The New Ketuanan Racism: The People of the Book
March 25, 2011 by shuzheng
The People of The Book as Interlok Characters:
Bobbie, Georgie and Teresa
It’s in the same vein of collectivism, a White-mob style lynch actually, Teresa Kok takes her Christianity to a mass tribunal. “The Government,” she declares, “has desecrated and defaced the Bible.” That kind of instigation is no different to a lynch session each time a PKR or DAP mob surfaces in the pages of Malaysiakini and each time DAP’s Lim Guan Eng is criticized, rightfully, as utterly hypocritical:
“Initial news that the Government had agreed to release copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia which had been impounded in both Port Klang and Kuching was greeted with joy. However, this joy soon turned into grief and mourning… We call on all Malaysians … to come together in unity to reject any attempt to restrict the freedom of religion in our beloved country. We invite all Christians to remain calm and to continue to pray for a dignified and respectful resolution of this issue. As Sunday 20 March 2011 marks the 2nd anniversary of the impounding of the Bibles at Port Klang, we call on all those in Malaysia and elsewhere to dedicate themselves to a day of prayer and quiet reflection.”
In another way of phrasing, Teresa was calling a race war, but the Vatican agent, Bishop Ng Moon Hing, is political enough to veil it in such terms as ‘all Malaysians’, ‘freedom of religion’, ‘beloved country’ and so on.
Why should Hindus and ‘idolators’, people so often spat upon by the Teresas, by the Georgies and the Bobbies take the side of the Christians in a war with Muslims? Why shouldn’t the bible be stamped ‘For Christians Only’, if the Christian motive for its distribution is honourable? Teresa Kok and Thomas George dare not touch Muslims and Malays for conversion but, at the back, go around proselytizing a voodoo Jesus to Chinese and Hindus that they condescend to.
Bob Teoh labels these two communities (plus the Orang Asli, the idolatory Kadazans and Dayaks), as ‘non-Christian, non-Muslim’. Meaning, they are not ‘People of the Book’. In adopting the term ‘People of the Book’, Bobbie ingratiates himself and his fellow Christians to the politically powerful, the Muslims.
If Malaysia is a Christian state, Bobbie wouldn’t need to do that. But, in Malaysia, doing that would serve two simultaneous purposes. One, he could get the Bishop’s bible released nearly tax free and without conditions. Two – and this is the bigger catch – it creates an imaginary class of enemy, that is, people outside the Abrahamic faiths, that is, the non-Christian, non-Muslim.
The Future of the Interlok
Pakatan – Anwar, Guan Eng, Hadi Awang at the helm – dragging the entire country from race-based to religion-based politics build an incendiary pyre more insidious and dangerous than 54-years of Umno racism rule. Bob Teoh has revealed how that fire has just been lit. Such a rule, should it come about, recalls the endless civil wars ongoing today in Nigeria and Sudan, and to the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
For Hindraf’s Uthayakumar to conclude that he has no problem with Pakatan in Putrajaya – an open admission that it is a lesser evil than Umno – is to accept the People-of-The-Book politics. Uthaya is mistaken. Going after ‘Umno racism’ was a miscalculation. But, paradoxically, Hindraf and Kita must win because there is no greater anti-dote to Bob’s voodoo Christianity and Pakatan’s colonial White religious politics than to reassert your native culture, the first to destroy it with rationale then to counteract the second with the bedrock of traditions, customs and the allegiance to them.
To see where Uthaya is mistaken, return to Tocqueville.
During a stop on a boat trip in America Tocqueville saw a group of Choctaw Indians, with drums and dogs, emerged from the wood. They were led by a federal agent who, in accordance with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, was charged with transferring them to Indian Territory, in what is today Oklahoma. Tocqueville noted that which was, in effect, an
“expulsion—one might say the dissolution—of the last remnants of one of the most celebrated and ancient American nations.”
That, too, was an act of Mahathirism – the Great Malaysian member of the chosen People of the Book – preceded by 200 years. As with peopling Australia and America with White people, Mahathir would justify peopling Malaysia with Muslims (in Sabah especially) by saying the natives have lesser ‘rights’ than the People of the Book. To Mahathir, natives don’t have Islam, no Allah, therefore no civilization and no government.
Being in the category, ‘not the People of the Book’ is to suggest the same idea: not chosen by their Arabic and White god, Chinese and Indians have even lesser rights or no rights at all. Thomas George has expressed that idea in another, but theological form: Chinese and Hindu Indians have only idols, that is, religion. They don’t have God, upper case ‘g’. And without God, they don’t have much going for them; for example, hell waits. They are therefore inferior. Christians and Muslims have God, however, and so they are special, the Chosen Ones, with which they have certain social, political and religious status not entitled to Chinese and Indian infidels. This is exactly Ketuanan fascism.
Bob takes that the idea a step further, that is, doing the actual work of the White colonial master. After the Sarawak natives have been converted, he’d like to keep them in the jungle – a kind of Garden of Eden setting Bobbie had picked up from gweilo missionaries and liberal do-gooders. But in Sarawak, this Eden is justified in the term Customary Native Rights (CNR) or Native Custom Land.
CNR, in effect, reserves some part of the state of Sarawak to the Dayaks but closes off the rest, especially the towns. It reminds of Indian reservation land in America, and of Hindu Indians cloistered into rubber estates to live and die until, when development arrived, they are finally booted out, penniless, jobless, with little education and without skills.
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