I read with interest Datuk Sakmongkol’s antagonistic writings against Tun Dr Mahathir’s memoirs.
Obviously, being too close to Tengku Razaleigh had led him to write without objectively analysing the content of the book.
And it is unfortunate that he started his article with a lie he created.
He based all his arguments on one sentence that he created from his imagination. He actually wrote that Tun had stated – ‘I have indian blood but I am malay.’
Please read below:
I HAVE INDIAN BLOOD BUT I AM MALAY.
When Dr. Mahathir said those lines, I nearly fell off the chair. Not because, the Malay categorization of such a fellow is a Mamak or and Indian Muslim, but because of the admission of political chameleon-ness of the person.
Because of that, we can now reconcile such an admission with one particular categorization of Dr Mahathir – that of a political liar. To re affirm his brand of politics, Dr Mahathir is willing to not tell the truth. His memoir contains not hard truths but fabricated deceits.
That was a great start to an article isn’t it?
He used that sentence to string some convoluted logic that since Tun had said something totally opposite, he must be a political liar. He even go to the extent that Tun Mahathir is a born liar.
In actual fact, Tun Mahathir said this:
I am well aware that my ethnic origin has been the subject of much animated debate. Some claim that my father was Malayalee and was fluent in both Tamil and Malayalam. Some have even written that he was a Hindu who converted to Islam to marry my mother. Others say that they have seen documents clearly stating my ethnicity. I admit that some Indian, or more accurately South Asian blood flows in my veins, but from which part of the Indian subcontinent my ancestors came I do not know. Malays in the past did not keep track of their lineage, although most of those with Arab blood can trace their roots to Yemen and know which family they belong to.
Some people will see this chapter as racist at worst, and narcissistic at best – it is intended as neither. I am a Malay and am proud of it.
…. my family and I have always fulfilled those formal criteria. But I am a Malay not just on paper. I am also a Malay in sentiment and in spirit. I identify completely with the Malays and their problems, their past and their present, their achievements and failures.
Usually if somebody goes out of his way to criticise over something using really flimsy argument, what more the criticism is laced with such rancour and hostility, we can safely assume that somebody is trying very hard to change the perception and the original perception was indeed correct. For how else, can we surmise such biased article where the whole argument is based only on a sentence that was created by Sakmongkol?
He had taken a whole paragraph out of context and spun it into a whole article.
Furthermore, surely Datuk Sakmongkol cannot deduce that the book contains only fabricated deceits and no hard truths. I hope he is not implying that not a single shred of truth is available in it.
He even go as far as agreeing Anwart Ibrahim’s allegation that Tun is a blatant liar. Well, how else can Anwar defend himself over the incident that was retold by Tun in his book? Does Sakmongkol agree with Anwar that no girls were brought to see Tun to expose Anwar’s ferocious sexual appetite?
I bet even Sakmongkol knew that was true. Grasping at straws like this is quite embarrassing.
His take on certain events are also skewed to show that Tengku Razaleigh and all Tun Mahathir’s deputies were the victims of the great man’s political onslaught.
If he says that nobody can oppose Tun Mahathir when he was the Prime Minister, he should adjust his mind to see the truth – his tenureship as the PM was mired with challenges from usurpers.
And one of those challenges went all the way to the highest platform to appoint a leader – the Umno general assembly.
So why would Sakmongkol say – Umno is an acronym of Under Mahathir Never Oppose?
Because, when Tun Mahathir was the PM and Sakmongkol was an Umno leader somewhere in Pekan, I am sure Sakmongkol never opposed Tun Mahathir; not because he couldn’t oppose, but because there was nothing to oppose about. Right?
For a split second, I thought such bitter remarks could possibly came about not from him but from Tengku Razaleigh himself.
Is he saying that when someone opposes you, you should just give way and let your challenger assume your position? Please bear in mind, Tengku Razaleigh is not someone without flaws. And I say this without demeaning my respect towards him.
But to utterly berate someone using such racist and callous context, and with certain malice and lies, is very unfortunate indeed.
Tun Mahathir is not perfect. He made mistakes like all of us. But to indirectly say that he is worse than all of us is stretching it a bit too far. And to argue along ethnic lines is stooping to the Pakatan Rakyat’s racist propaganda.
So what if he has two spoonfuls of indian blood? If he said he is Malay, then he is Malay. By definition and by his lifestyle. Who are we to call him mamak or someone who is bipolar? And who are you to use that as your contention? A racist?
I wrote this sometime ago:
Myth number 5 – Tun Mahathir is a mamak disguising himself as a malay
The people from the opposition kept calling Tun Dr Mahathir as Mamak Mahathir and even criticised him as someone trying to be malay eventhough he is actually a mamak.
Now, who in the right mind would call him this? Nobody except the racist among us.
To set things straight, Tun Mahathir’s grandfather was indeed an Indian Muslim. And the indian ancestry stops there. His grandfather married a malay woman and produced Mohamad Iskandar, the first headmaster of Kolej Sultan Abdul Hamid.
Mohamad Iskandar married Wan Tempawan Wan Hanapi and had Tun Mahathir as the youngest son.
In any standard, he is a malay. But many people still see him as a mamak and ostracise him for trying to be more malay than a mamak. Even if we go technical, Tun Mahathir is 75% malay, and 25% indian. Isn’t that enough justification to see that he is malay after all?
But all this is besides the point.
The point is, wasn’t the opposition who drummed the idea that racial identification is racist, people should not be recognised through race so on and so forth. They even proposed that the race identity in identity cards be abolished.
The irony is, they themselves can’t stop being racist when criticising Tun Mahathir. All this diatribe and racial abuse come from the so called ‘antiracist’ opposition! Why demonising the Tun using racial card?
Do you think all the indian muslims in this country won’t get offended? Do you think you are damn good to racially insult people?
Need I say more? Please do not lie to please somebody else. After all, like Sakmongkol said himself –
A memoir is what it is- a very personalized and heavily nuanced version of history. In the case of a memoir or autobiography- a personalized and heavily nuanced version of HIS legacy and a selective recollection of aspects of history.
Who are we to ridicule his own version of his life story? Tengku Razaleigh can start writing his own memoirs if he wants to.
To all his detractors, write your own book before resorting to attack Tun Mahathir with racial slants and fluffy arguments.
p.s: Tan Sri Sanusi Junid wrote his own version that may correlate with events that happened 24 years ago. Some of us may be in our late 20s / early 30s and do not know much of what had happened at that time.