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Khairy, dont play religious card too
Published:  Aug 28, 2006 5:43 AM
Updated: Jan 29, 2008 10:21 AM

First the Umno Youth No 2 plays the racial card, now he plays the religious card. Who indeed is really asking him to apologise for 'upholding our religious dignity and pride'?

On Khairy won't apologise, Hisham upset with MCA Youth

Wong SP: "Many people say our criticism is too harsh, provocative and extreme, but this does not matter as we are upholding our religious dignity and pride. So why should I apologise?" said Khairy.

First he plays the racial card, now he plays the religious one. Who is asking him to apologise for "upholding our religious dignity and pride"? It looks like this guy is grasping for straw or disorientated by the furore created by MCA Youth. Either way, I pray for Malaysia if he is the best that Umno could offer.

Anonymous: Instead of apologising for mouthing his insincerity towards his fellow BN partner, the young upstart tries to justify his immature comments by using religion again. Isn't that a copout. Mr Ong Ka Ting and the MCA should be wary about the big bully in their midst - he who wants his cake and eat it. And they call it a BN partnership?

Kaisim: We are often reminded to say things wisely so that we don`to hurt any racial group in the country. However, there are some Malaysians who thrive on sensitive issues in order to be noted - one such case is the recent writer Prof Shamsul Amri who wrote in the Dewan Masyarakat about Chinese economic supremacy in Malaysia. Did he get the facts correct?

Dewan Masyarakat is a magazine read mostly by students in the colleges and schools. Our friend is poisoning the minds of young Malaysians. Why do you target these young minds? The government is trying hard to unite the various groups. Here is a man who wants to make political gain by creating social tension.

The Chinese community is aware of their position in the country. Being weak in politics, they know that eggs cannot challenge stones, as the saying goes. To say that the Chinese in Malaysia believe in economic supremacy is to add fuel to the already strained racial tension rather than helping to solve the issues.

MO8: It is bad enough that the economy is not as sound as it was without the Umno Youth deputy leader raising the Chinese spectre taking advantage over the Malays. Why should he use some other people as whipping boys to 'upgrade' his standing among his fellow people?

SH Huang: Raising a keris , sword or samurai may be just a symbol but it has a strong connotation. It must not be used because it send a strong signal that the user will not hesitate to use it when his demands are not met. In fact, it gives the idea that he may use it if the occasion warrants it. So, it is a mild threat. In this multiracial, peaceful country of ours, we need harmony, goodwill and understanding among all the races.

On Ikim DG: Malays are Muslims first

Maharajalela: What the Ikim DG said is inaccurate. Bear in mind that he's from a government think-tank that is set up to foster the understanding of Islam. His exhortation of language, religion and identity is woefully incomplete.

First, the words bahasa (language), pustaka (repository), budaya (culture), agama (religion), bangsa , erti , puasa (fasting), negara , bendera , merdeka , raja , menteri , neraka (hell), syurga (heaven), sastera (literature), suci (pure), bumiputera , upachara , utama , barat , berita , utara , sempurna , sejatera , sengsara , wisma , and even wira , iswara , waja, perdana, satria, citra , are all guess what? Sanskrit. These are only a few examples.

His emphasis on budaya (Sanskrit for culture) and the need to assign a special stature of the Malay language as originating from the Quran maybe understandable, but it is factually wrong.

No race in the world, let alone culture, has a monolithic origin of it linguistic identity. Malays should be proud of the rich Asian inputs as well as their own uniqueness. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts that is the beauty of the Malay race and culture. It is an insult to Malays to pose them as Arabs. They can stand on their own two feet.

Fazurin Jamaludin: Dr Syed Ali Tawfik Al-Attas may want to take his own advice. According to him, people do not have the right to discuss things of which they are ignorant. Dr Syed Ali is obviously ignorant of Malay history and should have refrained from making inaccurate pronouncements such as this.

While many things remain unknown in regard to the history of the Malays, some things are reasonably clear. The Malays come from the Austronesian stock, and their language belongs to the Austronesian family of languages ("Austronesian" means "Southern Islands" - Malay shares a lot of basic vocabulary with the languages of islands in the southern Pacific). Malay may have absorbed a lot of Arabic vocabulary following the arrival of Islam, but it has also absorbed words from other languages - Sanskrit, Tamil, Chinese, Javanese, Farsi, French, Dutch - throughout its history.

So what can Dr Syed Ali mean when he said that the language of the Malays is derived from Islam and the Quran? If the presence of many Arabic words leads one to conclude that Malay is derived from Islam, does the presence of many Sanskrit words in the language mean that it is also derived from Hinduism and say, the Bhagavad Gita?

I take pride in my forebears and my cultural heritage. The Hindu-Buddhist Empire of Srivijaya was a Malay polity: many inscriptions on governance and statehood from the Srivijayan period were written in Malay (cf. 8th stone inscriptions from Kedukan Bukit and Talang Tuwo, among others.) The rulers of Srivijaya obviously spoke Malay and arguably must have practised what must have passed at that time as "Malay" culture. Modern Malay is descended from the language of Srivijaya and many customs and tradition that survive until this day hark back to that period. Malay culture is to a large extent a derivation of this old culture and civilisation.

Given this, how can we then have the audacity of saying that these people are not Malay simply because they were not Muslims? Unless of course, we think that the Malays did not exist before the Federal Constitution was written (as the good director-general of Ikim seems to think).

One of the malaysiakini readers has pointed out something important . Many Arabs are Christian. If it is conceivable for the Prophet's own people to profess other religions apart from Islam, why is this not possible in the case of the Malays? What is so special about the Malays that make it so sacrosanct that they all be Muslims? Who do we think we are? The Chosen People?

IkanBilis: I totally disagree with the Ikim DG. He (and many other Malaysians) seems to be confused on the differences between a religion and race. It's very simple. Malay is race just like Indian or Chinese. Does a person who is born an Indian or Chinese becomes a Malay if he/she convert to Islam and start to speak the Malay language? What do we call a Balinese Malay who is a Hindu or a Sri Lankan Malays who is a Buddhist?

On List exposes cheap sale of cars to VIPs

Sang Kancil: I may not agree with a lot things Jasin MP YB Mohd Said Yusof said in Parliament but I must thank him. Because of him, the whole unhealthy practice of handling custom confiscated cars has been exposed.

Many people can accept if only MPs and government officers are entitled to buy the confiscated cars. But what people cannot stomach is there is no open tender for them. It appears those cars can be allocated just like that. What is worst is some MPs and top government officers do not know they are entitled to buy such cars.

MC: On your report today about how the royalty, VIPs, even high-profile judges, are getting cheap buys from the Customs Department, this shows that our leaders, top government servants and others with influence have taken advantage of (or abused) their positions and influence to purchase these luxury cars at low, low prices compared to the market values they would fetch on open market.

There will be polemics and arguments aplenty defending their actions, and that of the Customs Department that they have complied with "proper procedures" and that everything was above board.

My issue is simply this:

As leaders and persons in high positions, it is incumbent upon them to not put themselves in positions which compromise their integrity, honesty and standing in the eyes of the public. They must act not on, or even near the fringe of legality, but must act at the extreme top end of the legality spectrum so that any challenge or dissatisfaction from any party will still be clear of the borderline between legality and illegality.

Those on the list are, simply put, corrupt, and even traitors, selling out their supporters for their personal benefit or for those connected with them.

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