Awang Selamat gets an ‘F’

Given Utusan Malaysia’s track record in the past few years of spinning lies, its Awang Selamats do seem to be stupid. 

Kee Thuan Chye

SINGAPORE’s ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), is conniving the downfall of the Barisan Nasional government in Malaysia, and it’s doing it through its local proxy, the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

This is the most preposterous thing anyone has heard about what could happen at our upcoming 13th general election. The leaders of the PAP must be rolling on the floor with laughter.

That this piece of nonsense came out of Utusan Malaysia truly speaks badly of the Umno-owned newspaper. It is bandied about without any shred of evidence to support it. Instead, it comes with a wild allegation that the PAP has been waiting 48 years to achieve its “dream” in Peninsular Malaysia.

What “dream”? What would it benefit the PAP to see the fall of BN? And after that, what?

Whoever wrote that article (under the pseudonym of Awang Selamat) has no sense of logic. If Pakatan Rakyat wins the 13th general election, does it mean the DAP can invite the PAP to come into Peninsular Malaysia? It’s that easy, is it? The DAP’s coalition partners, PAS and PKR, would welcome the PAP with open arms?

Even schoolboys would not think that!

OK, only the DAP that helms the leadership of the Penang state government will make a pact with the PAP … but to do what? And again, its partners in the Penang administration will readily agree … to whatever it is?

OK, OK, why would Singapore want to have a stake in Malaysia? Why doesn’t Awang Selamat enlighten us on this?

He gives us nothing but circumstantial factors, like the DAP having been a splinter group of the PAP (yes, that was decades ago); that relations between the two parties have been enhanced since 2008 (pray tell, how?); that Lee Kuan Yew had visited Penang (yes, at the same time as he visited other states and also Rosmah and Najib).

Then he lamely states that he doesn’t want “to make too many assumptions but the great interest in Penang shown by Singapore begs questions”. That’s a cop-out. Does Awang Selamat really know? Or is he simply tembak-ing?

And he claims that Singapore plans to help Pakatan Rakyat in any way it can, including via “illegal demonstrations” (yes, it must be from the fuss over the presence of the three Singapore diplomats at the Bersih 3.0 rally) and other closed-door activities that will soon be exposed.

He expects us to be persuaded when he concludes: “All these should be seen as a signal (that they want to see) Malaysia’s government fall and be replaced with a new government where DAP is dominant”.

Poor track record

A student submitting an essay with this kind of reasoning would straight away get an F!

Why did he not think even a little bit before he made the allegation? Is he not aware that in having proven nothing, he will be seen as stupid?

Come to think of it, given Utusan Malaysia’s track record in the past few years of spinning lies, its Awang Selamats do seem to be stupid.

For instance, last year, how could they have thought that people would believe their lie about church leaders conspiring with the DAP to take over the government and Christianise the country?

First of all, how could the DAP take over the government when in 2008, it won only 28 parliamentary seats? Is it likely to win at least 112 seats (out of the total 222) this coming general election to take Putrajaya by a simple majority? Goodness! It may not even contest half that number!

OK, if Awang Selamat says the DAP does win Putrajaya as part of Pakatan Rakyat, that’s possible, but then how would the DAP proceed from there to Christianise the country? Would it try to get two-thirds majority to amend the Constitution to make Christianity the religion of the Federation, thus replacing Islam? Would PAS and PKR, both headed by Muslim leaders, allow it to even get to Parliament? As DAP strongman Karpal Singh might say, “Over their dead bodies!”

Also last year, who could have believed Utusan Malaysia’s lie about the DAP wanting to turn Malaysia into a republic by doing away with the Malay rulers?

How on earth could that have been possible? Doesn’t Awang Selamat know how stringent the legal process is to accomplish something like that, not to mention the emotional resistance? If the DAP were to merely suggest the idea, it would already spark an uprising; its leaders would also be locked up for sedition. The party would not even have a chance to propose the motion in Parliament. And even if it did, how would it be able to move a two-thirds vote in Parliament to remove the royalty?

Do the Awang Selamats of Utusan Malaysia live in some kind of fairyland where politicians can make things happen just by wishing for them to happen? Have they not progressed beyond primary school – or, worse, nursery school?

How does Utusan Malaysia get away with publishing such falsehood, not once, not twice, but more, without the Home Ministry taking stern action against it?

The one occasion in recent times the ministry did take some action was when it merely issued the newspaper a warning letter over its publication of the Christian conspiracy story. There was cause to slam it with sedition, since – in the words of the Sedition Act – it raised “discontent or disaffection amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia”, but the ministry chose to ignore that.

It’s sad indeed for the state of journalism in our country that newspapers do the opposite of what they should really be doing – presenting lies instead of the truth. Such practice is the hallmark of gutter journalism. It should have no place in decent society.

A desperate Umno?

How can the leaders of Umno stand by and watch what Utusan Malaysia publishes and say nothing against it?

Keeping silent is a form of endorsement, so how can they endorse such rubbish? The newspaper is, after all, owned mainly by the party.

Thus, what it does can make the party look bad. What it does also subverts Najib’s 1Malaysia. Why has he said nothing to bring Utusan Malaysia back to honest journalism?

More than anything else, Utusan Malaysia’s lying has managed to reinforce the public perception that in light of the upcoming general election, Umno must be desperate.

A confident party would not allow the newspaper it owns to resort to lying. In the end, this might actually hurt the Umno cause.

But what should concern us more is the harm articles like this can do to ordinary people, especially young students who read the newspaper. They will be exposed to lies and the practice of lying. They will be recipients of wrong values.

That is something no decent person or organisation can condone. Shame on Utusan Malaysia for not taking this into account. Shame on the Home Ministry for letting it happen.

Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling book No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians, available in major bookstores.