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 has 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: