How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Never argue with an idiot, otherwise people won't know which one of you is the idiot.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appears bright - until you hear them speak.

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Art Harun: Hudud and Its Wider Ramifications

Almost all of those who wish to implement hudud do not understand why non-Muslims do not want hudud to be implemented. Their usual question is:
"Why are you bothered? You are a non-Muslim. Hudud will not affect you."
In case of any Malay who is against the implementation of hudud, like me for example, the usual rhetoric is:
"Why are you against hudud? Are you Muslim? May Allah guide you." (this is a watered down and polite version. The impolite gibberish is a tired one and not worth repeating).
Okay. Let's just assume that hudud does not in any way affect non-Muslims.
What these people fail to understand is that the implementation of hudud is not about introducing a new set of criminal law and the administration of criminal justice per se.
It is, more importantly, about the changing of societal values, culture and the way we live our life.
We are all Malaysians. And for the past 57 years or so, we have lived under a Constitution and a set of laws that, though imperfect and leave rooms for arguments and subject to much disputations, we have all grown to be accustomed to.
When people commit theft, we know and we are used to the thought that they would be arrested and charged in Court and sentenced to imprisonment. And off they go. And now we have to get used to seeing thieves without hands walking on the street looking for a job.
When a woman is pregnant without being married, we are used to saying "well, that's her own private business." And now suddenly we have to get used to seeing her being stoned to death or howsoever "painlessly put to death" with or without the help of doctors.
Now we are used NOT to judge - well at least, I don't - my friend and wonder whether he is an apostate. And with the hudud law, we all have to get used to the idea of some authorities inquiring somebody on whether he had left Islam or not - some sort of a Spanish Inquisition in 2014, the only difference being now it is done by Muslims and on Muslims who are perceived to be not Muslim enough.
Laws are not just a machination for order. Laws at the end of the day shape a society, its culture, its outlook and its way of life.
The implementation of hudud will inevitably change this society of ours. It will change this country of ours.
Just look around us nowadays.
When the great Tun DrM decided to pull his Islamic card - in what he believed was a poker game with PAS - in the early 80s, little did he realise that he was creating a societal anomaly which would soon go out of control.
He should not have fought PAS at its own game using its own rules. How foolish was that? If we Malaysians had an opportunity to play a game with the Americans, surely we do not choose to play a game of American Football with them. We would be wise to play sepak takraw against them.
And so he chose to fight PAS by out-Islamising PAS. He created a Syariah Court with parallel jurisdiction as the Civil High Courts. Islamic institutions of this and that, as well as Islamic banking system (which, frankly, to my mind, isn't really Islamic at all) followed. Then we have the ubiquitous "halal" certificates, which initially was a very good initiative, but later went awry.
What followed was an education system, schools, colleges, universities, banking system, commercial and industrial activities which masked themselves as Islam in order to attract nothing more than a superficial (and commercial) connection with Muslims. The civil service became a hot-bed for Islamisation and reduced itself from a State consumer-customer service centres into an institution that is exclusive to Malay, Malayness, Muslim and Islamness.
What all these finally came to is one, namely, DIVISIVENESS.
And so now, in the year 2014, 57 years after our independence, this country's biggest debate (if we could call it a debate in the first place) is the Allah issue and now the hudud issue.
It is disheartening.
China's strengthening influence in the world, particularly in East Asia is getting felt every single day. Japan is waning away. The USofA is pushing the panic button. Cambodia, Vietnam and even Myanmar are fast rising as our competitors. Thailand and Indonesia have overtaken us. Elsewhere, a new wave of Arab "neo-nationalism" is taking shape. The world's eco-system is changing, perhaps permanently. The next economic melt-down is being predicted.
At home, our education system is producing what arguably are among the WORST students in the region (as international test results show). Our health care needs improvement. Housing prices are up and up creating superficial and wholly unsupportable price bubble. Our nation is full of old people while the youth are not properly educated and marketable in the job market. Public transportation is non-existent. Our eco-system is being raped by greedy capitalists on daily basis. The rise of monopolistic enterprises over basic necessities is unchecked. Budget deficits and accrued national debts have shot off the ceiling.
And yet all we do is we bicker about who is allowed to use the word Allah. We issue directives for hotels not to place Bibles in their rooms. We finance so-called NGOs who question what non-Muslims have contributed to our country. We also have some misguided souls who trained themselves in the art of warfare just so they can die as martyrs fighting a jihad against the Syiites in Syria. In Trengganu, we have the MB declaring that the Kenyir dam is only for women.
And of course, we waste our precious time, efforts, energy and resources over hudud.
I dare say that the implementation of hudud by Kelantan will finally change this country forever.
Why must our politicians play with our children's future and with our country's future?
What right do they have to force an entirely new culture and values - one to which we are all unaccustomed and do not wish to be part of - on me and on many non-consenting others?
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