Race, Religion, And Royalty

Race, Religion, And Royalty
Author :
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Total Pages : 284
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ISBN-10 : 9798636900801
ISBN-13 :
Rating : 4/5 ( Downloads)

Book Synopsis Race, Religion, And Royalty by : M Bakri Musa

Download or read book Race, Religion, And Royalty written by M Bakri Musa and published by . This book was released on 2020-05-05 with total page 284 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Race, religion, and royalty are the toxic triad of Malaysian identity politics; a combustible combination for a multiracial nation. No surprise that contemporary commentators focus on this. Less noticed but far more consequential is that race, religion, and royalty are also the barnacles encrusting on Malay society, impeding its progress and undermining the culture. There cannot be stability in Malaysia if Malays, her majority population, were to be fractured or left behind. This collection of the author's commentaries examines this second far more critical preposition, tracing the deterioration of Malaysia's race relations, the oppressive as well as pernicious rise of Islamism, and the increasing assertiveness of Malay Sultans. "Ketuanan Melayu" (Malay Hegemony), the rallying cry of the hitherto ruling party, United Malay National Organization (UMNO), is a manifestation of this racism. It distracts Malays from facing their most daunting challenge - of being competitive and productive. This Ketuanan Melayu chauvinism poisons race relations. As for religion, Malays are increasingly preoccupied and obsessed with Islam. The faith is being exploited crudely but effectively by the other major Malay political party, Parti Al Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). The Islamic cachet sells with Malays. Islam, the variation approved and propagated in Malaysia, exerts its most destructive influence in politics, economics, and education. Islamism is now deeply rooted in all institutions and the public sphere. Increasing Islamization has turned Malaysian national schools from being less educational institutions and more indoctrination centers. Non-Malays have long abandoned the system. Now they are being joined by an ever increasing number of Malays, to the chagrin of the Islamists and champions of Ketuanan Melayu. Perversely, Malaysian schools which once played a major role in integrating the young are today being exploited to be instruments to divide and segregate Malaysians. With royalty, Malaysia is cursed to be burdened by not one but nine hereditary Sultans, with each taking turns to be King for the whole Federation. At least his tenure is restricted to five years, the only monarch in the world with term limits! Then there are the four non-hereditary governors who are no less regal and expensive in their tastes and demands, all at taxpayers' expense. Instead of acting as a buffer and mediator of conflicts among Malaysians, especially Malays, these Sultans aggravate them through their sly engagement in the old tried and true triangulation scheming. Today the Sultans align themselves with the ulama against the nation's secular leaders. Earlier, the Sultans were in cahoots with the politicians against the religious class to exploit business opportunities and to be able to frolic at their favorite casinos. These critical essays are descriptive as well as prescriptive. The writer advocates focusing on making Malays competitive through improving the schools and other educational institutions. Curtail if not remove the influence of Islamism, and emphasize English and STEM subjects. Reducing the oppressive role of Islam in the public sphere would also be a positive development; likewise with reining in the ruling class and the Sultans with respect to their corruption and rent-seeking activities. It is difficult to wean Malays of their special privileges crutch when Malay Sultans squat at the very top of the special privileges heap, and swagger with their most golden of crutches. Reining in that would be a good first step. Improving national schools by focusing on making young Malaysians fluently bilingual in Malay and English, as well as competent in science and mathematics would be another. The changes advocated here are small and incremental in nature to avoid being disruptive and destabilizing, but cumulatively they would be transformative and revolutionary.

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