March 11, 2008

The Two Trends

Posted in Malaysia at 9:53 pm by egalitaria

There are two trends that I am wary of seeing take place post-Elections. Sure, we have all celebrated the cause of Democracy reigning in, this time. But now the real work begins, people settle back into their offices and rooms to be accustomed back to normal living.

Trend no. 1 is that DAP, traditionally feared by the Malays but this time supported because of its relationship with PKR, might be considered by the Malays as not standing up for their rights. This will be an unfortunate trend because the DAP needs the Malays as much as it can. It will be a horrible first start for DAP if the Malays are not convinced enough that DAP is looking out for their interests. It should be perceived to live up to its theoretical rhetoric of a Malaysia for all Malaysians.

Trend no. 2 is that the media is putting a horrible spin on PAS wanting to implement hudud law, which was quoted out of context. This is sending shivers down the spine of Christians and non-Muslims. However, we cannot be fooled into some of the misquotes and misinformation given to us any longer. We should be as vigilant as possible, put on thinking and questioning caps customary of journalists, and ensure that we get as much information as possible to form a complete picture. The bad thing resulting from this would be that the Chinese and Indians are alienated from PAS. The reality is that PAS itself is divided on its interpretation of Islamic state (which by the way they dropped from their manifesto because they know they have to be more relevant to the non-Muslim community), and have said outrightly that they would defend the rights of minorities. 

My hypothesis is that PAS has not actually had the opportunity of proving itself to any of us Malaysians. Aside from in Kelantan, the rest of us Peninsular folk have always held a distant suspicion of PAS, one that is at times not validated. What has happened is that PAS was a formidable enemy to UMNO in the past, for the Malays. UMNO being the Malay saviour party had to become more of an Islamic party as well, to win back the Malay sentiment. As a result UMNO has had to go under tremendous pressure to go along more of an Islamic trend, putting into place Islamic principles.

So this may sound strange coming from a Christian, but maybe it’s high time we looked at giving PAS a chance to prove itself? Sure, they come up with silly little things (wanting all women in Malaysia to wear a hijab – that was some time ago) but at least, guys, they’re HONEST and clean… I think I’ll be writing something proper on PAS and Christianity soon. I think this is a theme that all of us Christians need to explore in depth.

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