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Secular Malaysia? 


By Ilhan

2006/01/04

 Dear Ali,  

There was this question put to you on Malaysia being an exemplary Muslim state. As a Malaysian (ex-Muslim) I would like to dismiss this farce once and for all. 

Malaysia is a federation of peninsular Malaya, Sabah & Sarawak (in Borneo ) formed in 1963. It was a British colony for more than 130 years. In a way, the British did Malaysia a favour as the hundred-year rule resulted in a legacy of British law and constitution, excellent foundation for government administration & commerce. The British also laid the groundwork of the basic infrastructure of a modern nation (roads, telcos, utilities, postal service). Islamic influence was confined to the homes and mosques. The ulama only spew the rhetoric, at most. 

When the Brits decided to grant Malaysia independence, they instituted a constitutional monarchy, where the king is but a figurehead, and the country is run by a democratically-elected government. This is British legacy. Malaysia is what it is not because of Islam, but because of western civilisation with its entrenched rule of law. The early leaders were secular anglophiles who followed everything British. This trend and influence went all the way until the current period. 

Another bulwark that prevented the encroachment of nascent Islamism is the import of Indian and Chinese workers into Malaya . When they were granted citizenship, Malaysia  guaranteed their rights to vote, and consequently, this led to them rejecting any Islam-based parties from ruling. Except for the seriously weakened state of Kelantan, all other Malaysia states are ruled by secular parties.  This, coupled with the Malays being generally peaceful people, led to Malaysia 's development as a peaceful and prosperous nation.  

Make no mistakes about it. Malaysia is a secular nation, like Turkey . Our first 3 Prime Ministers affirmed this, only to be overturned by Mahathir, who despite his vitriol against the West and the Jews, ushered in more modernisation.  His rants on Malaysia being a Muslim nation, is partly rhetoric against the opposition party, PAS. 

However, over the past 10 years, extremism is slowly creeping in. everywhere, Malay women are clad in hijab, and Malays are starting to exert more Islamic approaches to everything, including imposing shariah laws. The mitigating factor is the large population of economically influential non-Muslims (especially Chinese) which constitute 30% of the total population, who, by default, are the guardian of secularism in Malaysia .  

That is why FFI is important to Malaysia . Before things deteriorate further, the middle class Malays (those who will become future leaders) must be enlightened about the bane of Islam before it is too late. I am doing my part to inform my friends & colleagues of this site. Some condemned it, but some embraced it quietly. Hopefully, it will reach critical mass over the next decade or so, so that when these people assume the position of power, Islam, if not eliminated in Malaysia , can be subdued and defanged. 

Regards 

Ilhan

 

Related links

What about Malaysia?

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