Towards a new Malaysia

May 17 — A bona fide genius suggested recently that the recent child porn crime committed by a Malaysian in the UK was the result of liberalism, an ideology he claimed was a creeping threat against the country.

If you cannot understand the leap of logic employed in that analogy... clearly, you are not a genius.

It was a smart remark, really. By now, many conservatives and anti-liberals are surely kicking themselves for not thinking about it first. Not only do you get to wash your hands of the crime, but you also get the public to realise how disgusting liberalism is!

Many people do not realise how “dangerous” liberalism is, and how easy it is to blame liberalism for a lot of social ills plaguing this country.

After all, how do you defend an ideology that wants “absolute freedom”?

It certainly cannot be true when liberals insist that nobody is asking for “absolute freedom.” If liberals say that “absolute freedom” does not exist, then do they not realise how similar they are to their detractors?

Accusing liberals of wanting “absolute freedom” is like killing two birds with one stone. Not only do you get to discredit liberals for being something that they are not, but you also get to exert more and more control on the public and they will not even realise it.

Scratch that, you can even kill three birds. The third bird is where you can promote your newfound moral authority and religious credibility, by claiming that Islam is incompatible with liberal values.

But above all, demonising liberalism and championing moderation signals immense political will for our country to cast itself of the “chains” imposed by our founding fathers.

After all, it has already been more than four decades since our Rukunegara was formulated — a declaration of national philosophy that among others aims for Malaysia to guarantee a liberal approach towards our rich and varied cultural traditions.

Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015. — Picture by AFP
Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015. — Picture by AFP

Maybe it is time for us to forget how important liberalism is for Malaysia.

The country would surely be better off without (absolute) freedom of press, (absolute) freedom of speech, (absolute) human rights, (absolute) democracy, (absolute) freedom of religion, and (absolute) separation between the state and religious authorities, would it not?

Why stop at the Rukunegara? Maybe it is time to admit that the Federal Constitution is no longer the supreme law of this country.

Or rather, the Constitution can be the supreme law, but only when it comes to things that do not concern Islam.

Our religious authorities have already taken an astonishing step towards this, with three astounding moves over the week.

Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla, a brave lawyer for the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP), is set to argue that “provisions of Islamic enactments should not be tested on the fundamental liberty clauses of the Federal Constitution” in the Federal Court.

According to MAIWP, it is ridiculous to have non-Muslim lawyer Victoria Jayaseele Martin to be admitted as a Shariah lawyer. After all, nobody has even tried to do so before, so why should she?

Another brave lawyer representing Negri Sembilan will also argue that the validity of Islamic state laws cannot be tested by Constitutional rights, as the state seeks to challenge a Court of Appeal decision that declared its anti-crosssdressing Shariah laws unconstitutional.

We also have the brave lawyer Shamsul Bolhassan representing the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI), who will continue his tireless pursuit of getting Borders’ Muslim staff Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz jailed just for selling a book that they do not like.

If the first two cases succeed, then Muslims would not even need to have the holy text as the supreme law in the country to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state. Take that, Hizbut Tahrir!

Add that to the fact where Putrajaya is closely working together with Kelantan in a stellar show of government-to-government venture to kickstart the rollout of hudud, it will be an interesting time indeed for the majority community in the country.

With all these changes towards a new Malaysia, the status quo can be kept in power. Especially as many who disagree with these changes would leave the country anyway, and those who stay would be nothing but chewing gum stuck on the sole of your shoes.

Which is all the more reason for Malaysia to shun the entry of the Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees, leaving thousands of them adrift at sea waiting for their death.

After all, we already have too many immigrants in this country, building our country from the ground up when we are just too lazy to do it. Our country will just be overrun by immigrants the moment we do it, as one minister claimed.

And what would we do with the refugees anyway? Those Malaysians and foreigners who called Malaysia “inhumane”, they were just angry that we did not feed and house them, and not because our leaders have demonstrated a complete lack of compassion towards our fellow neighbours. Right?

We are glad to have our ministers saying the refugees should be left out there at the sea, or seek shelter somewhere else, like maybe Cambodia and the Philippines. Just not in our backyard.

Let them start their own country. After all, it is not like somebody off the boat from all across Asia in the ancient times, arrived in the Malay lands and settled down to the point that their descendants later came together and made a country called Malaysia, right?