The Dandelions

.. the mutual admiration and bashing society.

Infuriated by an article of IKIM (AKA Intellectual Branch of UMNO)

Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on July 28, 2008

Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia or Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM), quite often I find it to be a dangerous branch of UMNO. It wears Islam as a veil to convey subtle threats to the populace. In a recent article – A Malaysian nation: still elusive? (The Star, 8th of July, 2008), it defines a nation to have at least three of the four similar characteristics shared by its population which are religion, ethnicity, language and historical destiny. By IKIM’s notion, religion is out of the question because Malays are Muslims, Chinese are mostly Buddhist and Indians are mostly Hindus. Same goes for ethnicity, historical destiny and language. To sum it up, he thinks we are a nation only because of the existent of government, otherwise we do not have the characteristics of a nation.

For a pious scholar like him from IKIM to present such a shallow view of how Malaysia functions is clearly one who is isolated from reality and globalisation. It is ironic that globalisation brought about the prominence of Islam into the global arena, yet this Muslim scholar is ignoring the fact of globalisation. As he correctly pointed out, Switzerland is not a country constituted of similar races, but they are bound together by their European identity. Is he that short-sighted? Can’t he see that Malaysians, whatever race they come from, are bound together by their Asian identity? Are the races in Malaysia really that different as he would like to believe? Isn’t filial piety or respect for the elders and/ or parents a typical Asian identity?

A multicultural Malaysia to him is not part of the glue that makes a nation, again a very ignorant view of the strands of reality. Multiculturalism is a culture itself rather than a Frankenstein’s abomination. Europeans that I have met told me Malaysia has unique brand of multiculturalism that is lacking in Europe. If only people like him and those in power share the same enthusiasm these Europeans have about our culture of multiculturalism, which in itself is part of the backbone of the nation. Let’s get trivial, juxtaposing Peranakan culture with multiculturalism. Are Malaysians that stupid to say that they aren’t a fan of (Peranakan food) Rojak, Asam Laksa, Cendol or Kapitan Chicken? This is what I call the beautiful child conceived by multiculturalism that you don’t get anywhere else. Are we that different as a nation that the whole lot of us don’t appreciate Peranakan food? No, I am not being histrionic; I am stating a fact that is viewed from different perspective.

I find it even more infuriating that he denied the fact that we have similar historical destiny!!! What was the function of BN in the 1950s? It is an alliance of people from different races to gain independence from the British. Isn’t that something in common? What about Bersih or the recent general election that many Malaysians regardless of race share in common? How dare does he accuse us of not sharing similar historical destiny? And to my recollection, the climb to Mount Everest summit is our common historical destiny too! Unless he is a bumptious racist who views that the Mount Everest expedition was a failure because it was an Indian achievement!

Let me quote from him

“Other races can certainly contribute to this ‘hybrid’ culture so long as their contributions do not contravene any moral or religious principle, especially that of Islam, the backbone of Malay culture and tradition for centuries.”

This is what I call a self-centred nature, the incapacity to even bother to comprehend people that are different from him. Globalisation has rendered his form of orthodoxy obsolete. He has conveniently ignored the fact that the backbone of Malay culture has been fluidic not stagnant. Buddhism and Hinduism was once the backbone of Malay culture for centuries as well. Some Bugis Malays had the tradition of sea-farers which is no longer the case. So what is different now, why the sudden impetus for stagnation? Can’t the culture and tradition of the Malays evolve to that of the Malaysians? Mother nature isn’t that forgiving with evolutionary and priviliged induced dead ends and mind you, humans are no masters of nature, not yet anyway

Has he forgotten too about common ideological beliefs that bind a nation like libertarian France? It is their common belief in power of the people that overthrew King Louis as a united nation. All the Malaysians I know believe that Malaysia as a country has matured and are in favour of stronger democracy and freedom of speech.

Rather than bamboozling us to learn to accept misconstrued historical ‘facts’, he should learn how to see things beyond his protective egg shell and not view anyything outside his egg shell as hostile. Clear the senses before starting to blast away the mother of the egg she is trying to hatch.

Let me quote further

“The concept of a Malaysian nation should not be demonised and demolished. The rope which binds us however, i.e. the ruling government at any given time, must be strong and wise enough, and have support from all segments of the public.”

That is a self-preservation, oxymoronic paragraph. To give FULL undivided support (otherwise there is no such thing as a nation) to a ruling government means corrupted leadership is part of the equation too that deserves our ‘worship’. Ahh, but he said any government at the time, so he can easily worm his way out by saying, ‘I wasn’t referring to bad government was I?’. So it is back to square one, how to change governorship when it is FULL undivided support to ANY government (even bad one)? See the self-preservation, oxymoronic mode he has dug himself into?



12 Responses to “Infuriated by an article of IKIM (AKA Intellectual Branch of UMNO)”

  1. Madame said

    Well thought article, Jinggo! Much kudos to you 🙂

  2. missjolie said

    Another enlightening piece!

  3. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    Muchos Gracias

  4. D.Zin said

    Dear Dandelion,

    May I know what is the basis of your claim that IKIM is a dangerous branch of UMNO or as you put it: AKA Intellectual Branch of UMNO ?

    Apart from the above, the rest of your comments are fair indeed and I do hope that IKIM scholars will read them too.

    I do understand that “UMNO bashing” is rather fashionable these days but I can assure you that there are plenty of globally attuned mukmins (to read: practicing Muslims) here in Malaysia, IKIM included. It’s fine by me if we are to share the pride of an Asian identity, this unique brand of multiculturalism, for it is true, so we should. But common now bro (or is it Sis?), do we really need a European to justify that for us ? It simply does not jive with what you wrote:

    “All the Malaysians I know believe that Malaysia as a country has matured and are in favour of stronger democracy and freedom of speech.”

    If the idea of maturity still comes with aping the West, or benchmarking ourselves with their so called “good governance” and worst, still believing that they are more superior, then there must be something inferior about “believing” (or is it make-believe) in this Asian Identity.

    Maybe you should expand further on what exactly is this Asian Identity. Perhaps, what you meant is simply universal values and ethics although I can’t help speculating that you are probably insinuating that it’s the mix between the YangTze and the Indus civilizations. But as remarked by Naomi Klein about the USD 10 billion security budget/apparatus surrounding the Beijing Olympics, that government have succeeded in applying Police State Version 2.0; the latest version of Big Brother, hence making a complete mockery of “stronger democracy and freedom of speech”.

    May The Force Be With You !

  5. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said


    This is just one article from IKIM and already, it is pretty obvious you gloss over my points. You claim most of my comments are fair yet you you don’t think that IKIM and UMNO are wrong? How can I be so right yet so wrong? Can you explain this paradox?

    UMNO bashing? My dear, this is no UMNO bashing, this is the truth. UMNO wouldn’t be bashed if their policies and actions haven’t been corrupted and unreasoned. If they were based upon rationality, I am sure they would counter most of the accusations easily, but they can’t, and they can only resort to animalistic chants! Hence it is not our fault that they are ‘bashed’ that badly, they dig themselves into the hole to begin with my dear, too deep in fact that they can’t dig themselves out of it.

    1)FASHION: I am not sure if you get your facts right at all my friend, it is obvious UMNO is still in power after the last general election. If the fashion is bashing UMNO, shouldn’t UMNO be out from the Federal Government by now? But since the majority still voted for UMNO or BN, it is clear that UMNO or BN is the MAJOR FASHION right now? And if I am right, you do seem to imply that fashion is irrational too……

    2) GOOD GOVERNANCE: Okay let’s put the europeans aside for now, can you tell me what is the meaning of good governance in detail? And to each explanation, attach a Malaysian example to it. Tell us something we do not know. Tell us that corruption is the holy way of god maybe? How someone is an advocate of god by practising and preaching corruption. Or maybe there is a greater good that comes with corruption? Maybe corruption is good, it is the west that tells us corruption is bad. Maybe fabricating evidence is good, it is just the west that tells us that it is bad.

    3) By the way, are you for communism or police state?
    Or are you for Stronger democracy and freedom of speech?
    You seem to despise police state in favour of stronger democracy and free speech. But then democracy and free speech is a WESTERN idea! And to your post, I can safely assume that you think the west is wrong. So your orientation leaves me very much confused.

    Let’s leave the Beijing olympics out of this. The fuss around Beijing Olympics is on human rights, and if you want to argue about human rights and Beijing olympics, there is a post by another dandelion on it, go post there and I will join in after you. This is a total detour from local issues. It is a waste of time to discuss it here. And no, I wasn’t referring to Yangtze or Indus. In fact Yangtze wasn’t even a progenitor human civilisation, it was Hwangho.

    May the Light be with you.

    Kind regards,


  6. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    i will of course consider your recommendation to expand on Asian values in the future, when I have time to spare to write one. Oh And i do have my reasons why i think Malaysians are mature to handle a stronger democracy and free speech, a long list of them in fact. But I will leave that for a later moment until you answer my queries above

    Haha, I doubt IKIM will. What is it to gain for them to take to heart the opinion of an insignificant blogger who is desperately horny. haha. They will call me the devil’s davocate before even attempting to read this.

  7. wits0 said

    Umno and Intelllectuals…? Sorry, I wasn’t born yesterday and would waste energy reading more! Might as well talk about the sublime aspect of Neanderthals.

  8. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    somebody told me, Mahatir had a hand in the creation of IKIM. and Mahatir is a smart man………. nope, can’t take anything for granted.

  9. mesoso said

    wah..jingoisbuthornydadada…you’re my second man, after barbie..!! i’m impressed..wah liao..for a second, i had to use me brains for something quite intellectual..wink. wink..

  10. barbie said

    “If the idea of maturity still comes with aping the West, or benchmarking ourselves with their so called “good governance” and worst, still believing that they are more superior, then there must be something inferior about “believing” (or is it make-believe) in this Asian Identity.”

    D.Zin, the very concept of democracy is from the West. This country believes in democracy and it’s a fact that democracy in the West is much more mature than Asian countries, perhaps with exceptions of Japan, Korea and Taiwan. So what is wrong with benchmarking the good governance, and maturity true to the democratic system that we embrace with countries from the West? The insinuation that looking up to the West means one looks down to the East (Asian) is far fetched, neither that benchmarking ourselves with them translated as ‘we believe that they are more superior’.

    Wait, it is often an ‘excuse’ not to apt maturity from the West because we Malaysians, as pointed out our politicians fond of ‘doing it our way?’ Everything we do we must do it ‘mengikut acuan budaya Malaysia sendiri’. Laughable, not because it’s not a good suggestion, but because more than often, the politicians and even many Malaysians have little inklings what Malaysian culture is, it stays as a lip service.

  11. D.Zin said

    Dear Jingo et al,

    There are many articles written by IKIM and if you took the trouble to browse their site, there are aplenty that has nothing to do with UMNO. Therefore, it is ridiculous to assume that just because of this one shallow article, then suddenly you can come up with labeling them “a dangerous arm of UMNO”. That’s my beef with your comment and the rest of what you wrote is fine.

    There are several other comments that I have read since my posting last night; allow me to mull over it; mainly because I genuinely like to make sense of what you guys wrote and at the same time, I will try to convey my thoughts, preferably in a concise and focus manner.

    I have seen the Light bro, although I must also admit that life would be simpler if we are to adopt “ignorance is bliss”.

    The medium here are WORDS and it’s a symbol — getting in the same “wavelength” might take a bit of time.

  12. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said


    What I meant is may the Force of light-Jedi (not sith) be with you. Ok I will look at their article on internet. I haven’t been very pleased with what I read from the Star. But I leave that or the next time. I am always excited to get into a rebuttal, but please mind me that my guards are up against someone who tries to defend UMNO (I can’t really tell if you do or do not)

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