Sunday, April 13, 2014
Friday, August 14, 2009
How would one define this country called "Malaysia"?
Almost invariably one would have to look at the Federal Constitution for some answers.
Apart from the normal provisions that one would expect in any country's Constitution, some of the key defining criterias of this country are:-
- Constitutional monarchy
- Parliamentary democracy
- Islam as the official religion of the Federation, but other religions can be practiced freely
- Malay as national language, but other languages can be spoken freely
- Special rights of the Malays and bumiputras
The above are some of the pillars of the formation of Malaysia. As such, all Malaysians, when claiming to be Malaysians must not only know this but must also respect and adhere to it.
But lately some of these pillars are being attacked, if not subtlely, openly. Such attacks are not only unpatriotic and insensitive but may also prove unwise.
1. Lets look at the pillar "Islam as the official religion of the Federation, but other religions can be practiced freely". What does this entail?
Ultimately I would argue that when push comes to shove or when there is a conflict between Islamic interest and the interest of other religion in this Federation, Islamic interest should prevail.
Of course, in saying that i dont mean that all non-muslim must then convert to Islam- far from it, not only because freedom of religion is enshrined in the Constitution (under the same breath of the Article providing Islam as the religion of the Federation) but more importantly because in Islam there is no compulsion to becoming a Muslim.
But i do mean that the recitation of "Azans" (calling for prayers) in the mosques 5 times a day is a right which cant be questioned. And i do mean that when it is found that there is another place of worship for non-muslims located next to amosque which is deemed to be undesirable for both, it is the non-muslims' place of worship that should give way. Because Islam is the official religion of the Federation.
2. Lets look at special rights of the Malays and bumiputras. What does this entail?
As provided by Art.153 of the Fed. Constitution it includes reservation for them of positions in public service, scholarships, educational and training privileges and permit and licences for any trade or business. Thus the DEB and NEP.
Again, of course in saying that i dont mean one can rob the non-bumis of all opportunities -far from it, not only because the right to education and property are enshrined in Art.12 and 13 of the Fed Constitution but more importantly such act is wrong and unproductive.
But i do mean that when only one seat is available and there are two equally qualified candidates where one is a Bumiputra and the other non-Bumi, the Bumi would be afforded priority.
Because that was the deal struck by our founding fathers of Malaysia. In the beginning this land (Tanah Melayu) belonged to the Malays who ruled with sovereignty. It was then forcibly taken away from the Malays as early as 1511 by the European colonialists. Hundred of the years the Malays fought and died against the colonialists. For independence it is only right and adil (fair) that the land is to be returned back to the Malays.
But the nation's founding fathers in their wisdom have agreed to open citizenship to non-malays BUT subject always to certain conditions, all of which are enshrined in the Fed Constitution. One of them being the special rights of the Malays and Islam as the official religion.
Because it is never wise to let the majority race in any country be left behind in education and wealth.
BUT what is happening now?
Who is fighting or championing Islam now?
Not long ago when "Islamic State" was the catchword for PAS, when PAS the stronger opposition on its own, the UMNO led BN was outdoing PAS in the Islamic agenda by its Islamization of a lot of the countries institutions. By introducing a more modern and vibrant Islam to the country. Islam clearly seems the official religion then.
But what about now? We definitely dont hear any Islamic state agenda in PKR do we? If you turn to UMNO, there was a half baked without follow up "Islam Hadhari" attempt under Pak Lah but no such thing now is there?
Who is championing Malay rights now?
Correct me if I am imagining things, but i feel as if it is taboo to even mention "Ketuanan Melayu" now. If at all its "Kepimpinan Melayu". But even that is hardly mentioned nowadays.
What we are hearing from PKR is the DAP led "Bangsa Malaysia" and what we are hearing from UMNO led BN is "1 Malaysia" whatever it means.
Saying how I see it
Although the Malays are the majority-
i. I see no party championing Malay rights in the open even though such rights which are provided in the Fed Constitution are being questioned and attacked.
ii. I see no party championing Islam in the open eventhough Islam which is the official religion of the Federation is not being respected and treated accordingly.
iii. I see a lot of confused and/or unwary Malays (esp. the young). Probably not realising that the current development could very well have adverse effect on their future.
iv. And I dont hear nor hear a loud enough Malay leader that tells the Malays how it really is.
Where is the voice of the Malays....
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I always wonder what is the real purpose of such question. What is expected from it?
One might say that the answer may not be so obvious. After all what is a "Malaysian" if not a citizen of Malaysia, a multi religous, multi racial and multi cultural country. Is it not this "multiness" that makes us Malaysian? If you take that away and replace it with a homogenous facet, I dare say we may run the risk of losing our real identity and may cease be truly Malaysian.
Having said that, to another rather extreme question that says "If you were to fight and die for a cause/identity, what would the order be?", to me the answer is clear and obvious, I'd die for Islam first, Malay second and Malaysia third (that is if I have three lives).
The thing is, I'd imagine a lot of Malaysians would answer likewise (i.e. in the order of religion, race and followed by the country). Does that make us racist or unpatriotic? Honestly, as far as I'm concerned if it does, so be it.
I think it is imperative that we be honest and open about this so that whatever response which is expected of us is properly and adequately managed by the policy makers/implementors.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Amin! Ya Rabbal Alamin!