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Sunday, August 31, 2014

GET RID OF ISLAM THEN

mt2014-no-holds-barred
The first step to reform would be to aim for full liberalisation. And this would mean no longer can religion, meaning Islam, be forced down our throats. Citizens of a liberal society must be allowed to decide whether they wish to belong to any religion, or be tied to a certain religion, or even to believe in God.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Many organisations, NGOs, movements, individuals, etc., have been pointing out the shortcomings and weaknesses of Malaysia. This has been argued for decades now and I, too, have said many things in the past. Now I more or less don’t bother to talk about it any longer for obvious reasons — nothing is going to be done about the matter.
I would like to refer to the news item from Free Malaysia Today (see below) as an example to argue my point (although this is not the only news report on the matter). What was reported is actually very true. However, the report is not complete.
Pointing out what is wrong is one thing. You also need to point out the cause of it. And, this, no one seems to want to talk about.
There is so much crime. There are too many unwed mothers. Incidences of AIDS are increasing every year. Unemployment is double digit. Standard of living is very low. There is no quality of life. Corruption and abuse of power is endemic. Personal debts are at an all time high. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is getting larger.
You can go on and on pointing out and listing down what we can consider the ills of Malaysian society. In fact, my list can be even longer than yours. However, you also need to point out why this is so. What causes all these problems we are facing?
And this is where most people fall short other than screaming we must, therefore, change the government, as if this is the cure-all remedy to society’s ills.
Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and many more, changed governments but that did not bring positive changes to the country. In fact, things got worse because the problem is not just with the government, although that may be part of the reason, but with society itself.
Let me go back to the Free Malaysia Today report below and let us focus on that. Malaysians complain that Malaysia still does not have real democracy or a functional democracy. And two reasons were quoted: the sedition law and the gender inequality.
Let us for purposes of this discussion just agree with that statement.
According to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, Islam is the religion of the Federation. Furthermore, Malaysia practices Sharia law where certain things allowed for non-Muslims are forbidden for Muslims.
This in itself is already inequality. Non-Muslims are free to do what they like while Muslims are not. If they do some of the things that the non-Muslims do, these Muslims will get arrested and punished.
On the other hand, non-Muslims are also denied certain liberties that the religious authorities may consider undermining Islam and/or a threat to Islam. You know what I am talking about here, of course (if not then it is your problem, not mine).
Muslim men can do certain things that Muslim women cannot. Muslims and non-Muslims are equally prohibited from doing certain things that may be viewed as seditious, especially when it affects Islam, the Rulers, and so on.
Islam or Islamic culture and tradition are very much the guideline in deciding what is permitted and what is prohibited.
Hence, when complaining that Malaysia lacks a functional democracy, it is no use just screaming that Malaysia lacks a functional democracy but you must add that Malaysia lacks a functional democracy because Islam is very restrictive.
PAS is a member of the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat. And Pakatan Rakyat is propagating reforms, more democracy, more civil liberties, and much more.
It is not use whacking Barisan Nasional or Umno since we say that Barisan Nasional and Umno are not reform-minded like Pakatan Rakyat. We have to target our appeal to Pakatan Rakyat, the proponents of reform.
Are PAS and Pakatan Rakyat prepared to honestly and sincerely fight for reforms? And if they are how far are they prepared to go or is this merely lip service and political talk aimed at winning votes?
The first step to reform would be to aim for full liberalisation. And this would mean no longer can religion, meaning Islam, be forced down our throats. Citizens of a liberal society must be allowed to decide whether they wish to belong to any religion, or be tied to a certain religion, or even to believe in God.
This would be the first step — to remove the shackles and bondage of religion and to be really free citizens of this world. Only then can we talk about other things.
So stop moaning, grumbling and bitching about Malaysia not being a functional or true democracy. Let us not just talk about the problem. Let us talk about the cause of the problem and the solution. How far are PAS, PKR and DAP prepared to go in seeking this solution so that we can stop talking about the problem?
Once we can address that question then the reforms or changes we seek will get closer. If not you can continue talking about the problem until 31st August next year and still nothing is going to happen.
Over to you PAS, PKR and DAP. What is your solution into seeing a functional democracy in Malaysia? Remove Islam as the religion of the Federation?
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Malaysia not a functional democracy yet
EMPOWER is saddened Malaysia is still gender biased and prefers to use repressive laws like the Sedition Act.
(Free Malaysia Today) – Non-governmental organisation Empower said in a Merdeka Day statement today that Malaysia is far from being “a truly functional democracy that respects the rights of its citizens.”
The NGO said this in relation to two issues dominating the political scene in Malaysia – that of gender bias and the use of the Sedition Act to silence opposing political views.
On the issue of gender bias, Empower said they were sorely “disappointed” at the mounting reluctance to accept a woman as Menteri Besar of Selangor despite the law itself being “gender-neutral”.
“Presently, the only current Menteri Besar candidate who commands majority support from the Selangor State Assembly is Wan Azizah,” the statement read.
They also said “double standards” were widespread as women were “held accountable to higher standards” and “frequently face demands to prove themselves over and above the norm.”
“On the other hand, male counterparts with similar levels of experience go unquestioned and their qualifications are assumed,” the statement read.
The NGO was also disturbed by the increasing use of the Sedition Act to silence political criticism, saying the authorities were “overstepping their limits” despite a pledge by Prime Minister Najib Razak to repeal the Sedition Act.
“SUARAM’s statistics show that the number of investigations and charges under the Sedition Act actually rose dramatically in 2013: 15 cases compared to 7 in 2012,” the NGO said.
They said this form of bad governance was leaving the people “powerless” to fight injustice while “stifling” their right to express themselves freely, engage with one another constructively or make informed choices.
Empower’s statement was endorsed by the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Perak Women for Women (PWW) and Sisters in Islam (SIS).

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