Malaysia: The Saga Continues

Yes, it’s back to Malaysia.  Those of you loyal readers know that in June of last year I visited the quagmire that is the Malaysian Constitution.  Well, you’ll be pleased to know that the kids there still aren’t playing nice with each other.
This time it’s all about Mazu, the Taoist goddess of the sea.  More precisely, it’s about the construction of the world’s tallest statue of the goddess that is causing trouble.  The selected site for the statue is the coastal town of Kudat in Sabah state on the northern tip of Borneo Island.  Seems appropriate, right?  Guess again!  According to, “After the state government halted construction Sabah’s mufti issued a fatwa saying the statue was ‘offensive to Islam’ because it was too close to a mosque.”  The Associated Press (via International Herald Tribune) points out that the statue is being constructed on private property.
Obviously this is annoying, but why is this issue getting so much attention?  As the Tribune points out “Malaysia has prided itself on decades of multiracial harmony”.  Those of you who read my last Malaysia blog know that this is simply not the case, and hasn’t ever been, thanks to the conflicting messages of their Constitution. says, “Malaysian commentators and minority leaders have sounded the alarm over the growing ‘Islamisation’ of the country.”  Seems to me, they have reason for concern.