The Religious Front

By batsman 

The political struggle must necessarily be engaged on many fronts, not just on the internet. It is on the religious front that the opposition PR coalition suffers one of its greatest weaknesses.

The recent JAIS raid on a Christian fund raising dinner exposes serious wounds which even now some people refuse to see or acknowledge. They are in deepest denial. 

UMNO has no qualms about mixing politics with religion. Any inconsistencies in UMNO’s brand of politics with religion is glossed over with brute force of power, wealth and arrogance. Here, brainy internet bloggers have less impact with their reasoning and clever arguments than they think. 

On the other hand, PAS has trouble trying to mix politics with religion and it is beginning to show. This means PAS has not found a stable equilibrium in its brand of politics with religion. PAS’s struggle has not matured sufficiently for it to sit comfortably with its secular coalitions partners in the PR. It is not as if circumstances and conditions that exist in Turkey also exist in Malaysia to the same degree as well. 

Added to this difficulty, all the non-Muslim religious organizations refuse to engage in politics under the ideology and world view that politics and religion must be separate. It does not take a brainy person to see that if UMNO has no problems mixing politics with religion and all the rest of non-Muslim organizations refuse to engage in politics, where the advantage lies. 

At this stage, under the special circumstances of Malaysian politics, it makes good sense for all non-Muslim organizations to be especially sensitive to PAS’s problems, in order to achieve some sort of balance in an equally matched 2 party political system. Without this sympathy, there will be no equally matched struggle on the religious front of politics in Malaysia. UMNO will be supreme on this front. 

Non-Muslim religious organizations therefore cannot reject politics even if they wish to. By doing so, they will be foisting the problem on to the shoulders of the secularists to fight the political struggle while they concentrate on “saving souls”. Therefore even a seemingly innocuous invitation by Christians to Muslims to dinner can have enormous political impact. By refusing to acknowledge this in the hope of separating politics from religion is an act of deepest denial. 

This is exactly the situation that will cause friction between PAS and the secularists. Such a situation means that non-religious organizations in Malaysia will be in deepest denial. 

In PAS, the friendly struggle between the Erdogans and the conservatives reflect the situation in the Muslim community itself. This struggle is ongoing and has no definite result. It would be unreasonable to expect PAS to mature beyond what the community is able to support. 

It would therefore seem that if the non-Muslim communities leave the political struggle to the secularists, it must necessarily be treated as a long term thing with changes in the mindsets of Malaysians expected to occur only very slowly. Malaysia cannot change beyond small increments at this stage. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that in the short term, the political struggle on the religious front will be overwhelmingly dominated by UMNO. With this realization, the follow up realization that the PR will most probably not be able to form the next government of Malaysia is also quite a reasonable one. 

It would seem that brainy RPK has already come to this conclusion, which is why he thinks the next best thing is for Ku Li to be the next Prime Minister of Malaysia. Unfortunately, as usual, he is being whacked mercilessly for being a non-conformist – maybe for being a little wishy-washy too. heeheehee.