The attacks on the Islamic Syaria by non-Muslims stops right here, right now
The Third Force
As hard as you may find this to swallow, you don’t really get to say all that you want to say. Welcome to club Malaysia.
Ever since the 13th of May in 1969, everyone has been on about freedom of expression, freedom of this and freedom of that. For some years now, the opposition – in particular, the DAP – has been accusing the government of ruling with an iron hand and castigating all those who opposed its policies and viewpoints.
The administration of Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak hasn’t been spared such prosecution. As a matter of fact, Najib was himself heavily criticised by former premier Tun Dr. Mahathir for allegedly ordering a witch hunt to silence his media critics. Basically, Mahathir is calling Najib a tyrant and a dictator who has turned the government apparatus against freedom of expression.
The DAP is dancing to the same beat. According to the predominantly Chinese based party, democracy demands that citizens be granted freedom of speech, expression and association unrestricted by political intervention. On March the 5th earlier this year, Lim Kit Siang accused Putrajaya of erecting cyber-walls to block access to several online media channels in what he claimed was an attempt to “control the flow of information.”
But the message he’s sending across town is being misinterpreted. Some Malaysians now believe that they should be allowed to say anything they deem fit under the sun, since Article 10 of the Federal Constitution guarantees them the right to freedom of speech, assembly and association. The impression given is that your right to an expression should be absolute, and that any form of intervention by government or authorities is censorship aimed at silencing the critic.
But what Kit Siang does not tell you, is that your right to an expression is contingent upon restrictions as they may be deemed expedient in the interest of national security and public order, and not to mention, in provisions against the contempt of court, defamation and incitement to any offence. The list goes on.
To put it simply, if what you say in any way infringes upon the safety or wellbeing of another, or serves to incite public unrest and jeopardise peace and harmony, you may be hauled up to court for your disruptive behaviour and are liable to be charged under national security laws.
And that’s just looking at Article 10. Truth is, your freedom to an expression is dependent on a host of laws stretching beyond Article 10. In other words, looking at Article 10 alone is just not enough. You have to see the Federal Constitution for what it truly is – a single, supreme charter, rather than a series of disconnected Articles of law.
There is more to the point.
I may not come out publicly to comment about the way the Hindus pray even if it were my personal conviction. I can’t, because Malaysian Hindus have not evolved intellectually to a point where my conviction against their way of worship is held simply to be an opinion and not deemed injurious to the community.
Rather, the Hindus would erupt in frenzy and fork their fingers at me, perhaps even demanding that authorities hold me in contempt for my action. Hence, my act of publically demeaning the Hindu way of worship would undoubtedly incite religious unrest and work against the interest of national security.
Likewise, the Hindus have no business condemning tenets to the Islamic Syariah or telling Muslims how they feel about Islamic laws. The Federal Constitution clearly dictates that the Syariah Courts have jurisdiction only over persons professing the religion of Islam. As a matter of fact, Article 3, which declares Islam to be the religion of the Federation, goes on to say that all other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.
Notwithstanding, if a person of Hindu faith were to say that the Islamic penal code was “all about chopping off the hands of thieves,” he or she would have found fault with Muslims irrespective if the assertion was legit or otherwise. This is so, because Malaysian Muslims, like Malaysian Hindus, have not evolved to a point where a person’s conviction against another’s religion is not deemed blasphemous or an act of contempt against God.
The same principles apply to Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and what not. But there is more to it.
Apart from ridiculing one another’s faith, you can’t blindly accuse the government of harbouring an illicit agenda against minority religions in this country. That would be an act of incitement towards unrest and may be deemed prejudicial against the interests of national security. Not to mention, you would be held in contempt against the Constitution of Malaysia, as the supreme law clearly grants citizens freedom to exercise their religious observances and rites without restraint.
Just take a look at the annual Thaipussam celebration, and you’ll get the picture.
The point is, everything that you say must be well grounded – if you were to advance the idea that the government was on a covert mission to Islamize Malaysia, you would be held accountable for your claim and must be prepared for the consequences. Should you fail to corroborate your claim with evidence that may be admissible in the court of law, you’re likely to find yourself in some deep shit.
Kit Siang knows this. Yet, the senior Lim had accused the federal Government on more than one occasion of infusing Islamic principles into the administration, to an extent he claims has depleted participation from other religious groups. To date, he has yet to lay on the table the cut-and-dry proof that such a conspiracy by the government exists. But that is not stopping him.
Late in 2011, he claimed that the government was attempting to Islamize education to a point where Islamic scientists were ineffective as they had “never seen, let alone used, a test tube.” Throughout most of his political career, he maintained that the government had pandered to move gradually towards the establishment of an Islamic state of Malaysia, implying that the Chinese and the Indians would be deprived of their rights to freedom of religion under the Barisan Nasional administration.
Now isn’t that the workings of a prejudicial and maleficent mind? Ask me, and I’ll tell you that Kit Siang is a sick twist.
As a matter of fact, Kit Siang wants the Chinese to believe that both Najib and PAS president Dato’ Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang are conspiring to implement the full scope of the Islamic Syaria on Malaysian soil. Mahathir, in turn, wants the Muslims to think that the Syariah Courts would one day try them under Hudud laws should Najib remain in power.
“They are trying to do something that is unjust, cutting off a Muslim’s hand when a non-Muslim gets two months jail,” he was quoted saying by The Star Online.
Together, both Kit Siang and Mahathir are funnelling doubt in the minds of Malaysians against the government on all fronts by invoking Islamophobia, or an inherent fear against the religion of Islam. The duo deliberately kept from all Malaysians the fact that the Private Member’s Bill that Hadi had tabled for postponement in Parliament last May had no bearing on non-Muslims or the implementation of the Islamic penal code.
Not only has the duo acted subversively against the Federal Government, Kit Siang’s attacks on Islam – which is just what it is – is being fuelled by Mahathir to force a resignation from Najib. And that’s ironical – the senior Lim now shares a stage with the very guy who, in his 22 years as Prime Minister, had made a conscious effort to impose restrictive laws against non-Muslims over the use of various Arabic terms (refer http://www.malaysia-today.net/how-kit-siang-and-guan-eng-are-misleading-the-chinese-and-the-christians/).
As a result of their smear campaign, there actually are Christian fanatics who have put two and two together and believe that the government censorship against Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal was part of a secret mission not only by Najib to silence his detractors, but to Islamize Malaysia.
According to them, the western media was flagged down as being prejudicial against the greater Islamic agenda by PAS and UMNO. To them, the government should subscribe to a policy that would allow an open media setting where everyone is free to express their views and opinions without political restraint. Only then, it seems, would the non-Muslims be convinced that the government was sincere in upholding democracy, the freedom to an expression and the secularity of the Federal Constitution.
To the unsuspecting and impressionable Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Hindu youth, the idea of such ‘unrestricted freedom of expression’ is appealing, that so much so, some of them are on a wavelength with Mahathir and Kit Siang against the government. They claim to be on the moral high ground by accusing Najib of harbouring an agenda to Islamize Malaysia.
Ok – if it is an open discussion that they want, it is an open discussion they get. So let me start by saying that the Islamic penal code, or Hudud, should be enforced in its full scope and should encompass crimes committed by non-Muslims. The Federal Government should work closely with Muslim MP’s from the opposition and the Council of Rulers to legislate laws to the effect that Malaysia becomes an Islamic fundamentalist state.
And only when the non-Muslims can come to terms with this can they come out to criticize the Islamic Syaria in public without fear or favour.