Towards a progressive Malaysia


mt2014-no-holds-barred

Some tolerance and understanding! This is only about what Muslims want and non-Muslims have no rights. Muslims cannot eat during Ramadan so non-Muslims should not eat as well. And if non-Muslims still insist on eating then show respect to the Muslims by eating in the toilet.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

‘New’ Pakatan to include ‘progressive’ and far-sighted members, says Teng Chang Khim

New Malay progressive party can give Umno and PAS a run for their money, says Zaid Ibrahim

It is certainly heartening to read headlines such as the above. It gives me the confidence that there is still hope for Malaysia and that all is not lost, as some may believe. Towards a progressive Malaysia is definitely the way to go. For too long we have been living in a world of ignorance, superstition and nonsensical beliefs.

One very crucial point to remember is that the leaders we choose shape the country. As Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad used to say when he was Prime Minister: leadership by example. Hence the leaders must set the example before we can expect the rakyat to follow suit. So it all starts with the leaders.

The opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, is attempting to reinvent itself. It wants a new Pakatan Rakyat with progressive and far-sighted members. I hope they do not just mean progressive and far-sighted members but progressive and far-sighted leaders as well.

Opposition-friendly people like Zaid Ibrahim have predicted that a new progressive Malay party can give both Umno and PAS a run for their money. But it has to be a party for Malays only, Zaid said. Now, whether a race-based party as opposed to a non-race-based party can be considered progressive or whether that is an oxymoron is certainly something that can be debated.

We must be very careful to not propagate a multi-racial party because a multi-racial party would still be racial whereas a non-race-based party would not. Hence DAP, PKR, Gerakan, PPP, and so on, that claim to be multi-racial parties are still racial. The only thing is they are not one race but many races.

This was a point that the late MGG Pillai used to stress on and many times he tegur PKR (at that time PKN) for saying it is a multi-racial party when it should instead aim to a be a non-race-based party.

Another thing that MGG Pillai used to raise was concerning the gatherings that PKR organised, such as the Hari Raya gathering at the party headquarters or at the President’s house.

MGG Pillai noted that these gatherings served beef but do not serve pork. Beef is halal for Muslims, but not for Hindus and some Buddhists, while pork is haram. So basically it is a feast more suited to Muslims than to non-Muslims.

If PKR is a non-race-based party then it should also serve pork (or not serve beef). In this case what is halal and haram to only Muslims is what matters and whether the others find the food acceptable or not is of no concern to PKR.

Yes, a simple thing like that demonstrates how your mind works. You serve beef but you ban pork. And that is because this is what Muslims want. Hence you do only what Muslims want while what non-Muslims want is not important.

To be progressive we need to change this attitude. Progressive people do not bind themselves to outdated beliefs such as this is halal and that is haram. Those are beliefs from thousands of years ago. Those are beliefs which are supposed to have come from God and which no one can proof. In fact, they cannot even prove whether God exists.

So we need to be clear about what we mean by progressive. Serving beef, which is offensive to Hindus, while banning pork, which is offensive to Muslims, may be seen as a minor issue but it says a lot about how you think. What it says is you are not progressive. You only care about Muslim sensitivities but care a damn about those of non-Muslims.

PAS is said to be not progressive so they want to kick that party out of Pakatan Rakyat and replace it with a new and progressive Islamic party. The fact that they are even talking about an Islamic party, whether progressive or otherwise, shows that their thinking is not progressive.

Why, in the first place, do you even need an Islamic party, progressive or otherwise? Be really progressive and do away with race- and religion-based parties. Be really progressive and end race and religion politics. Forming a new but progressive Islamic party is just like the Taliban or Boko Haram reinventing itself into ISIS or ISIL.

Malaysians in general and Malays/Muslims in particular love to talk about progressive and non-progressive, especially in reference to PAS, without really committing themselves to the ideals and concept of progressiveness.

And this is what irks me. It is like talking about tolerance and understanding while telling non-Muslims that if they want to eat during Ramadan then show respect to the Muslims who are fasting by going to the toilet to eat.

Some tolerance and understanding! This is only about what Muslims want and non-Muslims have no rights. Muslims cannot eat during Ramadan so non-Muslims should not eat as well. And if non-Muslims still insist on eating then show respect to the Muslims by eating in the toilet.

Do Muslims also not need to show respect to non-Muslims? Apparently only non-Muslims must show respect to Muslims and not the other way around. Progressive my foot!

So, what will this new and progressive Islamic party that is going to help reinvent Pakatan Rakyat and turn it into a ‘progressive and far-sighted’ coalition look like? Is it just going to be a clone of PAS? Is the only difference between PAS and PAS Baru is that PAS will push for Hudud now while PAS Baru will hold back on Hudud until such a time that the people have been properly educated and are ready to accept Islamic laws?

And is Hudud now and Hudud later the only difference between PAS and PAS Baru? That is like saying that the difference between Umno and PKR is that Umno wants to retain the NEP while PKR wants the NEP to be better and properly implemented and not abused to make some people rich like now.

So what difference are we talking about then? Both Umno and PKR want the NEP to stay. The only difference between Umno and PKR is that they do no agree on how the NEP should be implemented. But retaining the NEP is a must.

So we need to talk about more than just Hudud. After all, Hudud is never going to be implemented anyway unless they can get a two-thirds majority in Parliament or 148 of the 222 Members of Parliament voting in favour of amending the Federal Constitution to turn Malaysia from a Parliamentary Democracy into a Theological State.

And who are these 148 Members of Parliament who are going to vote in favour of amending the Constitution to turn Malaysia into a Theological State? So why all this brouhaha regarding Hudud when it is never going to happen? If it can happen it would have happened more than 20 years ago when the Kelantan State Assembly first approved it.

So, as I said, we need to talk about more than just Hudud to understand what a new progressive and far-sighted Islamic party means. Just talking about Hudud is not enough. Will this new progressive and far-sighted Islamic party allow Muslims to leave Islam? Will this new progressive and far-sighted Islamic party allow non-Muslims to marry Muslims without the need for the non-Muslim partner to convert to Islam? Will this new progressive and far-sighted Islamic party allow Christians to preach Christianity to Muslims? Will this new progressive and far-sighted Islamic party allow gay unions?

If the answer to all the above and more is ‘no’, then PAS and PAS Baru are merely two peas in the same pod. There is absolutely nothing new or different about PAS Baru compared to PAS. In short, this is all bullshit meant to take Malaysians for a ride. The very fact that you still call your party an Islamic party means you cannot be progressive because religion itself is anti-progressive.

What was it the Christians say? Ah, yes, liberalism is the enemy of Christianity. Yes, even the Christians think so. So what more the Muslims?

 



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