Lina Joy may go to church.
And she may read from the bible.
And she may even put up a star on top of her Christmas tree every year.
But she’s still a Muslim. Not a willing one, mind you. But a 100 percent certified and authentic one nonetheless.
Cos that is the way of wacky Malaysia – a country where its citizens are not allowed to choose their religion. Well, actually that’s not strictly true: they CAN choose their religion – provided of course that it’s a certain religion! But any of the other religions out there and you can forget it. Permission denied.
This policy enshrined in law. And confirmed today (30 May 2007) by the Malaysian Supreme Court which ruled against the request of Azlina Jailani (Lina Joy) to convert to that religion.
Now if this law was in effect in a country like the UK (can you imagine that: all the white Brits having to be say Christian by law!), they’d have a word for it. And that word would be bollocks.
Cos that is what this is, no two ways about it: complete and utter bollocks.
And besides telling its citizens what religion they must follow, the Malaysian government also unashamedly adopts openly racist policies.
The ethnic Malays, or pribumi, must be treated BETTER than other Malays (the Chinese, Indians, and others).
You wanna go to a state Uni? Sure you do. But if you’re from the wrong race you’ll need to have three A’s. But come from a better race and three C’s will do.
But even the word pribumi is racist of course: as if the “natives of the earth” should be hailed as the God-appointed guardians of Malaysia; some kind of super race.
And who incidentally would be a pribumi in a country like the UK? The caucasians? But many whites in Britain can trace their ancestry to Germany, France, Ireland, Scandinavia, or wherever. And what about the Brits of Indian ancestry? Are they any less British cos their skin color is different? Any less worthy of the pribumi title they are so obsessed with in Malaysia?
And how Malaysia avoids international condemnation is even more perplexing.
After all, the racists in South Africa weren’t allowed to get away with this rubbish, and the UN is always going on about human rights. So come on Ban Ki-moon, don’t you think it was about time you said something? Cos the silence is deafening!