Friday, December 12, 2014

More Malays will be bigoted like Perkasa if Umno remains in power, says Zaid

Published: 12 December 2014
Former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim warned that more Malays would follow in the footsteps of Perkasa as long as Umno remained in power. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 12, 2014.

Former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim warned that more Malays would follow in the footsteps of Perkasa as long as Umno remained in power. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 12, 2014.
Malaysia will produce more Malays of the same ilk as Malay rights group Perkasa as long as Umno remains in power, warned a former minister.
Writing in his blog, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said unlike their older counterparts, the Malays currently produced by the ruling Malay party could not think straight and lacked the ability to think for themselves.
"In the party’s early years, Malays were told they needed a mental revolution. Umno even produced a book ‘Revolusi Mental’, urging the Malays to be rational and mentally strong so they could realise their full human potential. It was an inspiring, thought-provoking and peaceful message.
"But the Umno under Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is full of insecurities and anger, and always seems to be inciting Malays to do stupid things. Perkasa is the product of this new false ideology they are spreading," he said, referring to the party's president and deputy president respectively.
Zaid, who was de-facto law minister under Najib's predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after the watershed 2008 March general election until his resignation six months later, said statements by Perkasa and Umno were very similar, citing two recent examples to back up his claims.
Referring to Sisters in Islam's legal challenge to the Selangor fatwa which had branded the organisation deviant, Zaid said Perkasa was framing SIS's action as a direct challenge to Islam, a move he described as highly provocative and threatening.
"If Malays were properly taught in schools about the meaning of democracy and the concept of rule of law, not many would follow Perkasa. They would understand that it is only normal for anyone to go to court to seek a legal remedy when laws are not followed, and that this does not mean they are threatening harmony or engaging in civil strife," he said.
He also pointed to the open letter issued by 25 eminent Malays against whom Perkasa had launched a personal attack, saying they would show more respect for the 25, all of whom were retired high ranking members of the civil service, if they had been properly educated.
"The least Perkasa can do is acknowledge their contributions, even if they disagree with their views," he said.
Zaid advised PAS to learn from Umno's mistakes although he commended PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar for inviting the 25 for a dialogue despite reservations over the views expressed.
He said the Islamist party could take a simpler and more effective approach to Islam by declaring that the constitution was “Islamic”, and that it would honour and observe the constitution as it was, without "any Umno-style attempts at Islamisation".
"If PAS were to do that, it would then be easy for Malays to decide who they will support in the next general election," he said.
He added that any PAS leaders who were uncomfortable about reconciling their Islamic aspirations with a secular written constitution should go to Indonesia and talk to the republic's policymakers and scholars.
He said PAS's only hope for power by democratic means was to follow the examples of Indonesia, Tunisia or Turkey.
"If the Muslims from Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah can be convinced that the true Islamic teachings can coexist with a modern nation state without having to go to war with everybody else, and without having to implement shariah law, then they should educate the Malays here accordingly," he said.
He added that Malaysia’s only hope for a democracy lay in the time when there would be more Malays who understood the thinking of the Muslims in these countries.
"Follow Umno and they will have a Saudi or Iranian version of Islamic rule, where corrupt leaders continue with their lavish ways and the people are left to fight amongst themselves about what Islam truly means," he warned. – December 12, 2014.
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