'Perkasa has underlined your lowly status in BN'DAP national vice-chairperson M Kulasegaran today reminded Deputy Education Minister II P Kamalanathan that his "bowing and scraping before Umno could only take him to the status of a subaltern and nothing more".
The Ipoh Barat MP was commenting on the threatening remarks posted by Perkasa Youth chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris in the latter's blog that warned Kamalanathan about an alleged affront to Muslim sensitivities levelled by the deputy minister over the issue of ritual slaughter of cows in schools.
Kamalanathan had said that the practice is not permitted by the Education Ministry but that knowledge of its impermissibility was not widely disseminated.
The MIC leader attributed sporadic instances of the ritual slaughter of cows in schools in Selangor and the Federal Territory over the recent Hari Raya Korban celebrations to this dearth of knowledge about the practice's impermissibility in schools.
Ritual slaughter could be held in suraus nearest to the school, said Kamalanathan, but not on the premises of schools.
Kamalanathan was roundly rebuked over these remarks by Irwan who saw them as disrespectful of Islam.
The Hulu Selangor MP had made the remarks in response to criticisms from parents of Hindu and Buddhist pupils in schools where instances of ritual slaughter had taken place.
Kulasegaran (left) was among a claque of opposition non-Muslim and Muslim politicians and leaders of civil society groups who described the incidents of ritual slaughter as inappropriate and hurting to the sensitivities of Hindu and Buddhist pupils.
But Perkasa, the Malay right wing group, is unfazed by the perception that the incidents were improper and through its youth leader, Irwan, has described criticism of it as "insulting" to Malays and Muslims.
Irwan reminded Kamalanathan of his dependence on Malay votes in latter's Malay voter-dominant parliamentary seat and that if he did not retract his remarks he would risk defeat at the next general election.
DAP leader Kulasegaran said that Irwan's threats were "a lesson to Kamalanathan that kissing the hand of his patrons was no guarantee that subservience would equate to self-respect."
In a gesture that became a talking point during the April 2010 by-election for the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat, BN candidate Kamalanathan publicly kissed the hand of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin when the latter announced him as the BN choice.
In the eyes of detractors, the gesture smacked of abject subservience but an unabashed Kamalanathan was seen to thrive on his public aura of obeisance to the Malay right wing coupled with an industrious personal work ethic.
He won the by-election and went on to retain the seat in last May's general election.
But if those successive triumphs had bred in him the notion that he could forget the umbilical cord that tied him to his benefactors, Irwan (right) and Perkasa were swift to disabuse him of the illusion.
"They are telling him that a subaltern should never forget his place," commented Kulasegaran on the comeuppance Irwan delivered Kamalanathan.
"A stable hand is a stable hand, only deserving of an occasional pat on his back by the horse owner. He cannot hope to be an owner," quipped Kulasegaran.