Even the staunchest Harapan fans had to grudgingly concede that Kit Siang “raises violent imagery of political operatives [PM and cabinet ministers] having their houses burnt by mobs”, as highlighted by Najib in his Facebook two days ago — see below.
For this reason, police are investigating DAP’s 81-year-old spiritual totem on incitement to disrupt public order.
Did Kit Siang merely misspeak?
“Harapan fans” – to use the phrase described of them by Najib – would have it that Kit Siang really did nothing provocative to warrant any investigation by the state security apparatus.
According to the Kit Siang apologists, it is only because of “cretins” (crawling out of the woodwork to pounce! on the DAP retiree) – see Najib’s FB ‘Drama bangang Uncle’ poster above – that our authorities are viewing this matter so seriously.
These Kit Siang apologists also trot out the tired excuse that DAP’s old dinosaur is once again being used as a “convenient bogeyman of Malay political insecurities”.
BELOW: Sendiri menghasut “tapi Uncle [Kit] masih tuduh saya putar belitkan kenyataan dia” — Najib
These defenders of Kit Siang accuse critics of believing, wrongly in their (Kit Siang defenders’) opinion, that he deserves his bad rep, i.e. with reference to a popular belief that Kit Siang was involved in the May 13 riots or that he is a foreign agent (whether true or false) tasked to foment disharmony among the multikulti.
It is clear that these self-appointed ‘public defenders’ for Kit Siang harbour a Manichean weltanschauung where the DAP leadership is all ‘Victimhood’ (no involvement in inciting May 13, nada; no connections to foreign powers, nada).
Whereas on the other hand, those opposed to the DAP leadership are regarded as being all about ‘Oppression’ — “desperados” tied to a supremacist political establishment who are oppressing the polity.
In short, Kit Siang apologists recycle an easy trope that DAP is continually the object of crude attacks from mindless racists and bigots.
BELOW: The better ‘political operatives are always being unfairly demonised’ … oh, poor lambs (of God)
Musang berbulu ayam
Kit Siang partisans see critics of DAP as only capable of viewing the party, quite simplistically, to be some sort of a monster (or some sort of “Hitler”? “Nazis”? — to cite a couple of related terms au courant among the liberal class).
Kit Siang apologists are equally convinced of the incapacity of DAP critics for nuance.
By pure happenstance and on this particular issue though, the view of DAP critics is coincidentally in accord with Najib’s FB postings.
Our ex-PM managed to screen capture a fiery image featured in the tweet by @limkitsiang before it (the controversial tweet) was deleted.
Bukit Aman CID director Comm Abd Jalil Hassan said police had detected a May 18 tweet which read “Will the houses of the prime minister and ministers of malaysia be set on fire by angry protestors as happened in Sri Lanka last week?”, local media reported.
In other words, Kit Siang continues to menghasut as he has done for decades.
It is some consolation for the DAP partisans that not all the party leaders are as reflexive as Kit Siang. These smarter wolves have a wardrobe of sheep’s clothing.
Harapan fans take comfort that cloy words and the even more cloying actions – such as mucking around in Muslim religious spaces – by some of the less Jurassic YBs resonate with the majority ethnic because after all, Malay voters are largely pious.
In the age of social media, photo ops which feature tudung-wearing and staged infaq events can be successfully disseminated beyond DAP’s traditional base to win brownie points.
Such ploys by the savvier DAP political operatives do work to some extent. “Foolish cosmetic gimmicks“ adopted by DAP cosplayers are lauded in the Bangsar Bubble with pieties portraying the party Christian politicians as “respecting” Islam and “menyantuni” budaya masjid.
Tudung-wearing public relations aside, Harapan propagandists are however generally more habituated to grandstanding and riling up the base ala Kit Siang’s most recent invocation of the anarchy in Sri Lanka.
It is not Kit Siang alone who throws red meat to Cina DAP with warnings like “Malaysia will become Zimbabwe” or “Najib will make a return, Marcos style”.
DAP’s younger leaders may possess better PR skills and create improved optics but still, they operate not all that much differently from their octogenarian mentor.