Being religious does not mean that one is compassionate and humane. A true religion teaches us about compassion, love and respect for life and mankind. A man who claims to be religious can be overly fixated with the rituals but not its virtues.
Can a person claim to be religious if he cannot differentiate between a person's willingness to be responsible for his action and a person who is not?
Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, a senior lecturer, should be the last person who would not or cannot spot the difference. Ridhuan Tee's comment about Teoh Beng Hock's unborn child and labelling her/him as illegitimate is wrong and inhumane. The parents of the unborn child have a name. They were bound by a vow to a life together as man and wife, and parents to their new offspring.
Teoh's life was cruelly truncated a day before he could claim legitimacy to both his baby and his fiance. The refusal of the National Registration Department to recognize his child does not change the fact that Teoh was the legitimate father.
But what Teoh did - to accept his responsibility as a father and a husband -, and Ridhuan did not appreciate, cannot be compared to thousands of illegitimate babies born and abandoned by their parents who refused to accept the outcome of their desire.
Teoh was prepared to marry his fiance. He was prepared to accept responsibility and was eagerly anticipating a chance to become a proud father.
As a Muslim, I am surprised that Ridhuan Tee did not appreciate the fact the Almighthy is compassionate. Some human hearts may be too narrow to accept Teoh's unborn child but not God's.
A blogger asks; "Whose racist and kiasu?". Yes, who is both racist and kiasu? Who made this statement: "Mereka begitu pandai berpolitik. Mengambil kesempatan di atas kelemahan dan perpecahan Melayu. Jika Melayu Islam bersatu, saya tidak yakin, mereka seberani ini. Keberanian mereka disebabkan ada segelintir orang Melayu bersama mereka. Ini yang menjadikan mereka semakin besar kepala seperti kaduk naik junjung."
Ridhuan cannot hide behind the curtain of race and religion when his statement about Teoh's illegitimate child was being taken to task by a few parties. DAP and the Chinese are not synonymous. MCA or Gerakan does not represent the Chinese. Jeff Ooi's views do not concur with mine.
Ridhuan may be a Muslim but he cannot change the fact that he belongs to the Chinese ethnic origin. Malay may be inseparable with Islam. But Muslims are not all Malays. Many like Ridhuan are converts. There are more Chinese Muslims than the whole population of Malaysia.
Hence, I do not see any sense for Ridhuan to call out for Malay Muslim unity to react against some statements made by a few politicians and editors. Ridhuan's blanket statement against his own race will not win him any sympathy although he might have a point on sex before marriage and irresponsible couples who dumped their babies.
Ridhuan's calling for PAS to review their partnership with DAP and his political attacks against the party are the sore points of his article. Ridhuan's attempt to defend UMNO as a racist party will put his independence into question.
There are a few things that the senior lecturer might want to take note:
1) It is necessary to look at Teoh's case independently. Teoh's case is not about legitimizing sex before marriage. It is about a person who lost his life a day before he could register his marriage and to claim a legal status for his wife and child. Moreover, he was killed in custody.
2) The institution of marriage is a modern phenomenal. Some of our early ancestors probably did not go through the whole process of registering their marriages. Historically, some of them even had more than one social partners. It did not make these liaisons immoral or irresponsible. It was acceptable during those period of time. Looking back at history, there is a high chance that a number of us originated from these 'illegal' liaisons.
3) It is unwarranted for Ridhuan to make a sweeping statement against all Chinese if his previous article was criticized by a few politicians and editors. He should observe respect against some individuals who were not even aware of his existence or his article.
Anyone who reads Ridhuan's article would have a chilly feeling that he sounded like a typical politician from a particular race-based party. Worse, Ridhuan should not lecture others about being kiasu and racist if he cannot even accept the reality about his own ethnicity.
We should respect all religions. But some of us should learn to respect and accept that Malaysia is a multiracial and multireligious country. Each of us has our own set of social and religious norms. The highest law of this nation is the civil laws and the federal constitution. Islam is the official religion of this country but it does not say that Malaysia is an Islamic nation, not as claimed by Ridhuan.
Good Muslims will not be bothered to even take a sip of beer and alcohol even if an open bottle is put right in front of their nose. A person who wants a pint of beer will go through the trouble to get one even if you placed it in a lion's den.
This is a decision for the federal government to make - ban the sales of liquor and beer. I abhor drinking but it does not stop me from respecting others choice to do so as long as it is legally allowed.