Thursday, August 09, 2007

Do what I say but not what I do

It appears that the only time Dr Mahathir shuts his mouth is when his heart go on strike. Due to health problems, he has been rather quiet for the past few months. But his heart must be in pretty good condition lately, because he has gone back to working his mouth.

The latest barrage from the famed ‘loose cannon’? He wants Malaysia’s minority Chinese and Indians to stop debating whether or not Malaysia is an Islamic state. “Too much talk about such issues could prove harmful for the multiracial country”, he says. And then he goes on to make exactly the kind of statement that ignited the debate in the first place; by declaring, as did Prime Minister Badawi and his deputy, Najib Tun Razak, that Malaysia is an Islamic state, even though it is not clearly stated in the Malaysian Constitution.

This reminds me of something a Malaysian friend once told me. He said that Malaysia is different from Singapore. In Singapore, if you do not see a “U-turn” sign when driving, it means it is unlawful to make a U-turn. In Malaysia, if you do not see a “No U-turn” sign, you can assume that it is lawful to make a U-turn. Since, the Malaysian constitution did not say that Malaysia is not an Islamic state, the UMNO leaders assumed that that they can simply go ahead and declare it one.

But then PM Badawi said something rather confusing last month. He said that Malaysia adopts a democratic system. In that case, shouldn’t it be the people who have the final say and not the political leaders.

Another thing I find rather confusing about these statements by the UMNO politicians. They keep saying that the constitution guarantees freedom of worship for non-Muslims even though it states the Islam is the official religion. It makes one wonder what exactly is meant by ‘freedom of worship’. Does it mean that Muslims have no freedom of worship? I say this because as long as you are born into a Muslim family, and your parents, or even just one of them is quick enough to register you as a Muslim, you are locked in for life and not free to follow any other religion.


zen said...

What you say comes from your mind, and what you do also comes from your same mind. If you tell people to do what you aay but not what you do, are you not a hypocrite? or displaying your skillful art of political wayang kulit.

Victor said...

Malaysian politics is full of showmanship and unexpected twists, turns and yes, even U-turns. Where there is a possibility of a former DPM convicted of sodomy coming back as PM one day. Where members of the country's most elite police unit stand trial for allegedly committing a most hideous crime. What more do I need to say?

zen said...

Not only Malaysian politics, the same goes with the Indonesian govt. Where on earth can a country president after signing a treaty with another state, at the same time their politicians rise in arms, clambouring against the agreement contents, insisting that the agreement needs to be amended (to their favour). This can only happen because we are a tiny red dot. Just to illustrate, when import of allegely unsafe Chinese foods are banned by the Indonesian authority, the Chinese, playing a similar game, retaliates by banning Indonesian seafood, saying tbat they contain toxic materials (like mercury). What happens? not a single word of protest is uttered. In the world of dirty international politics, it is conventient to make a whipping boy out of a small country, but when faced with bigger, fiercer and more powerful one, the culprit chickens out.

Sleepless in Singapore said...

Excellent article in today's straits times about UMNO leaders and royalty even. They talk so much about maintaining purity of Malay race. Yet most of them married foreigners. Mahathir himself is not even Malay!

zen said...

It does not matter who marry who, especially in this globalised world. The thing that matters most is that despicable politicians are allowed to play up racial sentiments (hatred) for their own political ends, Common Malaysians folks (of all races) are some of the most simple, hospitable, friendly, and honest people around, but not those deplorable politicians trying to tarnish the good image of their country.