What will they do about racism now?

By Kee Thuan Chye, Free Malaysia Today

Let’s wait and see what action will be taken against Siti Inshah Mansor, the principal of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Kulai, for the racist remarks she allegedly made at the Merdeka celebrations in her school.

The police will be concluding their investigations soon, under Section 504 of the Penal Code. If they have a case, Siti Inshah could be charged with provocation, which carries a maximum imprisonment of two years, a fine or both.

Meanwhile, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has called for her to be sacked. MCA president Chua Soi Lek calls for her to be transferred to a desk job and given counselling. How generous of Chua.

If she did what she is said to have done, she should instead be drawn and quartered, like in the good old days. Or have her head put in a cangue – you know, like in the Chinese movies, where the head and hands are locked up within a square wooden contraption.

Or she should be given the Japanese treatment – force-fed water while someone jumps on her bloated tummy, or hung from a tree by her thumbs, and displayed publicly for all to see that this is what happens to racists.

Of course, I’m being facetious, but this must surely be the fantasy of anyone who feels disgusted by any racist act. All the more so if it is committed by someone who is a principal of a school, who should be spreading the message of racial unity instead of – God forbid! – racial hatred.

Siti Inshah is alleged to have said that Chinese students are not needed in the school and can go back to China or Sekolah Foon Yew (a private Chinese school in Johor), and that the prayer strings Indian students wear on their neck and wrist make them look like dogs, and only dogs would be tied this way.

If the allegation is true, what could have possessed her to make her say such things? That is something that must be ascertained. Even if she had been provoked for some reason or other, it is still not her place to react this way to the students. She has a huge responsibility as a school principal to restrain her racist impulses.

Given the seriousness of the situation, if the allegation is true, how then can she be allowed to get away with it? If she were to be exonerated, imagine the damage she could further cause given her influential position.

If it is true that she behaved like a racist, her name should instead be remembered in the Hall of Shame.

Racial slurs

So far, however, among the Barisan Nasional parties, only the MCA and the MIC have criticised the action. Has any Umno leader come out to say anything against it? And if so, why not?