My answer is “No” to PAS VP Tuan Ibrahim’s question whether I consider PAS worse than UMNO but Tuan Ibrahim is wrong in thinking I am wooing UMNO

My answer is “No” to PAS Vice President Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man’s question whether I consider PAS worse than UMNO but Tuan Ibrahim is wrong in thinking that I am wooing UMNO.

DAP would not have formed Pakatan Rakyat with PAS together with PKR if we in the DAP had regarded PAS as worse than UMNO, and I am still hoping that Pakatan Rakyat can remain as a political force to be reckoned with provided all the Pakatan Rakyat component parties remain true, sincere and faithful to the PR Common Policy Framework as well as the PR consensus operational principle that no one political leader or single political party can make or veto any decision arrived collectively by consensus of all three PR parties.

The Pakatan Rakyat stalemate and crisis have arisen because of PAS’ failure to abide by the PR Common Policy Framework and the PR consensus operational principle, and unless both these principles can be restored, it is impossible for PR to continue to be a political alternative to Barisan Nasional and a political force to be reckoned with, as both the credibility and legitimacy of Pakatan Rakyat would have been destroyed by the own doings of PR component parties.

I have just returned from a week-long study tour of Jordan and Egypt with four DAP Members of Parliament, Teresa Kok (Seputeh), Liew Chin Tong (Kluang), Zairil Khir Johari (Bukit Bendera) and Steven Sim (Bukit Mertajam) meeting local intellectuals and activists and with Malaysian students in Amman, Mafraq, Karak, Alexandria and Cairo where we learned not only about the political developments in these two countries but also the concerns and aspirations of Malaysian students in the Middle East.

As I have told Malaysian students in Alexandria and Cairo, it is a disservice to Islam to lump those who have differences of view with regard to hudud and its implementation as anti-Islam, as this will not only be lumping the first five Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah, but also UMNO as “anti-Islam”, and even those who had co-operated with UMNO as “anti-Islam” – which would include PAS which had formed a coalition government with UMNO for four years from 1973 to 1977. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Save Malaysia” , “Save UMNO” and “Save Najib” are three entirely different concepts but they provide another example of the poor comprehension levels and declining educational standards in Malaysia

Although Barisan Nasonal Ministers continue to claim, without batting an eyelid, that Malaysia has one of the best educational systems in the world which is comparable if not better than the best in the world, there is no lack of example of the poor comprehension levels and declining educational standards in Malaysia.

These are not just from the results of international assessment tests like PISA (Programme for International Students Assessments) or TIMSS (Trends in Mathematics and Science Studies) where Malaysian students scored consistently in the world’s lowest one-third bracket, four or even five years behind their peers in the world’s top achieving countries like Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea and Japan or the various world top university rankings where Malaysia seemed to have slipped into the zone of oblivion.

Malaysian are often regaled by frequent bloopers like the recent case of the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who sent the police into a frenzy of action because he thought that a tweet by an Opposition Member of Parliament “Royal my foot” was a blatant and seditious attack on the institution of constitutional monarchy or the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi who believed that his infamous letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in the United States vouching for the character and integrity of an international gambling kingpin was merely to confirm that the “14K triad” did not exist in the country.

Of course these bloopers were nothing compared to the one made collectively by Najib’s 35-member Cabinet which created history and a record of sorts when they completely misunderstood the call by the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses as not targetting Chinese traders alone but aimed at all traders.

But the biggest howler must be those who cannot differentiate the complexities of three entirely different concepts – “Save Malaysia”, “Save UMNO” and “Save Najib”, thinking that they are one and the same. Read the rest of this entry »

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PAS does not have the numbers for Hadi’s private member ’s bill motion in May Parliament

I do not believe that PAS has the numbers for PAS President and MP for Marang Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation in the May meeting of Parliament.

As Hadi was reported by Malaysiakini today, he had previously presented a similar private member’s bill in Parliament in 1996, but it had remained on the Dewan Rakyat Order Paper and never went to the stage of being presented to Parliament for debate let alone for a vote.

I believe the same will happen in the May meeting of Parliament where Hadi’s hudud private member’s bill motion will appear and remain in the Dewan Rakyat Order Paper but will not reach the stage of being presented to Parliament for debate and vote. Read the rest of this entry »

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Freeing Anwar Ibrahim from Sungai Buloh prison must be top agenda of the “Save Malaysia” Grand Coalition post-BN and post-PR

Seven weeks ago, at the Bukit Bintang DAP anniversary dinner, I threw up the idea of a new coalition government post-BN and post-PR to “Save Malaysia” as Malaysia seemed suddenly in “no man’s land” in over half-a-century of independent nation after Merdeka in 1957 and formation of Malaysia in 1963.

The events of the past 26 days have fortified the need for new thinking, even thinking the unthinkable, about the unprecedented political landscape evolving in the country, for not only are the two political coalition in the country, the ruling Barisan Nasional and the Federal Opposition Pakatan Rakyat, in serious trouble, the very existence of the Malaysian federation has been called into question for the first time since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

The past seven weeks have seen the premiership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak coming under even greater challenge, with the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad leading the attack, raising issues which Pakatan Rakyat leaders have kept in the national forefront all this while, in particular the RM42 billion 1MDB financial scandal, the unanswered question of motive in the Altantunya Shaariibuu murder trial, amidst a host of questions about nation-building, good governance, the rule of law; the independence and professionalism of the judiciary, Police and the Anti-Corruption Commission; respect for democracy, human rights and freedom of expression and the press in Malaysia.

Never before has the ruling coalition in Malaysia come under such intense attack – at a time when the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition, which had created history in winning the majority of the electorate in the 13th General Elections but denied the majority of the parliamentary seats and therefore the Putrajaya seat of Federal power because of unfair and undemocratic gerrymandering of electoral constituencies, is itself facing an unprecedented crisis!

It is no exaggeration to say that both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat are facing a ‘life-and-death crisis, which has mushroomed into a life-and-death crisis for the Malaysian Federation formed in 1963. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal Singh in memoriam


@limkitsiang tweets :

11:32 am – 17 Apr 2015
Although 8,000 km away in Cairo, thoughts are on Karpal on 1st anniversary when a light was snuffed out on his sudden departure.

11:37 am – 17 Apr 2015
Karpal a towering Malaysian – leaving a void in public life which cannot be filled. Always an inspiration 2all 2walk tall 4justice n freedom

11:42 am – 17 Apr 2015
Msia in vortex of great uncertainties – Karpal’s example of uncompromising in principles but visionary in exploring new vistas remain guide.

11:45 am – 17 Apr 2015
Best tribute 2Karpal 2continue the path blazoned by Tiger of Jelutong – a Malaysia which is beacon of hope where all Msians can feel proud. Read the rest of this entry »

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Missing Karpal

— Lim Guan Eng
The Malay Mail Online
April 17, 2015

APRIL 17 — As we mark the first year anniversary of the sudden departure of DAP national chairman Karpal Singh, we mourn the party’s and the people’s loss. Whilst we can never replace the pain and sorrow felt by his family, Malaysia is clearly poorer without Karpal.

Karpal pushed the party’s profile as a Malaysian party and advanced our cause for justice, freedom and democracy. He did not just simply create history by becoming the first non-Chinese DAP National Chair but used his legal prowess to demonstrate the true meaning of Malaysian Malaysia, by defending the rights of everyone regardless of race, religion, background and even nationality. Indeed for Karpal, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

I wish to relive Karpal the person. Karpal Singh was one of the few DAP leaders who radiated an inner light that gave hope to many and remembered for his innate goodness. He was respected because he cared about other people, and was willing to be a good listener with the unique gift to make the individual feel valued. Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s had some military success, but the Islamic State is no existential threat

By Rosa Brooks
Opinions
Washington Post
April 16 2015

ISIS -The State of Terror

By Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger

It is dangerous to underestimate your enemies — or overestimate them. The United States has an uncanny knack for doing both, often at the same time.

Take the self-proclaimed Islamic State. On the one hand, President Obama tells us that the group, also known by the acronym ISIS,“has no vision other than . . . slaughter” and “can never possibly win [anyone] over by its ideas or its ideology — because it offers nothing.” There is no need to send U.S. ground troops into combat against the militants: “It’s not necessary to defeat [them].”

On the other hand, former defense secretary Chuck Hagel insists that the Islamic State is an “imminent threat to every interest we have,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) says the group is “a clear and present danger,” and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) urges the president to deploy U.S. ground troops to fight the extremists in Iraq and Syria “before we all get killed here at home.”

Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger’s new book, “ISIS,” should be required reading for every politician and policymaker. Though it bears some of the inevitable scars characteristic of books written in a great hurry — it is uneven and a bit rough around the edges — their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. Says Ramadi at Risk of Falling to Islamic State

By Julian E. Barnes
Wall Street Journal
April 16, 2015


Anbar residents flee provincial capital as Islamist forces advance

WASHINGTON—U.S. defense officials said a provincial capital in Iraq could soon fall to Islamic State, while America’s top military officer sought to minimize the strategic importance of the city.

At a Pentagon news conference, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested that maintaining control of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, isn’t central to the U.S. and Iraqi aims of defeating Islamic State forces.

“The city itself is not symbolic in any way,” Gen. Dempsey said. “It’s not been declared part of the caliphate on one hand, or central to the future of Iraq.”

Earlier this week, Pentagon officials minimized the possibility that Ramadi was going to fall. But U.S. officials have monitored large numbers of civilians fleeing from the city, a sign that residents fear an imminent takeover.

Islamic State fighters have taken over a number of villages surrounding Ramadi, destroyed bridges and other infrastructure and reversed recent gains by Iraqi Security forces, defense officials said Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Want to stop people from joining groups like the Islamic State? Try tackling core problems first.

By Stephan Bauman
Washington Post
April 14, 2015

Why would teenagers from Denver or schoolgirls from London skip class to join the Islamic State? Because they want to “belong to something special…,” said John Horgan who studies the psychology of terrorism at the University of Massachusetts. “They want to find something meaningful for their life.” Such crises of identity coupled with an appeal to religious loyalty entice even the most unlikely of candidates. We shake our heads in astonishment.

But there is more to the story. Read the rest of this entry »

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As Najib shores up leadership amid criticism, tiny Gedong may play a big role

Bloombert/MMO
April 15, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — The oil palm-growing district of Gedong in the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak is too tiny to get its own zip code. Even so, its 6,712 voters will soon have their own government representative.

Electoral officials are adding 11 seats to the Sarawak legislative assembly by carving out new constituencies ahead of a state election due by next year—wards that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will want to go to his ruling coalition. The Sarawak vote is a test for Najib as he seeks to shore up his leadership amid criticism of his economic and social policies and public demands by a former leader that he step down.

Najib’s efforts to retain support in the resource-rich state has seen his government build more municipal facilities from hospitals to water treatment plants. His Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is banking on the states of Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo island — its traditional strongholds — to keep it in power as Chinese voters on Peninsular Malaysia defect.

“BN not doing so well in Sarawak will weaken Najib within the coalition and add to criticisms against him,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, head of the Kuala Lumpur-based Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. “A strong win will give him a reprieve from all the unhappiness on imposing a goods and services tax this year and concerns about growing debt of government entities.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction lowers the bar on the Malaysian legal system

Amanda Whiting, University of Melbourne
East Asia Forum
13 April 2015

These are dangerous times for the rule of law in Malaysia. The Federal Court’s decision on 10 February 2015 to affirm Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s criminal conviction for ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’ is shocking, but entirely predictable.

For a while, it seemed that domestic and international condemnation of the harassment of Anwar and the political misuse of draconian laws against opposition politicians and social activists had worked to improve Malaysia’s legal system. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) government appeared to have taken on board the response to the 1998–2004 ‘Sodomy I’ legal proceedings against Anwar, and broader criticisms of its authoritarian rule. But the ‘Sodomy II’ proceedings and their aftermath suggest otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kerjasama PAS-Umno umpama pelanduk melupakan jerat, tetapi jerat tidak melupakan pelanduk

– Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
14 April 2015

Menurut laporan Mingguan Malaysia, Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang berkata PAS wajib berunding dengan Umno apabila diajak parti tersebut demi memastikan pelaksanaan hukum hudud di Kelantan.

Katanya lagi, pemimpin dan ahli PAS tidak sewajarnya mempersoalkan keikhlasan Umno menyokong pelaksanaan hukum itu, khususnya apabila rang undang-undang persendirian berkaitan hudud dibentangkan di Dewan Rakyat kelak. Read the rest of this entry »

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PAS’s problems not as trivial as Hadi thinks, says former veep

BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
14 April 2015

Former PAS vice-president Ahmad Awang, who received three nominations to take on Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang for the top party post, has dismissed the president’s claim that the disagreements within the Islamist party were a “small” issue.

He said if the problems were not resolved, the party could be heading for destruction, adding that contrary to Hadi’s belief, the party was currently facing a bigger crisis than before.

“The president said it is a small thing. But from what I am seeing, the situation is really bad, and if left unchecked, it could destroy the party,” said Ahmad, who was also the former Perak PAS commissioner. Read the rest of this entry »

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Repression in Malaysia – Disconnect

Economist
Apr 11th 2015

A thuggish government is playing racial politics. Najib Razak should be dressed down

MALAYSIA’S prime minister, Najib Razak, paints his country as a model of moderate Islam —a multicultural democracy and a beacon of tolerance. He has spoken of scrapping oppressive British-era laws and nurturing a creative economy. Meanwhile, his spin-doctors explain that their liberal master is the man to vanquish the reactionary forces in his political party, UMNO, which has never been out of power and which is prone to cronyism and political thuggery. Barack Obama, for one, buys this story. He is the first American president since 1966 to have visited Malaysia. And late last year in Hawaii he enjoyed a round on the golf links with Mr Najib. The two men are said to click. The White House gushes about a “growing and warming relationship” between America and Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Undi bukan Islam tidak penting?

A Shukur Harun
The Malaysian Insider
14 April 2015

Ramai yang berkongsi kerunsingan dan menyertai kebimbangan bekas pemimpin PAS, Ustaz Haji Ahmad Awang apabila beliau berkata, “ramai yang sedih melihat gelagat beberapa pimpinan PAS yang menunjukkan sikap tidak menghargai dan bersyukur atas kewujudan Pakatan Rakyat. Sama ada mereka mempunyai wawasan masa depan politik yang begitu terbantut atau agenda tersendiri yang masih belum didedahkan hanya Allah yang mengentahui.”

Menurut Ahmad Awang, kata-kata seperti “PAS mampu bersendirian”, “Putrajaya bukan matlamat kami”, “Sokongan bukan Islam tidak penting” dan sebagainya adalah sangat bercanggah dengan wawasan pimpinan terdahulu.

Ungkapan seperti ini bermunculan ketika tercetusnya krisis berat dalam PAS sendiri sekarang ini, lebih-lebih lagi menjelang Muktamar Tahunan PAS bulan Jun depan.

Menurut pendapat saya, pandangan PAS mampu bersendirian sementara sokongan bukan Melayu tidak penting adalah kata-kata yang menggambarkan betapa naifnya bacaan politik mereka ini, yang sama sekali tidak berasaskan realiti politik yang ada. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hadi is propounding a political creed where the end justifies the means which seems to be at odds with the essence of Islam on the universal values of justice and trust (adil dan amanah)

I am shocked at the justification by the PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang for violating the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Leadership Council decision on Feb. 8, 2015 that any amendment to the 1995 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment and any private member’s bill in Parliament on hudud implementation should first be presented at the PR Leadership Council.

Both these consensus decisions of the PR Leadership Council meeting of Feb. 8, which was attended by Hadi personally, were violated as the 2015 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment and Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in Parliament were never presented first to the PR Leadership Council.

From Hadi’s justification, he is in fact propounding a political creed where the end justifies the means which seems to be at odds with the essence of Islam on the universal values of justice and trust (adil dan amanah).
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Malaysia facing not only crisis of identity but crisis of survival for first time since formation of federation in 1963

Malaysia is facing not only a crisis of identity but a crisis of survival for the first time since the formation of the Malaysian federation in 1963.

The month of April has not been a good month for Malaysia, starting with the GST implementation on April 1, which has caused hardships all-round to Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region; followed by a week of infamy when Parliament “stopped the clock” twice in four days to rush through the passage of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Sedition Amendment Act, both of which attracted universal international condemnation for Malaysia becoming the human rights “black hole” as well as opening the Pandora’s Box of undemocratic, arbitrary and repressive powers and laws.

But looming in the background, there was an even bigger crisis – the crisis of survival for Malaysia as it is intimately concerned with the question as to whether the Malaysian federation, as conceived by the Malaysia Agreement 1963, could survive and flourish or whether it would perish and fail. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib forewarned that the UMNO “UG” conspirators should not be allowed to continue to play with fire as it could lead not only to the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat, but also Barisan Nasional and even the Malaysian Federation

The month-long Parliamentary meeting starting on March 9 and adjourning in the early hours of April 10 has gravely undermined and damaged both the political coalitions in the country, the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

It has been said that truth is stranger than fiction.

While the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak may rejoice that the “hudud” plot of the UMNO’s “UG” conspirators has succeeded in causing grave damage to Pakatan Rakyat, he should rue its threat not only to Barisan Nasional but the Malaysian federation as well.

Najib had not realised that the “hudud” weapon of UMNO “UG” plotters’ is a double-edged sword, which could not only damage the unity and solidarity of Pakatan Rakyat with its success to entice PAS support with purported UMNO endorsement for PAS Kelantan State Government hudud implementation, it also threatens the unity and even survival of Barisan Nasional and the Malaysian Federation as well.

In fact, the “hudud” plot of the UMNO “UG” conspirators has the potential not only to destroy both coalitions, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, but also the nation or bring about a realignment of political forces in the country.

The warning signals are clear for all who have eyes to see.
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Umno playing politics with hudud push, Saifuddin tells students in Australia

by Shaun Tan
Malay Mail Online
April 10, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Support for hudud exists only on the fringes despite the high-profile coverage on the controversy over the Islamic penal law in Malaysia, said Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Speaking during a summit organised by the Malaysian Students Council of Australia (MASCA) in Brisbane, Australia yesterday, the Umno leader also said his party’s apparent support for hudud was “just politics”.

“Hudud isn’t mainstream. The mainstream is moderation and democracy,” he said.

During discussions on the topic, he said while the Quran uses the word “hudud” 14 times, none of the mentions involves a fixed punishment, but instead appears in relation to marriage, divorce and kindness to orphans. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is the 1MDB a tragedy or a farce?

The Edge
Rakyat Times
10th April 2015

The Malaysian Government’s ambitious investment experiment, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), has turned into a political and financial minefield for Prime Minister Najib Razak and his ministers.

In recent months, the debt-laden sovereign wealth fund has made domestic and international headlines with explosive allegations of corruption, widespread mismanagement of public funds, serious political misbehaviour and opaque corporate dealings.

The relentless attacks on 1MDB – which have included public disclosures of confidential e-mail trails highlighting opaque transactions for highly dubious investments – have not only come from the country’s feisty opposition, but also former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who in recent days has publicly called for Najib’s resignation.

“Najib is facing too many scandals, and there are no answers,” Dr. Mahathir told reporters last week, adding that if the country’s dominant party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which – as the main partner in the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition – has helmed Malaysia since independence in 1957, wants to remain in power, then “I think they must change the prime minister”.

Writing Najib’s political obituary, however, may be a little premature, say several senior UMNO officials aligned to the UMNO president and prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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