How did we reach today’s Kafkaesque religious terrain? I suggest we arrived here through the DAP schizophrenia.
Yesterday DAP declared that when Guan Eng was finance minister, the Harapan government gave RM1.3 billion in the federal budget to be spent “untuk syiar Islam” — see bullet point under the mosque icon in tweet below.
Today DAP is fending off an allegation that it airbrushed out the cross from a famous Malacca church.
Err, actually, the DAP did not scrub away the cross. They instead digitally inserted the cross into their election poster featuring the church after MCA complained that it was missing.
DAP a sad, schizophrenic party
DAP is a screwed up party that purchased a seemingly doctored online photograph from iStock.
Instead of addressing their query to iStock for selling a mutilated photo of Malacca’s most famous church, DAP chose instead to shoot the messenger, MCA.
But how serious is this issue? Well, imagine if MCA had carelessly used as its campaign poster a famous Malaysian mosque where the crescent is unexplainably ‘missing’ from the building’s dome.
In such a case, there would be an outcry deliberately drummed up by critics of the MCA — who are aplenty among the Chinese community.
Even if MCA were to hypothetically plead “only an honest mistake” – as DAP has done today – the BN Chinese party would not be let off the hook.
BELOW: Mahathir flanked by his then DAP cabinet ministers Kula, Guan Eng and Anthony Loke
Earlier iterations of cross controversies
From the opposition’s past behaviour, we can already anticipate their modus operandi — e.g. when they once accused Najib of asking for all Christian symbols to be moved/removed or covered up during the PM’s visit to a church in the Christmas of 2010.
The slanders concocted against Najib were typical of oppo black propaganda.
Najib’s then aide Hardev Kaur stated that no instruction as described was ever issued by the prime minister’s office (see link below).
Hardev clarified she had only asked for the rostrum used by Najib (when delivering his speech) to be free of any Christian symbol.
You could say that Hardev was being overcautious to fear potential political repercussions should Najib be inadvertently photographed in the same frame as a cross.
But then again Hardev has the predicament suffered by Tengku Razaleigh to serve as a guide to likely political damage.
On the eve of the 1990 general election, a photograph of Kuli – then the Semangat 46 president wearing a sigah (Kadazan headgear) which coincidentally had a cross pattern – was widely circulated.
That photo of Razaleigh in Sabah was used by Team Mahathir to inflame Muslim sentiments.
Hardev was clearly determined to preempt Najib from falling victim to the same lack of oversight that torpedoed Razaleigh’s political career. Kuli, at that critical juncture, had posed a real threat to Mahathir’s hold on the premiership.
Team Mahathir cynically exploited the Razaleigh photo – airing it repeatedly over RTM and splashed on the Utusan front page of 23 Oct 1990 – to manufacture a fake scandal.
“Having full control of the media, Mahathir shrewdly turned his crisis [last-minute defection of Sabah’s PBS from BN] into opportunity”, wrote Wong Chin Huat chronicling the pivotal episode.
“The popular Kelantanese prince was accused of selling the Muslims to the Christian-dominated PBS,” wrote Chin Huat. “This ethno–religious fear was too strong for Malays outside Kelantan to stomach,” he added.
The upshot was that Mahathir successfully demolished S46 by playing on the “ethno–religious fear” of the Malays.
Before Najjb’s bad PR vis-a-vis the Christmas church visit in 2010 was Razaleigh ‘cross’ landmine orchestrated by his political rival (Mahathir) twenty years earlier in 1990.
It was Mahathir who planted our political religion minefield.
Mahathir deserves a prominent spot in the Machiavelli world hall of fame for his dirty politics.
DAP is a most treacherous party that colluded to return Mahathir to power when Malaysians were happily rid of the old man and had elected the most multiracial government in our history under Badawi 2004.
Knowing what Mahathir is, the Chinese evangelicals still chose in 2018 to enable Mahathirism 2.0, and continued to empower him the following two years.
What can we make of the DAP’s vile collaboration with Mahathir even with the realisation that their beloved Atuk hates 1Malaysia? See above.
Their Faustian pact is symptomatic of DAP’s bipolar disorder. The bizarre ‘photoshop’ of a cross onto the Malacca church exemplifies perfectly this political schizophrenia.
DAP’s anti-Malay, anti-Islam reputation is well deserved.
Yet at the same time, the party’s evangelistas don the tudung and occupy mosques, haunt pasar Ramadan, observe a faux puasa, quote the Quran and Hadith, all the while its Penang politicians continually boast about annual increases to the state Islamic activities budget. And not forgetting Guan Eng’s chest thumping about giving Jakim a billion or so ringgit.
While DAP is doing all this pro-Islam cosplay and posturing, it is also smearing PAS incessantly and even accusing a top PAS ulama of mounting “hostile attack on Christianity”.
The DAP is led predominantly by Christians. Only roughly six percent of DAP elected reps (MPs + Aduns) are Muslim.
DAP is a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in its religion politics.