Posted in Islam

A woman can’t be half pregnant

Reid Commission saw contradiction between provision for Islam as religion of d Federation & how Malaya can be said 2b secular at d same time

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Continues from:

Secular? Minutes of Reid Commission meeting 19 Sept 1956 (declassified doc. Public Records Office, Kew London)


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8 thoughts on “A woman can’t be half pregnant

  1. The problem with this dichotomy of secular non secular (or Islam) arises from an ignorance about the constitution and its conventions and of Islam itself. Islam in Egypt before Nasser martyred the head of the Muslim Brotherhood and even later when the Saddam Hussein government was decapitated demonstrated it has secular dimensions and is capable of secularism.

    The fact that the west has a paranoia about Islam having elevated the Wahhabis into power in Saudi Arabia is what drives the misconceived idea that Islam is incapable of being secular. Adopting that view of the Wahabbis one must be fair and ascribe that same interpretation to Christianity.

    In the UK for instance the right to the throne by an heir is circumscribed by the ‘constitutional’ caveat that they must not be Catholic or married to one. So much for secularism or understanding it by the source of our constitution.

    Secondly one has to understand that the constitution is not strictly that which is written (and therefore accepted by many as cast in stone and incapable of changing or different interpretations). Constitutions require a special skill to interpret which the vast majority of Malaysian lawyers have demonstrated a deficiency in.

    There are the constitutional conventions and the constitutional doctrines that surround and support the Constitution. It is not written into the single document we call the constitution.

    Lee Kuan Yew realised this very early in the peace and hastened to change many laws using the doctrine of sovereignty to overcome the defects of the written constitution and the gaps that existed in the constitution. It would otherwise have not allowed him to fight the communists who hid behind the so called “rights” in the constitution. It was not something the British had foreseen or had the capacity to foresee. Desperate situations require desperate actions.

    The Reid commission was a hatchet job. The drafting of the Malayan constitution is full of defects and points to a hasty job. But hey who are we to question a bunch of orang putehs who believed it was their god given right to determine our collective destinies.

    The question of secularism we argue about it that of religious secularism. And in the current climate given the ‘geniuses’ of the Miriam Mokhtar’s of this world (True Malaysian, Ordinary Malaysian etc etc) it is not difficult to demonize the Malays and their religion of Islam by using as props to support these arguments, those Malays who misbehave making scurrilous and threatening statements in retribution for the threat against them. In so doing they behave like the Arabs a group for whom there is little salvation.

    Malaysia is a Muslim state by virtue of its majority and their religion and what the constitution expressly says. It is secularist by convention and the tolerance of other faiths that co exist with it as they have for centuries.

  2. Why is it that my comments are always credited to Bala at the bottom. (Bala’s). Is that my nickname on this site? who is Bala anyway?

    1. Can you pls explain? I have no idea who Bala is, or where you see Bala appearing?

      1. secularist by convention is evidenced by the fact that it is. If it wasn’t then you would not have the active presence and practice of other religions, their institutions schools and the rest (such as religious holidays). A good question.

        But then again you may wish to ask what is secularist? my response in anticipation of that question would be, what is democracy? is it what Lincoln declared in his Gettysburg address or the flawed concept the Greeks boast they gave birth to.

        As for Balas someone who speaks reads and writes better bahasa than I said it means something like respond or reply. Apologies for my public display of ignorance on that issue.

        1. ROTFL. Thanks Rina!

          Dear GR Kumar,

          “Balas” is “reply”. My blog setting is in Bahasa Melayu.

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