The Pied Pipers Of Racism Need To Go Back To School

Wisdom rules the heart and mind of a great leader. But the best of leaders are fallible. They make bad judgements that cause a nation to suffer
Some fall victim to their own deceit. And they leave a poisoned legacy and their name a curse
In history, we learn of wise rulers who were acclaimed for their wise rule and benevolence and foolish ones who led their people to ruin

Sadly, wisdom is a virtue rare among politicians today, and disappointingly in one whose advancing years and experience have not been of any evident advantage to his country
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is increasingly being criticised even cursed for his frequent lapses in judgement
The brickbats are all out there in the social media. And his lapses of wisdom and backsliding have taken a toll on his personal standing. He is fast becoming a hated man as he once was
His selective hearing at the Malay Dignity Congress and indiscretion in attending what turned out to be a racial 'hatefest' was not a wise thing to do for a leader of a multiracial nation
I will not be surprised if it all turns out to be part of his game plan
Some Malays who attended the event later wrote in social and the print media slamming the racist nature of the event. They felt offended at the vitriol against their fellow non-Malay countrymen in the name of their race and Islam, a religion that does not discriminate against race
If certain Malays were upset, spare a thought for the non-Malays. 'Shared prosperity' is a sham when academics show their covetous, egotistic and mean streak
Islam takes a battering again from its self-appointed proponents who are acting against what it teaches. Truth, justice and love are supplanted by greed, arrogance and politics
Is that what Islam teaches Muslims to do - to insult, usurp and ill-treat non-Muslims and deny them their basic rights
Universities are the bastions of higher learning and forward thinking but those who led the universities, organised and spoke at the event have tarnished the public esteem of those institutions, their own public standing and academic credibility
Those universities have been hijacked by wolves in sheep's clothing who are leading impressionable Malays down the slippery slope once again
And Mahathir is their pin-up boy - the 'rock' star of race politics who once rocked the nation with racialistic politics and was disciplined by then-premier Tunku Abdul Rahman
The pied pipers of racism need to go back to school and learn proper history and get a decent education
Solo protestUniversity Malaya graduate Wong Yan Ke is to be commended for his solo protest at his graduation ceremony asking the vice-chancellor to resign
When we thought the nation would rid itself of race bullies with the advent of a new Pakatan Harapan government, the nature and velocity of the racialistic speeches are a painful reminder of past Umno assemblies
How can you trust the custodians of knowledge and higher learning whose minds are filled with prejudice? I guess all those Biro Tatanegara (BTN) brainwashing sessions have had their toxic effect
Academics who abuse their positions of public trust ought to be ashamed of their antics. Who needs a professor of prejudice
The government has to now clean those universities of those subversive elements who spread the venom of division. Places of higher learning are tax-funded and not institutions for political propaganda
What is also of concern, besides the offensive speeches, is the government's silence and Mahathir's participation at the congress, along with notable Harapan leaders
It is a joke that students can't participate in politics but those who head universities can act like political puppets
Is it all part of the script to make Mahathir look innocuous when others show their racist fangs
The crux of complaints against the Malay Dignity Congress centres on the lies and subversive statements by certain speakers who should resign from their positions and enter politics. Spewing political propaganda from the ivory tower is disgraceful and indefensible
When did Malaysia belong to the Malays? Which Malays? There are title deeds for Malay reserve land but who owns the title deed to the country
The truth is no one can own a country. One may own land in the country. But Malaysia is not a land title. It is a political agreement sealed in law when several states came together as one nation in 1963
In a political sense, Malaysia belongs to itself, owned by no one, but governed by a written constitution. A country does not belong to a people but a people belong to it. That is why symbolically we call a country the ‘fatherland’ or ‘motherland’ and we the sons and daughters
Social contract?Those who revive talk of a non-existent 'social contract' are either mischievous, ignorant or outright liars out to destroy the peaceful fabric of the country's national harmony
There is no social contract. There is, however, rule of law enshrined in the Constitution. Reneging on the Constitution is treachery
Before Merdeka in 1957, many of non-Malays were already true-blue citizens of Malaya. No one did us any favour. Independence did not give us our citizenship. We got our birthright as anyone would being born in the country
The late Royal Emeritus Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz, former vice-chancellor of Universiti Malaya, had made a public statement to the effect - he said there was no social contract
So why this beating again of a dead horse? Why the bleating? Why didn't Mahathir speak out? He was prime minister then when there was a furore, hence Ungku Abdul Aziz entered the fray and cleared the air
If critics raise their voices against Mahathir, it is understandable. His government has recently promoted the idea of a nation with 'shared prosperity' yet he was seen in a show of solidarity by joining and raising his hands with dubious politicians in the opposition to marginalise the non-Malays
Mahathir lost the opportunity to defend the non-Malays who voted for him, who supported him when they were unfairly and falsely painted as the bogeyman. His lapse of memory fails him in recalling it was the non-Malays who saved his political bacon in the 1999 elections when the Malays deserted him
Criticising the Malays for their flaws and failings, and repeating the mantras of Malay shortcomings instead of refuting the racist speakers, has left Mahathir with diminished credibility as a national leader
Like Najib, he may claim to be a 'PM for all' but not walking the talk weakens his words, which no one can take seriously
Mahathir's credibility is further eroded after his confession of misleading the voters in GE14 by making promises he had no intention of keeping. His explanation that the Harapan manifesto was made to make it hard for the BN to win GE14 sounded like his trademark 'doublespeak.'No one will take Mahathir's word seriously after his revelation
It raises questions about Mahathir's integrity, and I hope not his mental state. He has a penchant for saying things that end up the opposite
Remarkably, he had promised a “clean, efficient and trustworthy” government when he first took over as prime minister but left behind a system that created a kleptocracy. Hardly what he had promised
Mahathir has the chance to be remembered as a loved hero of pre-GE14 or a hated villain of post-GE14
By not setting a date for the handover of power to PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim and ensuring his succession, Mahathir risks burning his entire lifelong reputation with one fatal mistake
Judas is not a word any leader would like nailed on his epitaph. Dignity is something no one can take from you if you don't lose it by surrender or treachery
In the public eye, the honest poor man working hard to make his own money has more dignity than a dishonest leader who works hard at stealing public money or other people's basic rights
The world has not seen a race holding political power organise a conference to threaten and bully others in the minority, and led by of all people, its intelligentsia and endorsed by its country leader, bound by public oath to serve them
The truth is if Mahathir is not a leader for all, he is no leader at all
Race bulliesThe silver lining is the race bullies have shown their hand, and unless Anwar steps up the damage control, I would hate to think Malaysia without the non-Malays will end up a ghost town
Not long ago a wise Malay academician lamented the sorry state of the nation and stated it was time to get his children to look beyond his country's shores. Yes, a Malay, not 'kafir', saying that. What a shame and indictment of the country's governance
It is time for right-thinking Malays to stop the madness before the country goes down the tubes. Five thousand voices at the Malay Dignity Congress do not represent the Malays or Malaysians
We know how the fable of King Midas ended, don't we? As I have written before, Mahathir is advanced in years and the role of country leader will take a toll on him. He must be struggling physically to keep up with the pace. His lapses of wise judgement are a worry
Mahathir did his part admirably during GE14. He will tarnish and diminish his GE14 legacy by overstaying and obstructing Anwar
Malaysians honour their elders and many still hold Mahathir in high esteem. I feel sorry for him that he needs to play the race card and at the same time, try to be seen as a leader of non-Malays. It must be a tough job to keep up appearances
Still, he must be careful of his lapses. Many Malaysians are deserting him. Dignity comes from honouring one's word. Mahathir will have short-changed himself and the nation if he overstays his welcome
Let another take his place of leadership, let Anwar take over, and no one will blame Mahathir for splitting the Malays
Dignity begins with self-respect and respecting the rights of others and not sounding like a bully
STEVE OH is an author and composer of the novel and musical Tiger King of the Golden Jungle. He believes good governance and an engaging civil society are paramount to Malaysia being a unique and successful nation. - Mkini

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