A conversation between President Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Najib Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia.
President Herman: Najib, You kept on saying that Malaysia is a moderate Muslim country, but this is not the feedback I have been receiving.
Najib: What made you say so?
President Herman: From my well informed sources in Malaysia, I understand that there have been too many body-snatching cases involving the decease of non-Muslims?
Najib : Yes, but it is only natural that deceased Muslims must be buried according to Muslim rites. We don't stop Christians nor Hindus if they want to bury their dead. We fully respect their rites. Actually, I don't see any problem here. But, considering this, we are still a moderate Muslim country.
President Herman: But don't you guys show any empathy towards the grieving family? Wouldn't they be traumatised?
Najib: As a Muslim govt, our concern is only for the Muslim dead. Since the family is non-Muslim, they are disregarded in this case.
President Herman: What about the Lina Joy case? Can't a person convert to a religion of his/her choice?
Najib: No. She is a Muslim, period, from womb to tomb. But not to worry. We normally send a person like Lina Joy to a rehabilitation camp to get her to repent. Considering that, we are still a moderate Muslim country.
President Herman: Another thing, is the recent "Allah" issue. Why can't the Christians use the word since it is already an accepted practice in the Middle Eastern countries where Muslims and non-Muslims have been using the word since the dawn of Islam.
Najib: Er ... Sorry, this is Malaysia and we have our own practices here. The word is definitely out of bounds to non-Muslims, but considering this, we are still a moderate Muslim country.
President Herman: What about the natives in your Borneo states who have been using the word for centuries? Don't you think it is callous on the part of your govt just to yank it away all of a sudden? Wouldn't the natives be religiously traumatised?
Najib: Er ... not to worry. They will get over it. Our chief ministers of the two Borneo states will make sure they will be well looked after come every election.
President Herman: The Chief Minister of your Penang state recently, as part of the state welfare scheme for the elderlies, offered RM100 to each senior citizen, but this was spurned by your party as they said it was "sin" money since it was derived from a donation made by a turf club.
Najib: We have to reject this as it is against our religion to accept money from "sinful" sources, and the Chief Minister should have known better, that such an act is against our religious practice.
President Herman: Since the population of your country comprise of 40% non-Muslims, and even your former prime minister, Mahathir, said that the Chinese contributed 80% to the nation's tax, wouldn't you yourself be receiving money that is tainted as well.
Najib: This is different, because the money comes direct from tax payers.
President Herman: Okay, but where do you think the tax payer's money come from?
Najib: It doesn't matter as long as it is not directly from a "sinful" source.
Prsident Herman: Oh, I see. Since gambling is sinful which I do agree with you, then would you call for the resignation of Muslim directors in companies such as your casino company, Genting; brewery company like Guiness-Anchor or even betting outfits such as Berjaya Toto? Even a son of your former prime minister is a shareholder in San Miguel, Philippines.
Najib: No it is not necessary since these directors need to earn to maintain their lifestyles. If they were forced to resign, then the bumiputra stake in the nation's economy would drop to less than 5%. We can't have that, can we since our current goal is to reach 30%.
President Herman: Even if it means involving in "sinful" business?
Najib: Now you see why I am having a real headache managing a multi-racial, multi-religious country. But considering this, we are still a moderate Muslim country.
President Herman: Recently, your party and some Muslim NGOs associated with your party, kicked up a row about one opposition member, a non-Muslim lady, for stepping into a mosque, when all she did was to hand over a cheque as part of a charity drive to a mosque in conjunction with the Ramadhan celebration.
Najib: Yes, as a non-Muslim, she should not have done that. It is not permissible in Islam for a non-Muslim to step into a mosque.
President Herman: But one non-Muslim female member from your governing coalition did the same thing at one mosque not so long ago.
President Herman: That's right, but she wore loose clothing, whereas the lady from the opposition party wore a tight dress similar to that of the Singapore Airline air stewardess. We can't have that, can we? She is a Malaysian so how can she be promoting Singapore? This is so unpatriotic. But considering this, we are still a moderate Muslim country.
President Herman: I tell you what, Najib. Don't call us, we'll call you. Have a good day.