Friday, November 14, 2008

Dr Mahathir a Malaysian Obama?

Obama, Obama, Obama – everyone (well, almost) is in love with Obama ...

… especially Malaysian opposition supporters. They want a Malaysian Obama.

Well, noted Malaysiakini columnist Dr Musa Bakri has penned his usual erudite column titled (hardly surprising)
Note to a Malaysian Obama

… in which he commented that our Malaysian society in many respects are far more accommodating of people who don’t look like you – for example, Obama whether he was called by his unusual (to Americans) name or 'George Washington', would still be to most Americans a black man.

… whereas (as Dr Bakri said)
“… There are many children of Malay-Caucasian as well as Malay-Chinese and Malay-Indian marriages exhibiting very 'un-Malay' features. "

"Yet Malay culture has been very welcoming of them, unhesitatingly embracing them as Malays. This is not a recent phenomenon. I had many childhood friends and classmates who had distinctly Chinese or Indian appearances because of adoption or mixed marriages, yet they were all considered and treated as Malays."

"Why the children of mixed marriages between a member of the majority and a minority are not regarded as the majority in America, but they are in Malaysia, is an observation worth pondering. I am certain this is related to an underlying obsession with ‘racial purity’."

"On this point, as a Malay I am heartened that my culture is very welcoming of those who are adopted, from mixed marriages, and do not look like us, whatever that presumed ‘Malay appearance’ might be. We are, thankfully, not consumed with maintaining our ‘purity’.”

At this stage, do you agree with Dr Bakri?

Continuing, Dr Bakri said:
“My view is that Malaysia already has her Barack Obama in Mahathir Mohamad. We do not recognise him as such because unlike in America where its Obama is considered a member of the minority, Malaysia’s majority Malays warmly and quickly embrace their Obama as one of their own.”

“Nor is Mahathir alone; earlier leaders like Onn Jaafar and Tunku Abdul Rahman also had mixed ancestry.”

“By biological heritage, Obama has equal claim to being black or white. Yet because of his unalterable physical characteristics, Obama is labeled black. Even if Obama were to resort to the miracles of plastic surgery, skin-whitening cream, and hair coloring and straightening a la Michael Jackson, which Obama does not, he would still be labeled black.”

“For contrast, examine the group portrait of Umno Supreme Council members. If they were to dispense with their songkok and Baju Melayu and instead put on modern attire, some of them could easily be mistaken as delegates from MCA or MIC, that is, until they open their big mouth and chant their chauvinistic slogan of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’!”

Of course when I hear the usual suspects disparage Dr Mahathir I feel sad that people attack the mamaks again a la Chinese saying: "Sweeping everyone down with one single bamboo pole!" – I have some very good friends who are mamaks so of course those insults against mamaks have been very hurtful ... and bloody racist.

Anyway, do you reckon Dr Bakri has been right, about Dr M being our Obama?


  1. okay, okay, I am one of the labeling others mamak...hehehe

  2. i am prefer da expired malaysian OBAMA

  3. what about our famed GSOS ? He is not pure Malay ! Even his wife is Chinese , has her roots from Singapore !

  4. Papa Ktemoc,
    Please Don't equate disparagement of Mahathir with racism.
    He is being held accountable for his record, his behaviour and his policies.

  5. Yeah yeah yeah , Dictator Mahatiu will be like Obama when he (Mahatiu) is peeing...

  6. Frankly, my dear, who the fug cares?

    Yrs truly,
    Rhett Butler

  7. first malaysia is not america. america is a first world and developed nation, and most africa (except s africa, which their achievements are becoz of white man) coutries are under-developed. and america what is today is because of white man's job.

  8. now to think of it, since obama's father is muslim, and obama should be muslim as well under malaysia eyes. hence malaysia should cut off relation with obama and never let obama step foot in malaysia because obama claimed he's christian else jais should go after him. let's say an muslim arab commit khalwat with non-muslim in malaysia, does jais has such rule to arrest them ????

  9. Dear KT

    Mamak or not, he's the best PM we ever had besides Tun Razak.
    FIY Mamak Bendahara, we Pahangnites call our uncle mamak or Ayah something . I have a Mamak Kadir whom I hold dear.
    In that respect, Tun M is our mamak okay

  10. Dear KT,

    Obama = Mahathir is the best joke of the year. Dr M's core business is racial, sorry, race-based politics (I have never heard this phrase outside Malaysia). Without it, Hussein Onn might have left power to someone else in due time.
    By contrast neither Obama nor McCain uttered any racial slur throughout the campaign.

  11. That mamak a Malaysian Obama?
    He's THE Malaysian Osama!

  12. That mamak a Malaysian Obama ?

    Nien , Nei , No Way !

    He's the Malaysian Obey Me !

    UMNO - Under Mahathir No Opposition

  13. Barack Hussein Obama never had to change his name to a white-sounding name like Barry Horace Orley, neither was he ashamed to acknowledge his African background, neither did he promote the ideology of 'White Supremacy' to be seen as a viable candidate.

    Did any of you read the other half of Bakri Musa's essay?