Of Donations, Islam and The Real Malays

April 6, 2016

Of Donations, Islam and The Real Malays

by Cmdr S Thayaparan


The oppressors do not favour promoting the community as a whole, but rather selected leaders.” – Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

It is never a good sign here in Malaysia or anywhere else in the world, when rival Islamist parties agree with each other. PAS and Amanah finding common ground against UMNO is like two siblings agreeing that their parents have been unfair to them.

PAS Vice-President Iskandar Abdul Samad in a statement that was revealing of the UMNO strategy but at the same time an unintentional condemnation of Islam, questioned the efficacy of the use of dubious funds in the eradication of Muslim poverty, here in Malaysia.

Would it have been acceptable to PAS if the so-called gift from The House of Saud was used to “uplift” Muslims here in Malaysia?

Of course, PAS splinter group Amanah is equally myopic in its version of how Islam is practiced in Malaysia.

When pundits throw around the term “Arabisation”, most Muslims or at least those Muslims who favour the kind of politics advanced by PAS, UMNO and Amanah would find no problem with such a description.

Only in Malaysia could PAS and Amanah bemoan the fact that illicit funding was not used to help the cause of their brethren and still go on about how we are all “Malaysians” or some such variants.

PAS and Amanah (Kadir Sheikh Fadzir) laughable

The Political Ulama and The Confused Mamak

Many others, and I have argued that despite the so-called special privileges Malay politicians vociferously defend, Muslims form an underclass that supports a system that cuts them of from the mainstream of Malaysian society – a mainstream defined by an urban class and contextualized by UMNO and opposition politics, which favours a specific class.

Islam, as UMNO, PAS, Amanah and every Malay politician knows very well, is used to form political and social control meant to sustain “Malay” hegemony in a fast changing Malay polity.

PAS and Amanah attempting to gain political mileage from presenting an “Islamic face” to this corruption scandal is laughable and indicative of the kind of intellectual and spiritual legerdemain that Islamist tend to use to drum up support.

It also reeks of the kind of racial politics that plagues this country but unfortunately sustains Malay political power structures. After all only in Malaysia, is a “Malay” automatically a “Muslim”.

Hence the underlying dissatisfaction expressed by these defenders of the faith is the problem that there is no evidence that illicit funding had improved the lot of the Malays in this country.

Moreover, let us face the reality that the urban Malay middle class was created by the former Malaysian Prime Minister, who is now hell bent on taking down, the current Prime Minister, who used the system the former created, to further entrench a system of patronage.

If there is no evidence that the fortunes of Muslims have improved with the House of Saud gift or the long UMNO watch for that matter, what evidence is there that Muslims fare any better under a “pure” Islamic system of governance that PAS has in Kelantan or has been advocating all these years?

Muslim utopia?

As recently as 2013, a UNICEF surveyed showed Sabah and Kelantan recorded the highest number of children living in poverty and undernourishment. The survey also found of the dire need for doctors in Kelantan.

Furthermore, Kelantan and Labuan also recorded the highest numbers in child mortality rate. The report stated: “The risk of a new-born child in Kelantan to die before reaching the age of five years old is twice higher than the risk of a newborn in Kuala Lumpur.The risk of a Malay new-born to die before reaching the age of one year old is twice as high as the risk of a Chinese new-born,”

In addition, let us not forget that Kelantan under PAS has always recorded the highest rape cases.

Amongst the numerous social problems it faces, is a high drug use amongst youths, high unemployment rate, women discouraged from entering the civil service, high percentage of female HIV cases and to my mind the worst problem of all, a state government who attempt to impose hudud, with the justification that it would solve all these problems.

I would argue that UMNO has done more for Muslims in this country by doing nothing for them or at least chaining them to a feudal system of governance, than PAS who through Islam has done everything in its power to envision a Muslim utopia.

No sense of logic

Meanwhile “spiritual advisor” to Amanah, Ahmad Awang – what does a spiritual advisor actually do – said that things have gotten worse for Muslims. He comes to this conclusion with:

1. “[…] none of the Islamic movements was given government aid.”

So let me get this straight. Federal and state governments have at their disposal various instruments that supposedly offer aid to Malaysians based on their race and religion.

Millions of ringgit have been used [or so we are told] to help Muslims in this country. Then why is there a need for Islamic movements? The answer is simple of course. All these so-called Islamic movements and charities are part of a cottage industry that have blossomed under the long UMNO watch.

These so-called movements are there to sustain a system of governance and to profit its members and superficially to alleviate the plight of the Malay underclass.

2. “Even if Najib has an NGO (that he aided), it would be the ‘wasatiyyah’ (moderate) ones…”In other words, the so-called spiritual advisor to a supposedly moderate Islamic party is bemoaning the fact, that illicit funds could have benefited “moderate” Muslim movements.

Does anyone else see the absurdity of this, or has the recent Citizens Declaration finally drained any sense of logic and rationality from the Malaysian political ecosphere?

Apparently, not only Malaysian taxi drivers are living under a system of modern day slavery.

Recently Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar said this:

“If there are some of you who wish to be an Arab and practice Arab culture, and do not wish to follow our Malay customs and traditions, that is up to you,” he said, adding: “I also welcome you to live in Saudi Arabia. That is your right but I believe there are Malays who are proud of the Malay culture.”

My wish was that monies from that supposed gift from the House of Saud, should have been used to help those Muslims who want to be like the “Arabs” to migrate Saudi Arabia.In this way, the real Malays would have an easier time integrating with the rest of us Malaysians.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

6 thoughts on “Of Donations, Islam and The Real Malays

  1. //Muslims who want to be like the “Arabs” to migrate Saudi Arabia
    did the Cmdr actually said something like balik holy land for the Wahhabis amongst us? 😅

  2. Can someone define what is a Malay? And of course the culture that he or she is following?
    Aceh is under hudud law. Please visit that province and see for yourself how the 98% Acinese live under hudud law.
    How l wish drugs come under hudud instead of placingu under police law.

  3. Quote:- “My wish was that monies from that supposed gift from the House of Saud, should have been used to help those Muslims who want to be like the “Arabs” to migrate Saudi Arabia”


    Even desperate, starving refugees don’t want to migrate to Saudi Arabia which have shown to the World through their no strings attached, absolutely do as you please, hundreds of millions of US $$$ donations to a relatively unknown PM of a small Muslim country thousands of miles away from the Middle East how unbelievably generous the Saudis can be.

    These refugees must be damn stupid.

  4. I thought Amanah is headed by Mat Sabu. Since when did Abang Kadiaq joined Amanah?
    The Malay politicians are in a state of confusion, torn between their Malayness and dream of ruling a multi racial country. They have difficulties in trying to appear fair and just to the other races and yet upholding their Ketuanan Melayu appearances to appease the Malay votes. They talk different things at UMNOb meetings and at BN meetings. Same goes for PKR.

  5. UMNO is very proud of their Islamisation policy. For years telling Western partners that “they know how to handle these things” compare to Western failures in the Middle East. But truth is Malaysia policy is just a version of Saudi Arabia’ s – one it can afford because it has less oil. It’s political narcoticism – the violence just postphoned or swept under the carpet or into someone elses backyard.

    The Malays do not really.mind being Arabs so demonization of Arabisation will not stop it. In the end, our fate lies in Western powers ability to resolve and successful Middle East policy – that is scary.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.