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Month: May 2015

When asking questions is dangerous

Published in Malay Mail Online

Meet Wan Sulaiman Wan Ismail. The soft-spoken 54-year-old is a father of four from Ipoh, Perak who is rarely seen without a skullcap on his head.

However, he has been hounded by Perak’s religious authorities for more than a year now.

Things came to a head in January this year when his house was raided by the Islamic enforcers, where they confiscated his personal handwritten notes and went through his mobile phone and personal computer. On the same day, he was charged in the Ipoh Shariah High Court.

Since then, things have gone downhill for him. He has been ostracised by the same family who has never before this wished him ill. Even his wife has left him.

His small business selling briyani was boycotted by the locals as they learned of the allegations. No longer able to sustain the losses, he shut it down. In the end, he even had to sell off his only home.

What did Wan Sulaiman do to deserve this?

Under house arrest on Fridays

Published in Malay Mail Online

For a religion that emphasises free will and no compulsion in believing, its authorities in Malaysia seem awfully insistent on proving the opposite.

In a week, starting June 1, Muslim men in the northern state of Kedah may now be liable for a fine not more than RM1,000 and jail not more than six months, or both for missing Friday prayers three weeks in a row.

The Section 13 that governs that offence was passed in the state’s latest Shariah Criminal Enactment amended last year. But of course, Kedah is not the sole state where such a law has been enacted.

The Federal Territories, for example, also criminalises skipping Friday prayers in Section 20 of its Shariah Criminal Enactment, with the exact penalty.

So do Perak in its Section 23, and Negri Sembilan in its Section 113, among others.

Back in February, Terengganu even mooted the idea of parading offenders in hearses as part of the penalty.

Towards a new Malaysia

Published in Malay Mail Online

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”?

Celebrate sex, not sexual criminals

Published in Malay Mail Online

What is it about us Malaysians that some find it so hard to unconditionally condemn paedophilia?

Here we have one of our own, Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, who not only possessed 30,000 images and videos of child porn but was actively involved in sharing and making them in the UK. Among those were over 600 that were termed extreme child porn that explicitly showed the rape of children.

Yet, we have among us people like MARA council member and Umno man Nazir Hussin, who compared the crime to nothing more than kids skipping classes, defending Nur Fitri as a potential “national asset.”

Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal even offered the services of his ministry to appeal Nur Fitri’s sentence. MARA chairman Annuar Musa admitted that the agency is still providing aid to Nur Fitri on humanitarian grounds, and still considers him as its scholar despite freezing his funds.

It took our prime minister one week to come out with a statement unequivocally denying Nur Fitri a second chance, and that only after he was pre-empted by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.

What are we teaching young Malay couples?

Published in Malay Mail Online

A lot of young Malay couples get indoctrinated into their spousal roles the moment they get married.

A popular prayer recited during the Malay solemnisation ceremony wishes that the couple will emulate the relationships of Adam and Hawa (Eve), Ibrahim (Abraham) and Hajar (Hagar), Yusuf (Joseph) and Zulaikha, and Muhammad and Aisyah.

As it stands, none of them are particularly the best role models for a young couple in a modern world.

One fell in love with the other since she was the only female around at that time. Another left his wife and son stranded in the middle of the desert, only to attempt sacrificing his son years later. Another fell in love with the temptress wife of another man. The lesser said about the last the safer.

A Malay woman takes many vows after she is married. Among others, the husband now becomes her top priority, way above her parents. As for the husband, his number one priority is still his parents.

Another vow is for the wife to never leave the house without the consent of the husband.

The message is simple, the husband is the master of the house. As for the wife, she is just a wife.