Malaysia Before Malaysia Lecture #6: Federal Constitution – Colonial Legacy or National Pride?


To many Malaysians, the Federal Constitution is deemed as the heart of our nationhood. It holds the promises of our aspirations, hopes and dreams to be attained by preserving ideals as encapsulated by the highest law of the land.

However, this promise has faced much obstacles and for some, its spirit has withered over time – especially with the changing landscape of the people’s liberties, institutions and justice.

Due to this, there have been many concerns severely contested by numerous scholars, activists and communities regarding the perceived values interpreted from the Federal Constitution, when provisions regarding religion, race and fundamental liberties are brought into a controversial light once again in the courts of justice.

Much of it boils down to questioning the origins of the Federal Constitution, its makers and its attempt to move forward from the long episode of colonialism. Has it contributed to the current dilemmas we face today? Will a better understanding of our Federal Constitution ignite a greater appreciation that will revitalize the necessary attitudes to address these very same dilemmas?

In this lecture, Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz, founding president of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) will be scrutinizing the history behind the making of Malaysia’s Federal Constitution and the surrounding debate around the extent of its ability to serve as the bedrock of the nation.

Details of event are as follow:
Date: Saturday, 12th November 2016
Time: 10.45am – 1.00pm
Venue: MCCHR Pusat Rakyat LB, Jalan Pantai Baharu (A-3-8 Pantai Business Park), 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Admission is free and open to all. Donations are encouraged. Directions to the venue are available at

This lecture is part of the Malaysia Before Malaysia series, brought to you by Imagined Malaysia and MCCHR.

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The inevitability of race-based politics — Boo Su-Lyn

Source: The Malay Mail Online


A Creative Commons image

A Creative Commons image

SEPTEMBER 30 ― So it has come to this ― we now face the possibility of an utterly polarised country after over half a century of race-based politics.

Both the opposition and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) predominantly Chinese component parties ― MCA, Gerakan and SUPP ― have expressed concern that the electoral redelineation exercise apparently promotes racial segregation.

According to news portal Malaysiakini who analysed the change of racial composition in Selangor state seats, the redelineation exercise will lead to a drop in racially mixed seats as there will be an increase in seats where Malays either form a “large majority” (60 to 79.9 per cent) or a “small minority” (less than 20 per cent). The same goes for the Chinese. But the representation of Indian voters reportedly remains more or less the same.

Although both Malay and Chinese voters will be polarised, Malaysiakini reported that Malay representation would be increased overall as they would mostly now comprise the “large majority” in seats, while the Chinese would now generally comprise the “small minority.”

It’s no wonder then that BN’s component parties are worried about the redelineation exercise ― they fear getting less seats to contest, besides losing the ones with a large Chinese majority based on voting patterns in the 13th general election. It’s unlikely that the Chinese voters’ anti-establishment sentiment will change much in the next elections. Read more

Malaysia’s Dangerous Path — Daniel Wagner

Source: The Huffington Post


Muslims from around the world have long chosen Malaysia as a holiday destination, being widely viewed as a moderate Muslim country, where people of diverse ethnicity and religion live in harmony. Muslims account for approximately 60 percent of the population (most of them being ethnic Malay), with Chinese and Indian minorities accounting for most of the rest, practicing Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism as they please. That is part of what makes Malaysia unique. Its tranquility is now under threat, however, a combination of simmering ethnic tension and government action that is taking the country down a dangerous path.

For decades, Malaysia’s main opposition party – the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) – has promoted the adoption of Islamic law, and for decades the government has objected to such law, until now. Prime Minister Najib Razak has for many months been embroiled in a corruption scandal, in which he has admitted accepting nearly $700 million as a “donation” to him. Moreover, his government is in trouble, as urban voters are increasingly rejecting the ruling United Malay National Organization (UMNO) and it policies. Many Malaysians have had enough of Mr. Najib, UMNO, and the current government.

Mr. Najib and UMNO have therefore decided to court rural Malays, who tend to be more conservative and who support PAS in greater numbers than their urban counterparts. In May of this year, UMNO fast-tracked the reading of a bill drafted by PAS which sought to increase the punishment courts may impose on those Muslims convicted of religious offenses through existing Islamic courts. Opening that Pandora’s Box has naturally created an uproar among moderate Muslims in the country.

Islamic law is already enforced in some capacity in the more conservative parts of the country, where, for example, religious authorities already check patrons’ religion in hotels and bars. The authorities may already jail those who do not practice official interpretations of the law. Some PAS members want Muslims convicted of drinking alcohol to receive up to 80 lashes of the rattan cane, and for adulterers to receive up to 100 lashes of the cane, in ominous echoes of the punishment already dispensed in countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. Is the next step amputations for stealing and hangings for being gay? Moderate Muslims know that such a pivot toward the imposition of Islamic law usually only leads in one direction: more of the same.

Read more

Mimbar Gerakbudaya : Mencari Titik Pertemuan Antara Jurang Kaum dan Agama


Selepas Pilihanraya Umum Ke-13, politik perkauman telah menggantikan retorik 1 Malaysia mendominasikan pentas sosio-politik di Malaysia, misalnya :

— Keputusan PRU-13 adalah tsunami Cina
— Menteri ajak Melayu boikot peniaga Cina
— Orang Melayu didakwa jadi barua Cina dalam Himpunan Bersih 4.0
— Rusuhan Plaza Low Yat
— Himpunan baju merah 16 September
— Serangan berbaur perkauman terhadap Guru Melayu di SJKC

Bagaimanakah politik perkauman telah memecah dan memerintah rakyat sehingga identiti kaum dan agama mendahului identiti bangsa Malaysia? Bagaimanakah masyarakat sivil mendepan cabaran politikus mengapi-apikan isu perkauman dan mengeratkan hubungan antara kaum? Apakah titik pertemuan antara jurangan kaum dan agama?

Mimbar Gerakbudaya kali ini berjaya menjemput dua orang anak muda untuk membicarakan perkara ini :

1) Lim Hong Siang, Penganalisis Politik Bebas
2) Benz Ali,
Pejuang Facebok

Tarikh : 12hb April 2016, Selasa
Masa : 8:00 pm
Tempat : Rumah Gerakbudaya
2, Jalan Bukit 11/2, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Sila hubungi Yap pada 03-79578342 jika ada pertanyaan.Gerakbudaya