Sunday, 10 May 2015

The Sharing Group Discussion: The Sultan of Brunei & Daulat Tuanku

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following article was posted by me on The Sharing Group on the 27th April, 2015: Sex, Lies & Shari’ah Law: The Secret Life of the Sultan of Brunei.

Brother Hamba Abdi: Wa ‘Alaykum as-Salam, Brother Terence, verify the allegation first to be true, especially when it comes from a kuffar source, lest we put ourselves into the trap of those who cause fitnah.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: It is not an ‘allegation’, brother.  I have actually known about this for years.  My father worked more than a decade in a hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei.  As room service, he witnessed a lot of things, including the procurement of dozens of high class call girls, the alcohol consumption and so forth.  Did I mention that some of these things happened in Ramadhan?  He also served Saudi princes and other Arab leaders and royalty, and they were the same.

Sister Mahshid Turner: Which brings into the discussion as to whether if even we know it is definitely true - we should expose such people - or it is wrong to do so as it is in a sense back-biting?

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The point of this article and others is that the Sultan has in place so-called shari’ah that makes even apostasy punishable by death, but it is acceptable for him to sow his seeds around the world?

Brother Faeez Nguyen: If he does not implement so-called shari’ah, does it make whatever he is said to do tolerable?

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: No.  But at least it would not be hypocritical, brother.

Sister Jaena Gani: I, too, heard about it.  But I have no comments.

Brother Hamba Abdi: Your father witnessed all these when the Sultan was probably jahil.  Did ‘Umar (r.a.) not commit shirk and munkar when he was a jahil too?  Have you not considered that the Sultan might not be a jahil now and that Allah ‘Azza wa Jal has Guided him into the correct path like how He has Guided you into Islam?  And that the Sultan is now dearer to Islam than he was before by his act of upholding its value.  Would it be Islamically right for us to continue to ridicule and expose the Sultan’s past actions?  Do we not fear that we might commit injustice to him and that we would be answerable to Allah for that in the Hereafter?  We are Commanded to practise husn azh-zhann and let us obey that Command for the sake of our iman.

Sister Mahani Abdullah: You should not speak bad about anyone; always speak good.  He has been an amazing sultan and incredibly kind to his people.  The past is past and to dig it up for anyone is wrong.  Brunei is a peaceful country and a blessed place to live.  We all have to stand in front of Allah one day.  I would rather sort myself out than talk about others.

Sister Rhiannon Roesler Alobeid:  It is not talking about others; get the difference people!  He is a lying, hypocritical, pedophile who is running a rich country.  He is not qualified to own a houseplant, much less run a country.  Very sad, the state of affairs of so-called Muslim countries.

Brother Raja Aman Raja Mokhtar: Whatever the case maybe, hopefully at the end of everything.. repentance and reformation of oneself is in order.  That is what Allah Wants.  The deeds that one does hopefully opens ones heart, insha’Allah.

Brother Nabeel Sadiq: I truly hope Allah will Forgive him because if Allah ‘Azza wa Jal does, insha’Allah, then my Judgement should be a breeze, or am I missing something.

Brother Umar Munshi: It is very unIslamic to post this.  Best to delete.

Brother Raja Aman Raja Mokhtar: Yes, I agree with you, Brother Umar Munshi.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: How is it unIslamic to point out that a ruler is hypocritical to implement a law he does not follow?  There is no place for their version of hadd.  The law itself is unIslamic.

Sister Rhiannon Roesler Alobeid: I cannot believe the comments on here.  Do you even hear what you are saying?  I am dumbfounded by this.  Ya Allah!

Brother Umar Munshi: If that was his past, then we pray for him.

Brother Mingda Sun: Our leaders must be scrutinised.  No one is advocating rebellion.  We simply want the people who are involved in governance to do their jobs.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: It is not his ‘past’.  People should take their blinkers off.  There is no people more blind and blinkered than the Malay Muslims.

Brother Hamba Abdi: Brother Terence, please explain why are you not more blind and blinkered than the Malay Muslims with regards to the Sultan’s case in point.  Have you observed and seen with your pair of eyes the Sultan’s illicit activities, or you know it simply via scandalmongers?

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Hamba Abdi, perhaps you have problems with the English language. or you do not know how to read properly.  If you had bothered to read my comment above, that ‘scandalmonger’ was my father, captain of room service at a certain hotel for 13 years.  Now, if my intent was to scandalise, I would have written up some of those stories instead of putting up a mere article.  That would be juicy, would it not?

My father was very anti-Muslim.  He served several of the sultans and their entourage when they were in Singapore.  He served the soccer team of an Arab nation.  He served several heads of states, from Muslim countries.  They drank, they had a lot of sexual intercourse, and they ate pork.  They did not fast in Ramadhan since they were ‘travelling’.  And then, he sees them on television, or in the news preaching about Islam.  Understandably, he had a low opinion of Muslims.

Sister Hafizah Kareem: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, some people say the Sultan has repented and so, he is using his power to legislate hudud law in his country.

Brother Hamba Abdi: Terence, you perhaps mean, you are not sure whether the Sultan is still in his old habits or that he is now a truly religious practising Muslim.  You are a confused man.  In your confused state of mind, you tend to become the scandalmonger yourself.  I urge you, for the sake of Allah, desist at once from continuing this scandalmongering of the Sultan for if the Sultan is truly a changed man now, like ‘Umar (r.a.) once was, you are figuratively eating the flesh of your own brother in Islam as warned by Allah (s.w.t.) in the Qur’an.

Brother Mingda Sun: We still talk of ‘Umar’s (r.a.) follies even though he repented.  The misdeeds of our leaders are worth discussing, repentance or not.

Sister Rhiannon Roesler Alobeid: I think all of you are unaware how non-judgemental, knowledgeable and compassionate, Brother Terence really is.  Please stop crucifying him.  He is only doing this to inform and educate, not judge.

Brother Dan Oo: Public figures are at a different level of scrutiny, scandalmongering or not, there are too many witnesses, too many people coming forward.  When ‘Umar (r.a.) was khalifah, he took a man down from being governor when the man simply wrote a poem about wine.

Sister Erita Piliang: It has become common news.  Power, wealth make a person grow greedy including for lust.  He can buy and pay a lot of girls to meet the wishes of his sex.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Hamba Abdi, it is not scandal mongering when it is in the news and there is truth in it.  I am most certainly not confused.  You are perplexed, thinking I have to believe as you do.  The Bolkiahs are nothing like ‘Umar (r.a.).  I do not hold them in any such esteem.  And it cannot be repentance as, you so desperately want to believe, if the issues has not been addressed.  We are not beholden to people to save their heroes.

In truth, I am not concerned about their private shenanigans.  The point is that there is no basis for the hadd.  It is one rule for the people and one for the rulers.  In Islam, that is far from the essence of justice.

Brother Hazrul Azhar Jamari: A lot of this is untrue.  Again, I would like to remind that the Sultan has been wrongly accused.  These sneaky Australian news sites have an anti-Muslim agenda.  The actual person is his brother, Jefri Bolkiah, who now lives in exile in London.  Many of his possessions have been frozen by Brunei because he has misappropriated Brunei’s wealth on exactly these things and siphoned off money from the government.  Because of his corruption, the Brunei government is in the world’s longest legal battle in London to stop Jefri Bolkiah and get to all his properties in order to recoup the state’s money.  The Sultan has been on record to say that he will ensure people who have committed corruption will be “punished to the fullest extent of the law, even if he is my own brother.”  Brunei is one of the most corruption-free countries in this part of the world, probably second only to Singapore.

Brother Umar Munshi: People here are sharing opinions.  That is a good thing.  Differences in viewpoints are healthy, but brothers and sisters, let us refrain from being condescending.  This is unIslamic, unbefitting the adab of Muslims.

I feel the post is unIslamic.  I am not attacking anyone.  My rationale is what was already shared by a few others.  I know, too, very well the hypocrisy of leaders of Muslim communities.  If we know the past, then let us make it clear it is the past, and end off with praying for our leaders.  Condemning brings no benefit to you or the ummah, and can clearly bring elements of fitnah.

Brother Zuraimi Hussain: Brother Terence, the postings are polarising towards racial disparity rather than the intention of Islamic unity.  Our postings shoud be naswihah.

Brother Cikgu Dah Bengang: Here are some facts:

At least previously, the Sultan of Brunei led an unIslamic lifestyle.  I have seen a photograph of his first wedding where champagne was before him; I have no reason to doubt Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis’s reports from his father, although they are hearsay.

Jefri, the Sultan of Brunei’s brother, has been on record having a lived-in girlfriend, and commissioning sculptures of him and his girlfriend having sex; apparently, even the artist himself was embarrassed: Brunei Prince's Life-Size Sex Statues & Perverted Lifestyle Exposed during Trial.

The Sultan of Brunei’s former 2nd wife has been on record as a regular on the casino circuit:
Sultan of Brunei’s Ex-Wife ‘Lost £1m a Day in Casinos’.

Despite the foregoing, the Sultan of Brunei introduces hudud in the country.  The issues raised include, how sincere is the Sultan of Brunei in introducing Islamic law?  What if the Sultan has repented - then the issue of him being a hypocrite does not arise.  But still, if he remains the hedonistic playboy, it would be his job to run the country as best as he should, including introducing hudud if this is for the best.  Nonetheless, a more relevant issue is, how relevant is hudud to the country at present?
Sister Mahani Abdullah: Regardless the facts, we should pray for each other and count our blessings that Brunei, being a Muslim country, is at peace.  I am sure there are people in this world that would like to see it differently.  Stiring up trouble is a first step in bringing unrest.  Let us all pray for each other, please.

Sister Zafirah Lenore Jeffrey: Brother Dan Oo has a point.  Leaders, public figures, representatives of state, and so forth, are on an entirely different level of scrutiny.  To deny that is to undermine the basic principles of governance and democracy, but that is incompatible with Islam, is it not?

Brother Ben Maintaram: There is a section of that law, Article 84B (1), if I not mistaken, that absolves the Sultan and the royal family from any action as they are considered to be free of defect, tiada cacat cela.  This matter was widely highlighted here in Malaysia when Kelantan was proposing the hudud law.  I share your father’s story Brother Terence, as I was once in the in hotel industry myself.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Taking the thread in another direction, the entire concept of daulat tuanku is an archaic form of polytheism.  The ruler is not sacrosanct. Rather, he is t be held to a higher standard.  It is established fact that the Sultan of Brunei's lifestyle is anything but Islamic.  Therefore, for Brunei to claim to be some sort of Islamic state is a lie.

The question though, from a legal perspective, how relevant is the implementation of hudud and is it necessary, feasible or merely a means to burnish non-existent ‘Islamic’ credentials, therefore, a political ploy?

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: Fitnah!  Do not go there.  The Sultan of Brunei is a sultan with daulat.  Respect him, please.  This is a post to discredit and smear the good name of the Sultan.  I will slap the person who discredits or spreads bad of the Sultan.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I do not believe in this daulat.

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: That is you and your way.  You are not a Malay.  You do not understand our culture, our nature; you are a Eurasian.  Can I say likewise about your ethnic and culture?  Remember where you are.  We respect and embraced others cultures and ways here.  We do not create fitnah or ridicule, nor have we spread untruths, without proofs, so do likewise.  This is a last warning, or face the consequences.  This is the problem when Malays give too much face to other races - they do not show respect to our people.

Brother KhairulAzhar AbdulKarim: I see a number of anti-Islam postings by Terence.  Enough said!

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: Anything futher, I shall forward this post to my friends, the protocol officers of Brunei for further legal actions.   Remove this post and comments at once.

Brother Cikgu Dah Bengang: Why?  We are not in Brunei.

Brother Sadali Ami: It is interesting how racial pride suddenly and quickly comes to the fore.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Do you think I am afraid of some bureaucrat in Brunei, Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan?  Or do you me so unlearned in the law and the shari’ah, that this sort of kampung tactics, this sort of UMNO-brand thuggery would work?  This is the sort of talk they have across the Causeway, not Singapore.  This is precisely what I am against: a Malay-centric, hardline pseudo-Shafi’i collective that is intolerant, that labels other races as ‘pendatang’ and calls on the Chinese and the Indians to ‘go back’, that labels Shi’a and any group that questions the racial politics of the Malay supremacists as ‘deviant’, that discriminates and attacks the Christians as kuffar and labels every Jew a Zionist.

If the Sultan of Brunei feels that this is an egregious dent upon his character, he is welcome to sue the publication in question, not the people who read it, forward it and comment on it.  There is a legal process, not some feudal ball-carrying in the name of Malay-centric ‘Islam’.

And you are not even Malay.  You are ethnically Indian.  Why the sudden appeal to Malay racial pride?

And Brother KhairulAzhar AbdulKarim, in what way are my postings ‘anti-Islam’?  Are they ‘anti-Islam’ because they do not fit into your tiny worldview?  Saya telah masuk Islam.  Saya tidak pernah masuk Melayu.  Agama kami ialah Islam, bukan ‘Melayu’.

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: Therefore, do not post something against Brunei or its sultan.

I am a Malay with Indian, Malay and Arab roots.  The sultan is one of our khalifah.  This rhetoric is unacceptable.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The Sultan is a man. H e is Blessed to be born with a massive silver spoon, al-Hamdulillah.  He is not a saint, or a prophet.  He not beyond reproach or above criticism.

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: Such disrespect coming from you.  Have you forgotten what sultans are before the creation of men?  At the Lawh al-Mahfuzh, they are from the light of Ahmad.  I am giving a last friendly advise.  Remove this thread immediately.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: How is that disrespectful, Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan? Is he a deity?  When the people of the Malay Peninsula came to Islam, they left behind their idolatry, and you want to bring it back?  Every person is from the Nur Muhammadi. The sultans are not that special.  Where did you come by this innovated doctrine?

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: These are unfounded allegations.  What deity are you talking about.  It is sad for you to say that sultans are not special: they are special.  Okay. you have made your stand clear.  So you are not removing this.

Sister San Yee: Brother Syed, all topics are open to discussion in the sharing group.  This is one way of finding whether an information is true or not.  By threatening individuals or forcing others to censor information only creates an ignorant population.

Brother KhairulAzhar, there is a big difference between anti Islam post and post critically looking at and discussing Islamic thought and practices.  By being critical and discussing the issues, we form a better understanding in becoming a better Muslim.

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: This is not a topic to discuss.  These are allegations, accusations, and insults.  If I were to make some post on Portuguese, Chinese, Indian, and Caucasians of the same kind, is it okay?

Brother KhairulAzhar AbdulKarim: My world may be a small one.  But at least, it is not screwed up like Terence’s.  Now tell me, what has UMNO got to do with all this nonsense?  It is clear that you do not even comprehend what a Malay and Islam is all about.  And San Yee, the Prophet Muhammad prohibits debates about religion in public especially amongst those who have yet to fully understand Islam.  You cannot learn about religion through debates, let alone ‘form a better understanding’.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: And I suppose, you, Brother KhairulAzhar AbdulKarim, are a judge about who is knowledgeable and who is not?  That is the sort of condescension and arrogance that necessitated the need for a convert group.

As long as there is Ketuanan Melayu of any sort, then the Malay political establishment does not know Islam since the religion is against aswabiyyah.  They have no credibility to lecture anybody about knowledge of the religion.  We do not need another Perkosa.

Brother KhairulAzhar AbdulKarim; What has Ketuanan Melayu got to do with it?

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Everything, does it not?  The excessive worship of the sultan as a symbol of the race, for one.  I believe my point has been amply demonstrated in the thread.

And then we have this idea that Muslims should not discuss the religion lest their iman is shaken or they will be ‘confused’, or because they do not know enough. It is a common excuse to shut down uncomfortable discussions.

Brother KhairulAzhar AbdulKarim: Discuss with the knowledgable.  Go seek a teacher.

Sister San Yee: Going back to the topic, does Islamic law in Brunei apply to non-Muslims in the country or is there a separate law for non-Muslims?

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Portions of the hudud apply to non-Muslims.  I read through the law.  The main criticism is that the statutes are too vague, and that makes it too easy to frame a charge for the slightest thing.

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: It applies to all Bruneians regardless of ethnicity and religion.  It is agreed upon without exclusion. Daulat tuanku.

Sister San Yee: So with regards to the requirements of witnesses for a non-Muslim witnessing a crime, is the testimony of the non-Muslim equal to a Muslim?

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: You are ignorant.  This is the problem with people of your kind.  This is entirely a different topic.  If you do not like it in Islam, you can go back to where you come from.

Sister San Yee: Brother Syed, you must be new here.  This is how discussions in The Sharing Group work.  Brother Syed, you really have a problem with anger issues.  If this is too much for you, please remove yourself from the situation.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Essentially, Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan does not actually know the answer.  I know him in real life.  Whenever he is caught out, he blusters instead of admitting he does not know.

Regarding the Brunei law, there is a differentiation between the testimony of a Muslim versus a non-Muslim in certain instances.  I am not sure if it has been resolved after the readings.  The statute is very much a work in progress.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: [Admin] Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan, please behave.  It is not your place to tell converts to ‘go back’ to where they were from simply because they disagree with you.  You are not the gatekeeper of Islam.  You are not even a particularly good Muslim to decide who is or is not a believer.  I have removed the series of offending comments.

Sister San Yee: What was wrong with the law they had?  Surely, it was a just law.  That is what Islamic law is supposed to be.

Brother Dan Oo: Just ban him.

Sister San Yee: As much as I like to get my popcorn out, Brother Dan Oo is right.  Brother Syed, this is truly bad adab to insult a person who has done nothing to you.

Brother Hajj Ahmad: Brother Terence, is it not time to remove this ungentlemanly gentleman?

Sister Zafirah Lenore Jeffrey: I believe the concept of ‘daulat’ has its roots in animism which was the prevalent belief system in this part of the world before Hinduism.  This is the period where we got words like ‘sembahyang’, from ‘sembah’ and ‘hyangí’, meaning ‘worship’ and ‘spirits’; and ‘kayangan’, from ‘kahyangan’, the realm where the spirits reside.  The tribal chief of the times was often the head shaman in that sense.  The sovereignty of the king carried into the Hinduism period which introduced the caste system to the Malaccan kingdom.  This further exaggerated the concept of regnal sovereignty to the point of being worthy of worship.  The king was able to bestow blessings or curses which according to legend really did happen, also known as ‘sumpah’.  Thus, to encapsulate the whole idea of the monarch being above everyone else, in all aspects, and as a symbol of loyalty and servitude, the word ‘daulat’ was used.

Interestingly enough, when I wrote the paper on this I was in a pseudo-Salafi institution.  I was asked to prove how the concept of ‘daulat’ is incompatible with Islam.  The entire research I did independently though, and in Malay.

Oh and yes, I am Malay.  Both parents are Malay.  All my grandparents are Malay.  I am not mixed, unless Javanese counts.

Brother Dan Oo: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, why you even put yourself out there as a convert, I do not know.  I am not a convert.  According to the idiocy of some born-Muslims, they automatically assumed I am, and they used to be so shocked when they saw me giving the khuthbah back in the day.  It is better to avoid this for your own sanity.  By the way, I just want to go on record that I love Southeast Asian Muslims - my wife especially.

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: Another one misinformed about daulat and sembahyang.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Dan Oo, when I was teaching, I never said I was a convert.  They knew me at every mosque as Ustadz Sayf Uddeen.  It was easier that way.  When I was teaching at Darul Arqam, on the other hand, I was simply Terence Nunis.

[Admin] I would like to ask the members, especially Brother Dan Oo, Brother Hajj Ahmad, Sister San Yee and others, to confirm that they are asking for the removal of this brother for misbehaviour.

Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan: Do not play with fire if you cannot take the heat.  Kesian.  Pergi belajar dengan Google sudah.  You can insult and post derogatory, anti-Malay, anti-Sultan posts but you cannot take our heat.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: [Admin] Brother Syed Muhd Bashir AlAzmatkhan, your conduct is unbecoming.  You have been rude to members.  You have told converts to leave Islam, and this is the second thread you have done so.  You are immature, insolent and racist.  This sort of behaviour causes you to lose friends and people’s respect.  I have had to delete a lot of your comments.  Do you want to apologise?

Sister Crystal Bolte: I have been reading and following this thread since yesterday.  Brother Syed has attempted to use intimidation and has had extremely poor adab throughout this entire exchange.  He refuses to be civil, and instead makes threats.  I say remove him.  You know, if you are taking a tally.

Sister Nur Rasyida Burdis: While it does beats watching any other drama on the television, and I have been reading this thread for the past two hours, it is moot when a person is commenting for the sake of having the last say or just to bring you down to the same level.  I would do what is needed.

Brother Dan Oo: I have already said what i think should be done.  Enough said.

Sister Rhiannon Roesler Alobeid: Remove him.

Brother Sadali Ami: Basically Brother Syed’s entire argument is this: “Ummm... uhhhhh... well, we... uhhh... you know.... well... testimony.... uhh... daulat tuanku.”  That is it.  There can be no comeback to that.  Right, wrong, polytheism, Islam.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: [Admin] I did not want it to seem personal since  know the brother personally.  Noted and thank you all for your support and participation.  He has a lot to say about me on his Wall and other groups.

This is what he posted: “i got kicked out frm the sharing group heade by group of singapore converts..lead by a terrance helikaon nunis....due to my defence against their insults,belittling,slight,fitnah,provocations against malays,born muslims,habaibs,malaysia govt and especially the sultan of brunei....they post blatant allegations..and in the past had shown their disgusts towards tariqah syakhs,born muslims,ustadz in singapore...the masjids here and the jumaah prayers,khutbahs etc....they continue to hurl such comments and trying to make adjustments to islam and proudly saying tht converts are the best to follow and to lead......knnccb.”

The last portion, for those who do not understand the Hokkien abbreviations, translates to fornicating with someone's mothers odoriferous nether regions.  It is considered a very vulgar term.

And this was my response, which will be the last, in response to his litany of allegations: “You were banned because you were rude, displaying terrible adab, telling converts that they should leave Islam if they could not ‘accept it’, and threatening others.  You were boorish, immature, racist and vulgar.

The thread is still there, and people in the group can see it for themselves.  What I am against is the entire concept of Ketuanan Melayu, which is a form of aswabiyyah.  I am against the concept of Daulat Tuanku which is the legacy of an animist past that has been Islamicised.  And we have spoken out against the imposition of any cultural specific interpretation of the religion.  And that includes a Malay-centric one.  And if this is what you say, then to add to the litany of inadequacies, I should add you have been economical with the truth.”

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