2:256 in the Quran states that “there is no compulsion in religion”, but in Malaysia, which boasts the best democracy in the world, forced conversions are de-rigeur and words like ‘Allah’ are copyrighted for the exclusive use of Muslims.
Malaysian Christians (and non-Muslims) are at the mercy of the country’s religious zealots but Najib Abdul Razak, the prime minister for 47 percent of the nation’s population, is too timid or too scared to smooth tensions between the different communities. He claims that what he does is in the name of peace and harmony. What would happen if he meant to create disorder and chaos?
In this Christmas period, I hope you will forgive me for adapting ‘The Ten Commandments’ to critique Umno Baru leaders and to raise awareness about the importance of tolerance. One needs respect and understanding to live harmoniously. One should be protected by the right of religious freedom, as enshrined in the constitution of Malaysia; but the reality is that most of our freedoms are being eroded.
The following Ten Commandments of Umno Baru explain the decline in spirituality of Umno Baru members.
First Commandment: Thou shalt worship Umno Baru
(Thou shalt have no other gods before me)
When Umno Baru dictates, you obey. Only Umno Baru can “protect” the Malay race, Islam and the King. Sane Malaysians ask “Protect from whom or what?” but the answers are not forthcoming.
Blind allegiance means that the more simple minded members of the rakyat will soon face their day of ill-judgement. They will discover that despite Umno Baru’s promises made at GE13, price hikes will make them feel they are living in a hell on earth.
Second Commandment: Thou shalt idolise the leader of Umno Baru
(Thou shalt not make for yourself an idol)
In 2011, Najib Abdul Razak’s image on soft drink cans caused a drop in sales and the company responsible was forced to withdraw the cans from sale and issue a grovelling apology.
Posters of Najib adorning the pillars and sides of KTM Komuter trains allegedly caused much anger among the cleaners because they had to clear more than the normal amount of spittle. KTM officials allegedly spent several thousand ringgits replacing broken windows because bricks often missed their targets.
Student Adam Adli, who removed a flag bearing Najib’s image, was charged with alleged sedition. Why can’t divine retribution be as swift as the one received by those who oppose Umno Baru?
Third Commandment: Thou shalt be charged with sedition
(Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord God in vain)
Using the word ‘Allah’ without proper authorisation can result in a charge of sedition. Non-Malays could do one of two things to freely use ‘Allah’; Convert to Islam. Go to Sabah or Sarawak.
If you are non-Malay, don’t read the word ‘Allah’ out loud as this could be deemed seditious.
Showing dissent consumes many police man-hours. At a Suara Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) forum this May, Adam Adli expressed his disappointment over the electoral process at GE13. Five days later, 10 policemen were sent to arrest him for alleged sedition.
Be warned because any opposition to Umno Baru is viewed as a personal slight by the IGP. Umno Baru want the rakyat to stop thinking. It would help if we were all brain-dead, like most of the Umno Baru politicians.
Fourth Commandment: Thou shalt not gather to celebrate any day
(Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy)
Joining street parties or rallies to celebrate special days, like Merdeka, Valentine’s Day or New Year’s eve, in the spirit of fun and merry-making, means that the reveller risks being charged with sedition and toppling the government.
The Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) stipulates that no one can protest within 500 metres of a fire hydrant. Has anyone noticed the proliferation of thousands of hydrants in towns and cities lately, doubtless all supplied by a crony company, at inflated prices and great cost to the taxpayer?
Fifth Commandment: Honour the Malays and Utusan, the messenger of Umno Baru
(Honour thy father and mother)
At the Umno Baru general assembly of December 2012, the Umno Baru Youth information chief, Reezal Merican Naina Merican (left), said “Umno is the party chosen by God to liberate the chosen land of Malaysia and to uplift the chosen race of the Malays... Remember, we are mukhtarin, the chosen ones.”
Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the women’s minister who is best remembered for her fondness for cows and condominiums, is reported on the Utusan website to have said that God would be with Utusan Malaysia: “Percayalah, pada akhirnya Tuhan akan bersama Utusan”.
How did these two “Melayu Baru” manage to have direct communication with God?
Sixth Commandment: Thou shalt kill
(Thou shalt not kill)
As the Mongolian proverb states, “Least said, soonest mended”. Suffice to say, that sometimes, Umno Baru disciples think that killing is justified because the end justifies the means.
Seventh Commandment: Thou shalt commit adultery
(Thou shalt not commit adultery)
Contrary to popular belief, Umno Baru politicians believe that they work extremely hard. Consequently, they must also play hard. Their alleged choices of “playthings” range from other males, to maids, models and movie starlets. There is nothing that money cannot buy, when affection is absent.
Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt steal from the rakyat
(Thou shalt not steal)
Being in power means that one must make use of the resources available, ie taxpayers’ money. One’s role in government is to cook up new schemes to squeeze more money from the rakyat.
The BR1M scheme generates more money than the millions needed to set it up. Money-making ponzi schemes are easier and more profitable than having to save one’s pocket money from one’s teenage years. A prominent Umno Baru spouse can attest to this.
Ninth Commandment: Thou shalt lie
(Thou shalt not lie)
How else could Umno Baru convince the rakyat to do its every bidding? In a few months, the gullible 47 percent will realise their folly. By GE14, these same people will again fall for the same lies. Only a miracle may change things around.
If one had to go to court, one need not lie. Just feign forgetfulness. One Umno Baru demi-god did it and it worked.
Tenth Commandment: Thou shalt covet everything that does not belong to you
(Thou shalt not covet anything that belongs to thy neighbour, including his wife.)
Isn’t it amazing that the more the non-Malay succeeds, the more the Malays are angered and left feeling dissatisfied? The Malays retaliate by demanding more concessions or perks. Being deprived spurs those who are left with very little, to make the most out of things. It hardens them and encourages them to become stronger, to survive. At the same time, this creates a vicious cycle.
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).