Tuesday, 23-Dec-2003 8:17 AM
FALLACIES WE LIVE UNDER
Malaysians stupid or is it just that the powers-that-be think we
are. There are so many fallacies being bandied about by the government
and the ruling party that I am beginning to wonder whether those
are who doing so are just stupid, or maybe they think we are, so
they try to pass off these fallacies as the gospel.
such fallacy is the Barisan Nasional's 50th Anniversary celebration
that was held in the Merdeka Stadium on 20 September 2003. Barisan
Nasional was not formed until 1973, after the infamous "May
13" racial riots. And that was 30 years ago, so how could they
be celebrating its 50th Anniversary?
earlier, Umno celebrated its 57th Anniversary. Umno, however, was
legally registered 15 years ago in 1988, after the Registrar of
Societies deregistered the old Umno. How can a 15-year old party
celebrate its 57th Anniversary?
on the subject of anniversaries, we just celebrated Malaysia's 46th
Anniversary on 31 August 2003. Malaysia, however, was created on
16 September 1963, not 31 August 1957. Prior to 16 September 1963,
we were Malaya, and Sabah and Sarawak were still British colonies
and not independent yet. In fact, Sabah and Sarawak, in their wisdom,
do not celebrate Merdeka on 31 August but on 16 September. They
do not recognise 31 August as their Independence Day.
back to the Barisan Nasional 50th Anniversary celebration. Do you
know that Umno did not join the ruling coalition until 1988? When
the court ruled the old Umno illegal and the Registrar of Societies
deregistered it, Umno ceased to be a member of the ruling coalition
and the MCA President became the new Chairman of Barisan Nasional.
Then, the new Umno, which had just been registered, had to apply
to join the ruling coalition. It was not a reapplication to join
Barisan Nasional but a fresh application of a new party. It was,
of course, approved, but this means only then did Umno become a
member of the ruling coalition.
not only is Umno 15 years old and Barisan Nasional 30 years old,
but Umno was not leading the ruling coalition for 50 years as what
is being claimed. Umno was in Barisan Nasional for only 15 years
of the coalition's 30 years life. During a brief moment in time,
MCA was leading the coalition with its President as the Barisan
Nasional Chairman and it was MCA that approved Umno's application
to join the coalition.
fact, the day that Umno ceased to become a Barisan Nasional member,
pending the registering of the new Umno and pending the approval
of its application to become a coalition member, Dr Mahathir Mohamad
should have also ceased to become the Prime Minister. Since the
MCA President was the new Barisan Nasional Chairman, he should instead
have taken over as Prime Minister. Dr Mahathir, however, held on
illegally as Prime Minister.
interesting point to note, membership to the Barisan Nasional coalition
must be based on unanimous agreement, not majority agreement. If
just one of the coalition members object, then Umno's application
to join the coalition cannot be approved. What if one of the Barisan
Nasional parties had objected that day? Umno would not have been
allowed into the Barisan Nasional.
could Dr Mahathir, therefore, stay on as Prime Minister? He would
have had to resign and Malaysia would have had its first Chinese
Prime Minister, President of the MCA. Dr Mahathir, however, chose
to stay on as Prime Minister, though the party he was heading was
not a ruling coalition member yet. If this is not a coup, then I
do not know what is.
let us talk about the word 'Umno', the acronym for the United Malays
National Organisation. In Bahasa Malaysia, this translates as Pertubuhan
Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu or PKMB. Why are we still illegally calling
it Umno and not PKMB as what it should be called? PKMB is, after
all, the legally registered name of the 1946 party and, Umno says,
the new Umno is still the same old Umno. If it is now called Umno,
then this is the new party, Umno Baru, and cannot be the same old
party as what they claim. Yet another fallacy debunked.
with regards to 'May 13', may I add that this black mark in Malaysian
history occurred 34 years ago. However, until today, we are still
living under its shadow.
government says that Malaysia is peaceful and all races live in
harmony, thanks to the Barisan Nasional government. Then, the government
says, it cannot allow any public rallies lest another 'May 13' erupts.
May 13 was the result of public rallies preceding and following
the 11 May 1969 General Election. If public rallies are allowed,
then there is danger of racial riots erupting all over again, argues
Malaysia is so peaceful and all races live in harmony, how can public
rallies cause racial riots? Racial riots are the result of the different
races being at odds with each other. If there is a danger of racial
riots erupting and if even a small thing like public rallies are
enough to trigger a racial riot, then how can the different races
in Malaysia be at peace with each other? There must be something
terribly wrong with our race relations if we are constantly living
under this dark cloud of a racial riot.
therefore, is the fallacy; that we are living in peace and harmony
or that public rallies will cause racial riots? If we are really
at peace with each other, then no amount of public rallies can trigger
a racial riot and if public rallies can result in racial riots then
we cannot be at peace can we?
we have the Internal Security Act. We are told that Malaysia is
safe and that there are no terrorists or terrorism in Malaysia.
But then the government says that the ISA cannot be abolished or
else the nation's security would be threatened. If Malaysia is so
safe and free of terrorism, why do we need the ISA to guarantee
the security of the nation? Is this yet another fallacy? If so,
which is the fallacy, that we need the ISA or that Malaysia is so
safe and free of terrorism? It cannot be both.
the government warns the people not to vote the opposition into
office lest the security of the nation suffers and another racial
riot erupts. Only the ruling coalition can guarantee this will not
happen claim the powers-that-be. If this is so, then Malaysia must
be sitting on a keg of gunpowder. If all it takes is for the ruling
coalition to get kicked out of office for the country to be turned
into another Beirut, then Malaysia is an extremely dangerous place
to live in and the ruling Barisan Nasional has failed miserably
in bringing stability to this nation in all the years it has been
let us talk about the Sedition Act. Malaysia has a law, the Sedition
Act, that make it illegal to say or write anything that will stoke
the sensitivities of any race. If I was to say, "Send the Indians
back to India and the Chinese back to China and give Malaysia back
to the Malays, I can and will get sent to jail."
the non-Malays question the rights and privileges of the Malays
or insult Islam or the Sultans in any way, they too can be sent
why will you get arrested and be sent to jail? To ensure no one
says or writes anything that may anger anyone thus causing friction
between the different races, which may result in a racial riot.
The Sedition Act, therefore, maintains peace between all the races.
And we have many other laws as well; such as the ISA; that does
this same job. Under threat of being sent to jail, all races say
only nice things about each other. Under threat of arrest and detention,
no one runs riot on the streets and kill each other. Malaysia, therefore,
according to the government, is peaceful and all races live in harmony
and only the ruling coalition can guarantee this.
if Malaysia is that peaceful and all races live in harmony, why
do we need to arrest anyone who says or writes the 'wrong' thing?
To ensure there is no bloodbath? Peace and racial harmony cannot
be enforced under threat of arrest. Either it is there, or it is
not there. And, if we need to have laws that allow arrest and detention
without trial to 'force' peace on its citizens, then what kind of
peace are we talking about?
it a fallacy that Barisan Nasional has achieved peace and stability,
or is the real fallacy the argument that laws are required to deny
people the right to say and write what they like to guarantee this
peace? One of them is a fallacy as they cannot both be true since
both claims contradict each other. And Malaysia is rich with fallacies.