Monday, April 02, 2007

Malaysia's Religious Divide.

The problems that religious differences are causing in Malaysia has long been debated privately and is also now being increasingly discussed in the public realm. Despite the exhortation of the top leaders to stop talking on 'sensitive' issues there has been no let-up in the ongoing litany of complaints by the non-Muslims that their constitutionally guaranteed rights are being rapidly eroded while the executive is passively looking on, not displeased and may for all you know be furtively cheering on the majority Muslim side of the divide.

There is a clear chasm between the Muslim opinion on one side and the non-Muslim apprehension and fear on the other and ne'er the twain shall meet, if things are handled as they are currently by the government. While the people, especially the non-Muslims never really trusted official assurances on their religious rights, they had somewhat naively grown to believe that justice would ultimately be coming their way, if need be via the judiciary. That belief and optimism has over the past few years proved to be a false hope when judgment after judgment meted out by Muslim judges in civil courts clearly and unambiguously sided with the Muslim viewpoint. At this point in time the non-Muslim morale is at its lowest where matters of religion are concerned.

Even on the issue of building or maintaining non-Muslim places of worship there is so much of heartache and grumbling by them (the non-Muslims.) They unanimously feel that they have been shortchanged by the authorities. The problems confronting the non-Muslim spouse when one partner converts to Islam is another contentious issue. Even politicians belonging to non-Malay based Barisan Nasional component parties have privately given vent to their exasperation and anger. But what can they do? Some time ago the non-Muslim Cabinet Ministers wrote a joint appeal to the Prime Minister on the subject but that generated so much tension and heat, some genuine and some intentionally 'manufactured' by Umno. At the end of the sandiwara, the ministers had to beat a hasty retreat and withdraw the letter.

However recent verdicts given in Malaysian courts have internationalized the disagreement on religion and more and more reports and articles are being published by reputed journals, magazines and newspapers. Here is one such report from the International Herald Tribune: Building temples, churches becomes test of faith for Malaysia's religious minorities.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a result of all these religious debacle, at the end of the day it is Islam that is getting a bad name.

8:36 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All things said and done, this is the greatest contribution by the backbone of the BN: religious divide. You cannot blame the Opposition for this contribution. This is also one of the chief reason, national unity has a set back and we are not even near it, no matter how much politicians lie in your face about our national unity.

9:44 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Billy said...

I certainly would like to applaud the BN supporters for voting these jokers in the 2004 GE. We reap what we sowed. Bet you the same supporters will vote again these same clowns back into office in the coming GE. It's so sad and pathetic!

12:01 PM GMT+8  
Blogger team BSG said...

Islam in its current form in Malaysia is to all intents and purposes not a religion. It is a sham if u know what V mean.

No guesses for the correct answer...for there is none.

3:28 PM GMT+8  

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