Sunday, September 6, 2009

Issues arise because of ignorance of religion

(Mingguan Malaysia, 6 September)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

Columnist website Center for Policy Initiatives (CPI), Helen Ang criticized the articles I wrote in Mingguan Malaysia.

Her article entitled Ridhuan Tee's Reverse Take on Racism, was also published on several opposition websites and provided opportunities to the readers of the websites to attack, denounced and smeared me again, without intellectual discourse on her article.

Actually, I do not want to attend to those who wrote without making a detailed study and research as I do. It appeared she did not understand what I wrote. It may be her level of mastery of the Malay language which is relatively low after a long stay in the country. A small part of my article citations were manipulated just like those done by the Chinese newspapers.

Quotations that I took from the words of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman about the need for the city of Shah Alam to be free from alcohol and nightclubs have been mistaken. Helen Ang wrote that it was my own writings. I really pity the way she tried to understand my article in the easy Malay language. Fortunately I did not use bombastic languages; otherwise I do not know how Helen Ang will comprehend.

She also accused me of 'being Malay' and not 'being Islam' to be accepted by the Malays, and thus make me more successful. How can I 'being Malay' while I am a Chinese. I converted to Islam, not 'being Malay'. As I said before, I converted to Islam because of the dignity and sanctity of Islam. I never expect any help after embracing Islam, because Islam taught me the principles of self-reliance. A person race can never be changed even he has embraced Islam because God has earlier created the person into that race. Instead in religion, we have a choice as what I have chosen.

In debating the fact that I have written, Helen Ang compared between the Thailand Chinese and Malaysia Chinese. Helen Ang regarded that the Thais accepted the Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva as Chinese. Similarly, with the previous Prime Ministers Chuan Leekpai and Thaksin Shinawatra. Helen was questioning why the Chinese cannot be the Perak Menteri Besar (DAP). The answer is simple, because the Chinese in Thailand are not the same as in China. They can be said to be more Siamese than Siam. The question whether is it happening in Malaysia?

In fact many things that were written showed that she could not understand the history of Malaya and the history of the formation of Malaysia. So unfortunately she could not understand how the spirit of the Federal Constitution enacted from the agreement of all races, through the pure alliances or better known as social contract. Similarly, the Constitution of every state has its own history. I hope that this ignorance does not happen to other people and not blind to history.

Helen Ang also needs to review the 7 Malay rulers’ wills as mentioned by the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah, which had formed the Federal Constitution of Malaya 1957. Helen Ang needs to understand the meaning of the explicit and implicit of the Federal Constitution. Do not just defend by reading the Chinese newspapers.

Why was she disputing the Perak Menteri Besar which was not elected from among the DAP? Can Helen Ang figure out why the Chief Minister of Penang must be handed over to the Chinese? UMNO have more seats than other political parties in 2004 elections and before that.

Why can't we appreciate the compromises and sacrifices shown by the Malays? Anything that is benefiting, there will be silenced, however if it is not then it will be full of noises to attract sympathies.

Helen Ang also disputed the fact that I wrote on the number of non-Muslim places of worship such as the Hindu temples, Chinese temples and Christian churches over the number of mosques and suraus. I am providing the statistics for her knowledge on the Malays fate on the Malays soil.

For instance, Selangor has a total population of 4.8 million. From these total population, 2.5 million representing the Malays with a capacity of 259 mosques and 939 suraus. Chinese Buddhism has a total of 1.3 million with 1,015 temples, the Indian has a total of 647,000 with 810 registered temples (this number does not include unregistered temples). Meanwhile, as for the number of Christian churches, let Helen Ang figure out the numbers to accommodate the 50,000 Christians.


According to these statistics, is clear to us, after totaling all the non-Muslim houses of worship, the mosque and surau are actually lacking. This ratio comparison is only on one state, imagine with other states. Is there a fair ratio between the populations with the number of houses of worship? Obviously there is a significant difference. Please refer to Wikipedia, although it is not an authentic academic source. However, I believe these statistics are of not much different.

Let us not talk without doing research. Helen Ang may be surprised if I provide statistics for the whole country. This is due to the compromise of the Malays. Respect this compromise. Don't be too kiasu.

In my opinion, all these happened because of the ignorance of religious beliefs. What issues can arise when we want to maintain relationships that are prohibited by all religions, practices such as adultery until giving birth out of wedlock? Tell me which religion allows this illicit relationship?

Imagine if the women involve in illicit affairs are mothers, wives, sisters until giving birth children out of wedlock. Can we accept all these as moral hazards that must be defended? If it happens on other people, never mind. When it happens on own self then the heights of heaven shall be known.

Therefore, I sympathized and respected the actions by MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and MCA disciplinary body which has taken appropriate action to drop its deputy due to moral misconduct.

I am very confident that the decision taken is not easy for him. The decisions are taken in order to save the dignity of the party even though will affect his popularity.

The action taken is considered accurate by MCA in terms of legal and moral teachings of religion. I fully support the Chinese people for these actions. These are the moral values that every leader should have and leading the rakyat. If leaders are not providing good examples, who else? Do we need to wait for the rakyat to provide good examples? Is it not leadership by example?

As I have always stated, neither religions nor the teachings of the world can justify the immoral behavior such as adultery or sex before marriage. Let alone on pregnancy out of wedlock children. These illicit acts are great sins.

No matter what the race and religion in our society, we need to be educated with high moral values. Religions should be the guide of our life. Only then the world will be peaceful. All religions appeal to the best. The best remains being the best while the bad always remains bad. We must not allow what is wrong to be our goal.

Buddha strictly forbid adultery as mentioned in the five prohibitions; do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not lie, do not steal and do not drink alcohol. Please refer Sutta Nipata 815, Dhammapada 309-10, Sutta Nipata 123. Similarly, these are prohibited in Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism.

What is the purpose of these religious advices? Overall they are to ensure that the people to have high morals, dignity and so forth. If Helen Ang is a Christian, please read the Bible, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 & 1 Corinthians 7:1-2. Does Christianity allow adultery? It is a definite no.

If Helen Ang observed the past customary of the traditional Chinese society, the punishments to those who commit adultery were very strict. Adulterers will be inserted into the container or swine basket and thrown into the rivers.

Similarly, I would like to suggest that Helen Ang spend time examining the teachings of other religions such as Hinduism and Sikhism about adultery. Read the Hindu scriptures, Bhagavad Gita 1.40-42, adultery is forbidden in Hinduism. Behavior considered adultery insulted the Hindu law (Laws of Manu, 9.95, 101). For more information read the New World Encyclopedia. In the teachings of Sikhism, one of the five great sins is adultery. Please read the Adi Granth, Dhanasari. Therefore, on what ground do we want to allow adultery?

See also the views of Confucianism teachings, Taoism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Shintoisme, Bahai and Judaism in the article entitled A Comparison of Morality from the religions from Around the World, Prohibition of adultery is very strict.

Actually the moral issues such as this have been debated by all religions, especially Islam. I do not need to mention the views of Islam, because it's already very clear to keep its followers in the glory of Islam. Therefore, if it happens to the Muslims, then it should be the one of those who commits such acts to be condemned, not the pure religion of Islam.

Furthermore, in justifying between the right and wrong, religion should be the guide and history as a reminder. Attempts to erase the religious and historical facts will only invite mischief on the earth. I believe the fact that I submitted were deliberately spin because of kiasu attitude.

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