...Ng Wei Aik is state assemblyman and aide to Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng. ...one day soon after Israel’s military operation against the Gaza flotilla, he saw that his party, the DAP, had beaten Najib Razak to the clock. The prime minister was being tardy, Ng complained ... If Najib is slower, then by inference, his heart may not be with the Palestinians, that is, Muslims. If not with Muslims, who with? Conversely, DAP people like Ng cast the impression that they think of Muslims every moment of their waking hours. So touching….
Now it seems domestic politics is beginning to be measured in terms of hours taken to react and to issue a condemnation. And that over an ancient, Jewish-Muslim conflict nearly half a world away and reignited more than half a century ago, it having sparked when Malaysia was not even in existence.
Ng’s posturing is sign that the country is off on yet another trajectory in demonizing Chinese and in Sino-Malay relations. Anti-Chinese racism in Malaysia has this historic, lasting quality in varied forms: before, in stereotypical portrayal of Chinese as gangsters, prostitutes, towkays, usurious money-lenders (‘Ah Longs’); today, gamblers and Jews.
Most tellingly it is DAP’s scathing attacks on Israel that beat even the usual hate mongering coming from Umno and PAS/PKR.
This is to the credit of the Gaza flotilla, which offered a window of opportunity to propel Malaysia into arriving at the milestone in Chinese-Malay relations – a milestone reaffirmed on the streets earlier this month in demonstrations against Israel (against Jews really), and almost simultaneously in the Ketuanan Melayu propaganda papers: Jews equal Chinese.
He who started it
Mahathir Mohamad has been one of the earliest to bed the Chinese and the Jewish diaspora – his two pet hate projects. His most recent rants against both Jews and Chinese are today preambled and chorused by other Malaysians, notably Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah (left), and Muslims and Chinese Christians who are staunchly anti-Jew.
From a lone Mahathir project before, it’s gone truly Malaysian. DAP, PKR, Chinese, everybody appears to have unanimously jumped on the bandwagon, or should we say the flotilla?
Equating Jew and Chinese, Ridhuan Tee says upfront: “the Jews are already right in front of our eyes???. To rub it in for the Chinese, he praises Hilter and fascism....Ng contributes to feather the very bed made by Mahathir – Jews equal Chinese – and which Ridhuan Tee now repeats to no end.
Drive Chinese into the sea?
The device Mahathir employs (and in whose hallowed footsteps Ridhuan follows) is a form of logic technically called syllogism, using two inter-related or parallel concepts, and tying them up to forge a third – the conclusion.
Because it is so easily mistaken as truth, syllogism is used everywhere in the English speaking world, as in Malaysia by individuals who otherwise cannot make a convincing case from empirical evidence.
From one of the latter editions of The Malay Dilemma, below is a sample of terms, all Mahathir’s, and note they are entirely of a subjective, adjectival kind because in syllogism no objective facts are required – just say it.
First Parallelism (P.1):
- Jews: hook-nosed, stinginess, financial wizardry, commercial control, understand money instinctively.
- Chinese: almond-eyed, unscrupulous, manipulative, monopoly wholesale trade, defer to riches.
Second Parallelism (P.2):
- Palestine: whole country was taken (sic!) and handed to the Jews
- Malaya: predatory immigrants, Sinocization (sic!) of the country
The examples above pile syllogism on syllogism. The conclusions in each of them automatically pull together to create a third: (P.1) Jews = Chinese; (P.2) Palestine = Malaya; therefore, (P.3) Chinese illegally occupied Malaya. Extrapolate P.3, hence, drive the Chinese into the South China Sea as Mahathir did to the Vietnamese boat people? (Arabs say the same of Israel’s Jews.)
These conclusions need not be made plain; they become intuitive just reading the stuff.
The Chinese profile being constructed for hate has evolved so far along these lines (and note the same syllogism at work):
- Chinese are Jews.
- Chinese are infidels and the heathen.
- Jews killed Jesus.
- Jews kill Palestinians.
- Therefore Chinese are anti-Palestinians
- Palestinians are Muslims.
- Malays are Muslims.
- Therefore Chinese oppress Muslims.
- Chinese won’t become Muslims or Christians (neither will Jews).
- Therefore Chinese are anti-Muslims and anti-Christians.
Taken far enough in this reconstructed profile of racial hate, as Mahathir did in the Dilemma, is a recipe for a future pogrom....praising the anti-Semitism, opposition politicians fawning after the Muslim vote are locked hand-in-hand with the Muslim fundamentalism they once denounced.
The greatest Malaysian achievement in the ‘Peace Flotilla’ to Gaza is, therefore, not concern for Palestinians. ...the Turkish flotilla electrifies a domestic, Malaysian, hate-Chinese project by transforming and giving it an international character, supported even by local Chinese, Lim Kit Siang et al.
From Mahathir, anti-Semitism as a way to drum up Chinese hatred is to be expected. But how could the opposition, one might ask, be so callous in their politics?