An irrational and unsubstantiated view

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By KJ John

The Mufti of Pahang became infamous for the wrong reasons. Even the Prime Minister’s Office had to bail him out; and we had to hear the convoluted logic of the IGP about why he kept quiet about this idiocrat’s pronouncement against all Malaysians; not of the Muslim faith. His was an illegal call in a civil country.

No mufti is unaware that he is sworn to protect and preserve the Federal Constitution and our Rulers; under our Rukun Negara oath, usually taken as kids in school. Moreover, no mufti is given freedom to not use his head to develop and argue reasonably about any thesis he has to make. These are not blind and irrational truths.

Furthermore, our Federal Constitution claims itself to be supreme; so, our choice is to either comply with its thesis completely or violently object to it. Objections must however be legal and rational too under our rules and laws.

Neither have I yet heard of any such anti-thesis made by the Religious Council of Malaysia, if there ever is such an august body. Therefore, my question is why is the Conference of Rulers keeping quiet about such a major goof by one of their public servants of the religion of Islam?

I do not agree that only the Sultan of Pahang must object; I believe that the statement was made in public and addressed vide newspapers to the entire nation-state and readership of newspapers.

Therefore, to my mind and heart, it is incumbent upon the Council of Rulers to object; even as they did recently about the NSC Bill.

Irrationality as animal conduct

In Organisation Development, my field of studies and practice, we say that no one should use only emotion to speak, unless the session is designed for exposing and expressing such emotional feelings. Least of all one should never speak from only emotion at public sessions. Unless, it is based on one’s passion and convictions.

Therefore, I would conclude that the mufti was expressing a conviction rather than stating a mere opinion; and this conviction is what made ISIS famous and helped the terror group recruit many towards their inhuman cause. Maybe he is a recruit too. Therefore the PMO is also wrong on this.

Supreme judgment in Japan

Recently also, the Supreme Court of Japan, agreed with the Government that they have a right to exclusively monitor Muslims as a category of people within Japan. The second appeal by Japanese Muslim plaintiffs against this move was dismissed at the highest level of the Japanese Governance system. It is now supreme law in Japan.

Is it discriminatory, or a denial of human rights? Actually, this leads us to my favourite unit of analysis argument stated here before. In much of the east, defined as East of Istanbul, the group is always more important than the individual.

Therefore, if one is an elected Government and chooses to do certain things for the benefit of the nation-state’s interests of a public nature; it can be defined implicitly as national interest. The only real choice then for Muslim Japanese citizens is to migrate out, if they disagree.

Premised upon the above argument, the only real choice that the Mufti of Pahang has legally and legitimately is only to preach his theology in Pahang mosques but not speak in public to all Malaysia citizens; Muslim or otherwise.

Supremacy of the Federal Constitution

Five core values of conduct are defined clearly by our Rukun Negara. First is our faith in God. I am sorry but it does not say Allah, but more a generic notion of a Supreme Being; without any specific names. The Malay word, ‘tuhan’ is used. Second is our belief in King and Country. That is our king and not Queen Elizabeth, or some self-acclaimed Mullah, or even a Caliph screaming murder.

Next is primacy of our Federal Constitution which establishes and defines all else. Our Sovereignty is our Rule of Law; the all-encompassing respect and supremacy for the Federal Constitution; our Document of Destiny. Finally we respect and conduct ourselves with due respect for others and with good morality. Such is the ambition of our democratic system of governance in Malaysia.

If the Mufti of Pahang does not understand all this; then, he is no different from the Caliphate which declares war on the world and abuses all else with murder and suicides. Murder of others can never be justified as jihad! Jihad begins with self-control and it can never be used to judge others; either at the level of their faith, or even at their level of practice of their faith. Judgment only belongs to God.

If the Conference of Rulers does not reprimand and stop the illegal view of this irrational mufti, my honest fear is that we are ready to slip down the slippery steep slope.

KJ John was director of Industrial Policy with MITI until 1996 before he moved to the NITC at Mimos Berhad to develop the National IT Agenda.

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