Easing racial, religious tensions next on agenda

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said his final mission before he hands over power to his deputy is to cool racial and religious tensions in the country. Resident.WangsaMaju- what racial tensions. The tension is probably between UMNO, MCA and MIC. My relationship with my neighbours of other races are still good.
A shrinking economy and deepening divisions between the Malays, Chinese and Indians were the biggest threats facing the country, he said in an interview with the Associated Press. Resident.WangsaMaju- maybe you are talking about your poor leadership, for allowing the keris-raising acts to prolong and not addressing the effects on the public watching those acts; keeping silent on demolishing of temples, not reprimanding the people who make racial-slander statements publicly.

Abdullah, who will hand over power to Datuk Seri Najib Razak in March, is now seeing a raft of reform bills being brought through Parliament. Resident.WangsaMaju- this is a last minute job of poor quality.

"I am thinking of how to handle the issue of race relations and the issue of religious tensions because of so many things that are happening," he said. Resident.WangsaMaju- by the time you finish thinking, it would be March. Let the rakyat do the thinking, let them voice their opinion, let them have a hand in formulating policies through their MPs. Religious tensions are mostly a direct result of your Government's action and policies- ie forbiding the use of the word 'Allah' by a Catholic paper eventhough this word is a global generic word for 'God', etc.

"Muslims think from their own perspective. Non-Muslims think from their own perspective."

Abdullah suggested he could establish an institution "where all communities" could take their grievances. Resident.WangsaMaju- please la. There are enough useless institutions in the country.

The answer could also lie in new legislation, ostensibly clarifying grey areas in laws on religious disputes, he said. 

Muslims in Malaysia are governed by syariah in family and personal matters. Chinese, Indian and other races come under civil courts. There is no clear-cut guidance on which court has greater authority when it comes to disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims, but civil courts have always allowed syariah courts to adjudicate. 

The ambiguity of the law has allowed religious authorities to occasionally claim the bodies of dead Indians or Chinese by asserting they had secretly converted to Islam. Resident.WangsaMaju- no need new legislation. Please allow the courts to interpret the law and landmark cases consistently. Eg. Wong Ah Kiu, Maniam Moorthy cases.

"Some people (outside Malaysia) laugh at it ... but it's not funny at all. These are very serious issues," Abdullah said. Resident.WangsaMaju- not 'some' people; actually 'many' people are laughing. Yes, they are seriously laughing at the PM and the Government.

Abdullah said he did not intend to abolish the Internal Security Act, which allowed indefinite detention without trial. Resident.WangsaMaju- this is a filler-statement.

It was used against communist insurgents decades ago and extremist suspects after the Sept 11 attacks in the United States. Resident.WangsaMaju- it is quite clear cut that bloggers and politicians imprisoned from ISA are nowhere near the Communist faith nor near any terrorism acts on the scale of the Sept 11 attacks. Yes, it was used decades ago. It's obsolete now.

"Preventive detention has a role in any society, in any democratic country," Abdullah said. Resident.WangsaMaju- Malaysia is not democratic. Malaysia practices a gestapo, Nazi-like system. ISA prevents democracy.

"But a country's leader has to be very careful how this legislation is being applied." Resident.WangsaMaju- this is a filler-statement.

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