And they ban books, don’t they?

Is the government prepared to do this? Is Muhyiddin prepared to do this? Are they prepared to allow the Malays to progress by removing the shackles from their minds? A free mind may see a progressive race but this may also mean that people will now reject certain values that have been implanted in the minds of the Malays merely to make them subservient to Umno.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Be self-reliant, Malays urged

PEOPLE’S GATHERING: Muhyiddin warns against wayward ideology

(NST) – MALAYS have to stand united and learn to be self-reliant instead of depending on the government to help them, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin  Yassin.

He called on the Malays to emulate the Chinese, who did not depend much on the government in contributing to the economic development.

He also said some leaders practised wayward ideology and that Malays were their own enemies if they accepted the ideology.

“The leaders also try to use religious beliefs to garner votes by saying that those who support their party will get pahala (blessings),” he said at a gathering of 1,000 people at the Zon here yesterday.

Called “Sembang-Sembang with the Deputy Prime Minister”, the event was organised by Pertubuhan Warisan Melayu Negeri Johor. Among those present were Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and State Assembly Speaker Datuk Mohd Ali Hassan.

The event was organised to strengthen ties between the grassroots and leaders.


Henry the VIII’s first wife was Catherine of Aragon, who was initially betrothed to Henry’s brother, Arthur, when she was three and he two. In 1501, when Catherine was almost 16, she and Arthur were married in the St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Unfortunately, however, six months later, Arthur died, making Catherine a widow.

Now, why was Arthur ‘married off’ to Catherine when he was two and she three? Well, it was because Catherine was the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain and Henry the VII, Arthur’s father, wanted to cement an alliance with Spain. Hence the children were promised to each other or betrothed at 2 and 3 years old respectively.

Furthermore, Henry the VII also needed money because England was on the verge of bankruptcy. By marrying Arthur off to Catherine, England would receive 200,000 pounds, 100,000 in advance and 100,000 after the wedding, a lot of money in those days.

Arthur’s death merely six months after the wedding posed a problem for Henry the VII. He would not only be unable to collect the second payment of 100,000 pounds but he would also have to return the advance payment of 100,000. And England did not have the money to do this.

Hence Henry the VII proposed that the widow Catherine be married off to Arthur’s younger brother, Henry Junior or Henry the VIII. However, such things were never done — a brother marrying his brother’s widow — so permission would first be required from the Pope in Rome. The Pope, somehow, gave his permission, for whatever reason we do not know, and Catherine was wedded to Henry the VIII, her late husband’s brother. And Henry the VII not only managed to collect the balance 100,000 pounds but he did not need to refund the advance payment of 100,000 pounds as well.

Under normal circumstances, the marriage of Catherine and Henry the VIII would not be legal. However, since the Pope is God’s representative on earth and since the Pope speaks on behalf of God, whatever the Pope decrees is as good as God decreeing it. Hence marrying your brother’s widow is legal if the Pope says so.

Soon after their marriage, Catherine got pregnant. But the first child was stillborn, the second died after 52 days, the third was a miscarriage, and the fourth also died soon after being born. In February 1516, she gave birth to a daughter named Mary, and this was the only living child of Catherine and Henry the VIII. Two more pregnancies after that also ended in disasters and Henry the VIII realised that Catherine was not going to leave him a male heir.

On 25th January 1533, Henry the VIII married his second wife, Anne Boleyn. But he could not divorce Catherine, who died three years later in 1536, as the church did not allow divorces. Hence he had to get his marriage to Catherine declared tak sah (null and void) on grounds that you cannot marry your brother’s widow even if the Pope says you can and gave you ‘special exemption’ to do so.

But the Pope would not declare Henry the VIII’s marriage to Catherine as illegal, which would mean that the marriage would automatically be nullified. So Henry the VIII’s advisors came out with an idea to split from Rome. Furthermore, the church owned 20% of the land in England, which they collected tithes on. This huge sum of money was being sent to Rome whereas if the King confiscated all the church lands the money would go to the crown instead.

So it made sense to split from Rome. Not only could Henry the VIII get his marriage to Catherine nullified, he could also grab the wealth of the church and solve England’s financial problem. Soon after that England became one of the richest states in Europe.

So, for reasons of declaring his first marriage illegal, whereby Henry the VIII could then marry Anne and get a male heir, plus to be able to stop all that money from going to Rome, England split from Rome and the Church of England was created with the King the head of the church and the new representative of God on earth who would then speak on behalf of God.

Of course, there were still many papists amongst the English people (plus in Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well) and there was resistance to this move. For example, York broke away from England and chose to remain loyal to Rome. Hence they had to pass a sedition law, the Sedition Act, which made it a crime to speak against the government or the King. Henry the VIII then invaded York and hanged all the rebel leaders. He also burned all the Catholic churches and put to death those still propagating the ‘old’ religion of Rome.

But Anne also did not leave Henry the VIII with any male heirs. Her only living child was a girl, Elizabeth. So in 1536, when his first wife, Catherine, died, Henry the VIII executed Anne and married his third wife, Jane Seymour. A year later, Jane got pregnant and gave birth to a son, Edward, but Jane died two weeks later.

Okay, I am not going to talk about Henry the VIII’s last three wives. What I want to talk about is Henry the VIII”s three living children, Mary from Catherine of Aragon, Elizabeth from Anne Boleyn, and Edward from Jane Seymour.

Before Henry the VIII died, he prepared a will that said in the event of his death, Edward was to become his successor and if Edward died then Mary would take over and if Mary died then Elizabeth was to inherit the throne.

Henry the VIII died on 28th January 1547 and, in accordance to his will, Edward was made King. But he was only nine years old so England was actually ruled by a Council until Edward came of age. However, before that could happen, Edward died, at the age of 15.

Now, according to Henry the VIII’s will, if Edward died, then Mary was supposed to take over. But Mary was a devout Catholic while England was now Protestant. So the Council tried to block Mary’s succession to the throne by appointing Lady Jane Grey as Queen. Lady Jane Grey managed to rule as Queen for only nine days after which she was ousted and Mary took over as Mary I.

Mary realised that England was Protestant and this posed a serious threat to her position. Hence she tried to purge England of Protestantism and many Protestants were sent to their deaths, burned alive at the stake. The Protestants were really made to suffer, whereby earning Mary 1 the nickname ‘Bloody Mary’.

Mary, however, ruled for only five years and when she died Elizabeth took over as Elizabeth I and ruled for almost 45 years. And when Elizabeth took over she purged England of the Catholics, just like what Mary did to the Protestants before that, and many papists were arrested and executed.

The Catholics, however, plotted against Elizabeth and tried to put her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, onto the throne. Elizabeth arrested Mary and after almost 19 years under detention she was eventually executed in 1587. Elizabeth continued to rule until her death in 1603.

Now, what is the whole purpose of this long story? Simple, you need to understand history to understand the implications of what happened and why things are what they are today. For example, by law, a Catholic cannot sit on the throne of England or become its Prime Minister. And this is because of the challenge by the Catholics to Elizabeth’s rule. So they had to pass a law to make it illegal to put a Catholic onto the throne of England.

They also passed the Sedition Act. This was to stop the English from criticising Henry the VIII for declaring the marriage to his first wife as null and void on grounds that the Pope had no power to legalise what was illegal even if he is considered God’s representative on earth. And because the British ruled Malaya and Malaya adopted the British legal system, Malaysia too has the Sedition Act, which makes it a crime for anyone to criticise the Agong or State Rulers (as many opposition leaders have discovered). In fact, I was arrested and charged for sedition for writing about the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife (which is not a crime even in England during Henry the VIII’s time).

Now, I want to relate what I wrote above to Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement: some leaders practised wayward ideology and that Malays were their own enemies if they accepted the ideology.

500 years ago, the English were not allowed to challenge or criticise the ‘wayward religious ideology’ of the Pope in Rome or the Monarchs of England. Those who did were put to death. Hence laws could be made or changed to suit the whims of those in the corridors of power.

Henry the VII needed money, so he manipulated the system to get this money. Henry the VIII needed a male heir, so he too manipulated the system to get a new wife who could give him a son. Mary I or ‘Bloody Mary’ needed to defend her throne against the Protestants, so she manipulated the system to exterminate the Protestants. Elizabeth I or ‘the Virgin Queen’ needed to defend her throne against the Catholics, so she manipulated the system to exterminate the Catholics.

Basically, it was just one big manipulation game. And religion plus the name of God were used to legitimise this manipulation game. The people and their religious beliefs were played for suckers and those who resisted were arrested, imprisoned or put to death.

The government decided what was correct religious belief and what was wrong religious belief. Books were banned and anyone having in their possession books that were banned were arrested and burned alive as heretics. Both sides did this, the Catholics as well as the Protestants. Action would be taken against anyone who believed in what the government considered as ‘the wrong thing’.

What Muhyiddin said was what they said in England 500 years ago. And they said all this mainly for political reasons. Isn’t this the same in Malaysia today? The government decides what you can and cannot believe. The government decides what is religiously correct and what is religiously wrong. And if you do what the government considers as the wrong thing you would be arrested. And to make sure you do not do the ‘wrong’ thing, books are banned.

What Muhyiddin said about the Malays is quite correct. But the Malays are like this because of the government. If the government wants the Malays to be progressive then the government has to stop banning books and stop deciding what the Malays can and cannot believe. The Malays need to be allowed to free their minds even if this result in them rejecting ‘old values’ or certain religious doctrine that are outdated.

Is the government prepared to do this? Is Muhyiddin prepared to do this? Are they prepared to allow the Malays to progress by removing the shackles from their minds? A free mind may see a progressive race but this may also mean that people will now reject certain values that have been implanted in the minds of the Malays merely to make them subservient to Umno.