Western legacy media are biased against the Perikatan government. A Bloomberg columnist says “populists and opportunistic politicians turn to [Rohingya] migrants and refugees” as convenient scapegoats upon whom to deflect blame.
Pro-establishment Malaysians too are badmouthed by Bloomberg in the same breath. See the business paper’s article two days ago headlined ‘Coronavirus Is Bringing Out the Worst in Malaysians’.
Its narrative mirrors former Anwar aide Nathaniel Tan’s propaganda thread below.
The Bloomberg columnist also says, “Soon, the local social media fills with xenophobia and hate, along with demands that the foreigners ‘go back to where they came from’.” Columnist Adam Minter declares that this purported political opportunism as well as xenophobia and hate among the online public are a “poisonous problem“ that is being “played out with particular vehemence in Malaysia”.
Minter then proceeds to advise PM Muhyiddin to pay attention to a recent open letter on alleged “violent threats and hate speech against the Rohingya community” coming from Malaysians. The letter was penned by what the Bloomberg columnist calls “83 human-rights groups”.
For the record, those signing the pro-Rohingya letter include dodgy outfits such as the ‘Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia’ and other anti-Umno groups. Omputih in the liberal media such as Minter are writing above their pay grade in telling our prime minister who he should be listening to. This incessant bullying of conservatives by media activists and cause celebre advocates is a rampant phenomenon everywhere.
Radical left are gatekeepers of media and social media
President Trump (story above) is absolutely correct that social media tech giants are controlled by the “radical left”. They’re the partisans who can unfairly determine that conservative rednecks (but not Antifa) are spewing hate. They get to judge what constitutes hate speech, and who the trending “racist”, “fascist”, “xenophobe”, “bigot”, “far right”, “Nazi” and “Hitler” reincarnations are.
At least five petitions in recent weeks have apparently called for Rohingya to be deported from Malaysia. This call gathered “hundreds of thousands of signatures”. Such massive support reflects the popular will of Malaysians. These Malaysians are not Nazis.
Nonetheless this majority opinion held by Malaysians is being deplatformed by the comptrollers of social media. Change.org, the website that hosted the five petitions, had them pulled down giving an excuse that such calls for deportation were hate speech.
I had not seen any of the petitions before they were removed so I do not know the language that was used. Nonetheless what I do know is that speech censorship is consistently slanted against conservatives.
Silencing the Malaysian conservative voice is one example of how the radical left gets to make up the rules and shift the goalposts, on top of playing referee in the game.
Why don’t Rohingya get any support from the Burmese?
The following thought-provoking question is posed by expert on Arakan history, Dr Jacques P. Leider:
Why have the Rohingya obtained support from all over the world, and after 2012, more so than ever before, but never among ethnic groups in Myanmar, not even among the various other Muslim communities, not during the parliamentarian 1950s, not under the military regime and not following the recent political opening?
The civilian government in Myanmar does not support Rohingya. Neither do the country’s elected politicians. The military, the monks and the man on the street are anti Rohingya. Burmese in the civil service and Buddhists from Myanmar working in our neighbourhood kopitiams also think the Rohingya are interlopers.
Why does even Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi (below) also not side with the Rohingya either?
Seriously, do ponder on Dr Leider’s question for a minute or two … or take five minutes. It’s Sunday after all and you have the weekend leisure.
An honest answer to his probing question above will get you accused as an “ugly Malaysian” by the virtue signalers — one of them is journalism grad Ms Chuah Siew Eng (see screen capture below).
The thing we know about these virtuous finger waggers, i.e. the SJWs furiously wagging their finger at you, telling you how intolerant and inhumane you are, is that they’re usually the first to hop on any fashionable bandwagon. And the Rohingya are the flavour of the month.
BELOW: Siew Eng put her name to the April online petition calling upon our government to allow Rohingya human trafficking boats to enter our territorial waters; it further implies that prioritizing the safety of Malaysians in these pandemic times is being “selfish”
Name-calling dissenters as “ugly Malaysians” and “Hitler”
These cyberbullies currently making themselves the Rohingya’s international caretakers are acting like the Gestapo. While demanding “multiculturalism” (code word for sekolah Cina), they will at the same time silence any expression of ”diversity” in thinking through their thumping blows of the SJW sledgehammer.
“Better knowledge and a more transparent assessment of numbers may frighten some, but can ultimately contribute to fairer judgments,” countered Dr Jacques P. Leider – his question quoted above – who is a historian on Burma. He hopes for a “more transparent and fact-based engagement with Rohingya issues”.
Unfortunately complex Rohingya issues are painted only in a B & W binary – Rohingya “good”, Myanmar “rogue state” – by the virtuous finger waggers. No shades of grey for them.
The virtue signalers don’t speak Burmese, don’t live in Myanmar and don’t understand history or buta sejarah but since 2012, they have validated the Rohingya victimhood with a flip side of demonizing the country’s Bamar majority ethnic (Suu Kyi’s people). In this, the NGO types are aided and abetted by media campaigns on the politically correct public opinion to hold with regard to “the plight of the Rohingya“.
Yet even the most strident and vociferous foreign condemnation of the Rohingya expulsion from Rakhine has not budged the Burmese consensus one inch. So pause and ask yourself why, unless you believe the Burmese population who blanket reject the Rohingya are all Buddhist Nazis.
BELOW: A Suu Kyi supporter tells Al Jazeera that the Burmese just don’t align with the (distorted) view of outsiders on the Rakhine situation
Duri dalam daging vs emotional appeal to the do-gooders
“The entrenched description of the Rohingya as ‘the most persecuted minority in the world’ cemented passive victimhood as the default interpretation of Rohingya ethnic identity.” — Jacques P. Leider
The 2018 academic paper by Dr Leider titled ‘History and Victimhood: Engaging with Rohingya Issues’ is interesting but many of his scholarly sentences can be difficult to digest, like this one — “Temporal expressions in introductions of the Rohingya, such as “for generations” and “for centuries,” have been recurrent, but they are shallow and bloodless“.
Let me frame it in Malaysian terms: Mahathir likes to claim that Rohingya have been living in Burma for many, many centuries. His deceptive statement is merely a sleight of hand, as I’ve previously explained. Others more accurately state that Rohingya have been living in Rakhine for several generations already.
Mahathir also highlights that Rohingya have been a presence in Myanmar longer than Chinese have been present in Malaysia, and it’s true.
Namun Rohingya rata-rata ditolak rakyat Myanmar yang menganggap mereka sebagai pendatang haram.
The ethnic minority that is so roundly rejected by the natives needs to develop some self-awareness too. Bottomline: The Burmese are willing to go the extent of risking international marginalization as long as they can make the Rohingya balik Chittagong.
Victimhood, the most prominent marker of Rohingya identity
The British census of 1931 certified that 80 percent of the Muslims in Arakan were Chittagonians.
Chittagong located in Bengal, Bangladesh and Sittwe located in Rakhine, Myanmar are neighbouring districts with an overland connection. So yes, the Bengalis did ‘walk’ over to Rakhine not only during the 1870s but even up till the 1970s.
Burmese nationalists are adamant on their stance that the Rohingya diaspora is unwanted in their land. “The native place of Bengalis is really Bengal,” proclaimed Myanmar’s top general Min Aung Hlaing.
U Kyaw Tint Swe, the Union Minister for Aung San Suu Kyi’s office, remonstrated to the UN general assembly in his speech on 30 Sept 2019, saying: “As in other colonized territories across the world, our local population had no say whatsoever with regard to the seismic demographic transformation of their lands“.
Dr Leider has observed that “legitimate expression of resentment, anger, and contestation” from the Burmese is simply dismissed by the Rohingya cheerleaders as something discreditable and reprehensible. On the other hand, “the human rights-informed representations of Rohingya or Rakhine issues in general enjoy a quasi-monopoly on politically correct interpretations“.
Leider says, the overtly “political character of the origins of the Rohingya movement”, begun in the 1950s, must always be borne in mind. The continually reified Rohingya victimhood is new identity politics writ large.
But the indigenous people of Burma won’t change their negative perception of the Rohingya, victimhood narrative notwithstanding. Why do Malaysian petition signers act like they know (kenal) the Rohingya better than the Burmese do?
BELOW: Penang Deputy Chief Minister Ramasamy was wary of the Rohingya being given the welcome mat; well it’s now been five years and how has their stay in Penang turned out for you, Rama?