Friday, September 11, 2015

The Malay Red Shirts


Given Bersih 4.0’s spectacular success, UMNO decided to stage a counter rally of their own. It is planned for September 16, 2015.

Malaysian media referred to them as the Red Shirts rally and as Sungai Besar UMNO division chief Jamal Md Yusof himself said the red-shirted protestors are bent on sending a clear message to the Chinese to stop their “kurang ajar” (rude) ways of insulting the Malays.

Yesterday, he even “thanked” Bersih 4.0 rally-goers for supposedly opening the eyes of the Malays after the great disrespect they showed to the country’s Malay leaders when they brandished insulting slogans and messages.

UMNO members are being summoned to join. Today, the UMNO-owned newspaper, New Straits Times (page 06) had reported about one circular dated September 03, 2015 inviting every UMNO division in Malacca to participate in this "Himpunan Maruah Melayu" rally (an euphemism for the red shirt rally) that has surfaced on social media and social messaging application WhatsApp, allegedly issued by state liaison secretary Ab Rahman Ab Karim to mobilize at least 1,000 members to attend the said rally. Although Bukit Katil UMNO division secretary Md Sirat Abu denied this yesterday, claiming the "letter" was false he had said he would still participate. Not as an UMNO member but under a NGO National Silat Federation (Pesaka). This clearly points to UMNO's involvement even if they tried to say otherwise.

The above aside, I am worried for UMNO because they are targeting the Chinese. I can personally claim to have been at Bersih 4.0 and I didn’t see the Malay-directed “insulting slogans and messages” that Jamal had referred to. Sure, there were disparaging slogans and messages aimed at PM Najib Razak and even his wife, Rosmah Mansor – but that was it!

This UMNO ringleader named Jamal in his desperate defense of Najib shows his own idiotic inanity. He had equated Najib with the Malays. Firstly, Najib is “attacked” because he is corrupt. And those that are corrupt cannot and should not be defended. Secondly, Najib does not represent the Malays, only himself. Thirdly, to put Najib in the same stable as the Malays would only diminish the community’s standing.

But the protestors wanted a show of might against the Chinese. Somebody promised that thirty thousand red shirts will be there, and another even boasted a red tide of 300,000. Surely, their intention is obvious. If it is not racist, then what is?

Provocative posters showing a drawn keris to promote the Red Shirt rally 

Of course, these UMNO-hired thugs should be allowed to protest for the same reasons any disgruntled group in Malaysia should be allowed to demonstrate. Peacefully. And when they do march in downtown Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, Malaysians can then make comparisons between Bersih, which materialized as people power, and the red shirt rally which is belligerent and racially fueled. From their words and actions so far, they seem to be spoiling for a fight.

To be honest, I don’t really know what the red shirts stand for. Other than the fact that they are anti-Bersih. That means that they are against free and fair elections, good governance and an independent judiciary as these are Bersih's demands.

My one hope is that these red shirts know how to clean up the streets afterwards.

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