Do not challenge our ‘special rights’, Khairy tells non-Malays


November 26, 2013

Do not challenge our ‘special rights’, Khairy tells non-Malays

najib-dan-khairy-Non-Malays should never again dispute the special rights of the Malays and the position of the rulers, Khairy Jamaluddin said today, adding that Malays themselves never questioned vernacular schools and the citizenship of non-Malays.

The UMNO Youth Chief said in his policy speech at the party’s general assembly that the Malays had “accepted and they had never questioned” the social contract they agreed upon during the formation of Malaysia.

“If the Malays can accept it by not raising the matter of citizenship and acknowledging that we cannot shut down vernacular schools, why are there those among non-Malays who refuse to honour what they have previously agreed upon? Why are there those who ask for the Malay special privileges to be stopped, those who dispute the position of the Malay rulers and even those who cannot speak a word of the national language? If the Malay people are steadfast in their principles of upholding the agreement, we want to demand that they uphold their end of the bargain. Never again dispute what has been agreed upon,” said Khairy.

Khairy said it was a huge sacrifice for the Malays to allow other races to be a part of the country, so non-Malays must keep their end of the bargain and not question Malay rights.

“The demography of the nation changed drastically when the Malays opened the doors of the land to other races to build the nation together. We cannot imagine how big a sacrifice this is.So great were the sacrifices of the Malay people, and all that we ask in return is for the non-Malays to accept several of those matters which I just brought up as the other end of the bargain”, he added.

Khairy also defended the existence of vernacular schools, saying that they were allowed as part of the “status quo” which had “existed pre-Independence, and which will continue to exist”.

Despite Khairy’s statement, some UMNO grassroots leaders have in the past few months demanded that Chinese and Indian schools be shut down for the sake of national unity.

Last Sunday, a coalition of 58 Malay-rights groups repeated the call, and even urged Putrajaya to silence “radical” education organisations like Dong Zhong with the threat of de-registration.

Khairy conceded today that there were “fringe voices” questioning the existence of vernacular schools, but stressed that the UMNO leadership has long accepted the current education system.

“It is already forged in the laws of the land and not even the Minister of Education can change the fate of the vernacular schools.If we do not want to bring up these matters of the things that have been given, do not question the special rights and privileges of the natives,” he said. – November 26, 2014.

A Message to Khairy and his Cohorts from Tariq Ismail

Read this: http://myrepositori.pnm.gov.my/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/2420/MewujudkanRakyatMalaysiaProgresifBersatuHati.pdf?sequence=1

Tariq Ismail is the grandson of the late former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman. He is from Aura Merdeka – Ikatan Sejagat (AMIS) group on Facebook.  Tariq was brought up by the grandfather and his late wife, Toh Puan Norashikin, and is related to PM Najib and Home Affairs Minister, Hishamuddin Hussein. He has something to say about UMNO-Baru (below). 

And I wonder why this diversion from Khairy Jamaluddin, the UMNO Youth Leader. The real issue is endemic corruption and UMNO Baru’s politics of patronage, race and religion, which Khairy chose not to mention. The Special Position of the Malays and Sovereignty of our Malay Rulers was never an issue. UMNO  Baru played this card because it is under seige.Unless there is a serious attempt at reform, it will be a rough road ahead for the party.–Din Merican

Here is why from Tariq Ismail.

Malaysia for Malaysians without bigotry or intolerance.

“MY FAMILY is all UMNO and I was raised in the UMNO mould. However, myTariq Ismail family had instilled into me a sense of Bushido, which included passion and fair play. Always uphold your religion as it is a personal matter and treat others with equality.

I had tried to join UMNO in 2002 with my grandmother pulling my ears after she found the application form and her words were – I raised you and over my dead body will you join the very party that will eat you inside. Moreover, in 15 years time you will be part of a machine that your very soul will diminish.

In 2008, I did try to join UMNO because I thought the wind of change that were apparently blowing then would lead the party to progress. However, no cawangan in Johor or KL would accept me. I scouted around from one UMNO division to another with no result. The Special Branch spooks that looked after Southern Johor told me UMNO will never accept a true blue blood like me.

Just before my grandmother passed away in 2010, she made me promise her to never join the party. I never understood why until I received a call from Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI) to lead the Johor siege in 2013. I refused DSAI ‘s request for me to join as I knew I would be a scapegoat if PR had lost.

I still have an affinity with UMNO, but the pragmatic and secular UMNO of old, in which they worked together with all races to ensure this nation was prosperous and united in spirit via tolerance, compassion and recognising and accepting each other’s diversity.

Today’s UMNO is a cesspool of bigoted nouveau riche that has split the Malays and encourage the Malay siege mentality. Mahathir gave the Malays a cosmetic makeover but over looked the Malay inner soul. The Malay soul is lost. Will it be recovered? Yes. Will it be from UMNO…No!

Would I support Anwar Ibrahim to be Prime Minister? No, as he was part of that UMNO Baru sheananigans. However, if DSAI were to retire and promise the public that he will not fight for “justice” and the PM seat, and if Azmin were to take the lead, I may consider joining PKR.

My strategy is such that I shall follow the winds, and forecast the tide. The ship will be steered in one direction – a Malaysia for Malaysians without bigotry or intolerance. A first step is AMIS. Show that a united Malaysian movement of social moderates can steer the nation without playing into anyone’s cards.”–Tariq Ismail

Anwar Ibrahim at Georgetown University, Washington DC


November 21, 2014

Anwar Ibrahim at Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Desperate Times for Democracy in Malaysia

by James Giggacher, Asia Pacific Editor

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2014/11/07/sodomy-and-sedition-desperate-times-for-democracy-in-malaysia/

As Anwar Ibrahim’s fate hangs in the balance, Malaysia’s democratic chances are slipping further away, writes James Giggacher. 

Malaysia’s long-time Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s fate still hangs in the balance; his political future as tenuous as the sodomy charges brought against him.

Since October 27 he has been fighting a five-year jail sentence for allegedly sodomising an aide handed down by the nation’s Appeals Court in March – itself an overturning of an earlier acquittal by the High Court.

It’s the second time Anwar faced sodomy charges, the first being in 1998 during the failed ‘reformasi’ movement. If the Federal Court upholds this latest conviction, Anwar will also lose his status as an MP and not be allowed to engage in politics for years.

anwar_ibrahim2

Anwar rejected the idea of living in exile to stay in Malaysia and face the charges. It’s his final appeal. A bold, courageous move; maybe a stupid one born from his unfailing naivety about the prospects for political freedom in his homeland.

It’s not the ‘crime’ he is charged with, or the evidence given in this final courtroom charade (underpants and KY jelly have featured), that is truly sordid. Rather, it is what the whole sorry saga says about the declining prospects for democracy in Malaysia.

Many inside and outside the country see the charges as nothing more than politically motivated and trumped up – the latest shot in a long running war against the most powerful threat to ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional.

“The ‘sodomy’ charges against Anwar Ibrahim are a blatant attempt by the Malaysian authorities to silence and undermine a critical voice,” said Amnesty International in a statement the day the court case started. “If Anwar Ibrahim is jailed, Amnesty International will consider him a prisoner of conscience.”

Anwar and his Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) coalition took incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional to the line in last year’s general elections, winning 51 per cent of the popular vote, but only 40 per cent of seats in parliament. But while GE13 was billed as the democratic dawn many had longed for so long, Anwar once again found himself on the sidelines. With no one to take up the mantle, the 67-year-old still finds himself leader of Malaysia’s “rainbow” opposition.

The ‘gerrymandering’ of seats saw Barisan Nasional win the election by 133 seats to 89. The result, their narrowest parliamentary win and worst result ever, spooked those who have ruled Malaysia uninterrupted since independence in 1957 using a volatile mix of ethnic-based politics and emergency powers, all managed by the velvet glove of economic growth.

This was compounded by the election results of five years prior; Barisan’s eroding base is a trend which had begun in 2008, when it failed to win the ‘moral victory’ of a two-thirds majority in parliament. Yet, a general upswing in support since then, let alone winning the popular vote in 2013, wasn’t enough to see the opposition remove Barisan’s grip on power. It’s largely because the political deck is stacked in their favour.

While the elections were “partially” free, according to key regional think tanks, they were far from fair.

ANU political scientist Edward Aspinall points to gerrymandering, as well as the fuzzy line between the state and government as key reasons why Barisan held onto government despite losing the popular vote. More worrying, they are indicators of Malaysia’s increasingly less than democratic system.

His colleague Ross Tapsell has also highlighted how Barisan were able to maintain control and domination over the mainstream media during the elections, even in the face of apparent freedoms brought in by online and social media.

GE13 also saw widespread claims of electoral fraud and irregularities; particularly around the integrity of the electoral roll, postal and early votes, and polling – all pointed out by Bridget Welsh at the Center for East Asia Democratic Studies.

Instances of vote-buying and fly-in voters corralled to cast their ballots for Barisan were clear on the day. Meredith Weiss, a researcher from SUNY monitored the election campaign as part of a research project funded by ANU.

“Today has been punctuated most notably by calls of Bangladeshis, Indonesians, Filipinos, and other migrant workers, allegedly gifted with identity cards, then transported by the plane load to wherever their votes (for Barisan Nasional of course)  are most needed,” she wrote for New Mandala last May.

But it’s more than dirty politics at play; at the heart of the Anwar case is a Malaysia where political freedom is in freefall.

Human Rights Watch says that since his shaky victory in GE13, Najib Razak has ushered in an era of deteriorating rights – including new and revised laws permitting detention without trial, arrests of opposition activists for peaceful protests, and attempts to shut down human rights NGOs.

Then there is the archaic Sedition Act.Provisions of the sedition law are extremely wide-ranging, and as Human Rights Watch notes, the way the law is worded makes it almost impossible to refute in court.

“The Sedition Act prohibits vague offenses such as uttering ‘any seditious words’ without defining what constitutes ‘sedition’ or ‘seditious words’. It broadly outlaws any ‘seditious tendency’ that would ‘bring into hatred or contempt or excite disaffection against any Ruler or against any Government’,” reads an online statement.

Since May this year around 20 sedition charges have been laid or enquiries initiated, against opposition leaders, activists, university scholars, journalists and students – despite Prime Minister Najib Razak promising in July 2012 to repeal this catch-all act from a “bygone era”.

Legal proceedings are also still ongoing against two politicians and one NGO leader charged with sedition last year. Amnesty Intentional point to scores of others under investigation. Others say the number is as high as 40.

One of those is Rafizi Ramli – a 37-year-old politician from the opposition’s People’s Justice Party who has gained widespread prominence after a series of high-level corruption exposes.

Ramli is currently under investigation for writing about Anwar’s second sodomy case, and has also recently been charged under the Penal Code over a statement he made in February alleging political attempts to create racial and religious discord in Selangor.

In a recent interview with New Mandala Ramli pointed out the dire times for Malaysia’s democracy, opposition and Anwar. “Of course you have to be hopeful [for Anwar]. Being an opposition party that was born out of a personal tragedy that happened to him, we can only survive by remaining hopeful. So we remain hopeful that his ‘so-called’ legal problem orchestrated by the government will end very soon,” said Ramli.

“Yet at the same time we are very realistic that he will remain a galvanising figure against the ruling party, and so long as he is actively engaged with the public… we have to remain realistic that there is a high possibility he will be sent to prison again.”

Of course none of this touches on the economic stagnation that Malaysia is currently trying to beat off. Will the velvet glove finally slip? If Anwar and the broader opposition’s situation is anything to go by, it’s already been replaced by a clenched fist.

James Giggacher is Asia Pacific editor at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific. His views do not represent the University’s or the College’s.

The Questionable Trial of Anwar Ibrahim


November 7, 2014

The Questionable Trial of Anwar Ibrahim

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/11/questionable-trial-anwar-ibrahi-201411455121912547.html

by John L Esposito and John O Voll

In just the last two months, nearly two dozen activists have been charged under Malaysia’s archaic Sedition Act.

anwar_ibrahim2

His Freedom is on Trial

Anwar Ibrahim ( Malaysia’s Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition) is in the Malaysian Federal Court this week for what hopefully is the last chapter in a sordid affair that has done nothing but distract him from his reform agenda. We have been critical of Malaysia’s Judiciary in the past and hope that at this moment in time, the five judges at the Federal Court who are tasked with reviewing the appeal of Ibrahim’s March conviction on charges of sodomy, will adhere strictly to the Rule of Law and not be swayed by external political influences.

Malaysia as a Model Pluralistic Muslim Nation Under Tremendous Strain

Malaysia’s image as an example or a model of a Muslim majority country that is on a democratic path, economically vibrant, adheres to the rule of law, and a model to the world on how to exist as a pluralistic society is under tremendous strain today. Ibrahim’s trial is just one example of how dissident voices calling for reform of institutions in Malaysia are being persecuted.

In just the last two months, nearly two dozen activists have been charged under Malaysia’s archaic Sedition Act, including Anwar Ibrahim. Ultra right-wing groups have targeted minority communities threatening to burn bibles and tell the “immigrant” Chinese and Indian population of Malaysia to go home.

Academic Freedom too under Attack

Anwar at UM

Academic Freedom Under Attack

Academic freedom is also under attack. Two highly regarded professors were charged with sedition and Anwar Ibrahim’s lecture scheduled to take place at the University of Malaya on Monday night was systemically blocked. University staff, dismissed early in the day, and the front gates of the university were put on lockdown. A few thousand brave students defied the ban and were able to hear Anwar Ibrahim speak.

At a time when the world is confronting violent and regressive movements in parts of the Muslim world, Malaysia could be a shining example of what is possible when Muslims focus on rebuilding the tradition of scholarship, technology, and pluralism that is present throughout the history of Islamic civilisation. While the Prime Minister (Najib Tun Razak) has made positive remarks about the need for a “movement of moderates” in the Muslim world, the actions of his party at home belie his intentions.

The continuing efforts to use the judicial system against opposition political leaders will undermine Malaysia’s leadership role in regional and global affairs as well as weaken Malaysia’s traditions of political openness and democracy. Malaysian authorities, as Human Rights Watch Asia Director, Phil Robertson, has stated, “risk making a travesty of the country’s criminal justice system” unless they withdraw their case against Anwar Ibrahim.

Former US Vice President Al Gore framed the issue clearly last March when he said: “It is extremely disturbing that the government of Malaysia – by continuing to press this case beyond the bounds of reason, let alone the bounds of justice – has used the courts to short-circuit the political process.”

John EspositoJohn L Esposito is University Professor and Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Georgetown University.

His recent books are “The Future of Islam and (with I Kalin) “Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century.”

John O Voll is Professor of Islamic History at the Prince Alwaleed binJohn Voll Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

The Real Power in Malaysia is not our Prime Minister


November 5, 2014

The Real Power in Malaysia is not our Prime Minister

by Zaid Ibrahim (11-04-14)

http://www.zaid.my/current/the-real-power-in-malaysia/

The so-called “Malay moderate” leaders normally expound their sugar-coated liberal ideas in international forums and always in English because they know that the Malay-Muslim audience at home will miss it completely.

Anwar and NajibTwo of a Kind?

This is true of both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Leader of the Opposition Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Their actions are, however, diametrically opposite to what they profess to believe.

Let’s see how they handle the issues of “liberalism” and “pluralism”:The state religious authorities have labelled Muslims deemed “liberal” and “pluralistic” in outlook as “deviants” (i.e. those who have strayed from the true path of Islam). This accusation is cruel and totally unjustified. It should not have been made by the state religious authorities and certainly not by those who claim to be religious and pious men.

Muslims the world over take pride in the fact that their religion is “simple” and has no clergy that act as intermediaries with God.This is not the case in Malaysia. Here, there are religious authorities who have usurped the power of God and pass judgement on Muslims long before they die and long before The Day of Judgement.

Forty years ago it was PAS that labelled UMNO “infidels” but today this is no longer merely a game of political point-scoring. Now it goes to the core of religious belief: if you do not follow the rulings of the state religious authorities, you are not a Muslim.

What do the religious authorities teach? Liberalism and pluralism are sinful. That’s why the authorities have effectively banned Sisters in Islam by labelling the group “deviants”.

But what is so wrong about being liberal? A liberal is merely someone who has forward-looking and progressive ideas. Being liberal means just being “open minded” about things.

When the Prime Minister said that UMNO Selangor had to think outside the box and come up with new ideas to retake the state, he was being liberal and progressive. You can also say that, in the context of UMNO, Najib, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein and Khairy Jamaluddin are liberals and progressives while Utusan Malaysia, Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Datuk Ibrahim Ali and ISMA are conservatives.

There is nothing “sinful” about this classification. But another dirty and sinful word is “pluralism”. The religious authorities seem to think that it means all religions are the same and that Islam is on par with other religions in Malaysia—Muslims are therefore prohibited from being pluralistic because Islam is the only true religion.

The religious authorities should learn to relax a little.In the context of our country, pluralism does not mean what they think it means. We use “pluralism” as a way of saying all religions have the right to exist in this land. It’s not a measure of which one is truer than the other. It’s not a judgement about which religion is better.

As Muslims, we believe of course that Islam is better—but no one is preventing us from believing this. Equally, Hindus (for example) are entitled to their own set of religious beliefs in what constitutes the path to salvation.

This pluralism this is not merely “permitted” in our country, it is a fundamental characteristic of our nation enshrined in the Federal Constitution. On the other hand, what is certainly not permitted is religious hegemony.

Pluralism means we accept that there are different religious faiths in the country and that our fellow-citizens have the right to practise those faiths freely. It is the idea that we must coexist peacefully. That’s the essence of Article 11 of our Constitution and the religious authorities really should not be afraid of the word.We are a democracy. Furthermore, we have recently been elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. We should have the courage to lead by example.

But what are our political leaders doing about this?Instead of calling up the religious authorities to explain to them the dangers of their rulings and how they violate our constitutional freedoms—and how Muslims will be adversely affected by such rulings—our political leaders have done nothing.

Recently, Anwar was at his usual charismatic best when delivering a talk at a posh hotel to some “Muslim democrats”. He said there was nothing wrong with pluralism and liberal ideas but also that he would not change the decision of the religious authority in Selangor where his party is in Government.

Najib, on the other hand, has been acting as he has always been, expressing an “elegant silence” on everything important happening in the country.

ZaidgeistWhat is abundantly clear to Malaysians who care to see is that Malay political leaders are afraid of the religious authorities.Our leaders are like the Imperial Chinese eunuchs who would always obey the Emperor for the privilege of living in the Palace and having control over state finances.

In this matter, there is no difference at all whether UMNO or the Pakatan Rakyat has political power and occupies Putrajaya—today the real power in our lives emanates from the religious authorities.

Anwar Ibrahim at University of Malaya (October 27, 2014)


October 28, 2014

Anwar Ibrahim at University of Malaya

Anwar at UM

Anwar Ibrahim spoke with passion to students at the University of Malaya last night (October 27, 2014). He asked his audience, why is the government in power is so scared of a simple human being like him that they won’t allow him to speak in the campus of his alma mater. Where is academic freedom, where is academic excellence and where is our dignity as a people? He spoke of racism and disunity, corruption and abuse of power. Listen to him.–Din Merican

Ulamaks and Malay-Muslim Politicians Vs The Thinking Malay


October 24, 2014

MY COMMENT: Prolific commenter, Mariam Mohktar, has raised an age-old issuemariam-mokhtar of the partnership between the ruling Malay political elite, and the ulamas and conservative religious functionaries. It is a marriage of convenience between them. They need each other to maintain their hold on power. It is a case of “Gu tolong Lu, Lu tolong Gua” (with apologies to the Prime Minister).

They are bound to feel threatened by intellectuals like Kassim Ahmad, Azmi Sharom and  poet laureate and novelist A. Samad Said, by an outstanding and public-spirited lawyer like Rosli Dahlan, by civil society activists like Ambiga Sreenevasan, Haris Ibrahim, Adam Adli  and Hishamuddin Rais, among others and now by an individual like Syed Azmi who was merely trying to eliminate the fear of dogs among Muslims.

They perceive their hold on the Malay Muslim community is being eroded with globalization and the social media. Their reaction is not discourse, but threat of punishment in the here and now and the hereafter. The Malay mind is, therefore, being mummified  by ignorance and dogma.

mullah-harussani-and-najibMullah Harussani of Perak and PM Najib

In his book, Concept of A Hero in Malay Society*, Dr. Shaharuddin Maaruf, when commenting on this partnership, has this to say: “…the Malay elite is encouraging many misplaced ideas and trends in thinking which are incompatible with progress…Important Islamic values that are conducive and harmonious to progress are not emphasised by the Malay elite; the Islamic conception of leadership is relegated into the background while feudal ideas concerning leadership are encouraged and propagated”. (page 2)

Dr. Maaruf goes on to say that “Intellectual interests and values are not nourished while irrationality and superstition are strengthened and accorded importance…The development of moral character that is sensitive to injustice is thwarted while the servile and morally numb human type is propagated”. For this purpose, the Malay elite makes use of the presumed superior knowledge of Islam of the ulamas. In that way, the ruling elite and the ulamas work in common purpose, that is, to legitimatise their hold on power over the Malays and their thought processes.

Today, their partnership has grown in importance in terms of politics. How long thisDin MericanY partnership can last is a matter of conjecture. But at this time we can acknowledge that it serves the political interest of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who must pander to the ulamas and religious functionaries in the Prime Minister’s Department. After all, his position as Prime Minister is under threat.–Din Merican

*Concept of a Hero in Malay Society  ( 2014, SIRD, First Published in 1984 by Eastern Universities Press (M) Sdn. Bhd). Also read Malay Ideas on Development by the same author and publisher.

Ulamas and Malay-Muslim Politicians Vs The Thinking Malay

by Mariam Mokhtar@http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

The most dangerous threat to the Malaysian government is not an invading army, a contagious disease, or a nuclear threat. It is the thinking Malay.

syed_azmi_alhabshi_organiser_dogs_191014

When young pharmacist Syed Azmi Alhabshi (above right in pic) decided to organise the “I Want to Touch a Dog” event at Bandar Utama on October 19, he didn’t expect such a huge response. More than 1,000 people –Muslims and non-Muslims – turned up.

Whilst man and beast were having lots of fun, in other parts of the country temperatures were raised. Syed Azmi was perceived as a threat. Syed Azmi may have united Malaysians but he was alienating some conservative Muslims in Malaysia. His innocent “dog touching event” is a defining moment in 21st Century Malaysian history.

Muslim Girls and the DogThe Internet was awash with photos of tudung-clad girls smiling with their favourite dogs, Malay toddlers chasing German Shepherds, elderly Muslim couples stroking contented looking Labradors and Malay teenagers playing with Cocker Spaniels. Malays and non-Malays were getting to know one another, through another of God’s creatures. The people learned to bond – not just dog with humans, but Muslims and non-Muslims.

Malaysians, including the political leaders, should have been pleased to see harmony in action. People forgot their inhibitions. They did not see themselves as people of different faiths or races. They got on with one another, with help from the dogs.

Society’s party pooper, JAKIM, waded in to spoil all the fun. Its Director-General, Othman Mustapha, was furious and said that the programme should not have taken place to begin with. He barked that JAKIM would investigate the matter immediately.

He was followed by a Kelantan ulama who cried “Repent. Repent. Repent.” Other conservative Muslims claimed that the ulamas were being insulted. If anyone needs their heads examined, it is these people. This is not a political issue; so why were the ulamas angry? They were furious because they saw their power being eroded. The 3Rs – race, religion and royalty – keep us in check, and safely divided.

For years, Muslims have been told what to do by the ulamas. The political leaders, together with their cronies and religious authorities carve up Malaysia for themselves.

One political cynic said, “To keep them in power, the leaders manipulate laws. To control dissent, they bully us with draconian laws. We are threatened with sedition. We are told that women leaders will lead us to hell. We are told that God approves of the GST. We are told that voting for UMNO-Baru is a one-way ticket to heaven. The sad thing is that many Malays believe this.”

His colleague said, “After last Sunday’s dog touching event, more Malays are finally seeing the light. The Malay mind is being freed from its mental slavery. That explains why the authorities and the conservative ulamas are working at breakneck speed to find Syed Azmi guilty, but he has done nothing wrong.”

Fear of being irrelevant

Syed Azmi only wanted Malaysians to be compassionate towards animals and overcome their fear of dogs. He was not insulting the ulamas. The ulamas did not even bother to ask him why he organised the event.

ANJING

The ulamas and conservative Muslims see their power base eroding. They are afraid that they will no longer be of relevance in a modern world which does not believe in the 3Rs.

Many Muslims nationwide observed the event on the Internet and saw no issue with dog touching. The ulamas are afraid that the thinking Malay will start to ask questions about their other edicts, handed down, in the past, to control Muslim behaviour. The ulamas, like the political leaders, are obsessed with power. The rakyat is at their mercy. However, a thinking Malay can see past their warped thinking.

Touching dogs is not going to lead to touching pigs or eating non-halal food. It will not lead to free sex. It is the ulamas and their obsession with sex which makes the thinking Malay question why the ulama are stupid and shallow. The ulamas use sex as a crowd puller.

The ulamas must realise that in Saudi Arabia, the Bedouin tribesmen hunt with dogs (the Salukis), as in Afghanistan (the Afghan hounds). Dogs are used in search and rescue, for drug detection, hunting, and to assist the blind, the deaf and those with epilepsy. The dog is man’s best friend.

The thinking Malays wonder why things like chocolates, dogs, the word “Allah” and beer take prominence in the national debate. They wonder why the ulamas keep silent about the rising cost of living, petrol price hikes, the collapsing infrastructure, corruption, the abuse of power by the leaders, incest, drug taking by Malays and the high crime rate.

Today, the ulamas are against us touching dogs. Knowing how their minds work, it won’t be long before Muslims will be banned from eating hot-dogs, and using English idioms like “dog in the manger” or complaining that a book is “dog eared”, or that Malaysia has “gone to the dogs”.