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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My country. My home?

Adam: What's going to happen to me when I grow up?

When I read the Deputy Prime Minister's statement in the papers this morning that Malaysia is not a secular state but an Islamic nation I sat there in deep shock. Well, maybe I've been naive for all of my sixty years. It's probably all there in the constitution. I just never took the trouble to read it. Sigh.

For 60 years I had thought that this was my country and home regardless of race and creed. Now my deputy prime minister tells me that I have been wrong all along. That I am here being 'protected' at the pleasure of a majority race who happen to subscribe to the religion that is enshrined in the constitution as the "official" religion.

When I was growing up I always felt that I was Malaysian first before being Chinese and Buddhist or Christian or whatever. Now I don't know. My leaders tell me that Malaysia can only progress and prosper if there is racial integration and all the peoples live in harmony. But these days all I see are fences of segregation. Biased economic policies. Religious schools. Islamic hospitals. HALAL is becoming a bigger deal than I ever remembered it to be. Blaring calls to prayer 5 times a day in racially mixed communities. Bahasa Melayu. One way calls for tolerance.

Someone called me from Singapore about the deputy prime minister's statement and asked of reactions to it by non-Malay and non-Muslim citizens of Malaysia. I didn't know what to say. But I did begin to feel one reaction. Resignation. This is it. This is Malaysia as it turns 50.



Trashed said...

Did someone change the Constitution of Malaya/Malaysia while no one was looking ?

Either the DPM is ill-advised or he is a turncoat politician. Is this the quality of our so-called leaders ?

Malaysia, I weep for thee ...

We, the rakyat, have got to get a better deal for oursleves.

Niamah !!!

thenameis said...

it's good that we realised that this won't be our(non-Muslim) home for the forseeable future, i think the dpm said this to garner support from the Malays whom supports the Oppositions. he could retract his statement after the general elections but i think the damage is done. people from overseas will view us from a different perspective.

Soon I will say goodnight and good riddance to my beloved Malaysia for good.

Serenity said...

my sentiments exactly and the caption underneath Adam's face says it all!

Tracy Tan said...

i am no longer sure what it means to be Malaysian! Happy 50th Anniversary, Malaysia :(

Cuddly Family said...

Every day I feel more worried about the state of our country, frankly also the apathy that many young people (not just the oldies) seemed to be infused with.

PT, you summed it up so perfectly. I see the increasing Islamisation (ie let's see how islamic we show ourselves to be) of things here. To be honest, it's Arabisation (wah new words! hehe) Islamic banking now the great big thing. CTOS directors all chinese, suddenly macam witchhunt. We are doing more and more biz with Arab nations, in that case, must SHOW off how muslim we are (I say we lol). HALAL is the new buzz word.

I dont understand it. Like Jenn ( said, she had teachers telling her if she didnt like it, she can go back to china.
Again with the whole pendating asing.My ancestors came here hmm, I think from great grandpa time. So many generations already. I can't be the only one. I've put up with comments (admittedly they r very random) that Im not Malaysian cos I've got caucasian blood, but they were happy to let us represent the country in swimming. HAHA

I dunno, PT, its very very very sad to see how things are going. I love my country very much (and yes, damn it, its MINE), but I really worry abt the future of my kids etc. Admittedly I grew up in penang, majority were chinese, but folks I've met from all over, dont remember this kind of silliness. Everyone got on, esp when it came to food hehe, sure there are always biased idiots, but thats normal, kan?

What's next I wonder..

Anonymous said...

Check your passport under warganegara. I am sure that for most of us, it says "MALAYSIA".

This means we have equal rights and your vote counts when it comes to mathematic / statistic scorings especially if PAS and UMNO is being divided right in the middle. You have seen the changes and now it is time for a change. Perhaps, the time is now after 50 years as this is the time for optionall retirement and you can send those who are not performing to a "force" retirment.

NSTman aka Pukimah said...

I congratulate Najib. In one fell swoop, he has changed the constitution. With the likes of Najib around, we dont need lawmakers. Well done, Najib, you are fantastic, you have become the hero of Muslims around the world. Keep it up, brudder, your dad will be very proud of you. He He He.

daniel said...

Pat, this phenomenon has gotten too far to be reversed. Our MCA, Gerakan and MIC politicians have screwed us well and good and there's nothing we can do about it except slow down this onslaught at the next general election.

At the meantime, my daughter is doing her Secondary school across the causeway while my son is now doing his junior year in an American university. I never dreamed that I would tell them that I would not blame them if they decide not to return to this country where they were born.

But I did.

Anonymous said...

Mark my words. The DPM or the PM (acting as hero) will deny ever making the statement and will say that the DPM was misquoted/misunderstood and that newspaper should check their facts etc etc...Then we will have a series of lectures asking for more integrity la, more transparency la, more sambal in nasi lemak la, more harga naik for petrol, roti canai, teh tarik la etc etc. blah!

vasu said...

And now they have blocked any discussion on the Islamic state topic in the mainstream media (malaysiakini reports it). Only the PM and the DPM can comment on it, and be published. It seems as Malaysians, we don't even have the right to quote from our own constitution! All coz Islam is a "sensitive" topic. In that case, why the heck is Najib the Najis not in ISA custody for inciting racial tension?

When Mahathir first unilaterally announced a similar statement, people were dismissing it, saying that it doesn't matter...that its not a serious issue...but as a result of his words, the Islamic fundamentalists in this country received more juice in their balls, and started strutting around, terrorizing tourists, nightclubs, hotels, singers and waiters in pubs, snatching dead bodies and babies, splitting ex-Muslim's families, etc etc...and our secular courts have no say in a matter that involves any scent of Islam, even when a non-Muslim is involved in the case. For the first time ever, non-Muslims must also subject themselves to the Syariah courts to gain "justice".

The can of worms had been opened. It will now be IMPOSSIBLE to shut it again.

zewt said...

what???? i didnt read the news anymore... looks like i gotta read it now...


Trashed said...

To desensitise the "sensitive" issue, it would be proper for the authorities to make a clarification so that there is no ambiguity and so we can go about our merry way.

In this case, the FACTS are very clear - Malaysia is a secular nation with Islam as its official religion. That is a historical fact since 1957 unless there are mischievious revisionists at work.

But....the media is muzzled now, thus disabling the electorate's right to discuss their own constitution or to correct an obvious error of fact. What kind of poppycock is that ?

kleptocrats said...

This is pure political play as far I see it. Umno trying to please the Malays by saying such things (after all it is only a personal view of DPM - althought i wish he should had kept his opinion to himself). MCA says secular, obviously trying to show they are brave and stand up for the Chinese. It was never presented and debated in the cabinet. I say the that election is coming, both trying hard to drum up supports. Sandiwara la.

kleptocrats said...

.. or maybe the deputy Datuk Tan (MCA) deliberately misinformed the public given that it is in favour of MCA (hard to explain so many chinese migrating)..

patrickteoh said...

And as we all know the cabinet has imposed a blanket ban on any reporting or discussion of the DPM's statement or the issue by mainstream media indefinitely. Whether the MCA or MIC or anybody else has anything more to say on the matter has now been effectively muzzled. Boleh!

Sure, kleptocrats. It is political play to garner votes. But these type of thing tend to take on a life of their own and once started may prove very tough to stop. Like a juggernaut destroying everything in its path.

Trashed, it's poppycock of the best kind of course. We have spoken now shut the fuck up. If there is one thing that we should string Mahathir up for it is his raising of the Islamic state issue while he was Prime Minister.

Zewt, read the news more often.

Actually, Vasu from what we have been reading in the mainstream media of late it would appear that the cabinet is in shambles and that Pak Lah has totally lost control. Come to think of it where the hell is Pak Lah?

Yes, anonymous I agree with you and am waiting to hear which paper the DPM accuses of misquoting him.

Daniel, I have told my children for years now to look for opportunity abroad. I only hope that I have the resources to give my two youngest children the help they will need in getting going in life. Meaning an overseas education and perhaps emigration opportunities.

NSTman I wonder if Tun Razak would be proud of his offspring or would be be disgusted.

Of course, we are all warganegara Malaysia. It's just that some of us are more privileged warganegara than others.

cuddly, you and I know that we love our country but in your case at least you have options. Guard those with your life.

Tracy, what it means to be Malaysian? Simple. The food is good. There are no natural disasters, wars. You should be grateful. Fall to your knees. Now!

Thanks, Serenity. Adam is 4 years old. His best friend in the condo where we live is Azril. Adam and Azril don't know what it is to be anything but friends. There is no Islam, HALAL, Malay, Chinese. I wish some of our leaders would learn from the children of Malaysia.

Thenameis, you're lucky to have options of just chucking it. Not all of us do and we must stay and do what we can. Tough as the road may be. Thanks.

Trashed, the DPM has of late been involved in a load of explosive issues. What? I meant this Islamic state thing, the Nuri helicopters etc. What did you think I meant?

clare said...

Sir, it is no longer bahasa Melayu, it is bahasa some bugger minister love to put it 'to show racial integration' lah kononnya! Sigh!

Cuddly Family said...

I've recently discovered that overseas Malaysians cant register or vote while they r overseas. Some folks checked the EC's FAQ, it says so. the consulates have told other curious Malaysians the same. Someone else told me, yes they could last time. So if its on the EC's FAQ, it would be newer, right?

what say you guys? it just reeks of.. something.. how can u not vote wherever u are? Filipinos etc can vote. Nuts lah if thats the case.

ignoring the blanket ban on any worthwhile discussions..

Anonymous said...

I'm a twenty-something and have been taught that we were an Islamic state. It's only until not too long ago that I realised that was lie. No wonder it never sat well with me during my teenage years that the minority population agreed to form a non-secular Malaysia. I really thought my ancestors have sold our future to the wolves.


Anonymous said...

What to do, when our (non-UMNO) leaders are only interested in fattening their own wallets?

I'd like to see what will become of Malaysia when most of the non-Malays migrate to greener pastures...

thehitman said...

A lot of Non malays are working out of Malaysia and sending a lot of money back.If you go to some of the smaller towns and and see what sort of remittance is flowing in you will be shocked.

Goverment says its foreign investment what is real is the remittance keeping the small towns and families alive.Cluster economies are springing up in these places and this is a bad sign as the main economy is already flagging.So any bright ideas now AAB?

Malaysian said...

It's becoming that you must be a Malay to be Malaysian.

You are not Malay, you are not Malaysian.