Defending Islam includes protecting Malay rights, says Ridhuan Tee
UPDATED @ 06:42:25 PM 20-07-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Defending Islam must go hand in hand with protecting the rights of the Malays as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, controversial columnist Assoc Prof Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah said today.
Tee, a Chinese Muslim who embraced Islam 26 years ago, noted that although he is Chinese by race, the Islamic faith had taught him that religion should take precedence above race.
The academician said because the Federal Constitution indicates that the Malays profess Islam, he had “no choice” but to place himself among those in the Malay race as well.
“In my understanding, when there is a clash between the importance of race with the importance of religion, like it or not, Islam taught me that religion must take priority,” he said at the launch of his books “Masih Adakah Ketuanan Melayu?” and “Cabaran Saudara Baharu di Malaysia” at the Defence Ministry here.
“So I took the decision, the stand, that the importance of religion must be upheld and to protect religion, this includes defending the Malay race as a whole,” he said.
Tee, who has previously ruffled feathers with his hardline views on race and religion, also expressed worry that a divided Malay race may lead to the destruction of the “Malay Supremacy” concept.
“Malay Supremacy”, or “Ketuanan Melayu” in Bahasa Malaysia, has long been slammed by critics of the government as a term used to propagate the concept of “master and slave” in society.
“But if we are split in our race and our religion, I worry that if this continues, then what would happen to this concept of ‘Malay supremacy’ that we often speak of?” Tee said.
He expressed “frustration” at what he described as the “difficulty” of the non-Malays in accepting national schools and an education system patterned after the Malay race or Islam.
“But this is also what we see today’s politics,” Tee added.