Where is the beef?

There is a total lack of firm leadership in the management of the recent religious issue. After the court judgement was passed, a minister was quoted to say that government could not do much if people wanted to demonstrate, and that statement, whether correctly quoted or not, had given an impression that some of the top leaders of the country are encouraging people to show their emotions.

If  the leadership has instead  tried to calm  people ‘s sentiments down and explained to their people that the generic term has been used by the natives of East Malaysia for many many years even before Merdeka, things might not have come to this state. The ground perception is that only when the first church was burned, the leadership started to realise the seriousness of the situation, and tried  to calm emotions down.

UMNO messed up the whole issue and missed the boat, while PAS has taken the middle ground, even though there is a segment within PAS feeling very uneasy about their party stand. Apparently, one of the reasonings that PAS leaders used to address their supporters’ unease and disagreement is that the means justify the end result, which is to win GE13 and form the next Federal government , and with that they thought they could have a better chance to realise their ultimate aim of a Islamic State.

If PAS can move to the middle ground, why could not UMNo do so, especially when it is advocating 1Malaysia?

I think there are a lot of politicking within that party. The more conservative group is trying to use this issue to garner support  while the more liberal group is afraid that they might lose support if they are seen to be too liberal.(What goes round really comes around; it was not too long ago that the exTop leader  was pushed out in another power play, and now the top leader must be feeling the heat, too).

I think the position of their top leader is also not as strong as what people might have thought. But for the sake of the country, he should have taken a risk and gone ahead and be firm on this issue, revert back to status quo before the ban of the term, and call for the setting of a interfaith council to discuss the differences among the different faith.

The whole issue smacked of confusion and poor management. Now that there are strong feelings in both sides, it is virtually impossible for the issues to be resolved.

Whatever the Appeal Court decision, it would not please all sides.

With this issue, what little goodwill that the government has gained back has been all lost, and instead, it is now trying to use this issue to harness support from the more conservative Malays.

I hope there will be  cooler heads on both sides, and that there must be a continuing dialogue between the various groups, MINUS the politicians. The best setting is an Interfaith Council where frank discussions could be held.

We must also not forget that under the 20 points Agreement, Clause No 1. stated that “while there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia there should be no State religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo”. (Read the 20 points agreement here).

With this row, I see a lot of uncertainties have crept in the political arena, and the possibilities of realignment of political forces are now higher than ever.. Some of the more moderate and multiracial parties within BN would have done better in such an realignment if they are neutral and remain outside of the framework of BN.

I hope all sides would tread carefully and do not politicise this issue further and do not fan emotions further.

We need leaders to exert leadership on this aspect, and rein in their more extreme supporters on this issue. After all, a leader is supposed to lead, and not be led or swayed by the very supporters that they should be leading.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wassup
    Jan 26, 2010 @ 18:47:26

    A man came home from work and his children ran to
    him and called out “Ayah! Ayah!”.

    His neighbor got very upset and said to him, “Can
    you please tell your children not to call you
    “Ayah?”

    The man asked, “Why?”

    The neighbor retorted, “Because my children call
    me ‘Ayah’ too. They might get confused and mistake
    you to be their father.”

    Then the man told his neighbour, are you not
    ashamed to say that your children do not know who
    is their ‘Ayah’. So you are saying by using the
    word ‘Ayah’ ,your children will call me ayah too
    without knowing who their father is.

    The neighbour said yes,only i should use the word
    ‘Ayah’.

    The man said, then there is something wrong in
    what you are teaching your children.They are not
    sure and do not know who is their ‘Ayah’.

    Like

  2. disgusted
    Jan 26, 2010 @ 20:48:40

    When half-past-six politicians don’t even practise and don’t live by religious principles, what to expect. Aiyoooooo, so the worse happens.

    Generally speaking, of course.

    And don’t believe me either.

    Like

  3. KB
    Jan 26, 2010 @ 23:10:23

    Dr. Hsu,

    The Jan 2010 issue of National Geographic has a very damaging article on the wildlife trade in Malaysia. Anybody reading it will conclude that Malaysia is a bastion for illegal wildlife trade of rare and endangered species and Perhilitan, the govt body suppose to fight this is in cahoots with the notorious wildlife trader Anson Wong. National Geographic is an international magazine. Another step to a pariah nation. I’m sure there’ll be calls by outraged U.S. congressmen for action on Malaysia.

    Like

  4. ahoo
    Jan 27, 2010 @ 01:00:28

    Politicians thought that a little religious fire can easily be contained but the game they played fall flat on their face. To me these are not leaders that we need for the country with their dinosaur
    mentality.

    Non decisive statements and not knowing what are the real issue at hand but shooting in the dark. We may as well outsource the whole governing process to others who can perform better. Better be late than never !

    Like

  5. klm
    Jan 27, 2010 @ 14:18:09

    Constitution or no constitution, nothing gets in the way politicians hell bent on power. The only way to to clipped the power of the ruling political parties. When political parties are more or less balanced, only then can the constitution have any meaning.

    In the mean time, it is law of the jungle. Kill or be killed.

    Like

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