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Friday, July 13, 2007

Degrees of Separation

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This post is, in essence, an elaboration of a comment Walski made on one of Marina M's posts not too long ago. It's a proposed solution to a problem (or perceived problem) that exists in Malaysia today - a clash of ideals about which direction Malaysia should head towards.

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But first, a quick recap: Malaysia, it seems, is at a crossroads. On the one hand, we have part of the population whose ideal is to have Islamic statehood as the solution to all things gone awry, which for the other part of the population is the last thing they think should happen.

Admittedly, Walski falls into the category of the latter. However, we won't speculate which group of people represents the majority - that's not the point of this post.

Recent incidences such as the whole Lina Joy saga, the Revathi case, the numerous intrusive forrays by the Islamic Department enforcers (aka the Morality Police), etc., but more importantly the vehement disagreement of opinions surrounding the incidences - almost like water and oil sometimes - has led Walski to think up a simple solution.

While the solution is simple (in principle), it's not an easy decision to make, and quite frankly pretty painful. But it has historical precedence... and if done right, can possibly lead to a "happily ever after" ending...
(Walski's "final" solution, and more, in the full post)

Generally, a person with liberal leanings means that he or she is against imposition of personal beliefs upon others. In contrast, the vocal, and presumably mainstream, Muslims in this country are for exactly the opposite - they are for a strict implementation of what they see as divine law, including policing morality, and intrusion into other people's privacy. In fact, in Walski's viewpoint, the concept of personal privacy is next to non-existent.

Any liberal view is generally seen as being Islamophobic, anti-Islam, etc. We will not debate the validity of this view here, however. Again, that is not the point of this post.

What is clear, however, is that the way things stand, there is a clear divide. And the chasm, it would appear, is not closing. On the contrary, the divergent views appear to be growing further and further apart. And because of this, Malaysia is at a crossroads. To complicate matters, Islam has been used as a tool for political gain. In the quest for mindshare between UMNO/BN and PAS, each trying to out-Islam the other, the real losers are Malaysians at large, whether we want to admit it or not.

And so, we come to Walski's solution, which is separation, once and for all.

What this means is that those who feel the solution to all the wrongs in this country is Islamification, should form their own autonomous regional government. Since there already is a state that claims itself to be run per Islamic tenets, i.e. Kelantan, not taking logistics into consideration, this would be the logical place to move to.

Initially, Walski had secession in mind. Having thought about it a bit more, perhaps creating an autonomous administrative region, similar to how Hong Kong is in relation to China, the Caliphate of Kelantan, as we'll call it (for lack of a better name), shall be autonomously run. Everyone who feels that he or she has had enough of us liberal heathens can move there, and live happily ever after in an exclusively Islamically run region.

Those UMNO-philes whom are sincere with their current "we are not Islamic enough" rhetoric can move there, and those who do this purely for the sake of appearance can drop the pretense, and be themselves. Why fight with PAS, trying to outdo each other, while making the rest of us live our lives miserably? Go join them, if that's what your true calling is.

We'll be humane and give the Caliphate of Kelantan some amount of start-up capital - say, RM 2 - 3 billion or so. And the actual Caliphate may be bigger than the current Kelantan, all depending on the number of Malaysians that want to go live there. We'll keep the borders open, of course, to facilitate inter-region movement, particularly during school holidays and the festive seasons, for balik kahwin, balik kampung, and what not.

So, with the formation of the Kelantan Caliphate, the rest of us who choose to remain can get on with our lives, have our relationship with GOD on our own terms, and happily go about with our existence, striving for the following ideals:

► achieving a greater unity of all people who choose to remain in the new greater Malaysia;
► creating and nurturing a true democratic way of life;
► creating a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably shared;
► ensuring a liberal approach to our rich and diverse cultural traditions; and finally,
► building a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology (i.e. no more air and kismis jampi or other nonsense like that)

These are not new concepts, by the way, and were not born from Walski's liberal mind. If you don't know where it comes from... well, how easily Malaysians forget. Okay, except for the air and kismis jampi part - Walski added that.

Image hosting by PhotobucketSuperstition will no longer be tolerated

Now, Walski is not about to suggest how the new Caliphate of Kelantan shall be run. They can run it however they see fit. Details (somewhat) of the new liberalized and liberated Malaysia, and what one can expect, has been outlined in an earlier post.

No, Walski has no aspirations to be a political leader - anyone who thinks they are up to the task are welcome to Walski's ideas, with his compliments. Walski will, however, accept a position as consultant/advisor.

So, why separation? With relations between religious thought (apparently) being the way they are, do you honestly see any other way? From being a model country looked up to by Islamic nations the world over as a bastion of tolerance, mention Malaysia, and the first thing that comes to mind will probably be the seemingly growing religious intolerance of the Muslims towards anybody and everybody else. Just peruse the blogs, and you'll see just how rife this has become.

It really is a simple solution, and it has been done before, in India, for example, where the greater India was separated into Pakistan, India and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). That split, however, wasn't done right, and we can learn from the mistakes made there.

The last thing, Walski is sure, that anyone wants to see is bloodshed. Separation is one way to avoid bloodshed, should the ill feelings continue to escalate. And separation is also a way to not have more brain-drain from Malaysia. Since liberalization of the entire country is something unpalatable to the mainstream Muslims, separation is a good compromise, in Walski's view.

But until there is separation, Walski will continue to speak out against the intrusive and lawless behavior of the so-called Islamic Morality Squads, dan mereka yang sewaktu dengannya, who are, after all, partly funded from Walski hard-earned tax dollars ringgit.

Thoughts? Opinions? Criticisms? Walski's waiting...