I do love Hadi Awang. The olive branch he extended on Sunday – that there will be no coercing to Islam only persuasion. With the rejoinder that Pas hopes sooner rather than later their Pakatan Rakyat partners and Malaysians in general see the light in a theocratic state. Brings tears to my eyes, such benevolence.
So it is only right for me to reciprocate. To Hadi and all members of Pas, I will equally try to be magnanimous and kind, and by means of persuasion – sooner rather than later – get you to see true light in the secular state.
Reminds me of my aunt who married her junkie boyfriend – my uncle – so that she could cure him of the wretched addiction. He obliged a few times before stepping back into the habit. She eventually became a junkie too. The children turned out ok.
So I suppose in a roundabout way, I think I have an even chance of converting them. Not my cousins, my Pas brethren – and Hadi.
Imagine that. Hadi ( Addy if you know him well) and me talking about the Malaysian women’s volleyball team, and how the development of spandex is not quite keeping up with the rigorous needs of the modern well-built player. While we sip our pina colada.
Secularism is not about hedonistic behaviour, although there are hedonists who are secularists. As are some very religious people.
Secularism is about getting laws, regulations and processes to be dictated by reason and through the collaboration of those in the body politic. And not allow for the religious argument.
The argument may be religious based, but its strength and worthiness will be weighed by its logical construct and support.
It is the lack of comparison in our schools that has generated a perverse and absolutist approach to political think. There is good and bad, and you are either good, or failing that – bad. Nothing can change that.
And through that epistemology – all things other than what they learnt are hazardous.
The simpler equation
Yesterday the laddies at Ipoh were sorting out their party’s future at their muktamah, last night the Selangor religious department tried to sort out the moral discrepancies of those sitting in a Shah Alam bar. They raided it and handed out summons to all Muslims within the premise.
The state religious council decided it was high time to stop other people from having fun, since council employees never have fun. I’ve always felt an office that did not have poker night, tends to be flatter.
I suspect with most of the Pas characters in Perak- for the party’s annual get together – it might have been the more Umno inclined characters that were up to their shenanigans in view of the Permatang Pauh election.
I strongly condemn these men from the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor for ruining my countrymen’s private time imbibing life. There are constitutional rights, nay, there are natural rights every person has, and for these quite oblivious characters to burst in and harm people’s freedoms – is not on.
This is no backward nation, and this is a country of laws. However for these past decades a group of mightier than thou characters have assumed the quiet of my people is acquiescence. That has to stop.
Pas in the mix
What would Pas say to this affront? Would they back incursions into the private space of individuals on the basis of religion, or would they as stated at the start of this piece use persuasion to get their message across.
If it is the latter, they must then condemn JAIS for their blatant disregard for human rights.
If they don’t, then they do not actually believe in free space for all. It is just political populism.
The nation is in a silly flux, and much of it is down to moral policing which should have been put to bed at the end of the Victorian Age. Question is would Pas agree to put it to sleep, or let themselves fall into a slumber of rhetoric.
And yes, I am still going to try persuade Addy to a bar soon.