KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Last Wednesday’s rally ostensibly to defend Malay honour brought no tangible benefit to the community that remains fragmented and sidelined by the very leaders they protect, controversial columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has said.
Sharing his observations of the Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu or United People's Rally on September 16, the Chinese Muslim convert said there is little substance in parading large numbers of red shirt-clad people when those wearing yellow — in reference to the earlier Bersih 4 rally — showed true unity.
"If it is simply to show more red shirts coming out compared to yellow, it is not a problem," he said in his column in Malay daily Sinar Harian.
"Mobilise them, give buses and some reward, and many will come. What do we get after that?
"What is the point of seeing a lot of red but not united, compared to the yellows who are fewer but are united, in reality? Yellow will not fear red so long as red is not united," Tee added.
Tee, who is a lecturer at Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, lamented that the Malays are not seeking out solutions to their own problems.
While claiming that there are those such as the "ultra kiasu" — his euphemism for the DAP and its supporters — who are allegedly bent on bringing down the Malays, he stressed that the Malays tend to "blame others, for problems they created themselves".
Citing a Facebook post by one Musli Oli, Tee said the stark difference in food choices — Starbucks and Subway for the Bersih 4 participants, and nasi dagang, nasi lemak and steamed tapioca for the red shirt rally-goers — was a clear indication of how far behind the Malays remain.
"They (Umno veterans) have fought for so long to defend the government but all they get are lots to set up stalls during the month of Ramadan," he said, referring to the Muslim fasting month.
"It saddens me to see uncles and aunties struggling to march from PWTC.
"I urge Malay leaders, fight for their interests sincerely and honestly because this group is willing to put their lives and livelihood on the line to defend your power," Tee said.
Thousands of red shirted people were bussed into the federal capital on September 16 that caused concern among traders in the city centre and ethnic Chinese business leaders.
The rally, said to be in support of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership, was to counter last month’s mammoth two-day Bersih 4 gathering calling for the prime minister’s resignation.