Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Finally. Ms. Lina Joy will know tomorrow if she can fully live up to her acquired surname.

While the rest of Malaysia will discover if Malay Malaysians can actually- or rather theoretically - practise any faith they want, like other Malaysians.

What will the three-man Federal Court panel decide on her three questions? The wait will be over in less than 24 hours.

But let us cast our mind to the basis, and what I think is the malaise, of Malays in Malaysia.

It is Article 160 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia that provides definitions and therefore defines Malays as simply Malay-speaking Muslims who practise Malay customs. Yes, they are as rare as the Yeti in the jungle.

The judges will have to take this in cognisance in their verdict for the repercussions are wide.

A Malay who is not a Muslim is not a Malay, well at least in Malaysia. And, God forbid!, if Malays are no longer Muslims and therefore no longer Malay, what will happen to the agama, bangsa dan negara?


The choice is clear. Let us rewrite the Federal Constitution and make it clear that faith and race should be separate. And faith is a private matter beyond the jurisdiction of any government.

Otherwise, can anyone of us apply to change races just so that we can change our faith or not have a faith even? Or does that only happen in turf clubs?

Otherwise, it makes one lose faith in the system! And that would be no joy at all!

1 comment:

Azer Mantessa said...

pls correct me if i'm wrong. i think article 160 is adapted from the colonial era.

if there shud be any article in the constitution saying a malay is a muslim, i think this shud be rewrite. i stand the fact that a malay may be a muslim but a muslim is not necessary a malay.

this way, malays wun take islam for granted. if the malays consider themselves as muslims, by right, they shud practice it. no corruption, no cronism, no nepotism, no alcoholism, hardworking, honest, educated etc ... practise the good values and leave the bad values.

this way also, malay parents wun take islam for granted as they shud be aware that it is their responsibilities to show their kids the paths either islam, christianity, judaism, hinduism, buddhism, atheis, etc. malay parents shud not rely on the constitution to protect the religion.