Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dean Johns and Malaysiakini to the rescue!

Bless you, Dean Johns, for saying all the things so many of us would like to say about the stinky stuff that passes for local politics these days - and for saying it so engagingly. And thank you, Malaysiakini, for saving me the trouble of having to come up with something original for today's blogpost!

Umno boys protest too much

Dean Johns
Feb 24, 2010

As an Australian and a critic of the Umno/BN regime, I was both delighted and disturbed by last week's protest by Pemuda Umno Malaysia and others against interference in Malaysia's business by 50 of my country's MPs.

Most immediately delightful, of course, was that the rally outside the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur (left), was just one more demonstration of the deceit and double-dealing behind ridiculous slogans like '1Malaysia' and 'Umno Juara Rakyat'.

While this regime denies most Malaysian citizens their constitutional right to peaceful public assembly, Umno/BN positively supports and sponsors protests against its opponents.

No threats of arrest under the ISA as for the rest of the rakyat, not a water cannon in sight, and the police and FRU on hand not to disrupt the performance but to see that it all goes smoothly.

And this bias is absolutely blatant, as when, following last year's outrageous 'cow's head' protest against a Hindu temple, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein defended the culprits with “in this day and age, protests should be accepted in this world as people want their voices to be heard. If we don't give them room to voice their opinions, they have no choice but to protest.”

But then within hours he gave the lie to this self-serving liberal sentiment by condoning the arrest of a handful of people holding a peaceful candle-light vigil in protest against the government (right) And in a similarly disgraceful display of the same double standard, he initially downplayed a rash of attacks on churches by firebrands opposed to the use of the word 'Allah' by Christians, by suggesting that the culprits were just a bunch of naughty boys.

Naughty boys, juvenile delinquents, mat rempit, whatever, it's patently and painfully evident that protest is only permissable as long as they're Umno/BN boys, as in the recent rally against us nosey Australians.

No objection

Not that I have the slightest objection to the protest itself. I'm as avid a fan and supporter of peaceful public protest as you could get. And in this case I'm especially all for it, as any protest against me or my countrymen by the likes of Khairy Jamaluddin and his boys I take as the greatest compliment.

As I said up front, I'm delighted to excite the enmity of anyone so immoral, misguided or moronic as to support a regime as mendacious, malevolent and outright un-Malaysian as Umno/BN.

What I find disturbing is what might be secretly motivating some of these lads as well as the men behind them. In short, not to beat around the bush here, I find myself wondering how many of these people are gay, or at least trying to hide their fears that they may be.

Lest this seem to some an outrageous accusation, let me hasten to state that it's not an accusation at all. Living as I do in Sydney, one of the most openly-gay cities on the planet, I'm accustomed to celebrating sexual diversity, not condemning it. So 'gay' to me is no more or less a label to be ashamed of than 'male' or 'female' might be.

In fact, as hopelessly heterosexual as I am, I've often wished I was at least bisexual so I could, as Woody Allen once famously remarked, “have twice the chance of a date on Saturday nights”.

But no luck, I'm afraid. The fact is, however, that as many as ten per cent of adult humans are either bi or gay, though a great many either deny or pretend they're not, especially in countries like Malaysia where it's against the law.

The uncomfortable truth about homophobia, however, and an obsession with practices like sodomy or buggery as evidenced by the repeated charges against Anwar and the banners carried by some of the Umno boys in the recent anti-Australia protest, is that it's often a cover for covert homosexuality.

Overly macho

So is coming on mucho too macho. Like wearing wira-style headbands as so many Umno Youth and their pals did outside the Australian High Commission that they looked more like Village People contingent in a gay-pride march than serious political protestors.

As for Khairy (left) himself, though doubtless he doesn't have a gay bone in his body, he's always seemed to me to smack more of Oxford Street Sydney than of his alma mater, Oxford University.

And what about those signs, guys, all printed-up nicely in matching type-faces? A bit too designer-looking to come across as convincingly butch, don't you think?

Which brings us to some highly dubious statements about the protest. Reading Rocky Attan's blog, as I do religiously these days now he's back editing the Malay Male – oops, Mail – and finally come out of the closet as a chum of Umno/BN, I was amazed to see him openly embracing the cause.

In a posting titled 'We walked and waltzed, Australia...Mind Your Own Business,' he named a handful of fellow bloggers and writers who accompanied him on the protest, threw in a few Chinese, Indians and a dog, then proceeded to quote himself in an interview he gave.

He wrote: “Basically I said, the bloggers are not here to support BN, Perkasa or other political entities, we are here because we want to convey a message to the Australian people that what their lawmakers are asking us to do is to compromise the integrity of our courts and the rule of law.”

Integrity of our courts? Rule of law? Who did think he was kidding? But there was more: “We are a sovereign nation just like Australia is. We are not barbarians. We don't kill the native people of this country and we don't murder foreigners and get away with it.”

Official custody

Huh? What about rape of the Orang Asli and the Penan? And the killing of hundreds of 'suspects' in official custody? And as for not murdering foreigners, does the name Altantuya Shaariibuu ring a bell?

Still, nothing daunted, he continued: “I was not there to support Anwar Ibrahim or Saiful Bukhary. I was there to express my disgust at the Australian MPs who have asked us to stop our process of justice and democracy.”

Justice and democracy my ass, pardon the expression. But never mind. The truth always prevails in the end. And the end is hastened when the guilty parties publicly parade their true colours by protesting too much.

As Khairy and his boys did once again last week, and as Umno/BN big-boys Nazri Abdul Aziz, Abdul Gani Petail, Abdul Hamid Mohamed and Jamaluddin Jarjis are unwisely planning to do this today in Washington DC.