Posted tagged ‘extremism in malaysia’

Crying wolf all the time

November 26, 2014

Umno’s stooge, Isma, blames Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim for “emboldening non-Muslims in Malaysia”. Isma’s president, Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman, laments that Anwar’s struggle for liberalism, pluralism, freedom and equality is empowering Chinese, Christians and the DAP. But he concealed the fact that students from local universities are also empowered.

Isma’s president is too narrow-minded and short-sighted to notice that the educated Malaysians of all races and religions also value and cherish liberalism, pluralism, freedom and equality. Does Isma want the Malays to remain backward while the whole world is moving forward?

About a week ago, another Umno stooge, Perkasa, warned Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali that efforts to return the seized Malay and Iban Bibles to the Christians are a threat to Islam and would cause unhappiness among Muslims in the state. Only in Malaysia do we hear that returning the bibles to Christians threatens Islam and causes unhappiness among Muslims.

Even though we have laws and courts to preserve and protect the rights of all races and religions, little Napoleons from Isma and Perkasa take the law into their own hands and pass judgment, and this is detrimental to a plural society like Malaysia’s.

Umno sponsors and outsources its racial slurs and religious bigotry to these extremist groups to blackmail ordinary citizens into submission. In the past 57 years of Umno rule, governance has deteriorated and corruption has increased. The country’s debt has breached the 55% of GDP threshold and household debt has risen from 57% in 2002 to 87% in 2013.

Additionally, the quality of education has deteriorated, and the continuing brain drain is a strain on the nation. To top it off, national unity is threatened and undermined by the likes of Isma and Perkasa. To divert attention from malaise and scandals, Umno hardliners constantly raise race and religious issues.

After spewing racial and religious slurs, these extremists move around as if they have done a great service to the country and Malays. Are ordinary poor Malays in any way enriched or enlightened by the acts of these extremist groups? Over the years, the country has lost and is losing billions of ringgit because of corrupt practices.

But these extremist groups will look the other way just because they are UMNO cronies.

But when the corrupt practices of a few Umno cronies are highlighted, the likes of Isma and Perkasa go on the rampage and claim the whole Malay community is being threatened. In actual fact, they are stifling the progress of the Malay community.

Under Umno rule, these extremists will never be charged under the Sedition Act.

However, any well-meaning individual who exposes and questions the scandals and plundering of Umno will be charged under the Act. No one has yet been charged for the RM300-million National Feedlot Corp scandal in 2007 involving a Wanita Umno leader. Umno has been covering up the scandals and pilferage exposed by the annual Audit reports.

Umno’s patronage, involving highway concessions and privatization of government services, has enriched only Umno’s cronies but impoverished ordinary Malays in kampongs and rural areas.

Malay university students have realized the duplicity of Umno in enriching itself while beating its chest about helping the Malay community.

High-priced areas in the Federal Territory are quietly sold to Umno leaders at cheaper prices. Unfortunately, Isma and Perkasa refuse to see this side of the story. They cry ‘wolf’ all the time.

Bank Bumiputra was set up in 1965 to encourage the Malay community to participate in trade and commerce. The bank was bankrupted by Umno leaders and had to be merged with other banks to survive.

Has Umno helped the Malays? In the name of the Malay community, Umno leaders are enriching themselves and their cronies. To the poor Malays in kampongs, Umno uses race and religion to rally their support. As the adage goes, “Some people can be cheated some of the time but not all the people all the time.” Are Umno’s days numbered?

 

 

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Extremism is so yesterday

October 7, 2014

The Prime Minister in his latest UN speech last week made an international appeal for the global movement of moderates (wasatiyah) to denounce the ISIS force.

Malaysian prime ministers have always appealed for moderation at international forums and when addressing their audiences.

In fact, Malaysia is known as a moderate country whose multiracial groups live harmoniously and have equal rights and privileges.

But the reality on the ground is far from what the outside world understands and knows.

Apartheid in Malaysia is practised by the very people calling for moderation at international forums.

It is the same Datuk Seri Najib Razak, appealing for moderation when abroad, who made calls to Umno members to emulate the bravery of the Isis militants if the Malay nationalist party wanted to survive.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled with an iron fist for 22 years, was a respected progressive leader internationally.

But, back home, he initiated racially-slanted discriminatory policies that promoted and supported race-based affirmative actions and sacrificed needs-based policies.

These actions have perpetuated a high level of nepotism and corruption in all spheres of governance.

Today, the current Prime Minister and his party sponsor racial and chauvinistic parties like PERKASA, ISMA and PERKIDA.

These groups are funded by the National Security Council, Prime Minister’s Department and the Home Affairs Ministry.

These groups can say anything and get away with it, but when a Law Professor like Azmi Sharom interprets the law that highlights the actual reality, he is charged under the Sedition Act.

The Biro Tata Negara (National Civics Bureau or BTN), with an annual budget of RM500 million under the Prime Minister’s Department, is a racial indoctrination camp that distorts history and propagates Umno’s own version of it.

All these have happened right under the Prime Minister’s nose but he looks the other way and chooses to ignore the issues.

But at international forums, it is moderation, meritocracy and other nice things that are sung!

The Prime Minster does not need to look far to notice religious extremism.

Back home there is a steady rise of religious hardliners who are imposing do’s and don’ts on innocent people.

They have grown politically powerful to the extent that even the politicians have to take orders from them.

Tun Dr Mahathir yesterday urged them to condemn ISIS.

But will they speak up against religious extremism?

Religious conversion of minors and unilateral conversions are religious practices that divide the pluralistic population of Malaysia.

They are contrary to basic human tenets. Yet the Malaysian Prime Minister is silent.

Extremism and parochialism have never developed any community or country, but instead have ruined and destroyed harmonious societies.

In the recent PAS Muktamar, the deputy president of the party, Mat Sabu, advised the religious hardliners in his party to remain relevant to capture the support of Malaysia’s youth.

It is timely advice given at the correct forum which hosted religious hard-core and political leaders.

But the hardliners would not take his advice kindly.

Religious hardliners feel that they are holier than others and that they are the self-appointed worldly representatives of God.

Their remaining insular and extreme is all right, but their imposing their views and demanding mandatory compliance with their interpretation of Scriptures and religious documents does bring hardship, strains relationships and restricts the social and economic upward mobility of innocent people.

Religion has dominated politics for a long time in many countries. In Malaysia recently, it has taken centre stage.

Hard-core religious personalities are increasingly becoming influential politicians who propagate their uncompromising, dogmatic, unscientific, religious agenda and use their political position and power to control the minds of the innocent and the naïve.

Our founding fathers would never have approved of the racial, religious and narrow-minded path UMNO has steered itself into.

It has to change course very soon, or the nation will veer off a cliff.