Posted in Secular

How DAP is implementing secular Malaysia

“Malaysia is undoubtedly a secular nation,” the DAP Godfather has once again publicly declared from his platform abroad (this time in Sydney) – see Malaysiakini report on Saturday.

If silence is taken to imply consent, then might we assume DAP’s political partners are in agreement with Lim Kit Siang, that is unless Pribumi, PAN and PKR will step forward to contradict his “secular state” assertion.

BELOW: What say Harapan’s Muslim elected reps about the claim that their Malaysia Baru is no longer Dar al-Islam but a secular state, “no doubt about it”?

In Malaysia, judicial caning is imposed on only male criminals. Hence within the DAP’s idea of ‘secular’ state, punishing the two Muslim lesbians in Terengganu – who were early this month caned in the Syariah Court with six strokes of the rotan each – is dare we say, quite un-secular.

DAP evangelical MP Hannah Yeoh reacted to the said syariah punishment with the statement: “Education doesn’t work this way”.

So, it’s an unworkable, childish approach, according to the DAP evangelistas (ref. Guardian story linked below).

Hannah Yeoh willing to disregard “syariah nod”

Recent events only serve to reinforce the DAP’s intrepid interpretation of the secular concept. Needless to say, DAP evangelista YBs are at the forefront of this push for more secularism (meaning, contra syariah).

Malaysia risks becoming ‘un-secular’ since syariah jurisdiction is, in practice on the ground, taking precedence over the penal code. It’s reported today that a 30-year-old Muslim divorcee could be subjected to caning after a raid by the Terengganu Islamic authority found her inside a hotel room with a man who is bukan mahram.

In a secular country, one should – theoretically – not have any syariah courts nor religious agencies that implement and enforce Islamic law.

DAP evangelicals, namely Segambut parliamentarian Hannah Yeoh, is weighing in with her insistence “syariah nod doesn’t mean cops can’t probe child marriages” (ref. Malay Mail story linked below).

Expect the secular activists to further widen the scope of their intervention into syariah issues. Already one lawyer is questioning the discussion of hudud death penalty for apostasy featured in an SPM revision guide. Do secularists even object to Muslims mentioning or holding a theoretical theological discussion among themselves?

Impact and consequences of Christian political power 

Both PAS and Umno are anxious that Islam is presently under grave threat following the GE14 nightmarish result. A comparison with four countries closest demographically to Malaysia provides a statistical perspective to the PAS-Umno concerns.

Malaysia is very special in the Islamic world. There are only four other Muslim-majority countries like us, i.e. having between 60-70 percent Muslim population – see graph below.

Some common features among these five unique countries in this 60-70 multi-religious bandwidth are their pivotal Christian population (enough in sheer number to exert political leverage) and the minority Christians there holding positions of power.

Note: Malaysian Muslim population figures are represented by the green line 

Comparison with Christian president, Muslim-majority population countries

Burkina Faso and Lebanon have Christian populations of 21.7 percent and 38.4 percent respectively. In both these countries, it is the Christian who is executive head of state. The Christian president of Burkina Faso is Roch Marc Christian Kabore; the Christian president of Lebanon is Michel Aoun.

Nonetheless, the graph above, which projects population to the year 2040, hints at why Burkina Faso (orange line) and Lebanon (blue line) are likely to maintain their status quo of Christian power-sharing whereas Malaysia (green line) is on a high Islamization trajectory.

Still, it is not entirely unthinkable that Malaysia can one day have its own Christian prime minister. Perhaps if the Malaysian Christian population ever doubles, we might be able to emulate or replicate Burkina Faso.

Out of the 49 Muslim-majority countries globally, 32 are mono religious having populations that are more than 90 percent Muslim – click here to see chart. For explanatory bar graphs and more detailed background on the Islamization imperative, please refer to my previous post last week.

The ratio of Muslims to the general Malaysian population shows a rate of steady increase – green line seen above slanting strongly upwards. The proportion of Muslims in Burkina Faso is increasing too but not as steeply as in Malaysia.

Meanwhile in Lebanon and in Bahrain (grey line) as well, the Muslim ratio is stagnant. Oil rich Bahrain and Qatar have a sizeable temporary emigrant population that comprises Christian and Hindu foreign workers.

Due to the significant presence of ethnic minorities in cosmopolitian Qatar, the country’s Muslim population ratio will actually decline over the next 20 years! An UBAH cautionary tale for Malaysia … Umno, PAS pay heed.

How DAP can help M’sia pass the secular test

Secularism refers to:

  • The separation of the religious orders from the state
  • Neutrality of the state in religious matters
  • Equal treatment by the state of different religions, and
  • Religion being a matter of the private sphere which is strictly separated from the public sphere

The above parameters were described by Singapore researcher Michael Heng in the book State and Secularism: Perspectives from Asia.

Let’s look at how Malaysia fares against the criteria checklisted:

I.  There’s no separation of State and ‘Masjid’

Malaysia has Majlis Agama in all the states (e.g. MAIS) as well as federal department Jakim / state Jabatan Agama (e.g. JAIS), Majlis Fatwa, etc. and all these agencies function in an official capacity. In certain years, Jakim has been allocated an annual budget of close to one billion ringgit and employing thousands of staff.

There are also Islamic bodies like Tabung Haji and Baitulmal with no equivalent yet for other religions, e.g. no state Christian pilgrimage fund to Jerusalem, say.

To make Malaysia secular, DAP will have to stop the state from endorsing or policing Islam. Is it an wonder therefore that we hear loud calls to shut down Jakim?

II. The state is not religiously neutral

Nine Malaysian states have rulers who are heads of Islam. The Yang DiPertuan Agong takes his oath of office swearing to uphold and protect Islam.

Federal constitution Article 11(4) allows the state to “control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam”.

In plainspeak, Muslims can dakwah to non-Malays and these conversions to Islam even coming under the aegis of national bodies like Perkim and Yadim. However the reverse – Christian missionaries preaching to Muslims – is against the law.

Thus some political pundits have been advocating that the DAP move a motion in parliament to amend the constitution should the party really care to prove its secular credentials.

BELOW: Evangelist Hannah Yeoh (in black tudung litup at head of table) often presides over meals with Muslim groups in her extensive outreach activities

III.  No equality in treatment of the different religions

We have Islamic television station TV Al-Hijrah operating on a yearly budget provided by the state, and Islamic radio station Ikim. Malaysia does not have dedicated Christian broadcast media channels … at least for now.

The state also pays allowances to Kafa (kelas al-Quran dan fardhu ain) teachers and huffaz. For the time being, Sunday school is not financed by the state but who knows? The DAP motto is, after all, the call for change.

Federal constitution Article 12(2) states, moreover:

“[…] it shall be lawful for the Federation or a State to establish or maintain or assist in establishing or maintaining Islamic institutions or provide or assist in providing instruction in the religion of Islam and incur such expenditure as may be necessary for the purpose.”

The above clause permits the state to fund Islamic institutions and programmes; the constitution does not have any similar clause providing funding for Christian instruction.

Nonetheless, in New Malaysia the Harapan baru government is the one now calling the shots and who knows if it will soon cave in to the DAP’s incessant demands for “equality”?

BELOW: Hannah Yeoh critical of sekolah tahfiz

IV.  State privileges Islam in the public arena

The state’s coercive powers and resources are utilised in the service of Islam. Syariah compliant dress code compels civil servants or visitors to government buildings to conform with Islamic mores.

The Muslim doa too is recited in our government offices and classrooms.

As a comparison, in secular Turkey during the 1930s under the rule of military leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Islamic religious education was taken out of Turkish schools.

Likewise pushback against Islamic influences in Malaysian national schools is getting louder since the Harapan GE14 victory, e.g. from the Malaysiakini column linked below extolling Chinese schools.

In other areas of Islamic privilege, being Muslim is a requirement to holding certain public office, for instance several Malaysian states require their Menteri Besar to be an adherent of the faith.

Guarantees for the Islamic and Malay nature of the states are actually stipulated in the Undang-Undang Tubuh Negeri, as evidenced in Article 52 (2)(a) of the Selangor constitution, for example, which requires even the State Secretary to be “of the Malay race and profess the Muslim religion” – see below.

Most subtly and stealthily, DAP is now beginning to place its Malay operatives in influential public positions, e.g. mid-level party leader Wan Hamidi Hamid who was recently proposed as Bernama CEO. With DAP men embedded in the deep state, change will come.

Who is to say many more DAP Malays – or even DAP non Malays – will not be infiltrating the super structure to wrought secular changes from within?


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40 thoughts on “How DAP is implementing secular Malaysia

  1. Secular countries are traditionally the most peaceful and accepting nations. Only an idiot wouldn’t want this. You are that idiot, Helen.

  2. Helen,

    Pointless to argue if Malaysia is secular or Islamic in strict sense, i.e choose either one. Msia is more of a hybrid, with elements of secularism and Islamic co-exists. The more relevant question to be asked is whether Msia is more secular (less Islamic) or vice versa. Like the analogy of attributing a % or weightage to Secular (x%) vs Islamic (y%).

    For every reason you cite Msia is Islamic, anyone can cite another reason to rebut it in support of secularism. Moreover, whether Msia can qualify as a true Islamic nation should be compared with other Islamic nations.

  3. Malays are very nice people and Islam is a beautiful religion, but your write up actually creates hate towards Malay and Islam…From another point, it is a smart way to keep the Muslims and Christians apart, devil…..
    Caning a women in public is to shame that women. Isn’t shaming forbidden in Islam? And canning for sexual cases in this era is mindboggling…But of course, some dude will have his own interpretation, even if it’s contradicting….

    Anyway, i say, religion should be a personal affair…..

    And as for the Muslim nations with a Christian PM, guess the rakyat knows to put the best man to manage the nation, race & religion should never be in the criteria

      1. You compiled data just does no good, except to create fear & tension. Isn’t that the purpose? End of the day, you are concluding one day, our PM might be a non muslim. Why is that ever a problem?

        1. If a Christian PM is not ever a problem, then why are you blathering on about fear & tension? Chill.

          And you’re right. The Malays are “nice” people. That’s how they ended up being bullied by your ilk and their two biggest Malay/Muslim parties are in the opposition despite commanding 3/4 voter support of the majority community.

          1. Come on…you are writing to create fear and tension, while i am saying don’t fear……
            And Umno bullied Malays…..Malays knows that…

            1. It is DAP that is playing hate politics and bullying others. You can’t pull wool over the eyes, even if Mahathir has made a 180-degree U-Tun on this.

              As for being afraid of data: “Only 21.7 percent” Christians in Burkina Faso, and the president of the country is a Christian. Is that a “fear”some fact or is it that you prefer to lull Muslims in Malaysia into complacency … “only 9 percent what” … nothing to worry, nothing to see, move along.

              1. Continue to identify with race and religion
                That’s not the way to build a nation
                That’s the way to build an empire
                Nation or empire it just an experiment
                Respect all people temporary life on this Earth not their religion or race

              2. i guess you should be asking , why did Burkina Faso Muslims chose Roch Marc Christian Kaboré as PM? And who were the PMs before him? BTW, how did you conclude he is a Christian?

  4. This Non secular thing is not good for Malays
    This Non Secular thing is only good for non-Malay
    So if you a Malay get in the fight
    Fight for secular state
    Same playing field ; got a fighting chance
    That’s what I say

  5. I think what the Burkina Faso data point shows is that the Muslim (voting) majority does not fear a Christian president.

  6. If, one day Malaysia has a non-Muslim as PM, that would only signify the majority accept a non-Muslim at the helm. Until then, without majority support and the Rulers’ blessing, there is no indication of any concerted effort from non-Muslims to challenge the status quo.

    Quote: Most subtly and stealthily, DAP is now beginning to place its Malay operatives in influential public positions….

    Any evidence Wan Hamidi Hamid is a Muslim deviant willing to sacrifice his faith and wage his morality for DAP?

    1. Where in my article is “deviant”, “sacrifice his faith”, and “wage his morality” or anything resembling your provocative choice of words ever mentioned by me? Do you know how to read and do you understand what you’re reading?

      We’re discussing “secularism”. There are secular Muslims even though Islam is not secular.

      1. re: There are secular Muslims even though Islam is not secular.

        Secular Muslims? Would Umno fit the bill?

        1. Turkey’s military leaders are the closest I can think of. But they’ve lost power under the Erdogan regime.

          Overall the trend is towards full Islamization.

          1. Helen,

            BN had released the list of shadow cabinet ministers but without representation from Pas.

            Where is the sincerity of Umno + Pas collaboration?

              1. True. But BN today is equivalent to Umno as the other 2 parties, i.e. MCA and MIC are powerless with close to zero representation.

                Umno should have no problem to ignore MCA and MIC to include Pas into the shadow cabinet on the basis of projecting a united opposition front consisting of BN + Pas and not necessary on the basis of Pas being a member of BN.

                BTW, Hadi is reported as not attending the Umno general assembly. His deputy Tuan Ibrahim will attend on his behalf. If not mistaken, Zahid attended Pas muktamar recently. Why Hadi is not reciprocating accordingly? Looks like he is putting Umno assembly secondary to his “packed schedule”? Where is the sincerity to cooperate with Umno?

      2. It is a fair question given you had implied DAP is a Christian party with Christian agendas.

        You said there is the possibility of DAP Malay ‘operatives’ (including Wan Hamidi) being used to “infiltrate” the system/positions stipulated to preserve “Islamic and Malay nature” [sic].

        The first thing that hit me is why should there be the need to infiltrate?

        By virtue of their race and faith, they are qualified. Unless you are implying they(Malay DAP operatives) somehow posed a threat to the sanctity of such organizations.

        Hence my question – are Wan Hamidi and other Malay DAP members being questioned about their fidelity to their faith? I don’t hear PKR, UMNO or Pribumi Malays being doubted.

        1. Pribumi, PAN and PKR Malays are not (being highlighted in the news) in the same vein that DAP politicians and party operatives below are, e.g.

          – (Current) MP Tengku Zulpuri’s brush with the Mufti of Pahang
          – (Current) Adun Syerleena Abdul Rashid’s criticism of Jakim
          – (Current) Adun Young Syefura Othman previously investigated by police re: monarchy
          – Dyana Sofya’s criticism of Mara
          – Azira Aziz (one-time Hannah Yeoh’s aide) statement on the suitability of azan public broadcast
          – Syahredzan Johan (LKS’s pol-sec) being vocal on Islam-sensitive issues

          As well non-Malay DAP people are holding public office, although not in Islamic bodies, but in positions of power where their decisions may impact on Muslims.

        2. “Hence my question – are Wan Hamidi and other Malay DAP members being questioned about their fidelity to their faith? I don’t hear PKR, UMNO or Pribumi Malays being doubted.”

          Because PKR reps routinely make statements about their faith and race. Rafizi for instance with his “ultra liberal” comments and Anwar with his “don’t spook the Malays” mantra.

          Pribumi meanwhile has made it clear that they are now custodians of Islam and Malayness – its in its Constitution – and it is led by the most cunning “Malay” political operative this country has.

          Meanwhile the Malays in DAP not only have to worry about the fascist tendencies of the party – refer to the way how the DAP cannibalizes “Chinese” dissenters – but also have to subscribe to what Commander (RTD) Thayaparan calls the “true Muslim” meme.

          Hence their allegiance to Islam and the Malay race is always suspect. Add to this, the DAP and its apeshitters routinely make stupid comments on race and religion and the Muslim component of the party have to mop the shit of the floor.

  7. Edit to add.

    Here is Thaya’s definition of the “true Muslim” meme from his article – “Welcome to Malaysia’s religious jungle” –

    “What exactly is a “true” Muslim or “true” Christian for that matter? Someone who believes that religion should not be politicised? Someone who believes that you should not mock another’s religion? Someone who believes that religion should not intrude in the private lives of members in any given society? Someone who believes that there should be a separation of church/mosque and state?

    These are not “true” religious values but rather true secular values or secular humanist values, if you like. It is pointless and disingenuous to attempt to define what a “true” Muslim is considering the fact that said values are in fact anathema to traditional Islamic thought and especially by non-Muslims, who project their own agendas as to the qualities that make a good or true Muslim.

    In other words, a “true” Muslim as defined by those who have been on the receiving end of Umno-influenced Islam all these years, is a Muslim who conforms to the political and social conventions of the so-called moderate stance espoused by Pakatan Rakyat.

    The “true Muslim” oppositional meme is one of the contradictory aspects of the “one size fits all” ideology of Pakatan that if left unchecked will prove disastrous in the long run.”

    1. The thing is who speak for Islam? Islamic theologians from the West had long asked. Liberals like Majid Naawaz? Zakir Naik? Those PAS politicians or Middle Eastern scholars?

      As a non-Muslim, it is hard to have an opinion on the question, is Islam a religion of peace? Can Islam be inclusive? Within the Muslim community themselves, they cannot reach a general consensus.

      Some say yes, some no, but even those who advocate Islam is peace have a hard time defining where is the line when it comes to secularism, LBGT, etc. Ultimately it is there for Muslim themselves to decide …. hopefully not arrive at the conclusion as a herd, rather, individually.

      As non-Muslims, we can only appeal to human nature . Though we (non-Muslims) don’t share their beliefs, as fellow human beings, we do have common goals- love, family, peace and justice etc.

      Quote: “a “true” Muslim as defined by those who have been on the receiving end of Umno-influenced Islam all these years, is a Muslim who conforms to the political and social conventions of the so-called moderate stance espoused by Pakatan Rakyat.”

      I agree, but this is the Islam Malaysian non-Muslims knew and the majority of Malaysian Muslims grew up on. As a non-Muslim I have no say, but who knows, one can hope this can pass as our own Malaysian identity brand of Islam. Majority Malaysian Muslims don’t have similar life experiences with their Middle-Eastern brothers, neither do they share similarities with the Pakistanis. One can only hope the Muslims here are resolute to forge their Malaysian identity brand of faith as opposed to looking to emulate a foreign culture. Or worst, being led by selfish politicians cloaked in holiness.

      The biggest enemy of faith, are politicians/parties whoring their beliefs for power and steering the path of their religion to yield influence. I really meant this and I am not limiting the scope to Islam alone. Same with Christianity and others. Having said that, it is natural I have only disdain for PAS. I don’t dislike UMNO as much as PAS.

      1. i am fine with pas brand of islam if they r persistent n consistent, but hadi is a opportunist, its sad pas now under his leadership that apparently lack moral n ethics.

        1. HY

          You got to make up your mind. You don’t mind PAS’ brand of Islam but at the same time acknowledged the one calling the shots is an opportunist.


          1. didn’t we give our votes to a coalition that include pas in 2008 n 2013? our mind evolve all the time.

            1. True.

              The then opposition supporters knew the PR-PAS alliance was a political sham marriage. I doubt they (PR supporters) gave their votes to PAS because they subscribe to PAS’ ideology.

      2. It really doesn’t matter who speaks for Islam. Your concern was why are the credentials of certain Muslims questioned.

        In this country the state defines Islam. UMNO did it mostly as a reaction to PAS and of course to keep the base in thrall.

        The question is will the Harapan state define Islam as ” the Islam Malaysian non-Muslims knew and the majority of Malaysian Muslims grew up on” as you put it. If there is some move towards that ,this is why certain Muslims credentials are questioned.

        The problem with DAP and Islam in this country, is that the DAP has attempted to use Islam the way how Malay power structures have.

        What they should have done is remain ideological secular. This of course would mean not engaging in the kind of Christian chicanery of the Hannah Yeoh crowd which includes trespass into Islamic domains.

        You cannot have it both ways, especially if you are promoting a Christian narrative in your political life. And before anyone says anything, Hannah’s book is about how god told her to get a political career.

        1. Quote: The question is will the Harapan state define Islam as ” the Islam Malaysian non-Muslims knew and the majority of Malaysian Muslims grew up on” as you put it. If there is some move towards that ,this is why certain Muslims credentials are questioned.

          UMNO, a political party, shaped Islam all these years to fit their political narratives. PAS, another political party at the core, wants to shape Islam to fit their narratives. PH of course wants to join in too.

          Is that a bad idea?

          1. “Is that a bad idea?”

            I think it is a great idea. In fact if they actually defined Islam as “moderate”, cut back on funding Islamic institutions – thus saving money – streamlined well fare programs and encouraged a plurality of voices within Islam in Malaysia, this would be a very good thing.

  8. This video on Alexander Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory, especially its criticism of liberalism and globalism, is informative with regards the policies promoted by liberal radicals within the DAP and in other parties and NGOs in Malaysia.

    The Fourth Political Theory accepts and respects difference between different people and maintains that people in different part so fthe world should be free to practice what they believe within their own regions.

    For example, if people in Islamic parts the world want to live by Syariah law then it’s their right and their choice should be respected, just as they should respect the rights of people in the more secular Europe to live according to their laws, beliefs and values.

    The Fourth Political Theory stands against globalism, especially the Anglo-Saxon kind which believes that it is their “manifest destiny” to force their beliefs, practices and values upon the world.

    Whilst I am not a “Duginist”, but rather am of the Second Political Theory as Dugin calls it, however and a anti-globalist, looking at the state of the world today, in the absence of a world mostly practicing the Second Political Theory – a world practicing the Fourth Political Theory would be far better off than the world we have now, in which the First Political Theory dominates.

      1. It’s not easy but I’d say a live and let live approach would work better than one ethnicity, political party or interest group trying to pressure others to accept and abide by their beliefs, traditions or culture and vice-versa.

        For example, if most Muslims cannot accept LGBTQ due to it being contrary to Islam, then others trying to force them to accept it will result in a backlash.

        Likewise, if most Muslims demand that the government outlaw pork, that would invite a backlash from ethnicities for which pork is very much a part of their diet.

        For example, in Israel:-

        “The story of Israel’s contemporary pork industry dates back 50 years, when the Knesset passed a law banning the production of pork in Israel. The law—considered to be one of the most controversial in Israeli history—was designed with a loophole that permitted raising hogs in majority Christian regions in the North as a concession to Israel’s religious minorities and the young democracy. As a result, Christian-Arab towns became hog country. Although ultra-Orthodox politicians over the years have attempted to fully ban pork production, the law has limited the growth of the industry while simultaneously protecting Christian pork interests.”

        “A little over a month ago, a panel of Israeli government officials recommended out of the blue that Israel change its pork law to transfer Israel’s industrial hog farms to the South to “reduce the density in which swine are raised” and regulate the farms. When pigs are the topic of the day, they usually get caught in the middle of a political firestorm. While it should come as welcome news to casual observers of Israeli politics that the government is taking an interest in the welfare of its domestic animals, moving Israel’s hogs would most likely disassociate pig farming from Israel’s Christians and could spell the beginning of the end for both Israeli-grown ham and the livelihood of Christian Arabs.”

        “And the swine, because he parteth the hoof but cheweth not the cud, he is unclean unto you; of their flesh ye shall not eat, and their carcasses ye shall not touch.” Deuteronomy 14:8 (The Israel Bible™)

        Dugin is Russian and Russia is comprised of over 100 ethnicities. The Soviet Union, which is larger described itself as a “multi-national country with 150 nationalities” and despite some differences between themselves, they generally speaking get along.

        1. i dun think non muslim could force anything on muslim in msia, fed con n civil law is something we inherited together, n it is pas that want to replace this with islamic law. n I dun think many non muslim accept lgbt. unlike the muslim, we just dun know what to do with them, n neither we wan to punish them.

          i am against hudud or any Islamic law, however i am perfectly fine if any muslim wants it. so who is forcing who? we will keep on blaming each others, that’s politics right?

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