I was driving to the office a day before yesterday when I heard Marina Mahathir on the radio calling the people to be brave and stand up against the ‘bullying politicians’. She then said something about not allowing the minority to dictate the majority on how to live. I cannot recall her exact words but I think I did get what she means.
If I was right, then I don’t know how Marina defines ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ because as far as everybody knows, Marina has always been on the side of the minority – the non-Malays, the Oppositions, the LGBTs, or the Christians.
Marina must be delusional if she really referred to her small group of friends who branded themselves as ‘moderates’ as the ‘majority’. However, she could be right for saying that her minority groups are trying to dictate the majority on how to live our lives.
Malaysia has always been known as a ‘Moderate Muslim country’ and being a ‘Moderate Muslim Country’ would of course mean being moderate as according to Islamic values, and not against it.
When the government decided to rebrand Malaysia with the same brand of moderation, people become confused, while some quarters take advantage of the confusion to promote their own brand of ‘moderate’.
The Arab-wannabe Malaysians defined ‘moderate’ as covering the hair (for women) and live strictly as according to their version of Islamic values – no partying but only go religious talks and preaches and read only religious books. The women live to dedicate themselves to the husbands and the men live to dedicate themselves to judge women.
For the Mat-Salleh wannabe Malaysians (the Marina’s group), being moderate means disregarding all the Islamic values – meaning, you may consume alcohol, you may practice free sex, unnatural sex and wear anything you like and convert if you wish. Anything Islamic is taken as ‘extreme’ and anything against Islam is approved as ‘moderate’.
The two groups now claimed to be promoting the right concept of ‘moderate’ and try to force their ‘moderate’ values on others. The competition between them has turned the society upside down.
The Mat-Salleh wannabe moderates have more advantage in this competition since they represent the higher-income groups of Malaysians. They are mostly lawyers who like to gather around high-end places like Bangsar where they drink and chat without a care in the world about what the majority of Malaysians in the kampongs have to go through.
They even ‘own’ a newspaper - The Star, which has been their official voice lately. They can afford to set up NGOs – several NGOs, in their effort to show the numbers. Marina Mahathir’s statement in the radio could be a proof of their delusions of having the numbers and represents the majority.
The Arab-wannabe moderates are represented by the ordinary Malaysians who don’t have the luxury of time and money to set up NGOs or spend time clubbing in Bangsar. Despite being on the disadvantage in the competition, they indeed represent the majority in terms of their definition on moderation.
Although they are the majority, they are divided into two in the last election – UMNO (BN) and PAS (PR).
What the Mat-Salleh wannabe moderates failed to understand is that these Arab-wannabes who voted for PR did not vote for PR because they agree with the other version of ‘moderate’.
In fact, they voted for PR because they believe that PAS will be able to change Malaysia to suit their definition of ‘moderate’. Bear in mind that most of them have high regards over the extremists in the Middle East, including ISIS and that the only reason they are in PR is because they believe that UMNO is too liberal, secular and un-Islamic, thus defy their version of ‘moderate’ and must be rejected.
Whereas the Mat Salleh wannabes like Marina and friends tend to lend their supports for PR for totally opposite reasons.
In actual fact, what we have here is two extremist groups of contradicting values who thought that they can work together just because they are fighting the same enemy – BN. What they failed to see or refused to admit is that the real moderates who has shaped Malaysia into becoming a respectable moderate Muslim country from the very beginning is BN itself.
So, let’s face it: BN is a moderate party and Malaysia is already a moderate country and trying to make it more moderate in any way, would be extreme.