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Archive for June 11th, 2011

All babies are equal. Yet baby Shay Adora Ram is striking in one aspect: her name. So completely alien, so un-Malaysian. Why?

This is a sequel to, Why Malaysian First can’t sell.
Baby steps of a Made-in-Malaysia fascism

Adora for the Cause: And why not? Her parents are taught from their bibles to emulate Abraham – sacrifice, kill, the child if you must for a ‘conviction’.

After prevaricating and inciting Buddhists and Hindus to join him in fighting Ibrahim Ali, Perkasa and Malays – and that was barely a month ago – Lim Guan Eng now throws in an infant for the booty. It’s a sacrifice, but how so?

The answer is in his statement, courtesy of Steven Gan’s Malaysiakini. The statement going backwards…

Guan Eng: Clearly BN is so racist that being a Malay first, Chinese first or Indian first is more important than being a Malaysian first.

Shay Adora Ram, fresh out of the womb, barely a week old, and her parents are exploiting her existence for a political cause. Who is to say they can’t do that if their regard for Shay is that of political offspring rather than as an innocent child. In the western and orang putih biblical theology of her parents, Yeoh Tseow Suan (Anglicised as Hannah) and Ramachandran Muniandy, no child is guiltless. All are born into sin.

For Guan Eng to join in sacrificing Shay for the political cause of the DAP takes the cake. To see the incredulity, begin with Lim’s idea that Barisan is ‘Chinese first and not Malaysian first‘, the inverse of DAP’s slogan, Malaysian first, Chinese (or Malay or Indian) second.

Stating Shay as Chinese (or Indian or Chinese/Indian) is a beginning step in her birth registration to be Malaysian. This means that without a complete declaration, including ethnic roots, Shay being Malaysian is problematic; she may not make it, failing which she could be stateless. Hence, no IC. Being Chinese, therefore, whether first or last, is not a consequence of a classification; it’s the opening bid.

Once Hannah states Shay as Chinese in the registration form how’s that acting Chinese first or Malaysian last? For Shay to be Malaysian she has to be Chinese (or Indian). That is, ethnicity is a requisite of citizenship – recall the terms leading to Malayan independence. Meaning, to be Malaysian first, be Chinese first. (This has to do with the international citizenship principle of jus sanguinis, i.e. by blood, and we’ll skip that.) But Shay’s Chinese root identity isn’t affirmed until after confirmation as Malaysian. There is no Malaysian or Chinese, or first or last, if she were born to Chinese nationals. She is simply Chinese – no first, no last, no anything.

Guan Eng didn’t merely inverse the status quo in his illogic he has the facts wrong. Umno has always made the Malay first – an intent repeatedly stated – but when has BN ever made a Chinese over and above being Malaysian? Here’s the other problem: it isn’t just with Umno but the Federal Constitution as well that makes a Malay first. Does the DAP subscribe to the constitution or not?

Guan Eng: one’s child is never good enough and must be forever dependant on the tongkat …they will never be rewarded for their good performances no matter how deserving they are just because they come from a certain race

In this 63-word sentence (echoes of Lim Kit Siang’s konvoluted English) Guan Eng’s fundamental premise of equality says Shay must neither be deprived, for being Chinese, nor rewarded for being Malay. No Chinese has ever gotten a scholarship being Chinese.

To Guan Eng, Shay shouldn’t be Chinese (or Indian) because he and Hannah know she will face discrimination from the government. Would it help their cause if Shay is permitted to be classed Malay? To that, Guan Eng has to say ‘no’ as well; the word ‘Malay’ is euphemism for tongkat, crutches. Hence, in Guan Eng’s statement, no Chinese, no Malay, no Indian. Nothing.

Having registered as Malaysian and Shay’s ethnicity reaffirmed, the word Chinese written in the race box turns into a liability. That’s something Hannah and Ramachandran don’t want. Nor does Guan Eng whose own statement says Shay must be allowed to escape the discrimination and all that it entails, no rewards, and so on.

After being Malaysian first, Shay becomes Chinese second – that’s the invariable consequence of entering into Malaysian citizenship. Ignoring that political reality, finding the Chinese (and Indians) to blame for their misfortunes, Guan Eng flipped it around, lying instead to say the Barisan makes ‘Chinese (or Indian) first more important than Malaysian first‘. To describe the same, present status quo differently, Shay is going to be treated Chinese second for the fact of being Malaysian first. It’s the independence trade-off again. In return for the IC she eventually gets, Shay in the future must go to the back of the queue for a scholarship or a job.

By insisting she is neither Chinese nor Indian, Hannah and Ramachandran are attempting to remove the condition that puts her on the back of the queue. This is Guan Eng’s inference. Or, more plainly, they want Shay on top of the pile, the pecking order, without like Ridhuan Tee converting to Islam that in turn places the Malay as Malaysian first and Chinese second. So who, other than Ibrahim Ali, is being racist?

It matters to be Malaysian first if one is Malay but Malay is not and never was an ethnic class; it is a political and a national class which is how Ridhuan Tee came into being Malay although born Chinese. Mahathir is another example. So too Hussein Onn and Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Suppose Hannah is allowed to use ‘Anak Malaysia’ as race, does being Malaysian in ethnicity alter any of the two grounds – deprivation and tongkat – in Guan Eng’s objection? It doesn’t, and there are 7 million Malaysian Chinese to prove the point. And another 1.5 million Indians. Malaysian second was caused not by being Chinese first. There was never a Chinese first to begin with but Guan Eng finds it convenient to pick on the Chinese, and not the Malays like Anwar Ibrahim or Hadi Awang, in order to flog his Anglophile racism. Anyway Guan Eng looks at it, Shay is Malaysian first by birth and that’s what makes her Chinese (or Indian) second.

That stupid man, like all the Anglophile KTemocs in Australia and elsewhere, never could get it: ethnic discrimination in Malaysia is an act of political will and not a deliberation of birth that they now seek to eradicate. In the Federal Constitution, that act is called ‘special position’.

Guan Eng: By deliberately forcing us into ethnic boxes BN is not celebrating diversity.

If, hereon, every new born is registered as Anak Malaysia – nothing else but Bangsa Malaysia, which is the same but more pertinent to the ethnic classification – then is that diversity? One race, and only one, the Malaysian race, is being diverse? This logic is again so incredulous it is as if Guan Eng can look at white and say, ‘that’s black’, exactly like the denials from Ibrahim Ali caught with his contradictions or Mariam Mokhtar who plagiarized for her Malaysiakini and FMT articles.

And now to the pontificating…

Guan Eng: …a common Malaysian identity…

Shay Ram, the product of a union between Yeoh Tseow Suan and Ramachandran Muniandy, is the common Malaysian identity, according to Guan Eng. Other than being the fruit of a sexual intercourse between two Malaysians, an ethnic Chinese woman and an ethnic Indian man, what’s common that is identifiable as Malaysian in Shay Ram? Nothing, not even citizenship because it comes after the acceptance of the registration, not before.

But flog that question a little more. And to do that, go backwards.

If there was no Suan is there a Shay? If there is no Ramachandran is there a Ram? If there is no Suan and Ram together nine months earlier is there a Shay Ram? Unless Shay was conceived otherwise (such as by artificial insemination), the same single answer to the three questions has to be negative, suggesting therefore that Shay Ram has nothing in common to Suan and to Ramachandran, both Malaysians, if there were not two separate ethnicities, each individually different to begin with.

In other words it takes two individual, distinct specimens to create Shay Ram, today existing purely as an organism in the physiological and biological sense of the word common. Simply stated, Shay Ram has in her two DNA sets.

But what is the identity that’s ‘common Malaysian’ at six-days-old? Or even a year or ten years later? What’s so commonly Malaysian in the name Shay Ram and not, say, Indira a/p Ramachandran which would be Malaysian instead? Is her identity common Malaysian because she speaks Malay? She goes to a mosque? She doesn’t think in ethnic terms? She reads the Kamasutra in its original language? Answer, nothing. Nothing, except for this and which is claimed not by her but by both her parents and by Lim Guan Eng: it is that Shay Ram is a new race specie called Anak Malaysia. Hannah aka Suan and Ram aka Ramachandran a/l Muniandy are jointly asserting a new specie in a box marked ‘race’ but this was denied them.

Hang on to that – the new Anak Malaysia race – and go now to the politics of Shay Ram, drummed up by her parents, poor child, and then followed up by Guan Eng.This is how the politics begin…

Guan Eng: Forcing Hannah and Ramachandran to choose either Indian or Chinese is repugnant…

Hannah’s principal opposition in the birth registration is that Shay Ram is ‘neither Chinese nor Indian’. Even there she was wrong, especially from a physiological perspective. Shay Ram is both, so that if the NRD were to allowed Hannah the option of writing ‘Indian/Chinese’ or ‘Chinese/Indian’ then her objection falls flat. This goes for Guan Eng’s as well because to write Indian only or Chinese only in the registration application is only partly true of Shay Ram. But, how is a fact of ethnicity repugnant if objectively true, only incomplete?

The baby, if to name after her father ought to be Shay Ramachandran or Shay d/o Ramachandran. The two parents dropped the ‘achandran’ portion keeping only the first three letters Ram. Why? They are also better able to explain why they chose Shay, which is phonetically close to Suan and contains the two principal letters in her surname Yeoh.

Of the three names Adora is most revealing into the prejudices held by both her parents, by the DAP party and its kind of preferences for the ‘common Malaysian identity’ Guan Eng speaks of. It is a biblical name, etymologically Adurim and Adoraim. In its Hebrew Adora is the name of an Israeli settlement near the West Bank town of Hebron, near which is the Palestinian town of Dura.

Hannah and Isaac might have been ignorant in what they have done to Shay. The significance in the name rests not only in its Jewishness or its foreign religiosity. More than that, the parents have added into the national consciousness by importing an alien culture with a deep, irreconcilable history of Jew-Muslim conflict. Neither Hannah nor Ramachandran will live with the consequences of their decision, but Shay has to and that would be against the existing brew of Christian-Islam skirmishing in Malaysia.

Adora is also a reflection into the deliberate and calculated negation of the baby’s part Indian and part Chinese ancestry. Her name addresses the intent of Malaysian First – a bizarre, indescribable existence constructed over a repudiation; the negation of a negation. She speaks volumes about her parents anti-Chinese, anti-Indian racism, then giving in to and taken over instead by Christianity and by an Anglophile culture. It is much like the Malay mind colonized by Muslim Arabs. Hence, Yeoh is never called Suan; she is always Hannah. Ramachandran is not even Rama but Ram. Any suggestion of ancestry in the name Shay Adora Ram is almost completely erased, leaving Adora central to her existence and as most prominent, a Jewish place more than 8,000 km away. Is that Malaysian? Is that especially common to Malaysian identities – in the plural?

Guan Eng: DAP is proud of the couple for living and practicing the party’s Malaysian Malaysia and Malaysian First spirit…

There we have it… Guan Eng’s own confession, delivered inadvertently, that the existential design for Shay Ram, brought before a clerk at the National Registration Department, was purely for a political purpose. It means Shay is today a political creature of a Christian DAP and her ethnicity – Anak Malaysia – has become the brand name, unregistered, for the DAP slogans Malaysian Malaysia and Malaysia First.

It is as if a Nazi party was attempting to deliver a child, pure in its party blood. Guan Eng’s remarks are an astonishing confession: ethnic tampering, race breeding, baby manipulation, party supremacy, proselytizing an alien ideology. This is not quite ethnic cleansing, yet. But if the DAP were to rule, would they accept a Chinese (or a Melayu) name for a baby if the parents insisted? Or, will Guan Eng say that is racism; only Anak Malaysia names are permitted. That was the exact same principle – Kampuchea First from Year Zero – adopted by Pol Pot in his rule of Cambodia. Between 1-2 million people, 25 pct of the population or more, were killed in the five years from Year Zero 1975 in order to make sure equality for all in every conceivable aspect – down to names, skin colour, and what they had for lunch or dinner.

In Guan Eng, in Hannah, in Ram, in Bangsa Malaysia and in Malaysian First are the beginnings of an advancing fascism, a virulent strain never before seen locally but finding expression at last in a baby named Shay Adora Ram.

Postscript: In Chinese culture, the arrival of a new born, never mind to whom, even if to a sex worker serving Anwar Ibrahim, is an intense human moment that ought to be told and honoured, but quietly and modestly within the circle of family and relations. Hence the distribution of the symbolic red-coloured eggs, usually hard-boiled, one to each relative with a token 利市 lishi. In Shay Adora’s case, it isn’t that Hannah’s conduct was un-Chinese (who cares). Rather, it is taking out the baby to be laundered in public like showing off her new church, Sunday dress in the one hand and, in the other, she is waving to the world her sordid old Muniandy panties to be tossed out. That woman knows no shame. Perhaps, indeed, she is insane.

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Being Chinese first

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