“It is bad enough that the MCCBCHST tried to sanctify Guan Eng’s slur by pinning the blame squarely on PAS and UMNO. It is worse when one considers that the person they sought recourse to was none other than Mahathir, the very person who amended tenets to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia in ways that further Islamised the nation”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
You have this Facebook user splashing a huge caricature of the Prophet Muhammad all over his page, painting the Prophet out to be a pedophile. Then, you have his excellency the Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng, telling all and sundry that the pact PAS entered with UMNO was a declaration of war against the non-Malays. Instead of issuing a strong reprimand, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) came right out to tell us “well, Guan Eng may have said this, but hey, you guys must take a step back and understand where he’s coming from, ok?” And on the Prophet Muhammad?
They had nothing.
At this juncture, it puzzles me which of the council president’s two heads – if you know what I mean – does the thinking. Imagine the MCCBCHST writing in a petition, signed by members representing the various faiths, that Lim’s outburst was the result of statements PAS and UMNO made over the years relating to the rights of non-Muslims. That’s just like me saying the slaughtering of the Chinese on the 13th of May 1969 was justified as many a Chinaman back then was excessively pompous, conceited and condescending towards the Malay.
It is one thing that the MCCBCHST completely ignored the fact that two wrongs do not a right make. It is another when one considers that what one perceives to be wrong may well be right in another’s book. PAS is a Muslim based entity that is bound to have some perception or other of how the country ought to be governed. UMNO is predominantly Muslim and has its own take on what constitutes the rights of the Malays and the non-Muslims. Should the two feel that Malaysia is an Islamic state, there is nothing the MCCBCHST can do about it apart from seeking dialogues to cover middle ground.
Has Jagir Singh thought of this?
I mean, is it not ironical that people like Jagir should raise the matter up with the Prime Minister? Let us not forget, that this is the same Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who told a Gerakan Annual Delegates’ Conference in 2001 that Malaysia was and Islamic state. Then, when asked by reporters outside the convention hall, he added that the brand of Islam practiced by the Government of Malaysia (GoM) was fundamentalist, meaning, the GoM was literal in its interpretation of both the Qu’ran and the Hadith.
Needless to say, Lim Kit Siang was up in arms and demanded an explanation from Mahathir. When a group of non-Muslims decided to meet the latter, he coolly told them that the non-Muslims were free to regard the country as secular if they so wished. That led to the group members going home grinning from ear to ear, not knowing that the Prime Minister subtly revealed to them what every sane-minded constitutional expert will probably be able to tell you. And that is, the Federal Constitution of Malaysia is silent on the issue of secularity, although, when read as a singular instrument of law, dictates that our country is anything but a secular state.
Now try telling that to Lim Kit Siang. Try telling him, that because we have a dual system of law, our country can never be regarded a secular state no matter how loud one squeals. Try explaining to him that because Article 3 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia dictates that Islamic law is a matter for the state except for the Federal Territories of Malaysia, we’re more Islamic than his goons in the DAP choose to imagine. Try asking him to suggest that the Syariah Courts be disbanded altogether and see what me and my guys will end up doing.
It is bad enough that the MCCBCHST tried to sanctify Guan Eng’s slur by pinning the blame on PAS and UMNO. It is worse when one considers that the person they sought recourse to was none other than Mahathir, the very person who amended tenets to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia in ways that further Islamised the nation. Let me remind Jagir Singh and his band of interfaith buffoons, that in 1998, Mahathir introduced the heavily disputed and controversial clause 1A into Article 121, the very clause that consolidated the dual system of law. Note, that on 11thof December 2006, the Malaysian Bar wrote:
The second significant amendment in 1988 was the inclusion of new clause (1A) into Article 121 that stated: “The courts referred to in Clause (1) shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any matter within the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts.”
Syariah courts are the courts created by State Assemblies to administer certain Islamic laws. The Constitution says syariah courts can only have jurisdiction “over persons professing the religion of Islam ” and in respect only of certain specific matters of Islamic law, listed in the Constitution.
If two Muslims have a problem involving their personal law (for example, a divorce between a Muslim couple), then this is a “matter within the jurisdiction of the syariah courts”. The civil courts should not interfere when one party comes to the civil court after losing a case in the syariah courts.
This was all that was intended with the inclusion of Article 121(1A).
The Malaysian Bar
Is Jagir aware that Kit Siang foamed in the mouth when this was revealed?
But then, the senior Lim almost always foamed in the mouth whenever it concerned Bahasa Malaysia and Islam. Back in the eighties, he depicted Mahathir as a “closet fundamentalist whose sole mission was to Islamise Malaysia.” On the 5thof July 2017, I wrote:
Kit Siang has been against the right of Muslims to embrace the full scope of the Islamic Syaria for decades. Over the years, he made countless attempts to turn the Chinese against Islam, impressing upon them that UMNO was bent on Islamizing every faculty within its span of control. There are several instances in history to help me drive this point through.
One in particular is the Private Member’s Bill Kit Siang introduced to Parliament on the 20th of June 1980. On that day, the senior Lim moved that the Dewan Rakyat grant him leave to introduce the Education (Amendment) Act 1980, providing for the repeal of Clause 21(2) of the Education Act 1961.
The clause reads:
Where at any time the Minister is satisfied that a National-type primary school may suitably be converted into a National primary school, he may direct that the school shall become a National primary school.
The senior Lim insisted that by repealing the clause, the government would prove its sincerity in accepting Chinese and Tamil primary schools as “an integral and eternal part of the national education system.”
However, when his attempts to force the then premier, Tun Hussein Onn, to support his proposals failed, he became persistent and relentless with attacks against the government by invoking Islamophobia. The senior Lim began to imply that the government was playing pucks with the minds of the Chinese and soon-to-be-voters by Islamising education in local Universities.
Then, in a forum held at Universiti Malaya on the 24th of November in 1984, Kit Siang openly accused the Mahathir administration of attempting to Islamise the economy, education, administration and “other spheres of national life.”
“The UMNO in government appears more concerned about competing with PAS which wants an all-out Islamic state, then in holding firm by the constitutional provision of Malaysia as a secular and multi-religious nation,” he said.
Reading between the lines, you will see how he invoked fear among the Chinese with the idea that UMNO was attempting to indoctrinate Islamic values into mainstream policies. Two years on, he repeated some of these claims at Universiti Sains Malaysia, adding that there was a conscious attempt by the government to force Islam upon non-Muslims.
“Recently, there have been a spate of under-aged non-Muslims being forced to convert to Islam, and forcedly taken away from their homes and parents. I do not believe that there is any religious in the world advocates the break-up of the family ties and family unit, for in Eastern society, to family unit is the integral unit of society. Of family unit is destroyed, society is also destroyed.”
No evidence was ever presented to substantiate these claims.
On the 8th of August 2011, his blog hosted an article, an excerpt from which reads as follows:
“I am equally alarmed at the current intellectual fad of “Islamisation” of knowledge, that is, the attempt to put an Islamic imprint on all disciplines, especially the natural sciences. Invariably it means the adulteration of science. Thus we have Islamic “scientists” who have never seen, let alone used, a test tube.”
Through the article, Kit Siang was attempting to trigger the exodus of Malaysian students towards Singapore by funnelling doubt in the minds of the Chinese against local Universities. The senior Lim knew that Singaporean academicians were strictly guarded in their approach by the PAP government and adhered to evangelist themed ideologies that were communally biased.
Given all the above, is the MCCBCHST still bent on blaming PAS and UMNO for Guan Eng’s slur?