Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mad cow hysteria in Malayasia

The latest outbreak of religious madness in Malayasia occurred when Malay residents protested the relocaation of Hindu temple in their neighbourhood even though it is 200 metres from anyone's house. To pour oil on the fires of racial and religious intolerance, they brought a cow head to trample outside the temple. No Malayasian leader nor prominent citizen or religious figure protested nor criticised the trampling of an animal which is sacred to Hinduism, thereby allowing these zealots much leave to commit more mayhem and rioting.
Malayasia allows a neighbourhood when it has a Malay [read Muslim] majority, any other religious institutions in its geographical boundaries, has to move elsewhere. Over the years, churches and Hindu temples or pagodas had to be rebuilt elsewhere since the custom and law forced them to remove to other neighbourhoods.
The irony in the case above, is that the temple moved to this new location for that very reason.

Recently the religious extremist's hand had to be stayed. It had sentenced a young Malay woman to be whipped for drinking beer. The ulemas forbade Malays from going to the Black Eyed Peas concert in Kuala Lumpur, not for woman bearing more flesh than these pious men would deem permissible but for who was sponsoring the musicale soiree. Guiness the Anglo Irish beer conglomerate!

Malayasia practises apartheid. It is based on race and religion. Malays have full rights, Chinese and Indians and Eurasians have little, and suffer from economic and social inequalities.
Malayasia is a showcase of zealotry over the years. Its roots can be traced to the student movement that the now reformer Anwar Ibrahim encouraged more than a generation ago, and to the xenophobic tack that long ruling prime minister Mahatir Mohammed inspired. The roots go even further, the Malay led riots against the Chinese in 1969, and before that the cynical use of racial division by the British colonial rulers. \

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