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Tag: Malay

Faiz Subri and Malay masculinity

Published in Malay Mail Online

Penang footballer Faiz Subri’s recent FIFA Puskás Award for his bewitching knuckleball free-kick brought its own share of hangers-on and opportunists.

Faiz’s win was incontrovertibly his own, a demonstration of his personal passion and talent rather than a reflection of the state of the country’s football prowess or lack thereof.

A recent video that went viral online showed Faiz’s top five goals, and it served as proof that Faiz’s performance was not really a fluke as he netted one goal after another wonderful goal from an incredible distance.

But over the 11 months since he scored that winning goal, Faiz has had to suddenly carry the hopes and dignity of a country whose team currently ranks 161 in the world below Aruba and above Macedonia, a far cry from its 79th place in 1993 when the ranking was first devised.

Born a Malay, Faiz has also had to carry the burden and pride of the majority ethnic group, which is still struggling with its post-colonial identity even nearly 60 years after Malaya declared itself independent.

Why Muslims are more educated than their peers

Published in Malay Mail Online

A recent Pew Research Center study showed that in Malaysia, Muslims on average are more educated than adherents of other religions, that is they have more formal schooling compared to others.

It had measured the level of education of three cohorts: the “oldest” (born 1936-1955), “middle” (born 1956-1975) and “youngest” (born 1976-1985).

Pew found that in the country, Muslims receive an average of 10.2 years of formal schooling followed by Buddhists (9.8 years), Hindus (9.7), Christians (9), and those unaffiliated to the four religion groups (8.2).

The average period of schooling in Malaysia is 9.9 years, below the required six years of primary education added with five of secondary.

The study caught the attention of non-Muslims and non-religious in the country who felt slighted and had a hard time accepting the fact. It is as if their deep-rooted racism and prejudice made them believe that the Muslims are bound to be uneducated, backwards, and perhaps stupid.

But few of them asked the right questions.

Even after Bersih 5, the Red Shirts are here to stay

Published as “It looks like the Red Shirts are here to stay” in Malay Mail Online

At the time of writing, it is the eve of Bersih 5 — the fifth iteration of the mega rally calling for free and fair elections by polls watchdog Bersih 2.0.

Several barricades have been erected around the historic Dataran Merdeka, the final gathering point for Bersih supporters who will march there from three rallying points across the capital.

Federal Islamic authority Jakim had prepared Friday sermons for two weeks in a row lambasting street demonstrations. The first one claimed that protests will open doors towards liberalism (as if that is a bad thing), and the second one this week brazenly claimed that protests are against Islamic laws. Both warned that demonstrations will open doors to foreign intervention.

Did they somehow forget that protests by Muslim groups almost always happen after the congregation of Friday prayers?