COMMENT | Here is my message to Gerakan Pembela Ummah leaderIsmail Mina Ahmadand
the rest of his chicken hawk coterie. You leave this country. We do not
want extremists who are ignorant of history. We do not need extremists
who probably have not read the constitution but who would support those
who would amend it, who distort it or disregard it because they share
the same “race” and “religion” as Ismail and his racist, bigoted
Ismail makes it sound as if the Malays carried out all the hard work
of defending this country. However, as former prime minister and now
opposition PM-designate claims – “We find that we are not so committed, not so hardworking and sometimes we are not so trustworthy.”
No doubt, there are going to be many articles disputing the claims
made by Ismail. There will be articles highlighting the contributions of
non-Malays, to the defence, culture and economy of this country.
However, all this is missing the point. Non-Malays will never be treated
as equals in this country. When Malay bigots make this claim, they know
they are making claims which are racist and bigoted but make them
anyway because it is always incumbent on the non-Malays to defend their
existence in this country.
It is always the non-Malays who have to prove that they are
patriotic. Non-Malays have to demonstrate how much they love this
country. Malays, meanwhile, have leaders who have engaged in massive
corruption, destroyed the rule of law, enacted bills that would curtail
the power of the sultans – the most damning of which is the National
Security Council (NSC) bill – and made racist and bigoted speeches
calling for the spilling of non-Malay blood and yet the Malay community
assumes ab initio that they are the true patriots who built this country.
And really, what is it the non-Malays have to defend? We have to
defend our “success” in Tanah Melayu. We have to defend the fact that we
have to work hard because we are not beholden to a system of privilege –
ideological, religious and constitutional – that enables us to think
for ourselves and realise that the world does not owe us anything. We have to defend how we spend our wealth – too expressive in the
luxuries the fruits of our labour affords us, and we are deemed
un-Islamic, corrupt in our excesses, and of course, corrosive to the
What did those real Malay patriots say in response to some corrupt
establishment politician who claimed that non-Malays do not join the
security apparatus because we were not patriotic enough? What they left
out is how non-Malays have to polish the cajones of their Malay
superiors to get ahead, to be part of the corruption. To benefit like
their Malay contemporaries in a rigged game. This “bodek”
culture amongst certain non-Malays working in “Malay” institutions is
part survival mechanism, part instinct for the benefits that comes with
kowtowing to Malay supremacy.
These people have no use for facts, figures or evidence. Being
non-Malay in this country means that you are always on the defensive.
You have to prove a negative. You have to swallow your pride and like
the kid in Carol Reed’s ‘Oliver!’, who asks, “Please sir, can I have
some more?” Non-Malays do this because to do otherwise would invite
charges of sedition or worse.
Non-Malays have been here for generations but yet have trouble
getting the documentation that proves that they are citizens of this
country. Non-Malay politicians from the establishment make excuses as to
why they are displaced, marginalised members of their community when
‘fresh off the boat’ constitutionally-created Malays assume the mantle
of “Malay” and lurk in the corridors of power.
Remember when the Terengganu top cop made that racially insensitive remark about race and crime, this was what I said
- “It also points to the mindset of the state security apparatus. This
belief that the Malay community is peaceful and that crimes are what
‘others’ do, reflects the operating procedures that have resulted in
deaths in custody, the refusal to carry out the orders from civil
courts, and an unwillingness to submit to independent bodies when it
comes to the way how they operate.”
That is really the mainstream Malay narrative of this country. That
non-Malays are the aggressors. The non-Malay communities are
interlopers. Never mind our contributions to this country. That does not
matter. When it comes to mainstream Malay politics, we are fair game.
About the only kind of fairness we can get in this country, because
no matter how much we contribute, no matter how much we desire to be
“Malaysians”, the reality is that mainstream Malay power structures, a
majority of the Malay population - which include Malays who support the
opposition - and the dogma of “ketuanan Melayu” mean that we will be
always viewed with suspicion.
People talk about national unity. Don’t make me laugh. How can there
be national unity when the system invites Malay powerbrokers to demonise
non-Malay communities for political gain. The system is racist but the
average citizen is not, we are constantly reminded. Yes, that helps a
lot in that there is no blood on the streets, but all it does is fester
in the Malay community that they are bound by laws that make them
subservient to god and political party, and wish the same upon their
You think I am lying, overreacting? Step outside your urban bubble
and discover the various polls that demonstrate that Muslim conservatism
involves imposing Muslim law on non-Muslims. Non-Malays have to be
respectful in a country we helped build. Non-Malays have to be tolerant
when mainstream Malay politics demonises us to appeal to their bases.
Which begs the question, if their bases keep voting for them, and the
opposition has to play the same game to get the same votes, what does
this tell you about the majority? Tomorrow, I will review a book about ‘ketuanan Melayu’.
An answer to Salleh Said Keruak’s question - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Malaysiakini : “If they will play fair I will play fair, but if they won't then I
reserve all my rights to do anything I find myself able to do.” ― William Howard Taft
COMMENT | Actually, this is not “an” answer. Hopefully, this is “the” answer. Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak asked,
“How does Pakatan (Harapan) explain and justify this, other than saying
the only important thing is to oust the prime minister and it does not
matter how it is done?"
The most important point I want to make is this - you and anyone from BN do not get to ask this question. 1. You do not get to ask this question because the system is rigged in your favour. 2. You do not get to ask this question because our public institutions are compromised. 3. You do not get to ask this question because our state security apparatus is beholden to a political party. 4. You do not get to ask this question because your propagandists are the mainstream press. 5. You do not get to ask this question because of your gerrymandering of the electoral boundaries. 6. You do not get to ask this question because the opposition has to
fight with one hand tied behind its back when it comes to race and
religion. 7. You do not get to ask this question because as veteran Umno leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (photo) acknowledged – (a) “(Bagaimanapun)
jangan memandang rendah kepada kerajaan kerana mereka ada kuasa, ada
televisyen, radio, duit dan media. Mereka juga ada alat-alat risikan dan
sebagainya. Media dia lebih tahu pada kita. Dia tahu kita belum tahu
lagi. Sama ada dengan kekuasaan itu, parti yang berkuasa akan kalah saya
And (b) “Dalam isu wang, pilihanrayaperlukan (wang). Suka atautidaksuka, itutidakmenjadimasalahcurahduit banyak macam mana. Semua orang nakmenangpilihanraya. Tidak adanakbertandinghendakkalah.”
This last part is even more insidious because you use our money to rub our faces in your “ketuanan” politics. You use our money to fund your rigged game. You use our money to destroy the chance of legitimately having regime change.
For all these reasons, you do not get to ask this question. When you have a flunky making police reports
that the former prime minister wants to overthrow the government, any
rational person would understand this is why the current government has
to go. Many people would like to overthrow the government and I will
wager that if we take away those reasons as to why you cannot ask this
question, the Umno regime would have ended a couple of years ago.
Always remember that when it comes to justice and fair play in this
country, one is only corrupt when they leave Umno. Most Malaysians
understand this. Sometimes, I think the best definition of what it means
to be “Malaysian” is understanding that the game is rigged but going
along with it.
Here is what I mean
- "If the ordinary rakyat have no faith in our democracy or public
institutions, it is because of the manner in which the political elite
use both to hunt down and destroy political dissent by any means
necessary. The cynical use of the state security apparatus to
‘investigate’ political adversaries for alleged crimes carried out
decades ago, while the country is mired in corruption, religious
provocations and crimes that destroy the fabric of our society points to
the reality that the current administration has no interests beyond
sustaining its hegemony."
Democracy is about legitimately carrying out regime change or to put
it in words you understand, overthrowing the government. Democracy is
also about sometimes making bad choices. Democracy is also, more
importantly, about correcting those bad choices. Now I get it. Democracy
is also a dirty game. Nobody plays fair.
However, democracy also has safeguards to ensure that the system
allows for changes – even if superficial – to ensure that governments do
not slide into fascism or religious theocracies. Malaysia does not have
this or it had it but Malaysians gave people like you and definitely
people like the newly designated PM of the opposition, continuing
chances to destroy it.
Those with moral locus standi
Do you know who gets to ask this question? People who support the
opposition or at least have some sort of value system that ultimately is
a detriment to the system that you benefit from and yes, that the
former prime minister, now PM designate of the opposition, has created. Who are these people? There are many of them but for the sake of
clarity (and because they have been highlighted in the media I write
for) the following should suffice -
1. Kua Kia Soong, Suaram adviser. 2. Sangeet Kaur Deo (photo), daughter of late DAP leader Karpal Singh (by the way, shout out to Malaysiakini columnist Fa Abdul for her piece in support of Sangeet).
3. Blogger Ktemoc, whose letterneatly defines DAP's dilemma or it should if you actually are thinking about the party's values instead of party personalities.
4. Opposition supporters who are shouted down on social media because they dare question the Harapan groupthink.
5. Folks who voice their concerns in the comment sections of various Malaysiakini
articles and who demonstrate that they are exceptions to the “so-called
cybertroopers who are shameless cowards who can’t really read or write.
They do not even dare to use their real names when they post such
nonsense. "For sure they will be despatched to the sewage heap of
history” that attack people like Kua.
These people get to ask this question. They have the moral locus
standi (is this even a real thing or did I just make it up?) to ask this
extremely important question. These people have to contend with people
like me who advocate that the opposition commits to this crappy game
because maybe a two-party system is a start to correcting the systemic
Therefore, when the system is rigged, the opposition has to resort
any means necessary. Does this answer your question? I certainly hope
not. When I say by “any means necessary”, this is not a justification or
an explanation as to why the former prime minister was christened PM
designate but a reminder of that great JFK quote, “Those who make
peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
The opposition is indebted to Anwar Ibrahim - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, January 08, 2018
Anwar Ibrahim and Mamakthir were the ones who brought the Iranian Street to Malaysia. Religious tolerance went into the toilet with these two architects!
Malaysiakini : “If I'm sincere today, what does it matter if I regret it tomorrow?” ― José Saramago, Blindness
COMMENT | Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not the only person who is indebted to political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim. The opposition, its supporters and whoever is contemplating regime
change in this country is indebted to the hopefully-soon-to-be-released
political prisoner. Without Anwar, there would be no opposition in this
While it is easy being critical of someone like Anwar, whose
political and historical baggage defines the political landscape that
some Malaysians desperately want to change, I would argue that there
would not even be an opportunity for some sort of change if it were not
for Anwar and his compromised crusade against the Umno regime.
We must never forget that before Mahathir, the newly-christened
PM-designate of Harapan, exhausted all possibilities of removing Najib
Abdul Razak from within Umno, he was still committed to vilifying Anwar
and the opposition. While hatchets may have been buried, the opposition owes the people
who support them a commitment to the reformasi agenda that was, and
still is, a threat (albeit muted) to the Umno weltanschauung (world view).
It is important that a political leader like the DAP’s Lim Guan Eng
reaffirms his support for Anwar, it is even more important that the
opposition remains committed to the reform agenda that is the basis of
Anwar’s struggle against the Umno regime. While some people may scoff at that premise, the reality is that
opposition supporters who vote for this compromised coalition want
something more than the “stability” and “social contract” offered by the
Here is a reality check. When Amanah’s Mat Sabu (photo)
reminds us that non-Muslim majorities in Japan and Korea reject
establishment corruption but in a country like Malaysia, "The Malays
listen to khutbah on a weekly basis, but the more they listen
the more they (seem to) support corruption," it is an indictment against
the racial and religious politics that dominates this country.
However, the irony is that Bersatu, a political party designed to
combat Umno, carries on the narrative that this country is defined by
race and religion. This last part is axiomatic and to invest further in
this narrative is not the point of this article. Anwar could have gone the route of creating a solely “Malay” power
structure but instead he followed the path of the DAP and attempted
something unifying instead of following in the footsteps of Umno.
Now, some would argue that the factional politics in PKR is
Malay-dominated but the same criticisms could – and have – been levelled
at the DAP. Racial politics so long ingrained is hard to shed but it is
a process, not merely a destination.
If Anwar Ibrahim had just created another clone of Umno, instead of
gambling on the belief that Malaysians were ready for change, would he
have succeeded? Certainly, the old master Mahathir plays for keeps and
what Anwar did when he was ejected from the Umno paradise seems
idealistic and naive. Read more here.
While my criticisms against the DAP and PKR are a matter of public
record, the reality is that both parties are attempts at multi-racial
collectives – so too is Amanah, with certain ideological qualifications –
which have crashed into the reality of Ketuanan politics. Hence the
need for Bersatu. Some folks would argue – and they do have a point – that is Harapan
really an alternative? Is Harapan an alternative to the desideratum of
mainstream Malay politics? Are we not just changing the driver and not
the direction of this country? This of course is an important question,
and it would be disingenuous of me if I did not mention that I have posed the same question:
“In partisan politics, which is an illusion (in case you did not
know), each side would point to certain issues that set one apart.
Partisans would then claim that these issues, sometimes major sometimes
peripheral, are the only thing separating right from wrong. The smarter
ones link them to some sort of ideology and this becomes easier for
identity politics to get in the way of facts. Every issue becomes a
Manichaean struggle and people become invested in the side they choose
So people question how we can move beyond race and religion when the
majority sought after by the opposition are defined by these concepts.
Okay, maybe the majority of opposition supporters are not preoccupied by
this question. They are preoccupied with kleptocracy. But in case you
are a supporter of the opposition, which is troubled by the religious
imperatives of mainstream Malay power structures, where do you go from
Which brings us to Anwar’s Islamic credentials and the need for
religion – Islam – in the political strategies of this country and
Harapan. To understand the dialectic, we have to refer to Dr Ronnie
Ooi’s Open letter to Anwar Ibrahim – Is a secular Malaysia, the only way
to save Malaysia? From the letter – “In this letter, I have argued that
the fault line between the Islamism of the PKR, Amanah and Bersatu and
the secularism of the DAP is only over the word secular, ie, only an
argument over terminology and not an argument over substance.
“So long as the DAP does not insist that all component parties of PH
must call the country secular, no harm is done. The idea that the
Malaysian public will only be impressed if all PH MPs sing the same tune
all the time is outdated, counterproductive and stands in the way of
achieving desirable political objectives. PH must be a broad tent with
room to agree to disagree.” (Apropos everything, in another piece, I will attempt to answer the very important question that Dr Ronnie Ooi raises.)
All of this, of course, has brought the opposition to where it is
today. You could say, everything old is new again. This is where it will
all end, in the beginning. A time when former prime minister Mahathir
attempts to reimagine the political landscape of Malaysia. Some would argue that we are waking to a nightmare but I would argue
that Anwar Ibrahim may have given us a chance for a different, maybe
even better Malaysia, because in politics anything can happen.
People should not forget that the opposition gets to roll the dice because of the efforts of political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim.
Is the opposition at odds with civil society by Commander S Thayaparan (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, January 06, 2018
Malaysiakini : “It does not take a majority to prevail
... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires
of freedom in the minds of men.” ― Samuel Adams
COMMENT | A young reader ended
his opening salvo of a lengthy email exchange with – “Sir, you were part
of the problem.” I began the first of my responses, with – “Son, I am
still part of the problem.” I get that young people are frustrated. They
look around and they see old men with their old poisoned dreams leading
the charge for a supposedly better future.
Amongst other issues, this young man wanted to know if I was familiar with the writings of Hafidz Baharom and his piece–
"Don’t vote if they don’t change" – and what I thought about young
people not voting, and why it is that the opposition seems to be at war
with activists and civil society groups. Well, as to the first part, I read everything that Hafidz writes. I already made my case as to why I think not voting is not an option.
Mind you, I am not saying that Hafidz is wrong; just that I really want
to see what happens if Pakatan Harapan takes control of the federal
government. Does this sound flippant?
Here is the thing. In all my writings, I have made it clear that I do
not think that corruption is the existential threat facing Malaysia. I
think extremist Islam is. I want to see if a Harapan-led government with
a strong non-Malay/Muslim voice stems the tide of what I believe will
eventually destroy this country. That is why I am voting. Others, of
course, have different reasons.
As for the opposition seeming to be at war with activists, many
people who are involved in “civil society” (honestly, I am not familiar
with the current nomenclature) have written to me describing a hostile
environment when it comes to activism and oppositional politics. Things
have become worse, with the ascension of the former prime minister Dr
Mahathir Mohamad, the bête noire of many activists – for good reason – as the captain leading the charge to oust current Umno grand poohbah, Najib Razak.
Many long-time activists infused with fresh talent, who assumed that
Harapan state governments would be more conducive to change, tell me
that most times getting the “meeting” is easier than it is with the BN
regime, but actually getting things done, is more or less the same.
Often, they are admonished to not "bite the hand that feeds them," which
seems like a common rejoinder these days.
There was a time when activism and oppositional politics were not
mutually exclusive. There was a time when “civil society” and
oppositional personalities worked closely to highlight issues that
former minister Zaid Ibrahim termed the “real stuff.” I suppose that is
the double-edged sword of civil society making “tremendous progress
since 2008” as articulated in the "birds of feather" declaration.
I do not think civil society made tremendous progress. I think the
opposition political elite made tremendous progress buttressed by civil
society groups, who did not really understand the nature of the beast.
There is this assumption that just because the politics of civil society
groups and oppositional political parties aligned, there was some sort
of understanding. Politicians say a whole lot of horse manure to get
elected and count on activists to pass their message, but once elected
rely on their bases (partisanship) to stay elected.
The rise of a credible opposition and contender to the throne of
Putrajaya meant not that issues or principles were taking centre stage
but rather the rise of a new cabal of political elites who were just as
interested in maintaining power as their political opponents. What made
it even more tenuous for civil society types and activists was that the
alternative press and social media which was “issue driven” become
partisan echo chambers, where party affiliation trumped anything else.
In other words, if you are not with us, you are against us.
Many activists are in support of the “birds of feather” declaration.
Actually, I know many people who belong to diverse “civil society”
groups who support this initiative. Indeed, there is nothing in that
declaration that any rational person would disagree with. Yet many
opposition supporters write to me asking me to tell these “selfish”
people not to rock the boat and destroy Harapan’s chance of removing the
corrupt Najib and his cronies from power.
I know a few people on that list. I do not say this to name drop, but
only that “selfish” is not a term I would use to describe them, ever.
Furthermore, many of those groups in that list do far more constructive
and productive work than some state administrations and definitely the
federal government. To dismiss, mock or vilify what they say, especially
if you (like me) have a different view, I would argue is, well – and I
really dislike using this word – unpatriotic.
That is the only word I can think of especially when what these folks
are reaffirming are democratic and egalitarian principles that would
actually save Malaysia. If only political parties, like Hafidz writes,
were not “too chickenshit to actually stand for something contrary to
public opinion, and would rather coast along for fear of losing their
vote base, while trying to convince the conservatives to vote for them.”
Someone asked if I was a “crypto-Mahathirista” since I had penned two pieces, essentially arguing that Harapan should commit
to the game they want to play. I write too plainly to be a crypto
anything. You can disagree with what I write. You can accuse me of many
things but waffling or obscurantism is not on the list. So while I
disagree with Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong,
it is not because I think he is wrong but it is because for this
election, I am committing to the game that I keep telling Harapan to
Lastly to answer the question in the title of this piece. It is not
that the opposition is at odds with civil society. It is the opposition
has become part of the establishment.
The establishment is always at odds with civil society.
Harapan should just stop 'interim PM' nonsense - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, January 04, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Politics is a matter of choices, and a
man doesn't set up the choices himself. And there is always a price to
make a choice. You know that. You've made a choice, and you know how
much it cost you. There is always a price.” - Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
COMMENT | What is this horse manure about “mixed views”
on whether Mahathir Mohamad should be named “interim” prime minister?
When will the amateur hour end for Pakatan Harapan? When Harapan
embraced the former prime minister in their epic quest to oust the
current Umno grand poobah, what did they think it meant? What did anyone
think it meant?
As quoted in the press, some believe the term “interim” does not
inspire “stability” which is why there should not be any doubt as to who
will wear the crown if Putrajaya is taken. Forget about interim, just
name the old man as prime minister and get down to the dirty business of
winning the federal government.
This, after all, is what Harapan signed up for. This, after all, is
the inevitable outcome of aligning with mainstream Malay power brokers.
This is what happens when you claim that the country is in dire need of
saving, and people must not be selfish and that there are no credible
alternative plans to save the nation.
Mind you, I think there have always been people in the opposition or
who support the opposition who have offered up credible alternative
ideas but as usual they were shouted down and dismissed as “idealists”
or worse by people who have placed pragmatism over anything else.
Commit to chosen game
The opposition is not offering any visionary ideas; merely
apocalyptic ones. Maybe this has something to do with the religious
overtones of the opposition but at this point it really does not matter.
Choices have been made. Compromises struck and the most important thing
the opposition should do is commit to the game they have chosen to
This is what I wrote
last year: “As I argued the former prime minister plays for keeps and
if removing, the current Umno grand poobah is the main goal than the
former prime minister who has resuscitated the floundering opposition
has to be given free rein in the possible destruction of Umno. That is
the only tactical play.”
You know what would really suck? If the opposition could actually win
this election by aligning with the former prime minister, yet because
they are acting like a bunch of precious snowflakes, with each group
attempting to gain some concessions, they lose the plot and game.
How bad would it be if the opposition hamstrings the movement led by
the former prime minister because the opposition is too busy squabbling
over the prospect of a man they termed dictator getting back into power
on their backs? These are the stakes you created and this is not the
time for attempting some sort of compromise in case things go south.
Are people still holding out hope that political prisoner Anwar
Ibrahim could be prime minister of this country? Who knows what could
happen but the possibility of Anwar becoming prime minister should not
be one of the goals when naming the position of the big cheese,
especially not when the former prime minister is in play. And why even
use the term “interim”? Who does that term benefit? What is it supposed
to signify? That the former prime minister, who the opposition at one
time termed a tyrant, does not have a permanent hold on the position?
That there is a possibility that a more politically correct or
acceptable candidate could fill the position? That the opposition is
still committed to the reform agenda, hence “interim” could serve as a
seat warmer until someone more credible steps up or is discovered or
merely plays the political game mendaciously and inherits the crown?
Reimagining alliance politics
Look, what is really happening is a reimagining of alliance politics.
The opposition keeps telling people that unlike Barisan Nasional, the
non-Malays will have a say and not kowtow to the dominant Malay power
structure if they choose Harapan. In other words, this is the new BN. If
the former prime minister could reimagine Umno, then why not reimagine
BN? That is the draw and what people think is a stable choice for this
At this moment in time, the average rakyat is on edge. They realise
that they could vote for stability and continuity or go with something
they are unfamiliar with. The former prime minister is something they
are at least familiar with. While the establishment may paint him as
someone who is corrupt, there is a large demographic who are willing to
bet - vote - that he and he alone can get this country back on track;
that his party and his men, will take care of their interests and things
will return to the imagined glory days where Malaysians were proud of
god knows what.
Umno political operatives are laughing their behinds off because all
this waffling makes Harapan look like a bunch of amateurs. It makes it
look as if personal agendas trump winning at any cost, which is what
Umno understands. It is also what the former prime minister understands,
which is why in numerous articles, I have argued
that the opposition should make it very clear that Mahathir Mohamad is
their war chief and that ultimately the crown will rest on his head.
Has the opposition actually thought out how it would be if they win
this general election? Have they got plans in place? I know for
establishment power brokers like the former prime minister and his
coterie, they actually do have a plan; who knows, this may even include
some kind of reform of the system.
The reality is that the opposition has made the choices that it made. Collectively they brought us to this point.
Stop fondling and just roll the dice.
What’s Dr M’s apology got to do with it? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Tuesday, January 02, 2018
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “Never apologise. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.” - Agnes Campbell Macphail
I have no idea why people want or need an apology from former prime
minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad. I received a barrage of messages when the
“apology” first surfaced, with the usual commentaries of how it was long overdue and how the opposition could finally move forward. Then the old master qualified his apology – Malay custom, he said – and the same folks who were relishing a fresh start, got into a funk.
What I do not get is this. When Mahathir was committing all these
wrongs he is supposed to be apologising for, he was also getting elected
with a significant majority by a diverse polity of Malaysians, who did
not seem to care about all these ideas Pakatan Harapan is pushing now. At any time when Mahathir was supposed to be doing all those bad
deeds that he needs to apologise for now, the people of Malaysia could
have voted the completely corrupt alliance out, and took a chance on
whatever the opposition was offering. Failing that, they could have
denied the Mahathir regime its two-thirds majority as a sign of dissent. This never happened. I would argue with each electoral victory, Mahathir was demonstrating that he had nothing to apologise for.
I know many people who are slavish supporters of the opposition these
days, who praised Mahathir and condemned the opposition as being only
able to “complain” back in the day. Even when I was part of the state security apparatus and had contact
with opposition figures, activists and people who were sanctioned by the
state, their main complaint – no, not complaint; lament – was that the
majority of Malaysians were not with them.
They were on their own, eking out support from truly marginalised
groups, fighting the system that a majority of Malaysians was in support
of. Even PAS members, who I paradoxically got on with, could not
understand why with all the corruption and state-sanctioned oppression,
the majority o Malaysians voted in the Mahathir regime in record
numbers. Put it this way: The way that people were voting, the rigged
system was redundant.
When the former prime minister says this - “Whether I admit I have done wrong or not is a different matter,” this is the key. I keep telling people that the reason why Mahathir will never
apologise sincerely is because deep down inside, he believes that he has
not done anything wrong. He believes that what he did was necessary to
create the kind of country that the majority of people wanted to live
in, and that these so-called “Asian values” he and his ilk were pushing
trumped anything else the West had to offer.
Furthermore, by embracing the former prime minister, who many in the
opposition have called a tyrant, dictator and worse, the opposition has
acknowledged that the man, his methods and his legacy – the last part is
the most important – is the means by which to “Save Malaysia”. In other words, the opposition has validated his tenure and openly
acknowledged that without him, there will no removing Prime Minister
Najib Abdul Razak.
Last year, when I wrote this –
“Making a pact with the former prime minister and Bersatu is merely by
‘any means necessary’ and to argue otherwise, to make the argument that
the ‘reform’ agenda is still on the table is mendacious, considering the
fact that the Najib refuseniks have been blatant in their old Umno
strategies of garnering the Malay vote, which is what the opposition
claims is the utilitarian value of Mahathir” – I got a whole lot of flak
from opposition types who claimed I was muddying the waters.
Now the opposition can waffle on about “controls” in place to keep
Mahathir in check, but is there any evidence of this? Is there any
evidence that the opposition is a cohesive alliance operating under a
system of rules and regulations that ensure what they say matches up
with what they do? I would argue there is none. However, nobody really cares about this anyway. People who have
decided that Najib has to go – and I am one of those people who think
that BN has to be benched – are willing to believe that Mahathir really
wants to change the system.
Of course, the former prime minister has been hitting all the right notes.
He has talked about bringing back the independence of our public
institutions. He has talked about separation of powers, and most
importantly he has made the opposition comfortable, at least in public,
with his leadership. There is also another way to look at it. Some people close to him
have told me that he believes that his crusade against the current Umno
grand poohbah is a kind of apology. An apology by deed,if not by word,
of all that he wrought during his tenure as the longest-serving
strongman in Asia. They keep telling me, why would a
ninety-something-year-old man attempt to wrest power from his old power
group merely to prop up his son?
After all, here is a man who has not only championed the “Malay”
community, but also vilified it. Here is a man who has never been
politically correct about race relations in this country. Here is a man
who, despite all he has done, could just wash his hands off of the whole
country and retire to whatever nook his long tenure has enabled him to
Put it this way. If Mahathir and the opposition win this election and
undo even a quarter of what he had wrought, that would be better than
even the most sincere of apologies.
Yoursay: Non-Muslims pay taxes, but can’t be in Hadi’s cabinet
Monday, January 01, 2018
The reason why Hadi says this, he is a believer : You are the best nation that ever existed among humanity. You command people to good and prohibit them from evil, and you believe in God. Had the People of the Book accepted the faith (Islam), it would certainly have been better for them. Some of them have faith, but most of them are evil doers. Verse (3:110) - English Translation
Hearty Malaysian: PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s statement of cabinet posts are reserved for Malay Muslims is a race supremacist ideology. He is dangerously promoting racial segregation and ultimately racial persecution in this country. It seems party information chief Nasrudin Hassan is trying to do
damage control. One wonders if PAS is slowly promoting ethnic cleansing
as its ultimate goal. Hadi should be charged with sedition.
Anonymous #33227154: It's good that PAS has finally
revealed its true colours – it is a racist and extremist party. They
want to make Malaysia a Taliban state, where PAS will rule like
dictators. Muslims under this kind of rule will also suffer, and their rights
and freedom will be taken away. So choose and vote carefully, and think
of your children’s future.
David Dass: Indeed, this is a further push for the
Islamic State. PAS identifies what they consider the essential features
of an Islamic state and bit by bit they push for acceptance of such
ideas. Non-Muslims make up more than 40 percent of our population. Are the
40 percent to be denied representation in the government? As it is,
non-Malay civil servants and armed forces personnel number less than 5
percent of the total.
We should learn some lessons from the Middle East. The number of
Christians in each of the countries of the Middle East grows less and
less each year. Growing intolerance of Christian communities has
resulted in an exodus of Christians to the West. The more we allow such views to take hold in various quarters in the
country, the more we alarm the non-Muslims of this country.
Unfortunately, we do not hear any reassuring statements from government
Abasir: "Wizarah al-tafwidh, wizarah al-tanfidz..."
The ragheads running PAS are now boldly acknowledging that Bahasa
Malaysia is woefully inadequate as a language of governance and more
importantly, totally alien to Islam. So apart from enforcing desert attire on all and sundry, these
aberrants are likely to insist on Arabic for all government transactions
and communication once they form their Islamic state. Corrupt practices, like the one demonstrated by the nationalists in
1MDB, are likely to get a free pass. After all, one should retain some
bits of what is close to the heart.
Vijay47: By the way, you PAS clowns, are you
referring to positions in the Saudi government or in Malaysia? What's
with this constant usage of Arabic terms in place of Malay or English,
which has worked fine for us all these years? Perhaps Arabic is going to be our official language? Help, Dewan Bahasa, we need your help!
Quigonbond: What if the most influential Malaysian
is neither a Malay nor a Muslim? Why can't Malaysians be open minded to
have the best person of whatever race or religion lead them? And why is it so unique that it's not just who is a Muslim but also a
Malay? The Malay criteria surely cannot be found in the Quran, and is
clearly an invention of PAS.
Léon Moch: Nasruddin is trying to make things
"better" by saying that Hadi didn't mean that all cabinet members must
be Muslim, but rather, he's saying that non-Muslims will be relegated to
a limited few less critical portfolios.
Gerard Lourdesamy: Not only is Hadi's suggestion
unconstitutional and probably unlawful, it is also seditious. Why not go
further and deprive non-Muslims the right to vote based on your
distorted views of Islam? By the same token in Sarawak, does the Christian majority have the
right to relegate the minority Muslims in the state to second-class
status?Hadi and his Wahhabi-inspired view of Islam is going to destroy the
party in GE14. No sane voter, Muslim or not, is going to support a
radical and racist party that behaves as if it is Allah's representative
Proarte: Such nonsensical Islamic garbage coming
from Muslim leaders. They are turning Muslims away from Islam and
reinforcing the widespread perception that Islam has no role to play in
the modern civilised world.
SusahKes: Guess what? Come tomorrow, MCA and Gerakan
leaders will still be inspired to blame DAP. After all, this is how the
Umno minions play the game. What these Umno sycophants perennially fall to recognise is that,
with BN’s component parties’ tacit support, Hadi’s doctrine is moving
the country towards a black hole of religious and racial radicalism, the
likes of which our founding fathers would have never imagined.
Couple that with Umno extending Hadi a playing field in which, he
could do according to his whims and fancies (if only because the former
is depending on the latter to pull in the Malay votes), then there is
only one verdict that this would allow us to arrive at: we know who sold
out this country’s soul.
MCA and Gerakan are to be the most blamed; for in their infatuation
with positions of power, they sold out big time by failing to check
Umno’s hegemony, and by extension, the rise of Hadi’s bigoted extremism.
David Dass: The non-Muslims are citizens. They are
equal to everyone else under our Constitution. They pay taxes. They have
a right to be in government. As they have a right to vote for whomever
they please in our democratic elections.
It is not for Chinese leaders of MCA and Gerakan to bring in the
Chinese votes. It is for the BN government to demonstrate that they are a
fair, just and honest government looking after the welfare of all the
citizens of this country. That will bring in the votes. Hadi is, of course, exploiting what he considers an opportunistic
moment. His party is being wooed by both sides. He is being both Malay
nationalist as well as Islamist. He is pushing us bit by bit to a state
ruled by syariah and by Muslims for Muslims. And non-Muslims, bye and
bye. Where is the resistance?
Slumdog: Hadi cannot be accused of political
correctness because he blabs what is in his mind without thinking of the
impact of his comments. He is only a man of average intelligence who is
consumed by his religion, that’s all that matters. He is a one-issue politician, Islam. He is not a statesman by any
stretch of the imagination. He is an intellectual pigmy, devoid of the
knowledge of world affairs, finance, economy, and good governance.
Worse still, he cannot tell the difference between right and wrong, moral and immoral behaviour, corruption and honesty.
My choice for the five newsmakers of the year - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | As usual, my pick for
the top five newsmakers in no particular order – except the top spot,
that is – are individuals who shaped the discourse, either intentionally
or not over the course of the year.
I assumed that choosing these individuals would be difficult, but I discovered this was not the case.
1. Zaid Ibrahim
Let's see. Over the course of the year, the former law minister has: 1. joined DAP; 2. angered the Selangor royal family, by reminding the Sultan that he should be non-partisan; 3. angered mainstream Islamists, by reminding them that rationality trumps blind faith; 4. angered the liberal left by encouraging Malays to leave an increasingly intolerant Muslim Malaysia; 5. angered certain people in the opposition for his defence of former
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (Zaid was one of the first to support
the former strongman); and, 6. Angered the Umno establishment with his views on the Islamisation process and what it means to be Malay. The state has since banned a book of his that has been in print for the past two years.
From my vantage point:
“Zaid will no doubt gain much attention if he continues talking about
his principles with nary a care for party solidarity. While I think this
is a good thing, his political career is evidence that this is not
considered being a team player. Zaid believes that a ‘Malay’ tsunami
will be the downfall of Najib. The question is, can Zaid and all the
other oppositional Malay leaders create the variables for a perfect
storm that would bench the Umno hegemon?”
2. Former PM Mahathir Mohamad
There is no doubt that the former prime minister defined prime minister’s Najib Razak’s annus horribilis.
Relentlessly attacking the Umno grand poohbah, dissing the Umno
sycophants that ironically he helped create, the former prime minister
in his quest to dethrone Najib has made it clear that he has no intention of ceding the field even if it means slaying sacred cows. While opposition types may have made peace with the reality that the
prime minister they had condemned for decades is the only viable captain
in this great coming election, many feel a sense of futility as to what
could come of this unholy alliance of former Umno die-hards and an
opposition sensing the tide is changing.
From my vantage point:
"If the goal of removing the current Umno grand poohbah is paramount
then the opposition should just stop this nonsense and place the crown
on Mahathir Mohamad and hope that some kind of change will be
forthcoming if they succeed."
3. PM Najib Razak
Why do I get the feeling that even if he loses he wins? That is right
because with the setting up of the National Security Council and other
powers at his disposal, the current Umno grand poohbah has a safety net
that could see him retain power if he chooses to carry out certain
options. While the opposition flounders, Umno is making use of its old
enemy PAS to shore up Malay/Muslim support and string the Islamic party
along with dreams of power in Putrajaya.
I would argue that the complicated 1MDB issue, the People's Republic of China (PRC) bailouts
and the reality that the Umno establishment is using its own crimes
which they claim were perpetrated by the current opposition leader
Mahathir Mohamad, has done far more damage to the opposition than
anything the opposition has done to the current Umno grand poohbah. From my vantage point:
The Najib regime has made no comment and indeed the racial and
religious rhetoric has escalated to the point that the Umno
establishment has enacted laws that would give them legal authority to
rule in emergency until such time that they feel confident enough to
resume the facade of democracy in this country.”
4. Jamal Yunos
The clown prince of outsourced thugs. Jamal has the singular
distinction of being the person who defanged the concept of Malay and
Islamic supremacy. With his bizarre antics,
he turned the concept of “ketuanan Melayu” into a joke. The joke was on
us, of course, because the real Islamists within the establishment were
making moves while Malaysians were distracted by his tomfoolery.
It is easy playing the tough guy when the state is behind you. It is
easy spouting racist and bigoted horse manure when you know you will not
be sanctioned. It is easy fighting with opponents who have one hand
tied behind their backs. If Jamal Yunos is the future of Malay
leadership, then perhaps, we should just sign the country over to the
PRC. I am sure they will have a job for him.
From my vantage point:
“Jamal, meanwhile, continues his ‘screw you’ approach to the security
apparatus of the state. He has no problems leaving a mess in a public
space because he has the backing of the Umno state, which is making a
public mess all over the country. His type of easy Islamic extremism
entails bullying the non-Malay/non-Muslim communities, all the while
enjoying the blessing of the state, instead of fighting other Muslims on
foreign soil attempting to establish an Islamic caliphate.”
5. Nurhanizah Abdul Rahman and her dog Bubu
I have no idea how this story panned out but Nurhanizah and what she
went through for taking care of a stray dog, is a reminder to us
non-Muslims of how the majority of Malay/Muslims in this country with
all their special rights have to put up with oppressive state religious
agencies. Religious bureaucrats who characterise an act of compassion as
something that should be repented
should be a stark reminder to all of us, that if we do not stand up for
our rights, support those who do but most importantly hold the people
who claim to share our values responsible for what they say and do, we
could all end up at the mercy of such charlatans.
From my vantage point:
“I do wonder if these same pious members of her community, so easily
distressed, also threw food laced with poison and faeces - cat, dog or
human? - into her compound? No, what she was doing was showing empathy
for an animal, and what she gets in return is a state-sanctioned
religious institution asking her to repent for her sinful ways.”
Lastly, my New Year message for friends, readers and Malaysians fighting the right fight: Illegitimi non carborundum.
My picks for top five news stories of 2017 - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT
| As the year closes and the mother of all elections lurks around the
corner, the best we can hope for in the coming year is that our luck
holds out, rationality prevails and that the young people of Malaysia
finally decide in huge numbers to shape the direction of this country.
In no particular order, here are my picks of five news stories of the year:
1. The Tahfiz school fire
Twenty-one children and two adults died in a building deemed by the
state to be a fire hazard. The perpetrators of the arson – young adults –
apparently have been brought to some kind of justice, but the moral of
the story is that if your fire hazard of a religious school burns down,
it is not the fault of the operators of the school. It is not the fault
of the state or any enforcement agencies meant to ensure the safety of
young students who go there for a religious education. The moral of the
story is that the federal government gives you more money,
even if ministers in the said government have claimed in the press that
monies for these schools “have not been properly used”.
From my vantage point:
“The deaths of 21 children and two adults seems an obscene moment to
remind Malaysians of the separation of powers between the federal
government and state religious authorities. Obscene but predictable.
Apparently, in Malaysia, the only time there is separation between
mosque and federal power is when children die in a fire.”
The cover-up of Wang Kelian
The recent expose by the New Straits Times
about the possible conspiracy of a cover-up of these mass murders and
the unbelievable response of the state to the questions raised,
demonstrates that the state security apparatus is in dire need of a
total overhaul. This will never happen, of course.
From my vantage point:
“In nearly every report or investigation by credible professionals on
the business of human trafficking worldwide, what has always been
highlighted is the connective tissue between corrupt public officials -
namely security operatives - working in collusion with human
traffickers. This, of course, goes beyond a few bad apples and where
there have been scandals on human trafficking, there has always been
evidence of the collusion between the security apparatus of that
particular country and traffickers who profit from human misery.”
The kidnapping of Pastor Koh
Why was Pastor Raymond Koh kidnapped? There has been no ransom demand, no motives
adduced, only rampant speculation and a highly professional grab of a
pastor who was targeted by the state for allegedly proselytising. When
minority religious figures are routinely demonised by the state and
their outsourced minions, is it any wonder when something like this
happens, people are quick to assume that there are elements in the state
that have decided to take it up a notch when it comes to minority
religious personalities in this country?
From my vantage point:
“The imagery of these black masked kidnappers is an important factor in
this narrative. How many times have we witnessed the spectacle of the
state security apparatus “arresting” people - politicians, activists and
dissenters - on various criminal charges while other state actors are
exempt from those charges?”
The passing of Kassim Ahmad
There can be no doubt that the Umno state hounded this scholar and
Islamic intellectual to his death. Not many Malaysians knew or even
cared about how this soft-spoken Muslim academic, his family and even his lawyer
were targeted by the state. His was a lonely war for his freedom but
more importantly, his freedom to discuss his religion that he believed
was hijacked by corrupt state actors for personal gain and deeper
From my vantage point:
"His intellectual contribution to Islam was anathema to people who
believed that blind faith was true faith and his steadfastness in not
disavowing what he said, his noncompliance to the diktats of the state
was a wound that would not heal for those who wish to impose their
beliefs on others.
“When I read of how the state persecuted him, I understand why he
posed such a threat. If Muslims realised that their interpretation
mattered then the so-called scholars would lose their influence and
their hegemony of the debate would vanish. Kassim Ahmad was a constant
reminder of what would happen if people embraced a religion that they
had thought out for themselves."
5. Making Malaysia an Islamic state
At this moment, the state is going after former law minister Zaid
Ibrahim and attempting to label - or should that libel? - him as an
undesirable element when it comes to Islam in this country. Banning
Zaid's book, which has been out for a couple of years on the grounds
that it would cause “public unease” or some such nonsense, is merely the
Umno state’s rejoinder that pettiness is the province of tyrants.
I have no idea how MCA or MIC or any other component member of the BN
can talk about secular values that non-Muslims (including non-Muslims
bumiputeras) fear are slowly slipping away from them after the
announcement by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department
Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki that the BN government is determined to make Malaysia an Islamic state.
From my vantage point:
“Depending on your point of view, the balkanisation of Malaysia is
something that is a very real possibility because of this agenda of
turning Malaysia into an ‘Islamic’ state. This is not something that any
rational person would want and I am including the Malays in this
equation, because if they really wanted to live in an Islamic paradise,
they would have voted for PAS a long time ago.”
Najib’s ‘two conditions’ for Sarawak are beyond the pale by Francis Paul Siah
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | So Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has set two conditions for Sarawakians if they want their rights returned. In a report appearing in The Star on Dec 24, the prime
minister was quoted as saying that Putrajaya had no problem discussing
devolution of power and returning all eroded constitutional rights to
Sarawak, provided that those in the state met two conditions. “Firstly, there should be no talk of secession. The second red line is that the people must support BN. “If you support BN, why shouldn’t I give back those rights, which
have been knowingly or unknowingly taken from Sarawak?” Najib told a
Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) delegates conference.
As a Sarawakian patriot, let me make this declaration here: much as I
respect you as the prime minister, Najib, I am unable to accept your
two conditions. This is a simple reason why. I think it is very wrong, if not downright absurd, to set terms and
conditions to return what belongs to Sarawak in the first place. Hey, we have an agreement in place, the Malaysia Agreement 1963
(MA63). The terms of the agreement should have been respected and
honoured. Who “stole” them from Sarawakians in the first place?
In a court of law, a thief caught and found guilty would be punished
accordingly. Here, we have a condition where the thief has the gumption
to set conditions for the return of what was stolen. It doesn’t take a genius to sense that something is simply not right here. I’m not sure how the SUPP members present at the conference felt
after Najib’s speech. It would be unfair to condemn them all as obedient
Umno-BN stooges because I do have many dear friends in SUPP who can be
very vocal about BN policies which are deemed to not be in the best
interests of Sarawakians.
Perhaps, there were red faces in the house that day, I’m not sure. If
there were none among the many professionals in the party, then I can
only wish SUPP good luck for the future. On the prime minister’s first condition – no talk of secession, I
think it is plain stupidity to gag people from saying what is in their
hearts and minds. Excuse me, is there no freedom of speech in this country? Or is it true now that there is no freedom after speech?
I’m aware that a small cross-section of Sarawakians has been talking
about secession. Why would they do that? Secession would be the last
thing on the minds of happy and contented citizens. Caring and responsible government leaders would have taken pains to
find out why some Sarawakians are so unhappy being in Malaysia, and then
take action to stem the tide of dissatisfaction and disgruntlement. That is the right and appropriate action to take. Not gagging them.
Referendum calls growing louder
In any case, as many times as teachers tell their students not to talk in class, some will continue to do so. Najib is not in sync with the current “Sarawakian patriotism” fervour
if he thinks that playing the role of the class teacher will halt
secession talk. It is true that the cries of a referendum are growing louder in
Sarawak. This is an area worth exploring further, and I honestly feel
that a “thinking government” should give this a shot, although I doubt a
referendum will ever be allowed. Look at the UK, the supposed bastion of democracy. Scotland went
through a referendum, the majority decided to stay in the UK, and that
was it. Nothing untoward happened during the referendum process or
Of course, Malaya will never want Sarawak and Sabah to leave. That
being the case, then do your best to make Sarawakians and Sabahans
happy, contented and satisfied. Then they would never think of
secession. On Najib’s second condition – that the people must support BN, I have to say that this borders on the ridiculous. Has the prime minister forgotten that the people of Sarawak have been supporting BN for the past 54 years?
Is Najib telling Sarawakians that supporting BN for more than five
decades does not count; only voting for BN in GE14 is valid in his
books? How ridiculous is that? As Najib is a known Manchester United fan, let me attempt this analogy. Assuming Najib owns United, and before a United-Chelsea clash at Old
Trafford, he sets a condition for Chelsea fans – you are not allowed
into the stadium, even with tickets, if you don’t support United.
Imagine how Blues fans would react. I believe I speak for many of my fellow Sarawakians when I say this to him.
Dear Najib, let me remind you that our late chief minister, Adenan
Satem, started negotiating with you on MA63 in 2014. That’s three long
years. What’s the progress so far? If you have nothing to show us after three years, then what guarantee
do we have five years after GE14? Is this just another round of empty
talk and hollow soundbites from a desperate prime minister?
Actually, you are known as an intellectual and a very bright person,
but given the desperate situation you are in now, you have goofed once
too often. In some ways, I truly sympathise with you. Please be respectfully informed that many Sarawakians think that you
are the most unpopular prime minister in Malaysian history, and there is
very little respect left for you in this fair land. So please don’t come to Sarawak and lecture us, and force things down
our throats as if we, Sarawakians, are kindergarten kiddies. Your two
conditions are plain silly and childish. Here’s hoping that you will withdraw them.
FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hadi, the politically incorrect face of Malay supremacy - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Malaysiakini : “Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.” ― Voltaire
COMMENT | You can say a lot about
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and lord knows, I have said most of it
in many articles over the years. What you cannot accuse him of is
political correctness when it comes to racial and religious politics in
Even when the opposition went through its “PAS for all” kool-aid
period, Hadi was chafing at the bit, ever willing to contaminate the
Kool-Aid with hints of the real agenda of the Islamists in this country.
When hebabbles on about a Muslim-only cabinet, the reality is that in Malaysia, this already is the case in substance but not form.
While I appreciate DAP’s Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh’s defence
of the secular nature of this country as decided by the highest court
in the land, we now know that when it comes to secular (civil) law and
religious (syariah) law, the state security apparatus obviously did not
get the memo. Hence, reminding Hadi or anyone for that matter on the secular nature
of this country is pointless. When an academic like Shad Saleem Faruqi (photo) attempts
to do so, he is hounded by the various Islamic agencies who have taken
it upon themselves to declare Malaysia an Islamic state on who knows
Hadi, meanwhile, has never attempted to hide the fact that he
believes Islam is supreme and that everyone else must submit to its
authority. Furthermore, when it comes to this bit, “...Islam daripadabangsa yang paling berpengaruh”
(Islam originated from the most influential race), this is just the
cherry on the cake when it comes to racial and religious supremacy. He
is just covering all his bases. Of course, preacher-politicians like Hadi will always manage to
justify their beliefs by quoting from some religious scholar or another.
They will never come out with something original (of their own) as to
why what is essentially a bigoted form of governance is allowed in
Islam. We did have that one chap who claimed that racism was "allowed"
in Islam but one would think that a religious scholar like Hadi would
have the gumption to come up with his own rationale as to why his agenda
for a Muslim-only cabinet was sanctioned in Islam.
Remember that Hadi is vice-president of an Islamic organisation, the
International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which has been disavowed
by the House of Saud and was described
by a prominent Middle Eastern journalist as such - “IUMS members
justified violence and started an intellectual war with muftis and
traditional Islamic scholars, undermining them in their home countries
and ridiculing their religious edicts.”
A Malay-only affair
The reality is that for some time now, all cabinet decisions have
been Umno supreme council decisions. And since the Umno supreme council
is a Malay-only affair, the argument could be made that there is already
an unofficial “Malay-only” cabinet.
Do not take my word for it. In a Malaysiakini interview, former MIC head honcho S Samy Vellu (photo) claimed that MIC had no voice
in the cabinet. Other MCA leaders have made the same claim at various
times in various news outlets. Collective decision-making is difficult
when it comes to racial politics because at every turn Umno - or any
Malay/Muslim political party – has to demonstrate that they are
defending “bangsa dan agama” (race and religion).
Do not get me wrong. The reason why this country has been able to
maintain the facade of being a “moderate” Islamic country is the urban
demographics and policy decisions that enabled relative economic success
despite all the leakages. In others words, there was political will
that this country would not turn into just another failed Islamic state.
As I wrote
before, “I would argue, and have done so many times, that the only
reason why Umno continues to make overtures to the non-Malay community
is that it needs them as a fig leaf in its charade as a
multiracial/multireligious coalition and maybe to hedge its bets against
the possibility of a sizable Malay revolt. Not to mention that the plum
urban seats are the trough from which its cronies feed from.”
Now, of course the split in the Malay community, the missteps of the
opposition and the machinations of Umno have resulted in the extreme
fringe – the unthinking fringe – of the Malay right to come out with all
sorts of remedies to “save” the Malay polity.
I do wonder, though, while we have had royal personalities speak out
against certain opposition figures and speak out against religious
personalities attempting to sow racial and religious discord, but so far
there has been no official statement from any royal household over the
overtly bigoted and unconstitutional provocation of Hadi. This should
tell you something about the political system here in Malaysia.
Muslims cannot decide for non-Muslims
PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan’s claimthat
what Hadi meant was that “some cabinet positions must be reserved for
Malay-Muslims” is even more of an indictment than what Hadi said because
at least Hadi was honest. Nasrudin’s horse manure that Muslims should
be the ones making policy and non-Muslims should be the ones
implementing them is terrifying and the most insidious aspect of the
Islamisation process in this country. As usual, what we are witnesses to
is Islamists wanting non-Muslims to be complicit in their subjugation.
Think about this for a moment. Muslim potentates would decide policy
and these policies – there is enough empirical evidence to suggest that
these policies would be detrimental to non-Muslims – and non-Muslims
would be “lucky” enough because this is “unlike other political systems,
which only accept those with the same ideology” to implement these
What separates Hadi from the rest of the Umno-aligned herd is that
the PAS base still believes that they have a shot at truly influencing
the direction of this country. In this case, for instance, they do not
view what Hadi said as malicious or bigoted. They believe that it demonstrates that PAS is willing to work with
anyone and that even in an Islamic state headed by PAS, non-Muslims
would be part of the government and they would not have a problem only
being part of the “implementation” because all the policy decisions made
by Muslim potentates would be fair and just.
The funny thing is that state governments controlled by the
opposition bend over backwards to accommodate Muslims’ preoccupations
and have to continuously defend themselves against charges of racism and
yet the mainstream Malay establishment does not disavow someone like
Stop harassing professor Shad Saleem Faruqi - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “Iksim
propounds the view that Islam does not come under the jurisdiction of
any political power. According to it, religious enforcement authorities
come under the patronage of the Sultans, not state governments. This is a
remarkable vision of an autonomous, almost all-powerful, religious
elite that is like a state within a state." - Shad Saleem Faruqi
I have often referenced professor Shad Saleem Faruqi's articles in my
articles, sometimes agreeing; sometimes disagreeing with what he
writes. If someone were to tell me that Shad's intention in anything he ever
wrote was to insult or breach the peace, I would burst out in hysterical
laughter. This academic (unlike this writer) has never written a
polemic, as far as I can tell. In addition, I have probably read
everything this man has written. If you have not read the article,
that has got Iksim all in a rage, I suggest that you read it and
determine if anything in that article warrants the state security
apparatus “probing” this academic under section 504 of the Penal code.
Instead of engaging with Shad, Iksim resorted to the Islamists
playbook and issued a public statement claiming that Faruqi and the G25
(Noor Farida Ariffin specifically) were attempting to cause racial
disharmony and subverting the Islamic agenda as enshrined in the Federal
Constitution. You can read the full statement here but the relevant passage is this:
"Tohmahan-tohmahan liar berkenaantermasukoleh Prof Emeritus Shad Saleem Faruqi dan Datuk Noor Faridah Ariffin daripuak G25 dilihatsebagaisatucubaanuntukmencetuskanperasaanpermusuhanantarakaum dan agama di negaraini. Kedua-dua merekajelasmenentangpemikiran-pemikirankearahmendaulatkan Islam sebagai agama Negara sekalipuniajelastermaktubdalam Perkara 3(1) dan sumpah Yang di-Pertuan Agong di bawahperkara 37(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan."
In the quote that begins this piece, the good professor, questions
Iksim’s perspective that Islam does not come under the purview of any
political power likening such a perspective to a “state within a state.” If you read the press statement and consider Iksim’s rationale for
going after Shad and the G25, you would come to the realisation that
their “unique” interpretation of the Malaysian constitution and of Islam
in general, is exactly the “state within a state” idea that Shad
alludes to in the quote I referenced.
Have you noticed that Islamists always claim that the people they
target are attempting to cause tension amongst the various ethnic groups
here in Malaysia? Is there any evidence of this? Are non-Muslims
threatened or provoked by what people targeted by groups like Iksim say
and do? I would argue that the only people threatened or provoked are
the Islamist and the reason why they are threatened is that their views
or beliefs are challenged.
Furthermore, Iksim has not rebutted the points raised in Shad's
article. They have not claimed that what he wrote was false or
fallacious. They have not denied the agenda he attributes to them. What
they have done, is use the state to sanction the professor and
intimidate any others who subscribe to his views.
Indeed by their own admission (as quoted by Shad referencing their
March 28 booklet), – “secularism, liberalism and cultural diversity are
elements that will undermine the Islamic agenda and destroy the
In other words, according to Iksim, everything that non-Muslims value
and probably a majority of Muslims are detrimental to the Islamic
agenda in this country. Therefore, when Umno potentates talk of cultural
diversity and protecting the faiths of non-Muslims, this is detrimental
to the Islamic agenda of this country.
When Umno potentates talk about the rich cultural diversity and the
need to respect different cultures as envisioned by the founders of this
country and which is great for tourism, this is detrimental to the
Islamic agenda of the country. When “liberalism” redefined as “moderation” – Islamic or otherwise –
is bandied about as the foundation for economic, social and religious
success by the establishment, this undermines the Islamic agenda in this
And you know what, they are correct. If you believe in the kind of
Islam they believe in and the kind of Islam that the House of Saud, is
slowly and painfully attempting to reject, all these concepts are
detrimental to turning this country into an Islamic state. An Islamic state where the primacy of syariah law and the submission
of Muslims and non-Muslims to a theocratic hegemon is the natural order
of things which is the desired state – and state of being – of Islamists
'Islamists not interested in debate'
A couple of months ago, the crypto-fascists got their knickers in a twist when I wrote
that, liberalism is only a threat to the kind of Islam tyrants preach –
“Those people who fear 'liberalism' however they define it, in reality,
fear the loss of power when empowered societies choose alternatives. So
yes, liberalism is a threat to the kind of Islam they preach. Mind you
they may actually win in a 'fair' democratic contest because that is one
of the perils of democracy. Beyond institutional safeguards, democracy
is a risky endeavour, but I would take it to anything these Islamists
have to offer.” While Shad Faruqi has invited them to debate and challenge his views,
the reality is that Islamists are not interested in debate or
discussion. Their only interest is submission. This is why they have no
need for freedom of speech and expression.
There is enough empirical evidence to demonstrate that such concepts are anathema to the kind of Islam they wish to promulgate. In many of my articles where I discuss the numerous provocations of
the state-sanctioned Islam in the private and public lives of
non-Muslims in Malaysia, I have always made it clear that the people
feeling the brunt of a state-sanctioned religion is the majority, Malay
Muslim population. I have also made it clear, that Malay Muslim public intellectuals,
academics and writers, are at the mercy of the state conspiring with
various Islamists groups – sub rosa and overt – who sanction behaviour
that they and they alone determine to be a threat to the state
Ultimately, Siti Kassim (will someone elect her already) has the
right of it, when in her Facebook page, she wrote: “We must stand with
professor Shad Faruqi. We should never allow these extremists group
taking over our country. Never. Never. Never."