Bumiputera, halal and ‘kafir’ should not become divisive words among Malaysians

Letter to editor

SINCE independence, the word Bumiputera has been used excessively in sometimes extreme context to showcase economic imbalance between the non-Malays and the Malays – and so have the words kafir (infidel) and halal.

When examined closely, the Bumiputera concept which is an affirmative segregation and separation of the Malays and the non-Malays to bring about equity in the economic disparity, is a policy that has been too long perpetuated till Bumiputera themselves feel as if they need crutches for their survival.

Almost 67 years have passed but we see that more Bumiputera are languishing in the lower economic ladder while an elite group of Bumiputera has flourished by the crutches provided by the government.

Needy Bumiputera who are in the millions need to be targeted in the quest to correct such disparity. However, such affirmative action should not exclude the non-Malays till they end up as second-class citizens as how they have felt for the last 60 odd years.

Though the word kafir has been used discriminately by the Muslims against the non-Muslims as non-believers – thus eliciting a feeling of disillusionment and separation – it should not be used by Muslim politicians to undermine the citizenry rights of non-Malays.

There are two types of infidels as per the Al-Fiqh Al-Islami scripture

Each individual is after all the creation of God and even though the faith of one individual may differ from that of his neighbours, that should not lead to the creation of divisive tendencies.

One should not feel that they are closer to the creator just because they profess a certain faith. We will only know where we stand after having departed the mortal world to the immortal.

There are people saying that they feel proud to be a kafir because of the divisive manner in which it is portrayed and expressed. On the same note, while halal food is a religious requirement for Muslims where non-Muslim Malaysians have learnt to accept and respect, it should not create ill feelings among Malaysians during multi-racial gatherings.

In a nutshell, these three divisive words which are used in economic and religious context should not possess extremist tendencies so as to divide Malaysians or disrupt our harmonious race relationship.

At the end of the day, we must create an inclusive society with wisdom as opposed to irritating others by telling them that we are more superior in the eyes of the creator than other segments of the society. – Nov 24, 2023


K.T. Maran

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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