The following contents are from a Christian Evangelical website which is part of the Caleb Project designed to convert as many Malays from Malaysia and Singapore to their faith :
The Malay of Malaysia
The Malay have lived in Southeast Asia for thousands of years, but their recorded history begins in the A.D. 1400’s when they converted to Islam. They were divided into many small, competing kingdoms called sultanates, until they were united by British influence into one federation in 1909.
Malaysia was granted independence by the British, and since the late 1970’s, the nation has industrialized rapidly, its economy one of the fastest growing in the world. Nevertheless, most Malay of Malaysia remain poor farmers and fisherman, and the economy is dominated by the Chinese living in the nation.
In the cities, Malay are becoming involved in factory work and in governmental jobs.
The more wealthy Malay have houses with tiled roofs and wooden planks for floors. Local trade is conducted in the larger towns which have markets to serve the surrounding region. An increasing number of Malay have settled in major cities.
Most families consist of a husband, a wife, and their children. While Islamic laws permit men to have up to four wives, the majority have only one. With the consent of a male parent or guardian, women are allowed to marry when the couple registers with a local religious leader.
When marriages are arranged, the couple is notified and must give consent. Divorce is easy and frequent because a man has the right to end his marriage simply by declaring his intention to do so. Children are highly valued, and adoption of a relative’s child by childless couples is common.
For recreation, the Malay enjoy socializing in coffee shops. They also enjoy celebrating religious festivals and engaging in religious discussions. One of their favorite pastimes is playing Sepak Raga, a game similar to volleyball.
What are their beliefs?
For example, they commemorate many important events in life such as birth, marriage, and death with non-Islamic rituals. It is common for Malay who live in rural areas to believe in ghosts, goblins, and spirits; and if medicine is unavailable, a shaman (witch doctor) will often be brought in to treat an illness.
For these reasons, other Muslims see the Malay as poor Muslims who have distorted the doctrines of Islam.
Although evangelical tools to reach the Malay are available, only a tiny minority of the people have become Christians.
The western region of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia, forbids Christian witnessing to Muslims; yet the government continuously tries to convert Christians and other religious minorities to Islam.
The government has imposed numerous restrictions on churches. In Eastern Malaysia, there is considerably more religious freedom, but Islam is still favored.
Much prayer and added laborers are needed to reach the Malay with the Gospel.
The Creole Malay of Sri Lanka, and The Diaspora Malay (Cluster Profile).
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center
This profile may be copied and distributed without obtaining permission
as long as it is not altered, bound, published
or used for profit purposes.
And from another webpage :
This is serious. After half a dozen trips to Malaysia, and meeting pastors who were part of the ‘crack-down’ against any who were running a Malay-speaking church service etc. in 1988 I think it was (some of whom were tortured while in prison), I’m concerned that our Christian friends
there are about to be threatened again. Pray for them.
***** PROPOSED MALAYSIAN LAW
We received the following email from workers in Malaysia which is being circulated among the churches in Malaysia.
There is an urgent need to pray for Christian Malays in Malaysia & all mission work that is going on among the Muslims. I am never in the habit of writing chain mails but I drafted this email in response to the article on “page 2 of 17 April 98 of The Straits Times”.
Please circulate to all your Christian friends out there…
The New Straits Times article says …GIVE UP YOUR FAITH AND GO TO JAIL ???????????????????????????
In brief, the article says that a new Bill is in its final stages of drafting to curb the “problem” of Muslims converting to another religion and the Proposed Bill is … “MALAYSIA MUSLIMS WHO REJECT THEIR ISLAMIC FAITH MAY BE JAILED UP TO THREE (3) YEARS !”
I am not circulating this to invoke any resentment against the government of Malaysia because I believe that my struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
My purpose of drafting this chain mail is to start up a wave of prayer for the Muslims in particularly Malaysia. I wish to invoke, in all born-again Christians, this burden to pray and fast for the Christian Malays in Malaysia and all the mission work that is going on among the Muslims.
This Bill, if passed by the Malaysia Cabinet will set back Christian Missionary Work among the Malaysia Muslims by a great extent and much persecution will arise among the Christian Malays in Malaysia. Churches that have Malay congregations will be refused of their license and even be forced to close down and go underground.
As Paul urge Timothy, in the same manner I urge you, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to start putting on your full armour of God and start interceding for all the Saints of God (Malay Christians and Missionaries) and particularly the Cabinet Leaders in Malaysia.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests prayers, intercession and thanks giving be made for everyone – for kings and all those
in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Tim 2:1-2) As how the apostles, in conclusion, exhorted the Hebrews, in the same way I beseech you, to “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13:3)
a. for protection and wisdom for the Malay Christians;
b. for more Malay conversions especially among the families of the lawmakers and rulers;
c. that Polarization over religious issues will not split society;
d. for the salvation of government officials;
e. that this law would not pass; and
f. that the local church would become a strong governing entity, and seriously take it upon themselves to organize effective outreach to the
3. ***** MALAYSIA
Malaysia is an Islamic stronghold in tropical SE Asia, and is about the size of the US state of New Mexico (329,750 sq km). Most parts of the country have traditionally been ruled by hereditary rulers called Sultans. The 21,000,000 people are composed of: Malay and other indigenous 58%, Chinese 26%, Indian 7%, others 9%.
Although the country is multi-racial and multi-cultural, there is little mixing between the races. British colonizers found Chinese entrepreneurs in settled areas and encouraged the Buddhist Chinese to stay in business, and the Muslim Malay to enter government service. Indians were brought in to work the rubber plantations and staff the police forces and some professions. Today the three Asian people groups have their own private schools with distinct uniforms.
The Malay people turned to Islam when sea faring Arab traders came with the teachings of their Prophet Muhammad in the 14th century. Today they are one of the world’s most resistant and unreached people groups. Although Muslims comprise only about 51% of the population, Islam is the official religion.
No country organizes the pilgrimage to Mecca like Malaysia does. The trip lasts a month and pilgrims receive a package deal that covers food and hotels as well as transportation.
It is acceptable for non-Malays to be converted to Islam and many are openly encouraged to do so, through either marriage or economic incentive but it is against the Constitution to convert a Muslim to another religion. However the constitution is fuzzy enough to allow for Malays to CHOOSE to convert on their own accord, but this loophole may be closed with a new law currently being discussed in parliament.
Missionaries to Muslims have often turned to the more receptive Chinese and Indians, with good success, after giving up on the Malay Muslims. The few hundred Malay in Malaysia who believe in Jesus have suffered social ostracism, loss of legal rights, loss of the economic privileges of being a Malay, jobs, and sometimes home and country.
Many have moved to Singapore. In 1987, a few converts were arrested and kept in solitary confinement. Eventually, they left Malaysia. Due to
economic and political injustices Malaysian Christians generally do not have a heart for their Malay neighbours.
While the Church is strong and is now a missionary sending body, little outreach, and no coordinated outreach whatsoever, is done for the Malays. It is often left up to the individual minister to decide whether or not they will even attempt to reach the other half of the population. Those that set
their hearts to it have had good success.
Recent legal/political developments include the proposed law making it a punishable offence for a Malay to convert to another religion (read “Christianity”).
This Bill is a reaction to the conversion of a Malay woman to Christianity earlier this year (1998) for the purpose of marriage, a common source of conversion to Islam in Malaysia.
PM Najib Tun Razak’s erroneous delegation of handling the recent Christian Bible translated into Malay to Idris Jala, a Christian himself has seen the Christians triumph in getting their way after facing the gauntlet all these while under the administration of Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad’s firm government.
The minute Mahathir handed over power to Tun Abdullah Badawi, the iron grip loosened and under Najib’s current rule, things have now totally loosened up full scale.
From now on, the Christians will have full sway over the way they can evangelize the masses.
The common Malay is very easily influenced by the lure of Western culture and mannerisms.
When their faith is not that well grounded, the average Malay is very susceptible to influences especially those that originate from the West.
The most obvious purveyors of this trend to ape the West are usually those who are members of the Malay royalty. They are those whose wealth are forever bountiful and care not as to how they spend or splurge … as all expenses are duly taken care of by the taxpayers of this country. Their royal purses know no bounds.
These are the Malays who are in the upper echelons of society. They tend to adopt and adapt a very westernized lifestyle without much care or concern for the rules or guidelines of Islamic do’s or don’ts.
Members of the Malay royalty are quite known to be very keen in being Anglophiles and their trend in aping the Western norms and cultures are prominently displayed in high society catering lifestyles of the rich and famous social magazines such as the Malaysian Tatler etc.
With the recent success of the evangelists in getting their more than 35,000 copies of the Malay Bibles into Sabah and Sarawak and the relaxing of rules concerning the importing of such bibles into the Malay Peninsular, the Christian missionaries must now be singing ‘Hallelujah’ out loud in their churches and missions.
I can only pray that Muslims in Malaysia especially the ones capable of reading and surfing blogs such as these will get wind of this huge hidden agenda of the Christians to evangelize amongst the Malaysian Malays with a stronger drive and zeal now that Najib’s BN Government has finally given in to their demands.
All these because of the Sarawak state elections.
Just because he is afraid of losing the Land of the Hornbill to the Opposition Pact, Najib’s handing over control of the Malay Bibles issue to Idris Jala (photo at left) has seen the latter make the most of this unforeseen golden opportunity for him to open wide the door for the Malay bibles to the churches and missions to now go on full swing with their programs, especially the Caleb Project.
They even have set up a website called Encountering Islam.org.
All I can say is that Islamic Dakwah movements need to buck up all over Malaysia and see to it that not a Malay gets duped into accepting a servant of Allahu Rabbi @ Isa Al Masih as His Son!
In a way, this is a blessing for each and every knowledgeable Muslim, both male and female to start sharing the truth of Al Islam with every one of his or her contacts and to help stem the evangelists silent crusade amongst us.
JAKIM and all the other Islamic Authorities can no longer afford to relax and take it easy.
Now’s the time for each and every Da’ee or Da’eeyah of Allah to start cracking and get on with their efforts to uphold the Deen of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala!
Let’s share Suratul Al Ikhlas with all who are within our reach.
Surat Al-‘Ikhlāş (The Sincerity) – سورة الإخلاص
To me as a Muslim, I welcome this new challenge to us here in Malaysia.
I want to see whether Najib’s government has the spine and backbone to protect the aqeedah of the Malays of this nation?
Will we see a resurgence of Islamic Awareness amongst Malaysian Muslims or suffer the indignity of watching more ‘Lina Joy’s’ spring out of this giving up of the defense against evangelism by the Christian missionaries who must be smiling from ear to ear like Father Lawrence Andrew (below) at this golden opportunity handed to them on a silver platter by Mr.Pink Lips?
As it is, most Malays nowadays are hardly bothered to uphold the aqeedah of their fellow brothers and sisters save for a few jamaats who spend their time and money in carrying Dakwah al Islamiyyah on their own.
The Islamic authorities are too proud and arrogant in wanting to come down to the masses and help guide them to the Truth of Al Islam.
They prefer to hold seminars and forums in selected venues instead of sending their imams and ustaz’s or ustazah’s to meet the people.
Friday prayers have been reduced to the khatibs droning out sermons prepared and vetted by the Islamic Departments. Quite a number of the congregation tend to doze off and not bother to listen to what’s being read in a monotonous way by Imam’s or Khatibs who can’t add or improvise to the scripts prepared for them.
If they try to do so, after the prayers, there is a chance for them to be visited by officers from such departments who would be so raring to hand out show cause letters to them.
I have long called for the ‘mimbar’s @ pulpits to be freed from official bureaucracy but who bothers to listen to this lone voice?
The Christians preach with love to their masses but lead them astray from Allahu Rabbi.
The Muslim imams and khatibs on the other hand preach to the congregation on a ‘holier than thou’ pedestal and seldom do we see them do so with a smile.
Its usually a dreary affair and if we ever so bother to ask them as to why they tend to do so, chances are that we will be accused of ‘challenging their positions and authority’!
Is there any wonder as to why some do stray away from the flock?
This Christian turn of events can work both ways.
If the Islamic authorities of Malaysia do what they are supposed to do, then there is no cause for alarm.
We can overcome this test as we have always done in the past.
Chances are that things can go worse.
Does Najib and his government stand a chance in overcoming this mess that they have just done?