Once a Muslim, always a Muslim

Greg Lopez, New Mandala

Dr. Marzuki Mohamed, ANU alumnus, and advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia recently argued that Malaysia is NOT a secular state.

The timing of Dr. Marzuki’s assertions of course fits a larger strategy undertaken by the ruling party: to use religion as a wedge between Muslims and non-Muslims in general, but also between the parties in the opposition coalition, especially the Islamist PAS, and the social democrats, DAP. Islam is also of course used to ensure compliance, and to stifle dissent.

Having next to nothing to rely on: suffering from massive deficits on the leadership and policy front, and with an increasingly debilitating track record in the economic, social and political front, this is indeed a sound strategy as there are sufficient number of Malaysians, and especially Malaysian Muslims to fall for this – that UMNO is the protector and the guarantor of the sanctity of Islam. To  paraphrase and slightly modify Samuel Johnson, “religion is indeed the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Another ANU alumnus, Dr. Kikue Hamayotsu, give credence to the argument that Islam is used simply as a means to ensure the continuation of this corrupt regime. In her article, she argues that: