Malay is Muslim, Muslim not necessarily Malay

This controversy over what is a Malay and what is a Muslim has precipitated finally, thanks to the Constitution on the definition of what is a Malay or who can represent the Malay community as a minority President. According to Article 19B of the Singapore Constitution, "any person, whether of the Malay race or otherwise, who considers himself to be a member of the Malay community and who is generally accepted as a member of the Malay community by that community" is qualified to run as a candidate for the reserved EP for Malays.

The dichotomy between a Malay and a Muslim has never been in question or was a non issue before. It was not important enough or there was reason to want a clearer definition of a Malay and a Muslim. It is common knowledge that all or nearly all Malays are Muslim, with a few exceptions. For those Malays that are non Muslim, I am not sure if the Malay community still regards them as Malays or ex communicado.

On the other hand, all Muslims are not necessarily Malay. One can be a Muslim from any race or nationality. A Muslim can be European, Caucasian, Arabs, Pakstani, Indian, African or Chinese and living totally different ways of life. Ok the Singapore Constitution understood this and further clarified that a Malay is not only a Muslim but practises Malay way of life. The ‘otherwise’ in the Constitution is very extensive and inclusive to the extent that anyone not of the Malay race can be considered as a Malay if the Malay community, reads as the Committee set up by the govt, accepts the person as a Malay.

The big issue, what is this reserved EP all about? Isn’t it about the election of a Malay rather than anyone not of Malay ethnicity? A Malay is a Malay by ethnicity. Period. Though this is further complicated by mixed marriages, a person that has no Malay ethnicity in him despite him practising the Malay way of life and being a Muslim, is not a Malay by any means except by a round about way of interpreting what is written in the Constitution.

Coming to this big question of a Malay that is not a Muslim. Does the Malay community regard a Malay that is a non Muslim a Malay or no longer a Malay? What about the legal interpretation of a Malay? Is it by ethnicity or by religion? Legally, I would presume that Malay parents or mixed Malay parents that are not Muslims but chose to register their children as Malay at birth have the right to do so and no one can deny that they are Malays when registered. Things get more complicated should non Malay Muslim parents decide to register their children as Malay at birth. What would be the status of such persons legally? Malay or non Malay? Going forward, with the EP pie beckoning, would Pakistanis, Indians and Pinoys choose to register their children as Malay to take advantage of this loophole? Would the babas also do likewise?

How would this debate continue and would it lead to a better definition of what constitute a person being accepted as a Malay or would the definition in the Constitution be final and the end of the story? Is this mess necessary or can be avoided? There is no such problem before this minority EP thing.


Alternative News from across the Causeway

This is what a Malaysian said of corruption in high places in Malaysia. Where got problem? It is ok if the corruption did not lead to high cost of living. Who is going to complain when seeing a govt doctor cost RM1. Who is going to complain when the delivery of a child in govt hospital cost RM1?

Then there is public housing where a 2 bedroom apartment cost RM50,000. Complain for what? This is good govt, a govt that looks after the welfare of the people. What corruption? Who cares?

Najib just announced a RM1.42b package for Felda. How is this to be spread among the people? This is what AGENCIES reported, ‘Cash incentives of RM475 million, or RM5,000 to each settler. Forgiving RM128 million in debt for settlers who took out Felda Global Ventures equity loans. Debt forgiveness of RM519 million, or up to RM5,000 for each settler that had taken part in Felda’s scheme to replant unproductive oil palms, and A special fund of RM300 million to be set up for 2017 to 2021, to help with replanting operational debts of RM40,000 or more.

And everyone knows that this is pre election budget. The Malaysian govt is buying votes and the people are not worry as the govt would not be coming up with high taxes to take back everything they gave during the election. Why not? If the govt is giving money to the people, this is the kind of govt that the people will vote for. Why vote for a govt that promises everything under the sky but what comes after the election are tax hikes in everything. Malaysians are smart, unlike the daft Singaporeans, got conned and conned after every GE and still never learn.

The Malaysians love their govt, a govt that takes care of them and their welfare. It is ok if they take care of themselves, pocket a bit more, but give the people more also.
Which govt do you think is good for the people? Which govt is not corrupt? What is important is whether they are making life better for the people or not.

What do you think?

PS. Anyone can help verify the numbers?


Diplomacy of Bridge Burning

Diplomacy is an old art of interstate engagement to build relationship and to improve and protect the interests of states. When diplomacy fails, the likely outcome is war between states or strained relations. This is something that the art of diplomacy would want to avoid so that states can work and live with each other peacefully. The last thing in diplomacy is Bridge Burning.

Is there a Diplomacy of Bridge Burning being practiced by the diplomats and state officials? In the recent tense relations between Singapore and China, ok I may be wrong as Singapore did not see it this way and claimed that Singapore’s relation with China is as good as ever, I would say a few cardinal sins of diplomacy were committed on the Singapore side. Ok, please feel free to disagree with me as this is just my perception of the events.

What were these cardinal sins? 1. Singapore demanded that China obeyed the rulings of the Hague Tribunal on the South China Sea. 2. Singapore demanded that China followed the rule of law. 3. Some Singapore officials commented that China was adopting a policy to divide Asean. 4. Some Singapore officials said China had been pressuring Singapore to be on the side of China on some issues.

To me, these are the cardinal sins Singapore committed in this fracas that led to a very strain relation with China. Of course I stand to be corrected as some Singapore officials said Singapore did not do anything or say anything to provoke China or things that would affect the relations negatively. If this is so, then all my comments are hogwash, even fake news.

Did Singapore say or do anything to offend China? Did Singapore know that the above four points that I mentioned are as good as Diplomacy of Bridge Burning? The positions taken, cannot be uttered unthinkingly as the statements were very serious in nature, were as good as telling China that Singapore was prepared to cut off relations with China if needed to. And to take such a position, it would be expected that Singapore would have thought through this very carefully and weighed the consequences of offending China and possibly breaking all ties with China, diplomatically, commercially, economically and culturally.

It is foolish to think that when Singapore took that position that was openly unfriendly to China, ok, I agree to disagree with those that thought Singapore was friendly with China and did not do anything against China, it did not do any homework to consider the consequences. To take such an unfriendly position, to shout so loudly, daily, to China and for the rest of the world to hear, it must be a properly thought out position, that Singapore was prepared to burn bridges with China. Or maybe Singapore thought China was hapless and would not do anything to harm its relation with Singapore as Singapore was more important to China to lose. China would swallow the bitter pill and would keep relations as per normal despite the utterance of Singapore.

Oops, was there an after thought, that burning bridges with China was not a good idea after all? Or this was not even discussed or considered, that taking that position would not lead to such an eventuality? The subsequent flurry of activities to make amends to China, to tell China that Singapore was a friend and is still a friend said it all, that Singapore cannot afford to burn bridges with China. There are too much at stake economically for Singapore to do so.

Funny, why didn’t they thought of it in the first place and avoid the Diplomacy of Bridge Burning? When a bridge is burnt, it takes time to rebuild a new bridge and the new bridge would not be the same again.

The big question going forward is whether Singapore would adopt another Bridge Burning Diplomacy again in the name of national interests and sovereignty, in the name of rule of law? From the noises heard recently, Singapore does not regret its Bridge Burning Diplomacy and would do it again for the same reasons, ie when Singapore’s interests are at stake, when the rule of law affecting small states are challenged. Singapore has strong principles and would stand on its principles come what may. Do not triple of the Little Red Dot.

Did I get Singapore’s principled position right? Lee Kuan Yew’s time was all about pragmatism and survival. Things must have changed.


The race stated in your IC tak pakai

Is the race stated in your BC/IC legal?

The issue of your race has never been so controversial, so ambiguous, so subjective and so disputable until this minority election for an EP comes into being. Everyone is now questioning what his race means to his opportunity to qualify for the appointment of the EP. While the heat is now on in how to define what is a Malay and Malayness, many have forgotten the meaning of race as stated in the BC/IC. Is this still valid and still legal? Is a person a Malay or Indian or Chinese or Others as stated in his BC/IC or is that person something else?

Going backwards, when a child is born, the most important decision and a natural thing to do for the parents are to identify which race the child belongs. This is instinctive and the real identity of the child that the parents want the child to be. They have consciously chosen, declared and made a decision for life for the child.

What is happening today is that this important decision of choice is questionable and may not be legal. A person with a particular race stated in his/her BC/IC could not be what was stated in the BC/IC. A Malay may not be a Malay or an Indian may not be an Indian, and so is a Chinese or Others.

Would this new development have any implications other than just the qualification to stand as an EP candidate? Many govt polices are race related like HDB, education, social organisations etc etc. When one's identity in the BC/IC is subject to question and challenge, what would it make of the BC/IC, an official document that tells the identity of a person?

Can the Committee deciding what or who is a Malay reject a person that is officially stated as a Malay in his/her BC/IC? Can the same Committee decide that a person that is officially stated as a non Malay be officially ‘accepted’ as a Malay despite what is stated in the BC/IC? How would such an issue be ruled in the courts of law should race be in question, is the person what he is as stated in his BC/IC?

The problem of this confusion of racial identity is not just about the EP but about a whole series of complex govt policies and regulations and the social fabric of the country. This is a problem that is self created and is not going to go away just by a few simplistic rulings by a Committee that now appears to have the right and authority to change the race of a person.

What is happening?

Would there be more stringent checks and conditions before one can register a child belonging to an ethnic group at birth given this new development, that parents cannot anyhow hantam the race of the child in the BC/IC when being an ethnic minority comes with exceptional privileges?


Japanese soldiers fighting in Sudan

The cover up of activities by Japanese soldiers in Sudan in the logs of Japanese soldiers has raised doubts of the participation of Japanese soldiers fighting in Sudan. The soldiers were sent there as peacekeepers under the UN mission. Japan has prohibited sending soldiers into theatres of war and would only allow Japanese soldiers in places where a ceasefire is in place.

Apparently in the case of Sudan when fighting was escalated, the removal or non admission of logs by Japanese soldiers in Sudan has led to suspicion that the Japanese govt is hiding something and what they are hiding is Japanese soldiers involved in fighting on the ground in Sudan.

Japanese defence expert Tosh Minohara has been quoted to have said this about the cover up. ‘We all know that things were getting nasty in South Sudan. If the logs recorded fighting by Japanese troops, what will be the political fallout?’

ST’s Japan correspondent in Tokyo was reported in the ST to have said this, ‘At a meeting in February, Defence Minister Tomomi Inada was said to have given the nod to her top officials to hide the existence of activity logs maintained by ground forces in South Sudan….The controversy started brewing last December after the Defence Ministry declined an information disclosure request for the logs from the media, which had noted the worsening situation in South Sudan since July last year….’

What is the Japanese govt trying to hide or to lie to the Japanese people and the people of the world, that Japanese troops have engaged in actual warfare again? After having lied about their war atrocities across Asia, about comfort women, it is not unusual for the Japanese to lie again about the truth in Sudan.

Japanese soldiers have conducting warfare again, forbidden by their Constitution and their pledge not to conduct war after their defeat in the Second World War. And they are going to hide this truth.

Dr Mohd Abdullah bin Tanchinbock

Any similarity of the above photo and name to anyone is purely coincidental. This is just fiction. Photo credit to Virgo.


Second Sino Indian border war in the making

The lesson in 1962 was not taken seriously, or not hard enough for India to learn not to trifle with the PLA. In 1962, the PLA was literally a peasant army, poorly equipped, against the India Army, equipped with the best leftovers from the British Empire. Still, given the advantage of modern weapons and several years of preparation in the building of the 4th Army Corp and the element of surprise and initiative, India was knocked unconscious within a matters of 2 weeks by the PLA.

Today the world is looking at almost an identical situation in the China Bhutan border. Though again India is claiming that China was the provocateur like in 1962, the facts today are current and fresh for all to see. China was building a road along the China Bhutan border, nothing to do with India except that Bhutan was a de facto protectorate of India. India claimed that it was Bhutan that was asking India to intervene though it was obvious that it was India that wanted to intervene in the dispute. And India took the first step to move troops into the disputed area but accusing China of doing so. In the first place the dispute has nothing to do with India.

Now both sides are moving thousands of troops to the region. And India, like in 1962, is saying that it would not back down, spoiling for a fight with China. India must not forget that the PLA today is fully operational and supported by all the four arms of China’s military might, modern and well equipped that India can never think of matching. There is nothing that Indians have that is superior or equivalent to what the Chinese have.

This time the mismatch in the two forces is even more stark though India as usual thinks it has an upper hand and would want to try its luck a second time. This time the PLA would not be so gracious and merciful and the body blow would be hard and heavy. The China of today is no longer in a state to be nice to India. And if the Indians think they want to play with fire, with implicit support from the Americans, then they would be in for a rude shock.

India may think it has arrived, that it is a world power and could do as it pleased, even to take on China. Go ahead, but don’t regret when history repeats itself. The first time was ignorance, the second time is stupidity, to repeat the same mistake. This time the Chinese are well prepared and no more surprises and sneak attacks. The Chinese will deal with the Indian forces head on from day one. They are ready, knowing what the Indians would do from the 1962 experience to take advantage of a surprise attack against an unprepared enemy. This time China is waiting.