Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Malaysia’s two systems of justice

by Raja Petra Kamarudin

Verse 13, chapter Al-Hujurat of the Quran, can be translated to read: "O Mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah is he who has most righteous (taqwa) among of you. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware."With this verse from the Quran, Islam declares equality for all mankind. Islam respects a human for being a human and not for any other reason. Islam does not distinguish between the different races, different groups of people, or different ‘colours’.

The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) addressed the people signifying that concept during his last pilgrimage, saying: "O People! Your God is one; your father is one; no preference of an Arab neither over non-Arab nor of a non-Arab over an Arab or red over black or black over red except for the most righteous. Verily the most honoured of you is the most righteous."

This is to assert that, in Islam, no nation (community) is created above other nations and therefore no nation can be placed above another. Man's worth in the eyes of men and in the eyes of God is determined by his skills, by the good he does, and by his obedience to God.In another tradition, the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him, was asked, "Who among men is most favoured by God?” The Prophet replied, "A man who does the most good to people."Excerpts of a speech by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, N.C.

ABIM is upset that I have used coarse or abrasive language when whacking them. They don’t mind being whacked as long as I do it politely. Okay, let us humour them then. If they like it gentle then let us give it to them gently. After all, not everyone likes their sex wild so I suppose that goes for how they get whacked as well, in and out of bed.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that 90% of the tax is paid by the non-Malays, in particular the Chinese. Tun Dr Mahathir cried during one Umno general assembly because, he said, he had failed to change the attitude and mentality of the Malays. When asked, after he had retired on 1 November 2003, what was his greatest regret; Tun Dr Mahathir replied that his greatest regret is not being able to change the Malays in the 22 years that he was Prime Minister of Malaysia. Tun Dr Mahathir once lamented: why can’t the Malays be more like the Chinese?Yes, I know, many Malaysia Today readers hate Tun Dr Mahathir. Nevertheless, as much as you may hate the Tun, we should not overlook the good things he has done or said even though you may hold the opinion that he did more bad than good.

After all, the British were colonialists and there can be nothing good about colonialism. However, when the British left, they left behind a good education, administrative and legal system.Unfortunately, after we took over the running of this country, we Malayans messed the entire thing up beyond recognition. Notwithstanding all that, we still need to recognise the good the British did amongst all that bad, as much as we may dislike the British. Imagine if the Portuguese, Dutch or Spanish had been our masters until 31 August 1957. Malaysia, today, would be an absolute mess and we would not need Umno to mess the county up any further.

Okay, back to the issue of the day: whacking ABIM, Umno and the Malays-Muslims as gentle as I can. Read what Imam Mohamed Baianonie said. The message is clear. And it is the message of the Quran and of the Prophet Muhammad. Do I really need to explain things further or is what Imam Mohamed Baianonie said self-explanatory enough?What is Islam? Is Islam just about rituals? What would rituals be without akidah? And what is the foundation of Islam? The foundation of Islam is justice. Islam is all about justice and nothing but justice. Without justice there would be no Islam.

Muslims talk about the syariah and about the hudud legal system. Is not the syariah and hudud about justice? Are Muslims not taught that they must subscribe to the syariah and hudud because these are God’s laws and God deals with justice?You just can’t separate justice from Islam. Without justice there would be no Islam. Islam would not exist without justice. Islam, with mere rituals minus the justice, would not be Islam. Saddam Hussein performed the rituals of Islam. But Saddam was not just. So Saddam was ousted and hanged by the neck until he died because he just performed the rituals of Islam minus the justice that Islam makes mandatory.

Justice, justice, justice. That is what Islam decrees. And a ‘good’ Muslim who performs the rituals of Islam but is not just is put to death. That is Islam and that is how Islam dispenses justice.ABIM says we should not whack the Muslims. And since, by law, Malays are Muslims then we should not whack the Malays as well. But is it okay for Malays to whack the non-Malays and non-Muslims?What if the non-Muslims were to say they do not recognise Islam or the Quran because Islam and the Quran have been distorted over the last 1,400 years?

What if the non-Muslims were to say that Islam and the Quran have been changed and are no longer the original Islam and Quran that Prophet Muhammad introduced 1,400 years ago? If the non-Muslims say this then they would be committing a crime under the Sedition Act. The non-Muslims would face punishment because they are not sensitive to the feelings of the Muslims.But Muslims are permitted to say they do not recognise Christianity and the Bible because Christianity and the Bible have changed and have been distorted over the last 2,000 years and are no longer the original Christianity and Bible which Jesus introduced 2,000 years ago. Muslims can openly say this in the Friday prayer sermons and it is not seditious, even if this is not sensitive to the feelings of the Christians.And why can Muslims say this but Christians can’t?

Because Islam is the official religion of Malaysia and Christianity is ‘tolerated’ as long as it stays out of the way of Islam.Sure, there are certain beliefs in Islam and certain beliefs in Christianity and both are entitled to their own beliefs. But while Muslims can openly express their beliefs, Christians may not. And Christians may not because Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. And Muslims say that Islam is a tolerant religion and that Islam believes in justice.Muslims do not understand the meaning of the word justice.

Justice, to the Muslims, is only what is good for the Muslims. And what is not good for the Muslims is unjust. And justice to the non-Muslims does not matter. Being unjust to the non-Muslims is not being unjust. This is because non-Muslims do not have equal rights to Muslims. Non-Muslims are immigrants and immigrants are second-class citizens.Last month, Umno Johor said that the greatest mistake they made was in giving the non-Malay immigrants citizenship in August 1957. Now that they have been given citizenship they show their ingratitude by voting for the opposition.

Yes, non-Malays, even those born in Malaysia, are immigrants. And, being immigrants, they must vote Barisan Nasional. And if they do not vote for Barisan Nasional then they are ungrateful.Yes, voting is your right. This is your right according to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. Malays can vote for whomsoever they would like to vote for because the Constitution allows them to do so. Malays, therefore, can vote for the opposition. But, if you are non-Malay, then you must vote for Barisan Nasional because you are an immigrant. If you vote for the opposition then you are a traitor, you are ungrateful, and it was a great mistake giving you citizenship in 1957.

Tun Dr Mahathir’s father was born in India. But Tun Dr Mahathir can vote opposition. He can even oppose Umno like he is doing so now. In fact, he can even become the Prime Minister. He is not an ungrateful immigrant who should be sent back to India. Tian Chua, however, can’t oppose Umno. Tian Chua, whose family settled in Malaya long before the Portuguese came in 1511, is an immigrant. And if he is not happy and if he opposes Umno then he should go back to China. And Umno Johor regrets giving Tian Chua citizenship in 1957 but does not regret giving Tun Dr Mahathir citizenship.Why? Because Tun Dr Mahathir is Muslim while Tian Chua is not.

But if Tian Chua circumcises and takes on the Muslim name of Musa Bin Susah and marries a Malay woman, then he need not go back to China and Umno does not regret giving him citizenship in 1957.The Malays have a very warped view of justice. Malays practice two standards of justice. There is one standard for the Malays and another for the non-Malays. And 90% of the tax is paid by the non-Malays and 10% by the Malays, says Tun Dr Mahathir. But 10% or the scholarships must go to the non-Malays and 90% to the Malays. And when they propose to change this to 40% for the non-Malays and 60% for the Malays, the Malays raise a hue and cry.

And they call this justice. And they say Islam is about justice.If this is an example of Islamic justice then I just shudder to think what would happen if Muslims start becoming unjust.

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