70X, Jalan Keramat Hujung, 54000 Kuala Lumpur
Email : salam@ppim.org.my
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Tel : +603-4257 7222 / +603-4256 6618
13 Apr 2024

Whether or not the offences (against Muslims) are intentionally, or unintentionally, the fact remains that the acts done were, and still are, offensive to Muslims.

ISLAM has been a target of attack from various sides, locally (Malaysia), as well as Internationally. What is happening? Why is this happening? How much more must Muslims tolerate? In the holy month of Ramadhan 1445H (2024), Malaysia faced multiple controversies on this subject matter. Whether or not the offences (against Muslims) are intentionally, or unintentionally, the fact remains that the acts done were, and still are, offensive to Muslims. It does not help ease the tension when the World is witnessing the biggest genocide in human history by Israel when they continuously, and still are, attacking Muslims in their quest to conquer Palestine. To add oil to the fire, the Indian government led by Prime Minister Modi had, and is still demonstrating, cold and aggressive treatments to the Muslims in India. This is madness. Let’s just concentrate on Malaysia and see where we are at.

KK Mart had, on 3 April 2024, sought forgiveness from the Malaysian King, Yang Di-Pertuan Agong for the debacle of Allah appearing on socks sold at KK Mart that occurred earlier in March 2024. The Agong may be representing fellow Muslims in Malaysia, but soothing him alone ain’t going to sooth the hearts of the 20 million Muslims in Malaysia (excluding Muslim foreigners who work in Malaysia). Why is it that the hearts of the 70% of the citizens of this country (Malaysia), i.e. the majority, did not matter (to KK Mart) initially? Why go ahead with the offence, then apologies later? Was this done intentionally just to create racial tension in the country? To begin with, any Tom, Dick and Harry knows what is offensive and what is not, particularly when it involves Religion, Race and Royalties (the ‘3R’), the sensitivity guidance as advocated by the Government via the Communication Ministry. KK Mart may have claimed that it was an honest mistake due to its oversight in the inventory management, but it cannot escape punishment, be it penalties by the authorities, or public punishment such as boycotting by Muslims in Malaysia. Action and consequences. That is the deal with anything in life. Even when a Muslim offends religions other than Islam, that particular Muslim must be punished. If there are (offences/offenders against religions other than Islam), please (non-Muslims) go and make police reports, by all means.

Alagappas had, on 26 March 2024, joined the band wagon with KK Mart when their Halal certification was revoked by the Government authorities. Everywhere else in the World, nations are respecting the religious dietary requirements such as Kosher, Halal and Vegetarian for Jews, Muslims and Buddhist/Hindu respectively. It is a well accepted practice. It is a norm. All red meat in Australia that are sold in the super markets go through Halal procedures and declared Halal by the Australian Islamic bodies. Why is it in Malaysia, this respect is taken lightly? The process of assessment and approving Halal certification is thorough and it involves detailed due diligence conduct and requires considerable amount of time to be completed. It is rather shocking that Allagappas managed to regain its Halal certification within a matter of a week or two. Seriously? or rather, ‘Not Seriously’. The Halal certification authorities must take things seriously and not play the fool with both, manufacturers as well as the consumers. People are buying these stuff and consuming them. What more where Muslims, 70% of the consumerism in Malaysia, are buying spices from Alagappas for Ramadan breaking of fast cooking? Something is wrong with the Halal certification process. You cannot just revoke and not do proper due diligence before cancelling the revocation. Meanwhile, many Muslim businesses go through very lengthy process to get their own Halal certification.

If the Chinese has their brotherhood via Chinese Chamber of Commerce to ensure that Chinese businesses continue to make money by supporting each other in their community, why do Muslims neglect their 70% consumerism power? The Muslims must possess a special kind of ‘Stupidity’ to not use this strength that God has given them.

KK Mart competes with Speedmart99 and Alagappas competes with Baba’s; all of which, are owned and administered by non-Muslims. Why is it that a country with majority Muslims cannot have a collective effort to buy from Muslim manufacturers or retailers? Wouldn’t that be better in ensuring Halal comfort? The thing is, even if Muslims do not express their dissatisfaction vocally to boycott KK Mart and Alagappas, the Muslims themselves are already a huge consumer power to be reckoned with. If the Chinese has their brotherhood via Chinese Chamber of Commerce to ensure that Chinese businesses continue to make money by supporting each other in their community, why do Muslims neglect their 70% consumerism power? The Muslims must possess a special kind of ‘Stupidity’ to not use this strength that God has given them. Come to think of it, this is quite pathetic. It takes an UMNO Youth Leader to shout like a madman to enforce such God-given strength. If the Muslims, say, the Malay businesses, make a point to maximise material procurement from Muslim suppliers and distribute via Muslim retailers, that 70% consumerism power will manifest itself into a natural statement to non-Muslims that they, must respect Islam. Nothing is impossible. Why do you think there was a bank called Southern Bank in the past prior to the Banking industry consolidation at the turn of the millennium? It is because businessmen from the Southern region of China called Fu Chian, who had established businesses in Malaya (the old name for Malaysia), came together into a brotherhood and created their own capital availability so that they can prosper in the country. 

We raise the question again, “How much more must Muslims tolerate?” When Muslims are faced with disrespectful acts, they have the right to voice their concerns. That is not just religious, but also civil liberty. However, when the Muslims raise their concerns, the non-Muslims take advantage to attack the Muslims accusing them of inciting racial disharmony. This is madness. Let me articulate this again. A non-Muslim manufacturer offends Islam or fails Halal requirement. Then Muslims voiced their concerns including the calling for boycott. Then suddenly a non-Muslim steps up and starts accusing the Muslim of racial disharmony? We shall repeat again, “If there are offences/offenders against religions other than Islam, can the non-Muslims please go and make police reports, by all means”. This paragraph is inspired by a disturbing video that has gone viral in the social media where a non-Muslim lawyer of Indian ethnicity had attacked the UMNO Youth. He then claims that religions other than Islam were attacked numerous times in the past. So, if indeed the so called religion was attacked, then go and make a police report. The Muslims feel that Islam was not respected, hence they reacted, which is perfectly normal. Is this man trying to deprive the Muslims from expressing their concerns if their religion has been offended?

Video: Non-Muslim attacks Muslim for Voicing Out Concerns on KK Mart

What has gone missing in the current Malaysian social architecture is the social contract that our forefathers had entered into. History has shown sufficient empirical evidence that the non-Muslims who arrived Malaya during the British colonial era, acknowledges and demonstrated the due respect to the people of this land (Malaya) who are the Muslim Malays. Why do we have the word Muslim attached to the word Malay? Unlike Indonesia where Malays can be substantively Hindu or Buddhist or even Christians; in Malaysia, it is safe to assume that 99% of Malays are Muslim. Therefore, when a generalisation is made to paint a picture of Muslims and Malays as synonymous, that generalisation is widely accepted with minimal margin of error. What is more compelling is that, when that generalisation is made by non-Muslims or non-Malays. Attached is a video on a Chinese Muslim, Firdaus Wong, who has written a book entitled ‘Apa Lagi China Mau?’ (What Else Do the Chinese Want?). In this video, Firdaus explains what cultural elements have been practiced by the Chinese when they came over to Malaya hundreds of years ago. Such practices include a special ritual of prayers to an object that represents the Malays. What is more interesting is that, they respond to this so called deity spirit who had possessed a human body, in an Islamic way of, “Assalamualaikaum” and “Waalaikumussalam”. Amazing isn’t it? Who would have thought that instead of a Buddha, or Kwan Yin, or ancestral photos; a Malay Dato’ Kong statue is used for prayers with much respect where alcohol and pig products are prohibited from being offered to this deity.

Video: Firdaus Wong explains how the Chinese respected the Malays

Where has this sense of respect disappeared to? We are certainly not asking non-Muslims to pray to a Dato’ Kong statue. We are merely asking non-Muslims to respect and not play the fool with our Islamic ways and requirements. It is appropriate to mention again, and again, “If there are offences/offenders against religions other than Islam, can the non-Muslims please go and make police reports, by all means”. Please do not mock the Muslims for voicing out their dissatisfaction over conduct by others who had offended Islam. Not only that the Muslims in Malaysia have to manage their relations with the non-Muslims, they now have to manage their relations with the so called ‘Liberal Muslims’. What a pain in the neck! What is this Liberal Muslim? Presumably Malays who have been highly educated, perhaps overseas, and had come back to Malaysia with the idealist notion that they are against Malaysia that is biased towards Islam and/or Malays. They believe that there must be level playing field regardless of race and/or religion. What a sad bunch of Muslims. What a sad bunch of Malays. Little do they realise that what they think as being a level Playing Field will actually create a Non-Level Playing Field to the Muslims and the Malays. Have they not studied enough why the New Economic Policies were implemented in our country since 1969? Have they no clue what is the economic demographic of Malaysia now, as well as the projected future? Do they not realise that the majority of Muslims and Malays in Malaysias do not share the same ideas as them, and in fact, quite the opposite? Perhaps they are mistaken that the silent majority in this country cannot make a difference in any future general elections. Little do they realise that even the strong Indian Congress Party in India and the Shah of Iran, had collapsed due to the majority. Some examples of how Liberal Malays or Liberal Muslims can sound like are in these videos attached.

Video: Siti Kassim counter attacks UMNO Youth over Islamic dignity

Video: Sarawak Dayak questioning Islam as the official religion

What is best for all groups of people in Malaysia is to acknowledge our differences, respect those differences, demonstrate that acknowledgement and respect; and only then, will we be able to be indifferent for the sake of a civil society that is multicultural in its building blocks. This is the harmony that we must achieve. The Government must implement an Affirmative Policies and Action to uphold this harmony. It is a shame that after 67 years of Independence, we are still grappling and struggling to achieve this harmony we are dreaming of. We think we are harmonised, but we are not. We are merely blinded by the fata morgana of political rhetoric by irresponsible politicians from both divide, the Muslims as well as non-Muslims. It must be frustrating to all that when they vote at the General Elections, the outcome is ‘shit’. ‘Shit’ because the Muslim politicians fail to protect Islam. ‘Shit’ because the non-Muslim politicians take advantage over Islamic matters to ride on the pretext of Level Playing Field, Liberalism, Secularism, Democracy, and other intellectual words that carries no intellectual meaning in this new World Order. It is up to us, the citizens, to strive to achieve this long awaited harmony that we are missing. Attached are videos that epitomises the harmony that we need in this country vis-a-vis Muslims vs non-Muslims or even Malays vs non-Malays:

Video: Part 1 – Muslim lawyer defends non-Muslim

Video: Part 2 РMuslim lawyer defends non-Muslim 

How far are we in achieving any harmony at all? Well, if the attacks and disrespectful actions towards Islam are still continuing even after the tension had arisen high, then we should be worried. It is as if it is purposely done to make things worst. It is as if tonnes of oil is poured onto the fire. The non-Muslims know where the weak spots are. They know that is it so easy to poke the Muslims. A simple word such as ‘Babi’ or even the polite version of ‘Khinzir’ can be as sharp as a razor when used in a context that burns the feelings of the Muslims. In this age of Social Media, everyone wants to be a warrior, a keyboard warrior. They feel that the freedom of speech has been elevated to the Freedom to Offend others. Every now and then, we see this happening. Just a few days ago, on Social Media, a non-Muslim used that Khinzir word in an offensive manner particularly during this holy month of Ramadhan. The World has gone mad particularly for the Muslims and the Malays in this country, Malaysia. What has the Ministry of Unity done? More should be done to harmonise the multicultural, multiracial and multireligious society that we have. One thing is for sure, it is quite sad that the God-given 70% majority strength that the Muslim Malays possess has not been capitalised optimally, not being used properly and is wasted. If at all, that strength has been misused for agendas other than for the Muslims nor for the Malays. What is this phenomenon that has plagued the Muslim Malays? Is it a ‘Weakness’? Is it an ‘Ignorance’? Is it a ‘Stupidity’? What the non-Muslims and the non-Malays should be worried about is that, if the Malays are undergoing ‘Patience’. Why? Because when the Patience meter has reached the red zone, you’d better be ready for the definition of a Malay word that is in the English Dictionary. It is ‘Amok’.

….. because when the Patience meter has reached the red zone, you ‘d better be ready for the definition of a Malay word that is in the English Dictionary. It is ‘Amok’.

Article by: Politikus Bawang