Sharifah Munirah Alatas, New Age Islam
recently concluded Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 has annoyed and exasperated many
Malaysians. They feel Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s misplaced loyalty
for the plight of 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide is incongruent with the
socio-political and economic difficulties Malaysians have been enduring,
biggest grouse is that our national identity is shaped by more than the 61% (17
million) of Malay/Muslim citizens. They feel it is the moral and political
responsibility of Mahathir and PH to represent all Malaysians.
39% non-Muslims who contribute extensively to the progress and development of
the nation. These productive Malaysians resent the insinuation from some
quarters, that they “can leave if they are not happy”. These suggestions are
morally repugnant and constitutionally unacceptable.
we are to assess these narratives by global benchmarks, Malaysia is definitely
mono ethnic nor mono religious, Malaysia, along with other headline-grabbing
big powers, have boarded the gravy train of conservatism.
Malaysia, however, such trendy orientations will backfire. Unless we hone down
on our bread and butter issues, as well as the quality of our basic education
system, our pursuit of global trends will signal our demise as a credible
the persistent internal bickering within PH, an uncertain succession plan and
the immature manner in dealing with inter-party dissent are contributing to the
laughable state of our politics.
Summit’s call for Muslim unity is not seen as a respectable appeal for all
Malaysians. There is cynicism at home about how inclusive our own political and
religious leadership is, for swathes of Malaysian minorities, including the
Orang Asal and other indigenous groups.
But was the
summit an utter waste of time and other resources?
development of the KL Summit was the exposure of the myth surrounding the
purity of the House of Saud.
general population was finally exposed to the incredulous and cynical
manipulation by the Khadim al-Haramayn as-Sharifayn (Custodian of the Two Holy
Arabia, despite the propaganda of their embarking on domestic social reforms,
are still indignant in intimidating fellow Muslim nations.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s eleventh hour withdrawal from the Summit
demonstrates such oppression. Ironically, thanks to this, Saudi Arabia’s dirty
laundry has surfaced in the Malaysian psyche.
of news reports, social media posts, and radio and TV interviews focused on the
high hand of Saudi Arabia’s interference in the KL Summit. Reports have
criticised the Saudi leadership’s egotistical and self-appointed superiority
over the Ummah.
recently, criticism of Saudi Arabia has been largely academic, highlighting the
subtle and unwelcome infiltration of Wahhabi and Salafi ideology into Malaysian
It has also
been directed specifically at two areas of political discourse, our education
system and the administration of Islam in our states.
former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s overflowing personal bank accounts, the
public is now aware of how the House of Saud managed to shame our elder head of
state. Their despicable gaul to arrogantly dismiss the KL Summit as an OIC
alternative should enrage the ordinary Malaysian.
There is no
excuse to be ignorant of how Saudi Arabia manipulates the foreign and domestic
policies of other Muslim nations, including Malaysia. It is about time
Malaysian Muslims see the Saudi leadership for what it is—manipulative
scoundrels who will do anything to keep themselves in power, pander to US and
other western power whims, through the petrodollar system.
At the same
time, they ignore the atrocities facing millions of fellow Muslims in Yemen,
Palestine and Xinjiang.
leadership and the public should waver their support for the kingdom. Boosting
Saudi Arabia’s economy through a second pilgrimage (Hajj or Umrah) for
instance, should now be seen as an act of sin, rather than reaping brownie
Malaysian Muslims will justify Saudi’s abstinence. They say it is a protest
against the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
the very fact that the leader of an advanced and dignified Shia nation graced
Mahathir’s majority “Sunni” assembly, speaks volumes about the potential for
unity within the ummah.
Arabia’s snub of the KL Summit demonstrates its intolerance for Iran and the
Shias. Rouhani’s excellent speech highlighted global economic terrorism. It was
in tandem with Mahathir’s own contempt for economic imperialism and sanctions
by big powers.
Mahathir are obviously on the same page.
achievement of the KL Summit has been the resurrection of the ideas of the 2004
Amman Message. It reignited the ideological essence of unity and cooperation.
Malaysian Sunni chauvinists should see it as a progressive step towards future
Sunni-Shia dialogues that will expose shared threats facing all Muslims.
takeaway of the KL Summit should also be to acknowledge Saudi Arabia’s crooked,
slavish and selfish intentions.
Sharifah Munirah Alatas is an academic specialising in geopolitics with a special
interest in socio-political issues of developing nations.
Sharifah Munirah Alatas
Headline: KL Summit, A Story Of Cynicism