Archive for the 'Ethnicity' Category

Mr Misunderstood

Man of the hour misunderstood…

Ibrahim Ali: I was misunderstood

By Clara Chooi
June 21, 2011

Ibrahim making his speech Sunday which he claims has been “misunderstood”. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, June  21 — Under attack for his race riot insinuations over the Bersih rally, Datuk Ibrahim Ali came out saying he’s “misunderstood” and his statement on the Chinese was advice and not a threat.


Repeatedly blamingThe Malaysian Insiderfor twisting his statement on Sunday out of context, an angry-looking Ibrahim told Parliament reporters he is willing to be investigated for sedition since he has done nothing wrong.

He explained that when he told the Chinese community to stay home and stock up on food on the day of the Bersih rally, he was not insinuating that they would be attacked or that the gathering would turn into a bloody racial clash.

“I said it was better for the Chinese to stay home and if they need to, stock up on food… what does that mean? That means that usually, when there are street protests, I do not see the Chinese participating.

“The Chinese never participate in street demonstrations as far as I am concerned. So this demonstration, I foresee that it will be the Malays from PAS participating and then Umno and us so it will be a clash among the Malays… so in order to avoid from it spreading to the other races, I said that it is better for the Chinese to stay back, that is all,” he said.

The Malaysian Insider reported the Pasir Mas MP as saying on Sunday during he launch of Perkasa’s counter-protest against Bersih that the Chinese community should stay indoors on July 9 and stock up on food as “anything could happen”.

Several lawmakers across the political divide have lambasted Ibrahim for turning the rally, which calls for free and fair elections, into a racial issue.

Forum on ethnicity and the media in Penang

Of late, ethnicity (and also religion) has taken centre stage in many sections of the mainstream media, with a few of the media organisations carrying the kind of reporting that only causes uneasiness, to say the least, among members of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society.

It is therefore most appropriate and timely that the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), along with Suaram Penang and PEWAJU (Pertubuhan Wartawan dan Jurugambar Akhbar Cina Pulau Pinang), is organising a public forum on the portrayal of ethnicity in the media, which will be held today at 8.30 pm at Han Chiang College.

The panellists are:

1. Mr. Ha’ta Wahari (NUJ President and former Utusan journalist)
2. Mr. Himanshu Bhatt (senior Penang-based journalist)
3. Dr Carmen Nge (academic and ethnicity trainer)

Living in a box

A parochial, blinkered view of the world certainly requires an appropriate response. And thus, Mahathir’s (who once promoted the notion of ‘Bangsa Malaysia’) contention that Kelantan MB Nik Aziz should be grateful for being born Malay “because this meant that he would be Muslim” only deserves this apt response from Nik Aziz himself:

PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said today that he did not ask to be born Malay.

The Kelantan Mentri Besar added that it was only by coincidence that he was born in this country.

Nik Aziz said that it did not matter what community he was born into as long as he was a Muslim.

Scooting to the right

(Photo credit: mio_color_black02.jpg)

Malay rights group Perkasa has come up with a swift idea of ‘recruiting’ new members by attracting scooting enthusiasts in the capital city.

It claims that it has so far managed to register more than 12,000 new members, many of whom apparently came from the Mat Rempit fraternity.

See here for full story.

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Samy Vellu’s successor, G. Palanivel, seems to have found the solution to what ails the Indian community in Malaysia: millionaires! Yeah, create a pool of ethnic Indian millionaires.

I suppose this so-called panacea can be applied to other communities that require similar help. There you go.

See here for context.

One is the loneliest number

Three Dog Night is an American band that made it big in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s with their hits such as ‘One’, ‘Easy to be Hard’, ‘Liar’, ‘Pieces of April’ and ‘Old Fashioned Love Song’.

Although these hits are oldies from the present perspective, a few of them have contemporary relevance as they seem to be able to capture to some degree certain political moments of today’s Malaysia.

For instance, the much touted slogan ‘1Malaysia’. Unless it is adequately spelled out – and backed by concrete action to give substantial meat to this very concept – it would only let itself be vulnerable to ideological assaults from various groups in society, particularly those that perceive the concept as being ‘too inclusive’ for their collective comfort. Thus, if this slogan is left being just that, then its initiators may well find out that the One affixed to Malaysia can be the loneliest number they’ve ever dreamt of.

Indeed, 1Malaysia doesn’t sit well with remarks and actions that are racist in nature in recent months. Facts have been distorted, fiction manufactured by those people bent on championing ethnic exclusivity at the expense of national unity and mutual respect.

To be sure, there are, of course, some groups that have distanced themselves from those ‘exclusive-mentality’ collectives, while there are certain groups of people who are still indecisive and wondering whether it’s worth their while to distance themselves from this pack.

Worse, lies and liars are persistently pursuing to gain respectability in the mainstream of Malaysian life.

There’s no racism here, assures Chua

MCA president Chua Soi Lek, touched by the apparent distancing of UMNO leadership from the right-wing Perkasa recently, assured MCA members in particular and the public in general that UMNO leaders aren’t the racist types who would champion Malay supremacy.

In other words, whoever has that negative perception of UMNO, a dominant partner of the BN coalition, is indeed one who has a troubled figment of imagination.

See here  for Chua’s statement on this matter.