I was quite tickled to see the so-called "debate" which was side-tracked so easily with "psychological harassment" - the "tormentor" being none other than Mr LKS. Not to be left out, there were other hecklers in the opposition adding fuel to the fire, some bringing out "rocket stories" in defense of racial concerns .......
Firstly, it has to be said that Mr.LKS's conduct was definitely improper - screaming his guts out when there was no need for it. Secondly, he diverted attention from the issue of quit rent that was to be debated. To say the least, I believe his conduct was also unbecoming of a parliamentarian whom we address as "YB". His conduct was juvenile, indelicate and uncultured, at best.
I wouldn't have been surprised, had Mr. LKS and gang stuck out their tongues or middle fingers at Mr. Sothi and Co., during their sparring session!
Why is it so difficult to debate in a civil manner? Was it the way it is now, just a generation ago?
Although I do not condone his manner of torment, (by bringing up the issue of humiliation MIC and PPP were subjected to), I couldn't help laughing at the conduct and reaction of Mr. Sothi ...... he was obviously quite flustered by the needling, and was trying hard to maintain composure. He apparently, even whacked Jasin by telling him to "tutup satu mata"!
Being an "Indian" in the race-politics landscape, I guess his Emotional Intelligence Quotient could probably be quite low, after watching the "Indian" movies (and of course training from the "big guy" himself), with so much of extreme emotional expressions and decadence.
Let me indulge in some speculative, hypothetical thots ......
At that moment in time, with the adrenaline pumping his brains, I wouldn't have bet on what might've happened should Mr. LKS had handed him a rod for whatever purpose! Mr. Sothi, in his sweaty emotional turmoil, might've whacked (or shoved) himself if he was into Masochism, or could've whacked LKS if he was in line with the sacred "pantang dicabar" principle of "asian values".
If there were similar challenges at the Hindraf assembly to submit the memo to the Queen, could a similar response be evoked from participants?
I believe, that the likelihood is quite high, that these guys could be quite easily provoked - and indulge themselves in "heroics".
As much as I would support their right to peaceful assembly, I don't really subscribe their agenda of sectarian interests.
Of course there are convenient "Malaysian interests" dished out as political spins to the event - but it is ultimately, nothing but a fight for sectarian interests. From that perspective, I believe their methods of fighting for their rights are very much misguided.
One thing is for sure - even though I empathize with their sentiments, I wouldn't say that I fully sympathize with their predicament.
It was these isolationist attitudes that actually got these unfortunate marginalized Malaysians into the predicament that they cry foul about - that too, at the British crown!
Where were these guys during the Bersih March? Little chest thumping bravado did I hear from these Hindraf guys who now scream "justice" for "colonialized Indians" .......
I was quite shocked to hear that some of these guys have taken the words, "Jai Hind" to be their rallying call!
Allow me to ask a few simple questions -
What prevented them from rallying their followers in a similar manner for the Bersih March?
How many of these guys, claiming to be proud Malaysians, can actually speak Malay flawlessly, despite having lived all their lives in Malaysia?
What have they actually done personally to actually "integrate" into Malaysian society?
Do they really want to integrate or do they wish to isolate themselves, by clinging to ethnic chauvinism inclinations that has been infused into their minds?
The way I look at it, these guys from Hindraf are just playing the "race card" as a means to achieve their ends - no different from MIC, MCA, UMNO or other parties and groups that masquerade under non-ethnic constitutions. In fact, I'm certain of the fact that there are some "bloggers" who are obviously MIC supporters, who are campaigning for this rally - all fired-up and issuing warnings to others along the lines of "pantang dicabar", and "krisman" himself.
But of course, this assembly is "a fight for the rights of all Malaysians" - so, they say!
Yeah, right - And I'm Abraham Lincoln .........
Allow me to post DSAI's statement on this matter ...
I support HINDRAF’s right to peaceful demonstration and therefore reiterate my appeal to the Royal Malaysian Police to approve a permit for their rally to take place on 25 November 2007. The right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed by the Malaysian Constitution and the November 10 BERSIH rally has demonstrated conclusively that the Malaysian people can act responsibly and in accordance with the best traditions of civil society.
However I must appeal to HINDRAF to consider a more balanced and responsible approach to addressing its grievances, which have been incorrectly attributed to the Constitution, and in particular Article 153. HINDRAF’s complaints should be directed towards the corrupt UMNO-led BN coalition government that is guilty of serious abuses of power and which continues to marginalise and neglect the plight of poor Indians, and has also failed to take into account the problems of all Malaysians, irrespective of race, colour or religion.
The HINDRAF movement is symptomatic of the fundamental problems that remain entrenched in our country and to stoke the flames of racism would only exacerbate racial tensions and animosity among Malaysians.
Malaysians of conscience who are committed to reforming this nation must recognise that a viable opposition is essential and now is the time to support it. For the pro-reform parties in society to work together effectively, they must find common ground, be open to communication and collaboration, and resist the temptation to scapegoat other races for their problems and frustrations.
Divided our voice is weak. But united and enlightened, we can together build a nation that we all can be truly be proud of, and one in which we can live in peace and harmony.
ANWAR IBRAHIM http://anwaribrahim.com/site/