1. There appears to be no room for the middle ground. Even Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), a potential Third Force flagbearer, had applied last September to become a member of Pakatan.
If you’re not with them, you’re considered a mortal enemy.
2. Thus when Anas Zubedy – a conscientious objector to ABU – recently reiterated his centrist position, he was met with the retort: “It is because of the so-called centrics that we have had the same government for years. When they should’ve voted the opposition, they did not.”
The rebuke above is a polite sample. As to the impolite ones, you already have a good idea what they must sound like.
3. I had read Anas’ latest writing titled ‘If I’m Umno-BN, I would’ve neutralised DAP!’ when it first appeared in his blog on Tuesday. Putting the word “DAP” in his headline and added to that, some talk with regard to neutralizing the party is like waving the proverbial red flag at a raging bull.
4. I didn’t have to wait long for the partisan reader responses. Anas’ opinion piece appeared the following day (Wednesday) as a letter to the FMT editor. Despite the reminder by Anas in his concluding paragraph that “how you [readers] react to this article will show if you understand the stakes at hand, can be helped to change, or simply incorrigible”, a majority of the responses were indeed most predictable.
5. Out of the hundreds of comments, I will just focus on just one for the purpose of this discussion.
It is written by Paul Warren, January 31, 2013 05:37:31 and appeared in Malaysia Today, which had syndicated from FMT.
“What a whole lot of hogwash. Trying so hard to be neutral and centrist, as you call it, your prejudices and bias preceede most of your pronouncements. You are so full of UMNOputra cloaked in sheep’s clothing, your condescending attitude is so annoyingly predictive of what you are about to say. But that has been your way all along Anas. I even blogged about it once I think. You operate on assumptions that I suppose you will find difficult to justify. You are so full of it…”
6. Paul Warren’s reference to ‘Umnoputra’ ought to be clarified.
It is a term which serves as a convenient deflector and usually employed along the following lines, in that the staunch opposition supporter would say:
“Actually, it is not the average and ordinary Malay whom we fault. Why really, Malays are the nicest people. It is only the Umnoputras who are taking the country down the drain.”
If you were a Malay, wouldn’t you feel rather annoyed to be patronizingly told that your race is the nicest on the planet but the praise comes attached with a caveat that the individual must necessarily be certified “Umno-free” to qualify.
7. The term ‘Umnoputra’ is in the same mould of Christians sermonizing on sinners.
Raja Petra wrote about this sleight of hand in his article “Hate and vilify the sinner‘ on May 13 (the publication date surely not coincidental?) last year.
Raja Petra explains how it works:
“these Christians would appear and lecture us about how Christianity is a religion of love, how we must love the sinner but hate the sin […] Then, these same ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’ people will foam at the mouth and demonstrate hate against anyone who expresses support for the government or criticises the opposition.”
8. The Christians dance on the head of a pin by claiming to hate the sin but nonetheless love the sinner. A parallel is the claim made by oppo supporters that they hate only Umno but still love the Malays. By extension, it is only the Umnoputras who are hated.
9. So who might these Umnoputras be?
Hannah Yeoh is determined to “Bersihkan Malaysia”. She also lectured “Stop being dirty!“
My blog is in the same boat of using a signature terminology, ‘Dapsters’.
Since fair’s fair, I will start the ball rolling with an attempt to define Dapsters. After which, I can justifiably throw the ball into the opposition’s court for their definition of Umnoputra.
Usage of ‘Dapsters’:
The word has NOT been linked to DAP card-carrying members, party workers or grassroots activists. It has not been used as a de facto description of DAP politicians either.
Instead, two particular politicians have been highlighted as the Father (and Mother) of Dapsterism — Papa Dapster and Mama Dapster. Dapsters are their followers who mirror the traits of Papa (cocky, arrogant) and Mama (religious zealot, self-righteous).
‘Failed accountant’, non-practising lawyer turned Event Planner
But never mind lah. Politics more lucrative, neh.
What Papa and Mama have in common is how they invariably accuse opponents of the very things of which they themselves are the sifu. As one example, the duo always scream that the mainstream media are guilty of spin. Yet they themselves putar-belit much worse.
A tweet by the Beliawanis MCA treasurer which introduced phrase “DAP SuperCyber Bully” is an apt description of what Dapsterism is about, i.e. gangsterism. It is domination through use of ruthless force and asymmetrical power.
e.g. As the head of state in the executive branch, Papa uses his lofty position to bully reporters and NGO representatives – who are far from being his equals in terms of power – by threatening “you see what I do to you”/ [you print lah] “then you see what I do to you” (he said this twice in a press conference), and smearing them as “Umno agents” as well as issuing countless gag orders.
Mama prods her cult following of 57,000 twits in an attempt to mobilize a cyber lynch mob against her critics, and has blocked countless detractors from her Twitter.
Both Papa and Mama employ the propaganda tools of state to manufacture mass adulation, for instance, Papa’s infamous 50 photos in a single 28-page edition of the state paper; and Mama’s weekly photo appearance in another state paper plus enjoying the promotion and publicity blitz provided by an MCA-owned tabloid.
Hence Dapsters are the mob led by such demagogues. They attack in the safety of numbers and on home ground i.e. their sovereign territory in certain quadrants of Twitterjaya, Facebook, blogosphere and online media.
Well, the above is a succinct framing of ‘Dapster’.
10. So now, who exactly do they mean when they say Umnoputra?