I believe there is a group of academics called the Council of Professors that advises the Prime Minister, and that has spoken out frequently to support his policies. One individual who sits on the Council is Prof Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong, who lamented that non-Muslims do not understand the concept of wasatiyyah as enunciated by the Prime Minister because of Islamophobia.
Actually, Professor, that’s not the case at all. The real reason is that they do not accept his leadership—it has nothing to do with Islam.
Muslims and non-Muslims alike reject his idea of wasatiyyah because it is phoney. Under this Prime Minister’s stewardship, Malaysia has ceased to be a moderate and stable Muslim country. Under his leadership, we have seen the non-Muslim community grow increasingly distrustful of Islam, and for good reason.
The good professor certainly does not know Islam, because then he would know that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s wasatiyyah, as it is supposedly practised in Malaysia today, is not the real deal.
In any case, we judge a leader’s ideas or principles by his actions, not by what he says. Non-Muslims are not the only one who are wary of the Prime Minister’s wasatiyyah, as many Muslims like me are fearful of what the country is becoming.
We reject his wasatiyyah because it’s not real. The PM is not moderate in his actions and ways. He does not speak the truth but uses vulgar language at public functions. He uses his powers to emasculate public institutions, so it is genuinely confusing when the professors describe him as “moderate”.
Look at his friends. Never has any Barisan Nasional Prime Minister (except during the critical situation post-1969 when our second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak made peaceful overtures to PAS) ever considered PAS to be a moderate party. It’s a useless party that promotes rule by Islamic theologians, a party that will destroy liberty and freedom, and endanger democracy and racial tolerance in Malaysia. Yet this is the party that our Wasatiyyah Leader considers an ally.
Under his wasatiyyah rule, ordinary Malaysians live in fear of Government-funded religious zealots and extremists. Liberals with progressive ideas are labelled “deviant” and are stopped from speaking, and the public events they plan are not given the approval to be held. Books and festivals have been banned, as have foreign Muslim academics who are invited here for speaking engagements. Moreover, Members of Parliament have been prohibited from travelling.
And yet incendiary preachers like Zakir Naik, Zamihan Mat Zin and thousands of their ilk roam the country to preach ideas that we do not need, and that are inimical to the country’s wellbeing. Surely the Council of Professors must see the deterioration of “moderate ways” in our daily lives now, compared to the days of our former leaders. It would be hypocrisy to the nth degree if these professors do not acknowledge what even the Malays Rulers have spoken out about, which is the growth of religious extremism in Malaysia.
So don’t blame the non-Muslims for not understanding and accepting Najib’s wasatiyyah. We all live in fear of the country turning into a Somali version of an Islamic state. Our fears are fully justified. The PM is simply not a moderate leader; his wasatiyyah is not moderate either, whether by Islamic or non-Islamic standards.
If these Professors were honest about their feelings, they too would come to the same conclusion. I know some of them think it’s their duty to promote the policies of the Prime Minister, but don’t stoop so low and come out with ridiculous arguments just to be in his good books. Start talking some sense.