Dennis Ignatius: A Catholic Racist Among Us.
“Have we lost our passion for souls? …We are about soul-winning,” said Dennis Ignatius. Forgetting to ask Allah’s permission, or Umno’s, Ignatius urges the faithful to convert more Malaysians at the Penang Christian Centre in 2013. People, he thinks, have souls and these souls are a ‘marketplace‘ where Christians ought to seek out and grab market shares, like they are cows and pigs, and turning them into his likeness or Jesus or, if not , the papacy at least. Ever wonder who is Dennis’s competitor in the Malaysian marketplace of souls?
Why is one Catholic Ex-Ambassador so keen to boot out another Ambassador?
To hear or read the name Dennis Ignatius, someone you didn’t know exist, you are likely imagine some white man. Perhaps the English cartoon boy from the 1960s.
In Malaysia today, such a name isn’t unlike, say, Shay Adora Ram, daughter of DAP’s Hannah Yeoh who had paraded her out to Malaysia within six days of birth as the penultimate non-racial human, a Bangsa Malaysia, she says, and the world’s first in such a category. In Hannah’s thinking, to admit Shay to the other categories of Indian (the father’s ethnicity) or Chinese (Hannah’s) would be somehow politically incorrect, shameful and immoral so that the name Shay must be, therefore, a better human specie, superior to being Chinese and/or Indian. Extend the same argument to India, say, Kerala. A Dennis Ignatius would be better breed than a Ramachandran s/o Muniandy. Minimally, he has god on his side, you see, whereas the rest of the Hindu caste is just so much voodoo, including those cow milk drinking Brahmins.
To imagine then a Dennis Ignatius in Malaysia: think of some half-Indian breed, boasting of his reading in Edmund Burke not some Karmasutra book. He is an Anglophile, schooled in some La Salle, and conceptualizes his thoughts no different from a white Ignatius in Europe or America. All of which is to say that Dennis Ignatius chucked out his own past and appropriates another man’s history, ideas and philosophy and lives his life, unabashedly, in the tenets and ethics of another culture and civilization.
When not posted in some faraway despotic South American regime, Catholic to boot like he, Dennis Ignatius would have lived his life in a land chock full of racism. It would be at odds with his ethics borrowed from the white man, but which he would turn a blind eye when in the pay of a Malay government that hired him. Reconciling this contradiction isn’t difficult; people do it all the time.
Catholics had no difficulty rounding up Africans for the slave trade because equality then was meant for whites only, God’s chosen. In America or Australia or Canada, they’d elevate racism to a cultural art form that Dennis Ignatius swears by. These days, of course, nobody listens to the West anymore when they can no longer hide their history of discrimination and extermination, blacks, Jews, American Indians, the Aztecs, native South Americans, Japanese, Chinese and now the Latinos.
Dennis Ignatius would see racism everywhere because he was raised from its diet. On the other hand, Huang Huikang (黄惠康), the Chinese ambassador who he had demanded to be expelled from Malaysia, is a Zhejiang native. To him the racism of Dennis Ignatius (practiced by the Papacy since the sixteen century) can only be imagined — like something one reads out of a textbook. That is, racism is not something one lives with so he must have been shocked to find out about what the government of Malaysia, under cover of the Red Shirts, the Malays, intended to do to Chinese on Sept 26, ten days after calling the Chinese ‘babi’ and threatening them with annihilation in the same Ignatius language of expulsion.
No Chinese could ever, not that they have tried, to bring down an Umno president and so effect a change in the prime ministerial job. Not even the AG’s Chambers or Bank Negara could do it, even if they had tried. Doing its utmost, all that Bersih4 could do was make noise.
All this is because Najib’s biggest threat couldn’t be the Yellow Shirts or Chinese — which everybody knew — but from within Umno, Muhyiddin, Mahathir et al. Only the Malays could decide on Najib’s fate and that’s only Malays within Umno not outside the party in the PKR or PAS.
In parallel to this Umno monopoly of the top job, is the Chinese political decline so that the presence of the Chinese in government is reduced to nothing more than furniture Umno ministers know well to sit on. This lordly attitude came to its head in Najib’s electoral calculations, offering only money to buy Chinese loyalty rather than offer recognition and ratification that the Chinese are an integral part of Malaysia, no exceptions, no buts, just thank you for staying in Malaysia. It would have won him handsomely.
After the failure Najib then blamed the Chinese, first for rejecting the money offers which, strangely, he doesn’t see as a bribe and after which, that is, in late August, for his ‘Malay’ leadership. Dennis Ignatius reduces the Red Shirt Sept 16 response to the Bersih4 rally to a pure case of racism spilled onto the streets. He does not see it, strangely again, as a method with which Najib Razak had used to save his Bugis skin: Which is, to sacrifice Chinese lives to shore up his Malay support within Umno.
What the Red Shirt did then wasn’t mere provocation or instigation: they wanted to make an example of some Chinese in order to show the Malays that Umno under Najib is the undisputed Malay chief, not Mahathir, not Muhyiddin. This can’t be mere racism but criminal intimidation in particular, terrorism even. That is, you blow up or set fire to some Petaling Street shops on Sept 26 in order to strike fear. And it wasn’t coincidence an Umno minister, two Umno deputy ministers and a coterie of Umno thugs should be at Padang Merbok ten days earlier, calling the Chinese pigs while the police turned a blind eye.
Why this is possible, why this happens at all, is completely lost to Dennis Ignatius. The reason being, he has a bigger fish to fry.
Dennis Ignatius has had a good life, despite his mediocre credentials, his diplomat’s salary paid for by an Umno government that has never regarded Najib’s Chinese subjects as citizens, much less as citizens with any rights. Equal rights? Forget it. At any official function, say, an international sporting event, the Chinese don’t exist. The life of a Chinese is never portrayed and if it is portrayed it is only through the lenses of a pair of Malay eyes befitting the Umno creed that the Chinese exist in Malaysia at the goodwill of Umno Malays (see bottom of post) and not as of right, nor will the Chinese be made to feel at home as compatriots and fellow countryman. So many have live with this condition for so long, it becomes a default state of mind and no longer matters until of course some of Najib’s henchmen start asking for Chinese shops and Chinese throats, deliverable on Sept 26. To burn? To rob, who knows?
The Malay elite knows better but still encourages their lot to see Chinese and culture as synonymous, whereas the Chinese are taught to see Malay as purely a religious expression of himself and, hence, a united entity. PAS is no different from Umno, so when Najib speaks he supposedly speaks for all Malays, even though there is no knowing the Malay mind; it’s intellectual power being made abject (by Umno’s politics) as to be able to fathom itself.
People like Dennis Ignatius take advantage of this confusion.
In the circumstance described, what should Huang Huikang think of the Chinese in Malaysia who are neither Malaysian in any real or actual sense nor are they Chinese by hukuo, China’s identity papers, other than as descendants of a diaspora? Instead, here is a group of Red Shirts sanctioned by Umno, Najib no less, threatening Chinese with extermination, reminding them of May 13, all because other Malays are chewing on him. If Najib were interested to countermand Bersih4’s message to remove him and that he has more popular support for his administration than there are people at Bersih4, he has simply to create Rally for I Love PM. Yet he didn’t. And why not?
We know the answer to that question, of course, for it is much easier to bus in thugs than to muster 100,000 Umno members split between Najib on the one side, and Muhyiddin and Mahathir on the other. Exploiting the Chinese to keep the throne on his head is an Umno legacy. In the past, it was without repercussions. Not anymore, because for Najib’s government to sponsor and wage terror against the Chinese, in violation of its own laws, not only abrogates the duty and function of the state to protect its citizens from harm. More than that, it loses its moral and legitimate authority to represent the Chinese against who it periodically wages war and treat not only as foreigners but as combatants. It is one thing for an organization like Perkasa to instigate against Chinese and quite another for the state to do so.
For far too long, in the interests of gaining support for a Taiwan-China rivalry and in the interest of peace, China has let the governments in Southeast Asia do anything to their Chinese populations with complete impunity. This included pogroms in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. But, a Chinese killed in Kuala Lumpur is more likely than not to have kin in China. And when Najib advocates a wholesale denunciation of a racial group, he acted no different from all the Nazi campaigns against Jews, the Japanese against Chinese, and Americans against blacks. Why shouldn’t China tell Najib to cease and desist?
Unprecedented in China-Malaysia relations, Huang Huikang draws the line in the sand:
Steal all you like but when a Malay government begins to threaten and to burn Chinese repeatedly and with impunity, then that is abrogating Malaysia’s obligations to observe international law and common decency. Threatening and killing Chinese is state sponsored terrorism; it stops being a domestic affair.
Huang Huikang’s supposed interference in Malaysian internal affairs is where China draws the line for the Najib and future Umno governments: steal all the money you want, it isn’t our business; break your own laws; maim your Malays; sell votes, buy votes, conduct your elections anyway you see fit. But, no more threats to kill Chinese because then that is not only against China’s interests, affecting bilateral relations, it will also invite international condemnation, a pariah country unfit to be a member of the community of nations.
Yet this is not how Dennis Ignatius sees it. He thinks a government is a special, distinct actor and therefore entitled to treat a citizenry, the Chinese in this case, anyway it wishes and with impunity. Hence, the Catholicism of Dennis Ignatius has no problems turning a blind eye to the massacre of Jews and the enslavement of an entire nation of blacks. Governments are special, especially if they are Christians.
Which is also to say his racism bears no fundamental difference from Umno’s. He favors the DAP not because it is Chinese but because it is Christian. He sees the Chinese not much different from how a PAS Muslim see a Chinese, an infidel lot ripe for the conversion, a marketplace for souls (see top).
If the problem with Dennis Ignatius isn’t about Umno’s anti-Chinese stance but rather with Najib’s survival, which he could have figured quite easily, why then did he pick on Huang Huikang? After all, past US governments have interfered directly and openly in Malaysian internal affairs, to wit the US support for Anwar Ibrahim.
The answer is found here, in this passage. Ignatius:
“More ominously, given the way China’s bureaucracy works, Ambassador Huang’s actions would almost certainly have been cleared at the highest levels of government in Beijing and might well signal a more assertive strategy towards Malaysia.”
Then this conclusion:
I certainly hope Wisma Putra is fully awake to the challenges that China poses and is up to the task of managing relations with such an increasingly assertive neighbour. A prompt review of our relations with China would certainly be appropriate now.
In the meantime, Ambassador Huang’s unacceptable behaviour requires a firm response: Wisma Putra, if it truly concerned about protecting our national interests, should request his prompt removal.
What is the national interests that Wisma Putra should protect Malaysians from China? Killing Malaysian Chinese? Intimidating or expelling them?
If Malaysia’s national interests is merely the veiled purpose in Ignatius’s call for a review China-Malaysia relations, in effect to downgrade it by first expelling Huang, what was his underlying and primary objective? Dennis Ignatius again:
China (is) now trying to exploit Malaysia’s internal difficulties to advance its own interests… (which) might well be warning Najib against too close a relationship with the US.
Malaysia’s international position in relations with powerful countries, a position established by Tun Abdul Razak, is equidistance, one that is balanced. This says that as much as Malaysia is an American ally, it is also China’s friend or Russia’s. Malaysia play no favorites unlike, say, the Philippines.
Dennis Ignatius, a former diplomat, should know this, which is a position well observed not just within Asean but greatly respected by China as well: It’s Malaysia’s prerogative who Najib befriends just as it is China’s because the determinants of friendship is neither power nor wealth, such as is the case of, say, Japanese-US ties but out of mutual respect.
Dennis Ignatius has no trouble for Najib getting ‘too close’ to the US, a country which bears a history of waging war in Asia, the Korean peninsula, Vietnam, Cambodia, and colonial rule in the Philippines. Why? Why is Dennis Ignatius biased in favor of the US, despite its record, over that of China? What has China shown by historical example of conquest that makes it out to be such a villain in the eyes of Dennis Ignatius?
His beef with Huang is that Beijing’s is behind the ‘interference’ as a demonstration of an ‘assertive’ China, terms you read regularly in Reuters or the American press. China is assertive in its own front yard whereas Americans, 16,000 km away, are benign, a friend and protector of Asia.
This is to say that Dennis Ignatius didn’t just pick-up his anti-Chinese racism from the media. If he were a Filipino spokesman, he would have said exactly the same; ditto if he were a US State Department official, an Anglophile pretending suddenly to be a patriotic Malaysian, masquerading in the clothes of human rights, not unlike the DAP or Hannah Yeoh. That is, Dennis Ignatius is a fucked up Catholic racist, an imitation white man, speaking a preacher’s language.
Umno’s Rich Chinese
1, Robert Kuok, 91, $11.3B, diversified2, Ananda Krishnan, 77, $9.7B, telecom3, Quek Leng Chan, 74, $5.6B, banking & real estate4, Lim Kok Thay, 64, $5.5B, casinos5, Teh Hong Piow, 85, $5.4B, banking6, Lee Shin Cheng, 76, $4.6B, palm oil & real estate7, Yeoh Tiong Lay, 85, $3B, construction & real estate8, Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary, 63, $2.9B, diversified9, Goh Peng Ooi, 60, $1.6B, software10, Lee Oi Hian & Lee Hau Hian, -, $1.5B, palm oil/chemicals/real estate11, Tiong Hiew King, 80, $1.4B, timber/media12, Surin Upatkoon (aka K.K Lau), 66, $1.3B, telecoms/lotteries/insurance13, Danny Tan Chee Sing, 60, $1.3B, real estate14, Vincent Tan, 63, $1.2B, diversified15, Lau Cho Kun, 80, $1.1B, palm oil/real estate16, Tan Heng Chew, 68, $1B, motor vehicles17, G. Gnanalingam, 71, $985M, ports18, Kuan Kam Hon, 67, $980M, synthetic gloves19, Jeffrey Cheah, 70, $950M, real estate20, Azman Hashim, 76, $865M, banking
In ‘How did racist Umno allow so many Chinese to become rich‘, Helen ‘Is-Not-Christian-Name’ Ang reproduced the table above to prove her point-of-view (POV, she calls it): In Malaysia, you can never get rich by the sweat of your brows, but only by political connections to Umno. That is, to be rich or to be poor is a question of political allegiance so that if the Chinese are rich it’s because Umno allowed it. Then she peers into her wallet: no money! Flip around her rationale: if the Melayu are poor then, suggests Helen Cina Ang, it must because of Umno or, more precisely, the party’s betrayal. Poor Melayu, played out by their own kind.
Ahi Attan, an Anglophile like Helen, dutifully reproduced the inanity in the logic to prove a related POV. And it is this, if Malaysia is anti-Chinese, he asks, why are they so many rich Chinese? So, to go with along his argument — Umno being equal to Malaysia — the Malays are poor because Malaysia is anti-Melayu. Or, to restate the same point by Ahi, If Malaysia is pro-Malay why are they so many poor Malays? Therefore, Malaysia must be anti-Malay!
In any case, both ignored listing Najib Razak among the Top 20 Richest — lucky man, getting where he is because of Umno. At 2.6 billion in 2013 ringgit in his personal account, Najib easily slips into Number 9 spot, rivaling Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary’s 2.9 billion in 2015 depreciated ringgit.
Stupid Helen/Ahi type journalists in Malaysia are a dime a dozen. Thank Allah they graduate only to turn into some pen-totting, grovelling hanger-on secretaries and not run the country. We’d be in a mess sooner, much sooner.