With each bloody act, Islamic State militants demonstrate their need for self-importance overrides any moral, ethical, or religious boundary. Peter Kassig’s beheading is a microcosm of all the Islamic State wants, and religion is not high on that list.
Kassig converted to Islam and took the name Abdul-Rahman, servant of the Merciful. By many accounts, his conversion was genuine and the result of the love he felt for the people he met while providing aid in Syria. His former military service could have made him reluctant to return to a region in conflict. Instead, he chose to go back and help people, risking his life to do so.
In comparison, the Islamic State exacerbates a worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria. It works to prevent aid workers like Kassig from doing their job. A broken population that has no hope is the best recruiting environment it can hope for. If Syrians get aid from Americans, it would destroy the narrative that Islamic State militants are caring for Muslims.
The Islamic State specializes in media manipulation. It uses videos of its executions to gain a response from more powerful adversaries, thus giving it more legitimacy. The world “Islamic” ties the group to something grander than political machinations and 15th-century wars. Its video game-style recruitment material exhibits a mastery of the language of modernity.
Ultimately, the group is a product of modernity, not religion. Read the rest of this entry »
All Malaysians should be concerned that Malaysia has shot up to the Top 50 countries under Global Terrorism Index when we should strive to be one of the 40 countries with no terrorism problems
Kiwanis Club of Skudai, like Kiwanis Clubs all over Malaysia, is to be commended for the noble motto to serve the children of the world.
All Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, must be united in a common Malaysian Dream to make the country a better place for our children where there is justice, freedom, unity, harmony and prosperity for all.
I have many differences with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak but I agree with his call for the Global Movement of Moderates, which he has articulated in international forums including thrice in four years in his speeches to the United Nations General Assembly.
However, Najib seems to be waging a lose battle in his call for moderation to oust extremism in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
Let the Global Terrorism Index 2014 be a wake-up call to all political parties, NGOs and Malaysians that we jeopardize the future of Malaysians if we do not check the rhetoric and politics of hatred, intolerance and extremism and hew closely to the path of moderation
Malaysia has climbed 42 places in an international terrorism indicator that has cited religious extremism as the primary cause of terror attacks worldwide.
In the 2014 edition of the Global Terrorism Index produced by the Institute of Economic and Peace, Malaysia is now 48th in a ranking that has Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan at the top, having risen from 91st spot in the 2012 issue of the report.
Malaysia’s score on the index measuring the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities and casualties as well as damage to property has also risen steadily from 2012, going from 0.415 out of a possible 10 to the current 3.04. Ten signifies the highest impact of terrorism.
Regionally, the Philippines, (9th/7.29), Thailand (10th/7.19) and Indonesia (31st/4.67) scored worse than Malaysia. Singapore was 124th, with a score of zero, indicating no negative effects from terrorism.
The Global Terrorism Index 2014 is bad news for Malaysia, for overnight, Malaysia has shot into the international radar of the top 50 countries under the world’s terrorism-watch, having overtaken 43 countries in a matter of two years as a country where terrorism is a bigger problem – overtaking countries like Uganda, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, France, Chile, Italy, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Tajikistan, Spain, Jordan, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Sweden, Germany, Canada and Serbia.
What has gone wrong as Malaysia has always prided itself as a model for the world for inter-racial and inter-religious understanding, tolerance and harmony that we are now in the top 50 countries in the world in the Global Terrorism Index on the negative impact of terrorism, when Malaysia should be one of the countries with score of zero, indicating no negative effects from terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »
Joseph Pairin’s greatest act of patriotism is to put an immediate end to the 40-year “merry-go-rounds” on the Sabah illegal immigrants problem and not to be a party or to give his blessing to another “merry-go-round” by heading a committee to review the RCIIIS Report
Kudos to the PBS President, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan for being hailed as a “true Malaysian patriot” by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Sunday.
I do not know whether this implied that Joseph Pairin’s brother is not a “true Malaysian patriot”, but in keeping with his responsibility as a “true Malaysian patriot”, Joseph Pairin’s final and greatest responsibility is to end the 40-year “merry-go-rounds” to resolve the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah which had mushroomed from the 140,000 figure which I cited in 1978 to some 1.5 million to 1.9 million today, completely changing the political demography and socio-economic circumstances in Sabah.
Pairin said his party had called for the formation of the RCI since it was established in 1985.
When I spoke in Parliament in March 1986 on the Fifth Malaysia Plan, where I devoted the bulk of my speech on Sabah and the problem of illegal refugees in the state, I estimated that there were about 300,000 Filipino illegal immigrants in Sabah.
I called on the Federal Government to take firm action to uphold the law, honour the Rukunegara, liberate Sabahans from the menace posed by the illegal immigrants by sending increased reinforcements of police and security forces, in particular marine police, to protect Sabahans from internal unrest and external threat fomented by the illegal immigrants. Read the rest of this entry »
Would Najib ask all the 34 UMNO/BN Ministers who send their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign, to resign for their lack of confidence in the Umno/BN national education policy and system?
Malaysians must thank the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamad for highlighting the scandal of more and more Umno/BN Ministers and leaders sending their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign, as it has been a standing example in the past decades of the hypocrisy of UMNO/BN leaders who preach one thing for ordinary Malaysians but do the exact opposite for themselves and their family.
Would the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ask all the 34 Umno/BN Ministers who send their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign, to resign for their lack of confidence in the Umno/BN national education policy and system?
I have been informed that one of the first things a Minister of the Najib Cabinet did on his appointment was to transfer one of his children to an international school.
Is this because Malaysia’s education system sucks, stuck in the bottom third of the countries surveyed in international assessments and not making any significant moves towards the upper tier of the top one-third of the countries with 15-year-olds in Shanghai, Singapore and South Korea performing as though they had four or even five more years of schooling than 15-years-olds in Malaysia in mathematics, science and reading? Read the rest of this entry »
Let all the 33 Cabinet Ministers reveal whether their children and grandchildren had been educated under the national education system or whether they are products of private and international schools, at home or abroad
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir has warned that the social-economic disparity in Malaysia will grow bigger with rich parents sending their children to study English in international schools and abroad while the poor are left behind in national and vernacular schools here.
The former Prime Minister was not revealing any secret when he said that Ministers send their children to private schools and international schools which use largely English as the teaching medium, whether at home or abroad, as this phenomenon started not now but during his 22-year premiership from 1981-2003.
Surely Mahathir was not unaware that his own Ministers were sending their children to private and international schools, whether locally or abroad, demonstrating their lack of confidence in the national education policy and system?
Although the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had boasted that Malaysian youngsters are receiving better education than children in the United States, Britain and Germany, even UMNO leaders and delegates do not believe him – which is why he would not dare to ask the Umno General Assembly to endorse his claim as he would be in for a shocker! Read the rest of this entry »
Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein is anticipating that the motion on vernacular schools will be the hottest topic at his party’s general assembly to be held next fortnight (Nov 25-29).
The call to abolish vernacular schools, termed Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan – SRJK (C) for those using Mandarin as medium of instruction and SRJK (T) for those using Tamil – is expected to dominate the debate by Umno delegates.
Among the SRJK vocal critics are Umno’s Cheras division chief Syed Ali Alhabshee and Petaling Jaya Utara deputy division chief Mohamad Azli Mohemed Saad.
Urging their abolishment, Syed Ali said vernacular schools are seen as the platform for fostering thick racial sentiments. He was reported by FMT on Oct 7 as saying that such a negative development could bring about division and discord between the people of various races in the country.
Syed Ali is an advocate of single-stream education where all primary schools must teach in the national language, Bahasa Melayu, in the Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK). Read the rest of this entry »
Call on Cabinet on Friday to appoint Joseph Pairin as Chairman of RCIIIS Implementation Committee and not RCIIIS Review Committee to demonstrate that BN has the political will to resolve the 40-year old illegal immigrants problem in Sabah
The Cabinet, as its weekly meeting on Friday, should appoint Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan as Chairman of the Implementation Committee for the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants in Sabah (RCIIIS) and not just a Review Committee into the findings of the RCIIIS to indulge in another bout of merry-go-rounds purportedly to compile recommendations on what actions should be taken by the Federal Government on the RCIIIS Report.
The Pairin RCIIIS Implementation Committee should be given all necessary Federal and Sabah State government powers to immediately implement the recommendations of the RCIIIS, and all the relevant Federal and State Ministries and departments should come under its purview and direction.
The Pairin RCIIS Implementaiton Committee should be given two months to present a report to Parliament on the RCIIIS recommendations which it could not implement, state the reasons and seek parliamentary authority for the steps and measures which should be taken to deal with these aspects of the RCIIIS Report.
This is the only way to demonstrate that the Barisan Nasional has the political will to once and for all resolve the 40-year long-standing illegal immigrant problem in Sabah. Read the rest of this entry »
Pairin special committee on Report of RCI on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah (RCIIIS) the latest chapter of the 40-year Great Betrayal of Sabahans as it is proof of continued lack of political will with solution of long-standing problem completely out of sight
On Saturday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak finally announced that the Cabinet at its Friday meeting on November 14, 2014 decided that the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into illegal immigrants in Sabah (RCIIIS) will be made public by the beginning of next month and that a special committee headed by the Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan would be formed to look into the findings and compile recommendations.
Although Najib’s announcement was hailed by Barisan Nasional leaders in Sabah, the formation of the Pairin special committee on RCIIIS is only the latest chapter in the 40-year Great Betrayal of Sabahans as it is proof of the continued lack of political will to resolve the long-stand problem with the solution of a problem which had spanned over two generations completely out of sight!
At the opening of the 29th PBS congress in Kota Kinabalu yesterday, Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the people have high hopes for the Federal Government to put to rest the long-standing issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah and many were looking forward to learn about the findings by the RCIIIS and the solutions to the issue.
He said: “Effective implementation is needed, including stern enforcement. It also requires a strong political will. We need to eradicate the perception among illegals that they have the right to encroach on Sabah.”
Fat hopes indeed, as such political will are completely absent, or it would not have taken some seven months before publication of the Report of the RCIIIS.
Dare Pairin state when he expects the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah to be resolved? In 2015, 2016, 2017, before or after the 14th General Elections, 2018, 2019 or even 2020? Read the rest of this entry »
Call for three-day extension of Parliament for a full debate on “Are Malays and Islam under threat?” as this concerns not just Malays and Muslims, but all Malaysians who want a successful Malaysia
With the approach of the UMNO General Assemblies 2014 from Nov. 25 to 29, there is a build-up of the rhetoric and hysteria that “Malays and Islam are under threat”.
National laureate A. Samad Said made a most pertinent point when he pointed out that despite claims of a growing threat against the Malay community, the country’s leadership has remained in the hands of Malays and is still led by a party which claims to represent the Malay community.
I agree with Pak Samad that it is most peculiar that allegations of Malays under threat are constantly being played up, which is why he advised the Malay community not to be too obsessed about claims that Malays are under threat.
Pak Samad had asked the most relevant question:
“How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?
“What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?”
What Pak Samad prescribed is most apt, and I don’t think it could be gainsaid by anyone, that if the country’s more than five-decade-old UMNO Malay leadership cannot put the Malay community at ease, then it should surrender power to let other Malays rule. Read the rest of this entry »
MCA and Gerakan Ministers should explain why they have not raised any objection at Friday’s Cabinet meeting to the unconstitutional proposal to set up a Syariah Federal Court with the same powers as the civil Federal Court
MCA and Gerakan Ministers should explain why they have not raised any objection at Friday’s Cabinet meeting to the unconstitutional proposal to set up a Syariah Federal Court with the same powers as the civil Federal Court.
This unconstitutional move by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom to have a parallel court system at the federal level
was reported on Thursday’s Berita Harian, and MCA and Gerakan Ministers – as well as other Cabinet members – were remiss in their constitutional oath and political responsibilities in failing to object to such a proposal at Friday’s Cabinet meeting and to demand that all Federal Government involvement in such an unconstitutional development be halted immediately.
Instead, the MCA and Gerakan Ministers have chosen to ask their lowly representatives who are neither in Parliament or any State Assembly to raise objections, knowing that such voices would be ignored completely – when the right and proper place for such objections to be raised is the Cabinet on Friday.
The establishment of a Syariah Federal Court with equivalent powers of the civil Federal Court goes against the very structure and foundation of the Merdeka Constitution of 1957 and Malaysia Constitution of 1963, stipulating that the Constitution is supreme and that any law, whether federal or state, primary or secondary, enacted before or after Merdeka, which infringes the Constitution is void. Read the rest of this entry »
by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
16 November 2014
The math is against Umno. If the party does not change its ways and focuses only on pandering to its traditional vote base of kampung folk, it is unlikely to survive beyond the next election.
This prognosis comes not from a political analyst or a Pakatan Rakyat leader, but from its own leaders in Umno Youth.
The term mathematics is what Umno Youth exco member Shahril Hamdan used to describe the changing face of the Malaysian voting public, which is becoming more urbanised and younger.
Shahril was echoing what his boss Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said at the movement’s town hall meeting yesterday – Umno’s support base of rural voters, its fixed deposit, is a “shrinking market”.
The emerging market is the millions of youth who are moving to urban areas in their respective states to make a living, Khairy said.
By his estimates, up to 70% of the five million new voters who will cast their ballots in the next general election will be youths. Read the rest of this entry »
Malay Mail Online
November 16, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — Instead of next month, Putrajaya should release the long-awaited report on Sabah’s illegal immigrants issue immediately, in time for the document to be tabled in Parliament before it ends in two weeks, several Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs said.
The lawmakers said they want the report, which contains crucial findings by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the influx of immigrants into the east Malaysian state, to be dissected, debated and passed by federal lawmakers in the legislative house.
DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, a veteran politician who has been fighting the issue for a good part of his career, even called it “completely unsatisfactory” that the federal government had chosen to sit so long on the RCI’s report, when it was already completed in May this year.
He pointed out that the issue has haunted Sabah for decades now, and has caused the state “grave” security, social and economic problems.
“It is not a signal that the government is serious and sincere in resolving the longstanding issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah, which has completely changed the political demography in the state,” he told Malay Mail Online when asked to comment on Putrajaya’s decision yesterday to make the report public early next month.
“And it would appear that the whole thing – the release – was timed to be made after Parliament and Sabah state assembly meeting,” the Gelang Patah MP pointed out. Read the rest of this entry »
by Zachary R. Dowdy
November 14, 2014
UNITED NATIONS — Beheadings, stonings and mutilation are common weapons of terror employed by the Islamic State in its campaign to subdue civilian populations that have come under its control in Syria, according to a UN monitoring group.
“ISIS has perpetrated murder and other inhumane acts, enslavement, rape, sexual slavery and violence, forcible displacement, enforced disappearance and torture,” according to a 15-page report released Friday by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. “These acts have been committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population in Aleppo, Ar-Raqqah, Al-Hasakah and Dayr Az-Zawr governorates.”
It documents the group’s violation of international humanitarian law and commission of both war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined by the Geneva Convention.
The report is among the most extensive to document the savagery attributed to the Sunni Islamic group whose origins, the report said, stem from the evolution of an Al Qaida offshoot, Al Qaida in Iraq, which established itself in 2004 and rebranded itself as Islamic State in Iraq in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malay Mail Online
November 15, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said rubbished claims today that the Malays are under threat, pointing out that Malaysia has been under the community’s rule for more than five decades now.
The renowned Malay poet and activist told Malaysiakini in an interview that he finds it odd that some from the community are obsessing over the loss of power to the country’s other minority groups, especially when Malaysia is still being governed by the Malays.
“I hope the Malay community is not too obsessed about claims that Malays are under threat,” Samad, or Pak Samad as he is fondly known as, was quoted saying by the news portal.
“How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?
“What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?” he reportedly said.
The news portal then quoted him saying that if the current Malay leadership cannot put these fears to rest, then it should hand over the reins of the government to others.
“Let other Malays (rule). They (Umno) have been there for five decades, not one decade,” he was quoted saying. Read the rest of this entry »
Is another ferocious bout of “Chinese-bashing” in the works at the Umno General Assemblies at the end of month
It gives me great pleasure to launch Nurul Izzah Anwar’s book “Masa Depan, Masa Kita” in Chinese.
Second-term Member of Parliament, Nurul Izzah, who has the distinguished record of sending two UMNO Ministers packing, represents the hopes and dreams of a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, age or gender.
The launching of her book in Chinese today is significant for it underlines one essential quality of a Malaysian leader or icon – he or she must not be an exclusive leader for one race, religion or region but must be an inclusive leader who can reach out to all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
This is particularly significant as recent years have witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of the rhetoric and politics of hatred, intolerance and extremism causing the worst racial and religious polarization for over four decades.
This was why I had expressed the hope yesterday that the amicable resolution to the nearly year-long Selangor controversy over the seizure of the Malay and Iban Bibles, together with Malaysia’s assumption of the ASEAN Chair for 2015 with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak promising to promote moderation in ASEAN, would usher in a virtuous cycle of moderation and establish Malaysia as a regional and international model of moderation.
But this is not to be, for these hopes – that Malaysians would avoid narrow communalism just as ASEAN should avoid narrow nationalism – were dashed yesterday itself firstly by the hysterical paper by the former Univeristi Teknologi Mara (UiTM) at the Johor Umno convention that “If Umno loses, Malays may never rule again” and secondly, the new twisted, irresponsible, dangerous and wicked theory of “shades of racism” by an UMNO Minister, insinuating that the Malays were not welcomed in Pakatan Rakyat-run Penang. Read the rest of this entry »
By Azly Rahman
Nov 14, 2014
I am hoping that either the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat will take up the idea of this new brand of schooling to propel to country into a new era of educational reform as we approach 2015.
The initiative should be started by the Selangor government run by Pakatan to showcase what the BN regime has not been able to do in meeting the schooling and human capital needs of the 21st century, as well as for national unity. I have been writing about this model for years and have even proposed to educational leaders from both governmental camps. I call this initiative Akademie Renaissance (AR) Schools and would like to see it come to fruition in my lifetime.
This initiative will propel the state of Selangor into a major phase of educational reform, partnering in its effort to showcase the nation and other countries a model of a truly global school that harmonises technology, culture, and total human development from the level of kindergarten to graduate school.
It will have its mission in preparing children to become global citizens and experts in the fields of study they will choose as a career, through a systematic process of schooling of the highest standards, from kindergarten to high/secondary schools.
The educational objective is to create ‘academies’ that will become ‘feeder schools of choice’ (specialised) to prepare students for entry into top Asian, American, British, and other world universities of high standing in which English is the medium of instruction. The initial project will be the building of secondary/high schools. Read the rest of this entry »
by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
15 November 2014
Just a day after receiving an international award in Hong Kong, prominent lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has been banned from entering Sabah ahead of her planned visit to Malaysia’s eastern-most state.
A letter informing the former Bar Council president of the ban was waiting for her when she returned to Malaysia yesterday, after she was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the fourth Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2014 ceremony in Hong Kong on Thursday.
The letter, from the Sabah Immigration Department, was in response to Ambiga’s own letter to them on Tuesday, informing them of her intention to visit Sabah on November 25 for a programme with the new people’s movement, Negara-Ku.
“I had written to them because I don’t want to fly all the way there just to be told I’m not allowed in. It was just a formality, to confirm there was no restriction.
“But then they wrote back and said they had rejected my application – even though I wasn’t even applying for their permission to enter Sabah,” the Negara-Ku patron told The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »
Let the amicable resolution to the Selangor issue of the seizure of Malay language Bibles and Malaysia’s assumption of ASEAN Chair usher in a virtuous cycle of moderation and establish Malaysia as a regional and international model of moderation
Congratulations are in order to the Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali in resolving the nearly year-long Selangor controversy over the seizure of the Malay language Bible with the return of the seized copies of the Bible to the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).
The amicable resolution to the issue of the seizure of Malay language Bibles and Malaysia’s assumption of the annual rotating ASEAN Chairmanship for 2015 are two welcome developments which should be the basis to usher in a virtuous cycle of moderation and establish Malaysia as a regional and international model of moderation.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in the handing-over ceremony of the annual rotating ASEAN Chair in Naypyitaw, Myanmar yesterday that Malaysia, as chairman of ASEAN, would promote moderation as a shared value in order to address conflict and find solutions to issues concerning regional peace and security.
He also called on ASEAN to avoid narrow nationalism which could go against the spirit of an ASEAN community. Read the rest of this entry »
Free Malaysia Today
November 14, 2014
Global Movement of Moderates hold roundtable discussion on the moderate approach of democracy versus war.
KUALA LUMPUR: Democrat Islamists can be a solution to curb extremism worldwide as they provide a moderate approach in today’s global world through the ballot box, said academicians and politicians.
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) lecturer Dr Maszlee Malik said Democrat Islamists, made famous after the Arab Spring, allowed Muslims to control their fate through the ballot box rather than war or in the hands of leaders who were dictators, thus ending any grievances they might have had.
“The idea of democrat Islamists has existed for a long time. Radical groups emerge because they found there was no hope for Muslims to enjoy justice, human rights and good governance,” he said at a roundtable discussion on Democrat Islamists organised by the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) together with IIUM’s Fiqh Department.
Chairman of London-based Al-Hiwar TV channel Dr Azzam Tamimi, said that the success of the Arab Spring was a promising event that allowed for democracy in the Middle East and at the same time made the militant group Al Qaeda into an irrelevant movement.
“The success of the Arab Spring as we saw in Tunisia and Egypt was very promising, showing that this is the way forward. Some of the leaders of Al Qaeda were actually stressing fear that this model was succeeding, because it was proving them wrong,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »