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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Keep It Secular, Stupid

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Like it or not – and for Walski, not – we live in a country that’s becoming increasingly conservative. It wasn’t always this way, and for quite certain, not something our founding fathers intended for Malaysia to be. Regardless of what the conservatives tell us.

On the onset, Malaysia – or, at the time, Malaya – was formed on the basis of being a secular nation state. Now Walski doesn’t know for sure if the Encyclopedia Galactica defines the word secular or not, but if it did, it would very likely define it in pretty much the same way the Oxford Dictionary does: not connected with religious or spiritual matters.

Secular does not mean anti-religion, or anti-God. In that respect, this country was formed on the basis of being secular. It was never intended that Malaysia be an Islamic state, despite the fact that Islam is the official religion, as defined in the Federal Constitution.

Regardless of what the conservatives believe, and insist that we do, too.

So why is it that religion – Islam, specifically – is becoming more and more prominent within the public sphere? And by public sphere, Walski means public policy.

Walski wonders if much thought was given before this overzealous ruling was forced through. And not just the MPSJ ruling, but the Selangor state Syariah Criminal Enactment, which the MPSJ seems to be so eager to bend over backwards to enforce.

There are damned good reasons why our forefathers formed this country as a secular state. The MPSJ enforcement of this ruling is a living example of why.
(Christopher Hitchens is right, and more, in the full post)

The various state Syariah criminal enactments do one thing very effectively: they create “criminals” out of otherwise law abiding citizens. Every “sin”, if these Islamists have their way, becomes a crime against the state.

Okay, so JAIS and MPSJ want to enforce this idiocy.

Fine. Let’s look at the impact. What these soldiers of God only see are Muslims working in pubs. That’s probably as far as their blinkered vision allows them to see.

Now. what about convenience stores, mini-markets, supermarkets, hotels (there are at least 4 international hotels in the Subang Jaya municipality off the top of Walski’s head), and restaurants?  Is the MPSJ going to enforce this on all businesses, or practice selective persecution? And has MPSJ even considered the potential overnight unemployment?

And once these out of work Muslims (the vast majority of whom are Malays) have been “saved”, who’s going to fill up those vacant positions? Already the Food and Beverage industry is lamenting that without capable foreign labor, they can hardly operate. And what’s going to happen to these out of work Muslims, saved as they may be?

After that, what other un-kosher work will Muslims be prohibited from engaging in? Here’s a suggestion: Muslim employees of banks that charge conventional interest. Yeah, force them into unemployment as well, while we’re at it.

And what of the Muslim stewards and stewardesses on MAS and other airlines that make Malaysia their hub? They serve alcohol on these flights, don’t they? Force the Malaysian Muslim crew into unemployment as well?

That, sports fans, is the real impact of what MPSJ has initiated. Potentially, saving the Muslims to enjoy an economically broken nation.

Okay, so Chief Minister Khalid Ibrahim says that a special fund would be set up to assist “Muslim workers who are forced to resign from entertainment outlets serving alcohol(via The Malaysian Insider). For how long, and at what quantum? Very creative use of zakat funds, incidentally.

Typical, though – spend more funds and create more bureaucracy to overcome problems that were self-inflicted in the first place.

How long is it going to take until Muslims in this country realize that the longer they tolerate this Islam-as-I-say-tion wars between PAS and UMNO, the more they will be on the short end of the bargaining stick. Yes, folks, newsflash – at the root of this stupidity is none other than the ugly face politics.

These two anachronistic parties go all out to out-Islam the other in their quest for support from the Malaysian people. And Malays – who by virtue of the indelible stamp of their MyKad, are Muslims – have no choice but to endure the stupidity inflicted upon them time and time again. Worse, many relish it. God bless their gullible souls.

By the way, here’s a suggestion – these unemployed, saved individuals could be absorbed into the Civil Service. It’s not like half of our national budget goes into the upkeep of the civil service, right? Oh, wait – doesn’t some of the tax revenue also come from not-so-kosher industries like gaming? The devil, as they say, is in the details, and the Malaysian way is to close one eye to inconvenient truths. When it’s convenient, of course.

And seriously, the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled off is to convince us to do the most incredibly stupid things in God’s name.

Thinking about it, Christopher Hitchens was spot on – religion poisons everything. Hey, Malaysia could be a modern day case study at the rate things are going. Maybe one day we can be a proud member of The Club of Doom.

While certain political personalities lambast the MCLM (Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement) for being a third force to dilute the political process – which, incidentally, they are not – what most people are totally blind to is the very REAL third force – the elephant in the room, so to speak. Walski here refers to what he calls the Third Power Column. Unelected religionistas, in collusion with elected persons across political divides, whose agenda is to turn this country into a theocratic state of some undisclosed model.

In the context of Malaysia, what would result, should this happen, is a religious apartheid, where you have different sets of laws for different sets of people, depending upon what religion you have the misfortune to be born into. Civil liberties, as in bad shape as they are today, will be something we may only read about in prohibited history books.

And this is pretty much 180-degrees from what our forefathers intended. Regardless of what the conservatives insist that we believe.

Most, if not all, of our founding fathers are dead and gone by now, but if they were alive, Walski is pretty sure that they would want for us to KISS – Keep It Secular, Stupid.

Regardless of what the conservatives may want to think, and the delusions necessary to believe what they believe…