[ UPDATED ] Hyperallergic Reactions to BBC’s HardTalk With Syed Hamid Albar

16 09 2007


It seems that my satirical suggestion that we should adopt Sarah Montague of BBC HardTalk as Malaysia’s PM has triggered grave fears of an impending invasion and recolonisation of Malaysia by a grand military alliance composed of the UK, US, Israel, Russia, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Dubai, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, East Timor, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Burkina Faso and Luxembourg neo-colonialists, led by none other than the terrifyingly implacable and gimlet-eyed Supreme Leader Sarah Montague… I sincerely apologise for causing widespread panic and terror in the Malaysian online community.

With so many more pressing issues at hand, I would much prefer not to feud with commenters and other bloggers, but the appearance of several particularly venomous and fascist dangerous blog responses to my latest post/subject (the BBC Hardtalk interview with FM Syed Hamid Albar) requires a comprehensive reply.

It seems that several individuals and bloggers (not UMNO, to my considerable surprise) have taken grave offence to my satirical suggestion that we should adopt Sarah Montague of BBC’s HardTalk programme as Malaysia’s Prime Minister. At least one (fairly established and outwardly pious) blogger has uttered explicit threats of ‘hunting down and decapitating’ ‘traitors’… presumably independent-minded individuals who might dare to ridicule the esteemable Foreign Minister’s desperate comments and make satirical comments that Sarah Montague would make a better Prime Minister than Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

(Note: If you have not seen the video yet, please refer to the end of this post for the link to the BBC video; I leave you to judge for yourself whether Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar’s performance at the interview qualifies as that of a gallant hero defending the flawless reputation of Utopian Malaysia from hordes of evil enemies (as some think), or a squirming stooge forced to defend an indefensible political position from uncompromisingly blunt questions from a hard-nosed BBC journalist who cannot be intimidated or suppressed by UMNO-BN, unlike the supine Malaysian mainstream media)

It would seem that my satirical one-liner (last line of this post) about importing Sarah Montague as our PM has proven to be far more useful than I intended. For one, it appears to have (inadvertently) exposed the racist-religious supremacist tendencies of some individuals by triggering an over-reaction on their part.

The immediate and adverse allergy to satire is clear proof that the self-serving paranoia and supremacist rhetoric sown by UMNO-BN for so many years has fully taken root in some individuals, who may outwardly profess to be opposed to UMNO totalitarianism but spew the same poisonous, racist-religious supremacist rhetoric that we have come to expect from the fascists in UMNO Youth. This is a trend that is as insidious and dangerous as the overt racist rhetoric spewing from within the ranks of UMNO.

I say again: if we succumb to communal and sectarian hatred, UMNO has won. They will have successfully divided the multiracial people of Malaysia along racial lines, thus ensuring their continued hegemony.

To emphasise the point, I reproduce below one of the comments (unedited) here, as posted by ‘Mahaguru58’ on Achmed Rauff’s blog (Bullets of Quills and Ink) “Do I want Sarah Montagne as PM of Malaysia?”:

mahaguru58 said…
Well said Brother!Read my latest article about these anonymous cowards who seem hellbent in selling out our nation to foreign devils!They are traitors who must be hunted down and decapitated for their treacherous ideas!It is as the saying goes, ” A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.They’d never know the value of the independence that we have till we are colonized again!These upstarts usually have never experienced the hardship that our forefathers went through living under the foreign occupiers!I am with you in this stand.
7:20 AM”

Expressions of frustration and contempt for corrupt, inept and racist government (leaders) are not the same as ‘selling out the nation’ to ‘foreign devils’.

To ‘Mahaguru58’ and Achmed Rauff, you may wish to turn around and look in the direction of the BN (UMNO-MCA-MIC etc) headquarters. There are your ‘traitors’ who are ‘selling out the nation’, not those of us citizens who declare our refusal to submit to corruption, racism and creeping totalitarianism — unless of course you share the same insidious fascist objectives as UMNO. I will remind you that the threat of ‘decapitation’ would fit seamlessly into an Al-Qaeda/Jemaah Islamiah/Abu Sayyaf video.

And just in case you once again try to denigrate the credentials of other races in claiming equal rights as citizens of Malaysia:

My grandfather (and many Malayans of all races) operated with the Force 136 guerrillas and fought against the occupying Japanese Army for three years during WWII. Malayans of all races fought and died for a proto-country where many were at the time only 2nd or 1st-generation Malayans or were even born overseas. I can tell you that they did not fight to replace one set of oppressors with another, home-grown one.

There is no room for supremacism. We will not accept it. Stop this racist and religious intolerance NOW.

The record will show that:

(1) this blog is implacably opposed to the corrupt and racist policies and (mis)conduct of the BN government of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi led by UMNO and its component parties, and expresses opposition by helping to record and expose misconduct and hypocrisy.

(2) this blog has been pushing (in its limited capacity) for social equality and racial/religious tolerance, and is a (very) small part of the Bangsa Malaysia initiative, which adopts a ‘colour-blind’ position to overcome the deep communal suspicions created by years of UMNO communalist rhetoric and institutionalised discrimination. This blog does not tolerate supremacism of any kind. Fortunately, there are many enlightened individuals and citizens of all races and creeds who can see and act on the urgent need to eradicate supremacism.

(3) this blog has been trying (in its limited capacity) to help raise awareness of the people’s civil rights to freedom of speech and information; to demand accountability from the government; and the right to vote independently for a clean and just government.

(4) this blog has been seeking (in its limited capacity) to collaborate with other civil-minded individuals and/or groups in order to discuss and suggest improvements to governance, policy and the Constitution.

For some comic relief after the heavy material above, may I suggest you go to YouTube and search for “The Militant Black Guy” series of comedy skits from the “Balls of Steel” comedy series, which features a ridiculously belligerent black man whose paranoia and oversensitivity leads him to misconstrue completely innocuous comments as racial insults (i.e., like my satirical comment being misconstrued as ‘an invitation to ‘foreigners’ to ‘recolonise’ Malaysia). The brilliance of these amusing but meaningful short skits is that they manage to simultaneously satirise both real and reverse racism: casual discrimination against people of African descent and the reactionary paranoia of the ‘militant black power’ activists. Two of the videos are embedded below:


Plenty more at YouTube.

The most salient point made by the videos (besides the prevalence of casual racism and reactionary racism) is that the inability to criticise and laugh at oneself is the core impediment to achieving maturity.

Thank you ‘Stu’, ‘dink’ and other readers who alerted me to the blogs in question, and to a few readers who recognised the satire and defended this blog and other readers. At the same time, I would like to request that readers refrain from attacking the blogs in question; by outing themselves as supremacists they have already done enough damage to themselves.

We have more important battles to fight.



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