Sunday, January 8, 2012

On Race, Secularism and Islam....

Mariam Mokhtar wrote in Malaysiakini :


Is this the sign of things to come in Malaysia? The organisers of
former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad's talk on the 'Malay race and the
future' banned non-Malay reporters and television crews. Reporters
today, who next tomorrow?

And Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak just looks on pathetically?

The talk at the Tun Hussein Onn Memorial is an insult to Hussein Onn's
memory. He was highly regarded for fostering racial unity. His
firmness against anyone creating racial unrest, earned him the
soubriquet Bapa Perpaduan or 'Father of Unity'.

When will we accept that the solution to the problem Malaysia faces
can only be resolved when the Malays come out of their self-imposed

As a Malay who has benefited from higher education and exposure to
what the world has to offer, I am appalled at what Mahathir and Umno's
leaders are doing to the Malays.

Instead of leading us into the 21st century, they are still talking
about the golden age of yesteryear.

Instead on embracing change and catching up with the rest of the
world, we are still debating who this country belongs to.

Instead of being enthused by all the exciting changes that are
happening elsewhere in the world, we act like children in the
playground, and refuse to yield to reason.

It is simple; this country belongs to all Malaysians who are prepared
to work hard to see the country prosper. Its citizens will benefit
from the collective effort of the people.

In his talk, Mahathir said everyone had to accept that Malaysia
belongs to the Malays and that the country belongs to the culture and
language of the dominant community; however he added that 'Bangsa
Malaysia' has helped strengthen national unity.

Isn't this a contradiction of terms? How can you have 'Bangsa
Malaysia' and a country just for the Malays?

In his opinion, all races must accept that they are from 'Bangsa
Malaysia' to allow better cooperation between the different races and
guarantee the future of the country. Didn't he also say that the
country belongs to the Malay race? Don't these remarks clash?

He said: “….Peninsular Malaysia was known as Tanah Melayu……. We must be sincere and accept that the country is Tanah Melayu.”

He explained that the country's forefathers gave the Chinese and
Indians citizenship because they expected the communities to respect
Malay sovereignity.

He is telling the non-Malays that they are second-class citizens here.
He conveniently overlooks the non-Malays who have been more than
willing to identify themselves as Malaysian rather than by their
racial origin.

How dare he say that Malays will feel less threatened if the country
adopts the concept of 'Bangsa Malaysia'?

Insecurities exploited

Malays feel threatened because Mahathir keeps telling them that if the
relax their guard, they will be trampled by the non-Malays and that
the country will be sold to the Chinese.

Mahathir and the succession of Umno leaders are not leading the
country forward. Instead of opening up the Malay mind, they are
closing it.

Umno leaders are leading the Malays into a comatose state. Just like a
person in a coma, who is able to hear outside influences, the Malay
mind is unable to contribute towards the conversation and get out of
his vegetative state.

These leaders have worked on the Malay psyche to further their
personal cause. The Malays have always been a feudalistic and
fatalistic race.

Instead of bringing out the best in them, these leaders have worked on
their insecurities and kept them hopeless and pessimistic.

The non-Malays who came to Malaya were spurred by adversity and knew
that they had to work to make a success of their lives.

Not so the Malays who had always enjoyed the bountiful harvests of the
land - the rivers, seas or the smallholding that they could cultivate
whatever they wanted.

What Umno leaders have done is to control the Malays because - that
way - they control their personal fortunes.

Mahathir and Najib may have tried to give the impression that they
disagree with each other. Mahathir champions 'Bangsa Malaysia' and
denigrates Najib's '1Malaysia' concept. They hope that between them
they will win over all the Malays.

Grip on power

Only a fool would be deceived by that ploy. The truth is that both
Mahathir and Najib are one another's keepers.

If Mahathir falls, Najib knows he has no more protection and
vice-versa. It also applies to the rest of the Umno/BN hierarchy. Thus
it is important they keep their clique going for as long as is

Mahathir has the extremist Perkasa to release on the wider community.
The Malays who do not believe in such extremist views simply fall into
Najib's lap. That way the Malays are still under their control.

The Malay mindset has to change. There are many who think like me but
are fearful of speaking out for fear of a public backlash. That is
If they continually stay in the shadows, how will their children and
grandchildren benefit? The policies of this BN government are not
based on fairness and equality. Not everyone can aspire to be an

They must realise that the method employed by Mahathir and Najib is
one of control. They keep the Malays hopeless and in a state of
pessimism. They frighten the Malays into thinking that if they are not
careful, the non-Malays will dominate their lives. Mahathir and Najib
are skilled in demoralising people.

Malays like me have managed to get out from under our tempurung. Malay
women like me have had to fight various forms of discrimination to
enjoy the benefits that the world has to offer those who are prepared
to work hard.

We did not do this in isolation but with the assistance of everyone:
male and female, young and old, non-Malay and Malay, Muslim and

Our fear is that extremist views will hamper the efforts of women to
improve themselves in the modern world. This is already happening with
the influence of ultra-religious views.

People like Mahathir and Najib know that their power is secured for as
long as they can control the Malay mind.

They both know that educated and confident people are much harder to
control and hence to govern.



Dato DC ,

As always dato' I am going to be a wee bit naugthy and provocative.

'Malays' is 10 millions . Or at the most 13 millions.
If we think nusantara we are talking of 250-300 millions. Dangerous thought during the  early 60's , post ''konfrontasi'' late grand uncle, Tok Guru Tuan Haji Hasan of Lemal, Pasir Mas , Kelantan,  an ulama' running a  a very dynamic and progressive pondok in Lemal, Pasir Mas, was thrown under ISA for years for just trying to think that way by no other than Tunku Abdul Rahman. 

If we stop thinking of Malays and nusantara, the next big jump is of course, think of being 1.5 billion....Go universal,.think Islam.
Of course progressive chaps like you and ex ambasador KD  would think this as a retrogressive step backward retrogressive. KD, if I can read his mind, would surmise, I am recommending us to go back to the dark ages. I do not know what they teach in Intan those days to produce such thinkers !

Mariam apakahnamadiadah[ she sounds more Mat saleh to me than Malay. Is she a ''kwailo'' or she is just masquerading as a Malay ] would have fits in her bed reading my outrageous [ by her standard , I mean ] recommendation, let alone listen to what the likes of Ustaz Azhar has to say.

Think Islam.......

Yes , think Islam
Yes dato', I am doing away with political correctness today and without reservation going to be provocative. Let us think 1.5 billion. Let us think Islam for a change

some more food for thot this lazy Sunday morning..............................
forget about politics, assume we all are apolitical....
let us listen to a 2010 pre-election speech by Ustaz Azhar Idrus of backwater Paka, Teganung...

As I told you dato', I am going to be provocative.....hudud to your oxbridge ears,  and cheese flavoured stomach linings,probably is provocative enough.
But this was 2010. PAS approach has changed mind you. Malayisans will only be ready for hudud in year 2200 , perhaps......' Slowly, slowly', my Arabic  teacher used to say

Nik Howk


Dear Doc Nik,

Really? 1.5 billion Muslims? Yes, you are being naughty. But, my friend, it is an old chestnut. Sure, 1.5 billion Muslims collectively possess potential, I repeat potential, power, IF they can be harnessed for a single purpose, and within a single political structure. Like China, or India. But the vast majority of Muslims are deeply divided by faith (!), are dirt poor, illiterate, and superstitious. There are more university professors who are Jews, than there are universities in the entire Muslim world. Among the 65 Islamic countries in the OIC, only 3 have the simulacrum, I repeat a simulacrum, of being an open and liberal democracy. Quo vadis?

It pains me, as much as it does you, but these are facts, and we have to face them. We can look at a vast mountain lake and say to ourselves, "Wow, this lake possesses billions of megawatts of electricity!" Sure. But it possess the potential to produce that amount of electricity, only IF it can be harnessed by a large dam, with a dozen turbines to spin and generate the electricity. Otherwise, it remains forever an idyllic potential.

You will argue that potential, per se, has its own value. Yes, I agree, but only as an irritant, a nuisance, such as suicide bombers and unruly crowds. We don't want to be that sort of negative force. We want to be a positive force for peace, for change, for education, for progress, for pride, and for human dignity. That is what our Islamic civilization was, but no longer is. That is what a non-Islamic China is, and is achieving for its people.

If you want to think of potential, let me remind you of an incident at a public lecture by a famous physicist two hundred years ago. He was speaking on a new theory of electric force that could, in theory, be generated by bisecting a magnetic field. 

At the end of the talk, an elegant, aristocratic lady disdainfully asked him, "All that is very interesting, professor but, really, of WHAT USE is it?"

The old scholar looked at her, "Madam, of what use is a baby? It is in the POTENTIAL!"

In the case of the baby, of course, the potential COULD be realized. It could grow up to be a Shakespeare, or a Da Vinci, Picasso, or an Einstein, or a Beethoven, or any great mind to enrich the world of beauty and ideas. The potential was practical, and it was vital for the continuation of the species.

Can you convince me of the potential of your old chestnut? Or, am I being naughty?

Salam to you and your family, and a Happy New Year! 


Dato DC,

No, you are not being naughty. You choose to be ignorant.
Yes I do agree with you that,
1.5 billion muslims..divided..nothing very much to shout inventors the last 200 years....dearth of thinkers....shot at like dogs and cats and looked in disdain by most in some places....their hinterland divided and plundered this century without inhibition.

That is why we have to start somewhere some point in time

That utube I put up is a naughty one......Meant to shock guys like you who are in deep slumber still despite knowledge and god given rezeki and rahmat. All on hudud which even PAS has abandoned as a manifesto for 2012.
That was 2010 election talk. These people are coming out of their kopiah etc etc . Just listen to people like Dr Zulkifli or YB Husam for a change. These yonug turks are changing the scene.

Welfare state...justice, universal equality transcending class and sexes
sans corruption, moral and financial
all there.

We need not reinvent the wheel.
We still  have the book. Others have lost them or changed theirs a thousand time even human has been regarded as divine !
We have the seerah.

We, Muslims, still have substance , not the form now.
The West, alas , are all form sans  substance.

Our ship, albeit a supertanker are still afloat, albeit slow to take corners, twists and turn. 
The passengers are no doubt in a state of nausea, some vomiting, some even having dysentery.
But the crews are still intact.
As for the rest of the world, they are in the sea, some holding on for dear life to raft, bouys and lifeboats.
All have practically have abandoned  their ships.

Just study the Arab Spring.
The Muslim Brotherhood people has grown wise
We have from within us wise people but we do not count them as numbers because we now only think cheese, Cambridge and Oxford !.
Dont underrate Islam and measure Islam on the same scale as secularism.
We have 50 years experiment locally here with secular modernity in Malaysia and it  is not leading us anywhere.
The real Islam will prevail despite your pessimism....we have to give Islam a chance.

Give Islam 10, 20 will hit this global village like a tsunami, dato.
Sadly, statistically speaking, you  and even myself, may not be around to see it though.

"When Allah's succour and the triumph cometh. And thou seest mankind entering the religion of Allah in troops,  Then hymn the praises of thy Lord, and seek forgiveness of Him. Lo! He is ever ready to show mercy. "
Surah An Nasr, 110

Dont think Malay, Mamak, Chinese, Kwailo or Mat Saleh .....

Nik Howk


I wonder if Doc Nik also included the Shias..I wonder if he thinks they're not really Muslims! 



Your Excellency KD,

It is not important what I  or you think , in this matter of aqidah
Leave that to HIM.
'bersangka baik'.

Nik Howk


Doc Nik,

First order of business, Doc, get peace between the Sunnis and the Shias. 

First item on that agenda: do you accept Shias as Muslims? By implication when you speak of a 1.5 billion sized "supertanker" - you do. But I don't know for sure. Do you accept the Shia as an equal and true Muslim?

Second item on the agenda: Give the Organization of Islamic States SOME teeth. I was working  in Wisma Putra when Tunku Abdul Rahman was its Secretary General, residing in Jiddah. I spoke with him informally  when I stopped over there for few days. I cannot reveal the content of my conversations with him. But I ask you: Do you realistically believe that ANY Muslim country will surrender ANY part of it's sovereignty to the OIC? What is your view of the OIC?

Third item on the agenda: How do you reconcile the highly unequal income distribution and resource allocation? OIC can't even solve the simple problem of failing states in Somalia and Ethiopia. Or the repression in Syria.

Fourth item: Perhaps the most urgent, how do you bring order to Pakistan, that possesses nuclear bombs, and how to prevent nuclear bombs from falling into wrong hands? Of course, other countries, too, possess nuclear bombs, but they seem to have a secure hold on them.

Fourth item, perhaps the most important, do you really want a single Islamic empire, based on Hudud, now in the 21st century? Really? I have a friend, who is the head of the Islamic Centre in New York. The Centre is close to Ground Zero, and was in the news recently. He has a UK degree in Science. His father was the first Rector of the Islamic College here, and the young son went to school here at the VI in KL. He has many friends here, and visit often. Highly intelligent chap. He sees Islam as updated and more in tune with the 21st Century, modern, progressive, with richly varied and vibrant ideas, based on the market, and has a democratic base. He sees Islamic countries adopting policies that are realistic and friendly to other countries. 

Is this consonant with your Islamic Empire run by a supreme Caliph? How is this Caliph elected, or appointed? Is it similar to the Papal Empire after the collapse of the Roman Empire? How are laws made and implemented? Who enforces them? How are resources allocated? Is there a check and balance in the branches of government? Or no branches at all in the government? 

Dato DC



If I may suggest, you should not waste your time over comments made by those who do not have the interest of Islam and the ummah at heart but who treat discussions on Islam as an academic exercise and as a tool of amusement. 
You have, I believe, better things to do.

Adam Mat Lana
Little Britain,  London.


Thanks Adam. So long I don't hear from you. How is your post-doctoral  thing in Cambridge coming up ?
To me it is not a waste of time, I enjoy 'sparing' with these two gentlemen.
They somehow, represent  two archaic example of our colonial past...I have lost the word for it....mental 'neocolonization at it's worse'.  I hope I have the right word for it.

When I was in my sixth form in MCKK, in the late 60's, during the school holidays, we the Kelantan branch of MCKK boys made a boat trip to Perhentian Island, Teganung. There was no chalet there yet at that time. We sleep on the beach in the open. The next day we saw a naval boat docked by the beach nearby. Then a group of young navies bearing chairs and a table, with white tablespread. A sublietenant carrying a large champagne bottle with a few glasses. In the middle of the small entourage was a fairly dark looking man, in his late 50's wearing broad multi-coloured tie [ on the beach at 5 pm !] in a beige coloured suit. He was our deputy prime minister !
A lasting impression for all of us students at that time.......a drastic lesson in mental neocolonization !.
From the ensuing discussion things has not changed very much since the 1960's...we are still being mentally 'neocolonized'. 

Back to my friend, Dato DC,
If I can answer all his  questions I would not be still  putting 'stents' and opening blocked hearts even approaching  my 60th birthday
I will be somewhere up there wearing a broad multicoloured tie or bow tie dispensing 'advice' to the prime minister or as the pm himself.

1st and foremost super bright people like you Dato'  and His excellency  KD, will have to be convinced about Islam. We have to work on that.' slowly slowly'. They have to throw their biases of the past. Reeducation of sort....give their minds a 'total brasso'.....that wonderful polish in the 60's.
ok some may already assume you guys may be gone case, then we work on the younger generation. ilm ilm and to seriously re- look into the aspect of education.
not with the clowns we have up there currently of course.

Why think beyond our shores ?
The arab Spring is indicative of the catharsis and change going on in the muslim hinterland.....everywhere . Painful no doubt, but a necessary evil and despite my 'anger' earlier on on things going on in Libya, Egypt , Bahrain, Syria  and elsewhere, things will percolate down to positive things for the ummah. insyaallah. Nearer home, if pru13 is totally clean we will have our catharsis of sort  soon

Who is talking about the caliphate, my dear dato'?
And why touch on the shia/sunni dichotomy ? we are not God to decide the fate of some 200 millions souls. 'Ber baik sangka'. This is a matter of aqidah. Leave it to him.
Each individual muslim majority country has their own peculiarities. Let us all evolve in our very own way.
What is great for Mauritania may not be good for Malaysia. What is great for USA may fail in Iraq.

Why are you worried about hudud when even PAS is willing to put it aside for later consideration. Or is it just to throw the spanner in the engine.

On the nuclear front, what are you worried about...Pakistan has nuclear capability, Iran will get soon it and join the club. Saudi or whatever. Israel already has a couple of hundred  nuclear warheads. And may I ask you dato' a historical question :
Who bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima.......Muslims ?
Who killed 1 million  MUslims in Iraq ?

The chap you are alluding to  is, Imam Feisal bin Rauf, the New York imam. Yes, we need more people like him. BUt Muslims in the US has to evolve their own way with their constraints and special liberties etc and etc. There is no one formulla for all.

My  million ringgit question is why are muslims like you Dato'  and His Excellency  KD worried about Islam ?!!
This to me is what I term as 'Permanent head damage'

Give Islam a chance.
It is an idea that is long overdue.

Nik Howk



I spent time in Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman when I was assigned to the GCC countries in the late 70's. I was Under Sec. for South Asia an am somewhat familiar with Pakistan because of many bilateral meetings. I have also attended several OIC meetings at various levels & during our many consultations when I served at the UN. I was also exposed to how the Arab League operates. My experiences leave very little doubt in my mind that all these talk about the Ummah is pure rubbish because of the way it is often abused & exploited. The biggest victims of Arab exploitation are Arabs & other Muslims. The Wahhabis are probably the worst & they continue to control the minds of Muslim masses by their strong influence on a sub-standard education. What we see being perpetrated recently in Arab countries & before that on the Palestinians are a direct result of what the Muslim elites (political as well as religious) are prepared to do to perpetuate their hold on the so called Muslim "Ummah".
Unless we modernize & embrace change, what hope is there for us but to continue down this road? Or are Muslims only meant to enjoy the promise of Paradise in the After Life & not in this beautiful & bountiful world that Allah has given us?
The Good Doctor talks about Nusuntara & to think Islam..he forgets that there are more than 50 million Muslims in China. Islam has no racial boundaries. It is one of the great mysteries why Allah decided to create so many religions. Should we not accept & tolerate all these differences between men? I say let us start in our own country. Let us free ourselves from the shackles of ignorance, superstition, intolerance & everything else that keeps us imprisoned. If you truly believe in Islam would you not want to live in a time when Islam was great because it was tolerant & inclusive, at a time when Christians were burning their thinkers as heretics because they dared think differently? Think Alhambra..Granada..& all the contributions that Islamic thinkers contributed? Also think why we stopped making all those contributions to mankind. 
I think I better stop here. I'm also getting very sleepy.
Good night to you gentlemen!



Your Excellency,

Precisely, precisely.

Unless we modernize & embrace change, what hope is there for us but to continue down this road? Or are Muslims only meant to enjoy the promise of Paradise in the After Life & not in this beautiful & bountiful world that Allah has given us?
The Good Doctor talks about Nusuntara & to think Islam..he forgets that there are more than 50 million Muslims in China. Islam has no racial boundaries.  

Sans race, sans nationalism.
Let us give Islam a chance.

Nik Howk

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