Chun Wai: Blinkered racism analysis to demonise a Statesman?

Wong Chun Wai, kudos for being quick on the draw when it comes to exposing racism or any other misdemeanour of a Malay leader and in this case, the Fifth UMNO President and Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

From what we have perceived in his blog New Malaysia, Wong, who is the Group Editor in Chief for  The Star, is truly the very essence of what Dr Mahathir had intended to highlight in his blog in the posting Pohon Maaf” which Wong took offence and accused of the former Prime Minister of sharpening racial tones.

This is not the first time Wong had targetted Dr Mahathir for wrongdoings. Among others, corrupt practices as well as curtailing press freedom.

We will address the accusation of Dr Mahathir sharpening racial tones in his blog of the title mentioned above. We all read Dr Mahathir’s blog and his subsequent follow up posting called Pohon Maaf 2.

While Wong’s criticisms was on the first and not the second. Reading Dr Mahathir’s posting, it was obvious he was expressing the sentiments of many Malays and what they felt about the whole issue of Deputy PM Najib Tun Razak’s apology on behalf of Ahmad Ismail which was rejected by the non-Malay political leaders, including from the MCA which Wong is serving.

While it can be argued that Dr Mahathir, by bringing in the issue of Wee Meng Chee and Hindraf, it was not whether they apologised or that they were arrested under the ISA, the point is that the non-Malays did not take issue with Wee nor Hindraf when his action and their memorandum was definitely insulting to the Malays.

We do think Dr Mahathir’s views are shared by many Malays who felt that when a Malay commit an act which insulted the non-Malays, the non-Malays are quick to react and chastise him or her but when the non-Malays commit the act, instead of practising similar standards, tend to either be an apologist of the perpetrator or become defensive when criticised by the Malays.

It is so in the case of Wee Meng Chee. No doubt the MCA organised the “apology” for Wee but the intention was to ensure that he would not bear the full brunt of the anger of the Malays.

In short, the MCA was not upset with Wee for demeaning Negaraku and making fun of the Muslim call for prayers, rather to ensure that he goes unpunished. In other words, the MCA did not find Wee’s action as offensive or offensive enough to deserve any punishment other than probably a smack on the hand.

Similarly in the case of Hindraf. If Wong and the rest of the non-Malay community found that Ahmad Ismail’s remarks offensive and deserving a punishent even to the extend of the full force of the sedition laws as proposed by the MCA president wannabe Ong Tee Keat (not forgetting Lim Guan Eng’s police report to the ACA in case Ahmad gets away unpunished), surely similar demand should have been made against the Hindraf leaders by the alert MCA leaders and newspaper editor, the DAP and the rest who are bent on seeing Ahmad crucified for his alleged seditious slurs (alleged because he has denied it and accused Sin Chew of manipulating his speech – in the case of Hindraf, their seditious slurs are there in black and white in the memorandum which Wong could have donwloaded and printed it and judge it as quick as he judged Dr Mahathir).

What can we conclude from here?

Obviously that Dr Mahathir had pointed out that when a Malay makes a remark which hurts the non-Malays, they will come out in full force to condemn and demand for “blood” but when actions or remarks uttered which hurts the Malays, the silence can be deafening or worst, becoming apologists or the defender of the non-Malay perpetrator or perpetrators.

It is obvious that such a racially divide reactions are a sing of the times – the present Umno leadership is too weak to keep his the Malays at bay and equally weak to have any regards from the component parties to trust him to handle the issue fairly.

We may sound like a Dr Mahathir’s apologist but we do not mind being labelled as one as we believe that during his tenure, Malays and non-Malays were kept at bay and any who attempted to cross the unseen lines of racial sensitivities.

Having said that, we go to the second issue of Wong targetting Dr Mahathir. To us, it is a clear signal of Wong’s opportunistic nature to remain as the chief editor in The Star.

As we have stated very early in this article Wong epitomise the very essence of what Dr Mahathir was trying to remind Malaysians, Malays and non-Malays alike, to be wary of.

A simple example will suffice to prove this point. At one time Wong had hailed the present leadership of promoting more openess and freedom for the Press and that it was muzzled during Dr Mahathir’s time.

Lest the public forget, Wong was in the forefront in supporting MCA’s move to takeover the control of two Chinese publications – much to the chagrin of the Chinese community.

The reason the MCA and Wong wanted the takeover was very simple – these publications were highly critical of the MCA. After the takeover, the circulation of the publications went down south but that was not of concern to Wong as it served the purpose of his political masters in the MCA.

To legitimise the move, the MCA leaders and Wong convinced Dr Mahathir that the takeover was necessary, accusing the publications as anti-Umno as much as anti-MCA.

While it does not absolve Dr Mahathir of partaking in the MCA and Wong’s devious move, Wong should not get on the moral high horse to judge others.

Another example would be Wong’s new found courage (after Dr Mahathir had stepped down and spurred on by the present administration) to raise issues of corruption and nepotism during Dr Mahathir’s reign.

Without providing any prove, Wong stated that corruption today was a legacy from Dr Mahathir’s time. It sounds fair as someone who had written on issues like corruption when Dr Mahathir took over would probably had said that it was inherited from Tun Hussein Onn.

But what Wong had written was not a glib as such – it was intended to paint that corruption was caused by Dr Mahathir.

Granted that there were corruption during Dr Mahathir’s rule, Wong was however muted about the corruption and nepotism of the MCA president during that period.

In fact, Wong would never encourage any reports on the questios raised about then MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik’s integrity when his son Hee Liong became a billionaire (mind you, a billionaire) before he was even 30 (the issue was raised by maverick businessman Soh Chee Wen but nary a word in The Star).

It can then be concluded that Wong was merely defending the MCA and his then master Dr Ling, but Wong had then contributed to the issue Dr Mahathir raised – why is it that the non-Malays, in this case Wong, was quick to point corruption and nepotism among Malay leaders but was silent when it comes to their own kind.

Such manner of reporting in actual fact, contributes to the sharpening of the racial tones, painting a picture that all that is bad only involves the Malay leaders and the non-Malay leaders are saints, not by declarations but merely by being silent.

The Malays, Dr Mahathir included, had readily admitted that abuses of power, corruption and all the ills one could think off in a capitalistic democracy. But the silence by Wong and his ilk when it comes to the shennanigans of the non-Malays would, for the short term, triumphed the non-Malays, but it would not contribute anything to the Bangsa Malaysia that Wong is proclaiming to be a champion of.

In that sense, Wong did not miss any points. He only gave us a glimpse of how racist he is, and being paid to be one.

Published in: on September 7, 2008 at 03:39  Comments (56)