Tony Pua has been described as ‘arrogant’ by Mahathir and behaving bagai kaduk naik junjung when DAP was permitted to helm the Finance Ministry in 2018-2020.
“And of course, the Malay political operatives in Harapan will not come to the DAP’s defence because this is not like wearing a tudung,” commented Malaysiakini columnist Thayaparan today.
Remarking on Hannah Yeoh’s tudung, Thayaparan in his earlier article on Monday wrote that DAP had pumped out its “good Chinese and bad Chinese” propaganda to do damage control.
The ‘Cina baik, Cina jahat’ polemics are along the line that Hannah is good because she wears tudung.
Whereas a critic of hers such as Ronnie Liu is bad because he thinks the party had bent over backwards to multikulti on top of kowtowing to Mahathir.
DAP contorting themselves to obey Mahathirist dog whistles “really goes to show us how servile the DAP was in the presence of the old maverick”, observed Thaya.
Well okay, so let’s now examine how Humble Hannah got into the old maverick’s good graces, so much so that she is the sole DAP member whom Mahathir wanted in his post-Sheraton National Recovery Council.
The trick then, in order for Tony Pua to politically rehabilitate himself, is to be seen as a Cina baik.
Tony himself had previously labeled Cina jahat Ronnie a “Cina cauvinis” while Hannah herself called Ronnie “toxic”.
To help Tony find a formula for ‘How to be a good Chinese’ – like the ones seen pawing Mahathir’s chair in the picture below – we need to reverse engineer the Ronnie-type.
Party grassroots bad Chinese, DAP elites good Chinese
Cina totok Ronnie is a DAP stalwart popular with the party ground, and an Adun but lagging behind his younger counterparts Tony and Hannah who are multikulti MPs.
“Non-Malay power brokers have to show the proper deference when it comes to dealing with ‘Malay’ institutions otherwise they would be construed as stirring up racial and religious sentiments,” wrote Thaya on Tony’s predicament being viewed as arrogant.
’Penang land reclamation joke’ — read HERE
Thaya uses the phrase “to show the proper deference”, a quality which Mahathir alleged was deficient in Tony’s dealings with the Malay civil service.
“To show the proper deference” is to show respect.
Songkok, alternative to tudung for DAP men
Hijabi Hannah (above) is the chief driver of DAP machinery pumping out the trope that ‘bertudung equals giving respect’.
Some people have said otherwise, i.e. that respect can be earned by learning to speak BM (as Wee Ka Siong does flawlessly, for example) — see tweet below replying to Ong Kian Ming’s stratagem of fasting untuk “mendekati kawan2 Melayu saya”.
According to Thayaparan, the description ‘arrogant’ was applied on Tony “to signal intrusion into Malay provinces be it political, social or economic”.
Compared to Tony, Humble Hannah with her “respectful” dressing has been more successful in trespassing the Malay domains.
DAP’s good Chinese armed with tudung targeted their cosplay charm offensive at the Islamic religious establishment.
Some DAP men have carried out a similar strategy through songkok but I don’t recall coming across any photo of Tony wearing one, unfortunately (but I could be wrong).
If so, Tony can nonetheless learn from his good friend Kian Ming who is an inveterate songkok wearer (below).
Kian Ming is the male version of Hannah with his many gimmicks, including spouting Arabic greetings and showboating his ‘puasa’ during fasting month.
Ronnie meanwhile is poster boy for the DAP’s ‘Cina jahat’ propaganda by refusing to play along, and instead stubbornly clinging to his “Chineseness”.
Thayaparan commented “how two-faced Pakatan Harapan political operatives were in their reassurance to the base”.
These two-faced political operatives are adept at costuming also in tudung and songkok. And “the DAP’s base seems to think that all this is wonderful,” said Thaya.
Tony can begin his journey to becoming Cina baik by ordering some songkoks from Shopee.
With a songkok prop atop his head, Tony might be able to chip away at his arrogant image and appear more respectful like Hijabi Hannah, God willing.