Thursday, June 07, 2012

Ah Jib Gor and the Casuarina Tree

Once again (yet another ‘again’) Chinese Malaysians have found themselves in an undesired political situation where they could possibly play the role of ‘king maker’ in the next general election.

In the mainstream media as well as alternative news portals we read a mixture of the political preferences of, and antagonistic diatribes and snide remarks against, the Reluctant (not Chosen) Ones, with the latest headlines being The Malaysian Insider’s November polls likely after the Haj as BN courts youth, Chinese vote.

It reported::

Officials familiar with BN strategies say Najib wants the ruling coalition to win back urban seats lost when the mainly urban Chinese voted in favour of the opposition in Election 2008. 
“Najib wants support from the Chinese and the youth so the next few months will be crucial for those efforts,” a coalition source told The Malaysian Insider.

Pollster Merdeka Centre stated that Najib’s popularity among Chinese and Indians plummeted by 4 points after the Bersih 3.0 April rally.

‘…after the Bersih 3.0 April rally’?

I wonder whether it should be more correct to describe it as ‘… after the outrageous police brutalities against participants in the rally.’

I’m reminded of a scene I witnessed at Penang’s Gurney Drive during my school boy’s days. Some parts of the beach along Gurney Drive were planted with fairly young Casuarina trees about 3 to 5 metres tall. The powerful waves at high tide had eroded the base or sandy embankment for one of those trees, with it nearly uprooted and half toppling.

Gurney Drive - photo by my matey Peter Tan of The Digital Awakening 

There was an elderly Chinese man dressed in shorts and casual shirt who tried valiantly to save that tree.

I was told that every day he collected debris washed up on the beach and piled them around the tree and then added more sand to reconstruct a new base, while employing several bamboo stakes to brace up the imperilled tree.

But the next high tide would undo if not made worse the situation for the Casuarina. I was sure he didn’t imagine he was King Canute, but somehow he didn’t give up, perhaps he couldn't give up, sometimes shoring up the tree’s standing even as the waves at high tide pounded the embankment and him as well.

What was the outcome of that remarkable battle where a puny man sought to defeat the relentless power of the sea, I can’t tell because I didn’t follow the struggle to its end, assuming there was an end.

The Casuarina could be likened to Chinese support for BN while the relentless pounding waves the UMNO-Perkasa racist demagogueries against the Reluctant Ones. Najib would be that old Chinese man (Ah Jib Gor, or Ah Jib Pek) wakakaka, who each time thought he had built up a rapport with the Chinese, would only see the destructive waves eroding (again and again and …) the base of the tree, or Chinese support for Najib and his BN.

And who’s to blame? Perhaps no one. ‘Tis just the nature of the sea or beast!

As mentioned, most Chinese Malaysians prefer to stay out of the spotlight, not so much to carma (cari makan – they leave that to MCA and Gerakan politicians wakakaka) but to seek an independent living. Here kaytee is making a clear distinction between the obsequious and political carma which solicits the benefits of the UMNO-government largesse and that of an independent business/living minus or with the minimum of government interference.

“Leave us alone to conduct our business and seek high quality education for our children – just do not impose more and more barriers, impediments and unjust quotas to restrict our business practice and educational pursuit”, the Chinese would appeal.

Admittedly, the newer and younger generation of Chinese Malaysians are more political minded and unlike their elders, would talk more vociferously about and also assert on equal rights, human rights etc, with some even resorting to hypocritical theatrics like dressing up in sack cloth and ashes to pretend-mourn Altantuuyaa Shariibuu as if she was their favourite auntie, an act of demonstrative anguish and bereavement which they wouldn’t even perform for their dead relatives. But these would be the exceptions to the typical Chinese Malaysian community.

Does this mean Chinese Malaysians aren’t political minded?

Absolutely not, but as mentioned they frown upon antics, theatrics and gimmickries which draw attention to them. However, they’re believers in the advice of American president Theodore Roosevelt who said “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. Yes they prefer to speak softly and carry a big political stick which they would use and indeed have used in elections.

1969 – they decimated the MCA especially in Penang, Perak and Selangor, without any help from then 22-year old Anwar Ibrahim or a non-existent Hindraf.

What, without Anwar's or Uthayakumar's Hindraf inspirational leadership? Are you sure? How the hell then did they do it, wakakaka.

Speak softly and carry a big political stick. Alas, UMNO in 1969 carried a far bigger and deadlier stick, an actual murderous cudgel instead of just a political one, but nonetheless (regardless of whether there was any post 1969 election regret, and I believe there was none despite the loss and grief) there was no mistaking the preparedness of the Chinese to use their political stick.

Likewise in 1999, 2004 and 2008, the Chinese exhibited their collective strength one way or another to benefit either BN or Pakatan.

And they were happy when supporters of both Anwar Ibrahim and Uthayakumar’s Hindraf (as different from Manoharan’s & Ganabatirau’s Hindraf) claimed credit for the 2008 political tsunami because those hubristic claims would help keep them out of the spotlight – a wakakaka on their behalf ;-)

Dr Mahathir had acknowledged the vital support of the Chinese in his final election victory in 1999, though subsequently, in recent times, he didn’t show much gratitude, even warning the Heartland that the Chinese may one day own the country - after all, he did inform us, Melayu mudah lupa wakakaka. See Those bloody rich Chinese.

Dr Mahathir’s successor, PM AAB alias (MCA’s) Bao Gong wakakaka romped home impressively on Chinese votes in 2004.

But alas, post 2004 and post Mahathir, a new ball game presented itself to ambitious and new UMNO leaders. Forgetting the usefulness if not importance of Chinese support for BN, they resorted to the age-old UMNO’s successful formula of being ethnic heroes, the wannabe perwira bangsa, defenders of the Heartland and guardians of ketuanan Melayu, to enhance their personal positions in UMNO’s internal party struggle, for them to get to the top and a possible (and very lucrative) ministerial position.

It didn’t help when their revved-up bigoted declarations, meant more for the Heartland to demonstrate their ethnic perwira credentials, were televised live to the public and thus the concerned Chinese, who felt far more marginalized than ever, and who were even more fearful for their ability to continue eking out a living through independent business prospects or educational opportunities for their children within what they saw as a shrinking margin allowed for the nons.

And continuous insults to them such as ‘sons of prostitutes’ no doubt stuck painfully in their ulcerated guts to remind them of UMNO’s unwarranted insult to their social injury.

In their helplessness, the concerned Chinese were left with only one available option, to use their political stick in 2008, and hello, déjà vu the 1969 election outcome.

In spite of 1999, Dr Mahathir piled on the hurt, accusing of the Chinese of ‘buying & selling’ the Malays, or enslaving them, to take over the country.

Malaysiakini’s Mahathir insults Malaysians on non-Malay PM issue reported Dr Mahathir saying to Malaysian students in Cairo:

The Malays will lose their 'ketuanan' (supremacy) and see a non-Malay becoming a prime minister in Malaysia in the future if they fail to continue efforts to be above the rest. 
If the Malays themselves become so weak, poor, begging around and can be bought with money to support non-Malays (to become a prime minister), then at that time, a non-Malay will eventually hold the post. 
It is up to the Malays whether they want this or not. But if they can be bought that even their own race can be sold, then we might as well not have a constitution. 
The Malays then can become slaves in their own country.

Abetted by Perkasa and the mainstream media with Utusan Malaysia in the vanguard, they were the waves of bigotry that battered the Chinese ‘Casuarina’.

And have those waves helped poor Ah Jib Gor wakakaka who has the onerous job of building up an eroding base of support from the pissed off Chinese?

In this new episode of Man versus Sea, we will soon know the result.


  1. I have been invited to meet Najib in person tommorrow at a public function.

    I'm a young ethnic Chinese voter and I fully support his efforts at transforming the way the country is governed.

    He deserves the support of all right thinking Chinese.

    Three Cheers to Najib !

  2. I support Najib too but cannot vote yet.

  3. That's a very appropriate analogy with the casuarina tree, the man, and the waves.

    Regarding the wily, devious and scheming Pharoah, obviously he is terribly worried that if Moses, his great nemesis, gets to occupy the catbird seat a full scale audit may be launched to scrutinize his and his family members' mind-boggling fortune, which means he could very well end up like Hosni Mubarak or Bernie Madoff.

  4. Sabar, sabar lah....tunggu lah and see how it will all turn out in this GE 13 which is most likely be held towards end of the year.

    None of us are holding our breath for the 'pounding waves' of the Perkasa and its bosses (and magnified via the UMNO mouthpiece Utusan ) to abate any time soon. In fact, it will continue pounding even more relentlessly now.....

    The support of the chinese is as good as 80% gone from, if only there's some significant shift in the East Malaysia dynamic, then we're set to use the new brooms now all ready at standby.

  5. Mahatiu Mamak Iskandar Kutty is a curse upon BolehLand, hope the lowlife will kick the bucket soon...

  6. In Dr.M's memoir, Pg.796;

    "Just before the end of my tenure, I asked Tun Abdullah to appoint me as advisor to PETRONAS, Proton, Malaysia Airlines, the Langkawi Development Authority(LADA) and the Tioman Development Authority. Almost immediately upon retirement, I was appointed to PETRONAS, LADA and Tioman, but not to Proton and Malaysia Airlines. I had no right to demand anything, of course, but I thought it was a reasonable request considering my personal involvement in all these entities.."

    Did he said 'retirement' ? What retirement ah ?

  7. I agree.
    Too confusing.

  8. Now that Badawi has declined Kepala Batas,he could still have the last laugh at the expense of his much-despised tormenter,the doctor from the out-house!Ha!

  9. he ho laugh first will laugh last

  10. ah meng go fly kite

  11. i always know the chinese are biggest hypocrite and now ,is all about the chinese .greedy as usually.i will not vote for a chinese NEVER!

  12. you are far too kind to Najib. The old man in your story personifies selflessness and perserverance for the greater good of mankind. Najib is none of that. If he apeears to be perservering it is for his personal political survival. Forget his words spoken to the Chinese audience they are just words. Consider his actions and when he spoke in UMNO Assembly that is his true colors

  13. the core motives might be different but the challenges and actions involved have similarities

  14. Are you kidding ?
    Contrast Ktemoc's polite kid-glove treatment of Najib to his (almost)daily tirade against Anwar Ibrahim.

    Ktemoc is (almost) a Najib supporter.

  15. What a spin! You might as well praise the EC in perservering its actions in padding the electoral rolls. You completely ignore the fact that as PM Najib could if he wishes, reign in all those men you claimed are undermining his so-called 'efforts'. His non-action on them is exactly like his forked-tongue talks.

  16. The Chinese community in 2008 didn't just suddenly "magically" make a collective decision to dump BN/UMNO.

    I saw the many Aunties, Uncles, Ah Bengs and Ah Moois who turned up to listen to Anwar Ibrahim's campaign spiel. Most Chinese Malaysians understand the reality of Malay political dominance. But they saw Anwar as someone they can work with.

    I hope he doesn't disappoint them or worse, stab them in the back.
    But the Chinese support for BN is well and trully broken, and Najib's RM 500 bribes only make matters worse.

  17. So much to agree and disagree.
    Don't know where to start.
    Ktee is spinning confusing voters.

  18. If the price is right, I will sell anything..
    I think that is the case for the majority of Chinese as well.....hahahaa...

  19. If Najib really cares for the rakyat, why withdraw funding for Unisel. Don't play with the students' future because of wanting to spite PR. It will backfire on him and his party. Also all these nonsensical acts against Ambiga were not condemned by him. He just keep quiet. How much wastages of this govt., bidding for car number plates, Scorpene's case, forex case, PKNZ case, NFC case.

  20. I don't agree.
    Najib is the best.
    We need an idiot to protect us.
    Dollah has no guts.
    Mahathir is too smart.
    He will soon die and we will have a ball with an idiot as PM.

  21. There are clear disagreements who should be PM.
    I don't agree that we should have an idiot as PM.
    Reminds me of the idiot HM I have in school.
    We had the worst results in our city, but I see most of the failures are working in the Govt. holding high posts and living like millionaires.

  22. In my old workplace there was a director who was really inspirational.. Although I was a seasoned professional, I was very impressed with him and respected him alot. Alas, after a few rounds of motivational talks that really touch your soul, and after a couple of years, there is nothing beyond the talk. Then I realise this man is all talk, and no action. Ah Jib Gor is also like that. I just heard him on TV, very semangat, but again, afteer a few years have we seen anything from him? What happened to NEM? What happened to meritocracy? Now our PM survives on the number 1. Reminds me of the sesame street cartoons that i grew up with..