Utusan Melayu…or Ugutan Melayu?
This article appeared on Azly Rahman’s blog on August 5th, amidst the fierce attacks emanating from Utusan Malaysia. It is certainly a reasoned and reasonable response to Utusan’s slanted reporting.
Dr Azly Rahman is a renowned academic currently based in the US. This Anak Malaysia’s very impressive profile is just too much to summarize, so you can read all his very lengthy credentials here.
Utusan Melayu…or Ugutan Melayu?
by Dr Azly Rahman
Utusan Melayu (I am still familiar with this name rather than Utusan Malaysia) or the Malay Messenger has some good stuff to contribute to society but generally its and mission and vision is to build soul cages of the Malays. The mind of the Malay is warped, distorted, and archived into a realm of fear of itself and of others. Through the Malay language it brings thinking into a tabloidic dimension and relegates politics into a subject of advancing the backwardness of ultra-communalism.
Utusan Melayu is synonymous with Ketuanan Melayu, Tuntutan Melayu, Rasul Melayu, Kongres Melayu, Kesatuan Melayu, and other forms of glorified anomalies of the progressive Malay mind yearning to be free from the shackles of feudalism, superstition, and neo-feudalistic and urban-superstitious beliefs.
Utusan Melayu claims to be “Penyebar Fikiran Rakyat”. But does it expand the mind nor spread the message of peace of the Malays in relation to the much-needed marhaenism with other races?
By calling the Malays not to be “bachul” or “wimp” and to “bangkit” or to rise, the newspaper is showing its irrelevance and outdatedness of rhetoric. Tabloidic and tantric treatment of totalitarian thinking. The Malays are confused what these messages mean because they now have no reason to de-wimp themselves nor to rise. Against who? Are Malaysians not seeing the emergence, though with growing pains, of a two -party system that in which a multicultural coalition is gnawing the roots of ethnocentric-based political alliance that have survived on fear management?
Back to my confusion on the role of Utusan Melayu. On the idea of “kebaculan” and “kebangkitan” (wimpiness and wakefulness)
Perhaps there is a hidden message in all these. The call to de-wimp and rise is a call to arms against the few Malays in power that are using the media to create a false consciousness of who the real enemy is and what the real issue has been. Perhaps the call is to revolt against all forms of authoritarianism and totalitarianism that have made the Malays of these days carry an unpleasant name.
Perhaps the call is to rise against all kinds of organizations, paid or volunteer, that seems to advance the “rights of the Malays” and insist on keeping repressive intact to bludgeon others.
Is Utusan Melayu a threat to the advancement of the Malays? Is it still a popular tabloid that now uses threatening means to maintain readership? Or is it merely a continuation of a cultural transmission of fear and trembling, superstition and sensationalism, to get modern Malays to do shadowboxing/shadowpuppet play with bogeymen and bogeymen created from an old script of Ketuanan Melayu?
I do not know. But is it called Ugutan Melayu or Utusan Melayu?