Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Julia Roberts versus Bogus Middle-Class Malays

AND Malay Right Wingers versus Huzir Sulaiman, Zahim Albakri, Fahmi Fadzil and Sunday Star. AND Mat Cendana versus Huzir Sulaiman and Star's sub-editor. Dato Ti Lian Ker, at first bemused, jumps in. Mat Cendana tries to get out of the ring to get a better sight - and then he sees Pretty Setiawangsa Woman Julia Roberts...

Folks, this sounds a bit like the WWF Wrestling circa the mid-90's - something BIG in Kelantan - with the "tipu" (staged) wrestling of beefcakes led by Hulk Hogan and the various "jahat" wrestlers and "kayu" referees that would often end up in a free-for-all, with the ring chaotic! Well, that's what Mat Cendana's last post of Hijacking the "Malay Middle Class" has turned into.

Okay, I'm going to use the first person from this point onwards, because some of the things will be about me. Firstly, I'd like to admit that I am surprised by the response to that post - especially because of the heavyweights who have left comments AND started a new post based on it! WOW! I must have died and gone to SoPo Blogosphere heaven...

And to think that I was scheming on how to pull the plug on this blog! That's because I'm extremely busy right now, and I feel bad about the 120-plus hits daily, who keep getting disappointed when there is no new post here. In fact, I had mentioned it at Jebat Must Die's post on Dec 7 of The Hitchhiker’s guide to Ketuanan Melayu 

(Actually it was something written by Apocryphalist - someone who 99% of blog readers agree should have his own blog but who refuses to start one. The other person whom 99.5% agree must have her own blog is New York-based Mekyam. BTW I'm serious when I say that other blog of Recovery from Drug Addiction is 100 times more important to me than this one.)

setiawangsa_prettywoman4B Then, last Sunday evening, "Julia Roberts" in Setiawangsa asked me about Huzir Sulaiman's piece. With due respects to Huzir, I had not paid too much attention to him for the sole reason that I don't have much time nowadays (BUT I do read New Media editor A. Asohan, who is one of my most favourite writers. BTW Asohan is also one GREAT guy. How do I know? Well, just take my word for it...) Anyway, Julia Roberts and I were unanimous, and I feel our opinions were clear enough.

Well, I didn't expect that post to generate so much attention and heat towards Huzir - and the bogus `Middle-Class' Malays! And neither had I expected the response by blogosphere's BIG NAMES and regulars here and with posts of their own!

Let's see: Among others, there were Dato' Shamsuddin Nawawi of Small Talk fame, with his usual straight and sharp talk (and an excellent pun to boot about "class"!); Mekyam, Jed Yoong, Jebat Must Die, Malaysian Tigress, Piggy Singh, Dato' Ti Lian Ker and Pemuda IKS, satD, Omong... And not to forget, that aristocratic, don't-mess-with-him-lah, take-no-prisoners KijangMas of the Demi Negara blog.

When it comes to KijangMas, as with his `comments' at his blog, they are actually "Posts" in their own right.

Dato' Ti sees it from a different angle and perspective in POOR HUZIR SULAIMAN...tough walking the middle road..

But the heavyweight who had felt most strongly about it is Datuk Sakmongkol AK47. How strong? Well, how about THREE posts!...beginning with a scathing one titled Huzir's Malay Middle Class- better to remain quiet , and followed by Malay Middle Class and Bourgeois Morality and Malay Middle Class and Bourgeois Morality(2)

[UPDATE 4.55AM: Dato Shamsuddin Nawawi has strong feelings about this too, apparently. Besides the two comments left at the previous post here, he has also written a new post about it at his blog, titled Melayu ada kelas ke? This one covers the legal definition of "Malay", according to the Constitution.]

Some unsolicited advice to the suave, savvy and ultra-sophisticated Huzir, Zahim, Fahmi etc from me - the country "darhat" in the Malay heartland who follows Dikir Barat, Wayang Kulit, Mak Yong, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan; and now relegated from the rustic "Rural Lower-Class Malay" to wretched "Pariah Malay" because of Huzir's classification.

Yes, you erm, `middle-class' types probably have degrees from some overseas university, plus maybe 650,000 fans each in Facebook, with an additional one million new ones from the paper's readers who may be impressed with your opinions. Good for you all! BUT PLEASE increase your knowledge of "real world affairs" (not "Bangsar Starbucks philosophies") by at least 80% by reading what Sakmongkol has to say.

And No, he is no "ultranationalist" as you `intellectual cafe types'  might love to label, but actually as "moderate" and "centre" as they come. So, if he feels THAT strongly, that's the cue for you "liberal, open-minded" kind to consider his viewpoints - right after the drama rehearsal, ya?zahim_albakriB

By the way, Datuk Zahim - What's with the pix of that woman on the top-right of your head?...the one titled "MISS"? Oh, it's what you sophisticated `middle-class' types call "Art", "Seni Halus" izzit... which us prudish rural bumpkins and religious extremists wrongly and outrageously claim as "Vulgar".  I guess the opinions of you "modern, liberal, open-minded class" are what the rest of the Malays should emulate "to compete in the post-AFTA, borderless world"; especially your interpretations of "Ketuanan Melayu", "Special Rights" and "The Constitution"...

Sigh...Jagalah sikit gelaran Datuk tu, NGOK; barulah orang-orang cam aku ni HORMAT.

Fortunately, kampung guy Mat Cendana of North Kelantan and not-too-far-from-Patani Malay Kingdom, has someone on your side of the Banjaran Titiwangsa Main Range, deep in your territory and who has seen it all. Yes, the Setiawangsa pretty woman who is the genuine Urban Middle-Class Malay. And here's what she says of you clueless wimps and aloft fakes:

The issue is this guy [Huzir] miscategorised.. And does their opinion matter? Sepatutnya when they have the wherewithal, they do something about those who haven't. That is the idea of the NEP (New Economic Policy). That is how the Chinese community has strengthened their position [with the successful helping those below]. Ni orang kita jenis ni, fikir perut sendiri aja... 

Ah, how joyful and relieved rural lower-class Mat Cendana is to discover that he too shares the same sentiments as opined by the urbane and sophisticated true-blue middle-class Julia Roberts - two of how many millions?...divided by Umno, Pas, PKR and the clueless liberals. Where is our King Arthur?.. who will unite us first, and then with the other races, as we end all the current nonsense and together move on towards a better Malaysia for ALL...


DSN said...


Saya dah tambah pulak sikit dengan "Melayu ada kelas ke?"

Melarat dah...!!!

Mat Cendana said...

Dato' Sam,
Terima Kasih kerana sudi maklumkan saya. Link bagi Post Dato' yang terbaru tu, saya sudah Update dalam post ni, sebab memang teramat relevant. Saya rasa pembaca akan menghargai kerana terdapat aspek undang-undang dan Perlembagaan.

Tujuan saya himpunkan link-link ni ialah supaya pembaca mudah buat reference. Tiga Post Dato' Sakmongkol tu adalah amat berhargai. Jelas bahawa Dato' Ariff ni seorang yang tinggi intellectualnya.

Link kepada Dato' Ti Lian Ker juga saya sertakan. Yang pentingnya, kita kena cuba faham kenapa pihak lain mempunyai pendapat yang berlainan. Saya rasa Dato' Ti seorang yang jujur. Namun, ada beberapa aspek yang perlu turut diambil kira.

Saya mungkin akan elaborate lebih lanjut apa yang KijangMas telah tulis dalam post lepas tentang akhbar. Sebenarnya, saya ada rasa syak sesuatu dalam Tajuk article akhbar tu... Tapi biarkan dulu buat sementara. Lagipun, saya dalam keadaan yang agak sensitive dengan akhbar berkenaan kerana ada "interest".

Zawi said...

Mat Cendana,
You are getting deeper and deeper into this issue. Anyway thats the way to go if you want to be counted in this SoPo blogsphere. You can count on me for support. Now that my 'cucu' is not with me to look after, I have all the time in the world to blog surf.

Ti Lian Ker said...

Morn Mat Cendana..let's go deeper into the that we middle class can come civil..agree or agree to differ...Middle leads the road..thanks for yr kind words Bruther!
I ve to rush off..c ya again later

Mat Cendana said...

Bang Zawi,
WHY did you do that me encouragement to not only continue but to also get in deeper? When I get a few nasty comments here, that will mean "I'm counted". Won't be long now at the rate I'm going.

It's strange that when we do our best to be some sort of factor on blogosphere, we'd often end up with not much to show. However, when we DON'T want to be counted, but instead be able to continue on the peripheral and in the shadows, we somehow get shoved or pulled to the front!

Well, you are among the people who know what I'm into right now; and you'll know of how honest I am in wanting to back out and do "other things". And now I'm handed "responsibilities"... Will have to ask my advisors in Kuantan on what to do - go deeper, stay put or pull out...

But anyway, since we're with the subject of Malay "Class" and "Kasta" just to amuse Mr Bean aka `Bendul' Sulaiman and his fake `middle class Malays', what are YOU, Bang Wi? Oh, let ME decide...

Let's see, you're in Kasa/Jias, Pasir Mas - Is there such a thing as "Suburban xx-Class Malay"?? NO? I guess I'll have to put you in "Rural", Bang Wi.

But there's a big benefit actually when it comes to deciding "class". If you are "Urban", then it would only be "Middle-Class".

Okay, Zawi here is: Rural Upper-Class Malay.

Right, who's next??

sakmongkol AK47 said...

dear MC,
thank you for your mention of my 3 posts. just feeling combative je- revulsion at the idea of using the views of 4/5 orang kaya as reflecting the truer view of the Malays. in another era, those Malays pandering to the acceptance of others will be termed as uncle toms.
thank you once again. with warmest regards/sakmongkol ak47

mamasita said...

Mat,no matter how much I want to participate in this particular 'wrestling ring' I just don't know how!Just to let you know I follow and read your post tapi takreti nak leave a comment.
Karang kena belasah tak pasal2!hahaha

Mat Cendana said...

@Ti Lian Ker
Thank you for coming, Dato' Ti. Actually, I don't qualify as "middle class"; as I had mentioned earlier. Based on Huzir's classification, I'm definitely, "Rural Lower-Class Malay". But it was *even lower* once...

Anyway, maybe not too far in the future, I'll qualify as "Middle Class" (but will have to remain "Rural"; unless I strike it big). However, just for this post, and in anticipation of my probable upgrade, I'll just assume the role for now... becoming "Memangku" Middle Class:-)

I had read your post in defence of Huzir Sulaiman and his "lost tribe". And yes, I do appreciate your view of them; although I certainly don't appreciate them.

If one were to read the views of most of them - in a casual, detached manner without any consideration to current issues and temperature and that of history - they do come across as "reasonable", "moderate" and "jolly nice fellows"... just the type of people who are malleable and pliable into accepting agendas that smell "liberal", "libertarian", "modern". And if it's "throwing out most traditions and customs", they'd most likely give a big AYE!

Nothing wrong with that; it's good actually - in a perfect world. This is also a world where the people shaping them are the honest and sincere, and don't have deceit and malice hidden in their hearts and camouflaged by smiles.

Well, to make it short [have to do work or else I won't move to Lower-Middle Class before 2010:-) ]

1) Huzir doesn't have "locus standi" (hope I'm using the right term - "legal standings") to play the moderator-cum-writer for issues like these. At the very least, he should make it CLEAR to readers that he isn't a Malay (as defined by the Constitution) and or/and in practice.

"Does he have to do that everytime he writes?" OF COURSE NOT - Nobody here would question his pedigree or whatever if he writes on "Why theatre acting in KL should do away with directors" ... Or "Opera 9 is better than Firefox 3.0"...

But he must mention it if it's "Malays don't want the NEP or whatever and wish to forgo special rights as granted by the Constitution".

2) Since he's so into knowing "the views of the anak Datuk", perhaps he should widen the field beyond the 100 metres of the theater's building in finding them.

3) Was it Huzir who had come up with that title? Or was it a sub-editor? Can Huzir HONESTLY answer that he wasn't playing to the crowd, to score points, when he was writing that? Would he have written the same if it were for; say, New Straits Times?

4) Can Fahmi Fadzil please attend a Form 3 Sivik class?

5) Can all of these people ask my Setiawangsa friend, who is also "urban middle-class malay", what she thinks of their opinions?

6) Would Huzir/his friends/the paper like to know what a random sampling of Kelantan urban middle-class Malays think of their opinions? And them? BTW these people are "more middle" than I am...

In short, I'd say it's like this: *Certain issues* require "special and specific people" to ask, moderate and write. They should also meet with specific people. And published at specific periods.

When? I don't know. But definitely not when "temperatures are high". And definitely not handled and written by an unentitled.

Malaysian Tigress said...


Julia Roberts?

That Setiawangsa MC (middle class) really getting to you eh? Heheheh.

Setiawangsa "lass"! I think someone found a new drug called LURVE....

Malaysian Tigress said...


We all know what Wong Chun Wai is about. He can barely conceal his hatred for Islam. He will take the first chance to hentam/belittle Islam/our ulamas/PAS (using words like "little mullahs" derisively and enjoying the resulting slew of hate and ignorance fueled comments) on any issue raise by them.

The choice of his words on his blog is enough to make many line-up to become human daisy cutters.



Kick them out lah!

Mat Cendana said...

@Malaysian Tigress
Actually, someone found a new drug called BUDDY... except that it's a "she". That's where the FUN is - of me being able to write these lines and have people inc and esp you think "something else" Haha! BTW why aren't you at Facebook for a long time?? Honestly, I miss your presence. After all, you were the person who had guided me during the first few days...

Don't want to say anything about the person/s you mention here; and you should easily figure out why.

However, the one thing that I agree is this - over a given period of time, whatever is hidden in our heart simply GETS out... hatred, love, fear etc... One can hide it for x period of time; pretending that "all is well and fine". BUT you'll get to see - or SMELL - the hati busuk...

Malaysian Tigress said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ti Lian Ker said...

MC...i am advocating a more liberal and open society..and in this bloggers age...we should be glad that everything is not so sensitive anymore..i guess we are all in the middle..dun think the typical kampung Melayu accepts you...neither is the typical new village Chinese..
unfortunately we are so confined and trapped in our mind-set, eg Malay issues should be left to Malays..that's close mind. Malays, Islam etc are part and parcel of our Msian life and we must engage more to seek the truth and the light to this huge dark guarded cave of what Malays and Islam stands for..even among Malays and Muslims, there are lots of disagreement...similarly among the Chinese, there's many divides..we just need more honesty and monopoly..propaganda or indoctrination..we need more education...then msians will find a solution..the middle path. I am neither right nor left..i am for the middle..moderation..accommodation..and of course MALAYSIAN.
i disagree when typical Chinese or Malays tell me to stay out of Melayu or Islam issues...we are seeking knowledge and searching the Msian light and it need not be Malay, Islam, Chinese, Kadazan etc way...
we are the middle here coz we are the last of the Mohicans...those with colonial English education and it's leftover..only recently this group found their voice in the blog medium..over the years we are saki baki tahi penjajah..even speaking English was frowned these nationalist tried very hard to speak broken English...many ran into hiding..after us? what becomes of the broken hearted..the new generation?Mat did U notice what is the common thread among us..yet we could be fighting over who has the right to be a moderator and Huzir's background etc..none of us actually goes into what has been said and how much truth there is in some of their statements..
we are all angry with Huzir..Chun if they are significant and have the power of the stroke of a pen to change our political landscape..i think they ve acknowleged that it is just a 'tribe'....for whatever it is worth..let's be more open and democratic..there's no necessity of locus standi as there's no force of law here.
I would love to talk about my perception and experience of Islam and stand to be good faith but i will be look upon mala we all learn to shut up and pent up..til there's an explosion..or the bubble burst..then there will be collision..and we will be cursed!!
JUST BABBLING FOR WHATEVER IT'S WORTH..i must always say this..jgn marah ya!

Mat Salo said...

Dear Mat Rural (2nd Class Lower) of the Pariah Malay Class,

Ha ha, been peeking at your brilliant last two posts here and the equally brilliant comments that they generated. I read Huzir’s piece while on the first leg of KUL-SIN-CKG-BPN sectors (Yes, I'm now on the stormy seas with intermittent internet) in the NST stolen from MAS. I just KNEW you were going to do something about it, and glad you did, bro.

You touched a raw nerve there, dude. Am in full agreement that Huzir's got it all wrong in the class department. I'm a blue collar worker who work with his hands and am never paid to think, so I have no qualms at all about having 'no class’. But yes, if the Bogus-Pseudo-Malay- of the ‘Bangsar Starbux Intellectual’ crowd are ‘middle-class’ then like you correctly pointed out – what does that make us? It’s okay to have no class, bro’. Along with concepts like Ketuanan it’s all overrated anyway…

But I don't blame him bro' because it's probably out of some sense of humility that he calls himself middle-class. I’m no ‘Huzair Apologist’ but I don’t think he meant any harm; we can’t fault him if he grew up privileged or run around in the ‘anak Datuk’ circles, can we bro? He’s just misguided, that’s all. In fact we should feel a bit sorry for him because as an Artiste (whom I’ve always held in high esteem – you included) it limits his perspective. Imagine not having lived in hillbilly places like the boondocks of Pasir Mas, or growing up spinning tops with country bumpkins like Mat Zawi (no worries, bang, Mat Salo is Bumpkin #1) – and then try to write about it. His play or stories will never have the same dose of authenticity like yours or Zawi’s ever will be. He’s a brilliant writer, but that’s about it. He needs to temporarily ditch the Latte-sipping crowd and lepak in the hinterland to delve into the real Malay psyche…

That’s my beef with people like KJ too who oftentimes portray themselves as salt-of-the-Earth Malays. And A Minang to boot. You ever heard him speaking colloquial Minang bro? The guy never spent a day in the Malaysian school system (again, it’s not his fault) but please lah, he’s definitely not qualified to pass judgment on it. While I’m on this pointless rant, how about our current and former Education Ministers who send their children to private schools? Cakap tak serupa bikin of the highest order laa bro. OK, enough.

My last word Mat, if there’s ever a caste-system for writers – then you must be royalty, bro.


-Mat Salo of The Peasant Malay Class (that’s okay your shadow and his shadow can co-mingle safely, but if he ever comes to your house, let him in only through the back door please)

Zawi said...

Mat Cendana,
Please allow me to address bro Mat Salo.
Mat Cendana has 3 doors to his house. I guess he wont be able to decide which is the back door.

jimat said...

urm, has anyone seen fahmi fadzil's talk show - this week he talks about the yoga fatwa, while doing yoga? it's at apparently he also writes for malaysian insider, in BM.

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