In the age of terror, we don’t need inciteful preachers


March19, 2019

In the age of terror, we don’t need inciteful preachers

Opinion  | By Dr. Azly Rahman

COMMENT | ‘Minister meets ‘inspirational‘ Zakir Naik,’ read a news headline. This is a very disappointing message considering that when Mujahid Yusof Rawa became de facto Islamic affairs Minister, he announced that Zakir’s way of preaching was not suitable for our multicultural society.

Why a different message all of a sudden? I am also troubled by the news that we’re bringing Malaysian Islamic State fighters back home. What are we getting into?

Alas, is our minister in charge of religion so shallow in knowledge he needs the urgent help of a TV evangelist who is wanted in his own country? How does this go well with what the national unity minister wants, as well as what the education minister would craft for our philosophy of education or social reconstruction and a new Malaysian patriotism?

Have we not enough confidence in our own understanding of how to explain the beauty of Islam in a multicultural society? A religion that can co-exist peacefully with other beautiful religions and philosophies? Preach for peace or don’t preach at all. Or do we really need preachers of this kind, such as Zakir Naik?

Years of studying (and later teaching) Chinese, Indian, Western, and Islamic philosophies have taught me to appreciate diverse traditions and never to belittle any of these “truths”. We cannot know the Ultimate Truth, only “perspectives” useful in our lifetime. And these truths come in a variety of languages and concepts. We just need to train our mind and soul to be worldwise.

All Muslims are not necessarily brothers. I am not a brother to those who support the Islamic State, nor to those who preach hate, half-truths, and profit from these. Calling “brother” can be a first step in dominating and colonising your minds.

Islam does not need to be “defended” nor other religions need to be “attacked” in order for one to profit from religious speeches. Confrontational politics has done enough damage to Malaysians. We need more goodwill dialogue in an age of continuing terror.

I am surprised some Malaysian government leaders do not have the good sense to judge what is “inspirational” and what is “inciteful” about the Mumbai speaker, whose modus operandi is to prove other truths wrong by employing half-baked analysis.

Besides, the grand show of converting people to Islam on stage cheapens the religion – reminiscent of Christian preachers who play with rattle snakes or orchestrate a session of “speaking in tongues”. Any religion should not be trivialised as such. Each religion must encourage more deep learning and less marketing in order to teach people to behave in this world.

Inspirational? Or inciteful?

In the United States, I have taught Comparative Religions, Philosophy of Religion, Islamic Scriptures in translation, and related courses, but find the confrontational style of “fiery and steamy and hot peppery” preachers and dakwah-rists too vile and too repulsive for Malaysians.

Preachings that divide and create animosities should not be allowed as long as Malaysia is still struggling to contain race-religious hatred.

Malaysia, as a lovely cultural location of religious harmony, does not need any preacher to bring his/her ideology and conflict here.

We cannot call a preacher “inspirational” when the work done is divisive – creating animosity among a variety of believers. Isn’t Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, inspirational? TV evangelists and those doing “dakwah-for-huge-profits” prey upon the vulnerability of those who do not read widely, especially about comparative religions and philosophies. We need to educate the public. Malaysia is not a Taliban state of the lesser-educated.

Again, as one who has taught Public Speaking for many years and studied speakers and analysed their speeches, I find a high level of toxicity in the style of speaking of TV-evangelists such as Zakir Naik.

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Malaysia’s Chief Clown

In the case of our leaders and Pakatan Harapan government’s fascination for radical and repulsive religious preachers and the plan to bring back ex-IS supporters and fighters, we must have social media activists demanding the next urgent regime change – a government strong enough not to tolerate any nonsense that compromises national unity and national security.

Religious discussion should be dialogical, not confrontational. Each religion has flaws. A good public speaker does not intimidate/shout at members of the audience. Especially if he has a microphone and the stage. A good preacher doesn’t ask if you’re Muslim or non-Muslim before answering questions.

Zakir Naik came from a hostile environment of an ongoing conflict between Hindus and Muslims in India. Perhaps he is used to preaching with hostility – which is not suitable for intelligent Malaysian audience.

Maybe I should go around the country preaching how NOT to preach against other religions? Will I get an island too?

Why the special treatment?

Yes, what a special treatment: first, they gave him an island. Then permanent resident status. Then they hug him tight like lovers. Then we allow him to go public in finding flaws in and belittling other religions. This is how we show our love to a preacher who is wanted in his own country. Preaching is not about proving one religion is better than others.

What is so inspirational about a preacher who lambasts other religions? The Malaysian government seems to be taking it easy on matters of national security. And harbouring radical preachers!

Then there is the news that we plan to give only one month of rehabilitation time for returning Islamic State fighters and support staff, people who had pledged allegiance to another state – the terrifying Islamic State.

How many years did it take to radicalise them through those Taliban schools? Already, Malaysian schools are fertile grounds for radicalism. Why hold the seeds of destruction in your hands? You bring in former IS fighters and you might open up a new recruitment centre. Beware. It’s a business. Recruiters get paid. We are treading on dangerous national security grounds, Malaysia. Don’t we know that IS is moving into Southeast Asia? And our solution is a gentle reminder and rehabilitation?

Malaysian politicians must realise that the internet can bring about a change of any government, and bring down any politician. It is our post-modern Frankenstein, the voice of the masses. It’s not easy to mediate freedom of speech on the internet.

In the case of our leaders and Pakatan Harapan government’s fascination for radical and repulsive religious preachers and the plan to bring back ex-IS supporters and fighters, we must have social media activists demanding the next urgent regime change – a government strong enough not to tolerate any nonsense that compromises national unity and national security.

Our prayers go to those who perished in the attack on the two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. We have a lot to work for peace. Though we cannot stop terrorist acts, we can at least detain or deport those who inspire others to hate other religions.


AZLY RAHMAN is an educator, academic, international columnist, and author of seven books available here. He grew up in Johor Bahru and holds a doctorate in international education development and Master’s degrees in six areas: education, international affairs, peace studies communication, fiction and non-fiction writing. He is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honour Society in Education. Twitter @azlyrahman. More writings here.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

Forever pendatang, forever dhimmi, forever grateful


Forever pendatang, forever dhimmi, forever grateful

 

 

multiracial-malaysia

None of us can change the past; we can only try to make the most of our diversity and endeavour to forge a better future. And that journey can only truly begin when we confront the Ketuanan Melayu ideology and expose it for what it is – a sinister and contemptible racist creed that has no place in a multicultural constitutional democracy like ours.”-–Dennis Ignatius

Over the past few weeks, as the competition between Pakatan Harapan and the UMNO-PAS alliance for the Malay vote has heated up, we’ve been given stark reminders of how the UMNO-PAS leadership views non-Malays and what we can expect should the Ketuanan Melayu ideology they espouse dominate Malaysian politics.

Their view of non-Malays, put simply, is forever pendatang, forever dhimmi and forever grateful.

Pendatang forever

The concept of the non-Malay as pendatang (or “penumpang”, a similar term that acting UMNO president Mohamad Hasan recently used to describe non-Malays), is of course, intrinsic to the Ketuanan Melayu ideology and is central to the thinking of UMNO and PAS leaders.

Whether pendatang or penumpang, the idea is the same: non-Malays are interlopers, without commitment or loyalty to the nation and, therefore, undeserving of equal treatment or constitutional protection. It is intended to strip them of their very identity as Malaysians and suggests that they have no inherent right to be here.

In their view, non-Malays, no matter how long they have lived here, are pendatangs and penumpangs and will always remain so. Others – Muslims from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Middle East – can migrate to Malaysia and quickly become proud Malays but Malaysian-born non-Malays are doomed to remain pendatangs and penumpangs in perpetuity unless they convert.

Dhimmi forever

This racial division is further reinforced by a religious worldview that segregates Malaysians according to their faith into Muslim and dhimmi. In historical Islam, the ‘dhimmi’ were conquered people who had submitted to Islamic rule. They had few rights, had to pay a special tax and be forever subservient to Muslim authority in exchange for protection. Some Islamic scholars have also argued that dhimmis are automatically excluded from all participation in the political process.

No surprise then that men like Hadi Awang are constantly complaining that there are too many non-Muslims in parliament or that key positions like the chief justice and attorney-general are held by non-Muslims. In their twisted theocratic version of Malaysia, non-Malays, as dhimmis, have no business being in parliament or holding important positions.

The religious establishment is, of course, largely supportive of this religious division; in recent discussions on the issue, the muftis of Pahang and Perak, for example, insisted that there was nothing wrong in viewing non-Muslims as dhimmis.

Forever grateful

And for this privilege – the privilege of being pendatang and dhimmi forever, non-Malays are expected to remain forever grateful. As Hadi Awang likes to constantly remind us all, “Other races should appreciate [that] Muslims… accepted them as citizens and allowed them to practise their religion and use their language.”

Citizenship is no longer viewed by Ketuanan Melayu ideologues as part of the Merdeka agreement between all Malaysia’s ethnic communities but as an act of unilateral generosity for which eternal gratitude must be given. For Hadi, such gratitude must be manifested by perpetual submission, docility, and servility especially involving anything PAS says or does. To do otherwise is to be ungrateful and unmindful of Malay sensitivities.

An existential threat

Of course, UMNO and PAS leaders insist that all this does not amount to discrimination against non-Malays. Mohamad Hasan, for example, insisted that he was not trying to sideline non-Malays, that he wanted every community to “feel comfortable” while PAS vice-president Iskandar Abdul Samad reiterated that PAS-UMNO cooperation would not give rise to an extremist government.

It is a sign of how delusional, irrational, even duplicitous UMNO and PAS have become to expect non-Malays to be comfortable with such a racist system or that non-Malays will see such policies as anything but extremist.

As well, dividing the nation into Muslims and dhimmis might be acceptable in a theocratic Islamic state like Saudi Arabia but it can never be acceptable in a secular democratic state like Malaysia. Far from bestowing a divine right to rule on anyone, the Federal Constitution bestows upon all citizens – Muslim and non-Muslim – certain inalienable rights, rights that may not be unilaterally abrogated by muftis or anyone else.

It goes without saying that the Ketuanan Melayu vision of Malaysia is at variance with the Federal Constitution. It threatens to strip non-Malays of their constitutional rights, privileges and protections. Clearly, it is not the Malays and the position of Islam that are under threat; it is the non-Malays who now face an existential threat from the Ketuanan Melayu ideologues and their followers.

Given this situation, it is hard to fathom how the MCA and MIC can continue to remain unperturbed by UMNO-PAS cooperation or how they can continue to work with the very groups that are out to disenfranchise the minority communities they claim to represent. Are they so devoid of principle that they would minimize the very real dangers that the Ketuanan Melayu ideology of UMNO and PAS now poses to non-Malays just for the sake of a few crumbs from UMNO’s table?

Confronting Ketuanan Melayu

The Federal Constitution indisputably acknowledges Islam as the official religion of the Federation and confers special rights on the Malays but that can never be used to justify an ethno-religious apartheid state or legitimize a system of discrimination against any citizen. Like it or not, Malaysia is by constitutional mandate a secular democracy that makes no distinction between Muslim and dhimmi or Malay and pendatang. And, like it or not, we are all Malaysia’s sons and daughters.

None of us can change the past; we can only try to make the most of our diversity and endeavour to forge a better future. And that journey can only truly begin when we confront the Ketuanan Melayu ideology and expose it for what it is – a sinister and contemptible racist creed that has no place in a multicultural constitutional democracy like ours.

[Dennis Ignatius | Kuala Lumpur | 13th March 2019]

 

 

 

 

A Message to a 93-year Politician: Time to Grow Up


March 12, 2019

A Message to a 93-year old Politician: Time to Grow Up

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We, speaking up for what we believe to represent the majority of peace loving and responsible Malaysians, condemn the unhealthy trend of irresponsible individuals and political parties in capitalising on the issue of ‘insult to religion’ to gain popularity among voters.

Such callous actions by these individuals and groups, bordering on rabble rousing, will put the country in a heightened state of uneasiness and fear. The government of the day seems unwilling or unable to respond to these acts of opportunism by irresponsible parties for their own selfish ends.

The background relating to the issue of ‘insult to religion’ lies in our colonial and recent past which saw limited education and the mixing of cultures between the different communities. Hence the past need for restrictive laws to preserve public order.

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However, after 60 years as a nation state making its way towards modernity and the matured liberal, scientific and progressive future envisaged in Vision 2020, it is high time to revisit and revise these laws.

On May 9th, citizens of Malaysia voted out a failing government and ushered in what we hoped would be a new era of mature political discourse and freedom of expression. As with any new manifestation of political culture, there will be teething problems. These problems need to be analyzed and objectively dealt with in the way which developed and mature societies would handle them.

In our country, institutions of religions have been set up to administer each religion with Islam acknowledged in a special situation in the constitutional sphere. Article 3(1) states that, “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.”

What this means is that insulting Islam is unacceptable in respect of the current laws. Similarly, other religions in the country – even if not enjoying the status of Islam – need to be equally respected.

Striking a Balance In Laws Pertaining to Insulting Religion

In the application of laws prohibiting insulting religion, we must strive for a rational and liberal balance with the protection of the freedom of expression while being mindful of the religious sensitivities of our multi-religious communities. Hence open mindedness and moderation should be the norm in the interpretation and application of the existing laws.

The following are some examples which the holders of state power should not automatically or as a reflex action seek prosecution and punishment just because some individuals or groups label them as constituting religious insult or disrespect:

1. The production or reproduction of religion-related literature and art by Malaysians should be permitted and protected under the law so long as the author is not engaged in what is clearly an act of religious hate crime.

2. Opinions on social issues such as child marriages, female circumcision or other similar subjects are perfectly defensible and permissible as they bear no intention of insult. On the contrary, they provide a contemporary understanding of what are traditionally accepted norms and practices sanctioned by religious authority. The sharing of knowledge on such issues with social and religious institutions and authorities should be encouraged rather than be penalized by the law.

3. Professional opinions on technological, planning design and environmental issues concerning religious buildings or religious actions and rituals should be welcomed as they will help create more sustainable forms and structures that would benefit all members of society.

4. Discourses on spirituality, different forms of religious belief and even agnosticism and atheism should be permitted. Such exchanges of theological and non-theological constructs will enable the nation to grow spiritually as well as be part of the growing universality that is replacing narrow religious, cultural and social constructs.

Protection of the above and other similar expression of thoughts, ideas and constructs are absolutely necessary for Malaysia to grow to become that  “psychologically liberated, secure and developed nation” as envisaged in Vision 2020.

Key Role of National Unity Consultative Council

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Together with the above, in view of the recent national and international attention and publicity  given to the ten year sentence levelled on a recent offender accused of insulting Islam on social media, we call for an urgent phasing out of the laws related to ‘insult to religion’ by instituting the following replacement:

Firstly, such cases construed as ‘insult to religion’ should not be the sole judgement of a single judge for fear of ethnic and religious bias. Such decision should be referred to the National Unity Consultative Council under the purview of the Ministry of National Unity. The NUCC should  comprise noted personalities in societies with representatives of officials from the various religious groups.

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Secondly, for the period before the laws of ‘insult to religion’ are to be phased out, punishment should not go beyond a commensurate fine within the financial status of the person being charged.

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Thirdly, once the laws have been phased out, acts pertaining to so-called ‘insult to religion’ should be referred to the NUCC for action. Such action can include collaboration with the respective religious institutions or authorities to ensure that there are no adverse ripple effects from the alleged insult or disrespect; and counselling of the individuals or groups engaging in such action or activities.

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Fourthly, religious leaders in their sermons must regularly advise congregants and members of the faith against insulting others.

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We remind our fellow citizens that the resort to law to criminalise opinions and views on religion is a double-edged sword. Let us put that sword away so we do not end as a cut up and impaired nation.

Tajuddin Rasdi

Tawfik Ismail

Siti Kasim

Lim Teck Ghee

Terence Gomez

Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Hegemony) and the End of Malaysia Baru


March 7,2019

Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Hegemony) and the End of Malaysia Baru

by Emeritus Amb. Dennis Ignatius

Nazri Aziz’s appalling comments in Semenyih are yet another stark reminder that we are a nation deeply divided by race and religion. And we grow further and further apart with each passing day thanks to the efforts of people like Nazri who are constantly stirring the pot of bigotry’s bitter brew.

Unfortunately for us, national unity suffers from a lack of credible champions – great leaders who truly believe in the motto etched on our coat of arms that unity is strength (Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu), that it is worth fighting for. Where are the Onn Jaafars willing to stand up for national unity and do battle for it? Has the Ketuanan Melayu ideology so infected the Malay ruling elite than none are willing to fight for national unity?

And where, too, is the counter-narrative to the Ketuanan Melayu ideology? How is it that despite all the angst about the lack of unity, despite all the great speeches about its importance, we have not been able to structure a compelling political, ideological and religious response to the extreme ethno-religious nationalism of UMNO and PAS?

Of course, we have a minister in charge of national unity but does anyone really believe that Waytha Moorthy is going to actually be able to do anything significant to bridge the racial and religious divide? Let’s face it, he is in Cabinet simply as a sop to the Indian community, nothing more; and nothing much is expected of him.

Given that national unity is one of our biggest national challenges, one which impinges on almost everything else, shouldn’t the national unity portfolio be taken by no less than the prime minister himself, or, at the very least, one of the more senior Pakatan Harapan (PH) ministers?

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Dr. Mahathir wants to be remembered as Father of Malay UMNO Unity.

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad once excited our imagination with his Bangsa Malaysia vision ( 1986) but since coming to office he has done little to advance it. Sadly, it just doesn’t seem to be a priority with him or anyone else for that matter. National unity is the orphan child that nobody wants to claim.

Mass indoctrination

Like it or not, this is not an issue that is going to get better on its own or autocorrect itself; it’s only going to get worse. Indeed, the continued mass indoctrination of students (at all levels of the education system), government servants, police and armed forces personnel with the Ketuanan Melayu ideology makes this inevitable.

Add to that the vast, self-perpetuating, well-funded and well-motivated religious bureaucracy intent on pushing the same ideology under the cloak of religion and it quickly becomes evident that we are already well on the way to becoming an ethno-religious welfare state, the ultimate Ketuanan Melayu dream.

It is, admittedly, difficult to determine how pervasive the Ketuanan Melayu culture is or what the silent majority (if there’s really one) actually thinks about it, but to the extent that they allow the racists and the bigots to usurp their voice without protest, it is perhaps a moot question.

Reinforcing the threat

Malaysia’s minorities have particular reason to be concerned. The Ketuanan Melayu ideology is premised upon the notion that the Malays as a community face an existential threat – from non-Malays – and must unite to defend “bangsa, agama dan negara” or lose it.

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In order to be effective, the threat narrative must be constantly reinforced with new and even bigger revelations of plots and schemes against the Malays and Islam. Suspicion and mistrust must continuously be fuelled at every turn. Every incident must be exploited to reinforce the threat perception. And the lies, half-truths and innuendos must be repeated often enough so that people will believe it. It’s what the Nazis did; it worked for them.

Expect, therefore, as the political contest between UMNO-PAS and PH heats up, yet more outlandish accusations, rumours and insinuations.

Reaching a tipping point?

After the Cameron Highlands and Semenyih by-elections, will PH’s Malay leadership work harder to develop a compelling alternative narrative to counter the racist arguments of UMNO-PAS or will they be tempted to take the easy way out and play the race card themselves? Will they go all out to convince the Malays that the reform agenda benefits them more than any other community or will they abandon it for the sake of political expediency?

Whatever it is, Malaysia is quickly reaching an important tipping point: if no credible Malay leader arises to champion national unity and unite our nation around a common national ideology to counter the Ketuanan Melayu narrative, we may well reach a point of no return, a point where the racial and religious divide becomes irrevocable and irreversible. It will be the end of the great experiment in democratic multiculturalism upon which our nation was premised.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

Why Bersatu/Harapan lost Semenyih


March 6, 2019

Why Bersatu/Harapan lost Semenyih

Opinion  |  P Gunasegaram

 

QUESTION TIME | To examine the reasons for Bersatu/Harapan’s loss in Semenyih, let’s first look at by how much Bersatu lost the Semenyih state seat in the by-election – this is a clear loss because Bersatu held this seat previously. Then it would be easier to look at the reasons that could have contributed to the loss.

There is one vital change from GE14 last May 9 – PAS competed against UMNO as well then, but this time only UMNO stood against Bersatu. PAS instructed its supporters to vote for Umno. The table below compares like with like – by combining Umno and PAS votes in GE14.

As Harapan should have realised by now, UMNO and PAS together are a formidable pair which will, between them, easily obtain more than 50 percent of the Malay votes most of the time. For 2018 (GE14), when we include PAS together with UMNO, the margin of victory for Bersatu/Harapan was rather slim.

The majority in 2018 was 1,988 votes (4.3 percent of total votes cast) in favour of Bersatu. It would have only required a swing of around 2 percent of votes to UMNOo for there to be a change in the results.

That’s exactly what happened. UMNO won with a majority of 1,914 (4.1 percent) in the recent by-election. A vote wing of just 2 percent to UMNO was enough to win the election (50.4 percent of total votes this time, minus 46.4 percent previously divided by two, because what UMNO gains someone else loses).

 

That’s really tiny in the overall scheme of things, just two people out of a hundred switching to UMNO-PAS made a huge difference in this case. This reinforces what happened in Cameron Highlands recently, which shows that UMNO-PAS is a formidable new force to contend with for Harapan, one that has the potential to overthrow Harapan in GE15, unless Harapan takes corrective measures now.

Another factor that stands out starkly is the sharp drop in turnout from 88% at GE14 to just 73 percent this time, a difference of 15 percentage points. This throws out the calculations quite a lot. How these absentee voters would have voted will make a lot of difference during the general elections when they will turn out to vote.

Also, considering that non-Malays may be somewhat indifferent to the latest by-election given Bersatu’s increasingly unfriendly stance towards them and its habit of accepting UMNO defectors, many non-Malay voters may have stayed away from voting, not bothering to return to cast their votes in favour of Bersatu. Thus, Harapan this time did not have the same benefit as the tremendous support shown for the coalition in the last GE by Chinese and Indian votes.

It is no secret that Harapan’s strategy in the last elections in mixed constituencies was to rely on solid support from Chinese and Indian voters, generally estimated to be 90 percent and 80 percent of the races respectively, and then depend on about 30-35 percent Malay support to deliver a majority.

 

 

If we take Semenyih, for instance, it is 68 percent Malay, 17 percent Chinese and 14 percent Indian. Some 90 percent of Chinese support delivers 15.3 percent, while 80 percent of Indian support delivers 11.2 percent, to give 26.5 percent of votes. That means just over 23.5 percent from the Malay vote will be enough to deliver the seat. The figure of 25.3 percent is 34.5 percent of the 68 percent Malays. Thus, with about 35 percent Malay support, it is possible for Harapan to win, even though 65 percent of the Malay support goes to UMNO-PAS.

This was the underlying factor for Harapan’s success in the last elections. It is a reflection of advocating policies which help all Malaysians and not just the Malays. If Bersatu chooses to be more pro-Malay than UMNO-PAS, then it faces the real danger of alienating non-Malays, and hence Harapan’s election chances in future.

In the Malay heartland states of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu, Bersatu did really badly in GE14. Those who abandoned UMNO turned to PAS, PKR and Amanah instead, but seemed to consider Bersatu an UMNO offshoot.

In the west coast, and in Johor Bersatu won some seats due to solid non-Malay support. Even so, they only won 13 seats out of 52 contested in Peninsular Malaysia for a win rate of just 25 percent vs 50 percent for Amanah, over 80 percent for PKR and over 90 percent for DAP in peninsular Malaysia.

The problem is Bersatu’s current stance has deviated considerably from the pre-election promise of justice and equity for all, help for all impoverished groups, and continuing Malay/bumiputera privileges to gain social equity. Instead, they are now engaging in rah-rah politics much like UMNO-PAS and taking an extreme position over both race and religion in accordance with the old Ketuanan Melayu or Malay dominance concept.

That does not cut it with the Harapan promise and therefore poses a major problem to the Harapan coalition, which may be split asunder if some form of sensible compromise is not forthcoming. It is difficult, if not impossible, for one party to be so far out of alignment with Harapan’s original aims.

As it stands, GE-15 promises to be a very close fight if UMNO and PAS remain aligned. The only way Harapan can increase its odds for a more clear-cut victory is to show that it can perform before the elections arrive, especially in terms of tangible benefits such as legal and electoral reforms, new ideas to revitalise the economy, raising incomes, improving education, reducing corruption and facilitating competitiveness.

Under the current circumstances, that’s a tall order. We will have to live with uncertainty for now. Out of entropy, we may eventually get a steady state and stability. But who knows?


 

P GUNASEGARAM likes this quote from Joshua Edward Smith in Entropy -“Keeping things stable takes energy”. E-mail: t.p.guna@gmail.com.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

Apakah yang akan berlaku jika hanya ada orang Melayu di Malaysia?


4hb. Februari, 2019

Apakah yang akan berlaku jika hanya ada orang Melayu di Malaysia?

ttps://www.freemalaysiatoday.com
 

 

 

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PETALING JAYA: Pergelutan yang berlaku dalam masyarakat Melayu di negara ini adalah konflik kelas yang melibatkan pertembungan kelas atasan dengan kelas bawahan kaum itu, kata bekas seorang ahli akademik.

Dr, Syed Husin Ali berkata, masyarakat Melayu tetap akan berhadapan dengan konflik itu meskipun negara ini hanya dihuni oleh kaum itu sahaja.

Jelasnya, jika situasi itu berlaku, pertembungan darjat antara orang Melayu kelas bawahan dengan orang Melayu kelas atasan akan berlaku.

“Masih akan ada golongan rakyat di bawah yang miskin dan susah, sementara tetap juga akan ada golongan Melayu kapitalis yang kaya-raya,” katanya kepada FMT.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika ditanya apakah bentuk konflik yang akan dihadapi oleh masyarakat Melayu sekiranya negara ini hanya didiami oleh satu bangsa sahaja.

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Syed Husin berkata, sekiranya situasi itu berlaku, masyarakat Melayu akan berhadapan dengan 2 kepentingan berbeza.

Pertama kata beliau, adalah kepentingan nilai seperti agama dan moral, manakala kedua adalah kepentingan berkaitan politik seperti perkembagan ekonomi dan pendidikan.

“Apabila kepentingan-kepentingan ini bertentangan, maka wujudlah konflik,” katanya.

Tambahnya lagi, konflik antara kelas adalah jauh berbeza dengan konflik kaum, seperti yang dialami oleh negara pada ketika ini.

“Misalannya, jurang kekayaan dalam kalangan Melayu. Orang Melayu yang di bawah akan menganggap mereka miskin kerana kekayaan dikumpul oleh kelompok (orang Melayu kaya) yang sedikit. Justeru, timbullah konflik,” katanya.

Beliau menjelaskan, apabila situasi itu berlaku, negara akan berhadapan pula dengan 2 jenis konflik, iaitu konflik tersembunyi dan konflik manifestasi (terang-terangan).

“Dalam konflik tersembunyi, orang hanya simpan dalam perasaan dan sebagainya. Dia tak berani nak bercakap dan luahkan (diskriminasi atau penindasan yang mereka rasakan).

“Dalam konflik manifestasi pula, dia terjemahkan perasaan itu. Ia terluah dengan wujudnya orang-orang yang marah. Itu peringkat yang rendah.

“Ataupun orang boleh sampai angkat senjata kerana marah. Keadaan ini boleh menimbulkan revolusi,” katanya.

Syed Husin merupakan bekas professor di Jabatan Antropologi dan Sosiologi, Universiti Malaya (UM) dan pernah berkhidmat di universiti berkenaan selama hampir 30 tahun.

Beliau dipaksa meletakkan jawatan kerana terlibat aktif dalam politik kepartian.

Sementara itu, penganalisis politik dari Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Faisal Hazis berkata, masyarakat Melayu sudah boleh menilai situasi yang mungkin wujud sekiranya hanya orang Melayu berada di negara ini.

Situasi ini katanya, sudah pun berlaku di beberapa negeri di Malaysia.

“Kalau tengok kelompok dominan di negeri di Pantai Timur dan bahagian utara semenanjung Malaysia, mereka adalah orang Melayu.

“Persoalan kelas sudah wujud di sana. Jadi, rakyat boleh nilai sendiri kemungkinannya sekiranya hanya orang Melayu ada di Malaysia,” katanya kepada FMT.