Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DAP's comedy (or tragedy) of errors with Tunku Aziz

The Chinese (Penang Hokkien) equivalent of the Malay word biadap is boe kar see, meaning ‘not taught proper manners’ (obviously by parents and/or elders of the one scolded). The full Penang Hokkien term in fact is beh-boe* [parents] boe-kar-see.

* note the ‘boe’ in parents is in the 4th tone whilst the one in ‘not taught proper manners’ is in the 3rd tone

Both Malay and Chinese terms are very damning, excoriating not just the one scolded but particularly the parents for not teaching their child proper manners. The Chinese consider such a description as a very serious insult.

I wrote on this insult in a previous post Gerakan Party insults Chinese, as follows:

Just a quick intro to what I have to say about Gerakan's hurtful words - The second most hurtful comment against a Chinese is ‘boe kar see’ or kurang ajar 
(or biadap), because that reflects more on the person’s parents for not bringing up the person correctly. And a typical Chinese most certainly doesn't want his/her parents criticized in that manner.

As Confucius instructed:
The superior man, while his parents are alive, reverently nourishes them; and, when they are dead, reverently sacrifices to them. His thought to the end of his life is how not to disgrace them.

But the most hurtful comment against a Chinese is ….. the terrible term ‘harm kar ch’arn’, a curse meaning (words to the effect) that ‘may your family line be extinguished forever’.

When Tunku Aziz described Lim GE as biadap, he was not just scolding the son but Lim Kit Siang, the father as well. I wonder whether Tunku had realized that, considering he had in that same session when he insulted Lim Junior, ironically also reaffirmed his friendship with Lim Senior?

Look, we Asians are particularly sensitive to the tone, undercurrents, subtext and the real feelings and cause of such a damning insult to at least two generations of Lim’s. Thus I shall attempt to emulate Josh Hong and provide some thoughts on the why’s and wherefore’s of Tunku’s unusual outburst.

For a start, 78 year old Tunku must have considered himself a senior statesman (regardless of his DAP membership), and mind you, I do support his self-evaluated political worth.

Thus, he felt he had the rights to issue advice on what he saw (then) as an impending violation of the law by the Bersih participants. Again, I have to say I did support that prediction as I had written in another post Bersih - "Uncle okay?", Auntie is okay! the following:

Pakatan leaders, Anwar Ibrahim, Hadi Awang & Lim Kit Siang and their senior lieutenants, must allow Bersih to be seen clearly by the Malaysian public as a non-Pakatan affiliated movement for clean and fair elections, and deserving of support by ALL concerned citizens, thus these Pakatan leaders, while supporting Bersih, must remain in the publicity background and not selfishly hijack the rally for their own political interests.

Tunku obviously knew who the troublemakers were, wakakaka, and of course as the senior statesman he considered himself to be, he must have believed that unlike the average party hoi polloi, he would be allowed some latitude to express his advice.

But alas, Lim GE as the DAP sec-gen had no choice but to show solidarity with Pakatan which was supporting Bersih. So he had to publicly chide Tunku for not being in line with Pakatan policy on the campaign.

For such a person as 78 year old Tunku to be chided in public by a relatively young chico was really too much. He would have already been quietly fuming at Lim’s biadap-ness.

The straw that broke his quiet tolerance was the offer of a fellowship and the mentioning of the associated stipend, both of which would be seen (by a man like Tunku) as grossly tacky (and thus insulting) consolation prizes.

According to Malaysiakini’s Guan Eng declines to counter-attack Tunku Aziz:

Penang Institute chief executive officer Zairil Mohd Khir has expressed regret that his offer of a senior fellowship to Tunku Aziz had been “misconstrued”.

Zairil said when it became clear that Tunku Aziz did not wish to be re-nominated for another term as a senator, the institute saw it as an opportunity to recruit a public intellectual with a valuable global network.

Zairil, who is political secretary to the chief minister, added that the post offered to Tunku Aziz comes with a standard package for senior fellowship that includes a yearly stipend of RM50,000. […]

“Out of respect for Tunku Aziz’s position as a senior figure, we requested the Penang chief minister, who is also the chairperson of Penang Institute, to convey our offer of a senior fellowship,” he said.

“At no time did the chief minister speak about the terms of the appointment or any financial details during their telephone conversation last Friday,” he added.

“The terms of the senior fellowship were only conveyed by me on Monday morning to Tunku Aziz when I followed-up on the chief minister’s call,” he stressed.

Zairil said as a think-tank, the job offered to Tunku Aziz entailed writing research papers and attending conferences overseas, denying that “travel” was a bait to persuade the latter to accept the job. […]

Zairil expressed regret that the institute’s enthusiasm to have Tunku Aziz on board by requesting the chief minister to convey its offer has not only been misconstrued to justify his leaving the party, but also “used to malign” Lim.

He added that the offer was not meant to be compensation for his senatorship, but in fact a genuine offer based on a desire to make the best use of Tunku Aziz’s talent in the service of the state after his retirement as a senator.

But Tunku saw it differently as he was, as mentioned above, already smarting from the public chiding by a young chico, and perhaps even at the DAP’s failure to ‘persuade’ him from withdrawing from a second term as senator.

We Asians should be aware that senior people like to be ‘persuaded’ to stay on in office, even and especially when they offer to withdraw or resign (not unlike Dr Mahathir wakakaka). So I suspect when DAP failed to show proper due 'respect' by insisting, persuading, begging him to do a second term as a senator, he must have felt terribly hurt – perasaan tersinggung sangat!

When the fellowship offer came via that ‘ill-mannered’ young chico, Tunku must have felt mightily insulted, and the straw finally broke his back when Zairil rang him up to mention the stipend.

It was just too much for a man like him to accept (what he saw as) insult after insult after insult. He cried out in agony: “Did he think I was that kind of person? This man has no sense of decency. The only word is a Malay word, and it’s ‘biadap’”.

Well, not exactly for as mentioned, there’s also the Chinese equivalent term of boe kar see, but I doubt Tunku would be interested in that right now, wakakaka.

Anyway, regardless of the cross lines and incorrect trans-generational interpretations, basically a comedy (or tragedy) of errors on both sides, the harm in fact has already been done much earlier when Lim Junior chided him publicly.

Tunku is not unlike Dr Rama where both want respect due to their elderly and senior status, though of course their problems with the DAP leadership were caused by different issues. If you recall, Dr Rama had also threatened to resign rather than apologize for whatever he was accused of, seeing in the whole affair as a lack of respect for him.

I suppose we can term both as prima donnas wakakaka. Nonetheless, I feel rather sad that Tunku has decided to end his association with DAP and in particular Lim GE in such an acrimonious manner.

But I am glad that Guan Eng has firmly closed the issue in a gracious manner.


  1. Guan Eng could have avoided this by just been silent, or even better... just saying he "disagrees with Tunku, but agrees to disagree". That would have ended it there.

    Don't give BN an easy goal to score against us.

  2. My mentor used to chide us, "don't treat me like a young ciku". Sending Zaril? Ini biadap di atas biadap. ie. the Mother of all Biadap. Sending a boy to do a man's job. We need to be man enough to face this.

    No, Tunku is not a primadonna or "siew hei". (By the way "harm kar ch'arn" is DAP's Dr. Hong Kong's Dim Sum boy's favourite word).

    If LGE is so concern about solidarity, then he should should insist that PAS take action on the "hudud" fellow. Its shaking the voter base.

    We are definately tired of BN but to replace it with this? PAS hududism or Lim & Lim hubris? Its the worst publicist nightmare.. As the Malays will say, "tiada bola, kurang ajar."

    Minda Bebas

  3. We wonder, "does DAP have 1000 maybe 100 Malay card carrying members?" OKOK, maybe 50 members? Does it have any Iban or Kadazandusun members in substaintial numbers? No?


    Maybe LGE should wake up. Get rid of the Blycream, eat some assam laksa & mee persumbo and chill out... No likey assam laksa? Alamak, orang Johor!!

    Seriously, if DAP have dreams of Putra Jaya better just play the Sports Toto... better chances there.

    Minda Bebas

  4. [We are definately tired of BN but to replace it with this?] - by Minda Bebas

    Even if there are ten more such comedy/tragedy of errors from DAP, it is 1000 times, nay 1 million times better than the monstrous BN who commit much more than such biadap-ness....wholesale plundering, blatant cheating, humungous lies in big headlines across the nation, murders, gross bullying..this list could continue on for a good 2 more pages.

    So, please cease and desist in comparing the 'sins' of DAP ( or other opposition parties) with that of BN' is beyond comparision.

    Btw, KT has put it exactly right about hurting the feelings of these elderly people....they do so want to be 'pujok-ed' back and will feel seriously insulted if these young 'uns did not attempt even once. Truly a generational gap, this comedy of error.

    I have great respect for the Tunku. But I would have held him in greater respect if he did not carry out his anger and merajuking in the MSM and then acting out of character by praising the current admin, and allegedly asking the people to give BN another chance. This last bit spoil it for me about the Tunku.

    Anyway, the best to you, Tunku. May you continue to do good for the rakyat.

  5. Anon 12:03 thank for your views. Truly accepted. But if the clarion call is 111% ABU, ie. better the devil than the deep blue sea. We try them out for 5 years and if they misbehave we kick them out? You have 5 more year to fool around? Replace with what? Raleigh? Dia dah ikut nenek moyong dong...

    Kick them out & replace with what? Let us be realistic. Everytime we mention issues pertaining to Malays, we are called.... Its a no-go area. Therefore Chinese need to polish on their image. Second, if the Malay agenda is not set by progressive, independent, charismatic Malays set apart from the present UMNO, PKR, PAS pack, what do we have? We need a Third Voice/Force led by Malays that differiate themselves from the present "damage goods." Hey, you and I still stay in MALAYsia unless the Ibans and Kadazandusun go on a warpath and you join them.. Ooops West Malaysians need a visa to work & live there.. OMG!! Mungkin balik "tongsun" atau Madras?

    Many unlike you are ready to spoilt their votes especially in urban centers because they look at the likes of PAS hududism, Ronnie Liuism aka pusat urut Selangor, the Perak Deng-Leng-Ling-Dong2s, the Perak DAP Lexus frog lady, the Gwo-Burne Lohs that just make short clips but can't even speak proper Malay (saya juga mahu jadi ADUN tapi bapa tak kenal DSAI) or the Hannah Yeohs who is suppose to be Anak Malaysia but finally call the child Chinese instead of bapa yang India...

    Common, we are not the young cikus... if the 20++ and below like this stuff, vote Justin.. The Beaver...

    Sorry can't spare DAP, because I'm not proud enough to say give BN "telur" in Penang. Is it in Chinese culture to be extra kiasu biadap?

    This is like going back to kindergarten... celaka betul...

    Minda Bebas

  6. Sorry, my mistake. Gwo-Burne is MP bukan ADUN but I still want his job. One term, still get pension... %$@#&@$$. Orang Kelana Jaya pun tak pernah bau budak dari Shanghai pun apatahlagi bertemu muka ke muka(bapa dulu tak senang dia di KL, lebih bagus kat sana lor di China). Dengar, di Kelana Jaya, orang harus minum air lobong... shesssh.

    And B4 you say I'm trojan, pro-BN... I'm advocating more independent Third party to win in Klang Valley. We not bodoh & di perbodohan oleh ahli politikus.. No free lunches including LGE.

    Minda Bebas

  7. What is said is already said.But like Kit Siang said,let us part ways like real gentlemen.

  8. You can't always judge a person by his past. His current and latest behaviour is an important indicator as well.

    Did you watch his NTV7 performance ?

    I lost a lot of respect for the man after watching the program. That was not a statesman talking.

    He sounded like a BN commercial.

    It seems to me he is one with delusions of grandeur, angered at being chided (correctly I would say) by Lim Guan Eng for not being able to see the big picture about Bersih 3.0.
    Or worse - a turncoat ?

  9. I agree with Bruno.
    Always agree with Bruno
    But Bruno does not comment here anymore.
    I agree with the new Bruno too.

  10. How nice to see Bruno and Buttercup are lovingly agreeing.
    Monsterbaby no need to guess.
    That's a turncoat.

  11. I think KT has rubbed in too strongly by implying that Tunku Aziz meant 'Biadap' as 'Boe kar see'. 'Boe kar see' is a stronger term and more associated with 'Kurang ajar' of bad parenting whereas "biadap" is more about mannerism of rudeness, inelegance and uncouthness.

    The Tunku's outburst is emotional in nature and I would said is a release of pent-up dissatisfaction and differences of opinion in ways of tackling issues and situations. Luckily,LGE has managed to hold his tongue after the incidence but alas a bit too late.

  12. "For such a person as 78 year old Tunku to be chided in public by a relatively young chico was really too much"

    That's sulking! But kenot be seen doing so on NTV7.

    So did a "Professional tantrum" - throwing a tantrum without being seen doing so.

  13. Yup, definitely a 78-year old sulking and throwing a tantrum on prime time TV.

    No need for a lot of high-falutin nonsensical "erudite" analysis.

  14. i have seen way too many "smiling tantrum"... those are professional tantrum at the highest level...

  15. We have had 55 years of UMNO practically criminalising most forms of dissent in the country.

    Supporting democracy in Malaysia, especially if you are passionate about it, sometimes necessitates peaceful disobedience of unjust laws, even bordering on revolt.

    Its obvious Tunku Abdul Aziz never understood this basic fact, and has no intention to understand.

    Its good that he has quit the DAP. In hindsight, hardly any loss at all to the DAP.

  16. Are going to have another Zahrain clone ?

  17. In the entire history of the human species, there may have been a few extremely rare individuals who were absolutely incorruptible at any price - Yeshua ben Yosef, Muhammad Ibn `Abd Allā, Siddharta Gautama, Kung Fu-tze....

    As for the rest, don't ever bet that they can't be bought - every person can be bought or turned. It just depends on the level of incentive or threat.

    My guess is the Tunku Dude has been bought or otherwise turned...

    Who knows what skeletons are in his closet ?

  18. Lim Guan Eng Boe Ka See

  19. TA salah seorang pengundi saluran satu. Apa nak heran? Majoriti pengundi saluran satu berjiwa UMNO walaupun sudah bertukar parti.

  20. Yup, TA was always an UMNO man at heart, even though he never joined that party. He superficially carried the torch of "Transparency" but the rough and tumble of Opposition politics would have been an anathema to him.

    If the majority of DAP members were like TA, DAP would have gulung tikar a long time ago.

  21. Yep finally LGE is gracious. But too late. The bins have been spilled.
    Parti Cinta whatever man has already lodged a report to the MACC for corruption.
    Wow, talk about UMNO/BN corrupt and practising kleptocracy. Foul mouth Sakmongkol must really be taken aback.
    Every posting is about Najib buying votes!
    He's deafeningly silent. Nada, Zilch, zero. Not a pip or squeak about Tunku Aziz. At least side-kick Aspan just posted a superficial article.
    The both of them are pretending as though this thing have not happened. LOL.
    Yeah man, dont want to spoil rice-bowl. Got kick out where to go? Malulah go back to UMNO at so short a time.
    I give them two years tops in DAP.
    Tis a lesson to be learnt for LGE. He must learn to be gracious. Be a bit polish, savvy and act like a CM.
    He's still practising the Ah Beng bully in school. The evergreen Street fighter. Must have his way. Must always be right. Combative and confrontational without thinking through.
    Truthfully, to father and son, Tengku Aziz is no loss. It's like got Malays good for us, no Malays also good one. Better oso.
    After all Chinese party what.
    Right, dear KT?

  22. [Parti Cinta whatever man has already lodged a report to the MACC for corruption.]

    Would really love to see how these monkies could bring LGE in for corruption on this !

    If this is corruption....then what do you call the thousands upon thousands of 'appointments' with emoluments running into hundreds of thousand and even million of ringgit given by UMNO to those let out to graze after their 'usefulness' is deemed to have expired - the golden handshakes.

    But the alacrity of MACC and their cohorts to zealously spring into action at the merest whiff what they see as corruption or criminal as far as the opposition members are concerned ( like poor Teoh Beng Hock for a suspected mere rm 2400 ), has finally brought me round to accept even PKR to sit in Putrajaya which I initially was having qualms about. The reason being these UMNO buggers would make very formidable oppositionists, specifically for watching out for acts of thievery and plunderings. It takes a long-time experienced thief to catch a thief.

    So, welcome to Putrajaya, PKR. Fancy me saying that as I have an abhorence of their defacto leader. But the UMNO made this possible for me to accept PKR.

  23. in a nutshell - spoilt brat little emperor has just gotten too big for his (CAT in the) boots

    confirmed DAP is truly a chinese communist party

  24. I must say that as a highly intelligent, decent and principled septuagenarian, Tunku Aziz should have known better than to join a political organisation in the first place.

    It may be a cliche, but politics is a dirty game to play. This is why so many mediocre politicians on the side of the government have done exceedingly well for themselves living the life of the rich and famous on the public purse, sending their children for studies overseas and availing themselves of all the trappings that their privileged positions endow.

    And invariably, it is the unscionable and unscruplous manipulators who rise to the top of the political heap - as history has shown - again and again and again.

    More than anything else therefore, voters and wannabe politicians need to be smart and adopt the caveat emptor principle in politics.

    For the voters, they are stupid to themselves if they do not bother to find out whether the politicians they are voting for are of the corrupted 'rich and famous lifestyle' variety.

    For the aspiring politicians, they are dumb to themselves if they are unaware that they will no longer have the luxury of voicing their own opinions in public as that privilege lies within the domain of the party hierarchy. That's life!

    Hence, much as I respect the Tunku, regrettably, he can't have his cake and eat it.

  25. Buttercup, Parti Cinta??? wakakaka, you can't be really serious in raising a Parti Cinta desperate attempt to be noticed? You're scrapping the bottom of the barrell lah wakakaka again

  26. Anyway, now I know which party I will be voting for in GE13, and it is definitely NOT DAP.

  27. DAP thinks that they have caught a good fish in the beginning but turn out to be a negative.

    I find Tunku a very prideful man. And also 'kecik heart'. Hassan Ali was sacked when he voiced out not supporting Anwar which is against his party's stand. And MCA youth chief, David Choi was suspended for 3 years for criticising Lynas. But Tunku Aziz was neither sacked nor was his senatorship stripped off. He himself did not want to renew it. For just a rebuke, he resgned, then, he is not make for a politicians. He can still contribute as a non-politician like Ambiga, our heroine.

  28. TAA continues attack on DAP

    Any day now, I expect Tunku Abdul Aziz to come up with the equivalent of Hasan Ali's "Solar Powered Bibles"

  29. Do you mean for LGE "chico" for Hokkien chi ko (1st tone, 1st tone) meaning "sex maniac) or do you mean "chico" as Spanish for little tyke?!

    Lord Jim

  30. Aiyo...someone please have a firm, quiet word with the Tunku before he'll ruin himself completely. For decency's sake, we would like him to keep a shred of his former reputation.

    He's still at it with the MSM, apparently his fury is still unabetted. Hell hath no fury like an old man scorned. My heart still goes out to him...but at this rate, he would not be able to salvage what he had.

  31. This man in 2007 wrote an article in the Newspaper condemning the Royal Selangor Club of being a drunkard club and suggesting the Government acquire the club for a museum despite the fact that he was a past President of the club and mind you, he drinks too.

    The following year after becoming VP of DAP, he stood for President of the club but loss badly.

    You call this a man of principle?

  32. Jim, chico as in Spanish = muchacho = younger man or boy

  33. Tunku Aziz is fast consigning himself to the level of the likes of Hasan Ali and Zahrain Hashim.

    What a sad end to a ostensibly illustrious career.

  34. One unfortunate impact within the DAP will be that the Malays who joined since 2008 will be viewed with distrust, as being possible Fifth Columnists.

  35. Whatever prestige and respect he had have been squandered by his sulking and now asking us to support Najib. Sheesh!

  36. bo-kar-see = ill bred (?): saja the ibu-bapa are responsible ( not other elders or guru2 ).

    biadap = NO manners saja...(guru2 could be responsible! )

    harm-k-c = WOW !..ini manyak teruk , dun pray2 ...oops...play2 !!

    t-niamah = ini pun haram , pls dun play !