YOURSAY | ‘We have something that no other Muslim-majority country has – a functioning democracy…’
Why Malaysians must defend our constitution
David Dass: I do not think that the proponents of an ‘Islamic state’ are advocating terrorism or see the demand for an Islamic state as being synonymous with radicalism or paving the way for terrorism.
Hence the need for us to define clearly how we understand and use the terms ‘radical’ or Islamic state in our discourse on what our concerns for Malaysia are.
Malaysiakini columnist Commander S Thayaparan’s thesis as I understand it is simple. If the Islamic state only postulates one view of Islam and prohibits alternative interpretations of the Islamic scriptures – that is authoritarianism.
Muslim scholars throughout the world are not all agreed as to what constitutes an Islamic state. They are not all agreed as to the detail of syariah and hudud.
We see the huge chasm between the Sunni and Shiite branches in Islam. And the many other sects. And we have seen how Islamic State (IS) went after the Yazidis.
We also see the seemingly absolute intolerance of non-Muslim religions in Muslim-majority countries, perhaps with the exception of Malaysia and Indonesia. And we see movements in both Malaysia and Indonesia that would push us towards that kind of intolerance. We are not there yet. But there have been incidents that cause us some anxiety.
The commander also makes the point that the attempt to establish Islam on a higher plane and ‘ketuanan Melayu’ is also pushing us towards extremism – assuming such attempts exist. I am not sure that that is present government policy. But I accept that there are those who champion such moves. The push for hudud is one such move.
Malaysians have to defend the constitution and the democratic structures, processes and the freedoms enshrined therein. We have something that no other Muslim-majority country has – a functioning democracy with a good record of progress and achievement.
We want to be a developed nation. We are a modern society and our people experience a degree of freedom and prosperity that is the envy of many countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. We are a diverse country with many races, cultures, languages and religions, and our constitution is the best safeguard that we have to ensure peace and stability.
We have a system that works. Do not place all that we have and achieved at risk.
Existential Turd: Malays are traditionally submissive, deferential and compliant. These qualities are very useful to the political elite to inculcate a feudalistic mindset. But they are also very useful to religious authorities.
So, whoever gets to define what is good and bad gets to control them, unless they are unshackled and allowed to think for themselves.
Basically: Only MCA, Gerakan and other BN parties are afraid. For the rest of us, it doesn’t matter. Sadly, it will only drive the divide between Muslims and non-Muslims further apart, but that’s BN’s choice.
Let’s all vote in favour of hudud. It would be worth it just to see MCA president Liow Tiong Lai sweat when reminded of his promise to quit his precious minister post.
Fair&Just: Dark forces? How true. May the dark forces be always here. Let the dark get darker and darkest where, like a black hole, it attracts terrorists and hardcore criminals.
There shall be north of the little red dot, a little dark dot where no one wants to go except those with dark, evil intents, like the North Koreans.
Drngsc: I would like to ask all the wise men out there, “Is the military-style capture of Pastor Raymond Koh four weeks ago the work of Islamic State or IS in Malaysia?”
How many military units out there in Malaysia can stage such a daring, precise, effective abduction of a humble Malaysian citizen in broad daylight?
Abasir: Yes, Drngsc. All indications to date point to that as a distinct possibility. It is either that or the work of state-sponsored players, however remote that might be.
In any case, this “development”, if one can call it that, when viewed in the context of this piece by Thayaparan, only portends what is to come.
Odin Tajué: The victim is a Christian. Therefore, one cannot expect very much from the authorities. Enough said.
As to the matter of tracing the vehicles, there exists the possibility that the kidnappers, or abductors, or whatever term is right to describe them, have affixed false licence plates onto them (the vehicles). Other ways are necessary to trace the vehicles.
Someone also assumed that the vehicles were owned by an organisation. Not necessarily so. They may be owned by individuals, and those persons are complicit, or have abetted, or both, in the abduction/kidnapping/snatching.
The police have done something that I think is just not on – publicising the demand from a man for a ransom of RM30,000 and of having arrested the said person.
They should not have divulged the information to the public, but caught hold of the person on the quiet, tried to extract whatever information was necessary to locate and rescue the pastor, and worked out in secret how to mount and effect the rescue operation.
As it is, the pastor’s life could be on the line, as the accomplices of the man arrested now know that he is in police custody and may tell on them.
Abasir: A brazen crime like this in a Petaling Jaya suburb cannot be allowed to slip out of memory like that missing aircraft which was allowed to back track over the peninsula before disappearing.
The kidnapping of a pastor should be treated with the same vigour and urgency as, say, the abduction of a member of the royalty or a billionaire with friends in high places.
Faced with silence from both the well-organised perpetrators and the authorities, the family and the public cannot be faulted for assuming all sorts of possibilities. That should be expected.
What should not be expected is that everyone will simply ‘shut up’ and deal with their anxieties in hushed groups… as in countries wracked by terror gangs and crooked officials.
Existential Turd: The people are not the enemy of the police or the state. However, the reverse is not always true.
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