|The temple that Mahathir thought was Shaolin, wakakaka|
Mahathir who was then PM wasn't happy and remarked (words to that effect): "Those who are familiar with Chinese history would know what happened when Chinese gather together at a temple in opposition to the government."
Obviously he was either a Chinese kungfu movie fan wakakaka or his Chinese advisor(s) had told him about Shaolin Temple and the gathering of the Han martial artists there who were opposed to the Manchu rulers.
However, the issue in 1987 was not about Manchu rulers but UMNO rulers or one in particular, the Education Minister, wakakaka, who was suspected by the Chinese Malaysians of attempting to undermine a central pillar of Chinese culture, namely, Chinese vernacular education, in a sneaky manmanlai fashion, wakakaka.
The parents and teachers of students at vernacular schools were deeply disturbed when that particular Education Minister (wakakaka) appointed some 100 senior assistants and principals who were not Chinese (Mandarin) educated, to head Chinese schools.
There were deep deep deep anxious suspicions that the Education Minister was out to undermine the usage of the Mandarin language at Chinese schools, because with the appointment of those senior assistants and principals, students and parents would be forced to use English or Malay to communicate with them. The move was seen as attempting to limit the usage of Chinese in the schools.
The Chinese gathering involving the usual suspects (Dong Jiao Zong, DAP, etc) AND also MCA and Gerakan.
As usual under such a 'Chinese unity' situation, UMNO Youth responded with its bangsa (raja dan agama) threats, when we then saw Najib Razak as UMNO Youth boss issuing his notorious threat of bathing his keris with Chinese blood.
Most of those who convened at the temple to object to the Minister's naughty move were then rounded up by the police and without any trial, sent to Kem Kamunting under the draconian ISA to enjoy nasi kari kosong and the mosquitoes there, some for a few years like Lim Kit Siang who, it was said, earned his law degree there (by distance education).
Coincidentally, during the police Ops Lalang, MCA Deputy President Lee Kim Sai just happened to be on leave in Australia wakakaka, while young Najib walked around untouched as befitting his position among The Chosen Ones, and then smirking gleefully, succeeded in 'persuading' the late HRH Sultan Selangor to strip Lee KS of his datukship.
That was almost 30 years ago, Today, we read in Malaysiakini that both MCA and DAP 'defend' Jonker Walk.
It's always bad feng shui for MCA and DAP to agree on anything, and the bad feng shui is UMNO.
The politicization of Jonker Walk in Malacca has been a shameful 4th (not even 3rd) World act of arrogance and petulant revenge by UMNO against the Chinese. It has been a wilful alter ego to UMNO's condemnation of Chinese 'ingratitude' which I had previously blogged as Gratitude - an UMNO anachronism in a democracy.
But leaving UMNO's anachronistic and preposterous perception of 'ingratitude' aside, will Jonker Walk become another Thean Hou Temple, to once again annoy the most powerful man in Malaysia (Mahathir) with the consequence of Ops Lalang Mark II?
Perhaps not, because Gan Tian Loo, MCA Malacca Head, who is also the Jonker Walk committee deputy chairperson, as reported by MKINI, in supporting the Malacca CM's closure of the Walk to traffic, "... took a guarded approach, denying that he was leading the protest, adding that he was merely there to 'survey' the site after receiving several requests from the traders."
Additionally, new Tourism Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz, reminded Idris Haron, the Malacca CM that It is Jonker Walk, not Jonker Drive, implying the latter has been childishly wilful in opening the Walk to traffic to deliberately deny the mainly Chinese hawkers from plying their trade in the usually closed-to-traffic thoroughfare, an act seen as motivated by racist-political revenge.
Thus Gan will be reasonably safe as he has a bit of UMNO-rized Nazri-rized cover for his backside.