Have You Heard of Soraya M.?

By G. Krishnan

The recent buzz about a possible beer ban in primarily “Malay areas” in Selangor got me wondering. Are we too essentially on our way to creating a Malaysia where one segment of our fellow Malaysians will live under completely distinct laws and system of control?

I realise that there is vast difference from what happened to Soraya M in Iran and the kind of Syriah system already in place for Muslims here. But one thing is clear: Umno has done wonders to undermine the secular character of our government. In the final analysis, Umno’s legacy in this respect of course has all to do with the ever-present threat of losing power and losing the ‘Malay vote’ to PAS.

It seems as if the secular Malay voices in the government have either become non-existent or have essentially opted to do that which is politically expedient: self-censor. It is a telling commentary indeed on the state of secularism in the country that Umno has politicised religion to the extent it has. And each time PAS has an opportunity it seems to be itching to impose its own self-righteous moral agenda on Malays.

Some might say well what business is it of yours? But non-Malays can’t pretend and put on blinders like many secular Malays. Our lives have become undeniably intertwined.

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