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Thursday, July 31, 2014

SHOULD WE ALLOW PERSONAL OPINIONS?

mt2014-no-holds-barred
So, many in PAS put Islam above everything else. So what? This is what Muslims are supposed to do. Islam comes first. Race comes second. And the country comes third. Demi untuk agama, bangsa dan negara, as the saying goes. So what is it that Dr Mohd Zuhdi said that is wrong in the Islamic context?
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki leaked Whatsapp message controversy raises an important question. Should we allow personal opinions or should personal opinions be banned? And when are personal opinions considered personal and not for public consumption?
Back in 2009, my e-mail account (raja.petra.kamarudin @ gmail.com, and which I no longer use) was hacked and Mohamed Zahrain Hashim, the one-time Anwar Ibrahim crony and PKR leader for Penang and now Malaysia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, leaked one of my e-mail messages in a press conference.
The year before that, in 2008, the police confiscated my computer and I suspect that is how they managed to access my e-mail account. I suppose that is how Zahrain managed to get his hands on my e-mail account and read all my private and confidential messages.
This particular e-mail was regarding Zaid Ibrahim’s trip to Manchester to watch football at the Old Trafford plus confirmation of his hotel booking, not a very dangerous or threat to national security type of exchange of communication.
Nevertheless, Zahrain, being the small-minded Melayu that he is (you can take the Malay out of the kampung but you cannot take the kampung out of the Malay) thought he had stumbled across a coup of the century and announced it at a press conference.
Hacking is a crime. Announcing what is a personal message and not meant for public consumption is probably morally wrong even if it is not a crime that can get you sent to jail.
Does this mean Malaysia has a criminal and an immoral person as its Ambassador to Indonesia?
Anyway, Dr Mohd Zuhdi is now facing a similar problem, which to me is actually not a problem at all. He was engaged in an exchange of messages with fellow PAS leaders or members and one of the recipients of that message leaked it. It appears to be a sort of ‘conference’ with a number of PAS people so we probably will not know who the culprit who leaked it is.
I suppose this just shows that although PAS may be an Islamic party, not everyone in PAS practices Islamic values. Some of them, just like those in PKR, still have the Umno mentality.
And did I not say back in 2010 that I do not support ABU or ‘anything but Umno’? We should not fight to remove Umno. Instead, we should fight to remove the Umno mentality, especially amongst the Pakatan Rakyat people. If we remove Umno and then we replace Barisan Nasional with Pakatan Rakyat but they still have the same Umno mentality then all we are doing is we are replacing a lanun (pirate) with apenyamun (robber).
What’s the difference between the two? One robs you on land and the other at sea. Either way you still get robbed and probably murdered as well.
So what crime has Dr Mohd Zuhdi committed? None! He was just expressing his personal opinion. The criminal here is the person who leaked that message. Or are we saying that personal opinions (private exchanges between two or more people not meant for public consumption) are not allowed?
If so, then where is our civil liberty? If we are banned from expressing a personal opinion (especially one not meant for public consumption) is this not a violation of our civil liberty? Do we ban thinking as well then? If we are banned from having personal opinions then thinking should first of all be banned because if we are allowed to think then we shall form opinions and there would be a danger we would express this opinion (even if just privately and not for public consumption)?
Many Malays (more than 50% of the Malays and maybe even 90%) think that Muslims (meaning Malays) should not be allowed to murtad (leave Islam or become an apostate) to become Christians. Stop any Malay at random on the streets and nine out of ten (if not ten out of ten) will say they are opposed tomurtad.
That is their personal opinion. Should they be allowed their personal opinion?
Then ask them a second question. Ask them whether they believe that the non-Muslims are trying to mislead Muslims and entice them to leave Islam to become, say, Christians?
Again, they will say they believe that the non-Muslims, in particular the Christians, are attempting to get Muslims to leave Islam and some may even quote a verse from the Qur’an that says the kafir (infidel: meaning non-Muslims) will not be happy until Muslims abandon Islam and convert to their religion.
In other words, non-Muslims such as Christians cannot be trusted and are very devious. And the majority of Malays/Muslims believe this. And if you ask them their personal opinion (privately and off the record) they will say so.
Should Malays/Muslims be allowed to think that? How do we ban them from thinking that? And should the Malays/Muslims be allowed to privately express this view in the form of a personal exchange with a fellow Malay/Muslim?
Why not? How can you stop Malays from thinking? How can you stop Malays from talking amongst themselves?
The Chinese, too, have opinions about the Malays and Indians, many of them not favourable opinions. The Chinese, too, amongst themselves, talk about the Malays and Indians as long as it is an all-Chinese group and no Malays or Indians are around.
Should the Chinese be banned from thinking as well? Should the Chinese be banned from talking amongst themselves and from exchanging personal opinions with each other?
What if what one Chinese says about the Malay leaks out? In fact, if you read what the Chinese have to say in the social media, they do not just exchange personal opinions amongst themselves, they openly whack the Malays and say all sort of nasty things about the Malays and they do not care two fucks if the Malays get to read it.
So, many in PAS put Islam above everything else. So what? This is what Muslims are supposed to do. Islam comes first. Race comes second. And the country comes third. Demi untuk agama, bangsa dan negara, as the saying goes. So what is it that Dr Mohd Zuhdi said that is wrong in the Islamic context?
The Chinese proudly post comments in the social media saying that 90% of the Chinese vote opposition. And the reason they vote PAS and PKR is because these two parties are together with DAP in Pakatan Rakyat. The Chinese also warn the Malays that if DAP is no longer in Pakatan Rakyat, or PAS leaves Pakatan Rakyat, then PAS (and most likely even PKR) will not get the Chinese vote.
The only reason PAS and PKR get the Chinese vote is because of DAP, warn these people. Without DAP, PAS, and probably even PKR, are history. Hence divorce DAP at your own peril because the only reason the Chinese support you is because of DAP.
Numerous such comments are posted in the social media. This is the opinion of the Chinese. And the Chinese do not privately say this (like Dr Mohd Zuhdi did). They openly and publicly say this.
But that is the opinion of the Chinese. And they are entitled to their opinion. And they have a right to say this openly and publicly if they want to, and which they do. And for sure they have the civil liberty to discuss this privately amongst themselves (like Dr Mohd Zuhdi did).
When the Chinese say something that is their democratic right under freedom of thought, opinion, expression, and whatnot. When the Malays say something (even privately) that is a crime and Malays are racists and extremists.
What is wrong with the Chinese? Is it in your genes?
Oh, and when asked about Hudud, Anwar Ibrahim expressed two opinions. He mentioned both his personal opinion as well as his stand as the party leader. His personal opinion is he supports Hudud because he has no choice but to do so as a Muslim. However, as a party leader, he goes by consensus based on what Pakatan Rakyat agreed. Hence he feels it is not yet time to implement Hudud, not until Malaysians can first be educated about what Hudud is.

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