Matters of opinion that enables me to understand or make some sense of my country- Malaysia

Posts tagged ‘Zaid Ibrahim’

Bodoh should also be another exclusive Malay word.!

TAfter Allah, 'BODOH' the next word exclusive to the Malays? - Zaid Ibrahim The word Bodoh should be banned

Zaid Ibrahim

I am appealing to the Home Minister to immediately ban the word bodoh (stupid). I have heard this word being used all too frequently of late in many places, from Sarawak to the business districts of Kuala Lumpur. I know the law says that a ban is only called for if the use of a word endangers public order and security, but that’s the official requirement.  For all intents and purposes, the Home Minister’s certification and belief is sufficient.

You remember the word “Allah”? The person who banned the word was from Johor and he was not happy with the way it was being used. At that time, many Muslims in the Peninsula didn’t even know that East Malaysians have been using the word to mean “God”. Did the Home Minister tender any evidence before the court to show that organised violence was being perpetrated against the public because of the use of the word?  Was there evidence that it was part of a plan to convert Muslims to Christianity? None whatsoever.

In Sarawak, where the word has been used in the last 200 years, the people never once expressed anger and disappointment with the use of the word. Only some Malays (some of them immigrants) from the Peninsula were unhappy. Still, the ban was held to be valid. We clearly do not need evidence in this country, just beliefs. And when the people are unhappy with the decision, just remind them that they can be charged for contempt!

With the word bodoh, the Minister also does not need to provide evidence of his belief. He just has to believe that the use of the word bodoh by non-Muslims is detrimental to public order and security.  Ibrahim Ali & Co are there to make it look like the whole country wants the ban. Without it, a non-Muslim may use the word bodoh indiscriminately and we will never know their intention or context. Chances are he or she is deliberately and subtly implying that Muslims are bodoh.

This could be part of a plan to attack Islam by using the word bodoh repeatedly, and by process of hypnosis, the Muslims might be persuaded to believe that they are indeed bodoh. This will then weaken the community in the fight to save Islam. This of course will endanger national security and cause public disorder. The Court could also support such a decision by saying that the use of the word bodohis not an integral part of the life of non-Muslims so they should not utter it at all.

There are other words that should also be banned but I will come to them later. For the moment, I feel that non-Muslims are “targeting” me whenever they use the word bodoh (even if they are talking to their dog) and I need the Home Minister to intervene on behalf of the community. If non-Muslims do not like the ban they can always go and live elsewhere, for there are many places in the world wherebodoh is not used at all.

Alternatively, if the ban is felt to be unwise just a few days after the historic Court of Appeal judgement, then I appeal to the Prime Minister to direct the bloated department JAKIM to make sure that Friday sermons dedicate themselves to addressing this issue. We as Malays and Muslims should never allow non-Muslims, particularly Christians and the liberal Muslims, to use the word bodoh. We are entitled to conclude that their intentions are not good and we are entitled to think the worst of them. They should know that if we feel insulted or if they hurt our feelings or if we are just plain unhappy with their conduct, it constitutes “endangering national security and public order.” Hidup Melayu!

sourced  :


Some  opinions from the international Muslim scholars or intellectuals on the Allah issue., mainly cynical and ridiculing the ludicrosity of the court ruling.

A well-known American Muslim theologian has joined a long list of critics over the recent Court of Appeal ruling on the use of the word Allah, saying it was a “political decision more than anything else”.

“This notion that Malaysian Muslims need to be protected by the court because you can’t think for yourself, you can’t make decisions on your own. We are laughing at you,” said Reza Aslan, speaking on a  Radio’s Evening Edition programme yesterday.

“That you can control people’s ideas, their behaviour, their faith and their minds simply by trying to control the words that they use, is absurd. It is an embarassment to a modern, constitutional, democratic and deeply Muslim state like Malaysia,” he added.

The decision sparked a debate among local clerics and scholars, while several editorials in Muslim countries expressed their surprise over the issue.

Pakistan’s Daily Times questioned the ruling, asking why Malaysia would deny people of other faiths to “own God in all His attributes”.

The United Arab Emirates’s The National called the court ruling “wrong”, and said the word Allah was never exclusive to Islam but used by both Christians and Jews to refer to God even before the advent of Islam.

Aslan poured scorn on the court verdict, asking, “How can you read that and not laugh?”

Soon after the court ruling last week, he had taken to Twitter and remarked, “How stupid has Malaysia just become?

In it, he slammed those who argue that the faith of Malaysian Muslims can be undermined if Christians use the word Allah.

“This idea that not only should Christians not be able to use this word, but that using the word is somehow a threat to Islam… that Malaysian (Muslims) are so stupid if they hear a Christian use the word Allah, they will accidentally become Christians. I mean, the idiocy of that statement speaks for itself,” he said.

Echoing many other Muslim scholars and writers, Aslan said Christians and Jews in the Arabian peninsula since before the time of the Prophet Muhammad had been referring to God as Allah.

“Why? Because they spoke Arabic… that’s why. Not because Allah meant a specific God but because that it is nothing more than the Arabic word for God. It is not an opinion. It is a fact,” he pointed out.

“Any Imam that tells you God has a name, is blasphemous. It is as simple as that. Allah is not God’s name. Muslims do not own the word itself,” said the 41-year-old Iranian-American, who is Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Iowa

sourced : award-winning-american-muslim-scholar-on-the-allah-decision-we-are-laughing


More Islamic scholars have criticised Putrajaya over the legal restriction on the use of the word Allah, after the recent stinging criticism of the Court of Appeal’s decision which he said made Malaysia a laughing stock.

They warned that the October 14 ruling prohibiting Catholic weekly Herald from using the word Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia edition could push a progressive country like Malaysia backward, adding  that the public were educated and can think for themselves.

An Islamic scholar from London’s prestigious King’s College said the ruling was not good for national solidarity.

“Instead, it is a move backward in a polarised country such as Malaysia,” said Dr Carool Kersten,

“It is increasingly difficult to dictate to educated people how to interpret religion. To exert such a ruling on the people is just counter-productive.”

Bestselling author Reza Aslan had also slammed the ruling as “absurd”, saying the international community was “laughing” at Malaysia.

“This notion that Malaysian Muslims need to be protected by the court because you can’t think for yourself, you can’t make decisions on your own. We are laughing at you,” he said in radio Evening Edition programme.

The ruling generated a string of bad press for Malaysia, with several prominent dailies in Muslim countries critical of the court ruling, including Pakistan’s Daily Times which questioned why non-Muslims could not “own God in all His attributes”.

Muslim activist Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa echoed Aslan.

“I concur 100% with Reza. Politicians should ponder over what he said since Islam is  in the limelight now,” said Dr Farouk, who heads vocal Islamic non-governmental organisation Islamic Renaissance Front.

“Even Pakistan, a deeply religious and conservative country, had spoken up about it. It’s a shame on us,” noted Dr Farouk.

Kersten agreed that the ruling does “make Malaysia look bad in the international community” and asked if the court’s motive was to satisfy certain Islamic blocs.

“Usually matters related to the Islamic world would be left to scholars to clarify,” said Kersten.

“There has not been a place where you have a legal institution that dictates who uses what term in a religious context,” he added.

“Allah is not the name of God. Frankly, anyone who thinks that Allah is the name of God, is not just incorrect, but is going against the Quran itself. It is almost a blasphemous thought to think that Allah has a name,” said the 41-year old Iranian-born scholar.

Jasser Auda of the Qatar-based International Union of Muslim Scholars, agreed with Aslan.

“Muslims have no copyright over the word Allah. In fact, there’s nothing in the Quran that says Allah can only be used by Muslims,”

“The Quran even has a phrase that mentioned the name Allah was present in monasteries, churches and synagogues as well.”

He was referring to a verse in the Quran, which reads, “if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques – in all of which Allah’s name is abundantly extolled – would surely have been destroyed”

“It isn’t right to define the word Allah in the law and use it to persecute others,” said Jasser, who is also the advisor to the imam at the Islamic Center in New York, located at site of the former World Trace Center.

“The way Muslims are treated here is just condescending. It’s ridiculous to think that if other religions use the word Allah, us Muslims would start converting to other religions,” he added.     sourced :  more-islamic-scholars-criticise-putrajaya-over-allah-ruling



Of Lemangs , Raya and Opiate causes for the masses


Zaid Ibrahim


Datuk Zaid Ibrahim founded Malaysia’s largest law partnership before focusing on politics. He was a minister in the Abdullah administration, was in Umno, PKR and last in KITA as its president.


The search for lemang (glutinous rice baked in bamboo) can be trying during the fasting month. Most lemang sellers only operate their stalls at night and usually open for business a few days before Hari Raya.


So my search took me to many areas in Datuk Keramat, Keramat Dalam and parts of Setiawangsa.

At last, I managed to find one along Jalan Kelang Genting, manned by a sweet Malay lady in her 60s who was being helped by her grandson. I was so happy about finding the stall that I ended up buying most of her stock. She was pleased-you could tell she ended the day happy with herself.

Driving around Keramat is always enjoyable. The Malay in me is elated whenever I enter this traditional Malay area, which is also what happens when I am in Kampung Baru.

The modest homes, the mosques and surau and of course the quintessential warong and food stalls selling kuih, tom yam and sup tulang make these neighbourhoods unique and bring back memories of our own kampung far away.

Then reality sets in: the sight of old and crowded flats, low-grade shoplots, clogged drains and unkempt playgrounds always brings back the reality of Malay life in the city.

The urban Malays have not changed much over the years. In the meantime, the Chinese keep up their pace of acquiring and developing the great city of Kula Lumpur.

Our leaders always speak of Malay rights and promise to defend them at all cost. These promises are really just opiates that dull the Malay senses. Other opiates include our leaders’ habit of rewriting history, instilling fear of the Chinese, and making the people believe that the Malay Rulers are being threatened and that Islam itself is under assault.

These are false and meaningless slogans, but they have the desired effect of redirecting the Malay consciousness away from examining just how dismal their lives have become and economically neglected they truly are.

These leaders prefer to stoke Malay emotion rather than deal with the hard facts of life. Preoccupied with enriching themselves, they have grown lazy. They focus on beauty contests, YouTube videos, and telling the Malays that shariah law will solve all problems, including crime.

Instead of teaching Malays how to develop skills, create jobs, control their household debt and be competitive in schools and universities, they take the easy way out by giving the Malays their daily dose of opiates.

The British did the same to the Chinese by giving them the real stuff – opium – and for a long time the Chinese did not care about anything about their lives until Mao Tse Tung woke them up from their stupor.

Whenever we have had good Malay leaders, they were either beaten or politics prevented them from undertaking the hard task of uplifting the Malays economically.

Datuk Raja Nong Chik’s proposal to develop Kampung Baru was a good idea that was long overdue, but he could not carry it through. Malays in the city generally do not trust Umno and the Pakatan Rakyat took advantage of the situation and objected strongly, although I doubt any of their leaders had better ideas.

Malay leaders have made all kinds of announcements about Kampung Baru but today, the neighbourhood remains a high-class ghetto.

Keramat, Setiawangsa, Sentul and other areas can also do with a massive injection of capital and new developmental ideas. There should be close cooperation between the Federal Malay leaders and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim of the Selangor state government to find ways to uplift the Malay community.  That is not possible as politics always get in the way, and so they continue serving opiates.

Leaving Kampung Datuk Keramat, it struck me that Malays like the word keramat. It means having magical powers. Even the names of new housing schemes and roads have keramat in them.

My friends in Umno also told me that Umno is parti keramat.

All I want to say before signing off is this: for as long as the Malays are not prepared to go into rehabilitation, stop taking opiates and start thinking for themselves, keramat will abandon them sooner or later.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. – August 5, 2013.

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