Malaysia is tolerant no more

Malaysia is tolerant no more

Is ‘Moderate’ Malaysia getting radicalised?

One should never judge anything too quickly. So I took time to make up my mind about Malaysia, considered by many as an oasis of moderation among all the Muslim majority nations of this planet. Malaysia has over 60 per cent Muslims today. But a sequence of events heading towards one direction seems to be forming a trend. So now a question arises – Is the so-called moderate society of Malaysia getting radicalised by hardcore intolerant Islamists?

Follow this narrative of events and decide for yourself. The narration is not in any particular order. It’s just a collection of key incidents of intolerance and bigotry from Malaysia over the past seven years.

July 2013: Students forced to eat in a toilet

Malaysia is tolerant no more

Outrage broke out on the internet when the non-Muslim students of a big school were literally forced to eat in a toilet during the Muslim holy month of Ramzan so they would not ‘offend’ the fasting Muslim students. This happened at the SK Seri Pristana school in Sungai Buloh of a big city Petaling Jaya. The pictures depicting non-Muslim primary school students allegedly forced to eat their recess meals in a toilet due to the ongoing Ramzan fasting month had Malaysians up in arms on the Internet. The pictures were posted by a mother by the name of Guneswari Kelly on Facebook. The photographs appear to show several non-Muslim children, and even adults, at a school named SRK Sri Pristana in Sungai Buloh taking their recess in the lavatory even as the school canteen went unoccupied. When caught, the school administration tried to bluff, but quickly got caught. Read more on that bluff here.

August 2009: Severed cow head protests against a Hindu temple

Malaysia is tolerant no more

Malaysia is tolerant no moreThe cow head protests were held in front of the Selangor State Government headquarters at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Building, Shah Alam, Malaysia on August 28, 2009. The protest was held due to Selangor State Government’s intention to relocate a Hindu temple from Section 19 residential area of Shah Alam to Section 23. The protesters were mainly Muslims who opposed the relocation because Section 23 was a Muslim majority area. These intolerant radicals stomped on the dead cow’s head and spat on it before leaving the site. Their main aim was to insult Hindus as Hindus consider the cow a sacred animal worthy of adoration. They were also on record saying ‘there would be blood’ if a temple was constructed in Shah Alam.

By the way, it was the Government’s decision to move the Hindu temple from one section of the city to another. It was not as if some Hindus came out of nowhere to build a new temple. This showed the bigoted and intolerant face of Muslims of Malaysia.

July 2013: A couple posting pictures of eating pork on Facebook may be jailed for 15 years

A non-Muslim Chinese-origin couple, Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, posted on Facebook a photo of themselves eating pork during the Islamic month of Ramzan. They wished Happy Ramzan along with that photo. This became such a big ‘offense’ that they could now be facing up to 15 years in prison in Malaysia for, among other things, sedition! They were charged under the Sedition Act, the Film Censorship Act, and the Penal Code. Yes, you read it right. Posting pork-eating pictures from a legal restaurant of Malaysia could even lead to ‘sedition’! The couple is busy pleading not guilty as they did that just for fun. They have even uploaded a Youtube video apologising for any hurt sensibilities.

Malaysia is tolerant no more

To be fair, the Muslim dislike for pigs is to be considered. But 15 years in jail for merely posting a picture of someone smiling and eating pork at a legal restaurant? Heights of bigotry!

July 2013: Demand to expel the Vatican Ambassador for use of ‘Allah’ instead of ‘God’

Malaysia’s Government has been urged to close down the Vatican City embassy in Malaysia and expel the ambassador Archbishop Joseph Marino for interfering in domestic affairs. A coalition of Malay non-governmental organisations said that strong measures were needed against Marino.

Malaysia is tolerant no moreWhat was Marino’s ‘crime’? He supported a local Catholic Church’s use of the word ‘Allah’ in place of ‘God’. Marino’s claim was that it would strengthen the ties of understanding between Muslims and Christians. But large-scale opposition turned the situation into the exact opposite. In India, millions of people use words like God, Deva, Allah, Khuda, Lord and Bhagawan interchangeably. So this particular action would sound a bit extreme to most Indians.

September 2010: Muslim students told not to to eat from school canteen stalls operated by Chinese-origin students

At the Convent Greelane Primary, Penang, there were instructions to Muslim students to not eat from stalls in the School Canteen operated by Chinese-origin students. The claim was that the Chinese, who ate pork, were unclean. An early start to racism — at the student level itself!

September 2010: Muslim students told not to sing ‘God Bless St Xaviers’, their school name

St Xavier’s Institution at Penang instructed Muslim students to not sing ‘God Bless St Xaviers’ as it was deemed to be in praise of a Christian Saint, and not that for the school.

August 2010: Racism against Chinese-origin students in a Kedah school

The Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bukit Selambau head allegedly accused Chinese students of being insensitive towards their Muslim peers by eating in the school compound during Ramzan time. Also, the ‘offending’ students were ordered to return to China if they could not respect the culture of other races. This school had about 10 per cent non-Malay students. Later, apologies did come through, but imagine the plight of non-Muslim students who were asked to leave the country for merely eating in the school!

2006 and 2007: Within 16 months, 79 Hindu temples were demolished or attempts for demolition were made

Malaysia is tolerant no moreThese included 73-year-old JKR Sri Muniswarar temple, 65-year-old Sri Ayyanar Sathiswary Alayam temple, more than 100-year-old Sri Selva Kaliamman temple, more than 100-year-old Sri Kaliamman temple, more than 120-year-old Kg. Jawa Mariamman temple among others. It was very obvious that very old and traditional temples of Malaysian Hindus were either threatened to be demolished or demolished forcibly.

You can get the complete list of 79 affected temples here.

Not only Hindu temples, but even Christian churches have been demolished. In 2006, a church at Johar was destroyed. You can read more on that here.

Watch this emotional Hindu woman from Malaysia explaining in Tamil how a Hindu temple was demolished in Malaysia. A clear violation of non-Muslims’ human rights.


In summary, what is happening to ‘moderate’ Malaysia? 

Chinese-origin people are being jailed for posting pictures of eating pork on Facebook. Centuries-old Hindu temples are being demolished, that too dozens every quarter of the year. Innocent students are being forced to eat in school toilets just because they are non-Muslims. The word ‘Allah’ isn’t allowed for use by non-Muslims even for reasons of inter-faith harmony.

Is Malaysia heading in the same direction as intolerant Bangladesh or fanatic Pakistan? A pretty sad turn of events during the 21st century.

{Images From: Twitter, Boston, Atheistrepublic, Reuters, Ucanews and BBC.}

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are the author's personal opinions. Information, facts or opinions shared by the Author do not reflect the views of Niti Central and Niti Central is not responsible or liable for the same. The Author is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


Kiran Kumar S

Running commentary of thoughts and excerpts of what I read/absorb. More info, less bakwas.


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