Posted in #NotMyPM

What happens when the old dictator dies?

His country breaks up.

The term ‘Balkanization’ describes “ethnic conflict within multiethnic states“, the Encyclopedia Britannica informs us, whereafter that restive multiracial country separates into ethnically HOMOGENEOUS countries that are each hostile to the other.

Tito’s long shadow over Yugoslavia

Multiethnic Yugoslavia, which disintegrated in the early 1990s, is the model for Balkanization. Bosnia for Bosniaks, Croatia for Croats, Serbia for Serbs, Slovenia for Slovenes … These are among today’s independent sovereign nations that made up the former Yugoslavia located in the Balkans region of southeastern Europe.

With an iron fist, President Tito ruled Yugoslavia as a communist federation after deposing the king and ending the monarchy in November 1945.

The Yugoslav strongman was the glue preventing his diverse country breaking apart. He was in power some 35 years from World War Two right up to 1980. But after Tito’s death at age 88, the countdown to the inevitable fracturing of his country began.

Land of the Slavs

Yugoslavia means the land of the southern Slavs.

Russians and Ukrainians are Slavs too, in the north. Russia and Ukraine became independent republics after the breakup of USSR in 1991. Among western Slavs are the Czechs and the Slovaks. In 1993, Czechoslovakia too divided itself into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They’re certainly divisive.

Until today, the process of Balkanization is still not yet done. Montenegro and Serbia had spilt from each other in 2006 while Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.

The population of Kosovo is 96 percent Muslim and its majority ethnic is Albanian. Most recently a few days ago, Kosovo is talking to Serbia about redrawing their borders along ethnic lines (see Aug 16 RFE report).

BELOW: Retak menanti belah, only a matter of time

Depending on one old man to hold it together

Yugoslavia cracked like an egg in 1991 about a decade after its 88-year-old dictator Tito’s death. Malaysians will remember Muslims fleeing from Bosnia during the 1992–95 armed conflict started by the Christian Serbs.

Elsewhere around the world, Muslims in Mindanao want to secede from Christian Philippines; Muslims in Pattani from Buddhist Thailand; Muslims in Kashmir from Hindu India.

For a list of race-religion conflicts like the Rohingya and Uighur as well as other insurgencies and separatist movements, refer my yesterday post.

Tito was a pillar of authoritarianism. Without his dictatorial fiat gripping Yugoslavia like a vise, its different ethnicities and religions soon went their own separate way.


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11 thoughts on “What happens when the old dictator dies?

  1. Hmmm! I kind of get the hint.

    I already have a gut feeling that Malaysia will be like a headless chicken or a rudderless ship after “Da Man” is no longer around or is incapacitated.

      1. Well, we will have Pakatan Harapan as government for the next five years, so if PH becomes a headless chicken, imagine what Malaysia will be like.

        1. I don’t think the PH KERAjaan will last that long, maybe not even till the end of the year. The majority population ie the Malays are very very angry at PH and the anger soon will turn to hate. The poll results were overwhelmingly against the PH gomen under Mahathir. Even a poll between a toilet bowl and Mahathir, the toilet bowl won hands down.

  2. I used to have an old Slovenian colleague here who lived through Tito’s era. I have asked him casually before how he thinks of Tito and he told me Tito was a good leader and no dictator like how the West has painted Tito. To him Yugoslavia prospered during Tito’s time. Then the war came…

    Over in Malaysia, cultural war is currently being fought intensely on social media and public forums almost on daily basis. A discourse on supposedly taboo subjects related to LQBTQ and child marriages often veered emotionally towards religion aspect and show just how divided Malaysia is along the religion (and racial) line. Seems to me that socio-economic inequality between races are no longer the primary issue in Malaysia but religion differences is. Maybe lives are getting better (“perut kenyang”) for everyone that we even “fight” on Facebook over whether Zakir Naik, a foreign preacher, should be extradited to India or stay “protected” in Malaysia. It doesn’t help that sometimes influential ustazs join in the fray as well, amplifying the hostility between dissenters from opposing sides.

    PS: Good luck to “Malaysia Baru”.

    1. Tito was no dictator and he held Yugoslavia together but after he had gone, Yugoslavia fell apart into warring factions, as various western imperialist powers which wanted a slice of their Yugoslav “pie” backed ethic chauvanists who plunged the former Yugoslavia into warring republics.

      As for Malaysia, these ethnic and religious divisions have already been there for a long time and it will not take much for trouble to break out.

      Just read the heated, racially-tinged exchange in the comments to this article.

      I also wonder what will be the reaction to the CEP’s proposal, if the article below is genuine.

      “CEP proposes changing Malay privileges to reform economy”

      1. re: “Tito was no dictator”

        He was in power 35 years. Where’s the democratic process and check-and-balance?

        And he had a secret police modeled after the KGB.

        1. Being head of a one party state does not make one a dictator, any more than China’s Xi Jian Ming is a dictator.

          Westerners and western-democracy oriented people tend to believe that having multi-party elections is the only way to be democratic but democracy can also work within the one party, just as democracy works within committees of societies and associations which are democratically elected by the members.

          “Democracy” in many “democratic” western countries consists of the electorate putting an X on a ballot paper once every four or five years, after which the electorate have little or no say on how the country is run.

          Under Tito and his communists, there was peace and a degree of prosperity in Yugoslavia but after Tito passed away, Yugoslavia fell apart,with violence and bloodshed between the people of the component republics.

          Whilst you are right that “centrifugal” forces are primarily at work today, which are breaking countries and peoples up along ethnic, religious, cultural and national lines, it does not mean that it is necessarily a good thing.

          Part of this is due to the liberals and the liberal left, especially in the west, having gone too far in forcing compliance to their ideals upon people, such as the efforts by NGOs here to pressure acceptance of LGBT upon conservative Malaysians, including Muslims whose religious tenets forbid it and such actions invite a backlash.

          It’s the same in the west, where more conservative Christians resent being pressured to accept LGBT and this has eventualy led to a growing backlash.

          Just as Islam is integral to a Malay’s ethnic identity, Orthodox Christianity is integral to Russian ethnic and national identity and when the likes of Pussy Riot hold a performance in an Orthodox church which offends the sensitivities of Orthodox Christians, the Russian authorities rightly cracked down on them and jailed them, though Putin pardoned them after two years in jail.

          Same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults was decriminalised in Russia in 1993 but there also are no laws which protect LGBT against discrimination. Up to here, the Russian people can accept but Pussy Riot went too far, which could provoke a backlash against them.

          Likewise in the liberal west, the majority white population have been able to accept conceding equal opportunities for and non-discrimination of blacks and other visible ethnic and religious minorities but when liberal and liberal-left activists start demanding that there be no public displays of Christmas decorations and wishing people “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, claiming that non-Christian minorities “will feel offended” or in Europe where Christian schools are told by the government to take down crosses, it creates resentment and invites a backlash.

          Also, when Muslim immigrant communities in Europe demand the implementation of syariah law which is contrary to most Europeans’ culture and traditions since the enlightenment, it attracts a backlash, which is happening now, after the massive waves of refugees from the Middle East and Africa in the past few years.

          The predictions made by Samuel P. Huntington’s in his book, The Clash of Civilisations may seem prophecy come true now, though Huntington’s predictions began as a lecture to The American Enterprise Institute, the Neo-Conservative think tank which has been behind the war on Iraq and U.S. liberal imperialist military interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere to spread, “democracy”, “human rights”, “free speech” and so forth, whilst NED and Soros backed NGOs project U.S. liberal-imperialist soft-power in countries such as Malaysia through domestic NGOs and political parties.

          Thus I suspect that the current “Clash of Civilisations” was engineered by the likes of the American Enterprise Institute and Huntington’s book was written to make it look like prophecy come true.

          Thus I suspect that the flood of refugees into Europe is engineered by powers behind the scenes to create ethnic and religious divisions in Europe to serve their nefarious agendas.

          Thus whilst I acknowledge that a clash of civilisations is happening, however it is not good, which is why LGBT, people of different ethnicities and religions should not fall into the trap of playing along with it and in the process contributing towards its fulfillment.

          Sure, we have our differences but these should be resolved through friendly dialogue and negotiation, not confrontation, which is happening in Malaysia now, thus contributing to a clash of civilisations right here.

      2. tito able to preserve his goodwill in the eye of the west bec he dare to fight stalin, the same happen to mahathir among third world country bec he criticize the west. both r authoritarian, no sure though if we can label them dictator.

        being a partisan ph supporter, i used to call mahathir a dictator. however under ph, he seem change a bit, not because he want to change, more likely the environment n power sharing structure force him not to behave as in the past.

  3. Looks like UMNO is deserting Najib, I’m not surprised. But Najib isn’t the only one who is corrupt in UMNO, there are others…..

    There is a good chance that UMNO will be gone before the next GE. They have never been outside the government, now they can’t stick their greasy fingers into the public coffers to help themselves.

    With no more dedak, they will sink. Expect more BN MPs to go independent or jump ship…

  4. i disagree. ph have anwar, muhyiddin, azmin. umno have khairy, perhaps we shd worry more who could lead after anwar or muhyiddin. dap would surely move to the middle, n become another mca. malay will continue to split, bec they now fully acknowledge the fact that no matter who win, its the malay, n only the malay would reign based on the current demographic n voting system.

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