Continuing from Hishamuddin & his keris (1) where Star Online sweetie Joceline Tan interviewed Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, head of UMNO Youth (as usual, KTemoc’s comments in separately coloured highlights):
Q. But do you have to keep brandishing the keris?
A. What is it about the keris that makes people so uncomfortable? The keris is on the Umno flag. There are two keris on the Umno logo. It is the symbol of Malay culture. It’s not Umno. It’s not Pemuda. You give keris as gifts to non-Malays and non-Malays give them to me at functions. (Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh) Tsu Koon showed me a huge keris during our Penang convention.
Firstly, the waving of the keris (which incidentally KTemoc assessed in Hishamuddin’s case, has more to do with his wanting to out-do Khairy than to threaten the Chinese) must be seen in its context – the context was a whole load of belligerent assertions of Malay rights and nationalism, and to f**ks with 'others', which means the keris waving was perceived as bellicose. Besides his cousin, DPM Najib had set a nasty precedence.
In my previous posting Lie hides violence - Violence maintains lie! I wrote “let’s not forget that the keris is also a weapon, where Hang Tuah, Malay most famous hero, used one to kill his best friend, blood brother and the man who valiantly defended him (Tuah) against the oppressive ungrateful Sultan."
"Thus in Malay legend the keris was a weapon to kill, and in the final conflict between Hang Tuah – Hang Jebat it was one, not of honour, but of treachery and betrayal, of the triumph of sycophancy over friendship.”
Secondly, Koh TK’s action could not be counted as representative of non-Malays for obvious reason, because …..… hey Hisham, are you restoring his ‘royal’ title?
Q. Will you carry it again next year?
A. Yes, I will carry it again next year. The keris is here to stay. I told Liow (MCA Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai), give me your kungfu sword and I will carry it. I am doing it on a question of principle, until people realise the keris is not there to threaten non-Malays but to motivate the Malays. These are all symbols to get Malays to move.
… and of course to out-Hang Tuah your impatient ambitious deputy. But Chinese don’t brandish kungfu swords for the reasons those would be considered as acts of aggression. In fact, all brandishing of weapons are acts of aggression.
We will do whatever it takes to bring them to a point where they don’t feel they are alienated in their own country. We’ve tried everything and if it can help Malays be more focused on what they can do, then my conscience is clear. I did it for the future. I want non-Malays to understand that our doing this is not to take anything away from anybody. That is also enshrined. Allowing the release will help the stability of the country. It won’t drive off investments.
Until “…they don’t feel they are alienated in their own country”? And if the Malays do feel alienated, guess who’s to be blamed, after leading the nation for close to half a century. And if the non-Malays do feel alienated, guess why!
Q. Is the keris not also symbolic of Malay supremacy?
A. Far from it. Unless I keep going on, every day, every year, people will not get out of thinking about the keris this way. If I can’t do it, I don’t think anybody else can.
If I can’t do it when I’m leading Umno Youth, with Pak Lah (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) as the PM and Najib (Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) as the DPM, when our economy is going strong, and we are rolling out the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), then when? Wait till our rubber and palm oil prices go down before voicing our fears about apostasy and the IFC? By then people will be hungry; they don’t want to talk anymore.
As I said, UMNO had half a century of governing this rich, very very rich country, and has created lots of Malay billionaires and millionaires, especially young 31-year old ones. So why bull about Malay people ‘not wanting to talk anymore’.
Q. MCA and Gerakan may lose votes at the expense of Umno releasing tension.
A. We have to get our priorities right. It’s not just about winning elections but building a society and a very complex one that requires strong leadership. We are in it together. Even if Umno wins a lot of seats and the component parties do not win, it is not going to make us happy. We have to deliver as we build up to the elections.
The priority is UMNO must get what it wants, and f**k those non-UMNO parties. And indeed Hishamuddin is acknowledging the truth (when he stated “Even if Umno wins a lot of seats and the component parties do not win …”) that the non-UMNO parties, particularly MCA and Gerakan will lose heavily.
Q. What does all this say about race relations after almost 50 years as a nation?
A. If you were talking to me when I was (Youth and Sports Minister), I’d say we could do it in our lifetime. But now I am more realistic because you get pulled in so many directions. You have to look at things from so many angles. It is very difficult being in a society that is very complex, but there is strength in diversity. If we galvanise that, we have something to offer the world.
In other words, the rort will continue - f**k those % targets anyway, and as for “…get pulled in so many directions”? Hishamuddin, are you saying that greed in UMNO today is far more prevalent and deep-rooted?
Q. There was so much about Malay issues and too little on meritocracy, competitiveness or the push against corruption.
A. It’s all relative. If Dr Mahathir (former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) had been there, you probably won’t be talking about the keris, or the New Economic Policy. But people expect too much of a three-day gathering. How much more (do) you want to say about fighting corruption? Pak Lah is moving in that direction.
Bullsh*t, what happened to Cyclops, or Zakaria Deros’ nonsense with his place, or a young 31-year old man receiving a multi-million ringgit loan without any visible collateral?
Why are giant contracts still being handed out without an open tender process. Who will benefit from the PORR project?
As for meritocracy, Johor Umno has said that we are worried about Malays in the rural areas who cannot get the same level of opportunities in education. Reducing the gap between rural and urban areas is the right way.
Well, WTF has UMNO been doing for the last 50 years?
Q. Your deputy Khairy Jamaluddin had a controversial run-up to the assembly. How do you think he fared?
A. He did very well. I told him, now that people outside have heard the real grassroots speak in Umno, they are probably thinking that Khairy is not so bad. Yes, he is Oxford material and people expect more of him. But he’s back in Malaysian society and he has to address the concerns of the constituents. An Oxford degree is not going to help if your country is in shambles.
Was that part of the strategy, to fling racist sh*t around to hide the bigoted poo? But Hisham, you're wrong - we think when an UMNO bloke attempted to use the demi agama dan bangsa excuse to hide the excesses of his own interests, he's still as bad as ever.
But he will need to prove himself, and if he learns, he’ll get wiser. Sometimes people come back and feel they want to change things. Then you realise it is not so simple and you really sit down and learn. He has learnt a lot but he’s still got a lot more to learn. He’s so lucky he has Pak Lah as his father-in-law.
The only gem from the interview - indeed, a PM as a father-in-law helps, doesn’t it!