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It’s not about you

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 07:04 PM PDT

And all, I repeat, ALL, these people pay 'protection money' to the police. So is this not Chinese bribing Malays? Hence if Chinese do not respect Malays for taking bribes do we respect the Chinese for bribing Malays? Again, just like the ex-Mufti regarding the issue of criticising the monarchs, the ex-IGP did not explain this part.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

From time to time, friends contact me to tell me that they or so-and-so within our 'circle' are not happy with me. They then cite my 'stand' as the reason for their unhappiness. Some have even 'deleted' me from their Skype or Blackberry contact list so that I can no longer reach them. Others ignore my text messages or emails as a 'message' that I am no longer 'in their life'.

Invariably, most of these people are 'new' friends -- people who have become my friends since 2007-2008 or since the days of Reformasi-Free Anwar Campaign of 2000.

On the reverse side, quite a number who had been my friends since the 1960s (my school days) or the 1970s-1980s (my working days) stopped being my friends after 2000 because they did not agree with my 'stand' -- meaning I supported Reformasi-Anwar Ibrahim and they did not: so they are not happy with me.

At the end of the day, the termination of our friendship is all about their happiness or unhappiness. When I make them unhappy by taking a 'stand' opposite to them then I cease to be their friends. In other words, our continued friendship depends on whether I can continue to make them happy. And if I cannot continue to make them happy then our friendship has to end.

None of these people ask me about my happiness. It is all about their happiness. And if I am unable to make them happy then our friendship has to end. It is a one-way street. It is only about their happiness. My happiness or unhappiness does not factor into our friendship. As long as they are happy it does not matter whether I am happy or unhappy. My happiness or unhappiness is not a criterion to our friendship.

I suppose this reveals the true character (or lack of character) of these ex-friends of mine. Our friendship is based on how I can make them happy. And if I cannot make them happy, or cannot continue to make them happy, then they see no value in being friends with me.

I wonder what type of marriage these people have. Is their marriage based on whether their spouse can make them happy? And if their spouse cannot make them happy then they would consider it a bad marriage, I suppose.  Their marriage is not based on whether they can make their spouse happy. It is about whether their spouse can make them happy.

This is the same very selfish attitude of voters all over the world -- never mind whether it is in first-world or third-world countries. They vote for people who can make them happy. It is about their happiness and not about what is good for society or good the country. It is always about me…me…me.

If you can promise the voters cheap houses, cheap cars, cheap petrol, no tax, more and better highways, no toll charges, higher salaries, lower cost of living, no council tax, free schooling, free healthcare, and much more, then they will vote for you.

But how do you pay for all this? Who will be paying for all this? Over the long term is this good for the country's financial health? Can the country sustain itself with no taxes while giving away everything free?

That, of course, is of no concern to the voters. They want no taxes and everything free. That will make them happy. Even if that is not good for the country it is okay just as long as they are happy. Their happiness comes first. The country's 'health' comes last.

Never mind whether it is friends, family or voters, the same rule applies. If you make me happy I am your friend/supporter. If you cannot then I have absolutely no use for you. Whether the relationship also makes you happy is of no consequence to me. This is just about me…me…me.

This is what was reported in Free Malaysia Today:

While openly disagreeing with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is permissible, there is a limit to it, says ex-mufti.

Openly disagreeing with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and royal family is permissible but criticisms have to be constructive and polite, a former mufti said today.

Ex-Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said today it was not wrong to disagree with the King and kin, as they are "not Allah and the prophet (Muhammad), but human beings like the rest of us". (Read more here).

I am both happy and unhappy with this statement (yes, this is now about MY happiness). I am happy because I have been constantly criticised regarding my 'distorted' views on Islam and now we have one of the most renowned Muftis saying what I have been saying for so long. So that makes me happy. I am happy when people agree with me and prove me right. I am unhappy when they do not agree with me.

And is this not how most of you look at things as well? You used to be very happy when Michelle Yeoh, a Malaysian Chinese, became world-famous. This shows that the Chinese are great. But you are now unhappy because she supports Barisan Nasional. This shows that the Chinese are sometimes 'stupid'. The fact that the Chinese have been 'stupid' for more than 50 years since 1955 does not matter. That is in the past. Today, the Chinese are already clever and Michelle Yeoh is spoiling everything by showing that some Chinese are still 'stupid'.

Is Michelle Yeoh happy? That does not matter. This is not about her happiness. Her happiness is of no consequence. This is only about your happiness --…me.

Okay, I am both happy and unhappy with the ex-Mufti's statement. I am happy that finally someone with the 'right' religious credentials agrees with what I have been saying and thus proving that my views are not 'distorted'. But I am unhappy because he did not also say that monarchs do not exist in Islam. Why did the ex-Mufti not go one step further and argue that Islam does not recognise monarchies?

So, he says that it is not wrong in criticising the monarchs. But then is it wrong if we also criticise the monarchy? There is a difference here. Criticising the monarch is different from criticising the monarchy. Criticising the monarch is criticising the person while criticising the monarchy is criticising the system.

For example, we may criticise the Election Commission but that does not mean we are also criticising the manner in which we choose our government -- meaning through Parliamentary and State elections. So, criticising one does not mean we are also criticising the other.

The ex-IGP too has criticised the Malays. (Why do all these people criticise something only when they are 'ex' and not while they are still in office?). The ex-IGP (read more here) said that the Chinese do not respect the Malays because the Malays are corrupt.

Fair comment, I suppose. But the ex-IGP's interpretation of 'corruption' is merely regarding receiving bribes. What about the act of giving bribes? Should the Malays now also not respect the Chinese because they pay bribes?

I know sometimes Malays bribe Malays while Chinese bribe Chinese. However, most of the civil servants and police officers are Malays and these are the people who take bribes. Hence the bribe-takers, as what the ex-IGP is implying, are Malays. But then whom are the ones paying these bribes?

The underworld, triads and prostitution, loan shark, gambling and drug syndicates are Chinese-run. I have, in fact, personally met many of their bosses and many hold Datuk and Tan Sri titles. They are actually very nice people (until you cross them) and I know I am well protected with them as my friends. So don't try to threaten my life or else you will end up in a mining pool.

And all, I repeat, ALL, these people pay 'protection money' to the police. So is this not Chinese bribing Malays? Hence if Chinese do not respect Malays for taking bribes do we respect the Chinese for bribing Malays? Again, just like the ex-Mufti regarding the issue of criticising the monarchs, the ex-IGP did not explain this part.

Anyway, what is the definition of corruption? Is corruption only about receiving money? There are many types of corruption. Corruption is not just about receiving money.

Let's go through some examples. There are many but for purposes of this article allow me to highlight a few.

The government says that 90% of the personal income tax is paid by the Chinese. This tax is then used to build mosques. So, technically, the taxpayers are paying for these mosques. But then the non-Muslims, say the Christians, are not at liberty to build churches.

The Christians are not even asking for the government to pay for the building of these churches. They are prepared to pay for the cost themselves. They just want permission to build the churches. But even this is not easy to obtain.

Is this not another form of corruption?

UiTM is 100% Malay and it is funded by the government from money paid by the taxpayers. The non-Malays pay 90% of the tax to build schools that are 100% Malay. Is this not yet another form of corruption?

So corruption is not just about Malays receiving bribes from the Chinese. There are so many forms of corruption. The only thing is we do not call it corruption. We call it the New Economic Policy.

Why are the IGPs and DIGPs Malay? Are there no Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, etc., who are equally qualified or better qualified to become the IGP or DIGP? Why must only Malays hold top positions in the government, police, military, GLCs, etc?

Is this not corruption when the better candidate is by-passed because of race in favour of a less capable Malay?

We need to broaden our perspective regarding the meaning of corruption. Bribes is merely one and very basic form of corruption. Corruption extends beyond just the act of receiving bribes. And Islam is not just about criticising the person (like a monarch) but also about criticising the system (like the monarchy).

You cannot be a little bit pregnant. You also cannot criticise the dog collar when it is the dog that bit you.



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