Muhyiddin Yassin and the runaway train

Religion, as it is practised in Malaysia, is soul-destroying.

If a woman were to discover a cure for coronavirus, many Malay Muslims in Malaysia, would probably say, “Mana tudung? Apa tak pakai tudung? Berdosa…” (Where is your head covering? Why aren’t you wearing your head covering? Sinful).

If I were to visit a government ‘jabatan‘ (department) dressed in a skirt, without a tudung, all hell would probably break loose. I once accompanied a relative to the Shah Alam syariah court and was rudely admonished by a woman in uniform, when a strand of hair poked out from my scarf.

Religion and race have corrupted our thinking and altered our priorities. Give the Malay a microphone and a soapbox to stand on, and he thinks he is God’s gift to politics – and he is ever ready to micromanage how you live. Dress a Malay in uniform, and he thinks he is a Field Marshal.

The befuddled thinking is not confined to Malay men. The new Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Rina Harun, and her deputy, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, have failed to inspire confidence during this alarming spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Rina (photo, below) is conspicuous by her silence on the role of women in tackling the coronavirus threat, while Siti Zailah is fixated on the uniforms of MAS’ Muslim cabin crew. What are their solutions for MAS employees who have been forced to take three months of unpaid leave?

Altogether now…..giggle coyly and speak in a squeaky voice

Mortgages and house rents have to be paid, as do car and study loans. As money is tight and family members are confined to the house, domestic violence will probably increase.

In the current pandemic, most Malaysian victims contracted coronavirus at the tabligh gathering, at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur. However, do you hear Jakim, the ulama or conservative Muslim MPs speaking out?

The tabligh attendees who have not come forward for testing are probably scared. Many may be refugees or illegal migrants. They fear being deported or sent to languish in camps. Others fear high treatment and hospital fees.

Why won’t religious leaders use every facility available, such as TV, radio, newspapers, leaflets and social media, to make their appeal? When it comes to finding pork DNA in chocolates, anything is possible.

Naturally, Malaysians are angry and will direct their blame to the attendees, calling them stupid and selfish. Instead, they should blame the authorities.

Years of controversial preachings have made some attendees think that their God will protect them. They are probably convinced they will not harm others. They don’t think they will put other lives at risk. Remarks such as “I only fear Allah and not the coronavirus” show the dangers posed by some radical ulamas.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been monitoring the coronavirus threat since the first death was reported in December last year. Tests were conducted on people who returned from Wuhan. People were hospitalised and treated. The MOH guideline detailed many critical steps the public should observe.

An attempt to blame the previous government

Today, in an attempt to blame the previous Pakatan Harapan administration, supporters of Perikatan Nasional (PN) blame Harapan for not monitoring this pandemic. They should criticise Muhyiddin and his co-conspirators for plotting the power-grab, on Feb 23, while Harapan’s attention was centred on the threat posed by the coronavirus.

On March 9, Brunei confirmed that one of its citizens had contracted coronavirus from Sri Petaling, and had also infected five others. Jakim (Department of Islamic Development in Malaysia), and the new Minister for Religious Affairs should have immediately suspended Friday prayers. They didn’t.

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a pandemic. This should have been sufficient for Jakim and the minister, to cancel the Friday prayers on March 13. Instead, the authorities called for the sermon to be shortened.

Today, anything involving religion forces all politicians to tread carefully. So, if a Muslim breaks the law, they have to be careful about punishing him for fear of upsetting the Muslim masses.

People who have broken into temples and vandalised the premises were said to have “mental health problems”. Really?

In 2014, the gang rape of two teenage girls by 30 men in Kelantan shocked the nation, It was alleged that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the men. Our government cannot protect children from being married-off, nor can it protect women from sexual crimes or domestic abuses.

Fire at the tahfiz school in Klang in September, 2017.

When fires or beatings in tahfiz schools caused deaths, the authorities were afraid to punish the culprits. The cases dragged on and on until we forgot about them.

Malaysians wonder if children in tahfiz schools learn about national unity, science, mathematics, geography and the world outside their tahfiz tempurung (coconut shell); but the focus in on vernacular schools.

The ulamas make people think more about the afterlife than life on earth. They fail to teach Malaysians about compassion, humanity and how to live among people of different faiths and cultures.

The solution is easy. Ban Jakim because it destroys lives, both Malay and non-Malay, and it does not promote national unity.

Ban tahfiz schools, because they destroy young minds and deprive young people of their futures.

Let it be a lesson to all that things done in haste are never done right. Muhyiddin could not wait to grab the reins of power. He and his cabinet lurch from one slip-up to the next. He has just proven to the nation that the group of Malays who fashion themselves “superior” make poor leaders, or even managers.

Malay leaders miscalculated the danger of using race and religion to manipulate minds and control people. Now, their fear is, “How can we stop this runaway train?”

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  • Peter Leong says:

    Does Mariam’s writings get published somewhere in BM?

  • Paul Wolfobitch says:

    Religion is like a knife.

    You can think of it as a parang, a keris…

    In the hand of the intelligent it can be useful.

    In the hand of a moron, it is definitely dangerous.

    My religion of Rock worship teaches a parable in which three persons are given a knife each.

    Person One is intelligent. He uses the knife to chop up his babi, he uses it to hack his way through the jungle, he uses it to protect himself, family, friends, he defends the country like a hero from a Kung Fu movie…

    Person Two is mischievousr. He uses if for his macho posturing, he waves it above his head and stab the air threatening death to others, he uses the knife to hurt others…

    Person Three is a moron. He sticks the knife in himself.

    Malaysia has mainly persons Two and Three.

    Religion is an excellent way of keeping the primitives in as backward a state as possible – with them gratefully grabbing their more than fair share of gross stupidity from religion, making themselves feel they are “special”, give themselves the grand delusion they have non-existent blessings and power from god-knows-where – or thereabouts.

    For those weak, insecure, inadequate, religion does serve a useful purpose giving some kind of fake confidence, belief in self, and “faith”. For some, it even gives a fake sense of “power” often taken for very real – and even “authorisation” from somewhere to lord it over and cause grief to others.

    Religion is how politicians can hold sway over the population. Throughout history the clergy has either ran countries or are hand in glove working with the rulers to wreak misery on their unthinking population.

    Yesterday, we had the Christians, the Caliphs, etc used such power. Today we have the fundamentalists, the evangelical “Christians” behind Yank presidents, the clergy and religious police behind Middle Eastern monarchies. We have religious outfits barely disguised as political parties, we have politicians who want to serve their deities more than the public, we have the “new religions” too in the form of various cults.

    Religion should be classed as a dangerous drug especially when practised by those of the Persons Two and Three types.

    Religion makes many feel useless and helpless without it.

    Religion gives the false impression and dangerous idea that you cannot be “good” or “moral” unless you have a religion. This is sheer nonsense, you would expect that nonsense from the “religious”, they are the ones profiting from peddling such crap notion. It is easier to come by good and moral people who are not religious than “religious” people overflowing with “goodness” and “morality”.

    Many of the worst in society have a religion, and are “religious” (meaning dangerously ill). In other words, they are freaking nutters, nutcases. Feel free to do a search on the internet, you’ll find plenty of serious material on religion and mental illnesses.

    Many of the “religious” leaders and followers love to think and act on behalf of their deity. They do love to judge others, condemn and punish others – all as if they are themselves their deities.

    Those range from those who simply have to bitch about anything and everything not conforming to their holy view of the world – to the head-choppers of ISIS. Neither of the sick bunches can shut up or sit still till the Almighty can find the time and occasion to judge and punish one and all for whatever and more.

    While there are more and more of those in Malaysia pretending to be Arabs when it comes to most things – and Afghans when it comes to wearing tents and niqabs, the Arabs are having to discard their primitive “religious” ways more and more – or their countries would break up, collapse, their monarchies fall. More and more Arab women are taking on their men and giving them good value for money flouting all their crass Stone Age “religious laws”.

    Still, it is exactly like some Malaysians to pick all the rubbish the Arabs discard or want to get rid of, Malaysia not only recycles garbage, Malaysia treasures garbage.

    Thankfully, Like in the Middle East, more and more Malaysians are flouting those “religious” man-centered and “other-worldly… supernatural” stuff. Given the opportunity, many would leave their religion altogether. Hence the fear of the “religious” who resort to even more antics of the control freaks to reign in those more capable of using their heads. Malaysian women are more capable and able to think for themselves more than the men, I can only see any hold on them loosen and broken free in the years to come. So, I would advise our “religious” types to be afraid, be very afraid!

    It makes one wonder, if there is a deity, why is She so fearful about those who do not wish to accept the “goodness” of Her religion. And why are those mere mortals who call themselves “religious” even more fearful of those who want nothing to do with the religion having views and ways that are “unacceptable”.

    Can those who profess to be ardent fans of a deity not leave it to their Almighty to strike the “dissenters” down with lightning, send them to “Hell”? Many are all too keen to do all that for their deity without any permission.

    Meanwhile, this video may be from some “Christians” but I still think the “Xinjiang” is well worth investigating, one just doesn’t know how many of such secret locations there are here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri4pna1jT88

    May all you good folks be blessed by the Rock, Amen!

  • Steven says:

    So long as the government of the day panders to the sensitives of the Malay/Muslim, Malaysia will forever be stuck in an endless cycle of mediocrity and unfairness.

    Frankly, it is tiring to read of Malay/Muslim leaders always finding excuses for the wrongs their followers committed against the nons eg “they are only defending Islam”.

    There is no fairness and justice – you can’t blame the nons for having a dim view of Islam when they are faced with such unfairness and injustice.

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