Friday, January 29, 2021

Thayaparan: Why Ridhuan Tee Abdullah may be upset


Why not just bar non-Malays from all top govt positions?

by S Thayaparan

Pasir Mas member of Parliament Ahmad Fadhil Shaari, who presented on the religion cluster, urged Putrajaya to ensure that all top government positions to be held only by the Malays. “This includes positions such as chief justice, attorney-general, chief secretary, inspector-general of police, chief of defence forces and other strategic positions such as the prime minister, deputy prime minister, chief ministers and menteri besar, finance minister, defence minister and education minister"
– at the Malay Dignity Congress, Kuala Lumpur, 2019

COMMENT | A sneak peek into the former attorney-general's soon to be released
memoir reveals a tantalising tidbit of how the old maverick attempted to pressure him to resign because of “Malay opposition”. Of course, like everyone else, I wonder why the Pakatan Harapan political elite would nominate a non-Malay and then be “surprised” by the reaction from the “Malay community”.

You see, the old maverick is always cultivating such tensions. Tommy Thomas should resign because he was a target of Malay opposition. Lim Guan Eng wanted to resign to ease tensions. Meanwhile, Anwar Ibrahim is not a suitable candidate for the prime minister's post because the Malays reject him for being a liberal.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as reported in Berita Harian: “Anwar keluar-keluar (Umno), dia buat parti liberal. Dia nak dapat sokongan daripada DAP, maka dia ajak DAP masuk, PAS masuk. Falsafah dia liberal". The former Harapan prime minister added that this was why the majority of Malays rejected Anwar and why he (Mahathir) was needed to court the Malay vote.

Why don’t we just legislate this issue? Why doesn’t the Malay establishment work with their willing non-Malay counterparts and draft up legislation that non-Malays and Malay liberals cannot hold positions of power and influence in the government because this would cause distress to the Malay community?

Why not draw up legislation which would give legal validity to all those fears and grievances of the Malay community when it comes to non-Malay/liberal Malay leadership in this country? After all, non-Malay political operatives and Malay liberals are always warned not to spook the Malays or not trespass into territories that are supposedly exclusive “Malay”. For years we were fed the narrative that the government was supposed to be a bastion of Malay leadership and privilege.

Or how about this - why not all non-Malay and liberal Malay candidates sign pledges that even if elected to state or federal level they would not seek positions of power and influence. Maybe assistant roles would be all they would hope to achieve but the big positions would only be for the Malays of the "illiberal" persuasion.

This is in line with what PAS said during that wonderful Malay dignity congress that many Malay leaders attended. "Obviously we will take it up to the government for discussion as this reflects the feelings of the Malays, and they are worried about their future. We want to find ways so the Malays can play a role in restoring their honour".

After all, if every time a non-Malay (especially if they come from Harapan) needs to worry about restoring honour for the Malay community, maybe the federal government and state governments should just legislate and make it clear that non-Malays and liberal Malays can never be qualified to do so?

This way we can avoid all these needless controversies of how non-Malays in positions of power or influence are threatening the Malay community. This way we can make it clear that it is government policy not to have non-Malays in positions of power instead of this drama of the PM - whoever it is – asking folks to resign because of Malay opposition. The same goes for Malay liberals.

I have no idea if the Malay community really objects to the appointment of non-Malays to positions of power and influence. I do know that what they think of as "liberal" is complete horse manure. The only time we hear of Malay discontent is from political operatives who claim to represent Malay interests but who keep telling us that the Malays are lagging in the social and economic spheres of influence.

'Embodiment of evil'

I have no idea if this Malay outrage really exists because like all these manufactured outrages, the people who ferment trouble and incite the Malay community to action are political operatives and the various outsourced grievance machines often funded by the state.

Malay political operatives either incite opposition to non-Malay politicians or coddle anti-democratic, fascist or racist sentiments against non-Malay political operatives. If someone like Syed Saddique Syed Abdul Rahman has to write about how he thought that Lim Guan Eng was the embodiment of evil, it should tell us – non-Malays – of the kind of propaganda that has taken hold of the majority community.

Mind you, as someone who has very specific criticism against the DAP, I have never thought of anyone in the Malaysian mainstream politics as “evil incarnate”. Can you imagine the level of toxicity that propaganda organs spew to incite such levels of fear and mistrust?

And it is not as if the Malay establishment has not dealt with non-Malays in positions of power and influence or even liberal Malays for that matter. The underlying theme in such transactions is that those “acceptable” non-Malays in positions of power and influence pose no threat to the Malay political establishment and "liberal" Malays have always provided a fig leaf for all the other nonsense that goes on in government.

So where does this leave you? Either with Malay political operatives who are there because they can defend race and religion which means they will side with the Malay establishment or non-Malays who will kowtow to the Malay establishment because they are “acceptable”. In this situation, can anyone really trust the government?

It also makes any objective assessment of the way appointees carry out their roles impossible because Malay only leadership by its definition means that any objective assessment of their abilities is moot because race is the determining factor. Qualified independent Malays would be unsuitable for such positions.

Meanwhile, acceptable non-Malays will always be referred to as running dogs because they would be too busy giving the impression that upholding Malay dignity is their mandate no matter which part of the government they lead.

I do not normally use the “think of the children” line of argument but in this case, think of the children. Non-Malay young adults and children are told by politicians that their very existence in leadership roles are a threat to the Malay community. Meanwhile, Malay young adults and children are told that only they can lead this country and anyone else who is not of their “race” and “religion” are an existential threat. And forget about how these Malays are supposed to think about Malay liberals.

And remember, kids, it is Malay Muslim and not just Muslim. So if you are Muslim convert than you are not fit to lead this country too. Ridhuan Tee Abdullah is, of course, upset.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. A retired barrister-at-law, he hopes young people will assume the mantle of leadership – if there is to be any hope for this country.


  1. Bar already in place Capt Thaya-pandai. Malaysians readily accept non-Malay party can NEVER be given PM or even DPM, despite having the most seats in parliament. How humiliating and cringing. No shame.

    Nons also pay tax, in fact they pay more tax than Malays. But humiliatingly accept being third class citizen. AG oso cannot, CJ oso cannot, DPM oso cannot, FM oso cannot. Jaga Kereta ok-lah.

    But the self-proclaimed leader of the nons now kwai kwai duduk rumah makan Mee Maggi and keep quiet while their kawan's Hindu shrines are being demolished.

  2. The good commander forgot that Riduan Tee is more malay than the malays. And how he has tried over the years.

    But whether the "pure" malays accept him as one is debatable.

    Whatever is said by the Commander, it is an altriusm that quite a number of the malay body politic would be happy for the malays to control every facet of the country.

    In time, the nons may have to convert to survive. And wouldn't the next step be for the nons to be required to adopt a new malay sounding name like what was done in Indonesia in days past.

  3. Indonesia Boleh...Under Harapan we had Christian AG and CJ, now under PN how...? Makan Mee Maggi...?

    Indonesia appoints Christian as new national police chief

    Jan 26, 2021

    Indonesia's parliament has approved the appointment of Listyo Sigit Prabowo, a Protestant, as the new national police chief.

    Indonesia has named a Christian as the new national police chief, the third person from the religious minority to hold the post in the Muslim-majority nation.

    Commissioner General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, a Protestant, was the only nominee and was approved by parliament on Jan 20.

    The new chief, who heads the National Police's Criminal Investigation Agency and is a close ally of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, will replace General Idham Azis, who recently retired.

    Listyo said he would try to ensure the police force was more transparent and would step up efforts to deal with serious problems, including intolerance and radicalism.

    His appointment comes after a leading figure in the Indonesian Ulema Council, the country’s top Islamic clerical body, sparked controversy by saying the new police chief must be Muslim.

    Father Paulus Christian Siswantoko, executive secretary of the Indonesian bishops' Commission for the Laity, said that by appointing a new chief from a minority religion Widodo wanted to show that any Indonesian citizen has an equal right to become a leader.

    "This is an affirmation that this nation chooses leaders not based on religion, not based on a minority or majority, but based on achievement, track record and vision," he told UCA News.

  4. If you ask most Malay respondents whether they agree that Government positions should be held by Muslims, their unthinking answer would be "Setuju".

    However , for most, that does not translate that they are opposed non-Muslims holding government posts.

    For sure , there are die-hard Race and Religion Zombies, but they are the minority.

    A representative government that has a good mix, and based on capability and qualifications, is workable and acceptable to most Malaysians.

    Be fair, Get the job done, and most people will support you.

  5. It's now official. This Malay gomen (plus one Champion-of-the-Chinese Mee Maggi lover) has declared Parliament to be less important than pasar malam. Ha ha ha...or that pasar malam operators can be trusted to follow SOP but MPs cannot.....

    MCO 2.0: Pasar malam now allowed; driving license renewal exempted

    Published 29 Jan 2021

    Night markets (pasar malam) are now allowed to operate under the updated standard operating procedures for the second movement control order (MCO 2.0).

  6. Blame the majority of Malaysians who can’t think,can’t elect proper parliamentarians,easily influenced by race and religion issues and the outdated education system.
    The ultimate power to change anything lies in the hands of the rakyat.Until and unless the majority of the rakyat change their leaders,I am afraid we are forever heading south.

  7. Why Penang cannot get Indian CM? Is it because majority in Penang is Chinese?

    1. Georgetown Penang's First ever Mayor (Ramanathan) was an Indian elected by 99% Chinese voters

      Late Karpal Singh was elected by Jelutong almost 100% Chinese voters and now RSN Rayer

      His son Ramkarpal Singh is Gelugor's MP, a major Chinese-dominated constituency

      So is Gobind in Selangor, Kula in Ipoh etc etc