Why the Chinese fear Islam

When PAS first took over Kelantan in 1990 and Terengganu in 1999, the Kelantan Menteri Besar and Terengganu Menteri Besar (Nik Aziz Nik Mat and Abdul Hadi Awang respectively) met the non-Muslim Chinese to talk about what new rules about to be implemented in the state the non-Muslim Chinese can and cannot accept. The Chinese said drinking is part of Chinese tradition and culture, as is gambling. So they would not want these ‘vices’ banned in Kelantan and Terengganu.

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Raja Petra Kamarudin

The editorial or opinion piece by Malaysian Chinese News, which you can read below, says it all. The Chinese or non-Muslims fear PAS because, in the past, Malays-Muslims could drink, gamble, womanise, party and dance (even dress sexily, as you can see from the old Malay movies of the 1950s and 1960s). However, because of PAS, that is now a thing of the past.

Hence PAS is arrogant, says Malaysian Chinese News. And ‘arrogant’ means PAS is against vices and anti-social behaviour that break up families, causes financial problems and bankruptcies, spreads various diseases such as AIDS, and much more, activities which are haram to Muslims but quite acceptable to non-Muslims.

Malaysian Chinese News says it is scary or frightening that “the Government-sponsored social welfare lottery has stopped; folk dances Joget and Ronggeng, once popular among the Malays, have stopped; the festive Garuda procession in the east coast has stopped; the festival Mandi Safar which had drawn thousands of people in Melaka has stopped; Mak Yong, recognized by the United Nations as quintessential Malay musical dance drama has stopped; Wayang Kulit, once popular among the people, is no more while we are now the global leader of Islamic banking and insurance.”

It is apparent that Malaysian Chinese News has a different set of values to Malays-Muslims and interprets good behaviour and bad behaviour differently. Therefore PAS is bad because of its ‘bad values’ even though the majority of Malays-Muslims might think PAS is good because of its Islamic values.

But Malaysian Chinese News is not really telling the whole story here. They just grumble that Malays-Muslims are not allowed to drink, gamble, womanise, etc. There is actually more to PAS than what Malaysian Chinese News is telling us.

When PAS first took over Kelantan in 1990 and Terengganu in 1999, the Kelantan Menteri Besar and Terengganu Menteri Besar (Nik Aziz Nik Mat and Abdul Hadi Awang respectively) met the non-Muslim Chinese to talk about what new rules about to be implemented in the state the non-Muslim Chinese can and cannot accept. The Chinese said drinking is part of Chinese tradition and culture, as is gambling. So they would not want these ‘vices’ banned in Kelantan and Terengganu.

PAS said they can allow drinking and gambling as long as it is not done in public but in the privacy of their homes and as long as Malays-Muslims do not also indulge in what Islam considers haram. This was agreed and the Chinese were allowed to drink and gamble but not in public and not with Muslims.

The other thing that PAS allowed were places of worship for non-Muslims and Nik Aziz immediately approved a Hindu temple (which did not get approval for more than ten years until PAS took over the state in 1990). In fact, the biggest Thai Buddhist temple in Malaysia is in Kelantan.

Kelantan also did not allow the slaughtering of pigs in the state until PAS took over in 1990. Since then Kelantanese Chinese did not need to import pork from the west coast but could now slaughter pigs in Kelantan itself. So Islamic Kelantan allows what Chinese Singapore does not allow: the slaughtering of pigs.

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