Saturday, September 5, 2009

Don't Hold Your Breath

It’s refreshing to read all the voices of reason, rationality and decency from all quarters condemning the blatantly provocative actions of Shah Alam protesters. Equally encouraging has been the condemnation of the home minister and the notoriously un-magnanimous Khir Toyo. But I must admit I’m also at the very least puzzled as well as surprised at the chorus of voices calling on the prime minister to discipline the former.

Of course I can understand the outrage being expressed about the home minister’s comments. But come on people! Are you really that surprised and shocked about the comments from some of the most visible of UMNO’s cast of characters regarding the despicable behaviour of the protesters? Are their comments really that surprising? Seems to me, their response has been quite predictable – to say the least. Frankly, I would not have expected anything less from the Keris waving ultra-nationalist and those within UMNO who are essentially of the same mold.

Indeed, I am inclined to even suggest that we should not have expected anything other than precisely what we’ve seen from those who are the public face of a party that has for over a generation now, been nothing more than a hotbed and incubator for a vile strain of racist-laden ultra-nationalism. For me, this incident has played out exactly by the script. There’s not been one facet about the whole affair that has been surprising or shocking – and definitely not the comments of the UMNO race-baiters who have seen it perfectly appropriate to play this whole issue up in order to impress their racist political base with their rhetoric of Malay supremacy.

Now anything other than the response we got from the home minister would have been surprising. And certainly the unimaginable: a condemnation by the home minister of the demonstrators with the cow head would have been a downright shocking development.

Oh, and by the way, do you all really believe the PM would take seriously the inflammatory remarks by someone on his cabinet?

Don’t hold your breath.

G. Krishnan