Raja Petra in his today's posting “Bullshit Islam from Bullshit Muslims” writes:
“Umno and ABIM are enemies of the community. Umno and ABIM are enemies of Islam. Umno and ABIM serve the party and their own race. Umno and ABIM are not true Muslims. Umno and ABIM are bullshit Muslims. Umno and ABIM are practicing bullshit Islam”.
What made Raja Petra went beserk were two recent developments. First was the refusal by a number of UMNO assemblymen in Penang to accept Pakatan Rakyat state government’s invitation for them to sit on a number of state committees. The reason given by the assemblymen was: they wanted to remain loyal to their party (UMNO).
Second was ABIM Secretary-General Khairul Ariffin Mohd Munir’s press statement calling on the Public Service Department (PSD) to clarify its move to increase the ratio of scholarships for non-Bumiputeras. Following are excerpts from the press statement:
The Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (Abim) has called on the government to clarify the necessity for the Public Service Department (PSD) to increase the ratio of scholarships for non-Bumiputeras from 10 percent to 45 percent.
Abim secretary-general, Khairul Arifin Mohd Munir, said in view that the education quota issue was closely related to provisions in the federal constitution like Articles 153(2) and 153(3) it was therefore necessary that Malaysians be given an explanation for the move.
In response to the above press statement, Raja Petra writes:
The Islamic youth movement, ABIM, is upset that the government is not upholding racial discrimination. So the ABIM people too are not true Muslims. Yes, that’s right; don’t get too impressed and awed by any Arab look-alike, Bin Ladin wannabe. They may dress like Muslims from the Arabian desert. They may talk like Muslims. They may sujud (prostrate) on the ground with their backsides pointing to the sky five times a day. They may go to Mekah twice a year whereas others go only once in their entire life. Their wives and daughters may be ‘properly’ covered with a tudung or headscarf. They may even let loose from their lips a few Arabic words from time to time. But they are not true Muslims. They are munafik and fasik Muslims … Remember these two words: munafik and fasik … Yet the pretend they are true Muslims. Bullshit! This is bullshit Islam practiced by bullshit Muslims. What they uphold and practice is everything that Islam opposes.
Accusing others of being “munafik” and “fasik” is no joke. What is more, the one who is accusing claims himself to be a true Muslim. Well, a true Muslim does not easily accuse others of being “munafik” and “fasik”. This is an important, yet simple, rule of thumb.
Anyway, let us be objective about this. Reading ABIM Sec-Gen’s statement carefully, I conclude that what he intended was to get the PSD to clarify its move in increasing the ratio of scholarships for non-Bumiputeras. The reason is the reservation of scholarships for Bumiputeras, by virtue of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, is a constitutional matter.
Let us see what Article 153 says about this:
153. Reservation of quotas in respect of services, permits, etc., for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak.
(1) It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
(2) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, but subject to the provisions of Article 40 and of this Article, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions under this Constitution and federal law in such manner as may be necessary to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and, when any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law, then, subject to the provisions of that law and this Article, of such permits and licences.
It is clear from the above Clauses that it is “the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak” (the Bumiputeras). The responsibility includes reservation of quotas in respect of scholarships for them.
It is therefore not wrong for anybody to seek clarification from the PSD for its move. There are vital constitutional issues to be clarified. As it is the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under the constitution to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak through, among others, reservation of quotas in respect of scholarships, has the PSD consulted the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before making the decision to increase the ratio for non-Bumiputeras? If it did, has the Yang di-Pertuan Agong consented to the decision?
I have no doubt whatsoever that these are constitutionally valid questions.
Reservation of quotas in respect of scholarships for the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak has long constitutional history. The matter was thouroughly debated by our forefathers of different races before it was introduced into the letters of the Constitution. A unilateral act by the PSD to change the ratio seems to ignore its constitutional importance. Even if the situation now warrants the ratio to be changed, the onus is on the PSD to provide justifications that the new ratio is just and fair for all. And these justifications must be made public.
Having said this, I think a reasonable Bumiputera will have no qualm at accepting what is just and fair.