The progressives must lead, not be led

The two women, aged 22 and 32, pleaded guilty to attempting to have same-sex relations and were caned six times each at the Shariah High Court in Kuala Terengganu.

In this country, the educated and the progressives are being led by the bigots and the conservatives. The educated and the smart ones are afraid of the semi-educated and the dense ones.

The educated, the progressives and the smart ones do not provide the leadership for change. They pander to the demands of the conservative no matter how ridiculous these demands are.

So much talk about Malaysia arriving at a new dawn. I suggest we dream a bit harder.

We invoke religious precepts and religious laws as if we have no human faculty to think or discern. It does no matter if we are smart or dense, progressive or conservative, liberal or dogmatic, we are just the same – we follow these precepts and laws as if we are machines.

Why is it okay to marry and have sex with a child when it is not okay for two adults to engage in a same-sex relationship due to their sexual orientation? Do we really know which one is “dirtier” and more immoral?

If we cane a homosexual a hundred times, would the act of caning turn that homosexual into a heterosexual? If not, what baloney arguments are we advancing here to educate the two homosexuals in Terengganu through public caning?

Politicians seemingly intelligent and progressive before the general election or before becoming ministers, have become stupid overnight. They now want lesbians and gays punished and they want them punished publicly.

Even if some of them dislike public punishment, they have only pretended to say so after it was carried out. This is how hypocritical they have become.

How do we Malaysians engage in meaningful discourse when some have continued invoking God’s name and His laws and blessings into the arguments?

Is this not what bigotry and dogmatism are all about? How do we win an argument when the other party just puts forth God’s laws and blessings that are non-negotiable and non-disputable?

It is time the progressive and the educated lead and not be led. If Amanah was no different from PAS, why form and support Amanah in the first place?

Where is the educational role of Amanah if they are only good at pandering to demands of the conservatives?

Challenging the existing paradigm is not going to be easy. It may even cause short term setbacks. But the greatest failure is if we have not tried.

We have a window of opportunity to make this country progressive, dynamic and self-assured, so please don’t squander it.

Once the tipping point of bigotry and backwardness is breached, it will be too late to turn around. We have the examples of many countries to learn from.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

The writer’s views are not necessarily those of FMT.