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Yoursay: Will M'sia ever be racially, religiously tolerant?

YOURSAY | Not as long as there are parties that use religion to justify exclusion and discrimination.

The moderate Malay Muslim is a myth

The Wakandan: Thank you Malaysiakini columnist Mariam Mokhtar, for a candid disclosure of the Malays’ psyche. Thank you for being able to see their faults and not being apologetic about them.

If you may, perhaps this came about as a result of the racial mix that we have in Malaysia, a confluence of people from opposite poles.

If we are just consisting of the Polynesians, probably assimilation would be easier to mask the cultural differences and therefore homogeneity easily achieved, so that we would only squabble over the colours of our neighbour’s carpet instead of whether they are Chinese, Indians or Christians.

You said rightly, and this is important, that the Malay mentality that we have today was the result of our government policy. There are no two ways about it.

How could Malays living overseas have no problem with the images of pigs, dogs and crosses, while here we would go on a stampede if those should be exhibited conspicuously in public?

Dont Just Talk: Yes, within a walking distance across the Causeway to Singapore, the Chinese New Year celebration at shopping malls around the city features the decorated zodiac sign of the year - the pig.

And the enlightened Muslims are joining in the festivities, which speaks volume of the island republic’s racial and religious tolerance.

In Malaysia, and as long as Umno and PAS parties are around, you can forget about racial and religious tolerance, for their rabble-rousers will stir up unrest among various races.

On the Other Hand: The Islamisation and Malay-isation of this country that started in the 70s have set this country on the path to self-destruction.

The non-renewable resources are being exhausted, a massive brain drain has taken place, productivity has fallen and in its place we have a bloated civil service (with its accompanying future contingent liabilities), graduates with useless degrees and race and religion schisms fracturing the country.

Did I mention endemic (and accepted) corruption throughout the establishment? The slow-motion train wreck started some time ago and is still going on. National bankruptcy is just a question of time.

Anonymous_1543918786: What a well-written piece of advice by Mariam.

If everyone in this country thinks and behaves like this, this is the country the world over would like to adopt. We will all live in peace and happiness.

Khafir_Pendatang: Mariam, what do you expect them to do? Write Malaysiakini articles like you? Post messages on social media? They have families, mouths to feed, jobs to keep, lives to lead.

Do you expect them to risk all that by writing things on social media and spouting political opinions to their colleagues and social network?

Not everyone is an opinionated writer or speaker with a burning desire to share their views to the world and "fight against injustice".

It is easier for you because you have nothing to lose, writing articles for a living in the UK.

But these are just ordinary Malay folk in Malaysia with families who lead their lives day to day, making a living the best they can, and they keep their political opinions to themselves.

Many non-Malays are also like that, so it’s not just a Malay thing.

Mo Saladin: Malays are indeed very conscious of how tenuous these tags can be. Many do not wish to be self-assigned or publicly proclaimed baton carriers of the moderates versus fundamentalists polemics.

Whilst many are hesitant to turn into polemicists on the subject matter, they are acutely aware of the devastating consequences if the balance is tipped heavily on one side.

Truth be told, many expect the mature Muslim voices in leadership not to be so spiritless in countering the virulent fundamentalist tendencies in the community. That perhaps has been the clearest indication of their preference to follow the centrist path.

But asking the Malays to stand on soap boxes to denounce their sacred cows is maybe a bridge too far.

Anonymous #28648954: But Mariam, if we non-Malays try to voice our opinion on certain "sensitive" matters, the Malay Muslim fanatics will jump up and down, froth at their mouths, bay for our blood and tell us "jangan cabar, jangan masuk campur, ini bukan hal non-Muslim, etc, etc, etc!"

Ian20013: @Anonymous#28648954, I agree, and worse is that the vocal Malays will issue the threat and somewhere there would be a radicalised Malay carrying out the threat, even though the vocal Malay may not intend to carry out his/her threat.

Quo Vadis: Mariam, you hit the nail in the head, call a spade a spade.

No core changes will ever take place until the "moderates" (if they do in fact exist, if at all), become vocal enough and in sufficient numbers to disavow political models and operating mechanisms determined by concepts of ‘ketuanan’, consistently subjected to implementation of policies prescribed, defined by what the proponents want and not what the people need.

This political model will always be the basics that will never, ever change. Let’s not delude ourselves, naive as we may be.

Anon88: I live in the Malay heartland of Kelantan. I take my Rottweiler for his countryside walk every Friday in the paddy fields and kampung areas.

Everywhere we go, the Malays are intrigued by him; we are never troubled by anyone. Instead, they crowd around my car to have a good look at him. Their natural curiosity and enthusiasm for animals are apparent and intact.

That is the Malaysia that I hope will never change, and my experience with the rural kampung folk gives me hope that better sense will prevail.

David Dass: In the day-to-day interactions between Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia, there is perfect harmony. It is only in the rhetoric of politicians and some muftis that we are made conscious of divisions that must exist.

PAS takes the most extremist view. And politicians who defend Malay rights and privileges sometimes use religion to justify exclusion and discrimination.


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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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