Sunday, September 14, 2008
Teresa Kok On The Rocks Over Azan Issue
TERESA ON THE ROCKS –
DISENCHANTMENT IN THE MONSOON INTERCHANGE
Teresa Kok isn’t the face that could have launched a thousand ships but she would have rocked the Pakatan boat strong enough to capsize it for good if allegations against her are founded.
Protests against using the loudspeaker for the Azan (Islam’s call to prayer) especially for Subuh (dawn prayer) by some Chinese residents of Kota Damansara, Sri Serdang and Puchong Jaya point towards a third hand using the event as a ploy to win over more Chinese even if the society and country are destabilized – a game of desperados meters away from power.
Teresa denied the allegation, but another matter with ethnic overtones and clamoring to champion the Chinese slipped into the frontline tension – a demand to add to road-signs Chinese characters while dropping the Malay Jawi script.
Teresa was said to have made a road-sign of her own for Bukit Bintang in that fashion, an art not so skillful in the given tensile climate of change in Malaysia.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) suffered its worst setback in the March 8 general elections under the absentminded leadership of Pak Lah, The Premier.
Teresa was appointed a senior executive councilor of Selangor, an exposure to power and to political maneuverings the DAP big-wig could not be naïve enough to become victim so soon.
The allegations are about a double-barrel ambush in an already charged atmosphere involving an extensive Hate-Malay Hate-Islam campaign worse than what transpired in the run-up to the May 13 1969 blood-let.
The question to ask is who gains should Malaysia lose ethnic harmony once again.
As for Teresa, Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Ahmad Ismail (who was punished before anyone verified what he had actually uttered), they merely serve as facts or fictions in the making of the historical event one or some powers are pursuing.
If Teresa has nothing to do with the twin-attack as she wants us to believe, she should have been smart enough to positively reject the demand rather than allow herself to be trapped by the devises of her opponents, or her sponsors.
This is what the police probably want her to do – appear on TV explaining the entire development and make the spectacular condemnation of the two protests to defuse the situation.
Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley residents live with the hustle and bustle of grown metropolitans, in some cases with screeching LRTs and the rumble of the Komuter trains beginning 6.00 in the morning, for now.
The protests against the Azan having surfaced several times before, the police read into it what it actually says – to tempt the devil and take the lead role in becoming champions of the Chinese.
It’s popularly seen as yet another political samsu trip of the DAP, the first a lash-out against the Perak Royalty that earned the party three Molotov-cocktails bouncing off the signboard at the party’s HQ in Ipoh weeks after winning in the state.
But something more ominous appeared to have loomed in the plural society and country.
An Umno divisional leader in Penang was suspended for three years on the basis of a solitary report in a Chinese newspaper that he had said something nasty against the Chinese in Malaysia. He apparently called the Chinese pendatang (migrants).
Only after the suspension of Datuk Ahmad Ismail following protestations and pressure from the Gerakan and MCA was an effort made by the police to question the reporter.
The editor responsible for publishing the three paragraph report in the Sin Chew Jit Poh was reported to have fled, leaving little for the accusation to stand upon and a lot to wonder at the Chinese sensitivity and paranoia.
Then came the Teresa Kok adventure, the event causing some people of the mosques in the country to call her Porky The Pig (Babi) and spreading the largesse to include Raja Petra Kamaruddin for his volume of bad remarks on the Malays and on Islam in the blog, Malaysia Today.
Some ask, is he married to a European or to a Chinese?
Fact is, Raja Petra was formerly into the Flower People (a hippie) and quite scantily religious. But the trouble with the man may have less to do with whatever he was rather than what could have become after the rude intrusion of Narcissus.
The upshot is a certain rejection of the Pakatan, now obviously a Hate-Malay Hate-Islam elephantastic dance the wildly-charismatic Anwar Ibrahim is leading from where-to-nowhere in particular.
Anwar is finally the loser in this Hate-Malay Hate-Islam caper the DAP is seen to be leading with his school-mate, Raja Petra, as the thumb sucker.
In many mosques all over the country Malays who once prayed for his release from prison now read Sodom and Gomorrah in the Holy Qur’an, showing certain distaste for Anwar, his strange-bedfellows and his type of politick.
His, they say, is a mission to become premier at any cost and by any means.
Unless Teresa was out-maneuvered, whatever it is she had done merely makes her a political kookaburra, laughing alone by the billabong and having little else to do by the limitation of her own nature, and stature.
Now it is Anwar and the Pakatan a lot of the Malays want out, a quick change of mind perceiving him as a leader who will be at the mercy of the DAP.
The Pas too is in trouble again. Whatever is the party doing sleeping in bed with the DAP?
That obviously must have been the reason for the Pas’s Kota Raja MP, Dr. Mariah Mahmud, to quickly lodge a police report against former Selangor Menteri Besar, Khir Toyo.
To counter the effects of his remarks against Teresa it was feeble and wishful, making Mariah a willful nut-cracker attempting to remake what has already become a trap and placing Teresa limp upon the rocks. A slip will equate with her drowning.
After the Pas is known to have been discussing informally with Umno to avoid a Pakatan takeover that cannot be undone, it is difficult to conceive the three strange bedfellows can concur and conclude the marriage of convenience with an unabashed, neat and fruitful ménage et trio.
Teresa Kok may or may not have willfully taken the country closer to ethnic combustion than had anyone else in this season of economic and political depression.
But it is rather apparent Teresa did nothing to dissuade the remarkably coincidental protests among some Chinese in Selangor to aggravate the already tense situation.
It is clear there’s not going to be a let-up. Many are waiting for the Selangor Menteri Besar, Datuk Khalid Ibrahim, to open his mouth and reveal his position concerning his Senior Executive Councilor’s conduct in view of Islamic ritual propriety and Chinese letters on all road-signs, sans the Jawi script.
Will he continue to keep her in his state government? Will he be consulting the new Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, and leave it to Anwar, who is PKR’s Adviser, to decide the fate of the sassy damsel in self-distress?
This is Ramadhan and it has been eventful for millions of Malays and Muslims who convene nightly for the special Tarawih prayers, then adjourn to the corridors of the mosques for tea and talk.
Perceptions built in this way are difficult to change and once the idea is fixed the truth does not anymore matter.
I am told in Kota Damansara the mosque first complied, then minds changed and tempers build instead, which was probably why the police acted in a hurry.
One way or another, the months that follow this September ought to make for a time to remember. --- a. ghani ismail, 15 September, 2008