Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Seeking the "Point Of Reference".


"More importantly, the individual-collective version implies periodical renewal, in that it permits revisions, while the ruler-subject version is cast in stone. In this sense, that the Conference of Rulers interpreted the social contract as "all provisions in the Federal Constitution" is most assuring. "
-Wong Chin Huat, A tale of two contracts , The Nut Graph

"There is a lively and inconclusive debate about what the document of destiny actually ordained and how far the imperatives of the Constitution should be modified to meet the new aspirations of the electorate.
The Malay Rulers caution against such thinking and I am inclined to agree.
Physics teaches us that any movement causes friction and friction produces heat."

- Shad Faruqi, Understanding the Social Contract

No modern nation state can exist in an orderly manner without a "written" Constitution which has to be the Point of Reference for future generations that aspire toward nationhood.
Without this point of reference, the nation as a whole is doomed. The people will seek out their own points of reference at their own whims and fancy, without regard for the Federal Constitution, as is happening now. Whatever disputes that may arise will need to refer to the Federal Constitution as a "Point of Reference".

For Shad Faruqi to imply that the only "Social Contract" there is, is the Federal Constitution, and nothing else, (despite not being a born Malaysian) as opposed to some earlier spin about "the social contract is in the constitution", should be appreciated. He makes no attempt to speak of "an unwritten code" which politicians often refer to. Much of what he says with reference to the Federal Constitution makes plenty of sense.
That he says the following of the "Social Contract", is reassuring -
"It refers to the painstaking compromises ......... for the creation of a democratic, monarchial, federal and non-theocratic system of government".

However, I do not quite understand how he could say that he's “inclined to agree” with attempts to block intellectual discourse on this matter, under the guise of “preventing the questioning the social contract”.
Of course, The Rulers Conference did say that you shouldn't question the validity of it, which is acceptable. I fail to see how, seeking it out once again, to understand it, is to question it!
They didn't say that you shouldn't discuss it to understand the spirit that it embodies, did they? Moreover, to rescue it from the perversions of the political pirates is imperative should we desire to uphold it!.
On the contrary – it is to uphold this “Social Contract” - what Shad Faruqi calls, the “Document of Destiny”! - do not spin it to be otherwise. You should be more careful in what you imply, Shad. The way I see it, it is only a “certain group of politicians” who dislike the awareness of constitutional rights which intellectual discourse give rise to – hence the “don't question” mentality.
Therefore I'm inclined to agree with the Rulers Conference that the "Social Contract" in the form of The Federal Constitution should be taught in schools (and some of our lawmakers too!).

The Federal Constitution has been redefined and subverted countless number of times, ever since the 'unconstitutional' suspension of parliament & Umno coup of '69, so as to progressively consolidate power at the centre - among a ruling elite.
It has been rendered into "toilet paper", so to speak, and only used when convenient. None of the principles that it stresses on is held sacred.
The result was the "social contract" as was harped on since the 80s.
And guess who the culprits are?

Now, most people who shout out hoarse about the BN social contract don't refer to the Federal Constitution any more - their point of reference is the NEP which has been twisted beyond recognition.
When it comes to national policies, the courts are turned into a playground for these NEP-ists and political pirates- the Constitution becomes secondary to the idea of self-preservation of these pirates of the constitution.
The twisted NEP, political motivations and the self-preservation of pirates takes precedence over the Federal Constitution when it comes to pronouncing judgements. The point of reference today is none other that the heartless exploitation, the whims and fancy of a certain politicians of the capitalist class who practice racist hegemony and religious bigotry.

Herein lies the problem – under the NEPists' political spin, the "Point of Reference" is lost. Without it there can be no faith in the state/nation/leadership.
As a result, the Pandora's Box has already been opened - with every other person seeking out his own (read religion) to restore faith. It is already here, and threatens to explode should it not be addressed. Preventing discourse isn't going to close it.

You cannot avoid friction by preventing intellectual discourse on it (as Mahathir would). Doing so would be counter-productive, in that you breed a generation of ignorant masses who can be manipulated by selfish politicians.
The unquestioning loyalty to a leadership sets the stage for a corruption prone government and a dictatorship. In fact, you would precipitate further confusion, friction and heat on the street, if questions aren't settled by intellectuals in a rational manner.
That of course would (conveniently) necessitate the imposition of "draconian measures" to bring order, to the delight of despots.
A cursory assessment of many third-world nations and dictatorships would be proof enough to see that, even if one hasn't the experience of writing constitutions for nations.

Having said all these, I wonder if Shad in "Understanding the Social Contract" would be "inclined to agree", that the democratic state cannot survive, should this "Point of Reference" (read Federal Constitution) be lost in translation, interpretation and manifestation ...
After having read what he wrote thus far, I'm not so sure he would - at least not in UiTM!
Meanwhile, some lessons in Newton's Laws of Physics may be in order ...

1. "Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed."
2. "F = ma: the net force on an object is equal to the mass of the object multiplied by its acceleration."
3. "To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."
- Newton's Laws of Motion


"It is time that the “Social Contract” be reviewed. A new “Social Contract” must be drawn up that looks into the SOCIAL structure and not RACIAL structure that the present “Social Contract” addresses. Only then can it be called a “Social Contract”. If not, then let us call it what it really is, a “Racial Contract”. "
- RPK, No Holds Barred


Ehhemm ....


"A weak mind is like a microscope,

which magnifies trifling things
but cannot receive great ones."


Fatwa on yoga out soon

PENANG, Oct 29 - The National Fatwa Council will come out with a ruling relating to yoga exercise soon.
The announcement would be made by the council's chairman, Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin, said Deputy Director-General (Operations) of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) Othman Mustapha.
He told reporters this after opening the two-day seminar on Islamic Jurisprudence and Eternal Islamic Thinking at Universiti Sains Malaysia jointly organised by the Islamic Studies Division of the university's Human Knowledge Study Centre and Jakim here today.
Yesterday, lecturer Prof Zakaria Stapa of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Islamic Studies Centre advised Muslims who have taken up yoga to stop practising it for fear that it could deviate their belief.
- Bernama