Silver lining to black clouds – something for keris-wielding Hishammuddin to learn

Mike Lee emailed me a blog hoping I could put it up here.

I read it and agreed. It provides a silver lining to the black clouds of nation-building a-gathering in recent months. An example of what every Malaysian can do as Bangsa Malaysia in everyday life to make the new generation feel that they are one united people instead of a separate divided nation.

It is something the keris-wielding Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein can learn from ordinary but conscientious and patriotic Malaysian teachers who care for all students regardless of race, religion or class instead of just wanting to be a communal hero!

This is a blog by a self-confessed “very stressed out English (PE) teacher who feels she is about to collapse with all the work she has” but has never lost sight of the responsibility and vision as a “human engineer” for the new generation of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or class. Keep it up, Chris Chan. Dedicated teachers and nationalists like you keep alive and strong the hopes of a Bangsa Malaysia.

Friday, August 29, 2008
Majlis restu

Today marks a very important day in Sri Aman. Most people probably did not see its significance. But here it is …. why it is significant. Majlis restu has always been held for the PMR, SPM and STPM candidates in this school … ever since I could remember … for Muslims only. It was done with the purpose of encouraging the students and to remind them to turn to God at this time of severe stress and anxiety. For the first time, today, a separate majlis restu was held for the non-Muslim candidates. Why? Because ALL Sri Aman students deserve to have one done for them. ALL Sri Aman students are nervous, stressed and anxious about their public exams. So, under the Pendidikan Moral panel, the first ever Majlis Restu was held for the non-Muslim students.

Organising something that has no precedence is not easy. It was agreed that representatives of 4 religious groups would be invited to speak and pray for the students. So today, the Buddhists are ministered to by the Venerable Dhamajothi from the Maha Sri Vihara Temple in Brickfields, the Christians by Pastor Aaron Tham from PJ Evangelical Free Church, the Sikhs by Giani Lakhbir Singh who was a priest in the PJ Gurudhwara, and the Hindus by Mr Maniventhran of the Hindu Seva Sanga of Malaysia. The sessions done were generally well-received (I know some are better than others).

What is so amazing and wonderful is that students and religious leaders of 4 different faiths came together in one hall and participated in a function which involved prayers and words of wisdom from each faith. Students and teachers who have never before been part of any ceremony of other faiths had their eyes and minds opened to some practices they had never seen before. Imagine : a Buddhist monk who encourages breathing exercise and meditation, a Christian pastor who spoke about the Lord’s Prayer and prayed for the students, a Sikh priest who spoke about his religion and recited a prayer for the students, and a Hindu guru who spoke about meditations and chanted with the Hindu students. To me, that in itself is a victory. It is a victory because I saw people of different faiths coming together for a common goal : to encourage the students and pray for them; and the best thing that happened (to me, at least) was when they called each other ‘brothers’, and all the students were their ‘sisters’. There was no boundary. There was no caution of “don’t talk about sensitive issues”. We were all ONE family. I almost wanted to sing “You and me, in one world; we are family”, like in the Olympics theme song. Isn’t this a wonderful thing to happen? It only takes ONE precedence, and perhaps, next time, we will have a better organised function.

I have but ONE regret. I wish it was not only the 4 groups. I wish it included all the students. There was never any need to feel threatened or intimidated. We are, afterall, one Malaysia. Like what Dhamajothi said, all of us have blood that is red in colour. It matters not who we are, underneath it all, we are one human race. We all share the same kind of anxiety and worries when it comes to many issues, in this case, exams. I don’t know if this stirs up the hornet’s nest, but, deep in my heart, this is what I wish. (Am I opening myself to more issues that will turn this blog into a battleground?) Forgive me if this is sensitive to some people – yes, YOU. But it is MY wish, which I think is a meaningful one. And I might not be alone in wishing this.

  1. #1 by just a moment on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 9:56 am

    Thats something new indeed. Yes, I would support such activity. Why not, its an excellent avenue just to acknowledge the existance of different religion in the country.

    Start early, start in Primary schools. Let us all put our differences behind and for once to live in a spirit of ‘Oneness” as Malaysians.

    As long as the ‘New Goment’ extend or think of other races in their activities or curriculum, it’ll be ok, provided they have the consenses of parents.

    Good Start!!! We Are Malaysians!

  2. #2 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:03 am

    I don’t care now….. tell me when is the new government going to be formed? That is now the main interest of the country and the world. Nothing else

  3. #3 by milduser on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:08 am

    Religion by nature is a very sensitive subject for may civilizations and generations besides race and skin color. Battles and wars had been fought over religious issues, or was it fought under the pretext of religion by political leaders with their hidden personal agendas? We will never know unless exposed.

    Anyway, trying to promote and foster understanding rather than unity of religious beliefs among our multi-religious communities is a step in the right direction. Religious tolerance should be cultivated in our schools and institutions of higher learning at all costs as these issues will never go away as long as there is freedom to practice one’s religion as our democratic way of life!

  4. #4 by kingsoon on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:12 am

    What about such activities for all religions on the national TV as well. What say you all out there?

  5. #5 by Kathy on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:13 am

    Thank you for putting this article up for us to read. It is something that we can be thankful about having teachers and elders that care about the youngsters emotional well-being – regardless of race and religion.

    Hopefully, when we review our education system and delivery system, we would be able to incorporate mutual understanding like this school has done for all students.

  6. #6 by natsinned on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:23 am

    Hishamuddin blood can be more red??
    He has a unique nose??
    He wants to aspire to be the next PM of Malaysia followong his father and grand father????
    Whatever he is and what he wants to be requires a fine character.
    Does he have it?? Do you have it, Hishamuddin or Kerismuddin??
    But you can be one if you apologize your actions and refine your character. Profess Ketuanaan Malaysia rather than Ketuanaan Melayu will be the order of the day. Clean your Education Ministry in every aspect including transferS, positions, improvng Malay teachers to speak proper English and not Primary three English for “graduate” teachers, deserving allowances for deserving teachers, manage the ministry as an entity of Good Cooporate Business Governance. Not by your Kampong attitude of whims and fancies. We know you cannot afford to do it. SO RESIGN. Malaysia today is educate in mind. Bring your level of mentality to the level. Hold youir keris high again, WE DARE YOU AND BE CHARGED FOR SEDITION. You are LUCKY in where you are today. NOT through your ability.

  7. #7 by chinymin on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:30 am

    This is a real good example of building a Malaysian Unity that each and every one of us should emulate.

  8. #8 by basho on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:38 am

    Bigotry will take generations to remove. Hence, the actions of teachers is of paramount importance as it will reverberate down through history. In a sense, teaching is the most important profession as they have the greatest influence over the next generation. As for our generation – we are a lost cause. You will never be able to win an argument with a bigoted person since bigotry is not interested in logic except to the extent that it supports its own blind hatred. All we can do is fight them at the ballot box.

  9. #9 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:57 am

    There is no way other than for a Malaysian Malaysia.

    So Keris-muddin, learn this precious lesson:

    No way, No how, No UMNO!

  10. #10 by SK2 on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:59 am

    It is an uphill struggle to regain the standard of the Malaysian schools.

    Unfortunately the latest Budget is still emphasising on building more schools.

    We should emphasis on the ‘software’ and not the ‘hardware’. Also look after the maintenance of the exisiting schools. IF BeEnd is still on the mindset of using building of schools to skim money of the rakyat, then we are back to square one.

  11. #11 by twistedmind on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 10:59 am

    Our BN politicians keep talking about racial and religious integration and harmony – these teachers did not talk about it, they DID IT! That is the difference.

    I pray, this become contagious and multiply. We desperately need to rebuild and integrate.

  12. #12 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:04 am

    There is something here even the writer is not highlighting – i.e., that the students are wishing each other the best even as the go into competition that can determine their lives.

    What is most objectionable about the line of ‘ketuanan melayu’ and ‘special rights’ is that it PRESUMES that other races in this country does not want to wish the Malay race well, that it will NOT look out for them. There is NO BASIS for believing that the Malays will be marginalized. They can argue that fewer Malay billionaires and millionaires will come about but if that is the yardstick to go by marginalization, then some 99% of the world is marginalized even in US and Europe.

    More than anything eles I can stand the insult that I would care little if my Malay brothers are in difficulties.

  13. #13 by BaronV on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:07 am

    Personally Im not for school prayer at all. When I was at school, we had muslim prayers every morning during the assembly. Dont get me wrong, its not that its muslim prayers, but I dont realy want school prayer in general.

    But since its going on, yes its not right that only one group gets their prayer (regardless whether they are interested in praying or not). Its a fine example of the oneness of all of us and the spirit of Bangsa Malaysia!

  14. #14 by limkamput on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:09 am

    i would prefer that all religions be taken out of schools. If students want to pray, they should find time to go to mosques, temples, and churches. If we do as this posting suggest, there will be no end.

  15. #15 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:11 am

    It is unfortunate that all the BN-bashing is actually UMNO-bashing! Why? It takes no sharp observer to detect that UMNO is behind, in front, on top and under all this “KETUANAN” rubbish!

    I think there is no other way for malaysians to bury the ketuanan nonsense except to bury UMNO with it. With that – and, sorry, folks – MCA, MIC, Gerakan etc – all those hopelessly silent bedfellows – will get screwedd together on the same bed; not that they necessarily share the same DNA but because these malignant DNA could co-exist in the same toxic dump and will perish together. You don’t need a medical scientist to tell you that such virulence kills witthout exception.

  16. #16 by yellowkingdom on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:15 am

    Kudos! I congratulate Teacher Chris Chan for her initiative in encouraging a ‘majlis restu’ for non-Muslim students. I fully support an ALL studentsand teachers ‘majlis restu’. After all they have worked hard and have the common goal of achieving good results in the examinations. It is compulsory to have ALL students and teachers stand together during the school assembly when the ‘doa’ is recited. Why can’t we also have ALL faiths join in a ‘majlis restu umum’. Open to ALL faiths and when well-coordinated will open the hearts and minds of everyone to others beliefs. This will reflect the true Bangsa Malaysia. This will promote better understanding and mutual respect among our young right at school, compared to the millions spent on ‘enforced’ National Service and other superficial national integration activities meant for the media.
    The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) has always encourage regular inter-faith gatherings and prayer days for the critical needs of the nation.

  17. #17 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:31 am

  18. #18 by AsalUsuLMalaysiaHacked on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:42 am

    WONDERFUL preaching teacher. Bless you and the ppl who work hard for our young generation regardless of race and religion.

    HUMAN RACE as we were born Religious, so i would say theres no evil instead absence of god, but it doesnt mean we can behave like one(Devil).

    FACT of Darkness fall while Sun was gone, still the absense of the sun doesn’t mean we could take opportunity act like one “Devil”(robbed).

    EMBRACE ourself and respect all Human Race as we share same blood through our Vain, Malaysian blood.

    STOP Corruption and Dictatorship to stay corrupt. “Those who has committed misdemeanor are criminals but those who robbed the Nation as authority are worse than a criminals”.

    FASCISM is not solution but act of Evil to create unstable in the country, show some courteous and take responsibility for failure, resign would be righteous.

  19. #19 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:44 am

    yellowkingdon, inter-faith gatherings and initiatives (like the Bar Council debacle of a forum last month) is looked at suspiciously by the Muslims because of it’s ill-advised and lack of defined agendas.

    For non-Muslims, these may be opportunities to stake their claims for equal representation; however this can not be achieved through covertly attacking Islam and challenging it’s special status.

    Gathering and prayer days are good ideas which should be encouraged for greater understandings and building mutual respect. I also think having more open days at places of worship and having neigbourhood initiatives where all people of all faiths can take part are long over-due.

  20. #20 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:00 pm

    To be honest and realistic, please study hard, study everyday. if you don’t study, God/Allah is not going to help you even you keep playing. God has to treat people equally, those who studied hard should pass with good results and those who did not work hard would fail.

    I am so sorry that religions and POLITICIANS are misleading kids in this country.

  21. #21 by cheng on on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:02 pm

    How can one said that the recent bar council forum attack Islam, or challenging its special status, when the forum was not even allowed to start?
    Fact is , there were many hooligan acts outside the private bldg even before the forum start.

  22. #22 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:03 pm

    of course, I meant ‘praying’ but not playing!

  23. #23 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:04 pm

    Baron V posted that he was not for school prayer. It is the stand of a so called ‘secularist’. If DAP embraces multiracial but secular state platform, it ought not in principle to favour school prayer in national schools whether one or multi & interfaith. School funded by public funds ought not to sponsor organise prayer religious ceremony whether on graduation or before exams.

    However, we’re not a secular state in the strict sense of the word; we’re (constituionally) a hybrid, and if you follow TDM’s dictates, we’re an Islamic State. In an Islamic state, Majlis restu is ok for Muslim students but the controversy is, is a Majlis restu strictly Islamic concept and can it be held for non muslims?

    There are sound reasons why the answer should be yes, examples:-

    · The religious would argue that religious expressions are Ok in this not so secular state because it provides the moral tapestry for students to resist problems with drugs, immorality and violence. One should start them young, in the schools, so to speak;

    · The fact that it is “interfaith” prayers in schools also inculcate the value amongst the young to exercise tolerance of different faiths and in spite of different belief systems, people can get along and respect each other’s different beliefs and value system;

    · To have Majlis restu extended to non Muslim students give them an inclusive sense of belonging that the spiritual needs of all races or faiths are catered for in schools.

    On the teacher’s wish that the Majlis restu ‘included all the students’ there’s a slight problem here.

    To the the really theologically conservative, they feel torn by a dilemma. Yes for reasons stated above it is good that Majlis restu provides an opportunity for all to foster a sense of ‘oneness’, tolerate and learn from people of other faiths.

    Much as tolerance of differences is a political and social virtue in a multi racial, cultural and religious society like ours, conservative and staunch believers hold on to the tenet of belief that their monotheistic faith is true one, which by definition, implies others are not true, and therefore a public mixing of interfaith prayers may be interpreted as causing a crisis of integrity in respect of the truth one’s own faith in terms of validating the untruths of other faiths! Holding interfaiths prayers for all students including Muslims could be interpreted as indirectly leading to unintentional influencing of Muslim students to teachings of other faiths, which is prohibited by our laws and constitution. That is the reason for the controversy behind the Herald’s use of ‘Allah’ for the Almighty in their bulletin.

    No doubt the feeling of tolerance and “one ness’ is consistent with the political concept of ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ but what is good in political terms is extraneous in religious discourse and beliefs.

    It would be really a quantum leap if tolerance can be inculcated to the extent that believers of the truth of one faith and the untruth of other faiths can also accept others having a right to believe in faiths that the first mentioned group considers as untrue.

    However we’re far from that point and for now Majlis restu cannot include all the students.

  24. #24 by on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:04 pm

    Simply wonderful!

  25. #25 by N. Kiru on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:05 pm

    Children are the blliss from the heaven and all children are innocent and much of the way their future career and life are shaped depends on those who are in charge of them.

    Childhood consists of the most impressive years and teachers should remember that on them is reposed the noble duty of making a child’s life that in course of time will be the future citizen of the country and therefore they should strongly guard the child from evil of prejudice be it religious or racial.

    To teachers of Sri Aman and Chris Chan for highlighting this heart warming event, you will always be respected and remembered for injecting into every student of Sri Aman, values that will stand them in good stead all through their lives.

  26. #26 by AsalUsuLMalaysiaHacked on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:05 pm

    Challenge MY FOOT status u are… what status as u claim superior are NO Gods will above the rest! Special MY FOOT! i doubt your religion had never CLAIM as what your mention as status!

    Your nothing but disgrace for your own kind of beever.

    Move our retarded ass from the river relocate a pond!

  27. #27 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:08 pm

    cheng, it wasn’t allowed to start for the very reason I mentioned above, ill-advised to have an open public discussion and lack of defined agendas.”

    I don’t want to change the topic of this thread by discussing the bar council’s antics. Please refer to the specific thread on this blog, that I feel has been exhausted previously.

    Good day.

  28. #28 by AsalUsuLMalaysiaHacked on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:08 pm

    sry that curse thingy was apply to Zak the beever…

  29. #29 by wanderer on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:08 pm

    BN is not an open minded govt ready to facilitate brilliant new ideas by able Malaysians to advance a nation, rather, an administration to suppress the rakyat for their own agenda…so called ‘guided’ democracy! The rakyat are forced to listen to their taikos..pity, we have to put up with ministers bankrupt in ideas.
    The quality of education in this country is so below par that to achieve a developed status by 2020, maybe just a dream. A change of govt is needed and changing course is a must, if we were to compete with our neighbors.

  30. #30 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:14 pm

    AsalUsuLMalaysiaHacked, your gammar never fails to bring a smile to my face. The status I am speaking of is what is stated in the constitution. It may be up for interpretation, but the very fact that Malaysia is majority Muslim, means Islam holds more sway than other faiths. This is by no means reducing the merit of other faiths, it is a mere acknowledgment of the demographic realities of the country.

    Islam’s rising influence in public life and at federal governance level is there for all to see. Inter-faith gatherings and initiatives can not be tools to amend this reality.

  31. #31 by AsalUsuLMalaysiaHacked on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:20 pm

    i wonder why i was born a foot is bigger than other, now i finaly come to conclusion that it means to be on ur face sometimes when we met.

  32. #32 by m.hwang on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:40 pm

    With the kind of stress students face these days, they’re going to need whatever help they can get. I wish we had that Majlis thingy during my school days.

  33. #33 by wanderer on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:49 pm

    “I am holier than thou” Zax, no one is questioning Islam, neither, was the Bar Council Forum. You refuse to see the fact, if a thing is broken, either we repair or replace it. You are still like a frog living in a well.

  34. #34 by just a moment on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 12:55 pm

    From somewhere:
    For non-Muslims, these may be opportunities to stake their claims for equal representation; however this can not be achieved through covertly attacking Islam and challenging it’s special status.

    I have long been trying hard to understand and also identify root cause of Muslim’s perception and now I found it, just wanna put forward this 2 sens thought.

    1) Attacking Islam in Malaysia is not what Chinese like to do. We have thousands of other more worthy things to do. The real issue is, leave others alone. Don’t force it. As far as Islam is concern here. We respect Islam. You do what you like, just respect and leave others alone. Can it leave others alone?
    By the way, no one can help you for any negative perception you have regarding ‘covert’ thinking toward Islam. You have to deal with it from your own mind set.

    2) Islam have been suspicious all their entire lives because sadly, they find it extremely hard to live or accept others that are different from them. Don’t blame on others.

    3) “Special status?” What does this means? All you muslim must qualify this amonst your own kind. I dunno what you mean by it but I must enlighten you what it must not mean:

    Special Status DO NOT mean:
    1) Free Lunch forever.
    2) Untouchable by other races if it encroched into other religion by force.
    3) Behaving like God over other races.
    4) Take whatever or whenever you like especially its not from your kind.
    5) Getting more and Giving less to other races.
    6) Special Status is not the same as being major shareholder without paying for it.
    7) Not the same as inhereting all wealth and opportunities of the country automatically.
    The list is endless… Pratically every one of the above have been violated in different degree.

    Anyway, we just have to built the entire perception painfully slow when New Goment takes effect. Mind boggling indeed. ya?

  35. #35 by yellow on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 1:05 pm

    Racists like zak_hammaad will one day burn in hell. It wont matter whether he is muslim or not.

  36. #36 by hadi on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 1:22 pm

    should have done it long time ago. Well, what to do we Malaysian always bragging but at the same time we also claim, we are on top of everything. Definitely we can’t go on the way it is now.Fundamentally there are so many flaws, we need to revisit and redefine our nation building. See the end state that we want but YB Kit, I don’t see we can do it if the current morons BN still in power and still sleeping. So Malaysians apa lagi CHANGE ba…. and we know that many BN MPs who understand the meaning of Ketuanan Rakyat-your cross over is a sacrifice for the survival of the nations. It will be a historic moment for Malaysia. Just do it and IN GOD WE TRUST.

  37. #37 by AsalUsuLMalaysiaHacked on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 1:22 pm

    A righteous muslim will never recognized his words…

    @Zak… YES you have special “RIGHT” that is “CONTRIBUTE ZAKAT”!





    100,000,000 Muslims contribute RM50/person HOW MUCH CAN IT BE? IS THERE NEED FOR NEP?.



  38. #38 by Samuel Goh Kim Eng on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 1:31 pm

    Let’s pray that the day will come
    When all of mankind will become one
    Being finally united in the Father’s home
    And being free from all unnecessary human wants

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 020908
    Tue. 2nd Sept. 2008.

  39. #39 by lovepeace on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 1:39 pm

    thats my wish for malaysia and malaysians, may all of us be united regardless religion and race………..and let the seed planted in young age, the best place is school………….may almighty bless all of us…..

  40. #40 by swipenter on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 1:47 pm

    I have this nagging feeling that if a non-muslim resides in a muslim majority country please do not think you can be/are equal to a muslim but if a muslim lives in a non- muslim majority country they demand and must be accorded equal status to practise their faith free from intereference of any kind.

  41. #41 by maggi mee on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 1:52 pm

    In school also we are reminded from small that we have to be separated.
    like the majlis restu, it must be separated into muslims and non-muslims.
    The societies like Puteri Islam to remind you that you are not accepted because you are not muslim.
    Why can’t schools be free of religion so that all children can integratewithout prejudice?
    Why can’t they carry out all religions-based activities outside school hours and in their respective communities, guided by their kith and kin.

  42. #42 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 1:56 pm

    Just a moment Says:

    >> Attacking Islam in Malaysia is not what Chinese like to do.

    I NEVER used the word Chinese. Why must you identify race with religion? Are you a racist?

    I totally agree that the Chinese are not taken to attacking or insulting in general. This is a trait I continue to admire them for. When I mentioned “attacking Islam”, it is purely from a political viewpoint! It is certain NGO’s, it is certain inter-faith initiatives who trying to create a climate where subjects that are otherwise taboo can be discussed openly for their “greater cause”.

    Many have come to believe that “Interfaith dialogue” is simply another by-word to reduce the influence of Islam in Malaysia and to relegate it to a faith of mere rituals.

    Must engaging in dialogue on religion be painful? No, but where you have a non-Muslim minority trying to dictate their personal agendas on a national level (through deceptive means), you will continue to have the reactions that you saw at the bar council last month. Ignoring the geo-social demographics of Malaysia is the first folly for the proponents of secularism.

    This is also the reason why the opposition does not want to touch upon a subject deemed “sensitive” for open debate (it can ruin Pakatan’s success thus far). Fundamentally, the vast majority of Malaysians who support DAP’s secularism are non-Malay and/or non-Muslims. By this very fact, they are pitting themselves against Islam as the country’s official religion and the special status it occupies.

    Secularism inherently can not co-exist with Islam; this means that the opposition’s only hope is make sure they retain PAS (which gives them an air of legitimacy within Malay and islamic circles) and water down their secular agenda. Any attempt at all to relegate Islam from the status quo will be met by an unimaginable negative response.


  43. #43 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 2:07 pm

    swipenter Says:

    >>… but if a muslim lives in a non- muslim majority country they demand and must be accorded equal status to practise their faith free from intereference of any kind.

    Malaysia is 60% Muslim and possibly the best example of a multi-religious, multi-cultural society where the non-Muslims are accorded their rights to practise their faith freely.

    The US and the EU for example, are “liberal democracies” whose laws safeguard and guarantee personal freedoms etc. It is not only Muslim minorities who are accorded this right, but every other religious minority, as well as homosexuals who now command more influence than they ever did previously.

    In short, your argument is weak because of the wholly different forms of governments. Malaysia, like many Asian countries do not blindly adapt western styles of systems and values. Whether they should or should not would be an interesting subject for debate.

  44. #44 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 2:09 pm


    Malaysia is 60% Muslim and possibly the best example of a multi-religious, multi-cultural society where the non-Muslims are accorded their rights to practise their faith freely IN A MUSLIM COUNTRY.

    Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain are also emerging examples, but they do not have the uniqueness as does Malaysia.

  45. #45 by just a moment on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 2:29 pm

    I never used the word Zak_ also, right?

    I would not assume (like you) for a moment, Im merely saying on behalf of Chinese who is Non-muslim. Im sorry if I jump the gun, so are you referring to Chinese or not? Who else wld you be referring other than Non muslim? Racist or not, we all know ourselves.Do you?

    Zak_ apologised to the blog and say you lied about many things here, e.g. – you’ll leave this blog. You have learned and benefited a lot from this blog already. So, be fair with your input which I encourage you to be.

    You mentioned you’re a caucasian? Make sure you can distinguised between caucasian or Cock-Asian.

  46. #46 by swipenter on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 2:37 pm

    Zak you only addressed half of what I wrote ie the second part. What about the first part? Perhaps if you address what I wrote in totality your answer may not be that simple. Islam is the official religion but is it more equal than others?

  47. #47 by max2811 on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 2:40 pm

    Sorry. With all the administrative posts taken up mainly by UMNO ppl, it’s so difficult to implement anything that is good for the country.

  48. #48 by queequeg on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 3:53 pm

    I get goosebumps when I read the blog article by Chris Chan. There is still hope for a better Malaysia. Forget about racism and xenophobia. The ceremony is proof enough that we can change for the better and giving the right incentives & political will we shall triumph over the “divide-and rule” policy that’s been the bane of Malaysia for the past 51 years.
    I pray that the day will come when we can all answer this question:
    “What is your race?”
    “I’m Malaysian.”

  49. #49 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 4:20 pm

    ok swipenter, let’s go back to the first half of your paragraph:

    >> I have this nagging feeling that if a non-muslim resides in a muslim majority country please do not think you can be/are equal to a muslim

    This is a popular sentiment and I personally agree this to be the ground reality. My response to your second half of the paragraph reflects the causes for this. Solutions in the interim will be difficult to find, I sincerely hope that the ‘Muslim’ leadership of these countries amend their ways and practise what Islam preaches rather than what they want to believe. It is in contradiction to Islam that the non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries suffer stereotypes and discrimination and not in spite of it. History of Islam has plenty of shining examples where adherents and authorities both walked the talk re: treatment of their non-Muslim citizens.

    >> Islam is the official religion but is it more equal than others?

    In Malaysia, it occupies a higher status than other faiths; this is a fact. Should this higher status mean that others are hindered in practise by any way? No. The perceived disparities can be rectified by practising what the politicians preach (both Muslims and non-Muslims).

  50. #50 by AsalUsuLMalaysiaHacked on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 4:29 pm

    Haha i find Zak really ridiculous… aren’t you broke the code already?

    zak_hammaad Says:

    Today at 14: 07.48 (2 hours ago)
    swipenter Says:
    > The US and the EU for example, are “liberal democracies” whose laws safeguard and guarantee personal freedoms etc.

    >> In short, your argument is weak because of the wholly different forms of governments. Malaysia, like many Asian countries do not blindly adapt western styles of systems and values.


    Because we did not practice the real value of “liberal democracies” is that what you mean? lol

    Phathetic ideology of urs.

  51. #51 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 4:54 pm

    AsalUsuLMalaysiaHacked Says:

    >> Because we did not practice the real value of “liberal democracies” is that what you mean? lol

    Well done, someone give Asal a brownie point :^)

    Liberal democracy is not an “ideology” as much as BN’s “constitutional monarchy” is. Liberal democracies are secular by nature and this may explain why vast no. of nation states reject it in the form it is practised by the “West” as a complete separation of religion from state is rejected.

    Value of governance style depends on who you are asking. Ask the African Christian states and you will find some of them more fanatical than some Middle Eastern Muslim states. Ask the emerging Russian and Chinese states and you will find subtle communism still dictating their direction.

    You do not expect every country to become a liberal democracy do you? It would be equally insulting and arrogant to want the liberal democracies to become communist or wholly Christian by leadership (although you can argue the Christian neocon case for the US :^)

    Here in Malaysia, it is baffling why on earth anyone would call AAB a Muslim scholar! He is the least qualified in the sciences of Islam and his weak leadership and incompetence reflects. One also wonder what happened to his much coveted “Islam Hadhari”.

    Good day to you sir.

  52. #52 by AsalUsuLMalaysiaHacked on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 5:18 pm

    Why thank you,

    You see this is why our Nation today suffocates to compete when they insist to insert ideology w/e u may call to be implement in democratic society.

    If you kept asking, who’s gonna keep giving? There must be a limit to it, you can’t just ask forcefully. Atleast u must deem to understand and respect others religion in this country aswell as ppl respect your religion, pro-claiming superior etc are not the way to fixe our situation but worsen it.

    As for “constitutional monarchy” i would say that should be a perfect fit for those “self-proclaim” dictating goons is.

    This is all about the real virtue of being “liberal democracies”. Who cares about those fanatical country as we are practising democracy aren’t we, or shall we practice communism instead?.

  53. #53 by limkamput on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 6:08 pm

    Please don’t confuse everybody here. Malaysia is not an Islamic state. It is best that ALL religions be practised at their respective places of worship. Students facing stress should seek counselling or solace at their respective places of worship. Please don’t further aggravate the already very difficult situation in this country.

    Frankly, I don’t see what a big deal about students facing stress. Do you fellows think the school system today is vigorous enough? I don’t think so. So just tell them spend less time chatting online and spend more time studying, everything should be alright.

  54. #54 by limkamput on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 6:13 pm

    By the way who is qualified to speak on religion in schools? Who gets invited to speak in schools? What if some of speakers get into controversies? Talk is cheap.

  55. #55 by pangwl88 on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 7:41 pm


    i hope i am not wrong about that statement.

    Just imagine, all the Warlords, Clan Leaders, Political Figures of the MIDDLES EAST….UNITE!!!….Who do you think will be the MOST POWERFUL SUPERPOWER on this Planet?

    Like so……

    If ONLY we can unite as one, regardless of race, colours, religion, backgrounds…only then can there be One Malaysia, One Malaysian.

  56. #56 by abc280 on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:42 pm

    Please check this out.

    A primary school in Damansara KL do not allow non-Muslim students to drink water in their classrooms during this fasting month. They must wait until recess time to do so.

    Now, whose orders and directions are these?

    Are we teaching these students the right thing about Islam?

  57. #57 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 3 September 2008 - 9:11 am

    Superiority can only exist when the other party admits its inferiority!

  58. #58 by zak_hammaad on Wednesday, 3 September 2008 - 10:58 am

    limkamput, correct a Muslim majority state does not become an “Islamic” state by default.

    Coincidently enough, there is a very interesting article in S’pore’s ST today on page B5 of ‘home’ section. It’s about a study over there showing that nearly half of Christian leaders are wary of inter-faith talks and they fear such dialogue will compromise their beliefs.

    Christianity in S’pore it notes, tends to be conservative, evangelical, “embracing an exclusivist stance” in viewing other religions. I would say such sentiments are shared viz-a-viz Islam; within the Muslim communities in Malaysia.

  59. #59 by waterfrontcoolie on Thursday, 4 September 2008 - 12:18 am

    At this moment of time in the history of the human race, I am still puzzled by the attitude of those who fervently want others to follow their belief; failing which a line is drawn! Today, I cried for the CREATOR who must be sad to see that with all the developments in technology HE had granted to make life easy for the human race, we still fight to prove our belief is the only truth.
    Surely, He doesnot need the human weaklings to fight HIS battle! He can do it on HIS own! Just look at the earth quakes, the typhoons, the tsunamis!
    When I was studying in a small-town Methodist school, there were only 5 Chinese, 2 Indians and maybe 35 Malays in the class. Those days, the church was very active but the chapel in that school was stuffed by an Indian pastor who would come on Fridays, at least most Fridays. Often he was indispose because of a drink or two.
    Whenever he failed to turn up, one of the Indian boys [ who was the only Christian, May the Lord bless him] and three of us would take turn to conduct the chapel services.
    All three of us were never ‘converted’ though we enjoyed the singing sessions. To this day, I still attend Christain celebrations!
    Let us all respect the path others have taken and the world would be so much more peaceful!

  60. #60 by earthdweller on Friday, 5 September 2008 - 11:14 pm

    When I was in the primary and secondary school in Kota Bharu , Kelantan, many chinese went to then premier schools like SM zainab and SM Sultan Ismail. So I had the chance of befriending , mingling and understanding chinese friends. But now most chinese goes to chung chings and chung hwas. Muslim children goes to islamic school. Government schools are filled with almost 100% Malays. My children have no chance of having chinese friends at school. If we do not start at the earliest stage and NOW, I fear the time bomb set up by racist BN will explode soon.Congrats, Sri Aman. Let us learn to tolerate and treat each other with understanding, respect and as equals.

  61. #61 by earthdweller on Friday, 5 September 2008 - 11:18 pm

    abc280, maybe as a respect to fellow muslim students. but do schools allow student to drink in class? or at least they can go out to some corner to drink.

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