In an era that prides itself on ripping away dreamy veils to reveal ugly truths, a sense of mystique is a rare, undervalued commodity! If most people were left gawking after the lies of RPK & STEADYAKU47 recently at an event in…
It does not matter which party they belong to. Mahathir to be indicted for graft, to Lingamgate caught on camera in a most un-gubernatorial stance at his home
Najib infamy, to sharizat of the NFC scam, to the KHIR TOYO AND HIS CRONIES illegal mining notoriety,
Never growing old, or the slow withering away of faculties and strengths we take so for granted in youth and middle age!Fear related to old age must be dealt with now in order not to carry them into your mellow twilight years
What is it about your old age that scares you? And, are you doing anything to address those fears?
Power can have amazing transforming effects on people. In fact, a person’s true grounding and essence of character can be judged as effectively in a position of power as under extreme hardship.
While holding power, one lives life with a new intensity and energy. Extreme adulation, the good life power brings in its wake and of course increased responsibility keep one highly energised and the atmosphere crackling. The energy and impatience a powerful man exudes can be an attractive force that not only feeds him but also touches and affects those around. Lesser mortals bask in its reflected glory and feel blessed.
Shifting power dynamics can also involve physiological changes, studies reveal powerful people experience a rush of adrenaline that gives them a feeling of supreme power. Research conducted on monkeys shows a change in their serotonin levels when they ‘move into the dominant alpha position.’ Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, said Henry Kissinger. Indeed with pumping adrenaline and the lowering of inhibitions, powerful men are as close to animal behaviour as is conceivable for civilised society. Add to that the invincibility factor, where a sense of power fosters the belief that you are beyond harm and beyond the law,
What went so wrong? How did the dream of liberation from colonialism turn into a nightmare for Malays
Mahathir Mohammad, the former prime minister of Malaysia, must be so paranoid to claim that Anwar Ibrahim wants to change Malaysian laws with that of Western laws (http://www.chedet.cc
). He has failed to substantiate his allegations and has no empirical evidence to prove his allegations. His motive is apparently to pour scorn on Anwar – his number 1 enemy in politics.
If truth be told, Mahathir cannot see Anwar become the prime minister of the country – at least when the former is still around. But if it’s the people’s will that Anwar be elevated as prime minister, Mahathir has no excuse but to accept it. This is a democratic country where people’s voice is supreme.
Freedom and equality
Liberté, égalité, fraternité (Liberty, equality, fraternity) is the national motto of France. This motto came into force in France after the French Revolution (1789-1799) ). The French revolution paved the way for the secular system of governance that we now see governing most of the countries of the world. This revolution can be seen as a successful and gallant effort on the part of the people. They emerged from being suppressed to finally seek freedom and equality from the unjust regimes of the past.
The spirit of this motto is relatively unambiguous and it has since been adopted by many other nations. It allows a broad and judicious interpretation of the underlying philosophy of the lexis used. If an Islamic state were to use this motto, it could be ideally blended into the Islamic system of governance looking at the universal principles from the Islamic perspective of governance and social justice. Any elements proposed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that are against any religious precepts can be sensibly set aside. As this is a man-made motto, it may not necessarily be absolutely perfect.
The idea of the slogan has also give an influence as natural law to the First Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: ‘All human being are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.’
Many nations have adopted this slogan as an ideal. These words appear in the prelude to the Constitution of India – made obligatory in 1950. In the United Kingdom, the political party the Liberal Democrats refer to “the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community” in the preamble of the party’s Federal Constitution.
Liberty basically consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others physically or morally. As for equality, the law of a country must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, shall be equally eligible to all high offices, public positions and employments, according to their ability, and without other distinction than that of their virtues and talents. Fraternity, is a universal extension of the Declaration of Human Rights. Men of all countries are brothers and he who oppresses one nation declares himself the enemy of all.
This slogan is of Western in origin, no doubt. But, the principles behind the motto are relatively universal in nature. Though it cannot be an absolute direction for all societies – as different countries may interpret the lexis here differently in line with their religious precepts, customs and needs – it is a universal phenomenon that every human cherish freedom, wants to be treated equal and be part of a small or universal community (fraternity) that ensures social justice for all.
A country does not have to change its laws to accommodate all the precepts of Western laws. Pick and choose has always been the norm in the past. Malaysia being a Muslim-majority country is always aware that laws and rights that are against Islam (for that matter, laws sensitive to any other religion) will not be accommodated. To accuse that Anwar – a Muslim – will change Malaysian laws with Western laws when he becomes the prime minister is intuitively flawed. In the Malaysian context, changing the existing laws to make it totally “Western” will naturally alienate any prime minister from the masses.
Mahathir in his latest writing should not have confined his list of fundamental human rights to only those involving the human baser instinct – ‘sex’. Anwar is a Muslim, so is Mahathir. As Muslims, both will sagaciously not subscribe to free sex, marriage of the same sex or homosexuality. Why the unnecessary excitement on this then? Presumably, Mahathir has brought up the issue of ‘sex’ again to vilify a political adversary.
Mahathir wrote that, “Anwar’s allegation that Malaysian laws were outdated would obviously relate to extra-marital sex, unlike in the West.”
This is a barefaced and bias statement from Mahathir. Did Anwar ever mentioned in any of his political discourse thus far that ‘Malaysian laws relating to extra-marital sex is outdated’? In fact, it goes without saying that some existing laws in the country on extra-marital sex are quite ambiguous. A Barisan Nasional leader was caught in a video shot engaging in extra-marital sex and he has not been prosecuted as there is no provision for this in the civil laws. The civil laws we practise are actually Western laws or secularistic in nature. In the syariah laws (Islamic laws), however, committing extra-marital sex is an offence.
Those who have plundered the nations
Mahathir wrote a lot more:
“Anwar had stated in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Mumbai recently that the Malaysian laws were obsolete, outdated.”
In this context, no one would imply that Anwar had meant this for Malaysian laws on the whole. It is a consensus among most Malaysians that there are some archaic laws created at the time of the British colonial era that are worth reviewing. For instance, Malaysia retains its colonial era criminal ban on sodomy as well as oral sex, broadly defined to include both heterosexual and homosexual acts, with possible punishment including fines, prison sentences of up to twenty years, and even corporal punishment. Islam abhors the act of sodomy. But the issue here is the punishment meted out on those who have plundered the nations of wealth and billions of ringgit is much less than the punishment meted out for the act of sodomy. Obviously the people can see no fairness in our laws.
“The slogan ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ haunts the minds of the westerners to an extent that anything which does not meet this slogan has to be changed or wiped-out.”
There is, indubitably, some substance in this motto as opposed to what Mahathir has in mind. Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party governments of South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority non-white inhabitants of South Africa were packed down and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained. This was condemned by many Western countries. The non-Whites then were discriminated against in all aspects of life – social, education, business and employment. To a lesser extent though, the glimmer of this can be seen in Malaysia where some minority groups are languishing in poverty without proper education, jobs and equal opportunities in life. Why must Mahathir then narrow the altruistic slogan to just ‘sex’ matters when there are more crucial issues espoused by the Westerners on good governance and social justice ? He actually has a contemptuous motive to humiliate Anwar.
Has Anwar ever endorsed this aberrant package?
“In the name of this freedom and equality, society gives this right to them. Hence, anyone, man or woman, can sleep with anyone and at anytime. With this, the marriage institution between a man and a woman is regarded no longer important.”
No Malaysians have ever heard any statement of this nature coming from Anwar. As a Muslim and a leader of the Opposition he would never condone this practice nor would he preach these inane principles to the people. It is just preposterous for him to do so.
“Among them are upholding the concept of supremacy of freedom and equality and sexual freedom. If a man, before or after marriage can have sex with any woman, why can’t the same apply to women.”
But did Anwar ever championed these values in his many years of career as a politician? Why then insinuate Anwar to be morally decadent? This is another sinister motive on Mahathir’s part to disparage Anwar.
“Other concepts of human fundamental rights, include changing the concept of marriage and family institution by defining a cohabiting couple as a family, can change partners without a divorce and who becomes the father is not important.”
But has Anwar ever endorsed this aberrant package for Malaysians to devour? Never.
“In the West, marriage between man and man or woman and a woman could be held, adding that anything that was prohibited by religion, customs or laws should be eliminated.”
Has Anwar ever said anything to this effect? In truth, he has not pronounced any ‘decree’ of this sort for Malaysians to chomp through. Both Mahathir and Anwar being Muslim and most Malaysians being religious, they will – as most would expect – keep away from these wayward and deviant practices in society.
A serious accusation
“ … as usual, anything created by the West would be regarded as good for all human beings and as such, efforts were made by the West to expand their concept of sexual freedom and equality.”
There are good values expanded by the West for us to emulate but Anwar has never mentioned to the Malaysian public that ‘sexual freedom and equality’ is going to be part of Malaysian laws when he becomes prime minister. It is just absurd for a Malay-Muslim leader to advocate sexual freedom in the country when the general population are deeply religious and traditional in their thinking.
“We found that the West, with the collaboration of certain Muslims, has succeeded in attempting to change the laws in Malaysia, because in Malaysia, there are Muslims who view any form of control on any form of sex as depriving them of their fundamental rights, as something cruel, especially to political leaders,”
This is a serious accusation. Who are these ‘certain’ Muslims? Or could this be just a figment of his imagination? And have ‘they’ really succeeded in attempting to change the laws in Malaysia without going through the Parliament? Who are the ‘Muslims’ having the view that ‘any form of control on any form of sex as depriving them of their fundamental rights, as something cruel to political leaders.’? Why defame the Muslims just to score some brownie points in politics to save Umno from loosing to Pakatan in the next general election?
“Although the West accepted adultery and sodomy as something normal, they could not accept anyone to be forced to commit adultery or sodomy.”
Adultery and sodomy are obviously against Islam so why fear the West if Muslims are strong in their faith. Anwar has never uttered that adultery or sodomy as something normal and neither has he manifestly forced anyone to commit adultery or sodomy.
“Certainly Anwar knows about obsolete and outdated, for the Westerners it means it is not like what is found in the West now.”
Political hounding is normal in many parts the world. Singling out politicians to be pulled down is too common in many countries. Many archaic laws are created or used to trap political enemies. To end the political career of an adversary one of the common ways used by any spiteful regime is to accuse the person of sexual promiscuity and sexual extremes. For this reason it cannot be ruled out that many Malaysians would have the perception that the country has an archaic law on sodomy in this country. The punishment of which when ‘convicted’ is more severe than those found guilty of corrupting or plundering the nations of billions of ringgit. With this kind of law it can be easily abused and deliberately used to lock in a politician.
Stop meddling with the judiciary
“In Malaysia, too, when a report is received from a victim that he has been sodomised, naturally the accused has to face the law. This is definitely not outmoded because the West also practises this.”
But a rape or sodomy victim can always make a false report for some ulterior motive – duress, political or for want of money. A person cannot be convicted of any ‘cooked-up’ offence just because a politician wants him to be convicted. And the country has a judiciary system – just like the Western world – that Mahathir used to portray as very independent.
For this reason, we have the laws and the courts where justice is administered. The judge cannot make a decision based on what a person with vested interests demand. No man should be pronounced guilty until it is proven beyond any reasonable doubt in the court of justice. The court has to be neutral and politicians should stop meddling with the judiciary.
Moreover, can any individual singlehandedly change the laws of a country in democracy? If this can be done then why the need for elections and the sanctity of a Parliament? Only in an autocratic system that a dictator can stamp his will on the people as much as he wishes. Mahathir is aware that Anwar will become prime minister of a democratic Malaysia and he is aware that Anwar will not turn dictator given the political scenario in the country. Anwar has to be accountable to the Parliament so he could not change any laws – even if he decides to do so – without the consent of other lawmakers.
Mahathir has endorsed many times that Malaysia is an Islamic state although he himself did not prefer Islamic laws to be implemented. This is an illogicality. He has mocked the implementation of Islamic laws many times in the past angering the Muslims and now he is mocking Western laws – the very laws our Constitution is based on. Does he not realise that the common laws we are practising are derived from Western laws? Almost all Commonwealth countries adopt Western laws borrowed from the British system. When did Malaysia ever started with its own laws?
When these laws are found to be irrelevant
Mahathir must be aware that the very foundation of Malaysian laws are based on Western laws which was initially drafted based on British unwritten laws before the country achieved independence. Of course, there were minor changes to the written Constitution since the day of Independence but the changes were not done by any single past prime minister without consent of the Parliament.
The country has never had a ‘homegrown’ set of laws other than the laws created by the judges (precedence) in the court of law. The country’s laws are still fundamentally based on the premises created during British Malaya. There are many archaic laws in the Constitution that have and need to be changed. Almost all Commonwealth countries have gone through this process of mollifying the Constitution and this is part and parcel of a democratic process.
The Constitution is always supreme in a democracy. No individual can change the constitution without consensus of the lawmakers in Parliament. When Anwar Ibrahim becomes the next prime minister of Malaysia he too has to ‘bow’ to the Parliament. He cannot singlehandedly change any of the laws according to his whims and fancy. In all probability, he will cherish the democratic system that prevails in the country.
The country is not going to become autocratic or a republic when Anwar becomes prime minister. Democracy will certainly prevail, as this has been the country’s entrenched tradition.
Settling of old scores
Laws on equality, liberty and fraternity do not necessarily focus on ‘sex’ matters. Mahathir’s deliberate focus on trivial issues in this context is just to ridicule Anwar? Mahathir should understand that Malays in the country are Muslims and no Muslims could accept free or deviant sex behaviours as part of their established culture. Malaysians of other religions have all this while been equally receptive to this culture.
Mahathir cannot base his theories on mere assumptions. This becomes empirically flawed, insults the people’s intelligence and smacks of politics. When Anwar becomes prime minister common sense will tell that he will not change the laws to favour any factions of the society if this is unjustified. There are always elements of Islamic laws that that are universal in nature that Anwar can fall on to bring social justice to all Malaysians.
The major and more important fundamental human rights of all Malaysians such as equality, liberty and fraternity are all explicitly found in the Quran. Mahathir just have to read the Quran to polish up his thoughts more on human rights from the Islamic perspective instead of focussing his ideas on Western values and laws. Using a small component of the Western laws just to debase Anwar is an affront to the intelligence of all Malaysians and Muslims in the country. It smacks of never-ending jealousy, vengeance and settling of old scores on Mahathir’s part.