Theocratic 3 P’s – prohibit, persecute & punish


The lamentable incident (or incidents, since there have been more than one case) of municipal authorities in Kota Bharu applying Islamic laws and/or regulations on non-Muslims has been in some ways a blessing at this particular point in time, when many non-Muslims particularly Chinese are just about to vote overwhelmingly for PAS, an unusual voting trend even far greater than the one in March 2008 or in the several by-elections since.

Two factors have influenced the unusual non-Muslims’ change of political preference for an Islamic party, one which they had previously feared (prior to the last general election). These factors have been:

(a) Their revulsion, particularly by Chinese Malaysians, for UMNO’s utter corruption and unabated greed, vile, frightening and hurtful racism and, most of all, the sheer unabashed feral and teflon-ized arrogance, combined with total disgust for the sycophantic effeminate ineffectual political voice/influence of MCA, MIC and Gerakan, and

(b) PAS presentation of itself with a softer face, a party more concerned with combating corruption than religious proselytization, one that will promote social welfare and justice, and an antagonist, antithesis and antidote to the monstrous UMNO, as exemplified by the attractive personalities of Nik Aziz, Mat Sabu, Khalid Samad and most of all, Nizar Jamaluddin. Recently, even anti-Valentine Day’s Nasrudin Hasan, the Chief of PAS Youth, has moderated his right-wing stance to assume a more affable persona.

popular and trusted Nizar Jamaluddin

But from time to time there have been slips by PAS where we caught glimpses of their true face, even of/from the leaders we had deemed very tolerant, those whom we could trust, respect and even love.

In August 2010, the frail grandfatherly-looking Pak Haji Nik Aziz showed his hard face when he called for the death sentence for those who dumped their babies born out of wedlock, but without mentioning or considering the social, cultural and yes, religious circumstances which left those young and probably teenage mums no or very little other choice.

The treatment by a secular state would have been diametrically opposite to Nik Aziz’s cruel crushing capital punishment for those very much frightened ‘mums’, already suffering from desertion, desperation, and deprivation of love, support and compassion.

We should be placing emphasis on education, guidance and counselling rather than stoning people to death. And if society has been more understanding, and parents or families of the unfortunate young women provide support in accepting and caring for the unwanted babies, we would have less of ‘baby dumping’.

As if that was not cruel enough, he shocked us further by demanding that illicit (unmarried) lovers be stoned to death.

It’s bad enough to have capital punishment without that barbarous Middle-Eastern atrocity, which is best left to the Arabs and Israelis (recall in which country was this first said “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her”?).
In Malaysiakini’s Karpal locks horns with Nik Aziz over baby dumping, Karpal Singh commented that Nik Aziz’s proposal was far too harsh, when more should instead be done to study the root cause of the baby dumping.

Bhai stated: “I am somewhat disturbed by the statement of Nik Aziz, who not only supports the use of capital punishment for those found guilty of dumping babies but has also asked for those committing illicit sex to be stoned to death.

“Nik Aziz should realise we do not live in primitive times. In the present time and age, the punishment of stoning to death, which is a cruel and unjust punishment, does not, and cannot have a place.” 

“What is required is an in-depth study of the reasons which lead to what has become a topic of grave concern … what has to be looked at with the eye of a hawk is not the symptoms, but the cause, before resorting to cries for the death penalty.”

Mind you, UMNO couldn’t claim any high grounds on the baby dumping tragedy, because Malaysiakini also told us that:

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil had previously called for cases of baby dumping to be filed as attempted murder or murder cases. According to the Penal Code, anyone convicted of murder carries a mandatory death sentence.

Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir had once lamented in her Star column (as best as I can recall, in my own words) that one of Malaysia’s deficiencies in its Islamic programs and implementations has been the poor educating of the government’s Islamic clerics.

Now, if PAS’ learned Mursyidul Am (spiritual advisor) could be so ferociously cruel in his outlook towards some Islamic ‘crimes’ (instead of being compassionate), what hope then is there for balanced and compassionate considerations from those less educated and less learned than him, plebes like those intrusive Kota Bharu municipal officers.

Then to add chillies to the sad tragedies, as reported by Malaysiakini’s Valentine’s Day blamed for baby dumping PAS Youth Chief Nasrudin Hassan bizarrely blamed celebrations on Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Day as the root cause, where these celebrations encourage free sex that has led to … yadda yadda yadda … culminating in baby dumping.

Nasrudin claimed: “It’s an indication that the ‘mating season’ occurred during the New Year’s Day celebrations.”
My dear Nasrudin, New Year’s Days and Valentine’s Days have been celebrated all over the world, yet other countries haven’t had our kind of baby dumping. Why?
‘Coz their societies are far more humane, compassionate, caring, supportive and less misogynistic. And we could certainly do with less of such nonsensical PAS self-interests-driven pronouncements.

Quite frankly, I have never heard of any theocratic state which was tolerant, balanced or compassionate, not even in medieval theocratic (Buddhist) Tibet.

Invariably, lowly educated or/and young clerics or religious enforcement officers, given almost unrestrained powers, would sense an uncontrollable compulsion to prohibit, persecute (not prosecute, though that’d come subsequently), and punish – if anything, just to show their powers, and to invoke fears (which they possibly mistake for respect).