Mahathir eroded Malaysia's once-liberal traditions and generations of rightful citizens, the non-Muslims, became known as second-class citizens.

Muslims should be “less hypocritical”

Written by Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle

Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew urged local Muslims to “be less strict on Islamic observances” to aid integration and the city-state's nation-building process.

In his book “Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going,” he stressed the importance of racial harmony and said, “I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam."

He said, “I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration - friends, intermarriages and so on...”

He called on the community to be “less strict on Islamic observances”, and said, “I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate.”

Lee is surely aware that in Malaysia, in the 80s and 90s, Mahathir Mohamad who was the Prime minister, and his Umno party, started an ambitious modernization program based on two guiding principles.

First, they gave Islam a dominant and re-energised role in public life. They stressed that Muslim values and identity were all important. They forged new links with other Muslim countries. They built up Islamic institutions.

Second, they pressed ahead with “affirmative action” policies, which were started in the 70s which projected the Malays into a privileged position in government, education and the bureaucracy.

These twin goals were demeaning to the non-Muslim minority, in a country which cannot really claim that it is truly democratic.

Mahathir also caused Umno and PAS to engage in a “holier-than-thou" battle.

Mahathir did our country much harm. During his time, he bulldozed his new Malaysian identity based on Islam and caused many in the civil service to don more conservative forms of clothing. Women started to wear the tudung not because they wanted to but because of peer pressure. Men started to wear the Arab robes and shun their baju Melayu. The civil service started to abandon any previous non-Malay characteristics.

Even government buildings started to have the ‘Arabian nights’ look and our form of Malaysian or Malay architecture with high roofs and double eaves for ventilation, were abandoned.

Girls, including toddlers were put in head dress and very young children of different sexes, were stopped from mingling. In the schools, interaction between the races was kept to a minimum.

It is the hypocrisy that is disgusting.

Although Islam says there is equality among the sexes, men keep a firm rein on power and prevent women from doing many things that they could do, in an equal world. Men are the ones who decide who and what goes in syariah law.

The men keep a close check on their womenfolk but are free to marry young girls, even underaged children.

Both the men and women keep up appearances in Malaysian public life, but arrange secret liaisons overseas with their mistresses or lovers. Many older Datuks holding responsible positions in Malaysia, are frequently seen in Singapore, Thailand or London with other much younger women.

On a recent trip to Haadyai, I boarded the bus with several old and frail Malay men, but on reaching Haadyai, as they disembarked from the bus, pushed me aside, as they sprinted towards the ‘naughty houses’.

The not so-wealthy drink, visit houses of ill-repute and gamble as soon as they are across the border. Their retransformation into pious Muslims, just a few feet onto Malaysian soil, is little short of miraculous.

For the privileged, money and position brings both favours and influence. Their sons and daughters are able to frequent Kuala Lumpur nightclubs in skimpy clothing and drink hard liquor, without being ‘disturbed or arrested. Other Muslims, who dare to be themselves, will suddenly find their “Kartika” moment.

The constitution says we have religious freedom but religious symbols of non-Islamic faiths are not allowed. Crosses were removed from school badges of the mission schools. School chapels were desecrated and many historical and religious symbols brought by the nuns who founded the schools, were hauled away by the lorry-load.

Prominent Muslims are allowed to own or have shares in brewing companies, whereas one Muslim girl went through hell for having half a pint of beer.

No-one is saying that Muslims should not have a good time.

People only object to those holier-than-thou types because away from the prying eyes, these people are just like you and me, but would rather impose what they perceive to be God’s will on others.

Thus, it is the hypocrisy which stinks, worse than “your grandmothers' smelly shoes.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mamakthir bin pariah got pissed of Hindus classify converts as pariahs,hence revenged through abdullah bin pariah

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