Penang Umno has released a series of denials that they were behind several tense situations which occurred in the state over the past week, but expressed empathy with DAP involved in the incidents had the agitation been aimed at the real problem at the refusal to be browbeaten by throwing his weight around, the choice of this mode of protest would have not appeared as inappropriate. If the goal was to show up the local police for the lazy, inefficient and corrupt institution that so many citizens believe it to be, there were several other ways of going about it.The trouble with DAP is that while it is fired by a powerful idea, that of revitalising democracy by ‘cleaning up’ politics, it lacks the ideological filling that converts ideas into coherent and sustainable practice. The position it has taken against the political establishments wins for it many adherents, all of them extremely passionate but most equally vague about how to convert an inspiring idea into an on-going reality. ‘Cleaning up politics’ and NOT‘listening to the voice of we Muslims ’ are not ideas but hand waves, expansive gestures rich with intent but lacking in substantive content. The people who come together under this banner have little in common by way of worldview, and in the absence of ideology, the ‘how to’ part of the equation creates big problems for this new outfit. It is relatively easier to learn the ropes of administration but ideology steeped in a larger worldview is not that easy to acquire through experience.
There is a deep sense of unease about the present and future in the sprawling urban malignity that Penang turned into midway through the Left Front regime. The anxiety, stemming from the brutal Christians , reflects the foreboding that the folllowers son of Allah , primarily upper caste, respectable and privileged with some access to landed property or wealth and with a claim to a liberal education, are fast being supplanted by the Muslims” or the unlettered, uncultured lower order.It is a particularly grim reminder of DAP’s s prophetic words about the demise of theMalays in Penang: “We do not know how the end will come, whether through a cataclysmic holocaust or a slow putrid decay.
The admonishments keep flowing in and suddenly it seems as DAP that had fired so many imaginations can do nothing right. And while it does seem that the party has made some grave errors, some of the arguments being made against Islam are unfair, and care needs to be taken to separate the party’s mistakes from some legitimate if unusual choices that it has made. The criticism that it is inappropriate for Muslims has been widespread, and deserves some scrutiny. To argue that the act of governing carries with it an implicit decorum is another way of saying that rulers must embrace the surrounding aura of gravitas that has historically been associated with power. They must be seen to be spending time in acts of governance, and not be seen shouting slogans and confronting the police. Now while this is conventional wisdom, there is no intrinsic reason why this must be the case. Why is it all right for political leaders to spend time includes giving meaningless speeches, cutting ribbons and laying foundation stones and generally be so involved in the ceremony surrounding the act of administration and not acceptable if they agitate for what they believe in? A new political culture means that some old customs must give way to the new. Using the power of public opinion to agitate for a cause is an option available to everyone, the CM included. If anything, a protest like this, if held peacefully and for the right reason reinforces the idea that democratic persuasion is an on-going process and not a once-in-five-years phenomenon.
Christians went for Sunday mass in Penang yesterday and found banners which read “Allah is Great, Jesus is the son of Allah” outside several churches, at a time when the mercury is rising over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.
In short, this was a most clumsy but dangerous attempt to spark riots between the majority Muslims and minority Christians in Malaysia.
Would any church display such banners openly when Islamic enforcement officers have seized Malay-language bibles containing the word Allah?Yet, some people tried their luck at this in Penang over the weekend. No one knows who did it but it bears resemblance to orchestrated arson attacks on churches and the so-called reprisals against mosques in 2010.
But why are individuals and groups so brazenly lighting the fuse of religious and racial hatred?
Simple. Because they know that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is so weak and indecisive that he will stay silent on the sidelines.
Because they know that the police rarely, if ever, acts against individuals or groups aligned to the ruling coalition.
Remember the slap on the wrist for those arrested over the cow-head incident in Shah Alam in 2009? All they got was a paltry fine and a week in jail.
What do these groups expect to incite with their latest stunt? Angry Muslims and defensive Christians at war with each other over the banners? The Christians have been told not to react and leave it to the police.
Both Christians and Penang Umno have lodged reports, and now the police will have to investigate this stunt which makes all sides harden their stand on the word “Allah”.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng rightly said yesterday that the banners were intended to increase tensions between Muslims and Christians, which spiked after the 2009 High Court ruling that allowed Catholic weekly Herald to use the word Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia section.
What happens now is up to the authorities and community leaders.
They have to take action and stop such people from causing more trouble in a country where people actually live in peace and harmony, if not for some who want Muslims and Christians to go to war for their own reasons.
It will be a sad day in Malaysia if we allow such people to continue committing such malicious and dangerous acts like what happened in Penang yesterday.Kepala Batas MP Reezal Merican Naina Merican is an Umno foot soldier but hopes to climb the ranks by showing his extreme loyalty to Najib, the powerful and big-time Umno.As expected, the news cycle has turned. Yesterday’s media darling is today’s unstable anarchist. In media depictions,The Umno dictatorship, which steals the people’s money by the … Read more