ss_blog_claim=f83f0efb56d77d1bfe68bd9ba3a5ab23
Your Ad Here

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's not a joy at all...

Lina Joy, the Malay lady who has appealed for the removal of the word Islam from her identity card since the year 2000, has ultimately lost her battle to have her conversion from Islam to Christianity legalized by the Malaysian government today. The lady, now 42, converted to her newfound faith at the age of 26, and was baptized 8 years later in May 1998. Originally named Azlina binti Jailani, her application for a name change was approved in the ensuing year. Ever since the news broke into the public sphere, she went into hiding together with her Indian Christian boyfriend after having received numerous death threats from religious fanatics. She's also deprived of her job and is currently disowned by her family members, a common action taken against apostates (murtads) in Muslim families.

As opposed to her name, today is an utterly joyless day for her as well as a grey day for all those who hope to see a major lift in human rights and personal liberties in a supposedly secular, yet increasingly Islamic Malaysia. Since colonial times, race and religion have been deeply intertwined with each other, and these have become an important and inseparable identity for each component that makes up the big umbrella group called Malaysians today. Malays are solely associated with Islam; Chinese with Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity; Indians with Hinduism, Islam and Christianity while the indigenous peoples (Bumiputeras) with Christianity and Islam. Our constitution rules that each person born of the Malay ethnicity must be a Muslim, and being one is decisive in defining the Malay race. Malays who resort to apostasy will no longer be officially recognized as a Malay. This means that the apostate will have to relinquish his association with the Malay race and also the benefits and privileges that come with it.

*** Note to non-Malaysians: Islam is Malaysia's official religion, and Muslims form over 60% of the total population. The Malays and Bumiputeras are granted special rights and greater opportunities in the Constitution in exchange for the citizenship of immigrants (ie Chinese and Indians) who arrived here in huge swarms in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The decision to have 3 judges to oversee the case, 2 Muslims and 1 Christian, had already given the public a hint that the ruling would ultimately favour Islam. And as expected, the result was 2-1 with the only dissenting vote coming from the non-Muslim judge. Whether or not this case was ruled with bias or complete fairness, we wouldn't know. What I'm concerned about now is Joy's condition. Will she be sent to the Islamic rehabilitation camp (Malaysia does not impose death sentence on apostasy, unlike those fundamentalist Islamic states, eg Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan) for further detention and re-indoctrination in Islamic teachings, like what's being done towards Raimah Bibi Noordin and Siti Fatimah recently?

From another point of view, the court decided to go against the will of Joy in order not to set a precedent here in Malaysia, for fear that streams of applications for apostasy among local Muslims would follow suit. It was also feared that this would be held as a reason by potential religious extremists to disrupt the relatively well-established racial and religious harmony in multi-ethnic Malaysia. Not good. We definitely do not wish to see another outbreak of religious strife and racial riot here in this 21st century since the black day in 1969 which marred the history of racial relations in this country.

Whatever it is, I sincerely hope that things will get better for Malaysia if we really do want to see her progresses and achieves her Vision by the year 2020. :)

☼ ☼ ☼

You can read the story of a Malay Christian who leads a secret and fearful double life here.

The video clip below was aired on Al-Jazeera English and dealt with the ordeal that rips apart Siti Fatimah's family due to her unrecognized marriage to a Hindu man and her renunciation of the Muslim faith for Hinduism:


35 comments:

day-dreamer said...

CHUP.

day-dreamer said...

*shakes head*

Actually, I don't see why she expects a win in the battle, as the case is in our dear Malaysia. I will be utterly amused if you tell me Lina Joy expects the two Muslim judges to stand by her side. Not to say that they are racist, but still, they're working for the government (if you get what I mean).

**********

We are disappointed. But what can we do to make our lives better in this land where Islam is the official religion of the country? I remember while studying Sejarah back in secondary school, the teacher mentioned something about the formation of Malaysia and bangsa Malaysia and the then leaders have agreed on the "hak bumiputera". So, we have no choice today but to accept what our former leaders have "fought" for. And a friend of mine actually blurted, "It's the agreement between the leaders last time, what has it to do with us now?"

Like it or not, we can just gulp and swallow it. If there are many

**********

And why do people like death threats so much? As far as you are against one's doings, I feel you have no right to threaten the person to death. This act is kinda barbaric to me. You don't get what you want by death threats. :(

L B said...

Life is a burden. Religion, taken to the extreme, adds to that burden. I need a holiday on a desert island.

day-dreamer said...

"So when we allow these things, we are finished. Malaysia is finished."

O.o

What the ....?? I don't see why Malaysia will be finished if there are more apostates. In fact it might be a better place for us. LOL!

What happened to kebebasan beragama we had to memorize for Pendidikan Moral last time?

And by the way, the UIA lecturer should brush up his spoken English. :P

AceOne118 said...

This is Maraysia loh! Once a Muslim they wan you to be forever muslim.

angel said...

And I wanna follow L B to the island for a holiday too.

*waits for more to join*
*burdenless*
:)

zewt said...

i have actually read it just now but i decided against commenting but since you insist... :P... i shall render my zewtpinion.

first of all, before the verdict is out... this place has gor the phrase "lost cause" written all over it. i mean, who in the world of malaysia will believe that she will win her case? no way! but we must admire her guts and endurane of having been thru thus far.

religion will always be a sensitive issue in this country and as much as we want to proclaim we have religious freedom... that sentence is somewhat incomplete. what i fear in this case is that this ruling has set a precedent... a precedent whereby the constitution can be bent... now that one has been bent... i wonder what is next.

if you read a lot of overseas news... u will be really shock how the west perceives us... there are news that say one day, we will all be made muslims. is that possible? currently not... but in the future? we cant be certain, afte all, the constitution has already been broken today.

having said that... religion is in the heart... just becos you got the word written in your mykad doesnt mean you are one. it's all a matter of perspective. dont u think?

Wennnn said...

Angel and LB I am kambin to join U guys for holiday lor... NId a break la....

kyh said...

day-dreamer: 5 joyous chups!

But I admire her courage to do so! She's a heroine as she's among the fewest few who dare to stand up against the majority. For your information, she can't marry her Christian boyfriend if her legal status is still a Muslim, unless her boyfriend converts to Islam or her conversion is approved.

Non-bumis have been asserting that they are part of this land and should not be considered as immigrants any longer. Well, it's a never-ending debate as neither side would want to give way.

It's barbarism at its worst when a supposedly beautiful message intending to bring world peace has been twisted and hijacked by these people to suit their own needs. They think they could overtake the world, but keep in mind that evil will never emerge victorious and that good will always triumph in the end. ;)

L B: 3 holiday chups!

The Maldives? Or Bora Bora? :P

day-dreamer: Haha... That's the typical conservative's point of view.

Apparently, religious freedom only applies to non-Muslims here in Malaysia. :)

Yeah... He definitely should! What a lame spoken English for a so-called lecturer! :x

AceOne118: 1 cool down chup!

Sigh... It's a one-way ticket for them! :(

angel: Okie... I'm joining my dear angie to holiday! :)

zewt: You're a silent reader, eh? But I do appreciate your zewtpinion! :P

Who knows there might be a miracle? Only when you believe it of course... But not for such a sensitive case! :(

Yeah... She's a heroine! ;)

Local patriots pride themselves in owning one of the so-called finest constitutions in the world, but in reality it's not really so. With Malaysia's declaration as an Islamic country years ago, we should've known that our Constitution is being eroded away gradually, especially those concerning non-Muslims and their future in this country.

I don't think so, except when the zealous fundamentalists rise to power and take over the seat of the Government. For the moment, we should fear of nothing.

It's only a word, yes, but it matters most to Muslims who wish to convert to other religions and yet still wanna retain their right to live and work here. There are certain complications for ex-Muslims to live here if their conversions to another faith are not recognized by the Government, thus resulting in them being shunned by their own family and community, deprived of job opportunities as well as denied the right to marry. And not to forget detention by the authorities too!

Wennnn: Come, come... Bring some yummy lunch sets too! ;)

ehon said...

"Our constitution rules that each person born of the Malay ethnicity must be a Muslim, and being one is decisive in defining the Malay race."

I feel so un-Malaysian man! Why i never know such a rule exists one? but anyway, having slept for only 3 hours, i lazy to comment :P but m'sia being m'sia. say freedom to choose religion, then malay cannot. tsk tsk.

_butt said...

yeah, I saw it on al-jazeera too.. it's really depressing. The constitution can't be help. I'm heading to LB's Ho Kwai Fan resort soon..

zewt said...

this issue will certainly be the talking point of a lot of ppl. we are under the watchful eyes of the world and i understand some media in the west is already doing some coverage on this issue and beginning to spread some unwanted news about this country, very sad indeed. and here we have ppl crying and happily screaming about visit malaysia year and malaysia boleh.

i do comment mah... but not on this one la... but i guess it is only on such issue, that comments are important right?

Nastasshea@Nesh said...

GOOD WRITEUP!! I enjoyed the arguement in YouTube. Myself been following Lina Joy's trial and was very sad to see that her appeal is not approved even tho it is not suprising in Malaysia law.

rinnah said...

It was to be expected that she wouldn't succeed in her appeal. But at least she has succeeded in bringing attention to this matter - nationally and internationally. However, our Malaysian judges (read: Malay / Muslim) will never be courageous enough to deliver the verdict. That's my take.

King's wife said...

Not surprising at all. This is Malaysia after all. Freedom of religion konon-nya...

I also want to go with LB and Angel.

Doreen said...

Lina is very brave so do the rest of the converts. They're walking along a dark and bumpy road but I hope they will eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel.

kyh said...

ehon: Haha... Not surprising! Many youths in Malaysia don't even know what's written and stated in the Constitution, including myself!

Can I piak you for being lazy? :P

Double standard, huh? This is Malaysia. What more can you expect?

_butt: You're joining the gang too? Good! ;)

zewt: Actually, I think it's good that this case has succeeded in garnering the international attention. At least the world will be keeping a watchful eye on the human rights records and civil liberties here in Malaysia from deteriorating any further. :)

Yeap... Your zewtpinions are deeply appreciated on issues like this! :)

Nastasshea@Nesh: Thanks. Very sad yet the outcome was totally predictable!

rinnah: Agree. I think, if the Muslim judges were to approve the appeal of Joy, they might receive death threats from their fundamentalist-minded co-religionists. Plus, the Government was aware that the outcome will anyhow affect the votes flow in the upcoming National Election.

King's wife: Freedom of religion only applies to us, the non-Muslims. :)

Wow... We're all joining them! :D

Doreen: Very, very brave. Don't they deserve our admiration after having gone though such tumultuous years in complete darkness?

may said...

yup, I'm all for that deserted island. never really one for religion myself.

*waits for boat*

kyh said...

Boat's comin'! Boat's comin'! :D

zewt said...

i was being sarcastic in my latest post la.

kyh said...

Haha... I know lah! :P

Moreover, I don't think you're that mean, hor? ;)

zeroimpact said...

What I can say is, just migrate out of the counrty or something
Though you say that it's a death sentence elsewhere, but then again if I am not mistaken, only in Malaysia, one cannot change their religion if they are Muslim, the word is only.
Hai

khengsiong said...

Wikipedia on Natural Justice:
"A person who makes a decision should be unbiased and act in good faith. He therefore can not be one of the parties in the case, or have an interest in the outcome."

Do you think there was natural justice in the Lina Joy case?

BTW, you may want to read Datin Marina Mahathir's post:
Rantings by MM

khengsiong said...

Kyh mentioned about national election. Recently I read a magazine which says that some US presidents had the courage to make unpopular decisions - decisions which were later proved to be correct.
Examples:
Lincoln's abolishment of slavery.
Kennedy's effort to pass human rights bill.

Someone - don't remember who - claimed:
I would rather be right than be the President.

I don't expect someone in this country to say:
I would rather be right than be the Prime Minister.

Chen said...

we all know the outcome of the case even before the so called "judgement" day :(

eastcoastlife said...

kyh,
I find it incredible that a Muslim wanted to convert to Christianity in Malaysia. Even though I'm not a Malaysian, I find that it's impossible! There are many strict rules that Muslims have to follow.

I find it incredible that you all are discussing religious issues here. I better get out, my blog and photo already appeared in Malaysian papers! Waaahhh! Run liao!

angele said...

Religion is a very sensitive issue especially in countries with so many different races and cultures.

Just like Malaysia,Mauritius is a multicultural nation and no matter how careful or willing we are,religion is always an issue of animated discussion if more...

Sometimes it's a shame to see how far things can go wrong just because of religious matters...sometimes even politics come into it.. *sigh*

kyh said...

zeroimpact: It's not about migration. Yes, we know that it's a good option, but not everyone adores it. To Joy, Malaysia has always been her home. It's kinda absurd to flee your own homeland just to escape from persecution! She has the right to stay here and to practise her faith of choice. ;)

No, Malaysia's not the only country in this world to have imposed this law. Nearly all Muslim countries which elevate Islam to the official status have this law enforced, especially those governed according to the Islamic Sharia, eg Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mauritania and Somalia. In these countries, apostasy is a serious offence tantamount to treason, and can carry the death penalty.

khengsiong: There's no natural justice there, of course. I read that one of the judges overseeing the trial, the current Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia, had actually judged from Islam's point of view, commenting that "You can't at whim and fancy convert from one religion to another."

Thanks for the link, though I've already known about that Qur'anic verse a long time ago. :)

Haha... Power is everything here in Malaysia. Who's in power, he shall be the king.

Chen: Let's continue to pray for her! ;)

eastcoastlife: It's nothing to be surprised of. This happens in other parts of the world too. ;)

LOL! You're too popular to run away from that! :P

angele: At least Mauritius doesn't have this kind of issue arisen.

That's why politics should never ever meddle in religion, and so is vice versa. They should be kept away from each other.

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

First timer to your blog. A very nice one. Keep up the good work!

kyh said...

Hey there... Thanks for your visit and compliment! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hello !.
might , perhaps very interested to know how one can make real money .
There is no initial capital needed You may start to get income with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
AimTrust incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with structures around the world.
Do you want to become really rich in short time?
That`s your choice That`s what you wish in the long run!

I`m happy and lucky, I started to get income with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to select a proper partner utilizes your savings in a right way - that`s the AimTrust!.
I earn US$2,000 per day, and what I started with was a funny sum of 500 bucks!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://oryvawopeb.ibnsites.com/muvafu.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to become rich

Anonymous said...

Good day !.
You re, I guess , perhaps very interested to know how one can manage to receive high yields .
There is no initial capital needed You may start to get income with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you thought of all the time
AimTrust represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with offices everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become a happy investor?
That`s your choice That`s what you wish in the long run!

I feel good, I started to take up income with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to choose a proper companion who uses your savings in a right way - that`s the AimTrust!.
I make 2G daily, and my first investment was 500 dollars only!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://ifacifil.bigheadhosting.net/qytudem.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to become rich

Anonymous said...

Good day !.
You may , probably very interested to know how one can reach 2000 per day of income .
There is no need to invest much at first. You may begin earning with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
The company incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with structures around the world.
Do you want to become a happy investor?
That`s your choice That`s what you really need!

I`m happy and lucky, I began to get real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to select a correct companion utilizes your savings in a right way - that`s the AimTrust!.
I make 2G daily, and what I started with was a funny sum of 500 bucks!
It`s easy to start , just click this link http://mynymasihi.maddsites.com/xotema.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to get rid of nastiness of the life

Anonymous said...

Good day, sun shines!
There have were times of hardship when I didn't know about opportunities of getting high yields on investments. I was a dump and downright pessimistic person.
I have never thought that there weren't any need in big starting capital.
Now, I'm happy and lucky , I begin take up real income.
It gets down to choose a proper companion who utilizes your money in a right way - that is incorporate it in real business, parts and divides the profit with me.

You may get interested, if there are such firms? I have to tell the truth, YES, there are. Please be informed of one of them:
http://theblogmoney.com

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I would like to burn a theme at here. There is such a nicey, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of ponzy-like structure, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

For quite a long time, I make money with the help of these programs.
I'm with no money problems now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I make 2G daily, and my first investment was 500 dollars only.
Right now, I managed to catch a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Turn to my blog to get additional info.

http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]