Malaysia’s Race Relations


February 8, 2010

Malaysia’s Race Relations (re-titled)

Slower growth and a drain of talented citizens are only the beginning

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704422204576129663620557634.html?
February 7, 2011

By JOHN R. MALOTT*

Malaysia’s national tourism agency promotes the country as “a bubbling, bustling melting pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony.” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak echoed this view when he announced his government’s theme, One Malaysia. “What makes Malaysia unique,” Mr. Najib said, “is the diversity of our peoples. One Malaysia’s goal is to preserve and enhance this unity in diversity, which has always been our strength and remains our best hope for the future.”

If Mr. Najib is serious about achieving that goal, a long look in the mirror might be in order first. Despite the government’s new catchphrase, racial and religious tensions are higher today than when Mr. Najib took office in 2009. Indeed, they are worse than at any time since 1969, when at least 200 people died in racial clashes between the majority Malay and minority Chinese communities. The recent deterioration is due to the troubling fact that the country’s leadership is tolerating, and in some cases provoking, ethnic factionalism through words and actions.

For instance, when the Catholic archbishop of Kuala Lumpur invited the prime minister for a Christmas Day open house last December, Hardev Kaur, an aide to Mr. Najib, said Christian crosses would have to be removed. There could be no carols or prayers, so as not to offend the prime minister, who is Muslim. Ms. Kaur later insisted that she “had made it clear that it was a request and not an instruction,” as if any Malaysian could say no to a request from the prime minister’s office.

Similar examples of insensitivity abound. In September 2009, Minister of Home Affairs Hishammuddin Onn met with protesters who had carried the decapitated head of a cow, a sacred animal in the Hindu religion, to an Indian temple. Mr. Hishammuddin then held a press conference defending their actions. Two months later, Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told Parliament that one reason Malaysia’s armed forces are overwhelmingly Malay is that other ethnic groups have a “low spirit of patriotism.” Under public pressure, he later apologized.

The leading Malay language newspaper, Utusan Melayu (Malaysia), prints what opposition leader Lim Kit Siang calls a daily staple of falsehoods that stoke racial hatred. Utusan, which is owned by Mr. Najib’s political party, has claimed that the opposition would make Malaysia a colony of China and abolish the Malay monarchy. It regularly attacks Chinese Malaysian politicians, and even suggested that one of them, parliamentarian Teresa Kok, should be killed.

This steady erosion of tolerance is more than a political challenge. It’s an economic problem as well.

Once one of the developing world’s stars, Malaysia’s economy has underperformed for the past decade. To meet its much-vaunted goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020, Malaysia needs to grow by 8% per year during this decade. That level of growth will require major private investment from both domestic and foreign sources, upgraded human skills, and significant economic reform. Worsening racial and religious tensions stand in the way.

Almost 500,000 Malaysians left the country between 2007 and 2009, more than doubling the number of Malaysian professionals who live overseas. It appears that most were skilled ethnic Chinese and Indian Malaysians, tired of being treated as second-class citizens in their own country and denied the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, whether in education, business, or government. Many of these emigrants, as well as the many Malaysian students who study overseas and never return (again, most of whom are ethnic Chinese and Indian), have the business, engineering, and scientific skills that Malaysia needs for its future. They also have the cultural and linguistic savvy to enhance Malaysia’s economic ties with Asia’s two biggest growing markets, China and India.

Of course, one could argue that discrimination isn’t new for these Chinese and Indians. Malaysia’s affirmative action policies for its Malay majority—which give them preference in everything from stock allocation to housing discounts—have been in place for decades. So what is driving the ethnic minorities away now?

First, these minorities increasingly feel that they have lost a voice in their own government. The Chinese and Indian political parties in the ruling coalition are supposed to protect the interests of their communities, but over the past few years, they have been neutered. They stand largely silent in the face of the growing racial insults hurled by their Malay political partners. Today over 90% of the civil service, police, military, university lecturers, and overseas diplomatic staff are Malay. Even TalentCorp, the government agency created in 2010 that is supposed to encourage overseas Malaysians to return home, is headed by a Malay, with an all-Malay Board of Trustees.

Second, economic reform and adjustments to the government’s affirmative action policies are on hold. Although Mr. Najib held out the hope of change a year ago with his New Economic Model, which promised an “inclusive” affirmative action policy that would be, in Mr. Najib’s words, “market friendly, merit-based, transparent and needs-based,” he has failed to follow through. This is because of opposition from right-wing militant Malay groups such as Perkasa, which believe that a move towards meritocracy and transparency threatens what they call “Malay rights.”

But stalling reform will mean a further loss in competitiveness and slower growth. It also means that the cronyism and no-bid contracts that favor the well-connected will continue. All this sends a discouraging signal to many young Malaysians that no matter how hard they study or work, they will have a hard time getting ahead.

Mr. Najib may not actually believe much of the rhetoric emanating from his party and his government’s officers, but he tolerates it because he needs to shore up his Malay base. It’s politically convenient at a time when his party faces its most serious opposition challenge in recent memory—and especially when the opposition is challenging the government on ethnic policy and its economic consequences. One young opposition leader, parliamentarian Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, has proposed a national debate on what she called the alternative visions of Malaysia’s future—whether it should be a Malay nation or a Malaysian nation. For that, she earned the wrath of Perkasa; the government suggested her remark was “seditious.”

Malaysia’s government might find it politically expedient to stir the racial and religious pot, but its opportunism comes with an economic price tag. Its citizens will continue to vote with their feet and take their money and talents with them. And foreign investors, concerned about racial instability and the absence of meaningful economic reform, will continue to look elsewhere to do business.

*Mr. Malott was the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, 1995-1998.

Rejoinder to John Malott (Thanks to Rightways for bringing this article to our attention)

Message to Mahathir:

What an embarrassment!

“Mahathir is racist, but Najib would not dare charge him with sedition. Mahathir certainly acts like he is the ‘co-premier’ and his flirtation with extremist NGOs like PERKASA, must embarrass the current administration.”–Mariam Mokhtar

Today, you are championing Malay Rights. You are angry that Non-Malays are questioning these rights. You are also angry that Malays themselves are questioning these so-called Rights. You want the other races to acknowledge that the Dominant Malays are the rightful heirs to this country called Malaysia. What an embarrassment to us Malays.

By Capt.Iskandar Dzulkarnain

Tun Dr. Mahathir was Prime Minister of Malaysia for 22 years. All of us lived under his leadership  and many of us have come to admire him and regard him with our deepest respect, for what he has done for the country. The Galleria Perdana in Langkawi is testimony to his many achievements.

His Vision 2020, the Look East Policy, the Multimedia Super Corridor, the Internet and his efforts to industrialize the country have brought  boundless prosperity to our nation. We look upon him as the most successful leader since our nation’s independence.

Lately, we see a sudden about turn in his speeches and rhetoric. Many who listened with interest to his sermons are alarmed at the vast distortion of everything he  tried to impress upon us in the past. He is beginning to sound incoherent, with a tinge of cynicism. The great empire he built in the last 22 years is slowly unraveling, crumbling, torn asunder by the words that spews forth from your mouth. Everyone, who knew  him in the past, is becoming disappointed in what you have become.

At your age, we expect the Grand Old Vizier with bottomless wisdom,  considerable intellect, and wide political experience to advise us, and tell us where we went wrong, and to correct us. To bring continuous change, to unite us and to tell us that we are all Citizens of this great nation, to warn us of the pitfalls of racism, corruption and to protect this country from tearing itself apart.

Lately, many of your speeches have been received with apprehension, and later with disgust as you keep on leveling criticism on the different races. Even Singapore was not spared. Your latest speech that Malaysia belongs to the Malays, that Malays think 1Malaysia is about abolishing vernacular schools, and that Chinese and Indians think that 1Malaysia means abolishing Malay Rights, is really hurtful and hard to swallow. I really wonder what is going through the mind of this once Great man?

Today, you are championing Malay Rights. You are angry that Non-Malays are questioning these rights. You are also angry that Malays themselves are questioning these so-called Rights. You want the other races to acknowledge that the Dominant Malays are the rightful heirs to this country called Malaysia. What an embarrassment to us Malays.

What special rights are you talking about? If the Malays have benefited from it, and given us a window of opportunity, and an edge over others, why has the Malays not advanced any further? All these years, the bragging and the promises about Special Rights has only led us to acknowledge that it is only a big pie in the sky.

Through 3 generations, we have come to accept that we are all Malaysian citizens, and everyone is equal to everyone, and now we find out that we indeed do have Special Rights accorded only to us, and not to the others. We must also fight for our Rights and not let the other community take it away from us. But what are these Rights??? If we had Special Rights, why are the Malays still lagging behind? Did anybody actually accord the Malays these Rights in the past? Did the Malays reject these Rights, so much so that they are now living in utter poverty? Can someone start going around and bestow this Rights upon us right now? When are we going to get these Rights? As far as we know, we never had any Rights! Only the Chinese and Indians think we have Special Rights.

Most Malays don’t give two hoots about Tanah Melayu, Ketuanan Melayu or Special Rights, because they does not exist. We also got bored waiting for these rights to be transferred to us. We just want a decent life, job, a brighter, predictable future. And the Right to practice our Religion free from encumbrance.

We are a loosely knitted race that comprises mixed Javanese, Sumatran, Indian, Hainanese, Thai, and Middle East blood bound together by our Religion, Islam. And yet in the INTERLOK novel we branded other communities as pariahs. In another case, we allowed a full blooded mamak  from Penang to call Non-Malays pendatangs.

And if there is a Special Right, I think I would want to have the Right to mingle freely with our Chinese and Indian friends, step into a church and listen with interest to their choirs singing Christmas Carols, drop by a Chinese temple, and observe the monks chanting their mantras, or to an Indian Temple to see how they worship. And to drop by the Pub, for a glass of cold Coke, or orange juice without feeling a little peculiar. I want the right to tell all our fellow citizens that we do not harbour any ill will against them, that we are just like them and that we will always stand by them.

22 years in power, and yet so many of our kin still live in misery. We are not asking for utter riches, just a decent life, but many Malays still lives in utter misery, and in such contrast to the Super rich UMNOPutras. And in the last election, many Malays were abandoning BN in droves, and now the ruling elite are not confident any more of retaining their power and has started to take drastic measures to regain their support.

Lastly, keep this in mind. There is no racism in Malaysia. 99 percent of Malaysians are not racist. We are too busy living our lives than to check on our neighbours. It is the one percent who is desperately clinging on to power, bent on staying, and who will do anything at any cost,even selling their souls to the devil, that is causing all this ruckus about Racism in this country. The one percent of Malays, Chinese and Indians who are about to be given the boot are shouting Ketuanan Melayu and Ketuanan What not!!

Malays, in their right mind are not going to support this bunch of losers. That is why they say that the Malays are split between UMNO and PAS. And the blame was put on poor old Nik Aziz, who became the scapegoat for splitting the Malays. They really must go!


54 thoughts on “Malaysia’s Race Relations

  1. 1. The truth stings, doesn’t it?

    2. My prediction: UMNO/BN diehards will
    respond (in typical fashion) by asking outsiders/foreigners to shut up and stop commenting on Malaysian affairs.

    3. The Wall Street Journal is read by the captains of American industry. What will they think of this nation as a site for investment?
    (APCO, better get to work real quick!)

  2. The Pakatan Rakyat’s march to Putrajaya depends on forming alliances with the Sabah and Sarawak parties and PR should therefore be talking to these parties instead of choosing a confrontational approach. Let it be a pooling of the strength of all those opposed to the BN hagemony and march on to success in GE13 instead of engaging in fighting among like minded Malaysians, be it Semananjung, Sabah or Sarawak.

  3. Recent outburst and statements made by our leaders past and present have widespread implications for Malaysians of all colour and race and the future status of this middle -of -the road country. This brings us to a position where we may have to question their credentials as leaders in Malaysia – this great nation and model for multi-cultural co existance.Leaders should not be confused with cheer-leaders who depend on their numbers to put fear into the opponents and resort to all kind of tactics to just win the competition.We expect out leaders to use the people’s mandate to govern the nation inaccordance with the rule of law and the constitution.Mlaysia is a blessed country of 30 million people and we expect our leaders to be leaders with a capital “L”-people with substance savvy, and gravitas having the instinct to make sound judgements and decisions and set unerring standards for leadership. I say this because the leaders at the lower levels take their lead form the leaders at the top.

    Today we have thousands of people who have benefitted from the present system coming out in support of the leadership and in no uncertain terms saying that these first rate leaders are being sacrificed on the alter of political correctness just because some thin skined indians and chinese were offended by those uncalled for statements. The great Indian cricketer said ” you are only as good as the last 100 runs that you made in an innings”

    Yes, when leaders are in power they inspire fierce loyalty. But the message that we are now sending to the outside world hardly merits it. If one did not know what jobs they were doing you may assume that he or she is a common man on the street who does not care for the image he projects or to the consequences of his actions. Such public display in many First World countries would mean that the leader concerned has to apologise and may be even resign from his position.

    In the first 30 years of our independence our government set standards and benchmarks that made our investors comfortable. And as a consequence of this in the 60s Malaysia was one of the few places foreign investors felt comfortable to put their money. Today I am not even certain if Malaysian are willing to put their money here. The 5th placing in the List of Countries Wth Illegal Outflows of Captial is an early indicator of this. We need to get back into the mainstream as we are basically a trading nation. I am sure that our leaders uncerstand this will and close ranks to make Malaysia a better place.

  4. Ambassador Malott cares about Malaysia’s economic future, but Malaysians DON’T give a damn about it.

    The Malays will continue to support the racist discriminative policies of UMNO and the Chinese and Indians will continue to send their children overseas to study and asking them to seek their fortunes with foreign governments.

    Meanwhile our kangkung professors in our local universities will vie for higher positions in the universities by playing UMNO politics , which they are better than publishing internationally recognised research . And Malaysia will be flooded with unemployable half baked graduates

    And the rich Malay UMNOputras will continue to milk the Federal treasury for all its worth as never before, and the rich non Malays will continue to park their money overseas.

    Nobody in Malaysia gives a shit to the future of the country’s economy. If the majority of the Malaysians did, we wouldn’t be in this bloody mess today with worse than ever before racial polarisation and the continued below par performance of our economy.

    Malaysia Boleh!

  5. Malaysia’s education is a joke!!:

    in the news:

    1. High time for a new Bar!
    The declining quality and standard of new lawyers in the country.
    http://rightways.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/high-time-for-a-new-bar/

    2. Raise the bar for future doctors!
    MMA concerned about quality of local medical graduates
    http://rightways.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/raise-the-bar-for-future-doctors/

    3. Home, not so sweet home!
    Many students abroad are thinking of staying back to work in London, New York or other cities, with their parents agreeing — and some even encouraging their kids not to return.
    http://rightways.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/home-not-so-sweet-home/

  6. Practically all Chancellor and Vice-chancellors of the Malaysian universities run by the government are Malay only!

    What kind of race relations they are talking about?

  7. Some body just send me this:

    ARTICLE THAT SHOWS HOPE FOR MALAYSIA

    WHAT AN EMBARRASSMENT !

    Today, you are championing Malay Rights. You are angry that Non-Malays are questioning these rights. You are also angry that Malays themselves are questioning these so-called Rights. You want the other races to acknowledge that the Dominant Malays are the rightful heirs to this country called Malaysia. What an embarrassment to us Malays.

    By Capt.Iskandar Dzulkarnain

    Tun Dr Mahathir was Prime Minister of Malaysia for 22 years. All of us lived under his leadership during his tenure, and many of us have come to admire him and regard him with our deepest respect, for what he has done for the country. The Galleria Perdana in Langkawi is testimony to his achievements.

    His Vision 2020, the Look East Policy, the Multimedia Super Corridor, the Internet and his efforts to industrialize the country has brought countless prosperity to our nation. We look upon him as the most successful leader since our nation’s independence.

    Lately, we see a sudden about turn to his speeches and rhetorics. Many who listened with interest to his sermons, is alarmed at the vast distortion of everything he has tried to impress upon us in the past. He is beginning to sound incoherent, with a tinge of cynicsm. The great empire you built in the last 22years is slowly unravelling, crumbling, torn assunder by the words that spews forth from your mouth. Everyone, who knows you in the past, is becoming dissapointed in what you hold dear to.

    At your age, we expect the Grand Old Vizier with bottomless wisdom, intellect, and wide political experience to advise us, and tell us where we went wrong, and to correct us. To bring continuous change, to unite us, and to tell us that we are all Citizens of this great nation, to warn us of the pitfalls of racism, corruption and to protect this country from tearing itself apart.

    Lately, many of your speeches has been met with apprehension, and later with disgust as you keep on levelling criticism on the different races. Even Singapore was not spared. Your latest speech that Malaysia belongs to the Malays, that Malays think 1Malaysia is about abolishing vernacular schools, and that Chinese and Indians think that 1Malaysia means abolishing Malay Rights, is really hurtful and hard to swallow. I really wonder what is going through the mind of this once Great man?

    Today, you are championing Malay Rights. You are angry that Non-Malays are questioning these rights. You are also angry that Malays themselves are questioning these so-called Rights. You want the other races to acknowledge that the Dominant Malays are the rightful heirs to this country called Malaysia. What an embarrassment to us Malays.

    What special rights are you talking about? If the Malays have benefited from it, and given us a window of opportunity, and an edge over others, why has the Malays not advanced any further? All these years, the bragging and the promises about Special Rights has only led us to acknowledge that it is only a big pie in the sky.

    Through 3 generations, we have come to accept that we are all Malaysian Citizens, and everyone is equal to everyone, and now we find out that we indeed do have Special Rights accorded only to us, and not to the others. We must also fight for our Rights and not let the other community take it away from us. But what are these Rights??? If we had Special Rights, why are the Malays still lagging behind? Did anybody actually accorded the Malays these Rights in the past? Did the Malays reject these Rights, so much so that they are now living in utter poverty? Can someone start going around and bestow this Rights upon us right now? When are we going to get these Rights? As far as we know, we never had any Rights!!! Ony the Chinese and Indians think we have Special Rights.

    Most Malays don’t give two hoots about Tanah Melayu, Ketuanan Melayu or Special Rights, because it does not exist. We also got bored waiting for these rights to be transfered to us. We just want a decent life, job, a brighter, predictable future. And the Right to practice our Religion free of encumbrance. We are a loosely knitted race that comprises mixed Javanese, Sumatran, Indian, Hunanese, Thai, and Middle East blood bound together by our Religion Islam. And yet in the INTERLOK novel we branded other communities as Pariahs.

    And if there is a Special Right, I think I would want to have the Right to mingle freely with our Chinese and Indian friends, step into a church and listen with interest to their choirs singing Christmas Carols, drop by a Chinese temple, and observe the monks chanting their mantras, or to an Indian Temple to see how they worship. And to drop by the Pub, for a glass of cold Coke, withourt feeling a little peculiar. I want the right to tell all our fellow citizens that we do not harbour any ill will against them, that we are just like them and that we will always stand by them.

    22 years in power, and yet so many of our kin still live in misery. We are not asking for utter riches, just a decent life, but many Malays still lives in utter misery, and in such contrast to the Super rich UMNOPutras. And in the last election, many Malays were abandoning BN in droves, and now the ruling elite are not confident any more of retaining their power and has started to take drastic measures to regain their support.

    Lastly, keep this in mind. There is no racism in Malaysia. 99 percent of Malaysians are not racist. We are too busy living our lives than to check on our neighbours. It is the one percent who is desperately clinging on to power, bent on staying, and who will do anything at any cost,even selling their souls to the devil, that is causing all this ruckus about Racism in this country. The one percent of Malays, Chinese and Indians who are about to be given the boot are shouting Ketuanan Melayu and Ketuanan What not!!
    Malays, in their right minds are not going to support this bunch of losers. That is why they say that the Malays are split between UMNO and PAS. And the blame was put on poor old Nik Aziz, who became the scapegoat for splitting the Malays.

    They really must go!

  8. The only reason why the Nons are ‘tolerating’ such display of racial supremacy and plumage, is that they want to get the ‘Halal’ certification for their products and services. Then they can hock it to the rest of the Islamic world, whose total population barely equates to that of the Roman Catholic Church alone.

    Yes, precisely the same church that the PM’s blinkered ‘advisor’ decided had too much display of unsavory symbols. Of course, she didn’t know that the Christmas ‘open-house’ was a tea-party held in the garden, where the only threatening symbols were some doves, sitting on the Cross-linked fence.

    Now they are saying that the rescue of our students in Egypt is due to the 1Malaysia “Spirit”. Yeah, that is the new God of Malaysia, which never existed ‘a priori’.

  9. Dr. Kamsiah and I were in Sabah just a few days ago. Race and religion are not contested in local politics. Muslims, Christians and people of other Faiths in Sabah have lived peacefully side by side for generations. I do not know about Sarawak, but I suspect it is the same there. That makes me think that they are pluralists, not inclusivists and exclusivists. Things are different here.–Din Merican

  10. Yes, Encik Din.

    We have this poisonous racialized politics here in W. Malaysia.

    I noticed, when I was in New Zealand, how the Maori are being increasingly recognised as part of a multicultural NZ. Accordingly, NZ English is also changing under the influence of the Maori language and culture. We can learn a lot from Maori-Pakeha ethnic relations in NZ.

  11. Phua Kai Lit,

    True, I was in NZ over 5 years. The minority Maori has special privileges protected under NZ laws. Strange in Malaysia, racial politics and laws protecting the majority, discriminating the minorities!

  12. That makes me think that they (Sabahans) are pluralists, not inclusivists and exclusivists. Things are different here. – Dato Din

    One thing we got to give to the Sabahans. When it comes to RELIGION, they are way ahead of the parochial-minded Malayans. If only they can do the same to their politics.

  13. If Mr. Najib is serious about achieving that goal, a long look in the mirror might be in order first.”

     Ambassador John Malott

    If Najib as Prime Minister of his country wants to accept the offer i.e. of building a melting pot society based on freedom, equality before the law and a government which is transparent and accountable, he must abide by the ‘mirror rule’. As any student in contract law would tell you for there to be a contract acceptance must mirror the terms of the offer. Nothing more, nothing less. Any variation is a counter-offer which kills the offer. When he accepted the job of prime minister, this is the offer made to him. He has not accepted the offer – or did he? Or has he breached the contract?

    Ambassador Malott touched on the issue of religious freedom in the country (not simply a constitutional issue under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution but a human rights issue) but failed to put his finger on the pulse of an even more sensitive issue i.e. the religious freedom of the Malays

  14. Religious freedom of Malays?
    C.L. Familiaris
    ——————–
    Why should you have a problem with that when most Malays don’t?

  15. Why should you have a problem with that when most Malays don’t?

    Anonymous – February 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm
    ————————————————–

    Democracy is not tyranny by the majority.

  16. There are no ‘Christian’ Malays.
    Constitutionally, that is.
    No, the above mentioned people and maybe your good-self, will not expect any changes under a PR government.
    Is it legally possible to avoid the race issue, by inserting “Other” in the NRIC form, Bean?

  17. Najib fellow saying all three races are living in harmony and peace. Alamak this dreamer is hoodwinking. One dominant race is oppressing the other two races and the same dominant race is calling the other two races as offspring of prostitutes and beggars and demonising one as pariahs.

    Does Najib know he is one of the most double tounged snake in Malaysian politics.

  18. My view is that playing the race card is like playing with fire. The same can be said of religion in politics.–Din Merican

    dinobeano – February 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm
    ————————————————-

    If freeing 60% of the population to allow them the freedom of choice (of religion, not to make Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons etc out of them) means playing with fire, then ‘playing with fire’ is democracy.
    __________
    That is third world democracy. –Din Merican

  19. Is it legally possible to avoid the race issue, by inserting “Other” in the NRIC form, Bean?

    C.L. Familiaris – February 8, 2011 at 10:45 pm
    —————————————————–

    If you guys are serious about wanting to do away with race and racism, then all government documents requiring us to fill up blanks after words like ‘race’ and ‘religion’ must be made irrelevant and removed. Nobody should be asked what their race is and what their religion is — except in hospitals and when taking a flight as it involes dietary issues.

    It is only common sense. Yet no opposition politicians while uncompromising on the issues of race and religion have ever suggested that.

  20. By remaining silent on the issue of religious freedom of some 60% of the population, the political opposition is playing with the race card. It is afraid to lose its Malay base.

  21. There are only three occassions when I have been asked what my religion is. First, when filling out census forms (once every five years), secondly at the hospital when I am being processed for in-patient treatment and they need to know my dietary preferences and thirdly, when I am taking a flight.

  22. Yes. We should do away with the “race” column in all NRICs. Passports already done.
    Religion, still a problem though.

    So it is essentially a constitutional thing; and woe betide any legislator who even dares to suggest a change in the definition of “Malay”.
    We can’t even get past the “bumiputra” term – not that the “Malays were the autochthonous ‘ (original inhabitants) race.
    Not even a third rate democracy – just an imitation of one.
    Perhaps, we should blame the British colonial masters of yore. That wouldn’t change things though.

  23. Bean, the ‘problem’ is for the ‘Malays’ to solve – by themselves. Being Feudal, Fatalistic and Conservative as they are, it would be nigh impossible to to change their status within the next few generations – by which time our bones would have turned into dust.

    Fret not, the Kingdom (Sky or otherwise) has been attempted. And God willing, there will always be martyrs. Let’s concentrate on opening up the beleaguered eyes of the ignorants of what democracy should mean. The eyes that do not see and the ears that do not hear need some respite.

  24. So it is essentially a constitutional thing; and woe betide any legislator who even dares to suggest a change in the definition of “Malay”.

    — C.L. Familiaris
    ———————————-

    No.

    Article 11 guarantees freedom of religion to “every person” : 11(1).

    Art. 11(4) merely allows state law to “control” and “restrict” the proselytization of those professing the Muslim religion.

    Article 160(2) is merely on “interpretation” of terms and should not be read in an inconsistent manner with Article 11 (1) so as to give a different interpretation.

  25. When the issue of interpretation came to the Federal Court in 2004 our federal justices succumbed to the classical ‘kecut teloq’ syndrome that has plagued all UMNO administrations and refused to take on the issue and kicked the ball to the Syariah Court.

    It would be the same story under Pakatan.

  26. Emancipation is sometimes the road to perdition.
    Forgive my generalizations but this is how it is:

    If the average Malay see’s all other sects of Islam besides theirs as heresies, what chance is there of going further?
    It is not just the teloq basi/kecut syndrome, it is much more than that. They have been indoctrinated to reject, forcefully or even violently, all other ideologies, philosophies and religions that threaten the concept of “Melayu”, whatever that is. That is my tentative definition of “Malay”, both anthropologically and ethnically. Genetically, they are diverse as the Jews. But they are much more rabid, at least the Jews allow for different sects, including the Messianic Christians. Remember, i too have relatives who were classified as Malays even though they yearned to be “other”.

    The religious pluralism that Din sees in Sabah and Sarawak, is impossible in the Peninsula. And the worst thing is that the Malays think that the Borneans are slightly soft in the head!

  27. There is only ONE God and that is the God of Abraham.- Mr Bean

    To be precise, There is the tribal god called Yahweh and that is the god of the Jews.

    Any other versions of the above statement are spins.

  28. …. and the Muslim god called Allah is just another name for the Jewish tribal god Yahweh.

    If you don’t believe, take the Torah and the Koran side by side and read them. The Koran came a couple of thousand years later from the Torah and a about 500 years than the Christian New Testament.

    Myths built and expanded around the Jewish tribal god from one to the other by the desert people and accepted blindly by 21st century city living people as facts and truths.

  29. “Myths built and expanded around the Jewish tribal god from one to the other by the desert people and accepted blindly by 21st century city living people as facts and truths.”

    Yup. And they added significantly to the already vast amount of prohibitions represented by the 613 mitzvots already found in Deuteronomy. The flesh might be circumcised, but the heart – never!

    Just read about the insane rioting and burning of churches and killing of Ahmadis in “pluralistic” central Java. Tribal and cultish. Who said that ‘enlightenment’ was for the masses?

  30. Just read about the insane rioting and burning of churches and killing of Ahmadis in “pluralistic” central Java.-C.L. Familiaris

    The extinction of mankind will not be because of nuclear weapons provided by Science, it will be because of Religion.

    Science simply makes it easier and faster for Religion to wipe mankind off the face of this planet.

  31. The more people quote those middle eastern desert myths from those texts from the Dark Ages, the more twisted the mind of modern man will be.

  32. Religion = God = Alah

    In reality or science, God = Universe

    Universe is abundance.

    Only those with real capability/core competency/hardworking are capable of utilizing the scientific knowledge to invent/innovate/ create abundant values by tapping into the Universe and enjoy the sustainable enrichment.

    Universe or God will give the abundance to those who deserved it and punish those who received it by corrupt/racist ways.

    Understand?

  33. Universe or God will give the abundance to those who deserved it and punish those who received it by corrupt/racist ways.-rightways

    I cannot imagine the universe gives a damn to one or several two-legged primates wandering on a little planet coloured blue.

    Or that, if there is a Friend in a Sky,that He/She/It would be hearing to each of the primate’s soul-full of pleadings and requests for favours and rewards every Friday and Sunday in little buildings scattered around the blue planet like little ant hills.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s