I had written large parts of this post before the red rally on Sept 16 but was very reluctant to post it for fear of inflaming the situation then. In fact, I can tell you that there was genuine fear on Sept 16 that something bad could happen.
I must admit that I had expected a maximum of 10,000 to 15,000 people to attend the red-shirt rally but the final attendance of 50,000 to 100,000 far surpassed this. And this is the biggest pro-government rally in Malaysian history.
Despite the apprehension and expectation of wide-spread violence, thankfully this red rally passed without (much) incident.
For avoidance of doubt, my stand is that I am totally against both the yellow and the red shirt rally. I believe street rallies have no place in Malaysian politics.
Now that the “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” rally has passed m, I believe this story can now be told .
The Red Rally would not have happened if the BERSIH 4 rally did not happen. It was entirely unnecessary and totally avoidable.
BERSIH 1, 2 and 3 did not have a follow-up red rally so the question is, why did BERSIH 4 had an anti-BERSIH rally?
The reasons are these:
1) BERSIH 4 was over-overwhelmingly from one race.
2) Many of the antics by the supporters in BERSIH 4 went overboard.
3) The arrogance of the BERSIH organizers and DAP regards the timing, the location and the attitude of BERSIH and DAP for not apologizing for the ill-conceived antics in the rally.
Let me explain,
1) BERSIH 4 was over-overwhelmingly from one race.
No matter how you say that BERSIH was supposed to be multi-racial and apolitical, it cannot be denied that the majority of the participants were non-Malays,
The reason for this change was that DAP had managed to antagonize, insult and isolate PAS who decided to stay away from this rally.
I had warned about this possible racial imbalance before the BERSIH 4 rally took place but was called a racist who talked about race.
Even the foreign press can foresee this imbalance and wrote about the danger BEFORE it happened.
Yet it is also possible that the protest could end up rallying ethnic-Malay support for Mr Najib. Recent rifts in the multi-ethnic opposition have led to worries that many ethnic-Malay supporters of the opposition and of previous Bersih rallies may not turn out this time. The risk is that a big rally dominated by ethnic Chinese and Indians would inflame the pernicious sore, scratched on UMNO’s fringes, that the country’s Islamic heritage is under threat from non-Malays. That is a fiendish trap.
The racial imbalance then led to the perception (whether rightly or wrongly) that this happened:
- 29th Aug – 90% Chinese at Dataran Merdeka
- 30th Aug – 90% Chinese at Dataran Merdeka
- 31st Aug National day – 90% Malay at Dataran Merdeka
Basically the perception was that the Chinese disrupted the preparations for Dataran Merdeka for two days but when it came to actually celebrating Merdeka Day, we stayed away. So much for patriotism.
That was the view held by many of my Malay FaceBook friends during that time. And these people are not the kampung folks but Malay professionals on FaceBook working in the cities.
If you are going to accuse me again of being racist for pointing out the race imbalance of BERSIH 4, then you should also call Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong for also stating the obvious.
You should also then call Bloomberg a racist for their article titled, “Big Anti-Najib Protests Fail to Draw Ethnic Malay Crowd”.
I saw this obvious danger. PM Lee say this. Foreign Media even saw this.
So how come DAP and BERSIH did not see this and refused to admit the obvious?
Didn’t DAP and BERSIH know that PAS has already said they are not participating and with that, much of the Malay support of the past three rallies?
But yet they stubbornly went ahead with the rally.
Perhaps they thought Mat Sabu and PAS break-away party Amanah could mobilize the Malay crowd and took a bet – a task which Amanah and PKR failed badly at?
However, DAP and BERSIH lost the bet and we had to live with the consequences.
Another stubborn move from DAP and BERSIH was: Why must you hold it at Dataran Merdeka and why must it be during our national day celebrations?
This is a valid question as after the violence and clashes after BERSIH 3 in 2012, Pakatan and other NGOs including BERSIH leaders agreed to hold the next mega-rally for Himpunan KL112 in Stadium Merdeka which received all the necessary police permits and approval.
Their next rallies for the Blackout505 after GE13 were similarly held at Kelana Jaya stadium and at Padang Merbok. The fact that it was a rally based on non-existent blackouts and protested against the lies of the 40,000 Bangladeshis ghost voters that Pakatan has since denied every accusing of is besides the point.
But somehow, BERSIH 4 in KL refused to cooperate and stubbornly went ahead with holding it on those dates and at that location – which meant they did not get the necessary approvals.
BERSIH in Kuching did get those approvals because they agreed to hold it in a field and away from any Merdeka celebrations.
Why the stubborn stance from DAP and BERSIH?
My parents and my friends visited me over last weekend and they were furious about the Red Rally and also shared how dangerous the rally could have turned out.
They questioned why did this Red Rally had to happen. I told them that it was hard to stop and then showed them the following photos and videos of what happened during the BERSIH 4 rally.
After watching this, they shook their heads and regretted the BERSIH 4 rally and said “some people can be so stupid and they should stop playing with fire”.
hey finally understood why the Red Rally took place.
These are the pictures and videos.
The following video is my “favourite” example of the idiocy of the BERSIH 4 supporters using Chinese and Taoist funeral music and stupid behaviour to insult Najib and Rosmah. This is a must-watch.
And of course the famous stepping on pictures of Najib and PAS President Hadi Awang. It was more than two persons who did it. Here is the video:
None of thee above photos and videos ever made it into the like of Malaysia Insider, MalaysiaKini and the Chinese media who had in-depth coverage of the BERSIH 4 rally.
But for the red-rally, any insulting or negative news was immediately written about and featured in those portals. It was only when mainstream media started talking about the people stepping on pictures of Hadi Awang and Najib that the alternative media had to talk about that particular incident.
Now, imagine if Govt or Utusan was malicious, before the red-rally they would have featured all the above pictures on the front page of Utusan or aired it on TV3 already. It is not that they do not have those videos and pictures, they had as they were already widely shared on social media and WhatsApp.
But they were responsible enough to know that featuring these would be very dangerous and inflammatory.
Aniconism in Islam is a proscription in Islam against the creation of images of sentient beings. The most absolute proscription is of images of God in Islam, followed by depictions of Muhammad, and then Islamic prophets, but the depiction of all humans and animals is discouraged in the hadith and by the long tradition of Islamic authorities, especially Sunni ones.
Aniconism in Islam is also why you don’t see statues of any of our historical Malay leaders in Malaysia – it is simply not allowed.
A particular Chinese participant in BERSIH 4 saw the danger and wrote the following in a letter that was originally published in Chinese in a news portal.
First of all, many young participants had been very “creative” in inflicting insults to Najib and Rosmah. The most common display was by using a toy knife or hand gesture in chopping off the head of a toy chicken. The more obscene gesture was poking the backside of the chicken.
There were also people who pasted Najib’s picture with joss papers to imply that he’s a blood-sucker.
Some of them were holding placards carrying crude and insulting words. Others were stomping on Najib and Rosmah’s pictures.
We Chinese used to regard ourselves as victims. When UMNO leaders raised the keris at an UMNO meeting, we felt hurt and threatened as if our dignity had been shredded.
However, when we used such a crude and barbaric gesture of chicken slaughtering, have we ever thought of the feelings of the Malays? To the Malays, no matter how much they dislike Najib, he is still a Malay and one of them.
It is only human that people will defend their own kind. Sex blogger Alvin Tan had done a lot of stupid things which the Chinese disagreed with but when other races screamed to whack and kill him, many Chinese also found it difficult to tolerate.
Malays respect their elders and are loyal to their leaders. No matter how bad Najib is, he is their elder and a national leader. Of course, they follow him. When the Chinese openly insult their elder and national leader, how can they earn the respect of the Malays?
To paste joss papers on Najib’s picture is a total lack of religious sensitivity. We all know the Malays are religious people and why should we do such a thing to make the Muslims angry.
That wise Malaysian Chinese understands what most DAP leaders and cybertroopers may not understand why many Malays find it so insulting that photos of Malay leaders (particularly UMNO and especially PAS leaders, whom they consider as a Religious scholar and leader) were stamped on, effigies were paraded and insulted and photos were hit with brooms and slippers.
It’s a big religious and cultural difference that many non-Malay Muslims may not be aware of and may have severely underestimated this sensitivity.
Despite the differences with PAS, you will never find MCA or Gerakan leaders or members demeaning images of PAS leaders – something which DAP leaders don’t seem to think is a problem.
Of course this sensitivity is not just limited to Malaysia.
There have been numerous cases of death threats and angry protests when images of the prophets were misused in Western practice – the recent slayings at Charlie Hebdo due to using insulting images of the prophet in their magazine is one of the more severe example.
A few years back it was the Denmark newspaper depicting the prophet in cartoons that has now become known as the “Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy ” – which triggered wide-spread protests and death threats.
A spill-over effect in Malaysia was that the Sarawak Tribune newspaper in Malaysia was also banned for a few years due to printing one of those images which was deemed insulting to Muslims.
>On top of that, PAS leader Hadi Awang is the Vice President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars – a widely respected world-wide Islamic organization.
And yet, his photos were stepped on.
These incidents above were not present during BERSIH 1,2 or 3 but somehow become prevalent during BERSIH 4.
Much of these offensive behaviour can be attributed to bad examples set by DAP and their cybertroopers. This has now become the norm.
And sadly, these bad examples of insulting and stepping on pictures are also propagated by the top-most DAP leaders.
“In my nearly 50 years in politics, I have never stepped on the photograph of any political leader,” Lim Kit Siang said at a press conference recently.
Of course, that was a lie since we have photographic evidence of that.
And we even have a statement about the above incident by DAP themselves too with an equally lame excuse that Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng cannot be blamed for stepping on those pictures “as the door mat was placed across the entrance to the convention hall, all persons entering the hall will have to step on the door mat.” Thus Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng could not avoid stepping on those pictures.
One wonder why they put pictures of people as doormats and also wonders why they could not remove the door mat.
Lame. So, quit lying.
Of particular note is DAP’s Hew Kuan Yew, who calls himself Superman, and a staple of DAP ceramah. He is well known for bad behaviour and offensive language.
He also brings this behaviour online. Here is a recent post Hew made where he posted a picture of an edited T-Shirt and “praising” Allah. Those who can read Chinese will understand his sarcasm.
DAP’s Tony Pua, who has mocked the international fatwa on Valentine’s day before also helps show to DAP supporters that it is perfectly fine to use personal insults on PAS President Hadi Awang.
Tony personally insults PAS president as Nyanyuk
DAP top leaders have been setting a bad example for years and now your supporters are doing the same.
And worse, DAP and BERSIH refused to apologize for those incidents with DAP giving the even more lame excuse that there is no proof that these are their supporters.
Some BERSIH supporters would then brush off the above incidents as the action of just a minority.
This is just a very hypocritical view:
The Red Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu rally is considered racist and insulting because a minority of the participants made insulting and racist comments and antics (LKS is Cina Babi, bantah SJKC, Ini Tanah Melayu) and the minority represents the majority..
The yellow BERSIH rally is not considered racist and insulting because a minority of the participants made insulting and racist comments and antics (such as mock Chinese funerals, hell notes, brooms, stamping on pictures) and the minority DOESN’T represents the majority..
Some BERSIH protestors would say that using Chinese customs and tradition to insult the leader of the Malays and a religous leader like Hadi Awang is not considered racist or insulting religion.
I wonder if the non-BERSIH supporters think the same way as you do, given their different upbringing, culture and outlook?
You sure they think the same way as you?
Or is this more true:
“What you say and do can affect race relations. It is not what you do and say that matters. It is how others perceive what you do and say that counts.”
About now, some BERSIH supporters would be saying that BERSIH is entirely apolitical.
Listen carefully to the video above. Were those BERSIH speeches about free and fair elections or was it about removing UMNO and BN?
Yup. Free and fair elections only. Never political, Yeah, right.
So, BERSIH is not DAP or Pakatan but somehow PERKASA and PEKIDA is UMNO? What logic is this?
Could PM Najib and government have stopped the red-shirt rally?
I doubt it. There were groups of people with genuine anger at the BERSIH 4 rally – especially since the BERSIH rally happened so soon after the Low Yat incident.
You must remember that the BERSIH 4 rally in KL was also declared illegal and police and govt did its utmost to stop it from happening but it still took place.
Similarly with the red-shirt rally, would Police declaring the red-shirt rally would also have stopped people form taking to the streets? Of course not.
What PM Najib, MCA, GERAKAN and MIC did in Cabinet was to manage this by insisting on the following conditions be fully adhered to:
1) The rallying point be changed from Petaling Street and Low Yat area to Padang Merbok. Petaling Street and Low Yat are absolutely off-limits.
2) The name of the rally was changed from Himpunan Maruah Melayu to Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu and non-Malays were also invited to join.
3) Strict and heavy police presence to uphold the peace.
With those changes and a neutral rallying point, police then gave the permit to allow a managed rally instead of unmanaged demonstrations.
In a sense, possible tragedy was averted due to the behind-the-scene consensus discussion and agreement that Najib, MCA, Gerakan and MIC did.
And despite the attempts of independent media and Pakatan politicians to try and brand the rally to be protecting Malay rights or Malay position or that Malays are under threat, the truth of the matter is that the rally was to protect Malay dignity.
Specifically, the dignity of Malay leaders Najib and Hadi Awang whose images were stepped on, put into hell-notes, sat on, farted on, put onto tombstones, using brooms to sweep at and funeral ceremony held for them.
You do all that and you still asking Najib to be the PM for all Malaysians?
Sorry, 1Malaysia has already died. It died when 90% of Chinese and Pakatan rejected 1Malaysia during GE13.
In fact, one of Tun Mahathir’s attacks on Najib is that he gave too much face to the Chinese which angered the Malays.
But somehow, Najib is being painted as a racist to praising the Red Rally being peaceful – which boggles the mind.
To conclude, I state again that the red rally was most unnecessary and a totally avoidable rally if the following happened:
- DAP had not attacked and isolated PAS which led to the racially-imbalanced BERSIH 4 rally
- DAP leaders and their cybertoopers had not been setting the bad example of insulting other leaders for years which led to the childish and highly-insulting antics in BERSIH 4 and possibly more severe ones in future which will definitely raise race-religion tensions more and ultimately lead to disaster.
- DAP and BERSH had taken responsibility for those highly-insulting antics in BERSIH 4 and issued an apology
- Instead of being stubborn, DAP and BERSIH had compromised and changed both the date of the rally and venue to something mutually acceptable to the Police and government.
Better yet, if the BERSIH 4 rally did not happen, the Red rally most certainly won’t have taken place.
For every action, there will be a re-action.
I just hope that Malaysia does not go down the track of endless Red vs Yellow rallies like in Thailand.
EPILOGUE – A note to MCA, Gerakan and MIC:
When the shit hits the fan, all DAP ever does is to shift the blame and ask MCA, Gerakan and others to solve the problem like above. DAP does not solve problems, they tai-chi it to others.
MCA is not responsible for holding or promoting the BERSIH 4 rally nor do they have the support of 90% of the Chinese -many of whom went for the BERSIH 4 rally.
And due to the BERSIH 4 rally, there was an anti-BERSIH 4 rally which could further heighten race tension.
DAP is responsible for this mess but refuse to take responsibility or apologize and wants MCA to stop the rally and clean up DAP’s mess?
DAP will never take responsibility for their actions. it is their modus operandi to shift the blame to MCA and others.
This Yellow vs Red conflict is a good example:
1) DAP creates racial tensions by continually pushing and pushing.
2) And when others start pushing back, DAP then tai-chi the problem to MCA, Gerakan and others to solve the problem
3) MCA, Gerakan and others take up the challenge “for the sake of protecting the minorities” and try to confront UMNO and govt to solve it
4) When MCA and Gerakan cannot solve the problem or cannot solve it enough or engage in a war of words with UMNO, DAP will then say MCA, Gerakan etc are useless or cowards or dogs to UMNO.
They will then repeat the cycle.
When is MCA and Gerakan and the rest going to realize that this is DAP’s modus operandi and break this cycle?
You all should clearly state your stand that you are against BOTH yellow and red rallies and make sure DAP gets their rightful share of the blame. You are not servants of DAP and have to clean up their mess all the time.
If DAP creates any problems again, please ask DAP to solve them.
After all, 90% of us Chinese have voted DAP and entrusted them to solve our problems.
Therefore, DAP should fulfill their responsibilities – not MCA, Gerakan or MIC.