Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Clinging on to the Malay vote?

Today, Utusan Malaysia was slapped with a warning letter from the Home Ministry for publishing an unsubstantiated front-page article alleging a Christian-DAP plot to usurp Islam as the religion of the federation, The Malaysian Insider reported.

On Saturday, Utusan Malaysia carried a front-page article headlined “Kristian agama rasmi?” (Christianity the official religion?), claiming the DAP was conspiring with Christian leaders to take over Putrajaya and abolish Islam as the religion of the federation.

The report, based entirely on unsubstantiated blog postings by two pro-Umno bloggers, charged DAP with sedition for allegedly trying to change the country’s laws to allow a Christian prime minister, The Malaysian Insider reported.

It is shameful that a leading national Malay newspaper like Utusan Malaysia published a false and fictional report which is inflammatory and alarmist.

The problem is that many of its Malay readers would believe the report without even bothering to question whether it is possible for DAP and the poor Christians to carry out such a 'coup'.

The fact is that the status of Islam in the federation is defined in the Constitution. The fact is it requires a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament - Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara - to change the Constitution. On top of that, it also requires the consent of the Conference of Rulers to change the status of Islam.

Will the readers of Utusan Malaysia bother to ask if it is possible for DAP (note that the report said 'DAP' and not 'Pakatan Rakyat') to win two-thirds of the Parliamentary seats? Even if DAP wins all the seats (the so-called 'urban Chinese constituencies') it contests in, the number will definitely not amount to two-thirds.

It is definitely Mission Impossible for DAP to win two-thirds of the Parliamentary seats and usurp Islam as the religion of the federation of Malaysia.

As for the poor Christians who have been cast as the bogeyman in this episode, can they ever make Christianity the religion of the federation?

Will the readers of Utusan Malaysia bother to note that only about 10 per cent of Malaysians are Christians while Muslims make up 60 per cent of the population? How can a minority religious group - that has already been trampled on in so many ways - ever have sufficient clout to change the Constitution?

Can 10 per cent of the voters ensure that DAP will win two-thirds of the Parliamentary seats? Bear in mind that the majority of the Parliamentary seats are Malay-dominated constituencies.

Thus if an Utusan Malaysia reader were to delve deeper into the issue, he/she would realise that the inflammatory and alarmist report was based on an impossibility.

If that is the case, why did Utusan Malaysia publish the report? Could it be possible that there is a hidden agenda, that it could be part of an elaborate and risky plan by certain strategists of a certain political party to cling on to the Malay vote?

No comments:

Post a Comment