Violence is in UMNO’s DNA–An Addiction to May 13

October 14, 2016

Violence is in UMNO’s DNA–An Addiction to May 13

by  Cmdr (rtd) S. Thayaparan

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” 

– Isaac Asimov, ‘Foundation’

Image result for UMNO and Red Shirt Violence

Red Shirt Commander-in-Chief

I have no idea if Sungai Besar UMNO chief Jamal Md Yunos made the alleged seditious Facebook post warning of a repeat May 13 on November 19 but I could care less if he did. Part of my apathy is because all this fall under the free speech which I support but more importantly, I see no reason to get upset or make police reports because (1) establishment politicians have issued similar warnings, and (2) it is not as if the police are going to investigate this latest incitement by an UMNO political operative.

As for (2), a good example would be when Sabak Bernam district police chief Nor Azmi Isa said there was no reason to investigate the egg pelting of a Bersih supporter because nobody was hurt. Silly me, I thought it was assault but maybe Bukit Aman should send out a memo that the police would only investigate cases were somebody was hurt. By the way, the definition of “hurt” will be defined shortly (forget the Penal Code) after the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) have arrested all those who take to Twitter and Facebook and “hurt” the feelings of those the state deemed worthy of protection.

Image result for Red Shirt Violence and UMNO

The Ikan Bakar Man

After all, the leader of the red shirts has publicly stated that more aggressive responses would be meted out to Bersih, not to mention threats of vehicular manslaughter against the protestors exercising their democratic rights. Either Jamal has watched far too many ‘Fast and Furious’ movies – one is excessively many except if the person is a Jason Statham fan, then any ‘Furious’ movie with him in it is worth a watch – or he does not understand physics.

However, threatening Malaysians with violence, especially racial violence associated with May 13, is what UMNO does best. Anyone interested in a brief summary with links to pro-opposition and pro-establishment narratives should refer to Greg Lopez excellent summary in the ‘New Mandala’. I quote this paragraph of his piece to make a point:

“However, one thing became very clear after May 13. Any attempt to challenge UMNO would be met with the strongest response – legitimately or illegitimately. May 13 established the concept of Malay supremacy through the blood of hundreds if not thousands of Malaysians, especially of Chinese heritage. This led to most non-Malays having no options but to accept UMNO hegemony (ketuanan Melayu/Malay supremacy) or leave Malaysia. Many choose to migrate – a trend which has continued as a result of systematic discrimination against the non-Malays.”

Image result for Red Shirt Violence and UMNO

The Buffoon UMNO Information Chief

Six years ago, Penang opposition leader Azhar Ibrahim in a spat with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng not only referenced May 13 but also “saying UMNO has three million members, that he could call in the Malay ‘Tiga Line gang’ and asking the army to take over the duties of the police.” Of course, calling in outsourced thugs to secure political victory or usurp political power is a threat many in UMNO have no problem making.

Indeed, in my piece ‘In defence of our realm’, I took an exception to the police report filed by the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) against Perak opposition leader Nizar Jamaluddin because he claimed that Prime Minister Najib Razak was having secret backroom talks with the security apparatus of this country.

The issue was this: “In 2010, Azhar Ibrahim was suspended for six months from the Penang state assembly for making ‘references to the May 13 incident and inviting the Armed Forces to take over the government’, not to mention his threat that Malay triad organisation ‘Tiga Line’ would be called in to teach the state government a lesson.”

“So, why no report against the UMNO assemblyperson? UMNO distanced itself from these inflammatory remarks, but my question is, why didn’t MAF chief General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin lodge a police report alleging sedition against UMNO’s Azhar?”

Political violence is new norm

Meanwhile, with UMNO potentates distancing themselves from the red shirts, the idea that political violence is the new norm is taking root in a political landscape dominated by an incompetent opposition and a kleptocratic regime riddled with internal schisms. And while a few members of UMNO make the appropriate noises about rejecting political violence, the reality is that because of the way UMNO is run, the line between being a UMNO member and outsourced thug is non-existent.

Remember what UMNO veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said about the establishment – “(Bagaimanapun) jangan memandang rendah kepada kerajaan kerana mereka ada kuasa, ada televisyen, radio, duit dan media. Mereka juga ada alat-alat risikan dan sebagainya. Media dia lebih tahu pada kita. Dia tahu kita belum tahu lagi. Sama ada dengan kekuasaan itu, parti yang berkuasa akan kalah saya tidak tahu.”

So this idea that the criminal underclass and political power – some would argue that there is no difference – within UMNO is not something new except that these days the latter legitimises the former. This is why an organisation like the red shirts have a free reign. They do not answer to anyone except UMNO potentates and they fear no repercussions from the security apparatus because as Razaleigh said, “jangan memandang rendah kepada kerajaan kerana mereka ada kuasa”

Image result for Malaysia's IGP and Zahid Hamidi

The UMNO Mafia(on extreme left IGP Khalid Ashburn)

And how does the establishment shape the narrative? As recent as three years ago, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed friendship with a so-called secret society like Tiga Line even though it was outlawed by his own Home Ministry earlier in the year.

He said, “The 6,171 Malays, they are not real thugs (samseng), they were Pekida members and were part of the Tiga Line group, Gang 30, Gang 7 – these are festivities (kenduri-kendara) gangsters,” Furthermore he added, “I tell our Tiga Line friends, do what should be done.”

And what exactly should these groups be doing? I would argue that if three years ago you made the claim that Tiga Line was disrupting Bersih activities, you would get UMNO members saying that these thugs are only doing what needs to be done.

Just to add a bit of nuance to this idea of political violence. Some folks would disagree with me for making this link but since I think it is a legitimate point to make, here goes, the current Deputy Prime Minster also made these statements with regards to the ‘shoot first’ policy of the PDRM:

“He was also reported to have advocated a ‘shoot first’ policy for the police at the same event, in dealing with suspected gang members in the wake of a violent crime spree that has resulted in, according to him, Malays making up the majority of the victims.

“He reportedly said there was nothing wrong with arresting the over 40,000 known gangsters in the country, half of whom are Indians.

“‘What is the situation of robbery victims, murder victims during shootings? Most of them are our Malays. Most of them are our race,’ he was quoted as saying.

“‘I think the best way is that we no longer compromise with them. There is no need to give them any more warning. If (we) get the evidence, (we) shoot first.’”

Therefore, while certain UMNO members are distancing themselves from the red shirts, I would argue that separating the red shirt DNA from UMNO is impossible. UMNO does not speak softly and carry a big stick. UMNO is the big stick.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

10 thoughts on “Violence is in UMNO’s DNA–An Addiction to May 13

  1. Najib warn about splitting the nation because of Anwar and Mahathir joining forces. How is it Malay Vs Malay, UMNO Vs ex- UMNO splitting the COUNTRY ITSELF? Because it’s based on the Red Shirt LIES. Najib ultimate gambit is to use the Red Shirt LIES, proving he is the real puppet master of them.

    So now it’s confirmed, Najib road map of excuses, it is only logical to assume, he does not rule out the NSC laws he has made, involve police AND Army. There is no ridiculousness and price Najib will not let us pay for his prodigality.

  2. ” Violence Is The Last Refuge Of The Incompetent “. – Isaac Asimov

    My my … this quote is not only apt but is also brilliant.

  3. Desperate people trying all sorts of ways to cling on to power e.g.
    cooperating with religious hardliners, fanning the flames of
    ethnic division, corruptly doling out hard earned tax payer money
    as if these are their personal property, engaging in
    stomach churning and shamelessly hypocritical political rhetoric,
    ignoring the worsening economic state of the country, violating the
    financial laws of foreign countries etc.

  4. One has to wonder what actually took place on May 13, 1969. A lie to stay in power. Layu-layu Malaysia. Oooi.. ikan bakar, do you know MO1 has more to loose? How else do you think Tuhan would punish an unrepentant nation, how do you think Tuhan would swallow you handsome Yunos and your MO1 boss, eh?

  5. Trump said the following. (But it sounds a bit like MO1 if “international banks” is replaced with “foreign groups and Bersih”, “New York” is replaced with “American”, “New York Times” is replaced with “Wall Street Journal” and “Clinton” is replaced with the names of the two prominent Malaysian political leaders who have made peace with each other) :

    An unholy alliance of “international banks,” the New York media (especially The New York Times) and a money- and power-mad “Clinton machine” had connived to open a flood of stories about him to divert attention, he said.

    “They knew they would throw every lie they could at me,” he said. “They knew they would stop at nothing.”

    “I never knew it would be this vile, that it would be this bad, that it would be this vicious,” he added.

  6. katasayang:

    I can only tell you what I saw as an eye-witness. Malay mobsters running around unscathed with parangs, joking with the soldiers. And the soldiers shot at non-Malays only. Don’t tell me Mahathir was not involved.

  7. PS If economic recovery is a given and so simple countries such as Philippines, Indonesia , Uganda, Zimbabwe and many more that were in crisis 20-30 years ago should be First World Countries by now

  8. No use for the IGP or his Deputy to issue warnings to Red Shirts that PDRM will take action. Action speaks louder than words. Just curb the Red Shirts and arrest them for unlawful assembly with intent to create tension and disturbance of the peace. This will send a strong message that the PDRM meams business and wont tolerate any action that will disrupt peace and hinder anyone from exercising their rights.

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