Raja Petra Interview: Mahathir is man of many facets

But we shall make them all pay for this. When the government falls we shall see a lynching a la the French, Bolshevik, Iranian, etc., revolutions. This revolution may yet turn bloody. We never know. But Umno is certainly pushing its luck and one day it will push too far and blood will flow on the streets like it did once in 1969.

Written by Ali Cordoba, WFOL.com

Ali Cordoba: Riau Islands, Indonesia. Wfol.tv, 2 August 2009:-  ExclusiveNo Holds Barred and Straight Forward…this is the very first interview of World Future Online TV with Raja Petra Kamarudin, the famous Editor of the most popular blog on the Malaysian webscene.  This interview is brought to our many, many readers in a bid to get a better understanding of the Malaysian political scene and more interviews of Malaysian figure heads (opposition or government) will follow.  (Note: Interview was carried via email exchanges with RPK)


Wfol.tv: The Teoh case: What is your personal opinion on this matter? We have read your articles on the issue yet we feel that it is better to ask you directly what you think of the whole thing? We do not want to ask if its murder or suicide. What we want to hear from you is do you think this will influence local politics? In what way?

RPK: It would certainly have a great impact on Malaysian politics. Teoh’s death epitomises what the non-Malays have to endure at the hands of the enforcement agencies. Indians and Chinese suffer the most when it comes to detention and other matters related to the Malaysian authorities. They treat Malays gentler compared to the non-Malays.

The fact that Umno says the Chinese opposition to what the MACC did to Teoh translates to the Chinese challenging Malay political power strengthens this argument. The MACC and all other agencies of its ilk are perceived as Malay agencies and this is supported by Umno’s own argument. To challenge the MACC means you are challenging the Malays. Therefore, what happened to Teoh can also be translated as the Malays oppressing the Chinese. Even Umno agrees with this.

Teoh’s death may have been the thing needed to really turn the stomachs of the Chinese. His death is most unfortunate. But his death woke up the Chinese like never before. Now the Chinese realise that their lives are cheap.

Wfol.tv: The racial issue: What should the government do to put an end to the race problems that has arisen in Malaysia after the 2008 elections? We are asking you due to the fact that you are known to be a person who do not put race ahead in your political, citizen and journalistic concerns. In short, do you think this current government can end the race problems in Malaysia?

RPK: Certainly not. Barisan Nasional is perpetuating racism. The very foundation of Umno, MCA and MIC, the three leading component members of Barisan Nasional, is race. They need race to remain relevant. Minus race, who needs Umno, MCA and MIC?

See what happened on March 2008. When the races united, Barisan Nasional suffered a beating. Only when the races are divided can Barisan Nasional excel.

The only way to eliminate racism would be to eliminate Barisan Nasional. You end the plague by burning the rats.

Wfol.tv: The Malays are being blamed for the 'race' troubles in the country. However, we see little done by the non-Malaysia in particular to try to cement the races. We are thinking of the rich and loaded Chinese citizens of Malaysia who were given the opportunity to make it and reap the benefits of the years of economic boom. Today they are filthy rich, so to say, but yet they want more and they are not helping the country in any ways. What we mean is they are taking and asking more but they are giving much less to the country. Think of the list of 40 top richest people in Malaysia for example.

RPK: You are of course talking about the Barisan Nasional Chinese and Indians. They are as corrupt and racist as the Umno Malays. Umno, MCA and MIC are cut from the same cloth. Yes, not only are the Malays to blame. The ‘running dogs’ of the Malays are equally guilty.

You are right. The Chinese and Indians are no less guilty, in particular the Chinese who put money before all else. These people would sell their daughters for money. They know what Umno stands for. Yet they support Umno because of money. They are traitors to their own race.

Wfol.tv: Tun Mahathir has turned the 'race' issue as his horse battle. Is he really gunning for 'Malay' power or is he simply trying to gain attention once again in the already competitive political landscape in Malaysia? What would be your advise to local politicians who are outright playing the race card to win support, votes and attention?

RPK: Many Chinese and Indians became super-rich during the time of Dr Mahathir. Mahathir is a racist when it comes to politics but not when it comes to money. He uses race to garner Malay support but works with the Chinese and Indians when it comes to business.

Mahathir is man of many facets. And he can switch from one to the other whenever the situation demands it. That makes Mahathir a good politician. Good politicians must know how to play to the gallery and how to change colours like a chameleon. And Mahathir can do this.  

Take that as a positive statement on my part.

Wfol.tv: The sodomy II case: Do you think the case is already lost by the Anwar Ibrahim camp?

That depends on whether you are talking about the legal system or the court of public opinion. Anwar would probably lose his battle in court. That would not be a surprise to most of us. And we would not be too worried about that. Anwar is, after all, collateral damage.

I know this sounds very cold; but maybe the best thing for Pakatan Rakyat is for the government to send Anwar to jail, yet again, on trumped up charges. Teoh’s death was a boost to the opposition, as much as this may sound insensitive and cold-blooded of me to say so.

In a revolution we can’t avoid victims. People get hurt. And let’s face it; what we are seeing in Malaysia today is a revolution of sorts. So we will see victims. Teoh was a victim. Anwar is also a victim. We shall be seeing many more victims before this revolution is over.

But we shall make them all pay for this. When the government falls we shall see a lynching a la the French, Bolshevik, Iranian, etc., revolutions. This revolution may yet turn bloody. We never know. But Umno is certainly pushing its luck and one day it will push too far and blood will flow on the streets like it did once in 1969.

The rise of pro-Umno blogs: Will this phenomena be an additional plus to the Umno and the BN or will it sink them further due to the nature of these blogs, which borders on pure racism with an extreme right nature? Would you qualify yourself as a 'left-wing' political activist?

RPK: Ummo admitted it did badly in March 2008 because it lost the Internet war. So, if you can't beat them, join them. And Umno too wants to fight in the Internet arena. But it is causing more damage than helping it cause. It is like giving a man a gun and he shoots his own side.

Starting a Blog is one thing. But the popularity of your Blog depends on its content. And this is what Umno can’t understand. It has no content worth reading.

Wfol.tv: The authorities are curbing on the Internet, attempting at collecting all information possible on anti-government bloggers and so on. Will this affect websites like Malaysia Today? Or do you feel the authorities are actually fighting against the windmills?

RPK: I suppose when the ‘committee’ made the decision that I should go underground and avoid being sent back to Kamunting this is exactly the reason why. I was in fact preparing myself for a long stint under ISA. The ‘committee’, however, felt that my two months under ISA from September to November 2008 did not do Malaysia Today any good.

No, Malaysia Today will continue, in spite of what they are trying to do to silence us. We shall continue hitting Barisan Nasional and Umno until it is forced out of office. That is my mission and vision. And there is very little Barisan Nasional and Umno can do short of sending an assassin to put a bullet in my head.