S Thayaparan: The non-Malay hate in the mufti of Perlis’ speech (Comment, Malaysiakini)…


The non-Malay hate in the mufti of Perlis’ speech

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COMMENT | “At the same time, Harapan is also pressured by certain quarters who claim to be practicing freedom of speech, but are inviting negative feedback from those protecting the status quo.” – Mujahid Rawa

You know who are the people protecting the status quo? People like the mufti of Perlis (above). I guess this makes me one of those people who claim to be practicing free speech, but who invites negative feedback from those protecting the status quo. So be it.

I remember a time not long ago when I was warning the then Harapan opposition not to be taken in by the mufti of Perlis. Public personalities were clamoring for a photo–op with this preacher who made the right noises when it came to the Najib regime – all veiled of course – which made him one of those “moderate” voices in a sea of extremism that Umno/BN was sailing on at the time.

The title of this piece is a homage to what the mufti of Perlis said of P Ramasamy: “I could also see this hate and anti-Islam (sentiment) on Ramasamy, which is a trait of LTTE.” While Asri Zainul Abidin’s anti-Chinese rhetoric seems to be based on using the DAP as a proxy for the Chinese community, he seems particularly obsessed with Hinduism, using the religion to attack the Hindu/Indian community.

In 2017 Waytha Moorthy, in a Facebook posting, detailed the immorality of the mufti of Perlis using religion – Hinduism – to insult the Indian/Hindu community: “Yesterday Asri was seen in a video saying the Indians brought by the British into Malaya are pariahs. This morning another of Asri’s video went viral in social media which is even more humiliating. The mufti is seen mocking, belittling and insulting Hindus by saying Goddess Shakti slept with another man during Shiva’s absence when Shiva was away in meditation, hence Ganesha was born. The Mufti has no business whatsoever to be speaking of another faith. His insults on Hinduism is immoral.”

Asri is part of cadre of state sanctioned religious and political operatives who I refer to as the “Despicables”. What we have here are provocateurs who understand full well that those they provoke cannot return fire because to do so would invite sanctions from the agents of the fascist state and the state itself.

The despicables are obsessed with insolence and gratitude. When Asri talks of how vernacular schools are the problem with race relations in this country, what he is really talking about is that the state is deprived from imposing values – most often religious – on young children. Non-Malays are insolent when they demand equal treatment before the law.

Non-Malays are insolent when they just don’t bend over and compliantly receive diktats from the state which further infringes our public and private spaces. Don’t forget to include “liberal” Muslims like Siti Kasim (above) who the mufti of Perlis has publicly sparred with, the results of which hinted at his deception when it comes to how the state handled the disappearance of Pastor Koh and Amri Che Mat.

I am not saying that his speech should be censured by the state. I understand why some people would want that. But Asri is a prime example of how “hate speech” laws would be used against non-Malays and not people like Asri. If the state security apparatus allows a Malay dignity congress but gets a court order to stop a Chinese education congress, what on god’s green earth do advocates of hate speech laws think the consequences will be of allowing the Harapan regime to further restrict speech?

Asri knows exactly what he is doing. By singling out vernacular schools, he is attempting to slay a sacred cow of the Chinese community. He wants to have a confrontation with the DAP. Asri believes he has the support of 70 percent of Muslims. He said so in an interview when he had a run in with the old maverick, when the latter said Asri was “deaf” to what Harapan has done for Muslims in this country.

Asri’s narrative is not based on any objective assessment of Harapan’s policies, only on the emotional strategies of his religious supremacy. Asri feels Muslims are under threat or being bullied because he feels under threat and bullied. His Islamic narrative, which is overtly bigoted and misogynistic, has been supplanted by the subtle machinations of the Harapan state. This, at times, involves sanctioning the Islamic far-right, much to the annoyance of the Islamists who prefer to operate without oversight.

What is it with the agents of the fascist state’s obsession with Jawi and khat? Their “icon” Zakir Naik (below) lectures in English, hence I would assume they would want the majority to understand what he was saying so they would be pushing for the standard of English to be improved. But what Zakir Naik says is not really important for Malay/Muslims, right? What they want him to do, is trigger non-Muslims. They want him to demonize other faiths in English because that is the target audience.

All of which makes what the despicables are doing go against the Rukun Negara. For instance, what Asri says goes against everything in the preamble of the Rukun Negara and the five principles of the Rukun Negara, he is –

(1) not attempting to achieve a more perfect unity amongst the whole of society.

(2) He certainly does not care to preserve a democratic way of life since he is looking for a Saddam Hussien figure to unite the Malays.

(3) Hhe is not interested in creating a just society since he continuously attacks the non-Malays as insolent and ungrateful, and slanders certain political parties as anathema to Malay unity.

(4) He despises other cultures, hence has no interest in advocating a liberal approach to the country’s rich diverse cultures.

(5) He has no interest in building a progressive society using science and technology because if he did, he would not advocate and champion the causes he does.

And our taxes fund these guys?

Have a productive New Year, Malaysia, whoever you are.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. A retired barrister-at-law, he is one of the founding members of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.






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