My blogger friend( whom I have never met and know), Jebat Must Die( JMD), has written a lengthy discourse about the rise of racism and the fall of Malay leadership. I am frightened by the passionate arguments contained therein. I am afraid, I shall be found wanting in this aspect. The part on the rise of racism has been touched by JMD and a few other bloggers, including the equally severe Deminegara. I have not been able to join in the discussion of this important issue simply because I have been preoccupied with some economic issues relating to our stimulus package. I still think the package of RM7 billion is just a loan from the government. The stimulus package should be around 4% of our GDP or something around 24bn.
Now, on this issue of Malay leadership:-
To me, Malay leadership must rest on the fundamentals. Espoused succinctly by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and perhaps practised best by Tun Dr Mahathir. The fundamentals are the ABC or in Jawi Malay, Alif, Ba, Ta. Malay leadership must represent and encapsulates –
1. their religion and expression of their religiosity;
2. those things dear to Malays- Malay language and Malay culture
3. and finally, country or nation.
The above to my mind, are the 3 pillars of Malay leadership or the ABC of Malay leadership.
As to the religion, that bit has already been well established by the constitution. Islam is the official religion and because of that, qualifies to get government financing. All other countries, official religions receive government spending.
As regards to its legal position, I shall not touch upon it. That leaves me to discuss the import of the meaning of Islam as the official religion on the Malay leadership.
How does the Malay leadership relate to Islam? The answer it seems, is the Malay leadership’s relation to Islam is as protector, preserver and expander of the religion. To conserve its integrity and its sanctity.
That demands that the sanctity and integrity of the religion be jealously guarded. Hence when Muslims are up in arm against perceived derision of the azan by Theresa kok and the actual parody and making fun of the azan and tudung by puberty-challenged Meng Chee, Muslim opposition and protestations are not in contradiction of the principle of freedom of speech. As long as that freedom of speech does not invade the principle of the sanctity of religion, he must be punished. And the Malay leadership which trivialises this impudence and effrontery on the Islamic religion fails in its responsibility to conserve the sanctity of their religion. If people of other religious persuasions find the Muslim protestation against the parody laughable, then that’s their business. It implies therefore if anyone were to soil and desecrate non Muslim religions, that’s Ok? Attack against other religion such as Judaism at once qualify Muslims as anti Semitic and against other religions as religious bigotry? But when it comes to Muslims defending their religion, that’s irrational and intolerant? If non Muslims regard the sanctity of their religion as subservient to the temporal reverence of freedom of speech, they are free to do so. But it would be wrong to impose that kind of liberalism and permissiveness of those of the Islamic faith.
Hence Malay leadership defines itself by way of asserting its role as protector and preserver of the sanctity of the Malay religion. It fails by this standard, if it trivialises this role or even be regarded as totally absent if it does not assert this role. Once it abandons this role, it deserves Malay rejection.
So when MCA and Lim Kit Siang came to the defence of Meng Chee, they are hiding behind the universal appeal of tolerance and freedom of speech. But Muslims cannot be faulted for perceiving their stout defence of Meng Chee as concealing the more insidious motive of racial and religious bigotry.