K George reminds Johor Chief Minister Abdul Ghani Othman that we are all children of the one God after Ghani declared that the Malays are a superior race.
Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman declared, like a bolt from the blue, that the Malays are a superior race. To prove his contention, Ghani quoted the supreme law of the Federation – Malaysia’s Constitution, which states “the races as Malays and others” in the country. Alas, it took 49 years for a Menteri Besar to discover that the Malays are a superior race. But sadly, he missed the teaching of his own religion – Islam.
May I submit that I am not a Muslim; I was born to a Christian family. Nonetheless, out of curiosity, I have gone through some of the teachings of Islam. One of which is glaringly specific: “No race is superior to another”. Have you come across this most wonderful teaching of your religion, Mr. Menteri Besar? You, as a Muslim, and I, as a Christian, should have learnt that Almighty God, having formed the Universe, created humans, to whom he bestowed the greatest gift – common sense. Humans would spread to all over the world, where there would be different races, cultures, languages and customs.
I wish to reiterate that a person can only belong to the Malay race if he was born in Malaya, speaks the Malay language, follows Malay culture, and over and above it all must be fully committed to the Faith of Islam. Prophet Muhammad made it clear that one can only claim to be a follower of Islam, if one complies with all its teachings – which in effect means that any deviation would automatically deny one the right to be a Muslim. In simple English, neither the Malay nor any other race is superior to another.
Special position of Malays (bumiputeras)
The word ‘special position’ was inserted in the Federal Constitution with the concurrence of the MCA and the MIC at the request of the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman. The economic and social situation of the Malays before Merdeka in 1957 left much to be desired. Most of the Malays lived in villages, lacked education, depended on agriculture and were deprived of reasonable income. Hence, they really deserved special attention by the government. Originally, it was anticipated that within 15 years or so, the condition of the Malays would improve sufficiently. While certain Malays started talking about special privileges and special rights, the Constitution clearly stated that non-Malays will not be denied their rights.
Malaysia is a wealthy nation. But unfortunately, the poor, with the exception of a few, remain poor because the Barisan Nasional government’s economic policy, including the New Economic Policy, was a failure. Ex-Klang Town Councillor Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros was once a railway-gate keeper; now he is the owner of a four-storey palace located on land comprising eight lots that were originally meant to be allocated to the poor. The land, estimated to be worth RM1.3 million, was sold to the Datuk for a mere RM180, 000. Are we to believe it was a straightforward deal?
When the local media carry stories of millionaire Datuks divorcing existing wives and marrying new ones and spending millions, we can well imagine the reactions of the downtrodden folk. We, ordinary people, watch with frustration when our elected government creates millionaires, bails out cronies, privatises revenue-earning projects such as highways, telecoms and postal services, and ventures into white-elephant projects.
The economic policy of a capable and committed government must be aimed at emancipating the poor and providing the people with satisfactory health care, education, employment, water, electricity, and other infrastructure.
Fate of other purveyors of a superior race
The Second World War was launched by German dictator Adolf Hitler in September 1938. The primary purpose of the war was to establish the superiority of the Aryan race. He started killing Jews and then went on attacking England and a number of European nations. In the process, Hitler managed to kill a million people. He met his Waterloo when he attacked Russia despite having a peace treaty with Stalin. False pride prevented him from surrendering; instead Hitler committed suicide. That ended the chase for the superiority of the Aryan race!
During the war, Japan exploited the opportunity and took control of a number of Asian nations that were colonised by England and other European nations. Japan, an Asian nation, hardly faced any resistance from the illegal colonial occupiers. That convinced the Asians that the mighty whites were no super men nor did they belong to any superior race. In due course, almost all the Asian became independent.
The concept of ‘apartheid’, introduced in South Africa by the British, was crushed by the black people of South Africa, led by Nelson Mandela. It took several years of struggle and sacrifice by the African people before the mighty white occupiers arrived at the inevitable realisation that they (the whites) were no superior beings.
Buddha, born a prince, left the palace; Sri Krishna, born in a cow-shed, lived with the poor; Jesus washed the feet of his disciples; Prophet Muhammad preached Islam and reiterated that there was one and only God; Gandhi, son of a chief minister, led a simple and humble life and fought for the independence of India with the weapon of ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence). They preached to all the people to love each other and to help each other. There were many others who were great and preached faith in God.
In conclusion, I wish to emphasise that there is only One God and we are all born equal. While Islamic teaching is specific that there is no race superior to another, no other traditional religions imposes superiority on any of their followers.
As far as Abdul Ghani Othman is concerned, he is the Chief Minister of a few million people in a state; hence it is neither desirable nor becoming of him to treat his people with discrimination. In any case, he is a Muslim and is duty bound to submit to all the teachings of his religion.
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