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Re: Malaysia

Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]
in response to reader comment: Cause of the Muslim predicament

Submitted by Bader S (Saudi Arabia), Feb 20, 2006 at 09:07

Robert D. Klimek wrote, "It is revealing that you have to jump out of the Middle East and all the way over to Southeast Asia to find your example"

Mr Klimek, you stated in your earlier post, and I quote "No society burdened with such an ideology will ever develop a modern economy." Since you did not specificaly mention Arab societies, I am at liberty, therefore, to choose as an example any Muslim state to refute your argument. But if you want to see some economic figures for Middle Eastern Arab countries then please go to www.nationmaster.com and do some research.

Robert D. Klimek wrote "The economic growth in Malaysia was fueled by western, Japanese, and Chinese foreign investment." Indeed, the total amount of foreign investment in 2001 was 554million US Dollars. In contrast the United States had a total of 124,435 million dollars. This translates per capita to $0.02 per 1,000 people for Malaysia and $0.42 per 1,000 people for USA. So based on your argument the USA should thank foreign investors for a fuelling parts of its economy. (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/eco_for_inv_percap). And why did those countries invest in Malaysia? It is because they saw a muslim economy that was modern and had sound economic policies and was worth investing in?

Robert D. Klimek wrote "The entrepreneurship, risk taking, and sweat equity came primarily from the native Chinese (Buddhist) and other non-Muslim populations." How is sweat equity measured? and as to the Chinese they were certainly not natives of Malaysia but were rather "first and second generation migrants who had been brought by the British to fill colonial manpower needs as indentured labourers, a form of limited-term post-emancipation slavery" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumiputra)

Robert D. Klimek wrote, "The Muslims, being of course humiliated by this success[success of the Chinese and non-Muslim populations I presume], wanted their economic cut and so instituted the Bumiputra Laws wherein the Malays (explicitly defined in these laws as strictly Muslims) are put in charge of most businesses and government posts."

The context in which the Bumiputra Laws were made and the aim of the Laws were as follows:

1) "during the first 14 years after the country's independence from Britain in 1957, the Chinese minority (32% of the population) and part of the Indian community (11%) controlled the economy and dominated the professions. So the goal of the discrimination policy has been nothing less than the restructuring of the society" (http://www.time.com/time/asia/2003/mahathir/mahathir900820.html) And

"The so-called bumiputra (sons of the soil) policy that favours ethnic Malays and indigenous people, who make up nearly 60 per cent of the population, was introduced in 1970 after race riots and was intended to narrow the wealth gap with the economically better-off Chinese minority."(ft.com:Malaysia to ease affirmative action policy By John Burton in Singapore Published: September 23 2004

2)Under the policy "the percentage of families living in poverty, the majority of them rural non- Chinese, is down from 49% to 16%. In such professions as medicine, law and engineering, the number of bumiputras has risen from 6% to 25%" (http://www.time.com/time/asia/2003/mahathir/mahathir900820.html). What is so abhorrent about narrowing the wealth gap and reducing poverty? Is the idea of trying to achieve economic equality immoral?

3)"The constitution defines a Malay as being one who 'professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay customs and is the child of at least one parent who was born within the Federation of Malaysia before independence on the 31st of August 1957' " (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumiputra). What is wrong with a country defining its people as Muslims? Isreal defines itself as a Jewish nation and the world does not see any problems with that.

The remainder of your post relies on generalizations and typical stereotyping that both characterizes Islamophobia and is dished out by the Islamohobic media to simpletons. It is far too easy to follow your approach and throw, into the debate, statements that lack reasonable and appropriate evidence. Inaccuracies crown your generalizations. You would do well to back up your arguments with specific facts.

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