Malaysian Chinese man seeks to renounce Islam
By SEAN YOONG
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – An ethnic Chinese Malaysian mistakenly given by doctors to a Malay Muslim couple at birth nearly three decades ago is bracing for a possible legal battle so he can renounce Islam, an action that can be considered a crime in parts of Malaysia.
Zulhaidi Omar, 29, who now goes by the name Eddie to his family and friends, said he discovered his true identity by chance and met his biological parents in 1998 after years of being teased about his Chinese features.
“I want to get my life back in order now,” Zulhaidi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his southern home state of Johor.
by Dr Farish A Noor
The bottom line is that the Hindu temples of Malaysia are and have always been part of the Malaysian cultural landscape. Hinduism is one of the Malaysian faiths. It has been rooted in the culture of Southeast Asia for more than 2,000 years. If anything, its long historical embeddedness shows that it deserves more than a token mention in the history books.
Religion’s entry into politics often leads to its politicisation and loss of its core spiritual values. This is painfully obvious to the scholars who have watched the rise of political variants of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism the world over. This has led many an analyst to the somewhat depressing conclusion that despite its lofty ideals religion has yet to develop immunity to the temptation of power. Since every religion is understood and judged by the actions and behaviour of its adherents, it is clear that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists are often themselves the reason why these religions get such bad press these days.
A HOUSE DIVIDED: The battle over the true spiritual beliefs of Kaliammal’s late husband reflects Malaysia?s widening religious fault lines
How well do you know your husband?
For Kaliammal Sinnasamy, a Hindu married to a member of the first Malaysian team to scale Mt. Everest, the answer, she thought, was obvious. “I married a Hindu man, lived with him as a Hindu, bore him a Hindu child and watched him die as a Hindu,” says the now 32-year-old office cleaner. But when Kaliammal went to the hospital in December 2005 to claim her spouse’s body after he died of a protracted illness, she received another shock. Her husband, Maniam Moorthy, had secretly converted to Islam before his death, said Islamic authorities. According to Islamic law, he would be buried in a Muslim cemetery. No, insisted Kaliammal, he would undergo Hindu rites. Both sides headed to court. But Malaysia—a multiethnic nation composed largely of Muslim Malays, Hindu Indians and Buddhist and Christian Chinese—employs a dual legal system. Muslims are subject to Shari’a law for issues such as marriage, property and death, while non-Muslims use civil courts. First, the Shari’a court ruled that Kaliammal’s husband was a Muslim. Then, the civil court refused to intervene. “This court cannot undo, vary or overrule any decisions made by the Islamic Shari’a court,” said Judge Raus Shariff to a packed courtroom. “We have absolutely no jurisdiction over Islam.”
Our foreign policy religiously-biased
by Low Leng Hua
I refer to the letter Dr M has no right to moral high ground and feel that the writer has hit the nail right on the head on the issue raised. I want to add here that it is not only Dr M who practised such selective international policies and worldview, but that the present Abdullah administration is also guilty of the same thing.
We will see the government of a supposedly mult racial country rushing to send aid and assistance to Muslim nations stricken by natural disasters but when similar catastrophes occur elsewhere in a non-Muslim nation, we will hear nothing from the government. We always hear propaganda saying that our country gives assistance without looking at race, colour or religious leanings but the truth of the matter is that they will only help Muslim countries.
Dr M has no right to moral high ground
I refer to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. All I can say is that under Dr M’s tenure as prime minister of Malaysia, the country’s policy concerning human rights and crimes against humanity was very simple and obvious. Catholics and Protestants can kill each other. Sri Lankan’s Sinhalese and Tamils can kill each other. Government-sponsored genocide with Hutus killing Tutsis would elicit no condemnation from the Malaysian government.These are merely non-Muslims killing non-Muslims. Muslims can also kill Muslims. Like what is happening in Darfur. Will the Sudanese leaders be regarded as war criminals by Dr M? Oh no, that is not genocide. Because that does not fit the equation. The simple equation is that non-Muslims cannot kill Muslims. Any other equation is, if not acceptable, at least not a war crime.
A Mosque Minaret With Chinese Architectural Influence
Chinese Malaysians who have embraced Islam are testing the government over a mosque issue that analysts say highlights a racial divide in the multi-ethnic country.
Malaysia, which boasts of religious diversity and where just over half of its population are Muslims of Malay descent, has spurned applications by Chinese Muslims to open their first mosques, officials said.
By Ahmed Ameen
Islam Online, Kuala Lumpur
They call it “positive” discrimination, but that depends on your perspective. An official government policy of such positive discrimination means that Malays, students and faculty, get the advantage when it comes to education. The Chinese Malaysians feel the brunt of this.
While many Southeast Asian countries, especially Indonesia and Thailand, have a background of Sinophobia, only Malaysia has instituted an official policy against its own Chinese. The Chinese make up almost one-third of the overall population, more within the colleges.
An old post in Malaysiakini, but as good as new. Read on:
Mar 17, 06 12:48pm
The present time is a period of fractious society, restive people, rising prices, greater and more urgent calls for transparency and accountability, for more tangible leadership.
There is still ground for reflection and moralising. When things go riotous and berserk, come back to the basics.
Come back to the national philosophy, the Rukunegara.