So what was that about the keris and Chinese blood?http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/article/so-what-was-that-about-the-keris-and-chinese-blood/
JUNE 24 — Malaysian politicians say the darndest things. So says a book by Amir Muhammad recollecting some of the most infamous and inglorious quotes ever spewed by our politicians.
Looking at our political scenario I wasn’t at all surprised when he managed to compile
“Malaysian men are easy to service, (their) libido lasts only five minutes. A shorter period would mean more customers and that makes it more lucrative for the sex workers to conduct their activities here.” (Dr Khir Toyo, Malay Mail 14th February 2003)
As much as I would like to rebut his statement or even query how he managed to get that fact (experience perhaps) judging by the number of ads hanging by the road which have taglines like “Ubat Lelaki Kuat” and the large market for “Tongkat Ali” beverages, I would have to admit there is some truth in what he said. Perhaps if there was an Olympic event for it, we’d probably have our very own Usain Bolt, nine seconds flat baby!
However, there is one quote that is conspicuously missing and it involves our current prime minister. There are many stories on the Internet when it comes to the current PM, from photoshopped pictures of him and a deceased Mongolian model (published by an MP amazingly) to the alleged statutorial declaration in which he is actually a Hindu and not a Muslim. Now one of the most infamous stories involving Najib Tun Razak allegedly said “Bathe the keris with Chinese blood” at a rally in Kampung Baru during the heydays of 1987 to 1989. Now indeed this is quite serious. Imagine a prime minister of Malaysia who is supposed to be the leader of all Malaysians uttering such a sentence for political gain.
So why is it not mentioned in Amir Muhammad’s book? Or will it be featured in the third volume?
How did it surface?
If I am not mistaken it was first mentioned by Raja Petra Kamaruddin in one of his articles (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/12512/84/).
From then on it was picked up by several people and somehow it became a fact and by that I mean it was mentioned (until recently) in Wikipedia. Apart from dodgy Internet sources and an encyclopedia open for editing by anonymous users, this alleged quote was also recently featured in the Hulu Selangor by-election.
In a speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9Jg7Xm1C6I) made by former Perak MB Nizar Jamaluddin at Kuala Kubu Baru: “Itu Najib, sikalang dia jadi satu Peldana Menteli satu Malaysia, itu hali masa dia jadi Najib Pemuda Umno, sana stadium di kampung baru dia bagitau sama Pemuda
“Umno Melayu, dia angkat itu Umno punya keris itu karat punya keris tada pakai sikalang, itu chinwu (??) stadium dia cakap kita mesti basahkan keris ini dengan darah cina, ni siapa cakap itu? Najib! And then dia boleh kata kita mesti bajirkan pekan Kuala Lumpur dengan darah Cina.”
Apart from the bizarre Apek slang by Nizar Jamaluddin, either he was thinking the KKB folks can’t understand proper Malay or his BM oratory skill has been deteriorating lately,
there was some inaccuracy in his statement such as the “keris” which he was referring to. If indeed it is the keris of Pemuda Umno, which is known as “Keris Panca Warisan”, it did not exist during Najib’s Pemuda Umno days. The Pemuda Umno keris “Panca warisan” was first unveiled during the “reign” of Pemuda Chief Hishamuddin Hussein.
Between fact and fiction
So did Najib really say that? Let us do some homework and differentiate between fact and fiction. First and foremost, there is not a single reference point apart from some blogs or Malaysia Today article.
There are no links, newspaper cuttings or quotations from the year 1987 to 1989. Now the thing is, this is during the heated days of Operasi Lalang so if indeed Najib said those words at an open rally, it would most definitely have been mentioned in the papers.
If some were to argue that it was not reported by the mainstream media then at least it would have been mentioned by the Chinese papers. It would have been on the front page especially when Chinese politicians were at loggerheads with young Umno right wing politicians then.
Secondly this issue has actually been brought up in Parliament by none other than DAP chairman Karpal Singh. On 15th June 2009, Karpal Singh did pose a question in Parliament about whether Najib Tun Razak uttered those words and whether he was ready to issue an apology to the Chinese community.
“If it was true, are you prepared to ask for forgiveness from the Chinese community?”Najib replied: “The incident did not take place. I have never said that. The one who should apologise is the YB concerned, not me.” (Malay Mail June 17, 2009)
“I wanted to know if he said it, and he gave his answer, let’s just leave it as it is, the matter should not go on further,” Karpal said. (Malay Mail June 17, 2009)
If anyone would be kind enough to point out to me any credible links, articles or sources please do so because failure to do so means that after all this while, some of these Pakatan Rakyat politicians have been fanning racial tensions by quoting misinformation for the sake of politics.
Now based on the absence of proof and the statement by Karpal Singh, one has to wonder what incident triggered Operasi Lalang? Now we know there was no threat with the keris, but if there is one thing that we are very sure of it’s that there was indeed a mammoth rally and it was that rally which triggered Operasi Lalang. Interestingly enough I found an interesting article which says:
“UMNO Education Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced the holding of a mammoth rally in KL to celebrate its 41st Anniversary, which it was claimed would see the attendance of half a million members. The proposed UMNO rally was the ostensible reason for the Inspector General of Police to precipitate the 27 October crackdown. Had the rally been held it was not improbable that racial riots could be sparked by the incendiary speeches of UMNO politicians.” (Aliran Monthly, 1988, Vol. 8:3)
Please note that it was taken from Aliran Monthly, a magazine which is quite known to be pro-DAP.
Fiction: Najib said “To Bathe the Keris with Chinese Blood”
Fact : Anwar Ibrahim triggered Ops Lalang.
Not happy with my logical deductions? Write to Aliran then!
The thing is racial politics is fanned by both parties in this nation. It is sad to think that our politicians and MPs base their speeches on baseless accusations with racial overtones. The thing is we Malaysians are a lazy lot, we take what is being said at fiery “ceramah” as the truth without even bothering to check its validity.
This leads to the popularity of politicians who give speeches not based on facts but rather on what can give the most fiery and entertaining moments.
While some may wonder if indeed our PM uttered those words, there is no denying Umno was fanning the racial fire back then. I admit that indeed back then there were some Umno leaders who were very racist. But we have learned from our mistakes and have gotten rid of those politicians who refer to non-Malays as “pendatang.”
And for the sake of reference and historical accuracy, here is the link ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6V7EGbbrtk ) in which racial politics was rampant in Umno’s heydays in Biro Tata Negara.