A week before Malaysia’s 13th General Election, I have noticed some worrying way of thinking in some Malay and non-Malay voters. If voters do go to the ballot box with this way of thinking, I fear that our country would be headed for disaster.
The Malay Voters
Some Malays, who are angry at the government’s corruption and the increasing gap between the rich and poor, think that an Islamic state with hudud laws would solve all these problems. Let me ask these people the following questions.
1) Do we want Malaysia to end up like Afghanistan? Sudan? Saudi Arabia? Are we going to give up our way of living and instead become the next Afghanistan?
2) Why have the majority of Muslim countries in the world chosen not to adopt hudud? Are we going to be stupid enough to be one of the few countries alongside Sudan and Afghanistan to actually adopt hudud into our laws? Look at where they are now – so backward and underdeveloped.
3) Why have people in the world’s largest Muslim country, Indonesia, rejected parties that promote hudud laws over and over again in elections?
4) Why has Turkey, whose ruling party is based on Islamic ideologies (like PAS), rejected hudud strongly? Instead, the country is like Malaysia – it has chosen a way of governing not based on religion but based on democracy.
5) If PAS and not UMNO had been in power since 1957, what would the situation of the Malays be today? Would poverty have been reduced from 64% to 1.7%? Would Malays have been able to make the jump to becoming professionals like they are today where they dominate the Middle income group with jobs in the banking industry, government sectors, private companies, lecturers etc.
One just has to look at PAS’ 22-year rule in Kelantan to get an idea of what its version of Islam can do to people. It has failed to provide jobs for tens of thousands of qualified Kelantanese. It has failed to do anything about the increase in drug addiction. Kelantan is Malaysia’s first and only failed state. Therefore, Malaysian voters should reject PAS’ version of Islam, as we will just end up becominganother Kelantan.
The Non-Malay Voters
Non-Malays and in particular middle-class Chinese and some middle-class Indians are 100% sure that voting for Pakatan Rakyat would bring to an end ethnic discrimination and “Malay Supremacy”. They are fed up with the special treatment given to Malays and would like to see equality for all Malaysians regardless of race.
They believe that Pakatan is going to set aside the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumiputras of Sabah and Sarawak. Let me tell you something – this simply cannot be done! The Articles in the Malaysian Constitution relating to land reserves, licenses, and scholarships cannot be changed at all by Parliament even if Pakatan wins 100% of the seats. This is because the Special Position of the Malays is protected by the Conference of Malay Rulers, which are the Sultans. The Sultans, being ultra Malay, will always protect the interest of the Malays and will never allow any party to abolish the Special Position of the Malays.
What ethnic discrimination under Najib is Pakatan talking about? In the last four years, Prime Minister Najib has worked hard and attempted to correct things based on the principle of 1 Malaysia. For example, in the last four years, federal scholarships for students have been given based on their exam results and not based on race; there have been new policies introduced to increase the number of Chinese and Indian government servants.
Most importantly, Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept is for all the races. For example, BRIM, Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia, and Klinik 1 Malaysia are made available to everybody without any discrimination whatsoever. Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept clearly shows the PM’s wish for all Malaysians to live harmoniously and be treated equally despite our religious and cultural differences. Najib’s non-discriminating 1Malaysia brand is unlike PAS. PAS is the greatest threat to racial harmony because it wants its religious agenda to dominate the entire nation. Instead, we should respect each other.
Respecting one another means that we should never ever manipulate each other. This is what happened in the recent DAP symbol episode. DAP chose to use PAS’ symbol rather than the PKR symbol on the peninsula. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the DAP to use PKR’s symbol since the DAP wants PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim to be the Prime Minister if Pakatan wins the general election? Why did it prefer the symbol of PAS, a party whose ideology like hudud DAP strongly opposes? A party that DAP argues and fights with every day of the week. Is it because PAS has much more Malay support on the peninsula than PKR and the DAP was hoping to jump onto this opportunity? Is this fair?
This is what Pakatan is all about – an opportunistic party that wants power so badly but is opposed to each other.