While “Ketuanan Melayu” is undoubtedly the battle cry for UMNO and its whole leadership, scant attention is given to the other hallmark of the Malays, namely, “Kesopanan Melayu”. The Malays are well known for their “sopan santun”, a Malay phrase of which I find difficulty in finding the exact English equivalent, mostly because that concept, like the Malay amuk, is almost alien to Westerners. Perhaps the closest English equivalent would be “courtesy”. The concept of “kesopanan” is not alien to all of us and the Malays are in fact well known for being courteous to everybody. The Rukunegara even acknowledges the importance of such element. Thus, the fifth element in the Rukunegara is “kesopanan dan kesusilaan” or loosely translated, “courtesy and morality”.
A look at the political landscape of Malaysia lately would leave everybody to wonder whether “courtesy and morality” are dead and buried, as far as our politicians are concerned. The fifth element of our Rukunegara might just as well be “hypocrisy and whetever-suits-me”.
When Jamaluddin Mat Radzi was earlier accused of having sexual intercourse with some prostitute from China, he was reported to have said that it was a “donation” (or “sedekah” in Malay) and it would not be good to refuse such “donation”. The Barisan Nasional leaders of course had made such a huge cry over that episode. As event would have it, Jamaluddin was duly charged for corruption.
The clowning glory to this episode is now complete when the Barisan Nasional led government was formed in Perak with the support of a majority consisting of, among others, Mr Jamaluddin-can’t-refuse-any-donation-Mat Radzi as supposedly an “independent assemblyman.
The irony in all these is of course the fact that prior to September 16th last year, when the heat of a Federal Government takeover was causing the Prime Minister sleepless nights, the Barisan Nasional leaders would come out in TV3 news saying that political defection and power takeover through defection is unconstitutional and undemocratic. But of course, it is undemocratic and unconstitutional if it happens to the Barisan Nasional while it is totally acceptable and morally correct if it is done by the Barisan Nasional.
Then, when Karpal Singh was screaming on top of his voice that he would sue the Sultan of Perak for what he opined as an unconstitutional act, the UMNO leaders went berserk. WE WILL DIE FOR THE SULTAN. TREASON! Blah blah blah… Demonstrators went to the street in Perak. In Kuala Lumpur, they assembled in front of Karpal’s office. Threats were made to demonstrate every day until Karpal apologise. Khairy even said Karpal should be banished. Traitors are killed, said the crowd. Like bloody wow wow…
Who was the one, or rather which party was the one, who took away the immunity of the Rulers? In whose era was there not one, but two constitutional crisis involving some very belligerent attitudes towards the Rulers? In which era was the Royal assent to Parliamentary bills was deemed unnecessary before that bills become law of the country? When was that the Rulers were belittled and decried as “zalim” through various statements and repeated showing of old Malay movies which portrayed the olden Malay rulers as stupid, bad and greedy? Granted, the immunity was taken away so that the Rulers could be brought to the Courts for any wrongdoing –which is and should be the right of every aggrieved citizen to do- but the manner in which it was done was demeaning to the Royal institution. But of course, if it’s UMNO, it’s okay. And now, when Karpal wants to question the Sultan’s constitutional act in Court, that’s not okay. That’s treason. And what did we use to do to people who commit treason? So asked Khairy. The crowd said, yes, we kill them. Well, said Khairy, now we banish them. Awesome!
And so when Elizabeth Wong’s picture in the nude - taken apparently while she was sleeping and unbeknown to her – made its round in the tabloid and the government bulletins, Khir Toyo – he whose face is as fair as snow white – screamed that she should resign. Hmm…you have your naked picture taken while you are sleeping and without your consent and you should resign because you are…erm…immoral. Forget about your right to privacy. Forget about betrayal. Forget about catching the scum who did that to her. Forget. She must resign. Because she is immoral. Err dear Encik Khir, how about the guy who accepted the sexual donation in Perak who is now an independent ADUN on whose support you rely to form a majority government? Okay with you?
And then there were three. Yes. Three guys who are vying to be the UMNO Youth chief. One is the son. The other is the son in law. The last one is the fair looking guy, the keeper of the ADUN’s morality. They met and they talked. The son said he will be like his father. The son in law said we must all reform. The other one said we lost because we are not Islam enough. Well well well…what is Islam enough? Or what is enough in Islam? And what is not enough? Accepting sexual donation from prostitute from China is enough? Sex with underage girl is enough? What? Pray tell me.
Oh, we shall also maintain ISA. And why is the police not using ISA against the street demonstrators? That is not good. Excuse me Mukhriz. Your father is the biggest ISA abuser in Malaysia. Remember Operasi Lalang? And even a former DPM could be detained and given a black eye by none other than the IGP. Oh, by the way, speaking of demonstrators, which demonstrators are you talking about? The one at Karpal’s office? The one in Perak with threatening banners? The one along Jalan Tun Razak abusing a woman? The one in front of the Bar Council’s building questioning a private seminar? Or the one in Amcorp Mall lighting up candles and singing? Which one? All of them?
Sometime, being a Melayu, one must remember, is not all about being a Tuan. It is about embracing the whole Malay concept. And that includes “kesopanan dan kesusilaan”. And being hypocritical about things is just not kosher Malay.
Pure and simple.