You can never win with a bigot – my response to “OutSyed the Box: Is The DAP A Chauvinist Party?”

By Malaysian Heart

Response to “OutSyed the Box: Is The DAP A Chauvinist Party?” by Syed Akbar Ali (SAA, or Tuan Syed)

Dear Reader, allow me to to share a “joke” with you. Two waiters were talking about the diners they were serving that evening:

Waiter A: There’s a large party at my table. I’ll get a good tip tonight for sure.
Waiter B: Don’t hold your breath, buddy. They’re all X (insert name of group here), everyone knows that X are cheapskates.

Later that night…

Waiter A: Hey, I got a really nice tip from them! They weren’t cheapskates at all!
Waiter B: Of course you got a “big tip”, sucker. Everyone knows those X control all our money anyway!

To waiter B, the X are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. He has made up his mind and no truth can change it. He is a caricature of a bigot, i.e. one who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. Bigots never let facts, reason and logic get in the way of what they want to believe; after all, why should they do that when it’s so much easier to find crooked thinking and dishonest arguments enough to support their bigotry?

Bigotry is spreading fast in our blogosphere, on both sides of the political divide; I believe that SAA’s blog entry of 31 July 2009 is but one example of it. The purpose of the post in question seems to be to imply that the DAP is chauvinist, anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

Let’s look at some of the things SAA wrote, beginning with this about Lim Guan Eng (LGE): “Lim Guan Eng made a public display of standing up for a young Malay girl because the fellow involved was Rahim Tamby Chik, Guan Eng’s nemesis in Melaka at that time. Would Lim Guan Eng have made the same stand if it was not Rahim Tamby Chik? What if it was Chua Soi Lek?” So, according to SAA, if someone like LGE speaks up for a Malay girl, he/she is only motivated by political and/or racial motivations, never by principle or more nobler aims.

Yet, five paragraphs later, he is taking Theresa Kok to task for (supposedly) doing the exact opposite: NOT speaking up for a Malay girl! He writes: “Then it came to pass that the girl was not Chinese but actually a Malay girl, also wearing a tudung, who was a suspected drug addict. Not surprisingly that also marked the end of Theresa Kok’s involvement in the matter. She dropped the case like a hot potato.

Doesn’t it seem like whatever a DAP politician says or does, SAA can find a way construe it to imply that they are opportunist, racist and/or worse? How convenient!

Let’s look at another example of SAA’s logic. Of LGE’s conviction for sedition over the case allegedly involving Rahim Tamby Chik, he wrote: “By the way none of his lawyers (or even DAP) spoke of conspiracy, crooked judges etc after the verdict. Does anyone know the name of the judge who jailed Guan Eng? Crooked judge? How come DAP never said so?” He seems to be implying that LGE, his party and his lawyers have implicitly admitted his guilt because they (supposedly) did not dispute the judges verdict. Yet, in his post “The Solution To The Perak Crisis” of 12 May 2009, SAA criticised Perak PR leaders for disputing court decisions that were unfavourable to them!

There’s just no way to win with Tuan Syed, is there? We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t! Would it be in any way unreasonable to suspect that SAA would have found a way to criticise LGE, even if he (LGE) had disputed his conviction?

SAA’s arguments that I’ve described above, are all based on just one of the 38 dishonest tricks commonly used in arguments, namely no. 38: attributing prejudice or motives to opponents, without any evidence in support. That’s easy to do, but by neglecting to go beyond smear tactics, such an argument does not consider the action or argument on its own merits. It also ignores the various possible real reasons a person acts or speaks in a particular way.

Let’s look at another example by SAA, based on the same dishonest trick. SAA writes this about Lim Kit Siang (LKS): “In Bamiyan the Buddha statues were blown up but no one died. 11 Press statements were made by Kit Siang. In the destruction of the Babri Mosque, 2000 people were also massacred but no Press statement from Lim Kit Siang.” SAA uses these facts to imply that LKS, and by extension the DAP, is anti-Malay, anti-Islam and chauvinist.

Now, if LKS had issued a statement SUPPORTING the destruction of the Babri Mosque by Hindu fanatics and the subsequent massacre of Muslims, then SAA’s implication would have been very credible. However, as it stands, SAA has merely attributed, again, without evidence, a DAP leader’s action (inaction, in this case) to prejudices or dishonourable motives.

This particular game can be played, with almost any combination of organisation, person and causes, until the cows come home. To see how ridiculous SAA’s argument is, let’s apply his logic, along with some of his own words to, let’s say, Tun Dr. Mahathir (TDM). TDM launched SAA’s book recently, and seems to be a person whom SAA admires very much; as he wrote hereIf we had a 100 Vincent Tans and just one more Dr. Mahathir our country will be fine“.

TDM, either personally and through his organisation, the Perdana Global Peace Organisation, has made numerous statements against the Israeli oppression of Palestinians. To paraphrase SAA, I congratulate TDM for his concern. Well done. However, how many statements has TDM made against the oppression of Christians in Pakistan? Can anyone guess? The answer is none. Since Tuan Syed had no qualms about arguing thus against LKS, would he also believe that TDM is anti Christian? Of course he wouldn’t; the argument is preposterous.

My question to SAA is this: WHY does the shoe have to be put on the other foot before he realises the patent unfairness of his arguments? Isn’t it a moral failing if one is unable to feel the unfairness and injustice felt by others in a situation, until and unless one’s own interests are affected?

To be fair, Tuan Syed has not always written like this; indeed, he used to be one of the better bloggers out there. Even when I disagree with his point of view and conclusions, I used to find his blog entries well argued and if nothing else, principled. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at here, here and even here; some antipathy towards DSAI and PR perhaps, but that’s not a crime, is it? I could never find a crooked thought in them. For him to have sunk this low within the last couple of months, is saddening.

In my opinion, this recent blog post of SAA’s represents the worst of what the Malaysian blogosphere is becoming: a seedy back alley for spreading bigotry, with spin, smear, insinuation and dishonest arguments; all done for partisan interests. An example of this is the effort by proBN bloggers and the BN owned mainstream media to paint PR as anti Islam and anti Malay. Tuan Syed seems to have jumped onto this particular bandwagon with much gusto.

Democracy needs a forum for open minds to honestly discuss and debate issues of National interest, as we work towards a Malaysia that is free from racism, bigotry, corruption, oppression, bad governance and tainted judiciary. Bigotry, on either side of the political divide, will destroy our blogosphere; it has already infected our mainstream media and blighted inter-community relations in the past, with dire consequences. If we care for our Nation’s future, we need to reclaim this space for enlightened public discourse.

All of us have our own political beliefs and affiliations, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, whatever those beliefs are, we have a responsibility to argue our cases justly and honestly; if not to our readers, then at least for the sake of our own conscience. SAA ends his post by writing: “So this may throw some light if the DAP is anti Malay, anti Islam, chauvinist etc.” No, Tuan Syed, your words throw more light on your own character than it could ever do on that of your intended victims.

(Views expressed here are solely my own)

13 Responses to “You can never win with a bigot – my response to “OutSyed the Box: Is The DAP A Chauvinist Party?””
  1. C S Lee says:

    It is another case of syiok sendiri. Most of what they do is halal or legitimate while the rest of us is not even close to it.
    these type of people will continue to exist for as long as the earth can endure. At best just leave them alone.

  2. mamanview says:

    Go an ask any non partisan Malays… You will got an exact answer.. DAP is a chauvinist Chinese dominated political party. Plus it is also anti Malays and Islam.

    Dont deny that fact.

  3. eagle-eye says:

    Looking at all the one sided comments in the various blogs over the Kg Buah Pala case in Penang, one thing is very obvious.
    The DAP Chinese are far more racist than the UMNO Malays

    • thomas wong says:

      look again what is being offered by the penang government, a double storey house for the communities of kampung buah pala. not good enough or not gratefull .?? many people in malaysia can afford owning a house esp double storey one.some can only dream of. dont be greedy . Pakatan is doing a great job here taking what transpired between the previous government who have endless deal in questionable you really believe BN will do a better job? enlighten me please.

    • khensthoth says:

      How does the comments on Kampung Buah Pala in various blogs which are supposedly “one-sided” strengthen your view that the “DAP Chinese” are far more racist, unless you determine that:
      1. The blogger is a Chinese, AND
      2. The said Chinese blogger is a member of DAP.

      Would you like to show us some examples of said comments? At least we know for sure members of UMNO are Malays, but the same cannot be said about DAP and Chinese. DAP members consist of people from all races, although there’s a majority of one race.

      However, proving that said Chinese DAP bloggers are racist does not imply the DAP, or the Chinese, or the DAP Chinese members are all homogeneously racist. None of the human ethnicity in this world is homogeneous.

      I don’t even want to go into the whole Kampung Buah Pala argument.

  4. strangely enough, when non-partisan Malays say anything that not supportive of UMNO’s line, they are labeled as traitors.

    So so if a Malay supports the view that “the DAP is anti-Islam” then it’s proven true. If he opposes the view, then he’s a traitor because he doesn’t hate “the anti-Islam DAP”

    thanks mamanview for proving MH’s point

  5. thomas wong says:

    Our malaysia leaders are only good at stirring race & religion card, is that all they can do to build the economy & nation?. Our next PM will be muhidin who are a racist.after new strait times claim MACC is a malay institution, next i m not surprise they’ll claim PM is exclusively serving for umnoputra only.Are they really dont treat us malaysian [non-malay] any more?in that case why not put it in writing that the goverment no longer interested to serve the non-malay in black/white then we will gladely need not pay any tax in the future, deal? i really thinking of migrating to singaporeor elsewhere.

  6. bc says:

    I share your observation about the obvious departure from reason and fairness in SAA’s writings. The hidden motive is plain to see.

    To me he has become another disappointment, just like that blogger with the ponytail.

    It frightens me how people with intelligence and talent such as SAA could get so hopelessly lost when they dive into partisan politics. Or at least in his case idolatry towards that man from Kerala.

    The fire they play with maybe small, even innocuous to them but when it rages, the house will go to ashes. And if one is unlucky, those of their future generations’ as well.

    This constant needling of the ignorant masses towards heightened bigotry and racism must stop. It is unbecoming coming from supposed intellectuals like SAA, and great leaders like TDM.

    We know only Malaysia’s low life play with the fires of racial sentiment, but to have the amber regularly stoked into a potential inferno by so-called leaders and responsible individuals is nauseating.

    Of late we hear more of such calls for the Malays to unite against the unseen bogeyman. Again.

    Direct ones are constantly being played out by Utusan Malaysia, BH. Oblique ones and deviously too, by people like TDM and his adoring fan, SAA. Disgustingly irresponsible. Poor Najib’s 1Malaysia is a sinking ship.

    My experience this morning I share.

    While I was having breakfast in an Indian shop, a Malay man in his late 40s approached me. It turned out that he was curious why I was reading Zaid Ibrahim’s Saya Pun Melayu.

    In the course of our conversation I learned that he was once an intel officer with PDRM, that institution whose members or former one, we are supposed to respect.

    Donno about the claim. Despite the name dropping etc. I did not buy it. He sounds more like a Biro TataNegara man.

    The crux of the story is this: He wears hi sheart on the sleeve and views people like me (one of the immigrant communities who is challenging the status of the Malays) with disdain. And he declares openly that he is an UMNO man, but in the same breath he wants to smash the leader’s faces. Talk about a walking contradiction, this one is he.

    To cut the story short and also up the ante, I pointed to him Article 153 in the said book (about the the part of the non-existence of Ketuanan Melayu and the much-maligned social contract). Just having fun rubbing it in.

    Incensed phrases like ‘diberi betis hendak peha’ was mentioned.

    I tried to make him see the error of his judgmental stance by saying that I am 7th generation Malaysian whose forefathers came from China way back in the 19th century.

    “When did TDM’s forefathers come over here? And Khir Toyo’s?” I asked.

    I left him to mull over his bad behaviour. As I was leaving, I signalled to him that his share of the breakfast was on me.

  7. The purpose of SAA’s blog seems to pander to the UMNO gallery just as Utusan does.
    They use convoluted or non-existent logic to please a certain segment who are defensive that their political dominence is threatened.
    The soup was left in the laundry bag and it is beginning to stink.
    Good on you MH for calling their bluff.
    I have been doing cyberbattles with these ignorants for years.

  8. Paul Warren says:

    You just wasted a some bytes writing a crtic on this guy SAA. He’s an idiot to have thought that his opnions mattered. Just as he was, I am pretty sure, unable to comment on acts against non-Muslims and places of worship as well as worship right here in Malaysia itself he seems so cncerned about behaviour elsewhere

    ITs more important now for decent Malaysians to ignore these kinds of bigotted writings and racist incantations and move on to forge a better Malaysia for Malaysians.

    • Thanks for your comment, Paul. Yes, it is tempting to brush aside SAA and other BN cyber-troopers as idiots. However, I can see some parallels between our situation in Malaysia today and Germany, during the rise of Nazism:

      1. Political leaders who have no qualms about demonising minorities in order to hold on to power (e.g. Nazi anti-semitism)

      2. Promotion (and acceptance) of racist and supremacist ideologies e.g. Aryan Supremacy and Lebensraum) as “OK” or necessary

      3. Media (mainstream and cybertroopers) becoming propagandists for their ideology

      4. The rise of organisations that threaten and intimidate other citizens with violence just to prevent them from exercising their rights (ala the brownshirts and SS)

      The BN owned MSM and cybertroopers seem to be applying lessons from Nazi propaganda well; as Hitler wrote in chapter IV of Mein Kampf:

      “Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (…) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (…) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (…) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood.”

      As to the methods to be employed, he explained:

      “Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (…) The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (…) Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula.”

      Do these similarities mean that Malaysia will inevitably become a fascist state? I don’t think so, but we ignore these signs at our peril. Let’s not forget that some quarters in Germany viewed the Nazis with disdain as harmless idiots by, just before they were able to take the country over.

      I believe that the way to pre-empt this danger to Malaysia, is not by us becoming the mirror image of the BN cyber-trooper; using their tactics for our cause. Rather, we need to “change the game” by calmly, rationally and with goodwill towards all, engage Malaysians from all walks of life, build social capital, expose BN propaganda for what it is, and lay out our case for change.

      Vibrant Democracy Requires Eternal Vigilance


  9. Great site…keep up the good work.

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  1. […] DAP A Chauvinist Party?”, a reader who signed off as Paul Warren left the following comment (at Hartal MSM): You just wasted a some bytes writing a crtic on this guy SAA. He’s an idiot to have thought […]

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