Malaysia is a political theology: A deliberation on promise and doctrine
Our Nation, Malaysia is dedicated to: Achieving a greater unity for all her people; maintaining a democratic way of life; creating a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably distributed; ensuring a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural tradition, and building a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology.
We, the people of Malaysia, pledge our united efforts to attain these ends, guided by these principles:
- Belief in God
- Loyalty to King and Country
- Upholding the Constitution
- Sovereignty of the Law, and
- Good Behaviour and Morality
If Malaysia is a speech, its society is the sensibility of that speech. What is understood from a speech is by the grasping of its sensibleness. The ability to make sense presumes congruence. And congruence is predisposed to negotiation. And negotiation subsists by contradiction. And at the core of contradiction is politics.
Therefore to do Malaysia is to make sense of the promises and doctrines of the nation. To deliberate the doing is to engage in the politics of pledge and principles. If the national pledge is principled on the belief in God, then doing Malaysia is doing theology. And doing theology is doing Malaysian politics.
If Malaysia is political theology that is spoken into being, is it not also the creature of promise and doctrine; is it not a creation of divine speech?
If the Malaysian society is the sensibility of its political theology, is it not also the possibility and confirmation of congruence, negotiation and contradiction of the logos; are not its creativity, non-creativity, productivity and non-productivity extensions of its pledge and principles?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to these two questions, then the Malaysian social realities are politico-theological imaginary shaped by promises and doctrines. That makes the social activity or movement in the country the deliberation of orthodoxy; what promises and which doctrines?
The Christian’s first contribution can then be the grasping of this basic national experience. That Malaysia is a political theology. The next question is of course, what then makes up the Malaysian promises and doctrines, and how can the Christian heritage deliberate along this process of making up?