“To Shake or Not To Shake Hands…Is That The Question?”

It’s been a while since I last updated my blog. Whatever could be the excuse for that is immaterial for now. But what could be not excusable is the fact that I’m posting you the least-of-the-important-things in the life of this embattled nation.

Yes, but with the raging debate in the public sphere, out to almost split this already-very-beleaguered-nation, I’m ostensibly taking liberty again to post you the many things Malaysians have said, responding to this unfortunate “To Shake or Not To Shake Hands” Debate.

As the Umno-BN controlled media is on the round-the-clock capitalizing and making a huge political meal of this issue of hand-shake and lest you have missed the debate, I now invite you to intelligently peruse the 156 comments of this ‘great national debate’.

As usual, it’s always in very trying crisis time like this one that brings out the best of us and perhaps also the worst of us, the jewels from our pens and similarly the darnest words from our own pens, surely coming out of our own perverted logic.

Not wanting to be excessively judgmental, I will allow you to read all the comments and then decide for yourself whichever way you think is the right decision to go objectively, principally and perhaps even pragmatically.

But prior to that, let me take on Dr Chua Soi Lek first. This MCA President despite of, or perhaps because of all his infamous ‘sins of omission and commission’ has transformed to become the fighting dog or more appropriately the attack dog of Umno, outperforming and putting to shame even Perkasa and callously leading the charge against PAS, for his political master, Umno.

After embroiling the nation in again the Islamic state and hudud issue, CSL has turned his savage attack on the noble lady of Cikgu Normala, the PAS’ Tenang’s candidate, for refusing to shake hands with men of her opposite sex (Muslims and non-Muslims alike, save those with matrimonial and blood relation), in typical fashion of a ‘budak-suruhan’ Umno.

I’m wanting to pose him a question or two, given his profound ‘intellectual’ grasp and his recent ‘moral’ advocacy.

To CSL, is shaking hands a Chinese culture?

As 80% of Chinese in Malaysia are Buddhists, CSL shouldn’t require a reminder from this writer, a Muslim, that Buddhists do not greet each other by shaking hands. I’ve a personal experience in getting an awareness of this in my not so recent visit to the Malaysian Buddhist Association of Kuala Selangor’s branch. I was gracefully informed then that Buddhists greet each other by the salutation of OMITOFO with their clasped hands in paying obeisance (a sign of respect) and even bows to an elderly, while ladies use a form of courtesy in a charming manner.

Incidentally, as a blogger put it, refined Chinese culture does not encourage the shaking of hands even between man and man, much less between man and woman. (please refer to bloggers’ comments).

Since CSL has touched on the issue of non-acceptability of the Chinese on not hand-shaking, may I also remind the MCA President that not only is the Chinese community not capable of accepting people caught committing adultery but the entire human race too is opposed to and reject such social abomination.

Very evidently, CSL’s tactic is so archaic and outmoded. He has now  cunningly reduced the plethora of unresolved burning issues of the nation, not the least the problems of the people and voters of Labis and Tenang to hand-shaking. Umno and the BN are out to hoodwink and pull wools over the eyes of voters in Tenang by their many goodies, hand-outs and announcement of the huge pump-priming projects in the ETP to inject the feel-goods factors while endemic corruption and the recent revelation of the GFI of RM880 billions siphoned and flouted out of the country illicitly and all, continue unabated.

Will the voters and the rakyat of Tenang, Labis, Johor and the entire nation bite the bait again? Will the rakyat be again forgiving to the Umno/BN government of Najib?

We do it at our own peril and have only ourselves to blame.

This writer, utterly nauseated and disgusted, is now turning the verdict to the rightful owner of democracy, the ultimate Judge, the RAKYAT.

Please Read the article of Adip Zalkapli here and the 156 comments in the Malaysianinsiders. (Normala defends refusal to shake hands with men).


28 thoughts on ““To Shake or Not To Shake Hands…Is That The Question?”

  1. As usual, excellent shot by you Yb to CSL. Im getting utterly disgusted by his antics with Star’s EIC spreading unwanted comments on this issue!

  2. In Japan, it is common to bow rather than shake hands. The Imperial family never shake hands with their subjects. They do it in very refined manner, you can feel their sincerity. Di Malaysia, salam tangan tapi muka hala ke lain. Macam tak ikhlas.

  3. CSL dan Tan Lian Wah Ketua wanita Gerakan kekeringan isu,PAS bermoral berbanding puak-puak ,penyagak-penyagak yang hancurkan negara.Inilah unsur-unsur perkauman yang dimainkan oleh Be N.memang tak tahu malu.

  4. YB, you are right. And UMNO/Perkasa (aka Perkosa), where are you? You said you are the defender of Islam and Malay, now that your muslim sister is under attack because of her faith, come and defend her!

  5. Chua Soi Lek is morally bankrupt. He has no right to comment on anything because he has committed adultery. He has no more ideas on how to win the Chinese vote and therefore he harps on this trivial issue. It is not a surprise that only BN has place for a specimen such as he. In my view he is absolutely disgusting. He has Soiled the Chua surname and is a disgrace to the Chinese.

  6. Dear Sir,

    First off, let me first say that I am an admirer of yourself and Khalid Samad as politicians who are moderate, progressive and open minded, especially coming from a party like PAS.

    While I do not agree with PAS in the sense that everything has to be Islam (speaking generally), and I think the partnership between PAS and the other two parties are intrinsically incompatible, I am neither a big fan of the ruling party (although one has to admit, through PR’s fumbles and Najib’s good performance, the BN is getting stronger support among all the rakyat).

    I am therefore, writing as a normal middle class Chinese rakyat from the grassroots who is interested only in what is good for ALL peoples of Malaysia.

    Chua is very clearly playing on the sentiments of the Islamphobic Chinese when he attacks Normala’s refusal to shake hands. And one cannot blame him nor the Chinese for viewing this suspiciously.

    Keep in mind that I am a firm supporter of the PR and would vote for Normala regardless in Tenang but I have my own strong views and I hope you can use this to understand the normal people better.

    Normala is not suited for being a representative of the rakyat. Very straightforward and clear. She does not want to shake hands with the rakyat. Gloves or no gloves. Comparison with the Queen of England is not only irrelevant, but stupid. You are comparing an institution with centuries of clearly defined history and protocols to a lady from a village who has her own views and protocols.

    Normala does not want to touch the bare skin of people who are unrelated with her through blood or marriage. Fine. That is her personal choice. It is her believe and I think everyone will agree that she is entitled to her own practice.

    If she is living in a world where she is the Queen, or where she is by herself most of the time, then it is fine. No problems.

    Keep in mind however, that in the real world, a handshake has very strong social implications and meaning to the people. It is a sign of warm greeting, a sign of pleasure in meeting someone, a sign of respect, and at the most basic, a sign that acknowledges and welcomes the presence of someone into your world.

    These are the meaning of a handshake to the common man. Perhaps I may not understand the Malay culture that well, but I think a handshake is also standard among the Malays (Muslims). I think it’s called SALAM.

    Now. Pretend I am a normal Malaysian. A handshake to me then is very standard and very expected the first time I meet someone. It’s just the norm. Nothing strange or sinful about it.

    Now. Pretend I meet Normala for the first time. I extend my hand to greet her and she doesn’t shake it. In fact, she doesn’t even bothers to do anything. I am left with my hand extended, in embarassment. In certain cultures, this is very very rude. Is the Malay culture included in this grouping or not?

    Now, if the Normala I meet in the above scenario was just a normal person, I would just write her off as a weirdo at best or a religious fanatic at worst. In any case, this person would be above all be labelled as rude, prude, anti-social, OCD or whatever label else one can think off…but it is not a positive thought.

    Now, if she was a private individual, I won’t even give a damn about it. Her principles are hers alone and I can judge her based on my principles but in the end, she has her rights. No problem with that.

    The problem starts if she is not just a private person. If she was an elected rep who is supposed to meet with her constituents. I’m pretty sure the people in Tenang are not all 100% Muslims who can understand her principles in not shaking hands. Some of them are bound to feel left out, alienated, confused, afraid. Wow, this lady won’t even shake my hands because of her religion! She must be very pro-Muslim, pro-Malay, anti-freedom of religion. Although I know PAS is filled with all kinds of Muslims, from yourself to people like Hadi Awang, and that Normala may be a real Malaysian with a Malaysian mindset…judging by her actions, I did have my reservations.

    The point I’m making is…if you’re a politician, a representative for the people, then you have to act like one. Not shaking hands on the basis of religion is fine, if your work does not involve public perception and people of other faiths. But if you want to take a job based on public perception, then for chrissakes, ask if you are capable enough to do the job.

    Based on this most basic point, to shake a hand itself, Normala has already failed to do her job.

    Her reasons for doing so, being a Muslim, is weak. I shake Muslim hands, male and female, every week. Handshaking is not a barometer for personal integrity, let me tell you this. Whether a lady shakes a hand is not indicative of how “loose” or easy she is. It is only an indication of her level of politeness.

    In which case, Normala is not polite.

    Whether handshaking is considered dirty or clean in Islam, that is not for me to judge, although religion should not be confused with reality. In reality, handshaking is neither dirty or clean. As I said, it has no connection to a person’s integrity.

    If however, Normala considered handshaking to be “bad” or “not allowed”, then perhaps this job is not the right one for her. In this case, if she is allowing her personal views on her religion enter into the public, then this is a problem for me. This would mean she would be doing her work based on her religious principles, which as illustrated above will not work in real life. She is a representative for people of all faith and not just for people who doesn’t shake hands.

    Normala put in her personal religion in her politics. Politics belong in the public realm. Religion, well, that belongs in a personal realm. For her to impose her religion into the general public is unfair and uncalled for. Chua Soi Lek has his reasons to criticize her and I agree with him although I am not an MCA supporter. Logic and reason does not take sides.

    I feel Normala should have been better informed about her job and that she should have considered all the bases before taking on such a role on behalf of PAS. If religion mattered that much to her, then perhaps she should take up a role that is connected to religion itself and not one that is connected to the people.

    We are already as polarized and fractured as a nation as it is and Normala’s fielding only made it worse by her insistence of not shaking hands. It is a small issue, yes, but symbolically, it represents all the doubts, fears and suspicions of all Malaysians who knows that while handshaking does not mean you’re a good politician, it also does not mean you’re a good muslim.

    1. “Keep in mind however, that in the real world, a handshake has very strong social implications and meaning to the people. It is a sign of warm greeting, a sign of pleasure in meeting someone, a sign of respect, and at the most basic, a sign that acknowledges and welcomes the presence of someone into your world.”

      i am not perceived to be polite whenever i respond to comments in ‘malaysia today’ which i think are made to deride, degrade and attack islam blindly, without considering the fact that coins have two sides and arguments should be articulated with rationale and decorum. i respect the fact that you have an opinion, a strong one, and not necessarily acceptable to more than 50% of this country’s population. i appreciate that you have chosen to offer your opinion using a public forum, with well-organised arguments written in a firm but fair style. for people who are familiar with my comments, they would immediately expect me to whack the daylights out of you for questioning and looking down on a basic islamic culture/virtue.

      you rightly admitted that you do not understand the islamic way fully. you don’t even understand the malay way fully when you said the malays readily ‘salam’ each other, regardless of blood ties and sex. do you, on the same token, disagree on what dr zul wrote about the chinese as a race and buddhism as a religion (of which the chinese in malaysia form 80%) not having a ‘culture’ of shaking hands as well. why only focus on the queen- example? why can’t you go all out and blame csl for blowing up this issue? you admit to being a firm supporter of pr, yet stop short of whacking csl, although you know he represents umno (not mca), and is not fit to lead a chinese party by virtue of having publicly admitted to committing adultery. do you spare the rod for csl because he is of your race, and normala is not? because he is of (possibly) your your faith and not of normala’s? can you smell your own double- standard stinking self now?

      That you and your ilk keep yelling and screaming malaysia for all and harmony is for everyone and truth, justice and fair-play must be practiced on everyone, equally in this country; and yet write a pathetic discourse on why you think normala is a weak leader just because she refuses to shake hands with you – and a strong, principled and polite leader must shake hands with everyone – tells me and all others that at best, you are a self-centred, intolerant and narrow-minded excuse for a human being, or at worst, a prejudiced and racist bigot for not understanding and being tolerant of a faith that is embraced by almost 70% of your countrymen. what is worse, you keep yelling that your kind deserve to claim this country as your own ‘tanah tumpah darah’ because you were born here and by virtue of being a citizen of this country, you not only accept the make-up and established values that we currently have with an open heart, you understand, tolerate and defend the diversed values that we share and hold dear amongst us.

      your argument about someone who needs to ‘conform’ to the norms in this day and age – shaking hands with everyone and all – before he/she could be respected and regarded as an acceptable peer or a leader, is again borne out of a self- centred, inflexible and intolerant mindset. on whose terms were you speaking out on that subject? umno? pas?csl? normala? the queen? the whole western world? islam? the ‘fair-minded’ chinese – and there are millions of them here, many,many are my business and personal friends – do not give a damn, do not think twice, heck, even understand and support normala’s stand on the handshake issue in respect and total acceptance of their islamic brethren’s culture. if i didnt know any better, i’d think you’re one of those islamophobiacs, the type i enjoy whacking to kingdom come in ‘malaysia today’, because you swing blindly at anything to do with islam, talking as if the whole world must conform to your ‘international’, ‘global’ secular way of thinking.

      do you know that in the actual, refined western ‘culture’, (presumably should be) the one that you speak so highly of and insinuate that normala must conform to to be respected as a good leader, the man actually DOES NOT offer his hand for the opposite sex to shake, instead waits for the woman herself to offer hers and only then does the man reciprocate by taking it to shake. you read? you don’t know? general- knowledge-ly challenged? Lastly;

      “Normala put in her personal religion in her politics. Politics belong in the public realm. Religion, well, that belongs in a personal realm. For her to impose her religion into the general public is unfair and uncalled for. Chua Soi Lek has his reasons to criticize her and I agree with him although I am not an MCA supporter. Logic and reason does not take sides.”

      you are one of those who profess what umno and the secularists profess: do not mix religion with politics. politics belong in the public realm? you don’t play politics sometimes with your wife? children? or your parents? well, that’s a story for another day. normala is not imposing her religion into the general public. whre do you see that? where do you see that she is asking (read: imposing) the general public to do something or not to do something that is dear to her faith? this is what i mean when i said your discourse is pathetically flawed and bigoted. she was only REFUSING to shake hands with the general public (of the opposite sex) who, after hundreds of years being in this country and claiming to understand the true rudiments of the faith that is being embraced by a great majority of its inhibitants, should have been better informed and educated by the powers that be, that it is NOT islamic culture to shake hands with a non-mahram. is that imposing your religion on the general public?

      on the same token, if i were to say csl is imposing his cultural beliefs on the general public by committing adultery, would you support me? the mca members certainly did, because they voted him president regardless. now, do you say it is chinese culture to sleep around? or get your little children to piss by the roadside? offer bribes? cut queues? keep mistresses? cheat?

      now i regret having been too easy on you.

    2. You posed: “Pretend I meet Normala for the first time. I extend my hand to greet her and she doesn’t shake it. In fact, she doesn’t even bothers to do anything. I am left with my hand extended, in embarassment. In certain cultures, this is very very rude. Is the Malay culture included in this grouping or not?”

      Instead of directly answering your question, allow me to relate an actual incident. One day I brought along a Malay lady to meet a Malay gentleman for a business meeting. The lady was a liberal, wearing skirts & with no tudong. The gentleman was a conservative Muslim who keeps a little goatee beard and plays soccer with long pants on because he would not show his bare legs in public. Bet you think only conservative Muslim women cover up their legs.

      Both were otherwise normal, reasonable, sensible and decent people.

      They smiled as they faced each other and as I introduced them, the lady offered her right hand for an obvious handshake. The gentleman, without losing his smile and without showing any hint of anoyance at such unIslamic behaviour from a Muslim woman, did not offer to accept the handshake. The lady immediately understood the situation and she slowly and gracefully withdrew her right hand without showing any hint of annoyance or embarrassment.

      We got on with our meeting without any problem. After the meeting all three of us went for a drink and friendly chit-chat after which the lady and I left together. All our relationships remained intact.

      You also wrote: “her insistence of not shaking hands is a small issue”, “but symbolically, it represents all the doubts, fears and suspicions of all Malaysians who knows that while handshaking does not mean you’re a good politician, it also does not mean you’re a good muslim.”

      I don’t understand the relevance or the logic of your statement. Muslims also do not eat pork or take alcoholic drinks. Will you also insist that they eat pork and drink beer before you will give your vote to them? If you are a smoker will you insist that non-smokers cannot be your friend? If you love pizza, will you insist that all your friends must also love pizza? Should those men, especially married ones, who loves to play around with women other than their wives, insists that men who wants to be an MP or an ADUN must first behave like Chua Soi Lek.

      I believe Normala will be capable of declining offers of handshakes in similar respectful manner as I have described above. If not, I am sure the voters will not vote for her. Of course there will always be the small minority of extra sensitive people who gets offended by trivial issues. Nothing can be done about such people. I hope you are not one of them.

  7. Sir,

    I am also your admirer of you and YB Khalid as well. You can call me as your fan. Well, to shake or not to shake is not the main issue here. Can PR think of some great strategy to kick of the Barisan Najis government. I can’t wait anymore, as the type of BN Leaders are so corrupted to the core. Not only that, we have many suspected murderers and day-light robbers. In the first place, how did all these guys end up becoming our Leaders. Something is very wrong here, and what the Rakyat has is the last chance to kick them out on the coming GE. If we fail, we may never has the chance again.

  8. I totally agree with Vinson Tan for his observation and perspective of the reality. If Normala is displaying her strong conviction on religion for not shaking hands then one must be concerned about what other convictions she has based on her religion. For example, no gambling, no porks etc .. which would affect the non-Muslims.

    If only we can keep religion out of politics. Sadly in Malaysia we are forever divided along ethnicity/religion profile.

    1. You want others to respect your beliefs and convictions, but appear not to respect theirs. So what if Normala does not shake hands? The important and pertinent point is does she try to stop others, including Muslims shaking hands? e.g. I don’t smoke, drink or gamble but don’t try to stop other adults from doing so. Should smokers, drinkers or gamblers treat my total abstinence as an issue in case I decide to go for some elected office?

      Shaking hands is one of many forms of greeting and acknowledging the presence of another human. Other forms include giving a hug and kiss, or take a bow with clasped hands, or simply giving a wave of the hands and saying hello. All forms of greeting always include eye contact. So Normala does not shake hands. But does she greet others in her own polite and respectful way? Or does she behave in a rude, disrespectful or arrogant manner by turning her head away from people and refusing to make eye contact?

      You also raised the issue of Normala’s “other convictions she has based on her religion. For example, no gambling, no porks etc .. which would affect the non-Muslims.” Obviously she does not gamble or eat pork. But so far has she made any statements objecting to non-Muslims gambling or eating pork? And you should not go round preaching to the world that gambling is part of the non-Muslims’ normal way of life.

  9. Indians do not shake hands as well….they clasp their hands together and greet Namaste or Sikh’ Sat Sri Akal. In the course of work, I have to shake hands with clients but its not something I like doing for hygiene purposes. Always remind myself I better not touch my face or hair until I wash my hands after shaking hands. So I would not mind wearing gloves, especially to functions if the trend returns. BTW, I am not a Muslim. I am just a Malaysian who is very conscious of hygiene

  10. Dear aeiou, Vinson and Observer,

    Do enlighten on how an ADUN who doesn’t gamble, drink alcohol nor eat pork would affect the life of a Non-Muslims? By having strong conviction to her religion, she should always remember God’s command 1. to treat others equally, 2. Don’t do stupid stuff that BN is doing (being a hypocrite, pecah amanah, corrupt, etc.), etc.

    Should the BN leaders fear God (irrespective of which God they believe), they wouldn’t 1. Blow up someone to cover up their tracks, 2. Use people’s money as their own, 3. Go screw women around even after married, etc.

    Quote – If however, Normala considered handshaking to be “bad” or “not allowed”…
    Bro, whatever she is practicing is the same thing practice by Dr. Dzul and Khalid Samad… You don’t see them (at least, I haven’t) shaking hands with chicks, gals or women of their age. This is norm amongst practicing Muslims. It’s not about holier-than-thou neither it’s about good or bad… it’s about practising one’s faith freely. We are all into this, aren’t we?

    Last plea… please don’t be Islamophobic. There are some do’s and don’ts regulated by each religion. Please don’t be like the double-standard BN… fight for freedom of practicing religion when it comes to your religion but go againgst your words when it comes to other.

  11. BN has nothing to say anymore, they talking trivial issues now. Should ask TV3 to slot in a programme for them – replace “Scenario” the popular local sitcom. Doc, I think CSL is heaty again but can’t go unnotice if he would want to do it again after his affair being exposed, so I suggest that he go home and shake his “brother john” himself rather than harping on shaking hand with our potential woman ADUN.

  12. Vinson Tan has mentioned some fair points there. However, everybody may need to also find out whether other PAS leaders e.g. Dr Dzul, Khalid Samad themselves shake hands with ladies. I doubt it. But this has not stopped them from being great wakil rakyats. My point is, shaking hands or not, it is trivial and up to individuals. Just remember it is Normala’s personal right to not shake hands with men.

    And let’s keep focus on the more important issues. I’d vote for a clean and fair government anytime as opposed to a corrupt and self-serving one.

  13. Respectfully Vinson, I do not fully agree with you.

    You stated a few times, to pretend that you are a “normal middle class Chinese rakyat” or “normal Malaysian”… I do cautious all… what we thought to be “normal” may not be that normal.

    We all like to think that we are normal. But yours truly, who also seemed to be a very “normal” citizen, have long understood some Muslim female do not wish to touch another man who is not a relative. Some “normal’ citizen of Malaysia like me… fully understands their fellow Malaysians’ religious quirkiness (Not shaking hands, not eating pork or beef or meat, or not going to movies etc) and totally do not feel offended.

    Perhaps Vinson, you are not that “normal” after all.

    In fact, I think I am so normal and fair… that if I throw a party, I will not purposely order “halal” only food. Why? Because I respect my fellow Muslim friends as mature. If they come and do not wish to eat non-halal food, they can just drink water and still enjoy the fellowship. We are being disrespectful to our Muslim friends by pampering them. Tell me, do you see people pampering their Indian and Buddhist friends by making sure they do not serve beef? What about your vegetarian friends? Do you make sure you DO NOT SERVE MEAT? Or do you looked down on your Indian, Buddhist or Vegetarian friends as not worthy of your pampering? (When I say “you”, I don’t really mean you Vinson. I say “you” only to those that reflects a particular type of thinking.)

    Am I to be considered normal?

    I don’t like gambling too. I can’t figure out why some Chinese seems so adamant that their MP or ADUN must support gambling. But being the understanding guy like me, I’ll support your rights to gamble your future away.

    There are all sorts of Muslim in PAS. All sorts of Chinese and Indians and Malays. All sorts of Christians in my church too… in fact, some in my church are not even Christians. I think we need to be very careful to label anyone as normal or otherwise. There are all kinds of everything.

    I want a Government that is competent, professional, ethical and serve the people as they were paid to serve. Fair to everyone and move Malaysia forward.

    Everyone brings baggage to their jobs. Some are worst then others. Why worry about what Normala may do as a Muslim? She has not support the call to shut down gambling yet or any popular policies important to non-Muslim. Let’s judge her by what she has done. Let’s hope on her based on what she promised to do.

    I’m sure she’s better then some self-confessed adulterer right?Or some alleged mastermind of a murdered mongolian? Or some parties that year in year out (54 years?) took billions of your hard-earned money and gave you shit service? In fact, though he has done very hurtful things to his family, that act of adultery itself only hurt a handful of people closed to him. But those corrupted parties hurt the entire nation including you and I.

    Wow, she sure looks a better bet. Oops.. not suppose to gamble.

    Good day to you Dr. Dzul… keep up the good work. Remember.. you are being judge based on your promises. Don’t let us down.

  14. I am a Chinese. Cikgu Normala does not shake hands with the men folks should not be an issue. In Chinese culture long time ago in China only married couples could touch hands, any strangers were forbidden ( except for saving a life or to listen to the pulse by a Chinese Sinsen).

  15. I would rather be on the side of a woman who does not shake hands than on the side of a bunch of rapists, murderers and corrupted bastards. I would lay all my trust that Normala will pick me up if I am hurt or injured. CSL? He would just walk past or even step over my dying body. How his wife and children even sincerely love him anymore is beyond my comprehension !!!

  16. Her refusal to shake hands is not a major issue. This is as long as she strictly adhere to her belief and understanding of the social conduct as a Muslim women.
    But what is more important is there are so many other beliefs and stand as a Muslim she must stick too. By being in collusion with a political party who totally rejects the existence of Islamic laws and it’s application in the Malaysian society such as Hudud etc is also a matter of importance in Islamic principles. What about her position on many other issues like the use of interest or riba just to mention a few more. Only she can answer all these question as a Muslim.
    Her conscience need to be pricked on these and also all others who are members of PAS. Please rationalize all these. All of them must realize we are living in a secular state as clearly outline in the
    constitution. There is too much double talk and double standards for sheer sake of political power. No matter what the basic philosophy is the means is not important. When one mix politics with religion PAS will always be caught. But i suppose that is politics.
    To me if PAS is sincere in fighting for their Islamic philosophy which I as a Muslim totally agree then they should do it on their own in the Malaysian political battle front. Otherwise they will be always trapped in these continuos hypocrisies. And we Muslim should not be one.

    1. I won’t argue on your logic but based on your logic Muslims and non Muslims cannot live together in a same community, or even in the same country. According to you all good Muslims must push for Islamic law. But the world has evolved into one where every country in the world have both Muslim and also non-Muslim citizens. Just how do you expect non-Muslims to accept your Islamic laws?

      In case you are thinking that here in Malaysia, Muslims form the majority and therefore non Muslims must accept Islamic laws, then will you also suggest that in countries where Muslims form the minority, they should then forego Islamic laws and practices?

      You also contradict yourself when you suggested that “Her refusal to shake hands is not a major issue.” I don’t know how and where shaking hands feature in Islamic law and practice, but if indeed such practice dictates that Muslim women cannot shake hands with males, then who are you to dictate that it is ” not a major issue.” Just how and where do you draw the line between minor and major issues?

      To me what is pertinent is that Normala follows her personal convictions on hand shaking but does not force her conviction on to others. Shaking hands is only one of many forms of greeting. Let people express their greetings in their own way.

      You accused PAS of “being in collusion with a political party who totally rejects the existence of Islamic laws and it’s application in the Malaysian society” and also of “always trapped in these continuous hypocrisies.” Obviously you have never heard of something humans call “compromise” or “tolak ansur”. If too many Muslims share your idea of forcing Islamic law and practice on to non Muslims, the world will be in perpetual conflict. I think you are a very dangerous person.

      1. For All:
        Shaking hand with opposite sex is strictly forbidden in Islam (except for certain reasons). For non-Muslim who learn Islam from watching their Muslim friends, they would say that some of their Muslim friends shake hands with opposite sex. However, these Muslims are not obeying God’s Order, so, their actions did not reflect Islam’s teaching. (perhaps, they are sinners). Not all Muslims follow their religion (same as other religion, they have their own wrongdoers). So, don’t learn Islam from what Muslim (nowadays) do. Learn from what Prophet had done. Back to the topic, as a good Muslim, Cikgu Mala is trying not to do something that God forbid. For that sole purpose (of not doing something God forbid), she is, for me, a good Muslim.

        For Ong & A Karim:
        I agree with what A Karim said. All Muslims should push for implementation of Islamic Law. Islamic Law is obligation for Muslim. But, on the other side his view is kinda distorted. (I will not discuss what A Karim said)
        From what Ong wrote, it is obvious (for me) that Ong learnt about Islamic law from UMNO or Muslims who did not truly know about Islam. Therefore, his view about Islamic Law is not true. It is acceptable, since media is controlled by government, they will not tell you the truth, bcoz they want to make sure, Non-Muslims feel threatened, so, they will not vote for PAS.
        So, I want to make sure, Ong know, that Islamic Law will not be implemented on Non-Muslims. PAS had drafted Islamic Law Act in Kelantan, but was rejected by Government. It is stated clearly in that draft that the law is implemented on Muslims only. Non-Muslims will be given opportunity to choose whether they want to use secular law or Islamic Law. Therefore, obviously, non-Muslims should not be scared about Islamic Law. Non-Muslims will not be forced to use Islamic Law. It is for Muslims only.

  17. “I won’t argue on your logic but based on your logic Muslims and non Muslims cannot live together in a same community, or even in the same country. According to you all good Muslims must push for Islamic law. But the world has evolved into one where every country in the world have both Muslim and also non-Muslim citizens. Just how do you expect non-Muslims to accept your Islamic laws?”

    – Islamic laws only applicable to muslim and not to non-muslim. Hudud is always for muslim and not for non-muslim. As when there is clashes between the law of islam and non-islam, it should be up to the experts from the islamic scholar and non-islamic scholar to draw the line.

    “You also contradict yourself when you suggested that “Her refusal to shake hands is not a major issue.” I don’t know how and where shaking hands feature in Islamic law and practice, but if indeed such practice dictates that Muslim women cannot shake hands with males, then who are you to dictate that it is ” not a major issue.” Just how and where do you draw the line between minor and major issues?”

    Major issue in Islam would be things with regards to aqidah or faith which is the muslim faith to Allah. The rest should be minor issue. Muslim should never doubted their faith to Allah even for second or for time which is shorter. There is situation in which men are allowed to touch woman but on very rare occasion. For instance, if I’m about to get a present from non muslim woman, in a formal occasion, and she is giving handshake, to avoid her to be embarrased, I will shake her hands with the understanding that she does not really understand Muslim practise. But having said that, since she does not know that I’m a practise Muslim, its probably ok. However in the case of Normala, being a woman, and now a well known politicians, people should be aware that she does not do the handshake. Hence, there should be no occasion that she will have to do the handshake. Other example like we’re supposed to pray 5 times in a day but in the course of musafir, we’re allowed to shorten our solat and gather 2 prayer in 1 prayer. These are examples of minor issue. As I mention above, the major issue in Islam always about the faith. Muslim should never doubted their faith.

    I believe PAS did not force the islamic law to non-muslim. If we refer to our Holy book Al-Quran, Allah said that in surah albaqarah 2:256 “Tiada paksaan dalam beragama…..” You may refer to our holy book if you want to have the proof. As a muslim we always refer to Al-quran in case we have a doubt. However, we’re asked to invite the non-muslim into embracing islam but bottom line is there should be no force at all. Non-muslim should be allowed to freely practise their religion.

    Anyhow, Hudud is only one part of Islam. Non muslim should not judge and say that Islamic Law is cruel to us muslim. There are values tie in to the Hudud implementation and looking from the outside without having deeper understanding will only make you confuse and judgemental. Anyway non muslim does not have any obligation to follow hudud. It’s up to the muslim to practise the hudud.

    “To me if PAS is sincere in fighting for their Islamic philosophy which I as a Muslim totally agree then they should do it on their own in the Malaysian political battle front. Otherwise they will be always trapped in these continuos hypocrisies. And we Muslim should not be one”

    You’re talking as if its very easy to develop an islamic country. PAS has been fighting from 1956 but has not yet able to establish an islamic country. We must accept the fact that our country is not yet can be called an islamic country. If forever you’re trying to do it on your own, and does not change at all, you’ll always be left back. Let me ask you, if you’re so sincere to ask PAS to fight their battle on their own, why dont you go out to PAS on your own and see whether you’re up to that challenge. If you fight your own battle, how you’re going to let your non muslim friend understand the beauty of islam. Isn’t it our job to make sure that happen. Let be open and hope for the best of this pakatan rakyat.

    p/s: this is not suppose to be an offend to my non-muslim friend but as a reminder to my muslim friend.

    Once, I have one of my non muslim friends converted to islam and he said to me, ” If I died as a non muslim, in the hereafter, I’ll ask every muslim friend of mine why they did not show the way to embracing islam and will have them bear the punishment together with me”

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