Menang sorak kampung tergadai

Have a look at the video below. That is a specially edited video, which is being distributed through the Umno network. Maybe not every Malaysian, in particular Malays in the rural areas, uses the Internet. But they do have TV sets and DVD/VCD players. And if DNBN can distribute 200,000 anti-government DVDs to those in the rural areas who do not have Internet access, do you mean to say that Umno cannot also produce 1 million copies of the video below and do the same thing?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

There was something very interesting that I experienced back in the 1970s. 

My wife and I made a trip to Golok with her mother in tow. We had just moved to Kuala Terengganu then. When we crossed the border, I jumped onto the back of a motorcycle while my wife and her mother took a trishaw. My mother-in-law was too big to fit on the back seat of the kap chai.

We agreed to meet in the Mer Lin Hotel.

Aha….I can see many of you smile. I am sure you too have fond memories of your stay in that hotel. Well, let’s talk about all that another time, maybe in more private surroundings.

I, of course, reached first, and hung around waiting for the rest of my party to arrive. As I sat there, a pimp approached me and enquired whether I would like a girl. Well, with my wife probably ten minutes or so behind me, I certainly had no choice but to decline. I just said, “Are you crazy? Today is Friday!”

It was Friday, the weekend for the East Coast, and I spoke in Malay, of course.

“No problem,” replied the pimp, “our girls are all Muslims.”

I could not help but chuckle at this retort. He assumed that since I pantang (taboo) on Friday then I must be a Muslim, although I looked Kwailo, and hence I would prefer a Muslim girl, being a ‘holy’ day and all that.

I again politely declined and said I do not want a girl, to which the pimp replied, “We also have boys. The boys are very young and sexy.” Ah, now he is talking.

He probably saw my eyes light up and thought he had a sale. Then my wife walked in and that ended our very interesting negotiation.

I suppose people are like that. They always assume and jump to conclusions. If they offer you a beer before dinner and you refuse, that means you do not drink. It could be you only drink brandy and you normally have a glass of brandy with your cigar after dinner, not before, like a more cultured person would.

If the waiter recommends the steak and assures you that it is the speciality of the restaurant and you decline, he would assume you must be a Hindu, since you do have a dark complexion. It could be you are actually a Christian and for health reasons you steer clear of red meat and only partake in white meat, which is what I also try to do. (As a rule, we only eat chicken at home and will not eat meat unless we go out for dinner, which may be once a month).

And this is the problem we are currently facing with regards to the Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim issue. You assume and jump to the conclusion that he is opposed to Bersih or he supports Barisan Nasional or he does not care for clean, free and fair elections or whatever. And that would be like assuming a person who does not eat beef must be a Hindu. 

Considering that Tunku Aziz was born before WWII, and being educated and intelligent and a person who knows history — and more importantly, comprehends history — he understands the implications of what we do. He knows that for every action there will be a reaction. And we may not quite like that reaction, especially if those reacting are more powerful and have more resources available to them. 

Tunku Aziz is opposed to violence, vandalism, mob rule, taunts, jeers, provocation, and whatnot. And being a man of his age, I really do not blame him. He is not a street fighter. He is not a physical man. He is not a man who will engage in fisticuffs even if it is a boxing match using Queensbury rules. Not every human being is prepared to settle a dispute with his or her fists.

Have a look at the video below. That is a specially edited video, which is being distributed through the Umno network. Maybe not every Malaysian, in particular Malays in the rural areas, uses the Internet. But they do have TV sets and DVD/VCD players. And if DNBN can distribute 200,000 anti-government DVDs to those in the rural areas who do not have Internet access, do you mean to say that Umno cannot also produce 1 million copies of the video below and do the same thing?

Now, I may be wrong, but quite a number of those who participated in the Bersih 3.0 rally on 28th April 2012 were quite young. That’s what the videos and pictures show. I suspect that many were born after Merdeka or probably after 1969. That means many would not know what happened in early May 1969.

Read the extract from Wikipedia below that video. I have checked its accuracy and I would say that there is not much error in the write-up. In fact, I too have written the same thing myself many times before and what I said in the past is not far from what the Wikipedia report said below. More importantly, I was 19 years old at that time and was a witness to the events of early May 1969. 

Now, do another thing. Take off your Pakatan Rakyat cap and pretend that you are a non-partisan Malaysian who holds no party allegiance. Then look at the video again, this time without any lenses, and tell me what you see. Can you see 28th April 2012 as a similar situation to 10th May 1969?

This is what many of those from the older generation, people such as Tunku Aziz, fear. Umno is desperate, just like how desperate they were back in May 1969. And if you were Umno would you not exploit what happened on 28th April 2012 to your advantage? If I were Umno I would. I would be a fool not to. 

Hence, what have we gained, if we were to gauge ‘success’ by the contents of the video below? There was a lot of dendam in May 1969. I just hope that 28th April 2012 has not also bred dendam. If it has, then, as the Malays would say: menang sorak kampung tergadai. 

Dendam is a very powerful motivation. My concern is not whether Pakatan Rakyat can win the next general election. There is certainly a good chance that it can in spite of the cheating and gerrymandering. (If not Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak would have called for the elections by now.) My concern is that Pakatan Rakyat does win the next general election and those who harbour dendam will want to take revenge on the taunts, jeers, insults, provocation, etc. 

I love history. But what I hate about history is for the tendency of history to repeat itself. That has always been the downfall of many — not learning from the mistakes of history. We always seem to celebrate the winning of the battles and then mourn the defeat in the war. That is what menang sorak kampung tergadai means.



Run-up to polling day

The causes of the rioting can be analysed to have the same root as the 1964 riots in Singapore, the event rooted from sentiments before the campaigning was bitterly fought among various political parties prior to polling day on 10 May 1969, and party leaders stoked racial and religious sentiments in order to win support.

The Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) accused the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) of selling the rights of the Malays to the Chinese, while the Democratic Action Party (DAP) accused the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) of giving in to UMNO. The DAP promoted the concept of a “Malaysian Malaysia”, which would remove the Malays of their special rights under the Constitution of Malaysia. Both the DAP and Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP) objected to Malay as the national language and proposed multi-lingualism instead. 

Senior Alliance politicians, including Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, accused Singapore-based People’s Action Party of involvement in the campaign, as it had done during the 1964 general election campaign (at the time when Singapore was part of the Malaysian federation between 1963 and 1965). 

The run-up to the election was also marred by two deaths: that of an UMNO election agent, who was killed by a group of armed Chinese youths in Penang and that of a member of the Labour Party of Malaya (LPM), who was killed in Kepong, Selangor. 

There was a contrast in the handling of these two deaths. The UMNO worker was buried without publicity, but the LPM casualty was honoured at a parade on 9 May when some 3,000 LPM members marched from Kuala Lumpur to Kepong, violating regulations and trying to provoke incidents with the police.

Election results 

Amidst tensions among the Malay and Chinese population, the general election was held on 10 May 1969. Election day itself passed without any incidents, and the results showed that the Alliance had gained a majority in Parliament at the national level, albeit a reduced one, and in Selangor it had gained the majority by cooperating with the sole independent candidate.

The Opposition had tied with the Alliance for control of the Selangor state legislature, a large setback in the polls for the Alliance. On the night of 11 and 12 May, the Opposition celebrated their victory. In particular, a large Gerakan procession welcomed the left-wing Gerakan leader V. David.

On 12 May, thousands of Chinese marched through Kuala Lumpur, parading through predominantly Malay areas, hurling insults, which led to the incident. The largely Chinese opposition Democratic Action Party and Gerakan gained in the elections, and secured a police permit for a victory parade through a fixed route in Kuala Lumpur.

However, the rowdy procession deviated from its route and headed through the Malay district of Kampung Baru, jeering at the inhabitants. Some demonstrators carried brooms, later alleged to symbolise the sweeping out of the Malays from Kuala Lumpur, while others chanted slogans about the “sinking” of the Alliance boat – the coalition’s logo.

The Gerakan party issued an apology on 13 May for their rally goers’ behaviour.

In addition, Malay leaders who were angry about the election results used the press to attack their opponents, contributing to raising public anger and tension among the Malay and Chinese communities. On 13 May, members of UMNO Youth gathered in Kuala Lumpur, at the residence of Selangor Menteri Besar Dato’ Harun Haji Idris in Jalan Raja Muda, and demanded that they too should hold a victory celebration. 

While UMNO announced a counter-procession, which would start from the Harun bin Idris’s residence, Tunku Abdul Rahman would later call the retaliatory parade “inevitable”, as otherwise the party members would be demoralised after the show of strength by the Opposition and the insults that had been thrown at them.