Going the Taliban way to keep grip on Malaysia

8 November 2014

It is no longer a question of what else will certain groups of Malay Muslims take offence to in Malaysia.

Anything from a) places of worship of other religions must not be built in Malay-majority areas and b) alcohol cannot be sold in shops in Malay-majority areas, and even pictures of idols cannot be placed alongside Halal signs – has raised hackles among Muslim groups.

For them, it is not ridiculous to say that such things can shake their faith or affect their image. No detail is too small or trivial for them to assert their dominance or flex their muscles to get their way.

But the so-called guardians are also the same guys who won’t think twice of about plundering the nation or visiting an entertainment outlet and then insisting on a halal meal.

You don’t see them protesting leakages and excesses highlighted in the annual Auditor-General’s Reports. You don’t seem them questioning projects that produce white elephants or buildings that crumble easily.

No, they only come out to make noise over houses of worships or anything that would impinge on their image as sole guardians of the Malay Muslim community.

When did this puritanical thinking start? Sometime after Election 2008 when Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) lost its traditional two-thirds super majority in the federal parliament.

In some ways, this insiduous Talibanisation of Malaysia is being pushed forward by Umno and its acolytes, who are using race and religion to overcome their loss of political power.

So, churches and temples that were once approved under BN rule in Selangor are now the subject of protests. Alcohol that was sold freely throughout the country is now questioned.

Items that require Halal signs cannot be associated with anything else even if it is just a tourism campaign of Malaysia, Truly Asia. Of course, it begs the question why water requires a Halal certification.

But one doesn’t have to wonder any more why these things are the way they are.

Just like what happened in Afghanistan after the fight to rid of Soviet occupiers, those without political power used religion and race to win over and control the population. It happened there and it appears to be an emerging tactic here.

The English essayist Samuel Johnson once declared that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” but these days, it can cover anything from race to religion. Anything for and to keep power, really. – November 8, 2014

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Sunday, 9 November 2014 - 4:31 pm

    How come they oso never protest against Bentley cars

    UmnoB ministers n relatives r veri happi with life here

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Monday, 10 November 2014 - 8:38 am

    Its not so simple. There is no real future to UMNO’s current religo-hate mongering and Najib is no fool not to see it. In order to keep power, Najib need to at least more and hence there is a noticeable change in the adminstration.

    There is a definite move to change the guards likely by Najib such as Utusan attack on Adnan Yaacob, the distancing from the problems of an old stalwart like Shahrizat Jalil, Selangor UMNO virulent respond to Mahathir’s criticism. Najib believe that if he changes the old guards than UMNO would have a fresh coat of paint he can deny the usual taint of UMNO and its outstanding scandals. He need not even change the current hate-mongering tactics to keep the votes of the ultras i.e, His trademark “change” without actually doing it really.

    The opposition rely on UMNO/BN sheenanigans to feed its political capital. Without UMNO/BN sheenanigans it would be starve of political capital even just to hold together. UMNO underperformance is NOT enough to keep the coalition going.

    So less, the opposition take for granted the hoplessness of such “taliban” way of holding on to power. UMNO/BN is much more sophisticated machine than such simplistic conclusions.

  3. #3 by john on Monday, 10 November 2014 - 10:18 pm

    Religion has been make-use of, to stir, divert, commit wrongdoings and, at same time for one’s own-self benefits. That’s all.
    Good examples are what the present, past and previous ‘PM’ had done, while in office – rather, running the Nation as their own business enterprise and taking the Nation wealth as their own piggy bank.
    What happen to Bodowi ( no, only cunning ), last act in office was to ‘trade’ one block of oil-field !!! to Brunai and am sure, is not one-way trade interest,,, Now, he is filthy rich and very religious – as before ? , at same time.
    MMKutty, is a write-of, too many deeds to list and till now still at his best ” devilish ” self – also, a multi-grammy award winner in play acting as senile, witty, a fool,,, all to FOOL others
    As Ah Cheat Kok, not suppose to be there even
    ( Altantuya case ) not to mention about his capabilities,,, and,,,,
    These are the ‘PM’ and ???

  4. #4 by good coolie on Monday, 10 November 2014 - 10:34 pm

    If the Taliban or ISIS take over Malaysia, all of our rich politicians and businessmen will take up residence in the land of the kafirs, namely Britain, France, America, Australia etc. Add India! That is why those who have already bought land and property abroad really don’t care whether extremists take over Malaysia or not.

    We poor lot are the ones with the stakes held here. Let us do something, however little that is. For a start, let us enjoy our music (banned by extremists), and let us encourage female children to pursue education. Let us fight for freedoms, including freedom of religion, for everyone.

    Moderation means moderation – not some double-speak proceeding from a forked tongue: one fork for the Mat Sallehs and the Security Council Seat; the other fork of the same tongue meant for the Talibans of Malaysia.

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