Malaysia and the Dilemma of Assimilation (part II)

By Farish A. Noor

And so it would appear that Malaysia is, after all, an Islamic state.

This was the conclusion that many Malaysians have had to accept after the recent pronouncement on the part of the Prime Minister that the country has apparently been run and governed on Islamic lines all along; a startling revelation to say the least for most of us who were unaware of the fact that the arrests under the ISA, the crackdowns during Operation Lalang, Operation Kenari, the numerous declarations of Emergency, et al. were all done under the auspices of Muslim governance. And are we right to conclude that the innumerable corruption scandals, the weakening of the judiciary, the instances of blatant double-standards in the enforcement of the law, et al. were likewise exemplary moments of Islamic governance in action?

The Prime Minister’s recent announcement must surely have come as a blow to those of us who have been calling for a return to the secular democratic foundations of the Malaysian Federation. But now it seems as if even the history of this country has been appropriated by the government, and written and re-written at whim to suit the agendas and interests of the powers that be. After half a century of existence and five decades of nation-building programmes that have taken us nowhere fast, the goalposts have been moved once again. How can there be any significant, meaningful long-term development in the country when the very rules of the political game change again and again? And if the very foundational terms of political engagement in the country are being changed all the time, we need to ask why and for whose sake?

Assimilation and the Malay-Muslim comfort zone.

Lest we forget (and we need to be mindful of the fact that our nation’s history is being distorted and deformed as we speak) the Malayan (later Malaysian) constitution envisaged a multiracial and multireligious nation-state held together by a secular democratic constitution that spelled out citizenship as one of the core values that equalises all of us, as members and citizens of the same national community. It is on the basis of that shared universal citizenship that all of us are defined primarily as Malaysians and that as Malaysians we have a common status and standing before the law.

No Malaysian has the right to stand above the law or break it at will; no Malaysian has the right to place himself or herself above other Malaysians, and no Malaysian should be treated unfairly in relation to others. Furthermore being Malaysian and claiming Malaysian citizenship also implies that Malaysia should be the primary object of our political loyalties: not race, not religion, not class or other sectarian or parochial interests. The universal character of citizenship entails a shared common responsibility and shared common rights that equalises all of us, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender.

Yet the founding pact that brought the diverse communities of Malaya (later Malaysia) together has been eroded thanks in part to internal variable factors that none of the forefathers of the nation saw in the early 1950s: The demographic increase of the Malay-Muslim community, coupled with the steady stream of outward immigration on the part on the other communities, has radically altered the racial balance of the country to the point where many of us — including politicians and pundits alike — speak of the ‘growing Malay bloc’ as if it was a solid, homogenous entity.

Fear of upsetting the sensibilities of this ‘Malay bloc’ has led many of us to concede ground time and again to the ethno-nationalist demagogues who have presented themselves as the guardians of the Malay-Muslim interest, and who have unilaterally taken it upon themselves to also determine the bargaining position of that community. Thus the growing political clout of the Malay-Muslims (in terms of voters and votes) has been matched by an equally strident tenor in the political discourse of that community’s leaders, leading us to the shameful spectacles of keris-waving and hot-headed pyrotechnics we have been witness to over the past few years in particular.

Aggravating the situation further was the coupling of Malay communitarian ethnic interests with the demands and concerns of religion, where Islam was brought into the picture and, in time, grafted on Malay identity as yet another exclusive element to define the contours of that community. The Islamisation race that began in earnest from the early 1980s with former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir and his former Deputy Anwar Ibrahim merely added yet another layer of identity politics to an already complicated formula that was being strained at the seams.

The tragedy of postcolonial Malaysia lies here. Since the late 1960s, the route to political power in the country seems to have been configured in the following terms: That only a Malay-Muslim can aspire to the highest office of the land and that the terms of his (and it is always his, never her) rise to power is determined in turn by how well he plays the race and religion card. The ambitious Young Turks of UMNO proved as much in their successful bid to oust the Tunku, and the trend was set. In the 1970s Anwar Ibrahim played very much the same role as he rose to public prominence before being co-opted to joining UMNO, and since then every leader of UMNO’s youth wing has done the same. Are we surprised, therefore, to observe the disgraceful sight of kerises being waved in the air these days?

Thus far the state of race politics in Malaysia seems to have been set by a cast-iron logic that seems insurmountable. But is it? Were there not instances to the contrary, when alternative viewpoints were put across by more accommodating leaders who thought in terms of the national interest?

The answer to this question is yes. One such voice was that of Dr. Burhanuddin al-Helmy’s, who was one of the earliest Malayan nationalists who not only fought against colonial rule but who also envisaged the creation of a Malaya that was open and fair to all communities. Dr. Burhanuddin was one of the members of the ‘Kaum Muda’ generation who later became one of the leaders of the PKMM (Malayan Nationalist Party), and later was made the President of PAS in 1956 (to 1970). Today many of us have all but forgotten the man and few Malaysians have bothered to look him up in the history books. Yet Dr. Burhanuddin stands alone, a singularly unique figure in the landscape of Malaysian politics, for his refusal to concede to racist sectarian and communitarian demands. Furthermore he did the unthinkable thing during his lifetime by de-racialising the concept of ‘Malay’ itself.

In his writings like Asah Falsafah Kebangsaan Melayu (republished, 1963) and Perjuangan Kita: 17 Ogos 1945 hingga 17 Ogos 1946 (1946), he stated that the goal of Malayan independence would have to be the development of a broad-based nationalism that embraces, rather than excludes, all the communities in the country. Dr. Burhanuddin went as far as calling for a ‘nasionalisme Melayu’ that defined a ‘Melayu’ as anyone who was born, lives in and regards Malaya as his or her home. By doing so he had turned ‘Malayness’ from a racial category (invented by the colonial census) into a category of universal citizenship instead. Throughout much of his political career Dr. Burhanuddin urged his supporters to accept citizenship as the basis of their political participation in the country, and warned of the dangers of ethno-nationalism and racialised politics. But sadly the man was detained during the years of Malaysia’s Konfrontasi with Indonesia and died shortly after his release from the ISA later. Till today, there has not emerged a Malaysian leader from the Malay community who is able to match Dr. Burhanuddin’s commitment to an anti-racist and deracialised politics for the country. Instead, what we have is the opposite: a deliberate and sustained attempt to move the goalposts of the country further to the right and to impress upon the nation the sectarian demands of the Malay-Muslim community in particular, as understood and interpreted by the leaders of UMNO.

The pitfalls of assimilation

It is against this backdrop of an expanding Malay-Muslim comfort zone as defined by UMNO that the other communities of Malaysia are being told to integrate and assimilate. Before proceeding any further, let us debunk certain myths that have been lingering for too long already: For a start, it would be ridiculous to ask any Malaysian today to integrate any further as most of the non-Malay citizens of this country are in fact descendants of third, fourth if not fifth generation migrants who have long since become part and parcel of the Malaysian landscape. Yet as every communal crisis reaches its peak, the non-Malays are reminded that this is the fabled ‘Tanah Melayu’ and that they are ‘kaum pendatang’ who have to integrate and assimilate. But to what end and when does one finally qualify as a full citizen of Malaysia?

I raise this question as a Malaysian who happens to live and work in Europe, where today the calls for integration are being made again, more often than not by right-wing racist demagogues who harp on and on about the need for foreigners to accept the mainstream of European life. But what if that mainstream also happens to be a racist one, where racialised discourse has become normalised and hegemonised and where foreigners are constantly being kept on the margins of society? And what if that European mainstream still cannot accept the reality of a multicultural Europe where racial, ethnic and religious pluralism are realities; and where other non-European religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are also now part of the European social landscape?

The dilemma I face as a Malaysian Muslim in Europe is similar to that faced by non-Malays and non-Muslims in Malaysia today. How can the right-wing ethno-nationalists of the Malay-Muslim community expect others to assimilate to the mainstream culture of Malaysia when that very mainstream has been defined almost exclusively by the Malay-Muslims themselves? How can other communities find their place in Malaysia’s history when that history ignores and sidelines the vastly important role played by other communities in the development of Malaysia, as well as Malaysia’s pre-Islamic past and its multi-religious present? Malay right-wingers demand non-Malays and non-Muslims to become part of the nation, but the national imaginary has now been decidedly painted by a distinct, particular and exclusive Malay-Muslim brush. Where is the space for assimilation then?

The root of the problem is the culture of racialised identity politics that reigns in the country till today, a throwback to the colonial era that was taken up with gusto by UMNO and the component parties of the ruling Barisan Nasional. As long as this culture of divisive politics prevails in the country, then the UMNO party will — despite its frothy liberal rhetoric at times — be an exclusive sectarian party enacting a politics that is divisive and communitarian.

Fifty years after our independence, we still entertain the myth of a ‘Tanah Melayu’ that is a privileged homeland for some and not others. And as long as the UMNO party maintains this divisive approach to politics and sees the Malay-Muslims as its primary constituency, the situation is not likely to change for the better. We are nowhere closer to realising the dream of a Malaysian Malaysia where citizenship is the common gift bestowed upon all her citizens. Instead the gift of a multicultural and multi-religious nation has been stolen from us, before our very eyes, by the very same ruling elites who claim to be the ‘leaders of all Malaysians’, while in their deeds they have shown that their commitment to plural democracy is only skin deep. What a shameful end to what could have been a beautiful story.

  1. #1 by Jamesy on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 9:27 am

    See what I mean people?

    Even the PM supported Najib’s 717 declaration that Malaysia is indeed an ISLAMIC STATE.

    Malaysia has been “colonised” by UMNO, and we should fight for “independence” of our nation. This coming 31st August is Merdeka? Merdeka from what?

    We are better off with the British than UMNO.

  2. #2 by sotong on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 9:30 am

    Looking at the worsening racial and religious situation in the country, one could fairly conclude we have failed.

    Thanks to our leaders/politicians, ordinary people do not trust each other anymore……how could you build a country with an environment of strong distrust and hatred.

  3. #3 by greatstuff on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 10:58 am

    It seems as though every PM has his “PROCLAMATION” to make, so we’ve reached the 180 degree turn since 1957, regretably so, and I wonder what the next one will pronounce, just to add further to the confused state of the Malaysian psyche in 2007 and possibly beyond- hopefuly the result will be back to 360 degrees, and the sooner the better!

  4. #4 by lbn on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 11:06 am

    Looks like all the recent leaders has their own personal agenda. TDM had his own and now AAB. What can we do but pray for the best. Hopefully there’s hope in the CHANGE. ??????????

  5. #5 by winc on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 11:10 am

    There is nothing wrong with the races… be it malay, chinese, indian, iban, dayak, kadazan, bajau, etc. All of us sing the same Negaraku and we have multi-racial friends visiting each other over festivals, climbing the same tree when we were young; step into the same “longkang” to catch fishes; dine in the same old school canteen; making fun at our teachers together; and even sneaked out to places and do “wonders” beyond the knowledge of our parents.

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT AND NO PROBLEM WITH IT AT ALL !! living along with my closest friends from different races and religion. I would like my kid to grow up the Malaysian way of life.

    However, come to think of it…. we sing the same national anthem, over and over again since independence; we stay around the same vicinity over the years; we got into the same school and being taught the same subjects by the same teacher; not to mention being punished to stand outside the classroom together…. BUT…

    because of the quota systems which is race-based, we were rejected a place at the university;

    because of the priviledge systems which is race-based, we have to make sure we save enough to own a property as we do not get discounted rates;

    because of the priviledge systems which is race-based, we have to fork out additional finances to further our studies, finance our own properties, and pay higher interest rates at all costs irregardless;

    because of the priviledge systems which is race-based, we have to find our own ways to earn enough to sustain without any form of assistance.

    We did not come begging, we did not come asking. We need not to rob the so called “rights” that has always been in the stinky mocus of the politicians’ saliva. What had we done that they claimed we took their “rights” that the ruling party needs to defend and champion for over 50 years?

    The ruling party control the biggest entity – among them Petronas BUT all malaysian pay the same petrol price including the poor kampung folks irregardless of race, Malay, Chinese, Indian, etc. Rise in price of goods will affect everyone without recognizing what race you are. The current rampant corruption practises and abuses of power and failed systems will only bring more disaster to the country and it affects everyone needing not to pick a race. The toll rates – with all races paying the same rates but who is benefiting?

    Furtherance to this, if we can see learning BM is advantagous as an additional language to master, why can’t the ruling party vice versa on other languages including mandarin. What has it got to lose when my Malay friends and Indian friends pick up an additional language making them more competent? What has this got to do with them losing their identity and rights?

    It is not me or my malay, indian and friends of other races who is at fault but the one who claim to defend the “rights” that they have been propagating all these while to rule the country their ways.

    We’ve done it ourselves, our ways for years and we survived being together with best wishes that my friends of all races strive and get the best from the country’s resources and opportunities and not the otherway round.

  6. #6 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 11:14 am

    Are we any better off than Ghana on this?

  7. #7 by Libra2 on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 11:20 am

    We have pirated Windows , movies, loads of VCDs and jeans. Now we have a pirated version of an Islamic State with a casino to boot.
    And supported by MCA, MIC and Gerakan.

  8. #8 by Jan on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 11:30 am

    I don’t know why MCA, MIC and Gerakan still hanging around UMNO.
    It’s pretty obvious they are not effectively representing their communities’ interest with the hegemonic rule of their dominant partner.
    At some point in time I believe they will have to leave BN and join up with Keadilan or DAP. I am not the least surprised if UMNO already has taken that into consideration.

  9. #9 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 11:33 am

    et cetera, not et alii.

  10. #10 by bystander on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 12:06 pm

    The Slogan ” Our children our future” is a lot of baloney. It applies only malays and not to other races. This a racist country and the non malays are living under apartheid. Yes Dr FN is right. What the facist right is doing to him is what UMNO is doing to us non malays in Malaysia. And Malaysia is championing for human rights, freedom of religion and against discrimination and apartheid policies when they themselves are committing such despicable acts and policies. What a bunch of UMNO hypocrites and double standards.

  11. #11 by sotong on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 12:35 pm

    Non Malays cannot rely on BN under UMNO leadership to protect and defend their basic rights under the Constitution.

    It has always been their intention to maintain total power and control to rule by fear and insecurity…..and they have succeded but not without enormous costs to the country and her ordinary people.

    The cost of achievements to date is grossly out of proportion to the benefits…….the country and her people are hurt very badly from the narrow, divisive and damaging politics of our leaders and recovery could take decades while other countries move forward and leave us behind to lick our self inflicted wounds.

  12. #12 by KL Dude on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 12:47 pm

    This talk on Malaysia as an Islamic State is just lip service for election purposes only to win the hearts of Muslims especially those in Kelantan / Terengganu.

    I don’t see it as a threat because afterall I know they will never dare implement any Islamic law as the consequences will only hit them back.

    If Islamic laws are implemented, many of their ministers will be without hands now due to corruption and maybe 40% of the police force would be serving the nation as cripple citizens without hands as well… He he…..So do you think they will want that ?

    Anyway let them say whatever they want as we know the concept of Islamic State declared by them is just by form and not substance. There’s no reason to push the panic button as this will only create chaos and unrest among the rakyat.

    Just regard the statement on Malaysia is an Islamic State and not a Secular State as another “dumb” statement that they have declared and don’t waste too much time arguing on such stupidity.

    Afterall, take this as a good opportunity for the opposition to link whatever wrongdoings / corrupt practices committed by them to the “true concept of Islamic State” as declared by them. Well, they are just mockering the name of Islam by declaring such a thing and this is very sad.

    What’s the purpose of declaring Malaysia as an Islamic State but being corrupted / unislamic at the same time ? Are they trying to show to the world that Islam condones corruption, abuse of power, race marginalisation, etc ? On one hand you say the weather is freezing cold but on the other hand you walk around naked without clothes contradicting what you say.

    The rakyat will sooner or later realise the meaning of this so called self defined “Islamic State” ala “UMNO”…. when they see the link is made to the corrupted practices / wrongdoings commited.

  13. #13 by badak on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 12:58 pm

    UMNO now is even scared of its own shadow,99 % of UMNO members are there because of getting goverment contracts,each and every UMNO meeting is the same,” Y.B mana contract yang Y.B janji kepada cawagan kita, i rest my case ,the other 1% is quiet because they already got the goverment can be a malay bumi, but if you are a card carring member of PAS OR PKR YOU ARE NOT CONSIDERED A BUMI,You are considered as a traitor to the malays, because you are working with none Malays to bring down the UMNO lead goverment. The last 8 years the UMNO lead goverment have been robbing us blind ,but what are we doing about it nothing

  14. #14 by k1980 on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 1:04 pm

    So what? It’s not my money….
    Di saat rakyat disuruh berjimat cermat dan dibebani dengan kenaikan harga barang keperluan, kenaikan harga minyak petrol dan kadar tol, pemimpin-pemimpin negara membazir wang rakyat untuk bersenang lenang dengan jet-jet mewah.

    Jet mewah jenis A319 CJ untuk Perdana Menteri, Abdullah Badawi berharga RM200 juta yang ditempah telah tiba ditanahair pertengahan Ogos lepas. Pembelian jet itu merupakan satu pembaziran besar kerana sebelum ini pemimpin-pemimpin negara sudah disediakan empat buah pesawat eksekutif yang terdiri daripada Boeing Business Jet, Bombardier Global Express, Dassault Falcon 900B dan Fokker F-28.

    Sementara itu, Timbalan Perdana Menteri Najib Tun Razak didakwa menghabiskan jutaan ringgit untuk menyewa jet mewah bagi kegunaannya untuk bercuti di bandar perjudian Las Vegas, Nevada, Amerika…. percutian peribadi sepuluh hari Najib itu turut meliputi beberapa bandar besar di dunia.

    Menteri Pertahanan itu dilaporkan menggunakan pesawat MAS ketika bertolak dari KLIA bertujuan untuk menutup mata rakyat Malaysia.

    “Selepas itu Najib dan rombongan 16 orangnya ke Tokyo, kemudian berlepas Honolulu sebelum ke Las Vegas dengan menyewa sebuah jet mewah,” … isteri Najib, Rosmah berbelanja secara boros di Boston dengan membeli sejumlah 74 beg barang-barang solekan dan pakaian sehingga memerlukan 15 buah kereta untuk membawanya.

  15. #15 by AntiRacialDiscrimination on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 1:16 pm

    Sooner UMNO will amend the Constitution so that corruption will be made one of the Bumi’s special rights. Anybody questioning this special rights will be charged under the Seditious Act.

  16. #16 by akarmalaysian on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 1:46 pm

    our PM most of the time is nothing but all empty talks.he doesnt hv the charisma and the quality of a good leader.if u wanna talk abt our multi national issues here…just face the facts on what your own people is doing now.if you are talking abt being fair…forget it.if you wanna talk abt transparencies….dream on.if you wanna talk abt corruption…you dont even knw what it’s really about in the 1st place.if you wanna talk abt justice…you are just a laughing stock.and if you are really faced with a question in a tight spot…sigh…its your usual famous “i dont knw” thats what we will be getting fr you.if you think the government is clean…we doubt if you ever knw whos clean in your cabinets.the only “clean” thing we knw fr you that you ever mention is to emulate the clean toilets fr Japan.we really dun need suckers…all we need is a fair government.the people make the economic power.not you.always rememeber that Mr PM.

  17. #17 by lakshy on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 1:48 pm

    Lets all wear Yellow on National day and Malaysia day as support for our Royalty! Lets show our Royalty that we support them. Let them have the confidence tahtw e are behind them so that they can take definitive action for the good of the country. Lets all wear Yellow!

  18. #18 by ADAM YONG IBNI ABDULLAH on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 2:10 pm

    In God’s view , all men /women are equal.

    forget about what the ministers have spoken.

    they are merely using religion as a shield for their self glorification and enrichment.


    and for those who dont vote – start voting.
    and those who have not registered – do it now please.

    otherwise, grandmother goose story will be the same comes next general election.

  19. #19 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 2:38 pm

    Whent a country is led by a corrupted govt such as ours, it does not matter whether you are secular or Islamic state, the consequences will still be disaster. When a corrupted govt proclaimed itself as running an Islamic state, you know its blssphemy and it is any other sin cannot match in hell. But why UMNO now made Allah as their most staunch political ally? Because the political agenda for the Malay race is now very weak. Malay can see how their own kind plunders the nation wealth, they also know they didn’t work hard enough and they didn’t deserves what they enjoy today. But they have to swallow their pride to admit it and that’s very hard to do, in fact it is impossible for them to do but they came close to walk out of the closet and tell the whole world we have been suckie (but we all know already)! So they pretend to be clueless so they can take it easy, they hope things won’t change, as long as they can continue to live comfortably on the expense of others, its God’s gift! So yes, Islamic state is for this type of Malay and they supports UMNO.

  20. #20 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 2:54 pm

    For UMNO, Allah is now the solution for the country so don’t blame them if anything goes wrong, its God’s will.

  21. #21 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 3:01 pm

    “Lets all wear Yellow on National day and Malaysia day as support for our Royalty!” Lakshy

    Are you sure??? Who is the leaders here??? Why should we wear yellow??? If the Agong sack Abdullah Badawi on Merdeka day, every year I will wear yellow, that’s the deal! If the Sultans can’t lead the nation that’s because they got no guts!

  22. #22 by hopeforfairness on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 3:46 pm

    Wait a minute,I saw something special when i searched through wikipedia regarding Najib,the DPM.

    –>In 1987, as UMNO Youth Chief, Najib defended special Malay privileges in a speech where he vowed to bathe the keris (Malay dagger) with Chinese blood. Shortly afterwards, the government launched a crackdown on extremist elements, termed Operation Lalang, although Najib was not detained.


    Wah,I am so scary man!

    Some more,He recently declared that Malaysia has, “never been secular because being secular by Western definition means separation of the Islamic principles in the way we govern the country

    Malaysia is a good country,if without racial issues and political issues.
    It seems that the controversies WILL NEVER END.

  23. #23 by patriotic1994 on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 4:20 pm

    Come on guys… the more I see the situation, the more I feel like all are just for show. Basically our PM has no idea what to do. He just speak out from his mouth, not from his mind. His brain is blank. Complete empty.

    I have a feeling that all this will be gone after election when new government come in, probably Opposition party, and we finally have the chance for a New Malaysia. A lot of undoing. A lot of repair works to do. I just hope there isn’t too much damage until it is unrecoverable, like what happen to Iraq.

  24. #24 by cklife on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 - 4:20 pm

    We need a new Malaysian conceptual fighter like Dr. Burhanuddin.
    Farish Noor.. can you be one?

  25. #25 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 30 August 2007 - 12:28 am

    “How can there be any significant, meaningful long-term development in the country when the very rules of the political game change again and again?”

    If they keep shifting the goal posts, even Beckham couldn’t bend it like Beckham.

  26. #26 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 30 August 2007 - 1:10 am

    “For a start, it would be ridiculous to ask any Malaysian today to integrate any further as most of the non-Malay citizens of this country are in fact descendants of third, fourth if not fifth generation migrants…”

    If assimilation is interpreted by the Chinese to mean wearing the songkok, batek shirts and the kebaya to state functions this 31st of August it is but one model of integration that its opponents would scream assimilation as if it is a dirty word.

    Let the political scientists and sociologists agree to disagree on the meaning of ‘integration’ and ‘assimilation’. There are as many models of integration as there are political scientists and sociologists who care to write about it. But to us common folks we know a well integrated or assimilated individual when they see one. Today we cannot deny that over the last five decades there has been a fair degree of integration or ‘assimilation’ as some would call it.

    In the 50s and 60s you could not find a Chinese girl working as a bank clerk talking in Bahasa and comes dressed in baju kurong and sarong. If that is not assimilation, then what is? A duck is a duck when it walks like a duck. Some you guys may have girlfriends who walk like one but that does not, however, make her a duck. So don’t you duck shooting!

    ‘Integration’ or ‘assimilation’ ? What does it matter?

    In the U.S. there are calls by Congressmen for hispanics who are recent immigrants to assimilate i.e. learn to speak English and adapt to American culture. Calls for assimilation are never accompanied by protests from politicians.

  27. #27 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 30 August 2007 - 1:15 am

    In Malaysia the word ‘assimilation’ has been made into a dirty by certain politicians who are bent on playing racial politics.

  28. #28 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 30 August 2007 - 1:15 am

    ooops ‘word’

  29. #29 by sotong on Thursday, 30 August 2007 - 6:55 am

    Integration is important to keep the diverse culture and traditions of the country….assimilation will destroy it!

    Having said that, it is utmost important the unique culture and traditions of the Bumi and their way of life are fully protected for the benefit of generations to come….it distinguishes us from the rest of the world – this is the country most valuable asset.

  30. #30 by mickey01 on Thursday, 30 August 2007 - 8:06 am

    Msia is a racialist country tat care for bumiputras. Like South Africa in the past which adopt the white race policy tat discriminate against other races. Many poor people in Msia are neglected and living below poverty line. Rich Unmo members become richer and more and more daring in getting corrupted and abuse the system. Govt cares only about Msia is a islamic country. For what? If islam is so good and will lead us to heaven, why other races are hesitating to embrace and adopt it? Very simple, we do not want to get into this trap of one way ticket of no return. Once a muslim forever a muslim. No turning back if you want to retract. It is a life and death issue!

  31. #31 by greatstuff on Thursday, 30 August 2007 - 11:06 am

    PM-T.A.R said Secular in 1957, PM-A.R also said so after that,
    PM-H.O also did, PM-Dr.M all of a sudden said it was already an Islamic State even if no one else had been consulted, DPM-N.T-R said it’s a bit of this and a bit of that, PM-A.A.B said a couple of things to add to the confusion and then made the Islamic State statement but with it’s special Malaysian Brand…. telll me, what the heck is going on, are you also confused? After PM-A.A.B,it’s anyones guess, why don’t we just go back to the good old days of post 1957,and just be a Secular State again??

  32. #32 by undergrad2 on Friday, 31 August 2007 - 9:29 am

    “If Islam is so good and will lead us to heaven, why other races are hesitating to embrace and adopt it? ”

    Because there are other Gods and other avenues of going to Heaven? Because the Constitution says we have freedom of religion?

  33. #33 by ktteokt on Sunday, 2 September 2007 - 9:45 am

    If at all Malaysia is an Islamic state, why is there PAS standing in its way as an opposition party? Is PAS Islam different from UMNO Islam? Do they use different Al-Qurans? Shouldn’t PAS be made a component party in the government since it embraces Islam?

    And what are the other non-Islamic parties such as the MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP, etc doing in BN? Do they know the least bit about Islamic law or how to run an “Islamic country”? Are the members of these parties all Muslims? Do they not eat pork? Have they been “sunat”? If the answer to any one of these questions is “NO”, then they are not fit to be in the government which claims to run an Islamic country.

  34. #34 by ktteokt on Sunday, 2 September 2007 - 11:47 pm

    The battle is on, phase 1 of islamization has already taken place with the banning of pig-rearing in the state of Melaka. Soon enough, other steps will come in force and these may include compulsory embracement of Islam by non-Muslims, conversion of temples and churches into mosque, total ban on pig-rearing, etc.

    If this is what AAB wants of an Islamic state, then what has MCA got to say about it? Would all the big-shots and members in MCA voluntarily line up to undergo “sunat” and throw away their ancestral worship tablets?

  35. #35 by jackrusso on Tuesday, 11 September 2007 - 5:18 pm

    Islamisation had started decades ago. Slowly but surely, we are moving away from the sacred tenets of the constitution which unequivocally states that Malaysia is a SECULAR STATE.

    It seems that secularism is falling into abeyance.

    In melaka, they are after the pigs. In selayang, they are after the dogs. Next?

    Temples have been demolished. Next?

    MCA and MIC have no place under the Malaysian sun. The sooner they realise it, the better it is.

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