Stupid of DAP to call Indians stupid

How far can it go in politics by making issues out of race, colour and language?

The Third Force is still a work in progress. Its eventual realisation will be as a solid voting bloc in Parliament, for example, that is poised evenly between BN and PR. It can back either BN or PR to form the government without itself being part of one.

Joe Fernandez, Free Malaysia Today

The DAP, at least in Perak, is getting into the news for all the wrong reasons these days.

First, Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming ventilated his ignorance on the science of colour by making derogatory references to Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir’s dark complexion. This was at a ceramah in Kamunting in September. The recording of it has just made YouTube in a belated broadcast.

Now we have Perak DAP chairman Ngeh Koo Kam dismissing Indians – in his tweet message – as stupid in politics “but not as stupid as they think they are”.

Obviously, he is saying that Indians have a lower opinion of themselves in politics than they should, “given the reality of the facts”.

Given the above two incidents, Hindraf Makkal Sakthi Chairman P Waythamoorthy is unlikely to pursue any plan to field candidates under DAP in many of the 15 parliamentary seats and 38 state seats since identified by the Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP), its political wing. All bets are off.

Waythamoorthy, reportedly, had been toying with the idea of fielding candidates under the DAP banner since HRP was denied registration by the authorities.

Hindraf and HRP are more than likely now to call on the Indian community to abstain from voting during the coming general election, the 13th, and prepare themselves for the 14th.

The idea is to make the eventual winners realise that they won because the Indians did not vote against them and the losers to realise they lost because the Indians did not vote for them.

How far is DAP prepared to go? Indeed, how far can it go in politics by making issues out of race, colour and language?

We can fall back on history a little to educate ourselves.

The last straw

DAP’s recent faux pas reminds us of May 10, 1969, when its leaders drove on open lorries through Kuala Lumpur, broom in hand, to declare that they would soon “sweep the Malays back to the kampungs”.

They could hardly contain themselves after picking up half the state seats in Perak and Selangor and making impressive electoral gains elsewhere.

That “sweep” remark was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Umno, just waiting for the right moment and an excuse, lashed back by unleashing the searing Sino-Malay race riots of May 13, 1969.

Elections in Sabah and Sarawak were suspended over strong protests in the two Borneo states. Parliament was suspended and replaced by the National Consultative Council. The Federal Cabinet was replaced by the National Operations Council headed by Abdul Razak Hussein, the father of current prime minister Najib.

Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was sent packing into retirement for being “too pro-Chinese”. The New Economic Policy (1970-90) was launched and observed more often than not in the breach.

It is precisely because Indians are not stupid that DAP finds it a great problem making further headway in politics. The party wants to add the strength of the Indians to its current strength, but it is clear that this is not going to happen unless it can somehow persuade the community to be stupid under the guise of being smart.

There is no doubt that the Chinese community on both sides of the South China Sea are united under Lim Kit Siang and DAP. They see a historical opportunity to walk in the corridors of power and supplement and complement and protect their economic power.

DAP cannot depend too much on getting Malay support since the community has other avenues like Umno, PAS and PKR. That leaves the Indian community as one logical new territory, besides the Dayaks, Dusuns and the Orang Asli.

But insulting Indians out of frustration is not going to endear the party to the community. To their credit, Umno and other Barisan Nasional (BN) parties have never referred to the Indian community in the same derogatory terms as DAP does.

Indian politics, unlike that of DAP, is not about taking power directly. So, what is good for the Chinese is not necessarily good for the Indians.

The Indian community is more inclined towards allowing the Orang Asli and Malays in Peninsular Malaysia, Dayaks in Sarawak and the Dusuns in Sabah taking and wielding power.

Any Indian who would sit in power would most likely want to get there from working under one of the local labels.

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Malayalee), current prime minister Najib (Indian-Bugis), former Sabah chief minister Harris Salleh (Indian-Barunai), current Sabah chief minister Musa Aman (Pathan-Dusun) and Zambry himself are a few examples which readily come to mind. Unfortunately, unlike the others, Mahathir did great damage to the Indian community.

DAP has to accept that the current thrust of Indian politics is to undo the damage to the community during the 22 years that Mahathir was in power.