Kassim Ahmad: The Malay Art of Pleading

June 18, 2014

​​​Kassim Ahmad: The Malay Art of Pleading

by Din Merican in Hsinchu, Taiwan


I read with amusement of the things that are happening in Malaysia. It is almost in a state of confusion, with state agencies like MAIS and JAIS showing blatant disregard to the advice by the country’ top most government lawyer – Attorney-General Gani Patail. I think the A-G is right on this occasion. On the other hand, the disrespect shown to the A-G’s advice and office simply shows that government agencies themselves have no confidence in Gani Patail as A-G. Gani Patal is too tainted, too scandalous and has become a liability to the administration of Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak. Thus, the honorable thing for Gani Patail to do is to step down ,or be sacked.

At the same time, I am following with great interest that Malay public intellectual- scholar Kassim Ahmad hasRosli-Dahlan brought his fight right to the feet of PM Najib Razak, Chief Minister Kedah, Mukhriz Mahathir and JAWI Minister Brig-Gen Dat Seri Jamil Khir Baharom. Kassim is clearly sending a signal to Brig- Gen Jamil Khir that he is not afraid of the tactics of intimidation by JAWI.

What is more interesting is that Kassim is doing it in the most polite Malay way. Kassim instructed his lawyers to send an appeal letter to the PM. I have just read the Malay letter. It is a masterpiece. Without disrespect to Kassim’s lawyer, I think Kassim must have authored the letter himself. Let us not forget that Kassim is a Malay scholar and literary figure.

Kassim was also formerly the President of Partai Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia which means he understands the concept of federalism and some aspects of the law. Thus, JAWI has just awoken a sleeping lion. Kassim may be an old man of 81 years, but this is an old man with a fighting spirit. This is an old man well versed in the Malay art of pencak silat.

Now read the letter:


Read :here and HERE for articles on the Kassim Ahmad story by http://www.freemalaysia.com

7 thoughts on “Kassim Ahmad: The Malay Art of Pleading

  1. Yes, i agree it is a masterpiece couched in language that only the refined and sensitive would appreciate.
    But the swine at which these pearls are cast are beyond understanding the value of such language and will treat it as begging or worse as a sign of weakness.

    They are used to doing things not because they are the right things to do but because they can.
    In their misguided puerile minds, that they are in power is evidence enough that they are right and endowed with the authority to protect the religion whatever they deem that means.

    Ijust fear that pleas such as Kassim’s will only embolden these clowns and more shocking actions on their part can be expected.

  2. Interesting to focus on paragraph 8.5 of the letter by the OKT & his lawyers to the PM & others, whereby they seem to make a promise not to publicize this matter but yet we have it here in this blog. Any question of good faith?

  3. If one is to put Kassim Ahmad and Razaleigh Hamzah side-by-side by virtue of both being esteemed politicians of the same age-group and presumably, wisdom, I’d say Kassim put Razaleigh to great shame. While Kassim does not have the royalty aura and profile of Razaleigh, his conviction to what Malaysia stands for, his stand about what is right for his race and religion … these are not what Razaleigh will even think about giving up his comfortable lifestyle for.

    What a contrast!

  4. Art-of-Malay-Pleading?

    Really? Refined Verbiage will be Lost in Translation!
    What’s the use of excellent language and pleas, when mercy and forgiveness becomes the dysfunctional and Literal Interpretation of Holy Scripture – tainted by hard-headed, ineducable, unenlightened tribal hubris? Where Power must be Projected by Force and Amputations?

    Remember Hang Jebat? That poor mythical sod who demanded justice for his friend – but only got slaughtered with the sharp end of Taming Sari by this same friend – who bowed down to his god who was enthroned on Earth, but not in Heaven? Feudalism and Tribal allegiance that trumps ant form of “Liberty, Fraternity and Justice” – the rallying cry of Enlightenment?

    So Pray tell me about the use of polite Prose, in the face of back-stabbing, cowardly belakang mati antics and hoary, self imposed, prideful sense of Righteousness?

    Politeness can never transcend the feeling of Omnipotence. So much for ‘Malayness’.

  5. Yes, CLF, pleas in whatever language won’t work in malaise Land, which is infested with recalcitrants, bigots, pests and peas in our leadership structure. Najib, Mukhriz and Jamil Khir will not move a finger to help, especially when it comes to Islam and related issues. They rather play safe than be sorry since the UMNO General Assembly will be in December this year,

    Furthermore, these characters have no idea about what is right, wrong, or just. Only politics matter to them. That said, the soft approach—pencek silat– has good PR value for Pak Kassim in the court of public (read Malay-Muslim)opinion. I think Rosli Dahlan and his client Pak Kassim know that in the end they will have to deal with JAWI in the Shariah Court. –Din Merican

  6. Look Dato, that ignoramus Minister in charge of Islam in the cabinet, must be re-circumcised – and put out to pasture for good to recuperate. He’s not only shooting his own foot, but wildly spraying his turd missiles. The Domestic Trade, Tourism, Health, Education and Home Flunkies are really out of touch. MITI needs rejuvenation, as does EPU and Finance.

    I think the Blimp-FLOM really has to reassemble the cabinet – err.. with whatever dregs and spare-parts they have available. A game of Musical chairs is in the offing, and there should be quite a few left without seats. Problem, apparently, is how to shoehorn those Teras hard-heads.

    Now, why am i – a die hard anti-establishment dog, barking needlessly?

    Btw, Enjoy yourself in Taiwan – that’s the place to visit, if you really want to see what China should be. Only UMNOb flakes prefer horrid PRC..

  7. The letter is too convoluted and badly drafted. The lawyer made a grave mistake by not marking the letter as “without prejudice”. JAWI is entitled to exhibit this letter in Court and call the lawyer, making him disqualified to represent Kassim Ahmad. Very very bad move.

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