Friday, May 7, 2010

It's May!

Are you really surprised by the pathetic politics of the likes of Azhar Ibrahim invoking the threat of another May 13 in the Penang assembly? Well, maybe there are some out there who are but, quite frankly, I’m not. In fact, I was surprised that such talk from the ultra-communalist Ketuanan Melayu party did not occur somewhat sooner.

This kind of indulgence in such gutter politics has, after all, been in the making for some months now. Despite the apparent ‘success’ of BN in the recent by-election in Hulu Selangor, we have actually been seeing some signs of serious strain in the BN coalition for several months now. The unadulterated desperate lashing out we’re thus seeing in some circles of the proponents of Ketuanan Melayu seems to be a symptomatic and at the same time predictable given the pressure being felt by BN/UMNO.

The steady and undeniable collapse of the MCA of course symbolises the apprehension in the BN circle of sluggish and fading Chinese support for the BN. While that trend has been in motion since the last general election, we have seen nothing but a steady consolidation and even acceleration of this trend. Of course events like the Teoh Beng Hock’s death compounded by the government’s utter lack of transparency, and quite to the contrary, its deliberate stonewalling, in dealing with the investigation has no doubt added to the Chinese mistrust of the government.

One definitive indicator of this solidifying mistrust of the government became really obvious in the Hulu Selangor by-election. If ever there was a mass Chinese vote abandoning the BN, the Hulu Selangor vote was it. And there is no doubt that the UMNO/BN operatives were quite aware that this was going to be the case in Hulu Selangor; hence, the intense battle for holding on to the Malay proportion of the vote from slipping over to Zaid. But the racist-extremists apparently are feeling so insecure that they’re continuing their attack on Zaid as if they’re fearing that Zaid’s defeat in Hulu Selangor is not going to be the last they hear of him.

Of course the formation of Perkasa and the increasingly vocal stance of those who revel in racist ideology shows the growing desperation of the racist. More recently, the controversy surrounding Joshua Wong and other journalists, and the wider government interference in the Chinese-language media in particular, has not done anything to help the government’s image, especially among the Chinese. The fact that Joshua Wong and other have gone public with their revelations about the internal political pressure and censorship of MSM and especially the Chinese-language media simply magnifies the government’s growing desperation on the one hand, and further erodes the confidence of the Chinese in the BN.

Hence, the more the Chinese become disillusioned with the BN, the more desperate the ultra-communalist get. As we have seen from previous experiences, when the government and UMNO operatives get desperate and concerned, they lash out with not so subtle threats and references to May 13. In the past, these ultra-communalist have been able to use this desperate and fear-mongering tactic to coerce Chinese support for BN. Will this desperate approach work again?

How ironic that we’re seeing some of these transparent and blatantly desperate acts in this month of May.

G. Krishnan