Ministers’ failure of leadership and lack of moral courage which is why the Malaysian government has lost its moral compass and Malaysia lost its way in the sixth decade of nationhood

The Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh today gave an example of the Ministers’ failure of leadership and lack of moral courage which is why the Malaysian government has lost its moral compass and Malaysia lost its way in the sixth decade of nationhood.

In answering the question by the PKR MP for Penampang Darell Leiking, Idris defended the two forums against Christianisation held by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), claiming that they were meant to explain the threat of Islamic State (IS) and Syiah teachings.

In a written parliamentary reply, Idris said:

“The objective of the seminars were to discuss academically the pros and cons on the matter in line with the intellectual culture at the higher education level.

“The seminars basically explained the issues of IS, Syiah and the crusade, from the historical point of view, as well as the development of Islam, which (they could) share with the UiTM students.”

How sad, the Higher Education Minister defending the indefensible, and what is patently wrong and unconstitutional – a complete failure of leadership and lack of moral courage to admit and declare that what UiTM had done in organizing the two anti-Christianisation forums were wrong and an assurance to Parliament the nation that such unMalaysian and unconstitutional activities will not be allowed in Malaysian public universities.

Idris and UiTM seem not to know that Article 3 and Article 12 of the Malaysian Constitution provide that Islam is the religion of the Federation but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony; with every Malaysian given the guarantee of freedom of religion, the right to profess and practice his religion, subject to the state laws prohibiting proselytization of Muslims by other religions.

This means that public institutions, particularly public universities, should not engage in any anti-Christianisation or any activities anti any religion – as it will be going against the basis of Malaysia’s nationhood, our plural character as a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation.

What shouts from the roofstops from Idris’ answer is his political, moral and intellectual cowardice in admitting that it was wrong for UiTM to conduct anti-Christianisation forums and to give an assurances to Parliament and the nation that public universities will not be allowed in conduct any activities which promote hatred against any religion in Malaysia.

When will Malaysia have Ministers and leaders in government who have the moral, intellectual and political courage to defend and uphold the plural character of Malaysia’s nation-building basis, take a bold stand on moderation against all forms of extremism and intolerance, whether in public universities or elsewhere?

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 6 April 2016 - 3:52 pm

    The truth is UMNO/BN are very proud of themselves to have kept radical Islam in check. For decades they have told Western and foreign partners, they “know how to deal with these things”. They believe they are better at it than the West who have only seen deterioration of relationship and conditions with radical Islam.

    UMNO/BN policy is simply political narcotic – pandering to them because it deals with the first biggest issue of relationship with radical Islam – non-alienation. But the truth is the West has gotten much deeper in understanding the issue which is that to really fix the problem requires a few more step – building trust and offering a long term alternative.. UMNO/BN have not built trust nor offer an alternative. That is we have a bigger IS problem than Indonesia. UMNO/BN corruption and abuse of power do not built trust with radical Islam. They do not offer an alternative instead becoming more like them..

    Najib is very proud of coopting Hadi’s PAS because it proves he “knows what to do about these things”. But the fact is they have become alike, not an alternative to radical Islam.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 6 April 2016 - 7:58 pm

    Institutionalized money politics has brought the country ruin. Unfortunately, many ministers and MPs still treat money politics lightly.

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