Sunday, April 07, 2013

3 Revelations on 'Keling'

TMI - After Hindu insult, Zulkifli Noordin says ‘keling’

kalau jantan, bertanding lagilah di Kulim

There is no doubt Zulkifli Noordin loves being controversial. On 09 August 2008, despite being an officer of the court (a lawyer), he became notorious for his unruly protest against a Bar Council's forum on 'Conversion to Islam' by gatecrashing and derailing the event (like what Saifuddin Nasution and his former UMNO Youth mates did to Apcet II, wakakaka) - yup, a lawyer gatecrashing a Bar Council forum to disrupt it, that's Zulkifli Noordin.

Then, after he was sacked from PKR, a very much overdue event thanks to Anwar Ibrahim being reluctant to bring him to heel as per party discipline, he badmouthed Anwar's family notwithstanding his earlier claim of being a close family friend.

Oh Zul Zul, lu ay mah lah

Last year in October, together with another traitorous snake to Pakatan, Nasharuddin Mt Isa, he accused the DAP of wanting to turn Malaysia into a Christian State.

For a bloke who professes to be an Islamic warrior, he has the blasphemous daring to fabricate the above bullshit.

So why should we be startled or annoyed by his current antics. I suspect he wants to be considered for a seat somewhere, hence is drawing attention a la Ibrahim Ali. Maybe he even hopes Dr Mahathir might also endorse him with the same words “If there are many people like Zulkifli, this country is saved.”


I had nick-named Zulkifli the Kulim Wonder because he showed he loved, and still does, crude contentious controversies. However, I'm not sure whether he loves doing that because he truly enjoys it or he was attempting to demonstrate he's an ethnic-religious hero to his right wing constituency.

But he is not alone in such grating style of ethno-religious politicking, and you can bet it's usually for self aggrandizement and of course self interests. He has two other colleagues of like-minded mentality.

We all know the gene-denier Ridhuan Abdullah Tee, a man who has regularly and pathetically striven to show the Malays through his aggressive criticisms of things Chinese just how loyal a Melayu he is.

aku bukan cina

I had once suggested he ought to drop his surname 'Tee' and adopt the Arabic 'Taufik' to complete his wannabe transformation. Maybe who knows, he might have considered my suggestion seriously but has since been cursing the NRD for its strict rules of not allowing name changes from the one Malaysians were born with, unless of course they weren't born in Malaysia like Maedeen Afzal, Alam Chaudhury, Bambang Agusalem or Kadir Kiram, or even Qasim Naim, wakakaka.

But do you know he has a twin (twin in denying his Chinapek genes, wakakaka) by the name of Ann Wan Seng. Ann was (is?) an ustaz and a member of Perkim national council.

Somehow, like his better known gene-denying twin, instead of doing his work for Islam and Perkim without insulting other races or religions, he just had to insult the non-Muslim non-Christian Chinese, presumably for the same self aggrandizing self interests. But he did it in a pitiful ignorant way, testifying to his abysmal ignorance on a topic he set out to insult, a typically dubious hallmark of his BTN-ized Boleh-ness but more of Bodoh-ness.

King Kong Know-nothing

Sometime back in 2010, he delivered a speech to deliberately insult the non-Muslim non-Christian Chinese, specifically the Buddhists, grandstanding in front of and ingratiating himself with the Malay-Muslims, by suggesting through his attacks against Chinese Buddhists that he wasn't a Chinese. His speech went as follows:

Bukan sekadar orang Cina menyembah agama Buddha. Mereka juga sembah berbagai dewa dan juga dewi. Mereka sembah Tua Pek Kong, mereka sembah Pau Kong, mereka sembah Datuk Kong dan barangkali mereka juga sembah King Kong.

Maka jadilah agama dia agama Kong Kali Kong.

Dan inilah keadaan yang sedia wujud itu di mana orang Cina sembah patung-patung ini kerana mereka yakin dan juga mereka percaya bahawa patung ini boleh mendatangkan kebaikan kepada mereka, boleh mendatangkan kesejahteraan kepada mereka, boleh memberikan keselamatan malahan boleh menjadikan mereka ini kaya-raya.

Needless to say, his ignorant religious bigotry drew the desired laughter, sniggers, giggles from his rapt audience who weren't aware of the religious fact that Buddhists, unlike many other religions specifically the Abrahamic religions, have no almighty creator god or gods.

Yes, Buddhists (and Jainists) don’t give two figs about god or gods because the way to Nirvana (end of their sufferings through zillions of rebirths) must be and can only be achieved through their own efforts. Thus God or gods would be completely irrelevant to their religious beliefs.

Once I asked an Indonesian friend, whose profession was coincidentally a government ideological specialist, somewhat like our BTN Goebbels-like clowns but minus the latter's ugly racist religious bent, how would Buddhism as one of Indonesia's 5 official religions reconcile with the state ideology of Pancasila, specifically Sila Pertama, which is Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa.

He was stunned for a while, obviously indicating I was the first bastard who asked him that. There weren't all that many Buddhists in Indonesia and I suppose not one had bothered to ask this question which might have brought them to unfortunate official scrutiny for questioning the most important part of the state ideology of Pancasila.

Then having recovered his wits, he stalled for a while by saying "Wah, Pak Kaytee, ini memang persoalan yang baik sekali"
which he hoped would preoccupy me as he swiftly gathered his thoughts and formulated an answer.

Anyway, we had a long discussion on the matter and I have to say he earned his specialist pay by weaving a rather clever way out of that trap I laid for him (mind you, not deliberately so).

Anyway, Ustaz Ann Wan Seng in his ignorance had mistakenly conflated Chinese folklore religion with Buddhism, indicating he was just a shallow superficial snake, but then why should we be surprised!

Just suppose for an instant that Ustaz Ann Wan Seng had been right about Chinese Buddhists worshipping patung (idols), and I then asked him about the black stone in the eastern corner of the Ka'aba?

Do you think he would graciously say “Touché”?

A wee aside before I return to the Kulim Wonder. The silly Kong Kali Kong phrase was adopted by two Chinese bloggers to disparage in particular DAP politicians, especially Lim Guan Eng. My erstwhile matey, sweetie Helen Ang had been one of them.

She was of course entitled, and still would be, to use that phrase in any way she wanted, but I know Helen's writing style so well and in fact admire it. I had even noticed a couple of years back when she started to change her writing style, but when I first read her use of Kong Kali Kong, I felt it was so discordant with her more sophisticated style and even her personality ..... as if she was someone else. I have to say I have been disappointed by her abuse of her own intrinsic writing style.

I believe she has dropped that silly phrase and for that I must say I am glad for her.

Okay, back to the Kulim Wonder and his alleged latest derogatory insult of Indians. He used the word keling which is deemed by Indians as racially offensive.

Now, you may ask why I employ the word 'alleged' when it's recorded on YouTube that he did use the keling word? Please read on and discover my 3 revelations on keling, which I gathered from my readings and personal experience as a Penangite.

Revelation No 1

Keling has an interesting and in fact rather proud pedigree, being a label inherited directed from the ancient Jainist maritime kingdom of Kalinga (today's Odisha or Orrisa and northern Andhra Pradesh).

The pedigree of Kalinga was enhanced by its powerful warrior king Kharvela, and became so attractively reputable that a 7th Century Indonesian kingdom was named Kalingga after the original Kalinga in India, and where it became a renowned centre for Buddhist scholars. It's most famous king was Ratu Sima.

Malays once referred to India as Benua Keling and in fact attempted to link the pedigree of Malay sultans to Indian princes, just as some of today's muftis want to trace Malay Islamic heritage back to the Prophet (pbuh).

Thus keling meant a person from Kalinga, one with a proud heritage. Of course with such a blue ribbon pedigree the word keling shouldn't be considered as derogatory, au contraire. But alas, that changed after 1963.

Revelation No 2

The change of the keling word from one with a proud pedigree to one racially offensive occurred with the publication of the 1963 edition of Cherita Jenaka or in today's ejaan (spelling) Cerita Jenaka.

Cerita Jenaka was a collection of 5 Perak stories based on material collected and written by Raja Haji Yahya and published in 1908. In 1963, the new publishers (Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur) decided to edit-simplify the 60-year old text (with its much harder reading) to meet modern tastes, one of which was to change the 12 mentions of orang keling in the Cerita into orang India. The editor was believed to be Mohd Taib Othman.

Apparently thereafter, the keling word was considered by the Indians as racially offensive.

We also need to note a second factor, that the major critics of the keling word have been Tamils who arrived in Malaya (not yet Malaysia) aeons after the Kalingas.

I wonder whether it's the Tamils' lack of identification with the proud pedigree of the northern Kalinga that they (the Tamils) consider the keling word as highly offensive?

Today, there still exist places with keling names such as Bukit Keling, Tanjung Keling, Kampung Keling, and of course the most famous of all, Penang's magnificent Mesjid Kapitan Keling, and the renaming of Pitt Street along which the mosque stands as Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling.

Kapitan Keling Mosque

There are many more places with keling names especially in Penang and Singapore, and even in Indonesia.

Will we have to change all of them into politically correct names?

Revelation No 3

Now to Penang - Even until today there is no other Penang Hokkien word to describe Indians other than kelinga.

Indian Penangites who speak perfect Penang Hokkien describe themselves as kelinga, implying they don't find the word offensive. Hey, could it be that they are the descendants of the original migrants from Kalinga, or wish to be associated with its proud history? wakakaka.

Penang Thaipusam
Indians and Chinese making votive offerings to Lord Subramaniam
along Jalan Dato Keramat 

As a Penangite I can assure you when I use the Penang Hokkien word (that is, when I speak in Penang Hokkien to other Penangites or people who can converse in Penang Hokkien) I don't have any abusive or insulting intent, and my Penang Indian friends would be able to confirm that.

Back to the Kulim Wonder. And that has been why I referred to his use of the keling word as an alleged derogatory insult of Indians, because my three revelations indicate the word was never meant to be derogatory but in fact possessed fine ancient pedigree from the powerful maritime nation of Kalinga which was at its prime around 200 BCE.

Kalinga Orissa sweetie

Unfortunately for Zulkifli Noordin, he (a) possesses a nasty religious-ethnocentric notoriety like the gene-deniers, (b) is not a Penangite (and Alhamdulillah for that - he was born in Baling) unlike sweet naive friendly and completely innocent kaytee wakakaka, and thus on these two counts he cannot be exempted for using the keling word.

But nonetheless let's examine what he had said with regards to the late Perumal Balasubramnaiam and his 1st SD on the death of Altantuyaa Shaariibuu:

“Ada badigol Baghdad ni percaya, entah keling mana bawa kitab Hindu dia, ‘saya ada tengok, saya ada bukti’. Keling ni bawa kitab Hindu sumpah, dia percaya."

(Translated by TMI: There are these Baghdad fools who believe this keling from nowhere who brings his Hindu holy book, saying, ‘I have seen, I have proof’. This keling brings and swears on his Hindu holy book, he believes)

I opine the Kulim Wonder was railing more against the Hindu Holy Book more than Indians per se. Well, f* him for that rather than the keling word.

And for someone who lives in a glass house he ought to be more careful about throwing stones.


  1. if the indian find the term derogatory, we shd refrain from using it among the indian, rather to find ways to justify.

    similarly a hong konger told me he find the term honkies insulting, he said we shd use hong konger, ergo i stop. i also read australian dont like the term aussie, perhaps kt can enlighten us.

    1. above are not justifications but historical facts; for example, can anyone tell me of a Penang Hokkien word for Indians?

      HK people don't like the word Hongkies because it sounds like the African American word of honkies (without a 'g' and capitalised 'H') which means white poeple

      One of Aussie sports battle cries is "Aussie Aussie Aussie" (sometimes spelt "Ozzies")

    2. thanks for educating.

      not only penang, fact is i use the term since young, even today among many friends, however society tend to be more politically correct with progress and education, we would use less perceived offensive term unless we are talking history or literature, i am not too sure if our politician and writing are expressing the same thing, in most cases we are not.

    3. HY... I don't think that word is offensive 'atau menghina'
      but from the video, the tone is strong enough for my ears and I would be offended if I am a K... because it is really hurts.

    4. bro, i actually share the same view, however i think it is up to one who subject to the remark to tell whether is offensive or no. do read hisham post on 'the failure of democracy', some may argue that benevolent autocracy is much better, the claim might be correct but do you want to live under one if given choice? that is why i prefer not to comment much on issue like interlok and nama tuhan. one never feel the pain unless it happen to him/her.

    5. HY, it is just that the supreme arrogance of the dissenting few can tarnish the image of many who are not racists and who wants to leave in peace and harmony. We will leave it there ok. Nope HY.. I would not embrace benevolent autocracy because it would only reduce me to be a passive and an obedient citizen. I am looking for a purified democracy. Someone said to me... you can go on dreaming.

  2. Kaytee,we have this fool Zulkifli Noordin calling the Indians,Kelings.But it takes bigger fools such as the siblings,Uthanakumar and Warthamoorthy to kiss the asses of the political masters of Zulkifli,the Umnoputras.Hehehe,go figure.

  3. the mean machine2:23 am, April 08, 2013

    That brat of a sweetie,Jocelyn Tan of the supermarket tabloid says Najib has the support of three prominent Tuns.Basically Daim,Mahathir and Badawi.What she conveniently forget to say is that Abrahim Ali,Chua Soi Lek,Utharular and Whathamooty are also in the pack.

  4. ZN is a lunatic , he ought to have his head/brain examined and takes prescribed medicine, otherwise the bigot will keep on hearing voices ;'Alert alert ,Islam under threat ,act now, act now ! X3. 'Christians are converting Moslems ,act now, act now'X3 .

  5. There are many Malays (Constitutional Malays "grin") who have the word "Keling" or "Kling" in their name, or their forebears name.

    It WAS not a derogatory word, just descriptive, that's all.
    Similarly, the Penang Hokkien word Kelinga is just a noun, not derogatory.

    Kalinga, just one state in India, had at one time an empire so powerful , a Kalingan become synonymous with "South Indian".

    Yes, I'm a half "Keling".....wakakakakaka...

  6. R Tee A is just a despicable opportunist. If Japan were to invade and occupy Malaysia like what it did during WW2 , I bet the lowlife will immediately discard his baju Melayu,songkok and donning kimono ;denying he was a Muslim but a follower of Shinto !
    He will transform instantly to be a Japanese then act "more japanese" than the Japanese.

    You can bet he will pledge his loyalty and devotion to the Japanese Emperor and army and does what a traitor is supposed to do.

    1. Anon 10.09 am, you are right on target with your analysis. Those creatures that evolved and then clambered out of the gutter will do anything and debase themselves without limit to ensure their survival and hang onto their undeserved privileges.

    2. ...and the scumbag whenever he speaks will say, "...we Japanese..."

    3. As like now he says..." kita orang melayu ni...." wa ka ka ka !

      Just like our Dr M when he first entered into politics....dropping his A/L from his IC name and started almost every sentence guess it...."kita orang melayu ni.." No more condescending look-down-his-nose at what he claimed were the "inbreeding malays" responsible for their lack of intelligence and motivation....although he never stops berating them for not being grateful enough, as though all the monies come from his own pocket to uplift the malay bumiputras.

  7. The popular meaning and usage of words can change in a surprisingly short period of time.
    I learnt my English in the 1970's and 80's , mostly reading from books published up to the 1970's. "Negro" was a neutral , acceptable descriptive word for an American of African origins.
    By the time I was a student in the US in the early 1990's, I found out it was considered impolite to call a Black American "Negro"
    The origin of this change was the way racist Whites, especially in the Deep South, referred to them as "Niggers", a mutated form of the normal word "Negro".
    There's something similar at work here on the word "Keling".

    1. Exactly. The word "negro" itself comes from the word for black in Iberian languages. In itself, it has no inherent derogatory meaning.

      But over history, its usage has given it a negative meaning.

      The word "keling" has this unfortunate history just as well and this is just a normal process of evolution in languages.

      What matters is whether the community it describes finds it acceptable or not. In this case it doesn't and out of respect, none of us should use it.

    2. there is a marked difference between negro and keling. The former, as mentioned, is the Romance language for 'black' whereas the latter, keling' means a person from the Kalinga nation. One is a colour to denote person of a certain skin hue, the other is about their national origin.

      Negro is certainly derogatory even in its earliest use, but keling possesses a proud pedigree

  8. Only DKRs have the habit of using this term.

  9. Just look at history, Chinese History if you want, are people like that Ustaz Ang WS, RT, or even Kulim Wonder chance occurrence? Some people can even sell their souls to get what they want!

    1. Spot on . You can bet RT will even sell his daughter , wife , mother and grandma if the price is right.

  10. Once an Indian friend was very furious when the shopkeeper saw him and said to the colleagues " Keling kia lai liew ". He vowed he would never visit that shop again.
    To me is really no big deal for an Indian to be called so. Its just like somebody calls me Chinaman and frankly I won't mind.

    1. the use of the word 'kia' (or more correctly pronounced as 'knia' with a slight nasal sound) seems to indicate the shopkeeper was probably Teochew. Teochews use this suffix to indicate the race of a person, as in T'ng Laang knia (Chinese), Huanaa knia (Malay), Jitpun knia (Japanese), Ar Mor knia (Mat Salleh), Siam knia (Thai) etc

  11. what does Huanaa really mean? is it red indian?

    1. ha ha, tqvm, so, non-huanaas still want to question the status of huanaas? (am not talking abt the fucked-up implementation of nep, malay rights and the weird definition of malay in the constitution - they are separate issues) what did the chinese merchants, travelers, emperors call the inhibitants of malaya, java, sumatera, borneo & even philippines? am sure it wasn't huanaa.

    2. why don't u tell me, wakakaka

    3. malacca people? java people, sumatera people? historically chinese do not identify people by race or ethnic, this is totally a foreign concept. the history of ming mentioned malacca (满剌加).

      wrt ming, i notice there r many factual error in one recent syed akbar ali writing:

      "Other people also made this same mistake. In the 15th century China was the richest and most modern civilisation known to mankind until that time. Then the Ming Emperor Zhu Di also known as the Yongle Emperor issued an edict (a fatwa) that Chinese should not sail the seven seas anymore. His mandarins (the ostat classes) said China should have nothing to do with the barbarians who lived outside China. China had everything it needed and they need not interact with outsiders anymore. The Ming Emperors had written their laws in stone."

      two of zhenghe final voyage were done after yongle pass away, ming stop sailing because of financial constraint.

  12. "I opine the Kulim Wonder was railing more against the Hindu Holy Book more than Indians per se. Well, f* him for that rather than the keling word."

    Well, I also want to say, f* him for that.
    Thank you very much

  13. Hiii, this is Manas Mallick from real Kalinga( modern day Odisha, India) I want to know more about Kalingans residing there. I write articles on historical matters especially on rich maritime history of Kalinga. Pls write to me more facts about Kelingans in MALAY and INDONESIA.regards , your brother mail id-

    1. Well, Malaysian Kaliningans, help Manas if you can. Thanks