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Monday, July 21, 2008

UMNO-PAS Talks - Driven by whose necessity?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is heartening for me as a Muslim to see my brothers in UMNO and PAS attempt to sit down and discuss as to find ways to make amends and a solution to their glaring divide especially when it concerns one party's core principles of ensuring Malay supremacy whilst the other strives to ensure that Islam prevails over all in this land.

Frankly speaking, it is like hoping to see a miracle take place in these 'talks' because as long as each party remains obstinate in wanting to see the other capitulate and surrender their principles over the current political stalemate that UMNO seems to be mired in and PAS on the other hand being forced to keep company with PKR and the DAP, this unholy union is destined to come to a situation where they might be seen to sit on the same sofa but each has different ideas brewing within their obviously different political aspirations?

For one thing, the UMNO chaps will never agree to giving up their race based struggles for that is their only trump card so far in ensuring continuous Malay support.

On the other hand, many Malays are sort of disillusioned with the way UMNO top leaders have failed to ensure that matters concerning the Islamic affairs be protected and guarded from interference from the ones clamoring to see the position of Islam be sidelined for the interests of the Non Muslim NGO's and political pressure groups who have become emboldened to start questioning the Malay rights and with it start to encroach and interfere in matters concerning the Islamic faith especially in cases that touch on apostasy and the social contract as seen in the recent Bar Council Forum that spoke exactly on a matter that all this while has remained a taboo in this land.

I for one have always dreamed of a day when UMNO, PAS, ABIM, JIM, Tabligh and all other Muslim based organizations would be able to close ranks and form a strong, solid jamaah of good Muslims willing to give and take in building a Daulah Islamiyah based on the commands of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and the Sunnah of Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam.

But then again, I know for sure that such a dream will remain just that for the manner by which most of the leaders of all these political and religious organizations have damn big bloated egos to contend with and as has been the case all over this country if not the world, Muslims have yet to truly be able and willing to set aside their differences and even when seen being together at events or functions where they are forced to be seen as civil and friendly to each other, underneath all that show of spontaneous camaraderie, lies seething suspicions and worries of being taken advantage of by the other?

UMNO was born out of nationalistic pursuits to ensure Malay supremacy and to them the matter of race is the utmost important.

PAS on the other hand although made up of similar Malays have one advantage over UMNO in that they base their struggles upon Islam which is universal and doesn't discriminate between one's skin colors openly.

Yet somehow, I can sense that judging from the overtures being done at the moment between the leaders of UMNO and PAS, the subject matter of fearing the Non Malays eventually overthrowing the political dominion of the Malays especially of UMNO is the core reason as to why UMNO leaders are willing to sit and discuss so called matters concerning the religious future of the people here in Malaysia.

Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the PAS Spiritual Leader and Kelantan Menteri Besar is wary of the real intentions of UMNO wanting to make amends with them because of the manner by which the ruling party is seen to be coming apart at the seams and in danger of an implosion from within the beleaguered party due to the grassroots unhappiness over Abdullah Badawi's recent oil price hikes and the general displeasure of the Malays over the rising inflation causing further hardships to all, especially the ones living in major cities who have to struggle daily to make their ends meet amid an overall rising of the costs of living here in Bolehland under the rule of the Imam Hadhari.

Datuk Nik Aziz's worries do have a basis for the last time PAS rejoined the Barisan Nasional, they ended up getting the short end of the ruling stick.

Malay politics aren't as upfront as we would like it to be. There's a lot of undercurrents that sweep away one's support overnight due to the incessant distrust and envy that is part and parcel of this country's political foundations.

The Malays are notorious for the way they distrust each other and the term 'PhD' comes to mind where it doesn't stand for the Doctorate of Philosophy but instead the dictum of 'Penyakit Hasad Dengki'.

They might seem to be willing to discuss and have dialogues with each other but deep down suspicion and envy of the other would remain to be the undoing of the leaders from both parties.

This suspicion and being wary of the other party is as natural as natural can be. Political power is not easily attained by those who are willing to give up whatever remaining leverage they might have over the others especially when the future of the nation's Malay community is at stake here, remains to be seen?

The Malays have actually lost so much of their national identities over the years and the only remaining vestiges of Malay power are in the institutions of the Malay Royalty who are only found in the Malaysian Peninsular and reduced to being Constitutional Monarchs by the former British Colonials.

The term 'Tanah Melayu' is long gone and disappeared into the annals of history. So many other Malay identities are today just confined to the museums and archives of this nation.

Even my favorite Radio Irama Melayu Asli has been disposed off by the Information Minister of before, the bow tied Kadir Shaikh Fadzir. Damn...I still think that he should not have done that.

It's a shame actually when many Malays themselves no longer appreciate and value their time honored traditions and many so called modern Malays seem embarrassed to retain and maintain their 'adats' and traditions.

I may be an Indian Muslim by birth but I grew up in a Malay kampong and many of my siblings and I myself are married to Malays, so I do feel the closeness to them.

In fact, I have yet to know that much about whatever Indian Muslim culture there is out there for being a born Malaysian who grew up in a totally Malay kampong and environment, I know more about the Malay cultures, tradition and norms than my forefather's heritage.

My love for old Malay customs and Malay arts and literature have earned me the nickname from my darling to be 'Mamak yang terlampau'. Hehehehe..terlampau 'Melayu' dari orang Melayu! :P

I have come to love all things Malaysian and am quite a fan of all that this land has to offer. Our unique blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian and other cultures that we can not find elsewhere.

All I wish to see is an amicable solution out of the current political climate that threatens to wreak havoc and rip our fragile unity asunder.

The immigrant population of Indians and Chinese have long come to be part and parcel of this land and whether the Malays like it or not are here to stay as sons and daughters of this earth, themselves.

It's a touchy subject no doubt but whether the Malays are willing to come to an amicable solution between the differing political parties especially when one party is championing one's race and the other is fighting to establish their mutual religion which is Islam.

The whole nation is at a crossroads of sorts today due to the current political dilemma that the Malays find themselves to be?

Race or religion seems to be the major question. If it was up to me, I would definitely choose Islam.

That doesn't however negate the need to maintain one's identity as a person and I can understand the Malays fear for their race in being sidelined out of their own heritage and land of birth.

It's a tricky situation, really. Like being asked to choose between their parents? I recall the Malay proverb, ' Ditelan mati emak ; diluah mati ayah'. Sheeeshh...

Those who choose race will face the predicament that when they die, the Malaikats aren't gonna be questioning them about their ancestry but rather as to their levels of Iman and Amals?

Those who choose religion on the other hand will stand accused of betraying their ancestors and sellout of their race?

Not an easy way out for sure.

Sure tricky situation for our Malay brothers. All I wish for is for some good to come out of this political quagmire for both UMNO and PAS.

May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala inspire our leaders to do what's right for the good of the entire nation.

Ameen.

Update.

While I was surfing Sloone's blog, I came across her referral to this blog @ Malaysian-Choice.Blogspot.com where the Blogger has published excerpts from a poster showing 44 major differences between PAS and UMNO which remains as the barriers between them ever coming to join together as a mega Malay Super Political Entity.

Although some of the points may be considered as trivial and petty, nevertheless those small differences do make up into gnawing dissatisfactions when the faultfinders in both of these mega Malay Muslim political giants start getting finicky and nitpickers.

Just like the proverbial chicken bone that's stuck in one's throat, you can neither swallow or spit it out!


Sure tricky situation, I must say! Hmmmmmm.....

Just to make it easier for you to see the points being raised, I am posting those images here for you, courtesy of http://malaysia-choice.blogspot.com. Thank you sir/madam whoever you are?






















































































































































These are the points being raised by the Malaysia-Choice.Blogspot.Com by way of these gnawing differences that remain the major and minor obstacles that are preventing the amalgamation of the Malays and Muslims political entities.

Is it gonna be a smooth pow wow between those who share common roots and faith or is it gonna be a prolonged bickering spat that we all have come to identify with PAS and UMNO?

Wallahu Alam Bissawab.
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