Just a quick summary of the Rayappan case. Bloke was a former van driver who died at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital recently.
Following his demise, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) applied with the Syariah High Court to have his body buried according to Islamic rites because he had converted to Islam in 1990 with the name of Muhammad Rayappan Abdullah.
But Rayappan’s family objected on the grounds that the deceased had renounced the religion. His widow filed an application at the Civil High Court in Kuala Lumpur for her late husband's body to be released to her, claiming that Rayappan had been a Roman Catholic when he died.
Before the issue could become another Moorthy case, the PM leapt in with the backing of the cabinet, instructing the AG to look into the case and confirm Rayappan’s religious status.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz might have let the cat out of the bag on what the cabinet has in mind when he said: “It is clear he had gone back to his earlier faith, and the identity card does not state that he is a Muslim.”
And before we can say the “pussy cat, pussy cat" Mais has back-pedalled, deciding not to claim the body for burial according to Islamic rites. It filed a notice in the Shah Alam Syariah High Court on Thursday, withdrawing its claim on Rayappan's body. Its volte face is like the sun rising in the West.
In damage control (or rather 'salvage' control) mode, Mais chairman stated that all earlier information gathered before showed that Rayappan was a Muslim, but the new evidence pointing to the fact he was not a Muslim was overwhelming.
He said: "So, I hope the matter is solved and we don't think the people will view us negatively because we make the decision based on the existing facts and not emotion."
Then Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Chief Guardian of the extra king-size keris, kissed and made up with MCA Youth chief Liow Tiong Lai who said MCA Youth wing understood that Hisham’s keris waving was a symbol to show it was a trust for Hishammuddin to carry out his responsibilities to the nation. The keris is now labelled king-size but mild.
Liow expressed his satisfaction with the result of his meeting with Hisham, as if he achieved something wonderful when all he got was Hisham’s words - perhaps someone else's words?.
Liow said: “We raised our concern with Hishammuddin and after his explanation, the MCA now has full confidence that he will not used the keris against the Chinese or other races.”
As an Anon commented in another posting, the Star Online belongs to the MCA. Thus it reported 'accordingly' that after a two-hour meeting with Hisham, MCA Youth came out from the meeting with a better understanding on why he (Hisham) brandished the keris at the UMNO Youth meeting recently. Maybe Hisham was attempting to strike a fly?
Apparently Hishammuddin promised to wave a kungfu sword in the next UMNO general assembly – OK, I lied on this one but the bullsh*t that was going on about the MCA “understanding why he (Hisham) brandished the keris” has been nothing more than AAB passing the word down to everyone in the BN to pull back from the brink.
… because today Malaysiakini reported that AAB expressed his concerns over the increasingly fragile race relations in Malaysia. He appealed for next year's celebrations marking 50 years of independence to emphasise national unity.
The fact is that ordinary Chinese-Indians and Malays are OK with each other but UMNO members have been the problem. To add to the aggravated political problem, PAS has stupidly cut itself out from Chinese-Indian voters who might have wish to ‘try’ out PAS as an alternative to the ugly UMNO, when it (PAS) passed its Islamic version of how to ‘control’ sexily dressed women, including non-Muslims – by threat of fines.
I doubt any Chinese-Indian would now want to go for PAS even if UMNO still waves the keris. PAS just has to cut its nose to spite its face!
AAB described the worsening relationship between the majority Muslim Malays and the minority ethnic Chinese and Indian communities as a ‘disease’ that must be tackled openly. He needs to ask himself why it has become a disease in the first place.
As a conciliatory gesture, he pointed the finger at his own party, UMNO, which caused dismay last month with racially charged speeches from members at its annual meeting.
Abdullah called for the celebrations of half a century of independence from Britain to include all Malaysians, regardless of race.
He appealed: "If there are shortcomings let us work together to overcome them. We also don't want only a semblance of unity but with festering undercurrents on the inside."
He has also told the Malaysian media to report more on ‘feel good’ stuff instead of provocative news.
I reckon the racist comments at the recent UMNO general assembly were staged and choreographed to neutralise someone’s overpowering personality, but when that someone didn’t turn up, no one had the brains to modify the planned “siapa lebih jaguh” strategy, which then was further aggravated by innate racist emotions and some delegates’ self promotional interests.
I also reckon the PM, with the support of the cabinet, had instructed Mais to retreat from the Rayappan’ case.
AAB and the cabinet are pulling back from the brink because there may be more problems, probably economical ones or a sense that non-Malay voters would want to spite UMNO for its atrocious behaviour and insensitivity, by switching their votes over to either (an already self destructing) PAS or a very quiet PKR (probably one of the main beneficiaries besides the DAP).
I reckon also AAB may call the general election a bit earlier than the five years interval to cut off Anwar Ibrahim.
Looks like the MCA will be enlisted to resurrect AAB's pre-2004 Bao Gong image once again to woo non-Malay voters.