You need to realize that in Malaysia, Malay and Islam is viewed as synonymous, and Malays view Islam as not only a religion but a way of life. You can see this through various things like the syariah courts, Islamic banking and such.
A Malay party embracing Islam and therefore implementing Islamic details is inevitable. The existence of Islamic-based party like PAS helps to push it along, after all political parties want to win the people, and the Malays are an Islamic people. You seriously can’t expect for UMNO to be left behind.
As for Arabisation, I don’t see it much coming from UMNO types, while PAS politicians, well, you can just see it through their favorite uniforms. In fact, let’s just remind you that DAP in order to win PAS people wear Malay clothes and tudungs.
Seeing you dismiss UMNO going against PAS brand of Islam as just merely promoting their own brand clearly shows you don’t see how importantly Malays view Islam. Like I said, their religion is part of their way of life. You can just see for yourself the PAS types how they live and what they want implemented to see what their priorities are. It doesn’t need a non Muslim to see that whatever kind of Islam they are applying they are way behind the times.
By the way, what kind of progressive form of Islam do you have in mind and what party In Malaysia do you think would be closest to it?
You are asking for the impossible. The retro Malays you admire is something that remains in old movies and photographs.
Those were the times when Malays were Malays instead of Muslim Malays.
Yes, it changed over the years, be what the reasons, it doesn’t even take Malaysian Muslims to be responsible for the change. With globalization more Malaysian Muslims are are more involved in international Muslim matters. Whatever happens outside Malaysia changes the Malaysian Muslims as well. Also the changes can also be triggered by what Malaysian non Muslims do. What Lim Guan Eng did on Christmas is just stabbing his PAS partner in the back.
After what non PAS supporters have and still endure in the PAS strongholds, you saying PAS taking the moderate stance is unbelievable.
Maybe it just seems that way to non Muslims. So maybe cosmetics and outward appearances are that important after all, if they manage to make non Muslims think so.
On the other hand you have DAP politicians entering mosques and preaching using Koran to PAS supporters, even when everybody is real clear on what DAP’s position is towards the core of PAS principles. So I guess it’s a two-way street.
Well, even though you and I both probably want this argument to end, I just hope for you to see things from my viewpoint.
First, UMNO is a Malay party foremost, PAS on the other hand is an Islamic party. Over the years, the Malay identity come to strongly identify with Islam. You may doubt UMNO moderation, but let’s not forget that UMNO’s strength has always been due to its role in a coalition with Chinese and Indian parties since independence.
This relationship has been under fire by both PAS and DAP since a long time ago, with one side claiming UMNO betraying Malays by cooperating with Chinese and DAP claiming MCA’s being under UMNO . That by itself is proof that BN’s components have been settling at compromise since long ago. There is little hypocrisy involved unlike Pakatan’s relationship which is opportunistic, capitalizing on Anwar’s split with UMNO.
UMNO is a a party of Malays. It is only appropriate that they voice out the fears of the community they represent. Can’t say anything about the Malays who are against them, maybe they are just against UMNO (ABU?) or maybe they have other things at mind, like getting along with their current allies.
You think that Najib’s visit only sows disunity in the Palestine conflict. May I remind you that Najib visit is to the last elected representatives that the Palestinians voted to lead them, granted that elections that should have been held afterwards stalled, but that’s not solely Hamas’s fault. Besides Najib’s visit serves to lend legitimacy to Palestine that just been granted observer state status, and strengthen Malaysia’s support to Palestine that had started long before the Fatah Hamas conflict.
Also, it’s unfair to claim this when Anwar, leader of PKR allied with PAS himself supported the enemies of all Palestine with his own words.
UMNO’s role in inculcating Islamic values is limited to supporting Islamic institutions such as the fatwa councils, syariah courts, Islamic banking, and probably the occasional Islamic slogan which would be conveniently forgotten when the PM adopting it is out of office. It is necessary since Malays are Muslims and Malays are the majority of the country.
It’s ridiculous to imply UMNO instructs them all what to allow in and what not. They are not clerics and ulamas. Might as well imply that UMNO instructs courts who to win and lose cases. Come to think of it, you might have that prejudice too.
Now, the problem with PAS. PAS objective has always been the creation of an Islamic state and governed with Islamic laws. We’re talking about the party’s objective, not Islam itself when I mentioned that PAS betrayed itself even by allying with DAP in the first place.
By turning a blind eye to DAP’s further insensitivity, PAS not only manages to alienate its own followers, but also opens its whole existence up to ridicule. It’s only fitting payback for the insults and hatred that PAS itself has heaped on UMNO and their followers over the years. Even more satisfying that they made it happen themselves. It is unbelievable that PAS let this happen other than for whatever political purposes that they have.
Anyway, sorry for the long thing, I hope you don’t feel like I just want to get the last word or something.