PAS, Muslim unity and Zakar Naik - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
The "Bright Bulbs" who screw up Malaysia
Malaysiakini : "Umno and PAS know exactly who we are. So our steps are prudent
and we will continue to support the aspirations of the people, be the
voice and ears of the people, and uphold the hope of the people."- Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa
| I wonder if alleged money launderer, religious provocateur and the
darling of mainstream Malay/Muslim politicians, Dr Zakir Naik will
attend the Umno/PAS signing of their charter this Friday. After
all, Zakir is the spiritual adoptive parent of this union. Sure, he may
be late to the party – or maybe not – but his polemics closely echoes
that coming out of this union.
that “Muslim” unity trumps everything is broadcast plain and clear from
his nights of “"Malam Islam bersatu bersama Dr Zakir Naik,” or his speeches about the topic – Unity of Muslim Ummah. Non-Muslims
think of such events in simplistic terms. They see it as a union
between kleptocrats and extremists. While the political personalities
involved may fit those descriptions, what is really happening is a
coalescing of Islamic agendas into a potent political force.
has been attempted before, but the political terrain is different now.
It would be unwise to dismiss such a union, especially when there is no
alternative when it comes to the state-sponsored religion in this
country. One of the reasons why I keep harping on the need for a
secular alternative, especially when it comes to young people, is
because they are the vote base that the progressive forces in this
country should be cultivating. I was always supportive of lowering the
voting age, and think this is decisive, in keeping with the New Malaysia
agenda that Harapan seems to have forgotten.
Ridhuan Tee Abdulah (above),
in a piece published on the Isma website, had his concerns. He was
concerned that young Malay/Muslims were not as interested in engaging in
the political process as their young Chinese counterparts. He blamed
this on numerous factors, including the differing standards in “Chinese”
and “Malay” dominated schools.
Parts of his article was insightful, but ultimately, it was in the service of Muslim unity, disguised as some sort of guide to making young Malay/Muslims politically active. Ridhuan’s
opinion is important because it demonstrates that the Islamists and the
far-right forces in this country are cognisant of the fact that the
ballot box, especially in Peninsular Malaysia dominated by a
Malay/Muslim majority with a specific religious and racial agenda, will
determine the course of this country for decades to come.
in his latest piece (published on the Isma website), Ridhuan reminds us
that the Umno/PAS union is not merely to defeat Harapan in the next
election, but rather is the basis for Malay/Muslim rule for decades to
come. The process of indoctrinating young people, therefore, becomes
This is why someone like Zakir Naik is an important
mouthpiece for mainstream Malay political parties. Non-Muslims mock
Umno/PAS as kleptocrats who looted this country. What they fail to
understand is that the kind of Islam propagated by the likes of Zakir
Naik, and now Umno/PAS, means that kleptocrats are better leaders than
honest politicians, but more importantly, neither Islam nor the country
To Zakir (above)
and the legions who follow him, including Harapan politicians, Islam is
already perfect. This means that it is Muslims who are not living up to
perfection. While politicians use religion as some sort of
ideological framework, the reality is that for people who support
Umno/PAS, this is not about policy per se, but rather that Muslim unity
is undermined by the non-Malays in this country and by those “Malay”
elements who either are in thrall to non-Muslims or believe in “liberal”
Isma’s Aminuddin Yahay begs Dr Mahathir to exert control
over the forces that undermine Malay/Muslim unity in this country. The
Isma president does not talk about the social-economic problems facing
the Malay/Muslim community, but frames the discourse as a clash of
civilizations. Us against them.
This is why the Umno/PAS union is
effective. Their narrative, Zakir’s narrative, is easy to buy into. You
do not have to think about the reasons why there is economic disparity
among the various communities, but rather that religion is the panacea
for everything. When an academician suggests that Umno/PAS ditch
the more inclusive narrative, why do you think that is? Because what
someone like Zakir demonstrates is that Muslim unity is an easier sell
than mutual cooperation.
When Dr M invited all Muslim parties to
join Bersatu, what did PAS say? “When it comes to the concept of unity,
it should be remembered that Umno remains the core for Malay-Muslim
political parties,” said deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. This
is also why politicians like Harapan’s religious czar Mujahid Yusof
Rawa are determined to buff up their religious bona fide. They do not
have a history of the kind of Islam that has been fed to the masses for
Indeed, Mujahid has a history of “progressive”
politics which has come back to bite him, hence he is always on the
lookout to demonstrate how Islamic the Harapan regime is. Do not
dismiss the union of PAS and Umno. With Zakir in play, Malaysia, more
than ever, could become the Islamic paradise some would like it to be.
Unlike Harapan, these people know exactly who they are and as the days
go by, they will become more unapologetic.
This, of course, would mean more religious interference from Harapan. Zakir would be proud.