Unmasking the pseudo-liberals and hijacking the middle ground
FEB 19, 2010 — Recently Datuk Ibrahim Ali, supremo of Perkasa, a right-wing Malay NGO, together with his henchmen presented their economic agenda to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak outlining their demand for an economic policy that defend the rights Malays and Bumiputeras.
Perkasa stand out as Umno’s alter ego plying their role in pushing for the Malay agenda with much arrogance, pomp and vigour.
By putting forward its economic quota demands, Perkasa has revealed its claws to its allies and foes, announcing that it is a key player in shaping the domestic political scene.
Perkasa followed that up by demonstrating against the Australian government following the protest note signed by over 50 MPs demanding for the sodomy charge against Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be dropped.
From a humble beginning and a one-man show, Perkasa has moved up the value chain and has overshadowed Umno in many senses that has looked very timid as compared to the high octane Perkasa.
Umno sensing that their position and role is being undermined launched high-profile programmes like Umno Juara Rakyat to compete with the likes of Perkasa.
Other Malay-Muslim oriented NGOs like Abim, PKPIM, GPMS and Belia 4B have lost their relevance and seemed past their sell by date eventhough they tried hard to capitalise on Malay-Muslim issues like the recent “Allah” controversy.
In the run-up to the next general election, Umno realise that they can ill-afford to lose the Malay votes to hang on to power.
Umno-led Barisan Nasional have almost given up on the Chinese votes due to their incapacitated pro-Chinese ally parties like MCA and Gerakan beset by internal problems and leadership crisis.
On the other hand, the Indian votes also hang in the balance with MIC and its President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu suffering from a very negative perception among the Indian community.
On the opposite spectrum, individuals and civil society organisations calling themselves liberals and democrats have been rigorously denouncing Umno and Perkasa of being radical extremist building themselves as the total opposite to the hardcore Umno-Perkasa tag team.
Under the guise of their urban and middle-class setting, these pseudo-liberals are claiming that they represent the voice of conscience, Middle Malaysia or the middle ground.
These individuals loiter within the confines of the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat and left leaning NGOs.
They ride on campaigns for equality and human rights pushing their pluralistic agenda to the extent that a lot of the noble values are diluted without a human face.
Their professed faith in championing for a single Malaysian race and fighting for gender and racial equality is questionable in its authenticity and sincerity.
While a lot more rational and credible Malay leaders within the Pakatan fold argues for the exact noble values like Azmin Ali, Khalid Samad, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, just to name a few; unfortunately these leaders are being lumped together with the group of pseudo-liberals and social democrats by the Umno-Perkasa goons.
These pseudo-liberals and social democrats’ band of bandits have been accorded positions of power after being elected as MPs, excos, Assemblymen and Senators under the banner of Pakatan in the 2008 general election.
This group is being backed and supported by their comrades in left-wing NGOs fighting for the cause of human rights, gender equality and single Malaysian race.
They are actively abusing their authoritative power to exert their influence in decision making with hypocritical stance by selectively pushing for a certain agenda and silencing themselves on issues of concern to the Malay psyche.
While they support vernacular demands from organisations like Dong Jiao Zhong and Hindraf; issues that touch the Malay community like monarchy, Malay language, position of Islam and Malay rights goes absent from their lips.
Their antagonistic and hypocritical stand on anything Malay-Islam has made them the perennial enemies of Umno-Perkasa.
In fact, they are the biggest hindrance to Anwar, Lim Kit Siang and Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s ambition to bludgeon Umno in the next general election.
In a period where political parties and pressure groups are actively enlarging their support base, this group if left unchecked will hand Umno’s propaganda tools like Utusan Malaysia a field day to shun away ordinary Malays from Pakatan.
In actual fact, they occupy the extreme opposite to Umno-Perkasa and their modus operandi are as radical as their nemesis.
They do not represent the voice of conscience, neither do they represent the actual middle ground or Middle Malaysia because they are bent on promoting hedonism and paganism under the banner of civil society promoting universal values.
These pseudo-liberals are the anti-theses to Perkasa causing Malaysians to be pulled and drawn further to either extreme away from the middle ground.
If Anwar is to successfully chart Pakatan’s course towards Putrajaya, these pseudo-liberals and their social ills must be nipped in the bud to ensure that Pakatan especially in PKR is able to attract the Malay-Muslim crowd which is key to dethroning Umno-BN.
Radicals, using race, religion or the liberal card are extremists nevertheless and should be confined in the fringe rather than be allowed to roam free at the centre of gravity among the middle ground.
Only then, will the liberals and the middle ground be freed of unnecessary labelling and negative connotations.
Note : This article first appeared in The Malaysian Insider on February 19, 2010