Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be Grateful in the year of Tiger

(Mingguan Malaysia, 14 February)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia cum Secretary General of Islamic Chamber of Commerce Malaysia.

Happy Chinese New Year.

When I propose
the formula of equal and fairness according to the population statistics of 60 : 40 (Muslims : non Muslims) pertaining to the rights in the construction of houses of worship, political and economic distributions in resolving the ethnic problems in Mingguan Malaysia dated 27/12/2009, I was denounced, scolded and criticized. To me, that is the formula of equality, putting things in perspective. Lately, the Center for Policy Initiative (CPI) led by Lim Teck Ghee wanted to adopt the formula in the public services due to the dominance of Muslims in this sector, so that zero sum game does not happen. Nobody was angry or criticized him; instead all can be said as agreeable.

Previously, this formula was opposed; now flauntingly want it to be received. These characteristics should be excluded in facing a challenging world. When feel inadequate, need to increase. When already exceeded, became silent, instead if possible wanting for more. Too engross to win big or
ultra kiasu. Who are actually practicing the zero sum game? I am confident that CPI already knew the answers.

Prior to this, the BN component parties which I do not need to mention, was busy urging the government that the public services must reflect the race population which is 25 percent of Chinese, 15 percent of other races. The question is why the formula is not applied in the field of economy or in the private sector dominated by the non-Muslims? Isn't this called fairness?

Studies had been made, providing the answer that the non-Malays were not interested in working in the public services because of the low salaries. Even those interested, they would only choose the sectors that provide higher returns such as the high-ranking positions. In the police services, for example, from the 250 non-Malay youths studied, 80 percent wanted higher rank positions rather than the low-rank positions. This study has clearly indicated the psychic of the races existed in the country on their inclination. Try to understand this fact with an open mind.

Apparently, the trend of deliberately highlighting the negatives or still not enough with the intention of hiding the positives, are continuously happening. This group will intentionally turn a blind eye on history of the public services in this country, which cannot escape from
Article 153 of the federal constitution. This section clearly defined that it is the responsibility of the Yang DiPertuan Agong to determine the reserves for the Malays and the Bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak by allocating a proportion of positions in the federal public service that he thinks necessary. According to Mohd Suffian Hashim (1987), this rationale was in the early independence, the number of the non-Malays in the civil service were too many, rather than the Malays in its land itself. At that time, the non-Malays were more exposed to education in the city compared to the Malays which were from the villages.

According to the study by Comber (2007), the participation of the non-Malays (Chinese) currently were not many in the public services, because they were fascinated to the corporate sector or the business itself. They were considered as a better career compared to the public sectors which the salaries were just enough to survive. Moreover, these people were ambitious, proud of their cultures, and did not want to be governed and prefer to rule independently. These psychics need to be understood by all. Studies had shown that the perception existed that it is difficult to get positions in the public services sector because these had been taken by the Muslims or the Malays. Even if succeeded to obtain such position, then it would be difficult to get promotion. This argument was further supported that the non-Malays were not quite comfortable working in a Malay environment, because of their upbringings or the political socialization of racial overtones, such as place of stay, education, media and others (Yew Yeok Kim, 1982). Furthermore, the criterion of having a credit in Bahasa Melayu was also another hindrance.

In fact, the government has given and provided opportunities to the non-Malays in the civil services. We have seen so many non-Malays faces holding high positions in the public services including the chief secretary of the ministry, senior positions and so forth, compared to before. Isn't this a change and openness? In the banking sectors for instance, many banks are owned by the Muslims, reflecting the number of non-Malays as many compared to the Malays in the non-Malays bank. This is one of the features of openness in Islam. I request Teck Ghee to make a study on the percentage of the Malays being accepted to work in the non-Malay companies and how many of the non-Malays were being used to promote sales? Therefore, aren't Malays appropriate to be in the public services? Only then there will be a win-win situation.

Issues raised by the CPI reminded me on the RM15 million approved by the cabinet to help the single mothers who are Muslims. This issue was continuously manipulated by the author and the ultra kiasu Medias. They urged the government that non-Muslims single mothers should be included. I do not deny that the government should help those in need, regardless of religious background, race and ideology. The principles of Islam are very clear in addressing this issue.

As the Yang DiPertua for the Parents-Teachers Association in the school with the non-Muslims as the majority, I have approved plenty of school fees assistance to non-Muslim students compared to the Muslims, because they need more assistance after investigating their backgrounds. Do not accuse me of being racist, for the sake of responding to the call of
1Malaysia, without taking any advantages. It is not wrong to assist the kafir zimmi, as long they are not against Islam. What is so worrisome is that a small group that is considered kafir harbi, had openly humiliated and opposed Islam. This group is not fit to be in this fortunate land.

I am not as
cunning as the ultra kiasu to manipulate the idea of 1Malaysia to fulfill their ambitions. I also want to see that fairness is being practiced in the ultra kiasu state which announced wanting to rule according to Umar Abdul Aziz. Why CPI didn’t made a study or provide the same views on the ultra kiasu state in term of economy distribution? Didn't the Caliph Umar Abdul Aziz would want to see fairness is done? Including Muslims stalls which were demolished? Why the policies of Umar Abdul Aziz did not appear? I remind the Muslims to be cautious with the policy of Middle Malaysia, including their think-tank which tries to act independently without taking any sides. Actually, there are hidden intentions to fulfill the agendas of the ultra kiasu explicitly and implicitly.

I suggest that studies be conducted, based on the 60-40 formula in all fields with respect to the constitution, not by emotions and wanting to be a champion for 1 = 1. All parties understood that the income per capita for the Muslims are still lagging behind compared to the non-Muslims. This means, in terms of logic, because relatively of the large Muslim population, certainly more among them have to be assisted compared with the non-Muslims.

Similarly with the economic issues, the non-Malays controls have exceeded 70 percent, meaning that single mothers who are non-Malays would have more opportunities than the single Muslim mothers. Furthermore, the lifestyle of the single mother Muslims are different from those non-Muslims. Single mothers from the non-Muslims can work in all sectors irrespective of
halal or haram. But single Muslim mothers are limited. They cannot work in places such as shops involving gambling, alcohol, usury, night club or obtaining their income forbidden in Islam, although I do not deny that there are some who work in such places. This means that Islam has limited opportunities in the field of employment compared with the non-Muslims.

At the same time, the Muslims should not be choosy in their occupation. I seldom see the Malay Muslims in the laborer sector, compared with the Indonesian laborer. It is very sad to see the teenagers and the youth loitering around and wasting their time without any work. However, I am proud to read the news of a few Muslims who were willing to be scavengers with the garbage piles to the extent of losing their life. Despite this sad news, but the spirit to survive should receive credits. These type of group must be viewed seriously by all of us and be assisted through the New Economic Policy and should be supported by
zakat. In fact the problems of single mothers and poverty should not arise, if the zakat institutions are transparently fully driven.

Today we are facing problem because there are few rich Muslims who want to continue to be rich without any regards to others. The characteristic wanting to be rich is good and noble. But that wealth belongs to Allah, it should be shared with others or to save the single mothers. Do not be too busy marrying just a handful of artists who want luxury living. This must be stopped. Many mothers are single mothers who need protection and to be rescued by assisting and marrying them. I am very proud to see the leaders of the country and their wives were willing to come down into the field to help those in need, including people with disabilities.

I think, the time has arrived for Malaysians who are capable to come forward and become the people champion in this issue. Do not just conserve your wealth. When you die later, the wealth can never be brought into the grave. If the wealth is used to help the children of the nation, the wealth will continue to grow and expand. Otherwise, we will continue to hear stories of wealthy Muslims involve in marriages and divorces. Some married today, divorced the next day or a month later. Marriage is so sacred and holy, not to be ridiculed. Do not only value when useful and only discarded when useless. We were often insinuated by the non-Muslims for allowing polygamy. Whereas polygamy is something noble, if treated with care, compared with those cannot polygamy but having women or mistresses. I hope the ultra kiasu will not be angry with this argument because they consented to adultery previously. In building a better 1Malaysia, this basis need to be understood.

Regardless, the culture of requesting and demanding what the Muslims have, must be given to the non-Muslims, requires rational and logical thoughts. If we accept this formula, then eventually we will see in each housing estate, 1 mosque, 1 church, 1 Indian temple, 1 Chinese temple, and 1 each for those who do not worship anything, although they actually do not need. Requirements must be viewed in terms of race history, basic religion concepts and resident population, with respect to the constitution. Then this is called fairness, putting things in perspective.

In my opinion, this is the essence of the idea of 1Malaysia. Otherwise, later the Muslims will demand the economic cake to be based on the formula of 60:40. Will the non-Malays willing to sacrifice and share their more than 70 percent of the economic control? If not willing, do not resort to such cheap publicity. Just be grateful with whatever you have. Do not always accuse others of damaging the race relations in this country! Actually this ultra kiasu nature is the caused to all of these.

Finally, to all who celebrate Chinese New Year, I wish Gong Xi Fa Cai. Hopefully with the arrival of the Tiger year will reduce the nature of ultra kiasu tiger to less kiasu. The year of the tiger teaches us to be more careful in all aspects of life. Avoid feelings of resentment and envy, increase the attitude of gratefulness and accept the opinions of others. This attitude will prevent us from falling down easily, because once we fall, we may not be able to rise up again.


  1. You are over using the ultra-kiasu word, which is killing the readability of your article.

  2. Do you know why I Say NO to ULTRA KIASU?

  3. Dear sir,

    U keep harping that 70% of the wealth is controlled by Non Muslims. Who's the majority contributor to Malaysian Tax & who's biggest beneficiary?

  4. Malays are getting richer n richer by the day. Just see who control the big businesses, like banks, PLUS, PETRONAS, PROTONS, BUS COMPANIES, KFC, Mc donald, 7 ELEVEN, WATSON, taxi companies, petrol stations, GOVT. SERVICE, GUHTRIE, DUNLOP, TOWN COUNCILS, ETC. ETC. If really evaluate the situation, non-Malay share of the wealth has actually shrank to 30 %. Be realistic lah !

  5. As of 2007, on average Chinese households have 1.8 times more wealth than bumi households. The Indians have 1.2 times more wealth than the bumis.

    Over the past 40 years how many bumi Class F contractors have graduated to become Class E, D, B or A?

    What about the wealth disparity between a bumi doctor and a Chinese doctor, between a bumi architect and a Chinese architect? Even among professionals, there is a disparity between the bumis and Chinese.

    Despite there being more bumi lawyers, very very few bumi lawyers appear in court as litigation lawyers. Many of them are conveyancing lawyers who handle Sales & Purchase Agreements.

    The fact is the bumi equity and bumi economic status is still divorced from the market.

  6. Salam....
    Saya minta menggunakan ruang ini untuk mencadangkan satu idea berkenaan cina muslim...
    Saya kagum dengan orang cina muslim kerana mereka apabila memeluk islam dengan sepenuh hati dan keikhlasan...
    Tapi satu perkara yang menyedihkan ialah bilangan orang cina yang memeluk islam masih lagi kurang di Malaysia iaitu sekitar 60,000 dari penduduk cina berjumlah 7 juta di Malaysia iaitu kira2 0.01 peratus.
    Saya merupakan orang melayu dan sangat gembira bila mendegar orang cina memeluk islam. Jadi saya terfikir beberapa idea untuk menyebarluaskan agama islam kepada orang cina. Pertama saya mencadangkan supaya diwujudkan satu laman web yang bertajuk "ask anything about islam" yang berbahasa mandarin sepenuhnya... memandangkan ramai anak muda sekarang yang menggunakan internet sebagai media utama, cara ini amat sesuai... ramai diantara mereka yang tidak berpeluang untuk bertanya keran kebanyakan rakan2 mereka yang melayu ini tidak memahami islam sepenuhnya dan mereka tidak dapat menerangkan islam dengan cara yang berhemah... jadi dengan wujudnya kotak chat box dan online communication dalam bahasa mandarin ramai orang cina berpeluang untuk bertanyakan soalan berkenaan islam. mereka tidak perlu malu2 kerana tidak perlu berjumpa face to face.. mereka tentunya dengan senang hati membuka laman web tersebut dan bertanyakan soalan....saya sekarang masih mencuba belajar bahasa mandarin tetapi masih diperingkat permulaan tapi ia mungkin memakan masa yang lama untuk memahami tulisannya..
    Mungkin kalian boleh mencadangkan kepada rakan2 lain supaya mewujudkan laman web ini dan menyebarkan kepada rakan2 lain....

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