At the opening of a prayer hall in Chenderoh, Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria claimed that he once told Najib Razak to allow only Malays to rule the nation. He said, “…Why should we be appointing ministers who are Chinese? Thereâ€™s no need for Chinese ministers. Just let the Malays rule. Weâ€™ll show them.â€
Muftis are supposed to promote peace in the land, build bridges within the community and improve race-relations. Will the Perak state government remove Harussani, before he does further damage?
If Harussani were a stand-up comedian, tickets to his show would be sold out long before the event, there would be standing room only for his performances.
If he were a staunch critic of the government and an Opposition supporter, he would have been picked up, interrogated, and allowed to stew in a cell.
Instead Harussani, is allowed to continue with his racist and religious diatribes. Perhaps, the Perak Sultan is surrounded by advisers who are strongly aligned to Umno Baru.
Harussani, the ageing and longest serving state mufti, is long past his sell-by date. He is alleged not to have any professional qualification, not even a university degree and is mocked for his misleading religious edicts and fatwas.
Some may remember him for his “Sex on top of a Camel” statements or the revulsion he caused among football enthusiasts, many of whom are Malay. They slammed him for his fatwa, which prevented them from wearing football jerseys which had the cross, because the symbol represents Christianity.
Many middle aged Malay women damned him for banning the poco-poco dance, and also yoga, which many of them liked to perform. Perhaps, Harussani cannot bear to see people having fun.
Harussani should have retired ages ago. He is divisive, unashamed in his strong support for Umno Baru, and often strays into politics. His views are very provincial and he repels many young Muslims.
When Malaysians celebrated the New Year Eve’s on 31 December 2013, he toldÂ Malaysiakini, that these people were intent on bringing down the government. He said that these “rebels” should be slaughtered. He claimed that the ensuing bloodshed would be “halal” (permissible) under the Arabic term “bughah”.
Sadly, many Malays especially people like Harussani, who are given the authority to preach, have a scant understanding of Islam. “Bughah” is a term which describes an armed revolution.
On Sept 22, Harussani claimed that Najib had once told him that the “fear of losing” was the reason for the PM’s cooperation with Chinese and Indians. The mufti claimed to have confronted Najib and said, “we are already losing” and in retaliation, should “show them” by engaging Malay ministers only.
Harussani confounds us all. As a man of the cloth, he has shown no desire to be a moderating influence on the nation. He is not a man of peace. He sounds bitter, disgruntled, and imagines that other people have slighted him.
If Harussani had paid any attention to what goes on in the nation, he would know that the Malays already rule the country. The BN component parties of MCA and MIC, play only a ceremonial and cursory role.
Umno Baru does not speak for all of Malaysia. It does not represent the Malays. Its senior members are fighting among themselves, to gain control of the nation’s wealth, to protect the party and give themselves a job, without working hard for it.
The principally Malay Cabinet has ignored the allegations of corruption, the RM2.6 billion donation by a foreigner, money-laundering, human trafficking, injustice and illicit outflows to the tune of several hundred millions of ringgits per day.
Umno Baru is losing the plot. In education, English has been cast to one side with the result that millions of Malays grow up neither understanding, nor speaking English, thus making many Malay graduates unemployable.
Malays are like “crabs-in-a-bucket”. Any Malay who breaks out of the Umno Baru mould and makes a success of his life is given a hard time. Why? Umno Baru Malays do not believe in competition, because they want-it-all. They do not wish capable Malays to progress, because these successful Malays are living examples that Malays do not need Umno Baru, to protect them.
Malays in governance have allowed a plethora of ills to plague the land, such as cronyism, nepotism, race-baiting, a lack of transparency, an absence of the rule of law, abuse of the religion, skimming of contracts, the use of privileged information, gleaned in discussions, to gain an unfair advantage in business, via their cronies.
Malay rulers do not care about human rights, rule of law, freedom, democracy and economic well-being. They do not know what fairness means.
What about the Malays who abuse Islam for furthering their own personal interests? Harussani cannot claim that he did not abuse the religion to cause trouble. He accused another Malay of baptising other Malays at a church in Silibin. It was discovered that Harussani had deliberately spread a rumour, but he was not censured, or punished. The largely Malay police force did not want to humiliate, nor punish one of their own.
Malay rule will not ensure fairness and equality. A nation should be led by capable men and women. We are a multicultural nation. We are neither a Malay kingdom, an Islamic state, nor a nation which is ruled just by one man.
NB: This article was published in The Ant Daily on 3 October 2015 under the title: “Divisive, unashamed mufti should have retired ages ago”
Photo credits: The Ant Daily