Monday, August 31, 2009
PAKATAN IS BECOMING WOEFULLY A BAD TASTE
Hot lips blowing flying kisses over a head of cattle in Shah Alam in psychedelic rays of sunshine on Friday 28 August– a brew of a Hindu temple, caning for drinking beer and the sudden leap of one PKR member, Radzi Salleh of Lunas, over to the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Kedah on August 23.
Now three others are rumored “missing”, meaning the Pas-led Pakatan Rakyat government in Kedah may have to call a snap state election to save its skin – gossamer-thin and serving no more than as a prophylactic to hide the non-performance since coming to power after the stupefying 8 March 2008 general elections.
Holy Cow! There’s really no need for the Police to exact a severe penalty over the Shah Alam ruse, nor any reason for paranoia.
What’s behind it is the death knell of the Pakatan in Kedah following the fall of the bugged pact in Perak. The position of the partnership in Selangor is also shaky.
If three other PKR elected members in Kedah officially swing, we would be seeing a clearance sale of the PKR in the state – all four crossing from the sick-bay to the glory of Hallelujah in a near repeat of the Perak sell-off. Pakatan would have 18 against BN’s 18, with one independent worth the moon.
It’s Anwar that’s gone all wrong with his September 16 (2008) misadventure of a calculation that was a bluff, leaving him and his party with a bill they can hardly pay for the trip that was merely a bad dream.
Anwar was reported to have confessed PKR is flawed and it is the weakest in the pact.
But some people find it is motley, showing up a legend of those types that were dragged from the trenches of the beaten.
Riding into the skirts of power they strut like crippled horsemen, making rather of a comic platoon of the wasted wherever they made their presence.
Some observers have asked whether Anwar is at all serious about making a bid for power, him to reach the pinnacle in Putrajaya with a bunch of slushy boys and big-butt sluts for the paradise his think-tank has devised for a third space of much fun?
Losing grip of the great dream to gain power over Malaysia after the paunchy win of 8 March 2008, members of the Pakatan-Pas leaderships are now seen to try for a racial polarization that will deny the 1Malaysia Vision.
While in the DAP it is about lancing Islam in the ribs, like Jesus had been lanced on Golotha, to those with a weakness for the Pas the game drags them into a historical curling, like the snake is swallowing its tail.
To the Malays the big fight that changed the course of history had been between Islam and Tantric Hindu-Buddhism in the 14th century, depicted in Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai (the annals of Pasai) which marked the beginning of Islam in Malacca with the conversion of Parameswara when he married the princess of Pasai in 1409.
In that Hikayat was Perumal, the Pasai Raja and bhairawa (God-King) who insisted his daughters become his concubines and when his son protected the girls from their father, Perumal ordered his son to drink poison, which the son did.
It’s by the tantric to deify the kings and princes that the Malays came to know Hinduism and Buddhism in Sumatera.
It is this kind of a man-God that first became Raja of Pagaruyung, the Minangkabau heartland where Adityawarman enthroned himself king and drew attention to himself as a bhairawa who killed hundreds of his subjects, drank their blood and ate of their flesh about which he had inscribed on a stone statue which is resting in the Jakarta Museum, under the staircase.
This history of the fight against mangled Malay humanity is what is clearly stirring once again in the country, presided as it were by the Cassius-like Great Guru of the Pas whose umbilical attachment to Anwar’s PKR and the DAP cannot be taken flippantly as a passing fancy that will bear nobody any intended malice.
Though early Majapahit had driven back Kublai Khan’s 12,000-strong army in East Jawa, the Malays had never fought against the Chinese until they were forced to retaliate Chinese excesses in the 1942-46 conflicts from Batu Pahat in Johor to Grik in Perak. (see Chia Boon Kheng, Red Star Over Malaya).
It is not with the Taoist or Buddhist Chinese that the historical racial combustions lie in Nusantara, but with Tantric Hindu-Buddhism.
That is why it is critical for the Malays to be told the bhairawa-period of Perumal of Pasai and Adityawarman of Pagaruyung has long gone and that the Hindu-Muslim crises in India are differently patented.
Indeed there is no reason to be recalling the primitive conflicts between Islam and Hinduism in the Malay World.
When the chips are down there really is no reason to be flogging the Sacred Cow. ---a. ghani ismail, 1 Sept. 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Swarmed by a pious warrant of zealotry for more than a year because she drank beer at an hotel bar in the beachside of Cherating, Pahang, and after four court appearances, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, now Peoples’ Princess, was slammed by the Syariah High Court in the state with a fine of RM5000 and six strokes of the cane.
The mother of two who emotionally slumped when she was told on Monday 24 July 2009 the caning was postponed because it was Ramadhan, said she has been treated like a football since the arrest on 11 Dec 2007 and now she would prefer to be publicly whipped rather than caned, a report said.
As the country awakens to the agony of a woman and mother from the lower middle-class who had lost her full-time job in a hospital because of the “religious crime”, the Mufti of Perak, Harussani Zakaria, and Pas president, Hadi Awang, presented the country with a classic apology for the Islamic law.
Said they, drinking any alcoholic beverage is a hudud crime, meaning it is an offence mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. The punishment, they said, is between 40 to 80 light strokes of the cane, the victim fully dressed and not bared to show her flesh.
If you wish to debate that law you can begin by saying nowhere in the Qur’an is there a mention of the punishment. Since it will be said it comes from the Hadis (Prophetic Tradition), it should be asked, is it really sourced from the Hadis or from the reported sayings of the prophet’s companions, i.e. Atsar and not Hadis?
But the two missed the point altogether. The simple point is the fact Kartika was fined RM5000 and has paid the money. Had she been any poorer she would have to spend three years in jail. Are those deals also a part of the hudud?
She lost her fulltime job because of the zealotry. Is that not enough to satisfy the appetite for power to do violence of this unkind sort?
If the appeal to mercy and compassion is not enough to appease the temper of the holy of the holies in the country, then we need the pure souls to categorically inform us whether or not it was true Muawiyah, when he was Caliph in Damascus, was reliably reported to have been drunk on several occasions as he read the sermon and then led the Friday congregational prayer?
Was it true or false that the illustrious Umar Bin al-Khattab was drunk at prayer in the prophet’s mosque in Medina and because of that event God Almighty inspired the verse saying ‘ do not approach prayer when you are drunk so that you may know what you are saying...’ (Q. 4:43)?
That cannot be serious admonition of an abominable crime, surely.
Hence, we need to ask how serious is the crime in having a few beers to ease the stresses and tensions of working in a commercial and industrial landscape with a recession to boot and without a war to fight like the Muslims in Medina in the time of the prophet?
What more, the Pas Selangor Commissioner, Hassan Ali, wants to train squads of Beer-Fighters in all mosques in Selangor to perform a search-and-destroy mission of the beverage from hops and malt. He should begin by removing all Muslim workers from the breweries in PJ.
Since by Islamic law one drop of an alcoholic beverage is as haram (prohibited) as a jug of it, Hassan Ali should ask himself how about Air Tapai (fermented glutinous rice)?
The alcoholic content in beer is between 2.5 to 3 percent proof while in Air Tapai it is between 12 to 16 percent proof.
Go to Chechnya and you'll find some of the mujahids (Muslim fighters) drink Vodka to keep themselves warm in winter. You need to experience frostbite before you condemn that!
So, do you really believe we ought to apply the Prohibition in Malaysia in the 21st century simply because it is in the Holy Qur'an?
People of my ilk are saying it is a paltry matter Hassan Ali has grabbed for his mission and mileage. It has been said he has done nothing since assuming office after the 8 March general elections last year.
He could have worked on Cooperatives to help the members of the Pasar Tani (Rural Market) and the Pasar Malam (Night Markets) who are losing cients in the recession instead of choosing to raid 7-Eleven outlets and remove the beer.
Islam we know is a religion of mercy. But the nature and quality of a religion can and will change given a change of its environment and the means of production in the community it is upheld.
Therefore, when the environment of A and the means of production in that environment changes, A will no longer be equal to A. Its nature and quality would have changed.
The gist is, Islam will have to change substantially for it to remain a religion of mercy in our commercial and industrial society, not to mention the time that has lapsed between Muhammad in Medinah and Kartika in Malaysia.
Peoples' Princess, Kartika, should have been counseled and not punished by a RM5000 fine, removed from her job, taken into custody for a week and whipped in the privacy of a prison’s courtyard by body-builders, like these
What chance does she have? Where’s the compassion? Is it lost in the new metropolitan and industrial environs against what the Quixotic is, in fact, furiously battling?
The people is swiftly mobilizing. It'll be people against the traditional and religious elite. ---a. ghani ismail, 26 August 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Sunk into the opening day of Ramadhan, the scheduled caning of Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno for drinking beer has ruined whatever lasting enchantment Islam in Malaysia may have advanced since the Arab religion beached here sometime in the 14th century.
Kartika, 32, a mother of two, on a modeling tour in Pahang for a tourism stint drank three glasses of beer in the lounge of an hotel in Kuantan, Pahang, on Dec. 11, 2008.
She was suddenly pounced upon by a squad of Islamic moral-police and shot to fame for being the first woman in the country to be fined RM5000 and to be caned six strokes for the terrible misbehavior, the brewery quite clearly enhanced as among the worst enemies of Muslims in Malaysia.
She’s due to be detained in a prison for a week beginning Monday for the sentence to be meted in the elegant privacy of a prison hours before the country celebrates Independence Day on August 31st. The gutsy woman has been asking for the caning to be carried out in public.
Inside the sullen side of the first of Ramadhan while the otherwise cacophonous and virile opposition has fallen silent over the event, Marina Mahathir and Nuraina A. Samad took up the challenge and called people to read the Qur’an for the whole of the month in code, like this,
Even if meanings may be sometimes elusive, the intent of this suggested campaign is clear.
Islam, the way it is in Malaysia, is apparently coded in an exclusive system that is meaningless to the outsider and a referendum to let the Malays freely choose their faiths would probably leave the established domain to a minority of clowns.
In a society that’s plural and already long industrial, religious Puritanism should begin and remain at home.
But the matter is neither Puritanism nor any genuine concern for social morality. It is rather a system of feudal social control extended into the 21st century from the 17th by virtue of the fact the mullahs have no commercial, industrial or developmental talent to revise the method they had used from the time Nuruddin ar-Raniri became the Shaikh ul-Islam in Aceh under Iskandar Thani.
In early 20th century, while in Indonesia Tjokroaminoto founded Sarekat Islam and turned it from a batik cooperative into a revolutionary anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movement, the religious departments in this staunchly feudal compliance during colonial rule fought against the modernists or Kaum Muda responsible for the advancement of independence in the Malay world.
The result was an Islam that was crass, violent and as shallow as a bird-bathing pool.
In 1922, before the Comintern in discussing Pan-Islamism, the Indonesian Communist leader, Tan Malaka, stood up against the tide to say Pan-Islam in the Indonesian experience, was not the same as it was elsewhere.
More akin to the Caucasus where the Muslims had joined the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks to overthrow the Czar in 1917, Indonesian Muslims likewise should be treated exclusively, the numbers at that time showing 13,000 members of the Partai Komunis Indonesia against more than one million in Sarekat Islam.
At that same time in Malaya, the conservative ulama working for the religious departments that were directly under the respective rulers, were relentlessly exhibiting their powers of violence against any and all non-conformists. There would be no religious dissident allowed in Malaya.
This feudal power abuse, once threaded into the fabrics of state power, will obviously need more than a drill of Wingdings a month long or even yet another media blitz to retrain the power-appetite and traditional inclination.
It will need the youth and the people to directly aggress for reshaping the Constitution and the terms of references of the Islamic institutions. We have to go the way of Fazlur Rahman and Cak Noor - Islam ‘Yes!’, Islamic State ‘No!’.
Malays must have the right to choose their own faiths, to conduct their marriages at the civil registry and to set themselves free from the feudal catch-22 to escape the violations.
This sustained display of abuse is about Consciousness. The apparatus is a schematic form lost in the woods of historical materialism and never to enjoy a union of opposites like when the Raja (King) also becomes Rakyat (Subject) for the contrast to blend into a different substance in a synthesis and so the Malays and Malaysians can finally enjoy Liberty – in the 21st century that already is.
Yes, I would like Kartika to be caned in public too, as a part of the Merdeka Celebrations. We need to be sure she will not be brutalized and raped after the caning. Members of NGOs can help take her home to her family after the ordeal.
And this is her family
-----a. ghani ismail, 22 August, 2009