Think Rationally Before You Write, says Art


December 28, 2009

Art Harun’s Open Letter to Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah on  his article, “Accused as criminals better than being evil.”

Before I take issue with you on several matters in your article, allow me to state some disclaimers. This is to prevent me from being labelled anti this and that or pro this and that.

First and foremost, I am just an ordinary citizen of this country of ours who is just concerned with the well being of our country. Although I have my own political views, I am not affiliated to nor am I associated with any political party. I am a Malay and a Muslim. I am not anti-Malay or anti-Islam. Nor am I pro non-Malays or non-Muslims.

Now that I have made that clear, I shall address some of the issues raised. Firstly, the “social contract”. These two words have become a cliche in Malaysia. Whenever somebody or some parties raise some sensitive issues which the Government does not wish to address, they will be referred to the “social contract”. Soon, I suppose when a thief snatches a handbag from a poor woman, he will shout to the woman, “social contract”!

What is the “social contract”? I will not repeat what it is as I have written about it here. The first thing to note about it is that any social contract is not cast in stone. It may change as the society and state change and the need of the two parties to the contract evolve with time. What was deemed good 52 years ago may not be good anymore now, and vice versa.

If we take our Federal Constitution as an example, there have been hundreds of amendments made to it. That is the nature of it. It is a breathing and living contract which changes or ought to change according to the time.

Being so, questioning the provisions of the social contact is not a blasphemous act. Nor is it an act of treason. It is in fact a necessity for our society and our state to evolve into a progressive one. With all due respect, for you to label a certain party as “ultra kiasu” just because it apparently questions – if at all they did that – the “social contract” is unbefitting of your stature as a respectable ulamak and a well known senior lecturer. It is like labeling your own students “kiasu” for asking too many questions.

Why can’t we be positive about things? Are we so used to be told what to do, what to hear and what to say all these while that we have forgotten to engage with each other properly without any ill feeling? If an ulamak and academician like you cannot engage properly and without emotion, I shudder to think of the prospect  for our nation. Have we all closed our heart and soul to any opposing views?

The second thing to note about the social contract is the fact that this contract has two parties to it. The first party is the people. The second party is the State (or the government). It runs two ways. The people say “I give you, the government, some of my rights in exchange of you giving me certain benefits”. So, the obligations exist on both sides.

That means both sides must abide by the social contract. Both sides have their own respective obligations to perform. Nowadays, we talk as if only the people are supposed to perform the social contract. We talk as if the government does not have any obligation to perform under the social contract. That is an obvious misconception.

The government is powerful because it holds the power granted by the people. If the people do not perform the social contract, the government would come with all its might  to prosecute him. I ask you, what can the people do if the government does not perform its side of the bargain? Do you expect the people to keep quiet?

Thirdly, it is to be noted that, as a living document, the terms and conditions of the social contract may be renegotiated from time to time. Among others, John Locke posits as such. Locke even posits the right of rebellion in the event the social contract leads to tyranny. Of course, I am not advocating a rebellion here.

I am stating that the people have every right to question about the social contract and  scrutinise the performance of its terms by the government. And the people have every right – in fact it is arguable that it is the people’s duty –  to prevent  tyranny or acts of tyranny. Being so, I am sure it is not such a sin as made out by you for any party to question the social contract. That is within his  right as a party to the social contract.

The next issue which I wish to address is the misrepresentation of the real issues in contemporary Malaysia. I have to state this because when the issues are misrepresented, the arguments in support of them would also go wrong. Emotions can seep in and everything can turn ugly.

The issues at hand, in my opinion, are not the status of Islam as the religion of the Federation or the special position enjoyed by the Malays and the natives of Borneo. Those are enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

I have chosen the words in the preceding paragraph deliberately. Nowadays, when the arguments for “equality” are raised, the other side quickly jumps and say “you are questioning the status of Islam” or “you are questioning the special rights of the Malays” or worse still, “you are questioning the position of the Malay Rulers”.

Notice how the issues have been misrepresented to suit their purpose. What are in existence are not “special rights” but “special positions” and the parties which enjoy these positions are not only the Malays but also the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. Please read this article (Article 153)  for further explanation on this issue.

On the position of Islam, I don’t think anybody in their right minds would question the status of Islam as the religion of the Federation. But, dear Doctor, you must be wise enough to discern the  difference between official religion and the law of the country.

Similarly, you must also be rational enough to discern the difference between Bahasa Malaysia as the official language and the rights of the people to speak whatever language they wish.

What has been raised in contemporary Malaysia is not the status of Islam as the religion of the Federation. Many events have taken place so far in relation to inter-faith dialogue that would call for a closer look at the freedom of religion as enshrined in our Constitution. These events were perhaps not within the foresight of the fathers of our nation when the Constitution was being drafted.

It is then left to us, the children of today, to take the bull  by the proverbial horn and try to find  acceptable solutions to everybody in accordance with the common standard of fairness and civility.

Inter alia, these problems are:

• the controversy surrounding inter-faith marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims where a non-Muslim would convert to Islam to marry a Muslim but later re-convert to his or her original faith;

• the controversy surrounding the forced indoctrination of a certain faith – whether Islam or other faith – on children who are below the age of majority;

• the controversy surrounding the issue of apostasy in Islam;

• the controversy surrounding the unfair allocation of budget for the erection of temples or churches as compared to the mosques and suraus;

• the controversy surrounding the right to practise Islam by Muslims in accordance with their sectarian beliefs;

• the controversy surrounding some fatwas issued by some body of ulamaks;

• the controversy surrounding the usage of the word “Allah” to signify God;

•the controversy surrounding the publication of Bible in Bahasa Malaysia;

• the controversy surrounding moral policing.

These issues have nothing to do with the status of Islam under the Constitution or the status of the Malay rulers. Like it or not, these issues exist and will persist  for as  long as we huddle ourselves in our dark caves, secure in our belief that those people who raise these issues are ultra kiasu,  and they have treasonous tendencies.

This nation is built, from day one, by the unity of her people, regardless of race or religion. There is no such thing as this is “our” nation and not “theirs”. In fact, may I  respectfully point  out that you, as a Chinese Muslim, are contradicting yourself when you refer to this land as “our own land” if what you meant by “our own land” is that this land is the land of the Malays.

Please, dear Doctor. Be more sensitive to the feelings of all Malaysians. You are after all an influential ustaz or teacher whose views are respected by many. Now, as this nation goes into adulthood, it must confront issues which naturally arise in the course of nation building. It must confront these issues unemotionally and with great respect to everyone involved. Lest the very basis of this nation, namely, the unity of her people, would just fade away and we can bet our last dime that destruction would be on its way.

I fear for my children. I fear for this nation if we continue to count “our rights” as opposed to “theirs”. There is no “opposite parties” mind you. We are in this together.

Now you have come up with a rather ingenious formula. It is based on the entitlement to more rights for the majority. It is numerical power, which many argue is the direct result of democracy.  Philosopher Jeremy Bentham postulates the utilitarian principle in which it is said that whatever brings the most happiness to the greatest number of people would be good.

It would appear that you have managed to reduce the utilitarian principle into a science by reducing the yardstick of happiness for the  greatest number of people into a mathematical formula. But with respect, you are threading on a dangerous path. Stretched to its logical conclusion, you are validating the might of the majority over the helplessness of the minority.

In the end, finally, what matters in your equation is the numbers involved. What if, in the future, the non-Muslims become the majority in this country, may I ask you? Would you accept their lording over you as a minority then?

What about the ban of the Islamic minarets in Switzerland? Do you, as a Muslim, accept that because, after all, Christians are the majority in Switzerland? What about the ban of the hijab and head scarf in France? Do you accept that on the same basis, i.e, that Christians are the majority in France? What about the killing of Muslims Bosnians by the Serbs and Croats? You accept that too? After all Christians are the majority in that region. What if the Israelis manage to forcefully fill Gaza with Israelis leaving the Palestinians to be the minority, would you accept the desecration of everything that is Islam in Gaza?

What you are preaching, in my humble opinion, is political expediency suited for the current moment and nothing else. You are not seeing the bigger picture. With respect, you fail to look into ourselves as Muslims and spot our weaknesses as an Ummah against the backdrop of globalisation, transparency, and openness.

You pay scant regard to spirituality and our ability as Muslims  to face this new age world on any ground other than the strength in numbers and loudness of our voice. You mentioned Ibn Khaldun in your article. Can you point out the existence of what Ibn Khaldun termed in his “Muqadimmah” as the spirit of “assabiya” in our contemporary Muslim society? Do we have “assabiya” nowadays? Or is it a matter of whatever is mine is mine and yours is yours?

In your mathematical formula, you are in fact preaching against Ibn Khaldun’s “assabiya.” The communal spirit, comradeship and camaraderie are obviously not important in your formula. What about the numerical superiority of the non-Muslims in education for instance? Non-Muslims do get 9As or 10As in the examinations. Based on your numerical formula, wouldn’t they have the right to be in our public university? If so, why don’t they get what they are entitled to?

What about the numerical superiority in the non-Muslims’ contribution to our national coffers through the payment of taxes, duties and investments made? If your numerical superiority formula is applied, wouldn’t the non-Muslims then have more rights to build churches and temples compared to Muslims?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying they are so entitled. But I am just applying your formula to real life situations. Non-Muslims’ festivities should be limited to the percentage of their numbers. Sorry Doctor, I am laughing at the suggestion. Is that what matters? Festivities? Public holidays? They should have less number of temples and churches and we should have more mosques and suraus? (You seem to suggest that there are far too many churches and temples in Malaysia but have you seen the state of these churches and temples? Some are by the side of the road and in shop lots. Some are just housed in a small doggie house.)

How much space we occupy on our way to our graves? And how big our graves are? Good God, who is kiasu? What have we, the good people of Malaysia, become? And why have we descended into this deep pit of triviality? Oh my goodness.

Sometime, I find your reasoning inconsistent ,Doctor. While you preach goodness and high morality and you make such huge outcry against the evil of living immorally as practised by some politicians and the like, at the same time you don’t really mind a newspaper which sometime write obvious lies and spread hatred.

This is because, according to you, this newspaper is being frank. Well, is it okay to be bad as long as we are frank about it? You view with contempt the act of living together outside marriage by some non-Muslims but you can accept the act of lying and spreading hatred because the perpetrator is being frank? The last time I checked Doctor, even Hitler was being frank in wanting to kill all the Jews that ever walked the Earth. Was that okay?

The only way out of this racial and religious time bomb which is ticking fast in contemporary Malaysia to my mind is for all of us to confront all the issues in an unemotional manner. We should list them all out in the open. We should accept that those issues constitute problems and acknowledge that fact. We cannot deny their existence. We should stop assigning guilt. We should avoid pointing fingers. We should not adopt the my-religion-is-more-righteous-than-yours attitude.

After we manage to do that, we should then sit down and find the solutions as best as we can. And we better do it fast. Because the longer we delay it, the more insidious and deep they will become. Soon more people will misuse those issues for whatever personal purpose which they may have. The situation may then become irreversible.

May God give all of us the wisdom.

31 thoughts on “Think Rationally Before You Write, says Art

  1. Mohd Ridhuan Tee?

    The guy is an IDIOT. He gives the word “USTAZ” a really bad name.

    And God help us for allowing him to be a LECTURER going to a University teaching and narrowing the minds of our children with his racial and religious bigotry.

    He disgraces Islam by his version of what and how a good muslim should be thinking.

    Anyway, got to excuse him, since he is only a CONVERT and he has to try very hard to please those Pariah UMNO Malay masters by contributing to the racist UMNO paper, Utusan Malaysia.

    The more he attacks his ethnic Chinese heritage the better for UMNO as a racist party.

  2. I am getting suspicious of Chinese politicians and academics with family names that end with “..ee”.

    One frogs politics-wise and the other frogs religion-wise.

  3. Tee is representative of the quality of our lecturers we now have in our public universities ( with due respects to the rare few who are truly dedicated and outstanding in terms of both research and teaching). He thinks too highly of himself. But his standing among his colleagues is diminished by Art’s criticism of his article. He also forgets his cultural roots and his identity. That he is an UMNO stooge is well known. Thanks, Frank for your comments.–Din Merican

  4. SabranHindi, give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he is an Islamic scholar of sorts and understands Islam. What I can’t stand is his self- righteousness. But then that is getting too personal. –Din Merican

  5. Talking of Chinese with “”..ee” there is this MCA Youth Chief Wee Ka Siong, that is destabilising the MCA and found to be in the deep shit sourrounding the PKFZ scandal.

    They disgrace the Tee, Hee and Wee clans. With due respect to all other respected individuals with Tee, Hee and Wee family names. Time to sack these guys from the clan.

    The Tee clan should ask Mohd Ridhuan to remove the “Tee” from this name. Bloody disgrace to the Tee clan

  6. The timing of his hurried , laboured , hollow thesis behind the cover of his ethnic religious pretensions has uncovered his glaring true motives as an UMNO stooge thru & thru.

    University lecturer ? Phd holder ? What a hopeless shame !
    LKS can put him under his underwear pocket anytime

  7. Just another hypocrite who wants to prove that he is more suci than suci.
    He should forget about ” ethnic cleansing ” and clean up the tahi lalat in between his ears !

  8. Art’s piece is brilliant!

    I seriously thought that all Phd candidates in Politics would have studied John Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government”. It is rather obvious that this Tee, who is a poor specimen of a Phd, has not. His anachronistic views are so out of place and time, that he can’t comprehend the theory that accommodates this novel aspiration of democracy, liberty, freedom and tolerance. But then, the unthinking masses tend to see the “Dr.” and the honorifics accompanying the name, that they think this sordid article is the gospel truth. Idiots, with or without the ‘tahi lalat’ are heroes in their fascist, feudalistic and constricted world view.

    Besides being base propaganda by the desperate establishment, there are many opinions in Tee’s article that are provocative, contrary and inimical to nation building. If this is not a brazen attempt at intimidation of the opposition, what is? I deem this fella a security threat to the nation’s interests.

  9. I too would like to state some disclaimers . That i’m no racist nor religous bigot , that my heritage is a stumbling block to me being a racist even if i wanted to , that i’ve a relative who is either malay,eurasian,chinese,indian.a bettlenut chewing native ofborneo,european,japanese etc..

    A mix-up that made us to not only marvel at the differences but more importantly the diverse colours of our skin and religous beliefs wards-off any racial and religous slurs , how peculiar it seems.
    Now where was Tee?

  10. I too would like to state some disclaimers . That i’m no racist nor religous bigot , that my heritage is a stumbling block to me ever being a racist even if i wanted too , that i’ve a relative who is either malay,eurasian,chinese,indian.a bettlenut chewing native of borneo,european,japanese etc..

    A ‘mix-up’ that not only to marvel about but more importantly the diverse colours of skin and religous beliefs wards-off any racial and religous slurs , how peculiar it seems.

    Now where was that Tee guy?

  11. Pingback: bookmarking » Blog Archive » Think Rationally Before You write, says Art to Ridhuan Tee …

  12. ART HARUN well done . Brilliant piece here and as a Malaysian, I DON’T THINK i need to disclaim anything .

    Disclaimers are only for the Malays , Chinese , Indians , Sarawakian’s and Sabahan’s who are not Malaysians yet or are unwilling to make proverbial shift because of people like riduan tee, dr mahathir mohammad – the father of all racism in malaysia – , noor azam , awang salamat , hassan ali and their ilk and newspapers like Utusan Malaysia and political parties like MIC , MCA AND UMNO.

    Riduan tee is nothing more then an example of money wasted in educating him . And he is not the only one . There are many like him in BIRO TATA NEGARA , in INTAN , in the CIVIL SERVICE generally, the ARMED FORCES , the POLICE and the LEGAL and JUDICIAL SERVICE .

    I have always thought that education is what liberates us from bigotry , racism , religious chauvinism, etc. But Riduan Tee and Hassan Ali and that nitwit from Kulim and others like dr. mahathir , awang selamat , noor azam and some good friends on a personal level, who have just recently shown their true colours – have made me rethink.

    But having said that , i must add that there is at least three new friends i have found in Art Harun , Din Merican and Raja Petra Kamaruddin . They are not people i know personally BUT THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO GIVE HOPE NOT ONLY TO ME BUT ALSO MY CHILDREN AND OTHERS IN THE BROADER SPECTRUM OF MALAYSIA WHO THINK LIKE ME , ART HARUN , DIN MERICAN AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST RAJA PETRA KAMARUDDIN. And the word HOPE is a good word.

    And Art , again , this is a great piece.

  13. Salmiah Hassan

    Art Harun is a cool cat. Had always been in his writing and persona. Calm, composed, polite and friendly but he devours you devastatingly at the same time. A friendly assassin, as they say. You don’t know you got eaten up until he had finished you off or until you finish reading his piece. Hate to be on his opposite of the fence .

  14. ” In fact, may I respectfully point out that you, as a Chinese Muslim, are contradicting yourself when you refer to this land as “our own land” if what you meant by “our own land” is that this land is the land of the Malays.”

    This remark by Art Harun must have hurt Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah the most.

    The trouble in Malaysia is that once a Chinese becomes a Muslim he is being treated to have ” masuk Melayu ” and been rejected by most people of his own community. If he married a Malay woman , his children automatically are given Bumiputra status and treated as Malay. However , this father of Bumiputra children is not given the Bumiputra status automatically. He is being regarded as a Convert.

    As a result most of these Converts suffer an identity crisis ; are they still Chinese or they have to become Malay. Being rejected by most people of their origin community and with wife and children as Malay most of them have chosen to want to become Malay. However, they are not sure to what extent they will be accepted by the Malay community. As such ,they have to find way to show that they live and think like Malay.

    The sad thing is that some of them end up behaving more Malay than Malay. Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah is just one of them but he has gone overboard to attack his own origin community. What a pity that he has to be waken up by Art Harun in public that he is still a Chinese Muslim and not a Malay !!!

  15. Salmiah,

    Happy New Year. There are many Malaysians who feel the same way as we do. RPK, Art, Haris Ibrahim and so on. Haris is spearheading Saya Anak Malaysia campaign.

    It is just a matter of time that we will evolve into a united and plural nation. Unfortunately, we allowed what our founding fathers started in 1957 with the Constitution to be hijacked along the way by ultra Malays who propagated ” Ketuanan Melayu” in UMNO, via the overzealous implementation of the NEP which became a vehicle for crony capitalism of the elite Malay ruling class.

    We are today 52 years late; it is still not too late to change direction and move towards a more inclusive and equitable society, where opportunity is available to all without considerations of race, color and religion. Equal opportunity does not lead to equal outcome, of course, but at least we can all can start at the same point; and the outcome will be a consequence of our talent, and capacity for hard work. –Din Merican

  16. Somebody should sue this “makloh” in court and see what happen. Art Harun and dr. Bean can volunteer as lawyers. He will shit in his pant.

    Din, why don’t you ask your boys in Pakatan to test drive this makloh by bringging him to court.

  17. i converted because of a malay girl i fell in love. that was the honest fact. but along the journey being a muslim, i can vouch that islam is also a beautiful religion, minus ridhuan tee.

    i just cannot understand him these days. really. feel so sorry for him.

  18. Thank you Din and Selamat Tahun Baru to you too. Yes .. u are right Din, when you say there are many like us, but I would like to think that there were many more.

    Some have left us because of the nickel and dimes that mahathir , his children and his cronies have spread around and others are literally confused , especially the children , because of institutions like Biro Tata NEGARA and people like Ridhuan Tee , Mahathir , etc.

    Why?

    They are confused because , the values that they grew up with is different from the values that is imparted to them when they attend hostel bound schools for promising Bumiputra students and institutions similar to Biro Tata Negara. These two sets of values bring the children into conflict with themselves – and hence make some of them quite unstable. This is especially so when the values taught away from home is different and no where to be found in any of our religious books. Hate , fear and anger is taboo in our religious books but it seems ok for Riduan Tee , Hassan Ali and Utusan Melayu and institutions like Biro Tata Negara.

    That said , Ii can’t understand how this can be encouraged by the powers that be and more then that I cant understand how well educated individuals and parents can condone this .

    All the same Din , I found this quote from HENRY FORD while doing some research in our library this morning and thought you may want to use this to headline your blog from new year’s day . It is not only nice but it is apt too, i think . I am sure you and our friends here will agree.

    The quote is : ” Coming together is a beginning , keeping together is progress , working together is success .” We came together 52 years ago and hence I hope we are not 52 years late , but even if we are ,Ii feel these words above ,from Henry Ford , may help us close ranks for the future and help us forget Mahathir’s 22 years and his so called ” legacy “.

    In that note , let me wish you and your wife , a very Happy New Year and the same good wishes for Raja Petra Kamaruddin and of course Art Harun and above all our good friends who visit this blog regularly.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR all .
    _________
    Salmiah, I have adopted your quote from Henry Ford as my blog tagline for 2010. It will remain there till December 29, 2010. We have to come together, keep together and work together for a better Malaysia. Thanks–Din Merican

  19. “If we take our Federal Constitution as an example, there have been hundreds of amendments made to it. That is the nature of it. It is a breathing and living contract which changes or ought to change according to the time.” Art Harun

    What social contract?? There is no social contract.

    But if you say there was no real consensus as constitutional provisions were put together in a hurry and passed by the country’s Parliament, I’d agree with you. I’d agree with the proposition that a country’s constitution is a “living and breathing one” and that they necessarily change over time – but 600 plus amendments over the last five decades? And changing the role of Islam as the official religion and introducing a double-tracked system of justice?

    The country’s constitution is a sacred document and a good one must withstand the passage of time. Having said that there will necessarily be amendments over the course of say a hundred years. A good example to look at is the world’s beacon of democracy the United States. The U.S. has had only twenty plus amendments over the course of two hundred plus years. These amendments served merely to perfect the language used earlier and fill any loopholes that need filling so as to avoid ambiguity. Let’s be clear. There are general principles that do not change like equality before the law, justice and the rights of the individual, the right to a peaceful assembly, the right to bear arms etc. Our parliamentary draughtsman must have struggled with the language used and aspects of the constitution that obviously will have to change with the passage of time. Specificity in the language used has helped those who favor a narrow construction of the law but it does not serve well the national interest. It is important to understand that the country’s constitution a sacred document that it is must evolve to suit changing times and the national interest but not to the extent that it loses its essence or its character.

  20. The country’s constitution is a sacred document…Bean.

    Bean, the document cannot be sacred if it is are just paper and ink on it. Only lembu suci UMNO are sacred in Malaysia. They cannot be sacrificed. Razak Baginda, Toyol, Tiong and many more are sacred cows of UMNO and they are above the law. I just don’t want to mention the old man (Mahathir) and the sleeping man(Badawi). They are next to God.

    What sacred constitution you are talking about when murderers are not subject to the dictates of this document and the Rule of Law. A clean toilet paper is always better. At Least, it can be used to wipe the shit away.
    ________
    Tean, our compatriot in New York sometimes misses the point. But he is good company to be with on this blog. He allows us, especially Frank, to “shoot” him down from time to time. Happy New Year.–Din Merican

  21. From Dr Rafick to Dr Ridhuan Tee

    29/12/2009 by drrafick

    1.Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah writing in Mingguan Malaysia (27th December 2009) under the heading “Antara tuduhan penjahat dan jahat” certainly invoked a myriad of responses from the public. Outright, I must admit that I am shocked that such writing came from a learned Muslim like him. To be fair to him, my commentary must be read together with his own original writing in Utusan or the one that is available on The Malaysian Insider. This to ensure that there is no misinterpretation on either side.

    2.The core content of Dr Tee writing is on the defense of Utusan which has been labeled as a racist newspaper. To make things worse, he uses his creative mind to extrapolate the racism to all staff of Utusan. This is wrong and does not augur well for a man of his stature. He claims people who call Utusan as a racist newspaper can invoke cause serious disharmony among the various ethnic groups in Malaysia. It appears that in his vocabulary, writing a racially seditious article is fine but calling one who writes such article is seditious. Having said that, he is right when he questions why various (opposition at federal level) political party tabloid is not labeled as evil when they write seditious materials?

    3. I have to agree with Dr Tee that most political tabloids are racist. To this aspect, this includes UMNO, MCA, MIC and other component member’s newsprint as well. PR various tabloid is also in the same league. It is only expected as the political parties in this country are structured along ethnic lines and is not based on values. BN was able to maintain power by juggling the balancing game of productivity and fanning racial sentiments. They invoke the sense of fear among the people from time to time and they also showed as if they are the only good guys that can maintain the racial harmony in this country. They are good at this pulling and pushing game. Unfortunately not many can see it from a helicopter view.

    4.In a guarded manner, Dr Tee admits that Utusan is also fanning racial sentiments. What Dr Tee failed to highlight is that Utusan is not a political party tabloid that is restricted to its members. It is a newspaper with long historical followers behind it. Based on 2007/2008 newspaper circulation, it commands 13% of market share. This is even ahead of The Star newspaper by 1%. Via its large customer base, it can easily influences the masses. It is also able to enhance the flame of racism far more successfully than any other political tabloids which is only restricted to its members.

    5.Dr Tee also failed to highlight the fact that Utusan is owned by the powers that be and appears to have the legal immunity in fanning this racial flames which the other political party tabloid don’t. In my humble view ALL MALAYSIAN must stop thinking and do things along ethnic lines. Malaysia’s survival as a nation depends on it. If this country fails, those in the country will be doomed.

    6.Dr Tee also touched on the issue of Islam and ethnic dominance in this country where he hide behind the term of “social contract”. Respectfully, as one Muslim to another I felt his understanding of the matter is too shallow and has been oversimplified. He is looking at it with a tunnel vision. Allah did not create all Malays to be Muslims. Neither did Allah restrict Islam for the Malays only. A person’s ethnicity and religion are two dichotomous issues. Tee himself is a living example where he is a Muslim (and probably a better Muslim than me) and a Chinese.

    7. Fact remains that the religious freedom in this country is enshrined in the Federal Constitution (FC). It is engraved in stone. The right of practicing one religion is clear and it is not superior to the other religion despite Islam being the official religion of the country. To use the social contract as the basis of denying others of their right is very wrong and totally un-Islamic. It is a sign of weakness. As a Muslim, I detest those who say that we Muslims are weak. Dr Tee’s writing had embarrassed me on this matter and I take offense of it. We must appreciate that the term “social contract” is an UMNO recent creation that is being used as a defensive line to ensure their political survival. Legally and socially, such thing does not exist.

    8.It took me quite a while to figure out, who Dr Tee was targeting in this writing. I felt that it has something to do with Tony Pua’s questioning our Minister on Federal financial allocation on Islam and other religion in this country. Instead of addressing the matter intelligently, certain quarters made a police report and claim it is to be seditious. What is wrong with us in this country that has led us to a point that we cannot even ask questions? Was it a difficult question that has no answer? I don’t think so.

    9.Personally, I am not in the position to answer the question posed by Tony as I do not have all the facts. However I can confidently says that the new mosques that were built in Melawati and in Bukit Antarabangsa recently WAS NOT funded by the Federal or State government. The funds came from JAIS which derives its income from Zakat collection from the Muslims in Selangor. There were also some individual donors. I suspect it is the same case with many mosques, churches and temples in this country which are built from collections from the members of their religious fraternity. On occasion, the government makes donation to all religious communities.

    10. All religions teach humans to do good. It is the people who use the religion selectively that made it bad. Rightfully the government must allocate finance for each religion to prosper on an EQUITABLE basis and not on equal basis. Equitability is to be measured on the basis of needs. This is very clear in the FC. We need to understand the FC and apply it accordingly. We SHOULDN’T use the constitution as a political tool to divide and rule this country. The constitution is not design as such. It should be use as AN ADHESIVE to bring people together as one nation.

    11.Dr Tee had proposed a formula on financial allocation for the various ethnics and religious groups in Malaysia. He suggested that financial allocation is to distribute along religion and ethnic lines based on population ratio. Respectfully, this is probably the worse idea that I have ever heard in my lifetime coming from an academician. I think Dr Tee proposal is far too complex. He should simplify it by just asking the every State in this country to divide the land into along ethnic groups and relocate the people like what India and Pakistan did and tell the people to stay within those borders. The more I read, the more I begin to question this guy’s sanity.

    12. I hope the government will not consider Dr Tee view seriously. If they do I believe we are heading for a disaster. I believe Dr Tee had intentionally overlooked the fact that the wealth creation of this nation is not segregated along racial or religious lines. Therefore why the expenditure should be looked in that manner? We cannot be building prayer house on the basis of ethnic distribution. What we should do is to look on the basis of community needs and optimal resources management. If there is really a need to have ten churches in 1 square mile then so be it. Build them. The same goes with building of mosques and temples. The same principles should be applied for burial grounds and other religious related matters.

    13. Dr Tee relates a story on how a Padre questions him on why Islamic teachings are allowed in schools where as the other religions are not allowed to do the same. Is it wrong to question that he had to resort to such a reaction? This might be a bit sensitive but I will address it in a way that I hope will not anger anyone.

    14.Personally in my opinion, the Padre is right. I have asked the same questions many years back in my children’s school. Some non Muslim parent’s questions why their children are being asked to sit at the back of a school assembly and listen to the reciting of Quran and the Yassin by the Ustaz on Friday mornings. I manage then to diffuse the situation by getting the HM to release all the non-Muslim kids to the library and art classes.

    15.My argument is simple. If we Muslim cannot accept if our children are forced to listen to religious sermon, prayers or Mantras provided by a Padre, monk and Swami, then we should not force it upon them. As a Muslim we must be fair to others. That is what my religious teacher thought me. He never thought me to force other people to accept Islam. Islam is not limited to the ritualistic element. There is more to it that we can use it universally.

    As a Muslim we must show the true values of the religion that would attract people to it and not focusing on ritualistic elements or creating barriers between Muslim and Non Muslim. The more barriers we create, more non Muslim will stay away from Islam. The Prophet Mohamed pbuh did not create the barrier in his life time. It was the pagan Quraysh who did so but today we are doing the reverse.

    16. Again, Dr Tee has complicated this simple matter. When I was in primary school, official school hours focused on living skills and the knowledge of arts, science, mathematics, sports and learning social interaction with all my friends. Religious classes were done at the school after school hours. Why did the government change it? It was beautiful system then. One PM came and wanted JQaf and Islam Hadhari and now we have Arabic language program in schools. I have to agree that there is too much Islamic infusion during school hours which is a burden to the non-Muslims. This should not be the case. It should be done after school hours.

    17. Going by Dr Tee formula, he would want the Christians to be given 9% time allocation for the Christians Padre to preach all the children and the Muslims will be given 60%. What will happen next is that the Ustaz, Swami and Padre will confused all the kids and led them to fight with each other.

    18. At this point, though I have not addressed all Dr Tee argument is his long article, I felt it is enough. It pains me to read the rest. For the obvious reasons we now can appreciate why Utusan Malaysia hired him as a columnist. He is there to add the necessary fuel to ensure that this beloved nation of ours continues to be divided along ethnic and religious lines. I do not think Utusan will hire people like me.

  22. ” as A MUSLIM we must be fair to others. that is what my religious teacher taught me “. – rafick

    makes me wonder what this chinaman is trying to teach.

  23. jeff

    A REAL chinaman would not have written what this half-bake muslim idiot wrote. Ridhuan Tee is not only a Muslim cheat but a chinaman fraud.

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