Lebanon: “Do you think we should be worried about a return to civil war?”
‘Yup’ said a straw poll (below) featured in You Tube yesterday.
Some 1,300-plus viewers answered the question above posed by Prof. James Ker-Lindsay, with 79 percent checking the ‘Yes’ box and 21 percent ticking ‘No’.
Four out of every five of Prof. Ker-Lindsay’s informed You Tube audience who took part in the global survey believe that a Lebanese civil war 2.0 is quite possible.
BELOW: Screengrab from Prof. Ker-Lindsay’s latest You Tube video
The professor recaps that the Lebanese presidency is reserved for a Christian leader and the country’s premiership for a Sunni Muslim; the office of Parliament Speaker is meanwhile reserved for a Shia.
Penang practises a form of consociational governance, too, based on ethnic considerations.
For three consecutive Harapan terms, the Penang Chief Minister has been Chinese, its Deputy Chief Minister (I) has been Malay always – see pix gallery below – and its DCM II invariably been one and the same Indian.
Political Islam vs political Christianity
Lebanon is of interest to us because it’s our fraternal twin in religious demographics. Lebanon has a 65 percent Muslim population while Malaysia has a 66 percent Muslim population.
Religion politics is formally practiced in Lebanon under a ruling system called ‘confessionalism’.
Confessional (relating to religion adhered) is explained as “a system of consociational government which distributes political and institutional power proportionally among religious sub-communities”.
Sarawak has begun experimenting with a hybrid and informal version where its current Chief Minister is a Muslim while its Deputy Chief Ministers include one Christian and one Chinese.
On the other hand, PAS politics is purely political Islam whereas DAP is coyly political Christianity hiding behind a secular ‘tudung’.
With PAS, what you see is what you get. With DAP, what you see is their endless virtue signalling, and what you get is ‘gaslighting’.
The non-Muslim political operatives “gaslight the non-Muslim polity on respect and tolerance”, writes Malaysiakini columnist Thayaparan — see also my take on the DAP’s duplicity @ ‘The Fox and the Wolf’ (in sheep’s clothing).
Critical-thinking Malays call Hannah Yeoh aka ‘the Lamb of God’ musang berbulu ayam.
BELOW: If Hadi is an “existential threat”, what about DAP evangelistas?
Two poles of a magnet
Thayaparan thinks Hadi Awang “remains an existential threat to Malaysia”.
Malaysiakinians are emphatically on one side of our country’s divide, and their negative view of political Islam casts Hadi Awang as this aforementioned ‘threat’.
Naturally, Malaysians on the opposite side of the divide have our own counterbalancing views on DAP leaders and their political Christianity.
DAP and PAS are at opposite ends of a horseshoe magnet in their field of power.
PAS vs DAP baggage go back years
The Lebanon civil war ended in 1990. That was 32 years ago.
Yet why does a majority of the professor’s You Tube viewers think that conflict between the two groups of Lebanese is going to erupt again?
After all, those reasons which previously drove Lebanese Muslims and Lebanese Christians to fight each other are three decades old and best left in the rearview mirror. Or are they?
Malaysia’s ISA crackdown in October 1987 was more than 34 years ago.
Most Malaysians are aware that Ops Lalang had caught in its dragnet dozens of DAP politicians and Chinese educationists.
However, it is not as well known publicly that church activists were also detained under the police operation alongside NGO agitators.
A little earlier before Ops Lalang, PAS had rung alarm bells about Christian proselytisers converting Malays out of Islam.
Christian missionary work among Muslims was one of the national security issues in the 1987 upheaval.
BELOW: As recently as last month (Dec 2021), DAP was still carrying out its trademark nasty political campaigns against PAS
Two warring peas-in-a-pod
Half a dozen years ago, it was Dewan Ulama PAS which moved the mothership to cut ties with Pakatan Rakyat.
It is important to understand the nature of this PAS-DAP animus, i.e. both their leaderships comprise preacher politicians.
But first let’s look at the zero-sum-game rivalry between the following other pairs of parties.
Umno vs Bersatu: Both are competing for the same Malay voter base. If Umno gets more seats, Bersatu will get fewer, and vice versa.
DAP vs MCA: Ditto. The two rivals are competing for the Chinese vote. In 2018 when DAP received 95 percent support, MCA was almost obliterated.
PAS vs Amanah: They are in direct competition with each other and appealing to the same religious electorate.
But PAS vs DAP? They stand in totally different constituencies and unlike say Umno/Bersatu, their sets of supporters do not overlap at all.
If this is so, then why are PAS and DAP such bitter enemies? Something for you to think on.