-Malays were 'kicked out' of Selangor. Shah Alam was then developed and flooded with Malays to dilute whatever non-Malays left in Selangor. In fact, constituencies like Bangsar-Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur, which had a majority Chinese-Indian population and which the opposition always won, were also diluted when Malay areas like Pantai, Sungai Pancala (near Kepong), Segambut Dalam (near Jalan Ipoh) and Kampong Pasir (in Old Kelang Road), were merged with Bangsar-Brickfields to become Lembah Pantai.

But now, lamented Fahmi Ibrahim, the Malays are also voting opposition, so these 'Malay-majority' areas have fallen to the opposition. This plan works well when the non-Malays vote opposition while the Malays vote government. But when the Malays also vote opposition then the result would be like what we saw on March 8, 2008.

The Umno 'masterminds' appear lost. They faced this same problem in 1969 and they solved it then by redrawing the constituencies so that there would be no non-Malay majority areas. And where they can't do much, like in Kuala Lumpur, they then remove Kuala Lumpur from Selangor. Selangor would then remain in Malay hands while Kuala Lumpur, which will fall into the hands of the non-Malays, can still be controlled through Dewan Bandaraya, the Datuk Bandar, the Minister of Federal Territory, etc. This means, even if all the seats in Kuala Lumpur fall to the opposition, the government will still be able to retain control - like what is happening now even though 10 out of 11 seats are under opposition control.

Umno tries to sabotage the five opposition-led state governments by squeezing their finances so that the states can be brought to the brink of bankruptcy... And the more Umno "steals" the five states' money, the deeper the hole becomes with which we can bury Umno for eternity.

Another revelation of Fahmi Ibrahim was that the late Agong, who was then the Sultan of Selangor, cried as he signed over Kuala Lumpur to the federal government. This is actually true and most Malaysians saw this live on TV. The Sultan was terribly unhappy at having to hand over a big chunk of very valuable Selangor territory to the federal government. But there was really nothing much His Majesty could do.

The federal government of Tun Razak and the Selangor State Government of Datuk Harun wanted to get rid of Kuala Lumpur so that Selangor could be 'saved'. Almost 40 years on and they have discovered, much to their horror, that this plan worked for only one generation. One generation later and this senjata sudah makan tuan (translation: "the weapon has turned on its owner").

So, now, they are conducting postmortems all over the country to figure out what went wrong. But what they are saying gives an impression that they do not yet have their fingers on the pulse. They are going around in circles like headless chickens trying to figure out what to do. And they keep reflecting on May 1969 when, according to them, the same thing happened. But they had solved the problem in 1969. How come, now, the problem has cropped up again, after almost 40 years or one generation?

Yes, that is how Umno does its postmortems and how it is taking corrective measures to restore the 'lost Malay political power'. And Hishammuddin Hussein 'apologises' that the Chinese misunderstood his keris drama when he was only demonstrating 'Malay culture' and which the Chinese should get used to because it may happen again in December this year.

And Umno talks about how to grab back the 'Malay states lost to Chinese hands' like how it happened once before in 1969. And Umno tries to sabotage the five opposition-led state governments by squeezing their finances so that the states can be brought to the brink of bankruptcy.

Yes, the more Umno talks, the more damage they create. And the more Umno "steals" the five states' money, the deeper the hole becomes with which we can bury Umno for eternity. Keep talking, Umno. Keep sabotaging the five states. But don't forget to also look out the window at the very severe economic Tsunami, the extremely high inflation, and the serious food shortage that is coming fast to our shores.

By the time Umno wakes up it will be like the morning after Boxing Day when the Tsunami hit this region. There will be nothing left to save amongst those thousands of bodies floating in the flooded fields and rivers. By then it will not matter who is running this country because there may not be any country left to run. And when that happens, the new four-letter word on every Malaysian's lips will be U-M-N-O.

Note: The above article was posted on www.malaysia-today.net (Your source of independent news). Raja Petra Kamarudin started the Malaysia Today website and his blog to facilitate open discussion on Malaysia's political and social scenes. A relative of a former Malaysian King from Selangor and known for his hard-hitting commentaries, which are often infused with humour, Raja Petra is also the author of When Time Stood Still and From Prince To Prisoner.

Other articles by Raja Petra:

Running Dog Running Scared
Magic, Sheer Magic
Ku Li or Anwar? The Race Is On
The Countdown Begins
Between Reality And Perception
The Aftermath Of The 'Bloodbath'
Why We Are Voting Tomorrow
Guarding An Empty Field







For more... email mybigo@bigozine.com with the message, "Put me on your mailing list."

 
May 2, 2008