Why did Guan Eng hijack argument by deliberate warping?
In our previous posting ‘Send flotilla to S’pore!‘, regular Hartal reader ‘najib manaukau’ pointed out that “the only one common thing in the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Malays is that they are all Muslims”.
However, looking at the chart of the Top 10 least corrupt countries, we see another thing in common, in that seven of them — Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia and Norway have crosses in their flags denoting a Christian tradition (just as the crescent in flags denote Muslim countries).
Canada and the Netherlands, which do not carry crosses in their flags, have populations that are 77% Christian, 16% no religion (in Canada) while the Dutch are among the least religious people in the world with only 39% being religiously affiliated — an even lower 31% for those aged under 35 — and fewer than 20% visiting church regularly.
Yet with more than half of them disbelieving in god, the Dutch practise ‘amar makruf nahi mungkar’ (do good, hinder evil) without having to preach religious values endlessly. Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew is famously agnostic, i.e. someone who doesn’t practise religion. And his country is No.1 in the ‘Least Corrupt’ rankings.
Malaysia, where even the Chinese wanna be caliphs (see featured photo, above), is a country that doesn’t feature in the Top 50 as ‘clean’.
Our posting on Oct 21 ‘Fascinating factoids: The fighting & the freezing‘ which examined the Media Freedom index also saw that the Top 5 countries are the usual suspects 1. Finland, 2. Iceland, 3. The Netherlands, 4. Norway, 5. Sweden.
On the other hand, six of the bottom 10 countries are the Muslim countries.
So this is what we want to ask Lim Guan Eng — the Caliph Umar Abdul Aziz. However, our fellow mediawatcher ‘uppercaise’ already framed the same question previously, so we’ll just reproduce his writing.
Posting at his blog Malaysian Media Matters, uppercaise wrote:
“DAP leader Lim Guan Eng certainly sounded like he’d lost his bearings, going by (the Aug 7) Malaysian Insider report on his reaction to MCA president Chua Soi Lek’s description of the state of affairs in Muslim countries.
“Defender of the faith is a strange new role for a party viewed as secular and left-leaning. Even more so when Guan Eng’s response sounded very much like what Mahathir Mohamad would often do, which was to hijack the argument by deliberately choosing a warped interpretation of what the other guy said. And with Anwar Ibrahim by his side, he also sounded like he’d been taking tuition in political marketing by harking on ancient history and the vaunted glories of Islamic civilisation.
“Excuse me, but wasn’t Soi Lek talking about the state of Muslim countries today, under current circumstances — like, you know, in the late 20th and early 21st Century?”
Uppercaise in his ‘Say no to holier-than-thou politics‘ further writes that Guan Eng has his own reasons for blasting back at Soi Lek, given that the MCA leader has made a rare foray into being forthright:
“Soi Lek makes a pertinent point, in the context of today’s world, on the effects of religion and politics on the state of human development, the state of political and civil rights, and all the other indicators that show how little progress that one-quarter of humanity has made with their God-given right to the pursuit of happiness.”
Uppercaise asks rhetorically whether Guan Eng must twist the argument into polemics about the worth of Islam in world civilisation, if only to gain ground among Malay-Muslim voters.
“Malaysian Insider quotes Guan Eng as saying: ‘Dr Chua should educate himself in history that the civilisation of Islam was filled not just with global empires, but also with glory in art, learning, algebra and astronomy’.”
Uppercaise writes: “Excuse me, what does the glory of the Alhambra, to take one poor example on account of the bloody history, have to do with the pathetic conditions that hundreds of millions of Muslims alive today must endure under the brutality of their political systems?”
Hartal echoes the question: “Yeah, Guan Eng, answer him, please”.