Mahathir’s Advice to All Mamaks in Malaysia

December 28, 2009

Mahathir’s Advice to All Mamaks

By Terence Netto

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s advice to Malaysia’s Indian Muslims to choose between their Muslim and their Indian identities puts one in mind of a resonant episode in the immediate prelude to the partition of India in mid-1947.

A delegation of Indian Muslims, contemplating abandoning their homes in India for the new entity called Pakistan, went to see Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the highest ranked Muslim in the Congress Party and a strong foe of partition.

Islamic scholar Azad, who was born in Mecca, was renowned for the battles he had waged for communal unity in India, for its freedom from Britain, and for secularism.

His visitors were in no doubt about where Azad stood on the matter of partition: he was unalterably opposed and an arch critic of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, head of the Muslim League and fervent proponent of separation.

The delegation just wanted to see for themselves if Azad would waver from his resolute anti-partition stance at a perilous time.

June 1947 comprised an exaggerated moment in Indian history. It is just such moments of extremity that best reveal the essence of things. And Azad demonstrated the seer-like qualities of his stature as a leader when he posed this question to the delegation: “Where will you go should you discover that Pakistan is not your home?”

Of course, none of his visitors could countenance the notion that their anticipated new abode could turn out to be forbidding. Many of those who went to see Azad settled in the Sind region of newly-formed Pakistan, of which Karachi is the metropolis.

Fast forward 40 years to the late 1980s: The city becomes a maelstrom of communal violence between the muhajirs (Indian Muslims from India who moved to Sind and west Punjab after partition) and the indigenes.  The bursts of violence were frequent, horrific and sustained, and were caused by muhajir resentment at being marginalised by the indigenes of Sind.

Two decades before the muhajir-inspired convulsions in the Sind of the late 1980s and after, the world had already witnessed the animosity between Muslim Bengalis and the Punjabi Muslim-dominated Pakistan army that led to the war of secession in East Pakistan, which then became Bangladesh.

A notable feature of this war in 1971 was that here the muhajirs (Bihar Muslims who had immigrated at the time of partition to East Bengal/East Pakistan) backed the elitist Punjabi soldiers of the Pakistani army in the battle against indigenous Bengali Muslims.

From not only these facets of subcontinent history but from several others the world over in the last century, particularly if you take the flux and flow of sectarian allegiances in Lebanon, it is not hard to conclude that parochially-constituted identities provide no lasting solder by which to glue a national identity.

One can be both Indian and Muslim

Mahathir’s positing of a dichotomy – either you are Indian or you are Muslim (and therefore Malay) – to Muslim Indians in Malaysia has been proven by recent history to be a delusive conceit. Maulana Azad espoused a composite view of national identity to partition-leaning Muslims of the Indian subcontinent six decades ago. He held that you could be Indian and Muslim at the same time, in contradistinction to the great Indian poet Mohamed Iqbal, who in a famous disquisition in 1930 argued that the Muslim identity would fade in an independent India. Hence a separate homeland for Muslim Indians was imperative.

Admittedly, it is a long way from Maulana Azad to Gerald Manley Hopkins, a 19th century English poet, of special resonance in these ecologically fraught times.  Hopkins loved nature in which he saw a “dappled” and “pied” quality of contrasting elements forming the same pattern which he tried to reproduce in his poems.

“Glory to God for dappled things,” he rhapsodised in one of his best poems, a cosmic plea for seeing things as nature would have us – as “both/and” and not as “either/or”.  Muslim Indians in Malaysia can be Malaysian, Muslim and Indian at the same time, a triple and sustainable (nice ecologically friendly word that!) identity that betters Azad, and tributes Hopkins.

17 thoughts on “Mahathir’s Advice to All Mamaks in Malaysia

  1. Should anybody care about what that senile Mamak says, in this day & age when he has been exposed for what he was , albeit a bit late …as an opportunist par excellence , and a divide and rule maestro ? Can one be a Caucasian and a Christian , as is a Chinese and also a Buddhist ? Did he just re-invented the wheel ?

    Its so painfully obvious …tho maybe not so for the mis/under/uneducated peasants in the jungle and why he was able to rule for 22 years

  2. Now, we can understand why Mahathir is more Malay than the Malays themselves. He abandoned his Indian (Kerala) heritage and became a Malay as defined in our constitution. He is a Muslim; he speaks and writes in Bahasa Malaysia and he practises Malay customs. At his core, he still of Indian origin.

    Our cultural and familial history defines who we are and there is no need to have any psychological hang-ups. I am proud to be Malaysian of mixed parentage and have no need to apologise for what I am, or to pretend to be what I am not. I do not have to take garbage from Mahathir or anyone else in power. Right now, our country has a bad image abroad and let us fix that by getting rid of corruption and abuse of power.

    Like Terence, I would agree that we can be Malaysians without abandoning our cultural roots. –Din Merican

  3. If Dr. M really asked the Indian Muslims in Malaysia “to choose between their Muslim and their Indian identities” that suggestion must rank as one of the most stupid in a long time.

  4. 1. spent his 22 years enriching himself , his children , his in laws and his cronies ;

    2. admits that anwar ibrahim was charged with trumped up charges and hence was wrongly imprisoned;

    3. corrupted the judiciary ;

    4. packed up the judiciary , the civil service , the police , the armed forces and the legal service with lame brained idiots who were beholden to him and hence would do his bidding at anytime ;

    5. had no respected for constitutional provisions nor laws ;

    6. rode rough shod over everything sarawakian and sabahan usings his local poodles ;

    7. was and is the ” father of all racism ” in malaysia ;

    8. and the list just goes on and on.

    and yet there are respectable journalists , bloggers and commentators willing to waste their time over this wasted, low life vermin. incredible to say the least !

    i won’t be wasting my time on this low life vermin anymore.

  5. Mahathir’s call for mamaks to be either Indian or Muslim is mischevious.

    If you are an Indian, you lose all the privileges and goodies of the NEP. In the beginning Indian Muslims looked down on the Malays, and refused to be associated with Malays. Many Indian Muslims came here to work, go back to India to marry an Indian Muslim wives and send money back to their relatives and some after making enough money, returned back to India. They formed the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (KIMMA)

    When the NEP came on board, majority (not all) Indian Muslims saw the opportunities and the reasons why they came to Malaysia in the first place.

    And the juxtaposition of the Constitutional provision that eing Muslim classified as a Malay if you dress, talk, adopt many of the Malay habits ( wear the songkok, baju melayu etc) and it does not matter if you speak Tamil in your own home with the “sky the limit” opening of the NEP in the 70s.

    Then many of the offsprings of the Indian Muslims were encourage to intermarry with young ethnic Malay women, ( which is easy, if you are a Muslim than if you are not), thus reinforcing their Muslim-ness and Malay-ness. Those who did not intermarry with ethnic Malay women, went all out to discard their Indian-ness and project themselves surely and slowly with their neighbours and friends of their “malayness”.

    To anchor their greed and ambition, they joined UMNO in droves, and took up influential positions at branch and grassroots.

    To emphasis their Malayness to their fellow UMNO ethnic Malays, they took on the more RACIST attitudes and tendencies within UMNIO, and had to prove they are more Malay than the ethnic Malay.

    Thus today, as RPK said quite profoundly, that UMNO is basically run by Mamaks, read: Mahathir, Nor Yakcop, Zainuddin Maidin, Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Abdul Azeez Rahim, Reezal Naina Merican, Shahrijat etc

    Read more on mamaks by Sheikh Moinudeen Chisti Syed Abdul Kadir.

    Click here ALL ABOUT MAMAKS”

    Sheikh Moinudeen Chisti Syed Abdul Kadir wrote:

    In contemporary Malaysia Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhari, Zainuddin Mydin, Siti Nurhaliza binti “Thaarudeen”, Justice Haidar Mohd Noor, Ahmad Nawab, Akbar Nawab, P Ramlee, Man Bhai, Tan Sri Elyas Omar, Tan Sri Ali Abul Hassan are all Indian Muslims or descended from Indian Muslims.

    Malaysia’s first Speaker of Parliament Tan Sri CM Yusuf was a mamak. So was the permanent Chairman of UMNO Tan Sri Sulaiman “Ninam” Shah. ‘Ninam’ is actually truncated Tamil for ‘Naina Mohamed’.

    Former Sabah Chief Minister Dato Harris Salleh and present Chief Minister Musa Aman are all mamaks. They are not Pushtuns, Pakistanis or Yemenis.

    Among our Prime Ministers Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the son of an Indian Muslim. Abdullah Badawi has mamak blood from his father’s side. Toh Puan Sharifah Radziah Syed Alwi Barakbah, the wife of our first PM Tunku Abdul Rahman, had mamak ancestry.

    The Tunku himself was of mixed Thai and mamak parentage. Ex DPM Dato Sri Anwar Ibrahim’s father is a mamak. The intellectuals Kassim Ahmad and Farish Noor have Indian Muslim fathers while the late Tan Sri Muhammad Noordin Sopiee had a mamak grandfather. Munir Majid is a Tamil speaking mamak and Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor is a mamak too.

    Here it is pertinent to note the “Syed” and “Sheikh” name. Among Indian Muslims the name Syed or Sheikh is common, its no big deal. The names “Shah” and “Khan” are also very common mamak names. Other ‘Malay’ names like ‘Chik’, ‘Tamby Chik’ and ‘Keling’ are definitely of mamak origins too.

    The name ‘Shah’ is not common among the Malays but strangely enough it is very common among the Malay sultans, for example Sultan Azlan Shah and Raja Nazrin Shah. Shah is NOT an Arabic name. It originates from Persia and comes to Malaysia from India through the Indian Muslim influence. This is just more indication of the mamak ancestry of our Malay rulers.

    Among the Malay elite Tan Sri Syed Mukhtar Bukhari passes of as being of Yemeni descent. His family actually comes from India.

    The former mayor of KL Tan Sri Elyas Omar is also of Tamil mamak origins from Penang.

    There is the NEP-reason why Mahathir called for Mamaks to choose their Indian-ness and Muslim-ness, because of the Federal Constitution’s definition of a MALAY.

    It allows Indian Muslims to become a “constitutional Malay” and join UMNO. Otherwise, Mahathir cannot justify why he should have been a member of UMNO and a Malay and be UMNO President for 22 years.

    And don’t forget, when Mahathir registered as a student in University of Malaya in Singapore to do medicine, he wrote in the application that his race is ‘INDIAN”. He must have regretted or must have got an earful from his father, Iskandar Kutty.

  6. It’s amazing that a a person of supposedly great intellect can preach a philosophy that one can change one’s DNA and ancestry by religious conversion. The mistake I suppose is in assuming that Firaun is a great intellectual when he is nothing more than a frustrated rabid racist and bigot.

    God save our nation!!

    We are all of 1 race, the Human race

  7. “Our cultural and familial history defines who we are and there is no need to have any psychological hang-ups. I am proud to be Malaysian of mixed parentage and have no need to apologise for what I am, or to pretend to be what I am not.”- Din

    I FULLY SUPPORT Din on this. We MUST be MALAYSIANS FIRST, because the country gives us the life to live and the land we shall shed our blood to defend. And we should be proud of our heritage and parentage. That’s the least we can do to show respect to our ancestors.

    And as Malaysians,we can be proud of our cultural heritage. We should can be proud Chinese, Indian, Malay, Dayak etc and we can be proud of our religious heritage, Muslim, Chrisitans, Hindus, Buddhists (and oh, not forgetting atheists) by becoming Malaysians first.

    Mahathir’s dilemma for the mamaks is this: If you are classified as an INDIAN, then you can’t join UMNO, but instead you have to join KIMMA (Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress). The consequence is bad: You lose out on the goodies of UMNO through the NEP.

    That is why today the UMNO-Mamaks (especially those from Penang) are more racist, more anti-non Malays than the ethnic Malay community.They have to prove themselves to the UMNO chaps especially those of Javanese and Maluku and Sulawesi, Sumatran and Aceh descent (who can claim more ethnic Malayness than the UMNO-mamaks) that they are MORE MALAY than the ethnic Malays.

    There are also many Chinese who became Muslim who abandoned their Chinese-ness, they disowned their families, refused to celebrate Chinese New Year with their relatives by birth, who became Malay just because they became Muslims.

    Look at that Pro-UMNO ass licker Ridhuan Tee. He has an identity problem as a Chinese . As a muslim he can join UMNO, if he speaks malay, wear songkok, baju melayu, eat with his hands, not chopsticks. But since he is a convert, his birth certificate and ID says he is Chinese. Will UMNO take him? At the rate he berated and insult his parents heritage and his forefathers being Chinese, UMNO will close both eyes the fact that his IC says he is Chinese and make him a full fledge UMNO member, if he has not.

    Malaysia is the only country (I think) where a constitution has an article that defines a RACE.

    Nations have a constitution to define NATIONALITY, not RACE.

    If I am Indian or Chinese, and there is a loophole in the Constitution to allow me to jump on the road to richness by changing my religion, why not, I would do it.

    After all, what’s a problem speaking Malay, wear baju melayu and eat with hands, since I am doing that from young interaacting with my Malay friends, and as far as Islam, its only a religion that is of interest between my ears. I can be an atheist at heart or a Christian or Hindu at heart, and show the rest of the world I am a Muslim.

    Who cares, if the NEP will set my descendants for a good life if I become an UMNO member and get them involved in UMNO politics, and better still become an UMNO Mamak Minister or UMNO Mamak Branch and Division Chairman like that racist Ahmad Ismail from Penang who called Malaysian Chinese as squatters.

    Mahathir has an identity problem… He wants to erase his gross error of writing down that he was an Indian by race and a Muslim by religion when he applied to do medicine in Singapore.

  8. Take the issue of UMNO-mamaks aside, what about Tun Abdullah Badawi whose ancestry is Chinese from Hainan Island China.

    Badawi virtually abandoned his Chinese-ness, since being in UMNO, that is the last thing you want to project, that you are Chinese.

    The only thing he did was to trace his ancestry and got his Chinese relatives (they are all muslims in Hainan Island) to come and celebrate Hari Raya. His relatives in Chinese consider themselves Chinese (race-wise, not only nationality wise).

    What about Badawi, the UMNO President. Did he ever celebrate CHINESE NEW YEAR, the only cultural (non religious) festival if you are a Chinese, and the giving of angpows to his children (its a cultural thing).

    No, Badawi has to be More MALAY as an UMNO member and leader and totally discard his projection as someone with a Chinese parentage/heritage.

    So, the problem is not just Indian Muslims, the same for Chinese Muslims.

    The ticket to a good life for youself and your descendants is to firstly (1) change your religion as a matter of convenience, (2) project yourself as a Malay, wear songkok, speak Malay, eat with hands, make your presence felt fully at Hari Rayas, and at the Masjids , (3) Memories Arabic quotations from the Quran and use it as often as you can (4) Don’t go hanging around with your Indian and Chinese friends, spend more time with Malay families (5) and lastly and importantly JOIN UMNO.

    If you change your religion and become an Muslim and do not join UMNO, then the material gain is lost, unless you truly believe in Islam or that you fell in love with a Muslim girl ( even then, what has that got to do with what your really believe, that’s not doing justice to Islam, becoming a Muslim simply because you fell in love with a girl who happens to be a Muslim. I find that as insulting the religion).

    Or join PAS, which means, you are at the short end of the stick of UMNO. Your descendants will not forgive you for joining PAS after changing your religion to be a Muslim and behaving like a Malay. Bad decision.

  9. OMG race can just change when you become Muslim. Somewhere in the holy book has been rewritten by this TDM and Mr Tee. Both these gentlemen think they have a special residence up there.

  10. Another Bovine Excrement from TDM. He’s such a curse to this country and worse, he’s stinking this country with his excrement! Just shut the F#*K up!

  11. It’s sad if you cannot even be comfortable with who you are in terms of your ancestry and ethnic heritage.

    Ethnic identity (or “race” as it is mistakenly called in Malaysia) is “socially constructed”. We should consider ourselves “Malaysians” first and be proud of our multicultural nation and the fact that many of us are of mixed ancestry.

    My first language is English (my Cantonese “mother tongue” is so-so, my Mandarin is worse, I can’t speak the Hainanese dialect of my father and I cannot read Chinese, which I regret — having spent a few months in Japan where they use kanji a lot), I have a nyonya grandmother and I have no problems with my identity as a MALAYSIAN of Chinese descent.

    I suppose Dr M can be considered a case of “passing” (as in black people of very light skin colour “passing” for white in the USA in the bad old days of institutionalised racial discrimination in the Deep South states) and the psychological and emotional consequences that followed.

    In Europe in the past, there were also cases of Jews converting to Christianity and attempting to hide their Jewish background. Karl Marx’s father was a Jewish convert to Christianity. One wonders if his antipathy to religion is linked somehow to his suppressed Jewish ancestry.

  12. Phua Kai Lit

    People like Ridhuan Tee is an opportunist, taking advantage of the “constitutional Malay” clause and presenting himself as a “Malay” in a guise of a Muslim. Worse, as an ultra-UMNO Malay but with 100% Chinese genes.

    He does not come out and defend Ketuanan Melayu directly but say the same things couched in Islamic terms.

    In his heart, he would have wished that he could change his karma and becom a Malay, not necessarily a Muslim.

    Ridhuan Tee is a Muslim fraud. Exploiting Islam not only for selfish reasons but to harm others with racially divisive views. He wants to be a Malay to take advantage of UMNO’s corrupted implementation of NEP, so that his Chinese genes for his children will not suffer the fate of his fellow Chinese compatriots from UMNO’s racially divisive politics, through lack of scholarships, education and career.

    Ridhuan Tee is cunning. Islam gives him the loophole for his greed while knowing the Malay community is happy to have him as a member of the ummah, a greedy one.

    Ridhuan Tee is a typical Chinese opportunist, very businesslike when he decided to convert to Islam and he knows there is NO risk in this gamble. UMNO will be his godfather.

    If he truly believes in Islam and wishes to promote Islam among nonMuslims, he could have joined PAS or be involved in Muslim NGO work and not engage in UMNO politics.

    Ridhuan Tee thinks the Non Muslims are a bunch of fools with his exploitation of Islam. The trouble is many Malay Muslims are fooled by this Chinese opportunist.

    Non Muslims and Chinese in Kelantan have no problem with Anuar Tan (a muslim convert) active in PAS. Anuar Tan does not try to become a Malay.He speaks Mandarin and he speaks perfect hainanese, since he is a hainanese like you. He made clear to the Kelantan Chinese that he is a Chinese Muslim just like there are Chinese Christians and Chinese Buddhists.

    In the case of Ridhuan Tee, he wants everybody to think that he is a Malay.

    A total fraud using Islam for personal material gain , not so much he deeply believes in the religion.

    Malay muslims are taken for a ride… a long ride by this Chinese Muslim convert cheat.

  13. Dear Frank 12:58 pm

    1. Among the Jews, there is a term (“self-hating Jew”) to describe a person who is of Jewish ancestry but who is so desperate for acceptance by Gentiles (i.e. the non-Jewish dominant majority, especially in the old anti-semitic Europe of the early 20th century) that he or she rejects or denies his/her heritage and even spouts
    anti-Semitic stuff.

    2. I visited Xian, China about 10 years ago and took a look at its Great Mosque located in the section of the city populated by Chinese Muslims (the “Hui”). They seem comfortable being both Chinese as well as Muslim. The Great Mosque has the layout of a Chinese temple. This is quite interesting to me as a sociologist
    (who is not at all religious).

  14. Phua

    Chinese Muslims in China is different and the analogy may not be appropriate.

    However they distinguish themselves as Hui and not Han. The term Hui, (to mean foreigners) supposedly traced their roots to Muslim traders, soldiers, and officials who came to China during the seventh through fourteenth centuries. Many have married the Han people and they still call themselves and the Han people call HUI because they are muslims.

    The term Chinese might not be relevant in this context for them. They still call themselves chinese but not of the Han ethnicity. For example the Mah family in Malaysia. They are Muslims way back longer than the Malays in Malaysia, and they consider themselves Chinese not Malay and they follow chinese cultural habits.

  15. Nothing wrong in the implementation of Dr.M for malaysia. It works perfectly. Malaysia is a malay country thus priority will be given to the malays. The country have Kings. The country itself is named after its ethic which is malay. So be greatful that you have malaysia to to call home. If not then you could just return to where your forefather came from and flourish there happy ever after.

    I mean look at the Americans (The whites are american, brown are native american indians, american chinese, african american etc.) Brits and other european countries which have the same applicantion like the americans except France. They abolished it but they also abolish the culture of the other ethnic. However look at it carefully its the french culture that need to be adopted not the migrants, for they still have their monarchy. Look in Saudi arabia and China of their policy.

    What I’m trying to say is we (migrant parentage, ancestory) should be thankful that we’re are still given priviledge in Malaysia from the goodwill of the government and the monarchy. Its not an entitlement but a priviledge. We have a choice to stay( serve the constitution and monarchy)or go (migrate to any other country that allows such recognition that we have hunger).

    Many would say australia but is it really true. Look at what they’ve done to the natives. They ( the “true” aussie) so proudly toast with ” God Save the Queen” when it was the Queen who expelled them from Great Britain. They to have set standards on migrants. Migrants pay tax to serve the constitiution.

    I don’t understand why are we complaining. Is our condition of living like them in Africa, Bosnia or in any other country when peace is a luxury. Remember that we’re migrants after all. What right do we have actually?

    I would agree about the safety issue and crime rates in some places or states in Malaysia. I would suggest the constitution to bring in the military forces ( infantry and military police etc) and work as a team with the police. Do it in full scale and sweep the entire Malaysia.

    I believe it could be done, its hard some may say maybe or somewhat agree but definitely possible. Imagine the military put on reserve all this while put to use in aiding the civilians like us. Ready and available manpower that requires no extra cost as they’re already on the constitution payroll, introduce fear to the non law abidding people and creating trust of the malaysian in the constitution. Its a win win situation at every angle. If you recruit more means the non-employment rate decreases (means this people will not to turn to robbery or killing to feed family but actual have decent income) and the military and police force strength and recognition rise and may put Malaysia as the defender of Asean and would not rely other super power influence or aid.

    Why not all this measures been thought and brought forth? Imagine Malaysia as a super power too. Imagine that! While military power rises and the peace of malaysian are stable only then established aiding bodies (non-profit organisation) are absorbed by the constitution to help the less fortunate Malaysian. This again will help the constitution in getting recognition from Malaysians.

    We complaint everyday, every hour and second. But what are our plight and needs? A safe place to call home?!. There’s far worse injustice around the world like whats happening in the Gaza. Palestinian renegaded by the Isrealies,African ethnic cleansing in Africa, clashes of religions and many more etc of which very fortunate of us and indeed priviledge to Malaysia to call home. Question yourself this, who would a mother gives love and protection when danger is posed to both her own child (in flesh and blood) and the child of a neighbour . I believe already have the answer my dear friend. Adieu..

  16. I have been reading with consternation the outpourings of unjust venom against Dr Mahathir because of his ancestry over which he had no control instead of over his actions/inactions. I am not a fan of his but neither am i a fan of vindictive hatred. It would be really enlightening to read well thought out arguments for and against policies and actions or inactions.

    There have been cases of Chinese girls being adopted by Malay and Indian families. These girls identify with the race of their adopted families. Would you hold it against them that they do not fight to become Chinese when they are adults? In their mental makeup, they are wholly the race of their adopted families, not the race of their biological parents.

    Dr M has the right to identify with whichever race he feels in his heart that he is. Man has no say in the selection of his race, his family, his religion and his looks when he is born to a mother. He has a say in the way his life unfolds – to a large extent.

    To digress a bit. I come from JB and i have seen many Kaka (Malayali Muslim) shops, especially in the fifties and sixties. The Kaka had a wife in Malaya/Malaysia and a family in Kerala. Ultimately he went back to his home in Kerala, leaving behind his local family. His children in this country, inherited his business and they married Malays. Some of them spoke Malayalam but most of them spoke Malay. The Kaka’s children identified with their mother who was a constant factor in their lives. When they married Malays like their mothers, for all emotional, psychological and demographical reasons they are Malay. Do you want them to go around and proudly state that they are Indians? For what reason? I always thought the local family was a convenience to the Kaka and we always felt sorry for the local family. I have to state that not all Kakas did this but, the majority did.

    If our country did not force us to state our race or ethnicity, I would only state Malaysian. Since the demise of my mother, i have no other person to converse with in Malayalam.

    I am no great fan of our ex prime minister but i am certainly no fan of the kind of vitriol that is going viral over that particular individual’s ethnicity. We could do better, we could rise obove such mindless ranting and practically assess what the man has done or not done, his integrity, his ethics, his wisdom or lack of it, and let us not forget that he could do what he did, because the large majority of the populace gave him the mandate and kept him there with our silence. A silence that was interpreted to mean acceptance and support.

    Now that we seem to have broken our silence, let us speak rationally and with dignity.

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