Tensions between the Buddhist majority and the stateless Muslim Rohingya minority have been rife since deadly violence began in June. Tens of thousands people were living in camps around Sittwe, the state capital of Rakhine state, already before the latest flare-up.
State spokesman Win Myaing said the situation was “calm” on Saturday after security forces were deployed to the affected areas where violence erupted on October 21.
A government official who asked to remain anonymous told the AFP news agency: “Altogether 82 people died and 129 people were injured.”
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has openly disagreed with his Umno colleague in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) that introducing hudud, the strict Islamic penal code, here will not impact non-Muslims, adding to the protracted debate over religious rights in multicultural Malaysia.
“Maybe he did not do his homework. I am disappointed with what he said,” the MCA president was reported as saying today by English-language paper The Sunday Star.
Dr Chua was referring to Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, who had earlier this week said hudud could only apply to Muslims as they come under the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts.
For a brief moment we thought the recent the Nine Emperor Festival (Oct15-23) when devotees turn vegetarian for 9 days to achieve ritual cleansing and pray for blessings and to get rid of misfortunes and bad luck was bearing fruit, in struts on stage this MCA strumpet the Honorable Heng Sei Kie, Deputy Minister to our alpha male Minister of Women Affairs and whatever, to remind the Chinese that Tok Guru Nik Aziz once said that any women who did not dress like Muslim women were ripe for rape
“Therefore, hudud law will not impact non-Muslims,” Jamil Khir, the minister for Islamic affairs, told Parliament in a written reply.
He had based his reply on the Federal Constitution, where Islamic law falls under the jurisdiction of each state and is only applicable to Muslims.
“Therefore, if hudud is to be implemented in Malaysia, then the Syariah Court would only have jurisdiction over those who practise Islam in accordance with the Federal Constitution,” Jamil Khir had said.
Malaysia’s dual-track court system has resulted in an blurring of lines in an increasing number of legal disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims over their constitutional rights.
Dr Chua had last week said many Chinese voters are “also aware that the DAP has been lying when it said that hudud will not affect the non-Muslims”.
MCA has been using the hudud issue to warn non-Muslims, especially the Chinese community, away from voting for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the coming polls, insisting that the pact’s “dominant” partner PAS would insist on its implementation despite its ties with secular DAP and PKR.
Hudud has remained a sensitive touch point in Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy, which has a 60 per cent Muslim population, with political parties continuing to spar over the subject in the run-up to the 13th general election.
The idea of an Islamic criminal code has been used to either scare the minority Chinese voters, or shore up support among the majority Malay-Muslim community.
The Malay community is seen today as split three-ways among the ruling BN’s mainstay and the country’s biggest Malay party, Umno, the opposition’s Islamist PAS, and PKR, which is seen as an urban liberal party.
MCA had also previously warned that Muslim MPs would unite to amend the Federal Constitution in favour of hudud and the Islamic state if PR takes over, but DAP’s Lim Kit Siang had dismissed it as a “lie” to stop the Chinese community from voting for the opposition.
Lim had said that there were only 130 Muslim MPs in the country, while 148 MPs are needed to make up the two-thirds majority for a constitutional amendment.
President Sukarno, Founding Father of Indonesia, was in Central Kalimantan on one occasion, directing the design of Palangkaraya to become the capital of the entire republic.
His design is still on the board, and there is recent debate whether to move the entire governmental structure to that location.
All three Islamic-based political parties have suffered losses in recent parliamentary elections. Furthermore, government workers complain bitterly at the overcrowding in present-day Jakarta.
Sukarno chose Palangkaraya to take the ‘leadership spotlight’ off of the Javanese who had ruled much of the area for many centuries.
The local ethnic and religious mix there was quite varied, and so he took the occasion to deliver an infamous speech in which he declared that Indonesia must NEVER be an Islamic state, and the Indonesian government absolutely insists that Indonesia (under the state ideology known as “Pancasila”) is an entirely secular government.
Kalimantan would have been a good location to get the “spotlight” off Islam as the dominant force in the modern-day republic, if that is what the Indonesians really want.
The long-term effects of using “Pancasila” to replace Islam as a value and ideology base have been bitterly debated for a long time. President Suharto effectively ended the debate by defining Pancasila as the ONLY legal basis for Indonesian governance and law.
One religious teacher of my personal acquaintance was actually buried in the ground up to his head and fed only water for two weeks, in punishment for teaching his students that Pancasila was unIslamic.
What has been the result of this Pancasila deliberate displacement of Islam?Aesthetically, the Islamic majority of Indonesia is quite hidden compared to Malaysia, as one can see in the totally secular design of Jakarta architecture, as well as such phenomena as no tudung at all on TV. If a Martian suddenly landed in downtown Jakarta, he might have no idea what sort of country he was in.
Locals justify the lack of Islamisation of their city environment by saying that according to the principles of Pancasila, the non-Muslim Indonesians must not be offended by Islamic design and practice in public areas.
Even the national Istiqlal Mosque was designed by a Christian architect with a central dome supported by the “magic Christian number” of twelve columns.
A large part of Malaysia’s recent successes in the modern world are due to government support of Islamic style and practice, in spite of these policies causing such dread and fear in the non-Muslim countries, obviously due to lack of proper understanding and media stereotypes about Islam.
Islamic policies give our people pride and self-esteem, thanks to the genius of those who were not afraid to position Islam as the religion of the federation.
The implications brought about by this special position were in fact once translated into real policies used to be protected by our caliph in Istanbul, but must now be re-acquired, sometimes painfully, Islamic state-by-state.
In fact, a truly enduring model of Islamic governance was the brilliant Abbasid reign in Andalusia (modern Spain), which lasted almost 700 years. And the downfall of that model was exacerbated by the incredibly “dirty fighting” of the Catholics, Isabella and Ferdinand, king and queen at that time.
If you insisted that God was One, these monarchs created the Inquisition to torture you until you declared “God is Three”.
With their plunder literally stolen from the Andalusian Muslims, Isabella funded Columbus’ discovery of America, with its following model of freemasonic secular governance in the USA. His voyage took place in 1492, the exact same year as the final fall of the Muslims at Granada, in their battles to preserve the Andalusian Muslim legacy.
As has refreshingly been pointed out by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Malaysia has never been declared a secular nation and the federal constitution made no mention of the word ‘secular’.
And even if we prefer not to call Malaysia an “Islamic state” due to the loaded content of that phrase, and also due to the considerable variety of definitions of “Islamic state” in the different Islamic legal schools of thought, we are still nevertheless engaged in the critical task of forming a Muslim polity that need not bow down to the mobilisation of Western secular forces, such as the United Nations.
We are in fact attempting to form a model of a state following the constitutionally enshrined religion of Islam, which can help the entire Muslim world to resist the secular aspects of western liberalisation (for example, the LGBT demands for legal and public recognition), as well as make up for the hundreds of colonial years after the 1492 fall of Andalusia, during which Islam’s undeniable enlightenment in the arts and sciences was hijacked by the secular west.
And so, it is up to Malaysia more than any other Muslim country to create at least some implementation that would most closely approximate the Ummah we originally had under the Prophet himself (may Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him) in multi-racial Madinah Al-Munawwarah.
Malaysia is struggling manfully to strike this balance. We can be justifiably proud of our downtown area and its peoples, which no Martian would mistake for anything other than a Muslim city.
We can find tudung galore, as well as many calls-to-prayer and other religious reminders for Muslims on the public media.Yet, although the 35 percent non-Muslim citizenry worries much about “hudud” and even sometimes the Azan being too loud from their local mosques, they prosper. They do not care to return to their ancestral countries.
Instead of complaining that the balance is not right this way or that, we should give thanks to Almighty Allah SWT that our country is really the only one in the world that is trying to achieve this balance in a fair-minded and Islamic way, which still requires fairness to all religious practices within her borders.
What matters most is the spirit to achieve the actual Islamic practice which has been and will be ongoing in our country’s daily governmental, legal, and public lives.
article by Iskandar Dzulkarnain in Free Malaysia Today entitled “Beware! A Christian conspiracy. Really?” that makes reference to Zulkifli Noordin, Nasharuddin Mat Isa and Ridhuan Tee is an example of malicious deception, inaccuracy and irrational portrayal of Christians in Malaysia.
In a multi racial and religious society such stereotyping is a negative force and not in good taste. It is definitely not in line with the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s ideology of moderation and one of moving from tolerance towards acceptance and celebration.
This kind of writing does real damage to inter-religious harmony and breeds fear. Whatever their motives and insecurities it is of utmost importance that federal officials must monitor such wild accusations with in-depth investigation to present a counter analysis based on truth and make appreciate charges if any laws are violated
Christians comprise about 9.2% of the population, however the percentage is much higher in Sarawak (40%) and Sabah (30%) where a majority of Christian are from the bumiputera community and are predominately Malay language speakers.
Christianity has a long history in Malaysia and Christian institutions have major contributions to nation building in the provision of education, health care and community services.
Christians are also responsible citizens and have exercised their fundamental rights and responsibilities in politics, civil society and professional bodies.
One clear religious call is to pray for the nation, the King and national leaders
Irrational way of thinking
There is no need to try and respond to the various issues pertaining to the conspiracy and a master plan to turn Malaysia into a Christian state as claimed by Iskandar Dzulkarnain, other than saying that this is build on an irrational way of thinking and reasoning.
There is however an urgent need for Malaysians to reject these forms of blatant lies. In contrast public discussions must be built of facts and rational reasoning which can enhance community harmony and nation building.
The Federal Constitutions, the UN Human Rights Declaration and the Cairo declaration assure all Malaysians their fundamental right to religious freedom. We must exercise tremendous restrain in seeking to use religion and race for political gain.
I am proud to say that my family and I are Malaysians Christians and we have very close friends from all the major religions in Malaysia.
Along with other Christians in Malaysia we seek to be responsible citizens respecting people from all different backgrounds and traditions.
Let us build a nation not out of fear and insecurity but as one on confidence with all Malaysians. Let the moderate voices of respect and tolerance, drown the false speech of distracters of national harmony.