Friday, 27 July 2007

Reply To Dr. Dzul

Here is a good and brief reply that was among the comments (exactly my sentiments, so I didn't bother to post anything) to this highly hypocritical article (from an Islamist of the PAS party) in Malaysia Today, that actually fights for an Islamic state in Malaysia. It was indeed a very well written article from a smart man, with intentions to hoodwink the unsuspecting reader who doesn't understand his motives
The reason why I had put the comment before the article, was so that the reader would be able to read the article with a proper, unbiased perspective..

creeper wrote:
Dear Dzul,

I'm quite impressed with this piece of work ..... especially the last bit :-

"Only a vibrant and genuine democratic state will ensure and provide for every citizen to partake and advocate their respective ideological commitments and defend the right of others to exercise theirs be they Secular, Islamic or Agnostic or what have you. That is truly the defining criterion of a democrat. This shall remain our enduring mission that will unite us together.
Will the true democrat please stand up!"

Allow me to begin by defining two words - OPINION and CONVICTION :-

An OPINION is a position you hold with a varied degrees of intensity, that merely voices your preference.
A CONVICTION is that which is rooted in your conscience; that if you were to toy with your opinion, you would be jostling with your preferences. If you were to toy with your conviction, you are going to deal with your conscience, before you alter it.

Now let's dissect what you have written.

Firstly, you're from PAS Research Centre (whatever that is).

Then, you do not wish to take sides, and yet have spoken for Democracy/ Democrats as it would give you the opportunity to attain power via elections.

However you speak for a party that aims for an Islamic state - and an Islamic State by Syaria, isn't compatible with Democracy, freedom and justice based on universal values!

And you have the audacity to say,"Will the true democrat please stand up!"?

Get off your high horse, man - take a good look at yourself and the principles that your party stands for!

As long as you speak in this manner for PAS, you've made yourself nothing more than a hypocrite - and it stinks to the high heavens!

Do you even realize that it is people like you (i.e. PAS supporters) that provoked NTR to come out with such seditious statements so as to play politics?

Are you so shameless, that you wanna "sidestep the debate" with the excuse that it is a lost cause?

I somehow sense a conflict, a dilemma in you - between that of your conscience and your opinion.

The only problem here is - I don't know which one speaks here!

Is it any wonder that despite all your religiosity, people don't trust you?
27/07 12:42:11


Now, the following is the article ......................

27/07: Islamic State or Secular State? Not Again!

Category: General
Posted by: Raja Petra
Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad
PAS Research Centre

The pronouncement made by the DPM that Malaysia is an Islamic State has expectedly sent shock waves across the nation. Already we are measuring swords between detractors and advocates of the ‘Islamic State’. The full-blown outcome of this debate, now turning into a War of Words, has yet to be witnessed. Having frantically wrote “Dark Alley of Self-Destruction”, the writer has now to pen down this piece, in an effort to mitigate the anticipated damage that will be caused by this ‘edict’. Very sad indeed.

The DPM has chosen such an opportune time to unleash his ‘well contrived strategy’. This may very well be presumptuous. What could be better than to have it pronounced on the occasion of the “International Conference on the Role of Islamic States in a Globalised World”? If Malaysia is anything but an Islamic State, what business has she to do with that conference? Hence, his insistence that ‘we have never, never been secular...we are an Islamic State”, (Bernama, 17/0707) logically fall in place, when refuting an allegation by a pressman that Malaysia is going secular. Appropriate though it may seem, it is not as innocuous as we would like to believe so.

The writer has deliberately used the word ‘well contrived strategy’ of the DPM. Yes it could have been his knee-jerk response given the theme of the conference. To say anything less than one that is premeditated, doesn’t befit his stature as the heir to the premiership and equally debasing to his supposedly high intellectual caliber.

Given the various debacles of the current regime including of his own of late, and with the 12th General Election looming ever closer, what could be more expedient than to distract the entire nation, nay plunge and embroil them in a fury of endless raging dispute of the ‘very nature’ of this 50 year-old nation. If it has worked well the first time it was exploited by the then PM in September 2001, it should work equally well this time round. Why? Well, the gullible (read opposition parties, the civil society and some sincere partners of the BN) are still as vulnerable as they were used to be. If the parameters are still the same and kept constant, the same approach should deliver the same result. So he thinks.

For as long as any notion of an ‘Islamic State’ is an anathema to Non-Muslims and a ‘Secular State’ equally an abhorrence or abomination to the Muslims constituency, the Umno-BN regime will continue to exploit this dichotomy as the best ‘bogey’ to keep the nation ‘torn apart’, ‘united’ and ‘subdued’ under the BN’s hegemony. This is the greatest Malaysian paradox. The perpetrators turning saviors, while the citizens of the nation relentlessly mandating them, come every election. This is truly and uniquely Malaysian.

So what should be done?

Precisely this is the reason for writing this piece.

The writer is of the strong opinion that continuing the debate in this manner is in fact totally counter-productive to every effort of reform and change towards the betterment of the nation. Already the DAP is organizing an English Forum entitled “An Islamic State After 50 Years?” parading on the panel everyone else except those representing the most ardent advocate of the ‘Islamic State’. The inclusion of a panelist from them however, will only add to the vigour and rigour of the debate. But will it provide the sanity and intellectual acumen now desperately needed to end this acrimonious contestation? God knows!

The plethora of writings by distinguished columnists and academics now abound, are no less inimical and injurious to the whole cause of reform, to say of the least. Both are waging their ‘jihad’ or ‘crusade’ and equally adamant to be defending their democratic rights as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. The writer could empathise and concur with most of their arguments, be it historical, legalistic, moral or intellectual in nature, from both ‘divides’. That said, he neither thinks it necessary nor finds it fruitful to comment or even prolong it. He would simply side-step the entire debate.

If at this juncture, you think that the writer is merely trying to appease everyone, you are entirely in error. That will be the last thing he intends to do. On the contrary, he is almost at war with everyone, especially those who are advocating or espousing change and reform, yet taking others on the path of self-destruction on a ‘zero-sum’ contest. What could be a greater folly?

Let it be known to all and sundry, that no amount of debate will substantively change anything in the Federal Constitution. It neither secularises nor islamises the Federal Constitution anymore than what it is. We can debate and discourse until the cows come home, but that doesn’t change anything of the very fabric of this much embattled nation. Quite on the reverse, it only deepens the various fault-line, aggravates the prejudices towards the ‘other’ and delays the renewal of a genuine nationhood further.

Let it be reiterated that this nation is a constitutional monarch supposedly practising a constitutional democracy. The Federal Constitution has evolved through the various phases of historical development, dating back to well before independence. It has provided for the various mutually exclusive constraints and demands of our very plural society. The constitutional amendments has come to witness a uniquely dual or parallel implementation of our judiciary not seen anywhere in the world, albeit without its lacuna or shortcomings unforeseen at the point of the amendments. It is far from a perfect document but nonetheless the supreme law of the land (Article 4).

However, what is obviously and grossly wrong is that, this democracy has been relentlessly raped and trampled upon by the power-that-be. It is this crisis that is now most deserving of our focus so as to enable us to redeem our lost opportunity for a genuine democratic reform and change, on the eve of the next general election.

Given the multitude of challenges at hand, from endemic corruption in government machinery to the sky-rocketing of the crime rate and all, we must not be deluded, sidetracked or distracted from standing united in addressing the real issues of the nation and swayed into the alley of self-destruction by unending debate of semantics and rhetoric created by these inept leaders.

The nation on the verge of celebrating her 50th independence, deserves a mutually respecting citizenry celebrating our multi-cultural heritage and our religious plurality, so as to enhance our effort at national unity and integration. Only a vibrant and genuine democratic state will ensure and provide for every citizen to partake and advocate their respective ideological commitments and defend the right of others to exercise theirs be they Secular, Islamic or Agnostic or what have you. That is truly the defining criterion of a democrat. This shall remain our enduring mission that will unite us together.

Will the true democrat please stand up!