DAP Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong: Hisham’s keris-waving ‘tipping point’ for Chinese.
WHAT WAS HIS INTENTION WHEN HE WAVED THE KERIS IN 2005?
THE CHINESE SAW IT AS A THREAT TO THEM.
IN 2007, HE PROCLAIMED THAT HE HAD MEANT TO SHOW THAT HE WOULD PROTECT ALL MALAYSIANS.
Hishammuddin said that he kissed the keris because he accepted the power and the responsibilities that came with it and pledged to be fair in discharging his duties.
“The keris is unsheathed with the aspiration to defend our people and country, not just the Malays but also the non-Malays in the country.
“The Malay keris is a protector of all, just like the Government of today will always protect people of all races. So don’t let anyone be fearful or nervous about this everlasting symbol,” he said.
(Hishammuddin Explains the Keris At UMNO General Assembly 2007)
THE CHINESE DID NOT BELIEVE HIM. THEY MADE UMNO PAY IN GE 12 IN 2008.
HE APOLOGIZED AFTER GE 12 IN 2008 BUT IT WAS TOO LATE.
Hishammuddin: I take responsibility for the keris waving
THE CHINESE WILL NEVER FEEL SAFE WITH UMNO AGAIN.
“Nowadays, PAS is being seen as being more moderate than Umno.”
INTERVIEW Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein’s infamous keris-waving incident during the Umno Youth meet in 2005 was a tipping point that caused the Chinese support base shift to from BN to the opposition, said DAP’s Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong.
Speaking during an interview with Malaysiakini last week, Liew said that up until July 2005, there were “very few” middle-class Chinese who were unhappy with BN, mainly because of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Vision 2020 agenda.
“There was very little racial talk in the party due to the Vision 2020 framework, which included a place for all races. There was a Bangsa Malaysia approach,” he said.
“In the 1980s and 1990s, the Chinese community were satisfied because the government opened up avenues (for them). The concept was that if they can pay, they can get education.
“If you can pay, you can get into a private university, if you can pay, you can get Chinese channels in Astro,” he said.
But when Hishammuddin waved and kissed the keris in 2005, Liew said Umno reignited racial sentiments in the country.
“From there on Umno turned right, and it was not a very smart move. No coalition in this country can rule without winning across communities. And if you look at it, Umno is still able to rule because Pakatan (Rakyat) failed to win in Sabah and Sarawak,” he added.
He said non-Malay disenchantment with the ruling government has been “increasing by the day” until it culminated in the 2008 general election, where BN was denied its customary two-thirds majority.
Read the whole interview:
MP: Hisham’s keris-waving ‘tipping point’ for Chinese
Honestly, that a party resolved to produce towering Malays should reflect its political will in a sharp article is most bizarre, to say the least.
What was on his mind?
And I was even more puzzled when Hishammuddin Hussein, the head of Umno Youth, brandished a keris before the press. No, I am not suggesting a western-educated person like Hishammuddin should not engage himself in a salvage experiment such as this. I was (and still am) perplexed because, to me, swordsmanship in the old days was meant to execute justice and uphold integrity. In the case of Hishammuddin, I have seen neither but cheap and outlandish political stunt.
When Hang Tuah did it, he did it to show his feudalistic duty to defend the royal household even with his own blood.
When Zorro did it, he did it to cut short the misery of the downtrodden and the oppressed.
But what was on Hishammuddin’s mind when he was flashing the keris for all to see? Was it a gesture of his determination to root out corruption? Or was it symbolic of his concern over the delinquency of the Malay youth?
Or was it just a warning to those who question the bumiputra policy? If he does think the Malays are in need of his bravery, who, really, is the enemy that he envisions? The ‘evil’ West or the ‘greedy’ Chinese?
Or was he merely seeking to demonstrate his resolution to head off any challenge to his party position in other words: pantang dicabar?
All this, really, leaves me tormented by the vacuousness in this wasteland of racist rhetoric otherwise known as Malaysia. Yes, truly Asia.
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