Bad news. The Perlis state assembly has amended its state laws to allow unilateral conversions, in which a child’s religion can be converted with the permission of one parent. It contravenes the Federal Government’s bill tabled last month to prevent the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam.
But, seriously, who really cares? Apparently not the Federal Government. Perlis is Umno-run. So, is the federal government. The state and nation are run by the same party and its right hand doesn’t know what its left hand is doing?
Again, is this a case of good governance or simply yet another guise to keep the conservative Malay-Muslim vote with Umno? The fear that that support may slip away is real and the ensuing paranoia of reading every act of rightful dissent as an effort to undermine and “topple” the government is very tangible.
It is the same message playing out like a broken record: A party in power with very little support, which is resorting to desperate actions for the sole purpose of self-preservation, and expecting its partners to go along with it. The only partner that expresses its disagreements is the MCA when it affects issues of the Chinese. MCA owns The Star and two other Chinese papers, so it has the media to make a lot of noise, which it did over Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s bill on increasing the maximum punishments the Sharia courts can give. And over hudud. But did it move Umno? Everyone knows the answer to that.
Over the Perlis state assembly’s latest amendments, the lone MCA representative, Khaw Hock Kong, walked out in protest. The amendments were nevertheless passed. MCA can make a lot of noise but to no avail.
The only people who can undermine the BN are its East Malaysian partners (and they are very quiet) and the huge majority of moderate Malays (who are also very quiet!). I suppose they will be quiet, until, perhaps, hopefully, the right time.
Until then, we can expect more of such shenanigans. There will be no end to this until the next general election is announced.
Meanwhile, it is best to watch quietly, and act only when it is appropriate and necessary.
Good news! It’s the Christmas season and the end of the year before a new year begins and, hopefully, with it, new beginnings. So, I am going to forget about Malaysian politics and enjoy the season!
You know, those of you who aren’t Christians, you, too, can enjoy the season. We are not exclusive. So, grab a Christian friend or relative and enjoy with them! The season’s good vibes are meant to spread around. You can enjoy it even if you don’t believe! Enjoy!