Instead of mobilising world moderate opinion against Islamic State (IS) terrorism through GMM, the Najib government has failed to stand up against ISIS-minded official preachers like the “kafir harbi” statement by the Pahang mufti

Yesterday, eight people were injured after a hand grenade was tossed into the porch of a nightspot at the IOI Boulevard in Puchong.

Later, a Facebook page linked to the Islamic State (IS) reportedly claimed responsibility, but the owner of the pub disputed this IS claim.

In the early hours of this morning, 8,300 kilometres away in Istanbul, three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up in Europe’s third-busiest international airport, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey’s prime minister said appeared to have been an attack by Islamic State militants.

The attack bore similarities to a suicide bombing by Islamic State militants at Brussels airport in March which killed 16 people. A coordinated attack also targeted a rush-hour metro train, killing a further 16 people in the Belgian capital.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.

He said: “The attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values.

“The bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city around the world.”

Malaysians cannot agree more with Erdogan’s condemnation of the violence and terrorism at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, especially with the increasing foreboding that Malaysia may not be spared from the horrific and senseless acts of terror perpetrated by Islamic State (IS) terrorists, using the name of Islam but actually committing a gross blasphemy of Islam.

This is a real anomaly.

Whether the Islamic State was responsible or not for the hand-grenade incident in Puchong early yesterday, why has Malaysia got caught in the coils of global terrorism of IS? Read the rest of this entry »

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First job of reshuffled Cabinet is to prove that the Ministers of the Najib Cabinet 3.0 after the 13GE is not a “kafir harbi” Cabinet or like the traditional three monkeys, with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not

The Najib Cabinet 3.0 after the 13th General Election, announced on Monday with the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers taking their oath of office yesterday, will meet for the first time today.

The first job of the reshuffled Cabinet is to prove that the Ministers of the Najib Cabinet 3.0 after the 13GE is not a “kafir harbi” Cabinet or like the traditional three monkeys, with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not.

The Najib Cabinet 3.0 was a great disappointment for four reasons:

• Failure to end the disastrous combination of the office of Prime Minister and the Finance Minister which catapulted Malaysia to the world’s top nations notorious for global corruption with Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” mega financial scandals.

• Failure to trim the jumbo-sized Cabinet of 35 Ministers to a lean, smart and professional team based on the Ministers’ ability to end Malaysia’s decline in all fields of human endeavour and to take the nation to greater heights instead of their sycophancy to the Prime Minister of the day.

• A slap-in-the-face to Sarawak in dropping a Minister despite Sarawak BN’s “landslide” victory in the recent Sarawak state general elections, and the recycling of “half-past six” and “deadwood” Ministerial material.

• The inexplicable resignation of more technocratic and professional Ministers like the Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, who must have gone through hell during the few months he was made Cabinet spokesman for the 1MDB scandal, raising the serious question about the moral compass of the present batch of Ministers.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Kafir Harbi dan Mufti Pahang

25 Jun 2016 | MUJAHID YUSOF RAWA
Malaysia Dateline

Mufti Pahang dinasihatkan bercermat dalam mengkategorikan orang bukan Islam dalam negara ini sebagai Kafir Harbi atas dasar mereka menentang Islam. Kenyataan umum demikian amat merbahaya dalam konteks pembinaan negara bangsa yang terdiri dari berbagai agama di Malaysia, apatah lagi diisyaratkan kepada parti politik tertentu.

Apakah yang didefinisikan sebagai alasan ‘menentang Islam’ sebelum Kafir Harbi dikategorikan? Apakah Sohibus Samahah Mufti Pahang mengandaikan memberi pandangan dalam konteks demokrasi dalam soal perundangan negara dan perlembagaan negara dalam hal pentadbiran Islam itu menentang Islam?

Mufti Pahang nampaknya keliru antara mengkritik isu pentadbiran Islam dengan menentang Islam, ia adalah dua perkara yang berbeza, malah kedudukan beliau sebagai mufti juga ditentukan oleh perundangan negara yang boleh dikritik dan dipertikaikan dari segi pentadbiran. Apakah Mufti menganggap dirinya yang ditentukan oleh pentadbiran sebagai ‘suci’ tidak boleh dikritik?

Mufti Pahang juga ketinggalan dalam fatwa terkini yang diterimapakai oleh dunia Islam bahawa pengkategorian hubungan Muslim dan bukan-Muslim dalam konteks kenegaraan atau Muwathanah ditentukan oleh prinsip kewarganegaraan atau kerakyatan yang diikat dengan undang-undang negara dalam memberi hak dan keadilan kepada semua warganya. Artikel 8 Perlembagaan Persekutuan menyatakan hak mendapat keadilan undang-undang untuk semua rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira kaum, agama, keturunan, bangsa dan tempat lahir. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tuduhan kafir harbi, pandangan ketinggalan zaman

— Muhammad Nur Manuty
Malay Mail Online
27.6.2016

Sesungguhnya, Biro Pemahaman & Pemantapan Agama (BiPPA) Keadilan ingin menyatakan rasa dukacita kami berikutan laporan kenyataan Mufti Pahang, Datuk Seri Abd Rahman Osman di sebuah akhbar perdana yang menyatakan bahawa, penentangan DAP terhadap pelaksanaan hukum hudud dan Rang Undang-undang Persendirian Mahkamah Syariah (Bidang Kuasa Jenayah (Pindaan) 2016 jelas membenci Islam, tergolong sebagai ‘kafir harbi” dan berdosa besar bagi umat Islam bekerjasama dengan mereka.

Kami berpandangan kenyataan ini telah dikeluarkan secara ‘simplistic’, tanpa hujah yang jelas dan tiada fakta yang kukuh untuk membuktikan ketepatan tuduhan dan hukuman yang dikemukakan. Justeru, kenyataan tersebut wajib disanggah, kerana ia amat mengelirukan masyarakat – Islam dan bukan Islam – di negara ini.

Sesungguhnya, kenyataan tersebut boleh mengundang pelbagai implikasi negatif kepada keselamatan negara, menggugat perpaduan umat Islam, memecahbelah keharmonian hubungan kaum, mengundang tingkahlaku keganasan dan mencemar imej agama Islam sebagai agama pembawa risalah ‘alamiyyah’(universal) dan rahmat untuk seluruh insan.

BiPPA kesal dengan kenyataan tersebut yang menampakkan ketinggalan dalam menekuni pelbagai sudut pandang para sarjana dan ilmuan Islam yang bersifat semasa dan kontemporari dan berautoriti seperti Syeikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Syeikh al-Raisuni, Syeikh Wahbah Zuhaili, Syeikh Taha Jabir, al-Ghanoushi, Dr Abdul Hamid Sulaiman, Dr Hassan Turabi, Salim al-Awa, Jaafar Sheikh Idris dan ramai lagi. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who is more dangerous and subversive to the Malaysian nation-building process – ISIS member Mohd Rafi Udin warning Bukit Aman plice personnel they will have “no peace” or a state mufti spouting “kafir harbi” edict implying that non-Muslims Malaysians can be killed regardless of rule of law?

Who is more dangerous and subversive to the Malaysian nation-building process – ISIS member Mohd Rafi Udin warning Bukit Aman plice personnel they will have “no peace” or a state mufti spouting “kafir harbi” edict implying that non-Muslims Malaysians can be killed regardless of rule of law?

Who is more dangerous and subversive to the Malaysian nation-building process – ISIS member Mohd Rafi Udin from Negri Sembilan warning that there would be “no peace” for police personnel in the Bukit Aman headquarters, and urging IS supporters in Malaysia to employ whatever means necessary to kill non-believers – “Kill them wherever you meet them…if you have a car, hit them…Use your weapon and knives to stab them in the chest” – or a state mufti spouting “kafir harbi” edict implying that DAP and non-Muslims can be killed regardless of the rule of law?
I think it is the latter who pose a greater threat to the integrity and success of the Malaysian nation-building process than the former, for there is a Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division whose special responsibility is to be vigilant and prepared for such ISIS threats, but Malaysia seemed to be completely defenceless to ISIS-minded religious officials preaching doctrines no different from ISIS.

Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman yesterday insisted that he would neither retract his statement nor apologise to DAP over his earlier remarks labelling DAP as ‘kafir harbi’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kafir Harbi atau Warganegara?: Kepelbagaian Dalam Bingkai Kesatuan.

Prof Dato Dr Siddiq Fadzil
Pengerusi Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE)
27.6.2016

Pembinaan bangsa dalam konteks Malaysia harus berasaskan formula kepelbagaian dalam kesatuan. Kita harus dapat bersikap positif, melihat dan menerima kepelbagaian kaum, agama dan budaya bukan sebagai sumber konflik, sebaliknya sebagai aset kekuatan, kekayaan, kreativiti dan dinamika kemajuan. Bangsa tidak dapat dibina menerusi formula melting pot atau kawah besar peleburan. Tidak ada golongan yang rela jati dirinya dilebur. Kebinekaan atau keragaman budaya tidak menjadi masalah, andainya ia diletakkan dalam bingkai keekaan atau kesatuan.

Formula kepelbagaian dalam kesatuan adalah selaras dan serasi dengan fitrah dan sunnatu’Lah. Tema inilah yang dihuraikan dengan cukup menarik oleh Dr.Muhammad `Imarah dalam bukunya, al-Islam wa al-Ta`addudiyyah: al-Ikhtilaf wa al-Tanawwu` fi Itar al-Wihdah (Islam dan Pluralisme: Perbezaan danKepelbagaian dalam Bingkai Kesatuan).

Segala kewujudan yang kita saksikan pada alam dan kehidupan semuanya memancarkan hakikat kepelbagaian dalam kesatuan–keesaan Pencipta dengan kepelbagaian makhluk ciptaan-Nya; kesatuan keinsanan dengan kepelbagaian bangsa, warna dan bahasanya; kesatuan agama Allah dengankepelbagaian syari`atnya; kesatuan syari`at dengan kepelbagaian fiqh, mazhab dan ijtihadnya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pahang Mufti Abdul Rahman should repent – or let him state specifically whether I am “kafir harbi” who should be killed

The Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr. Abdul Rahman Osman should not twist and turn and should repent or let him state specifically whether I am “kafir harbi” who should be killed or slain.

May be Abdul Ramabn should also state when I became “kafir harbi”?

I have taken the oath as a Member of Parliament 10 times to “faithfully discharge my duties…to the best of my ability” and that “I will bear true faith and allegiance to Malaysia and will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.

Can a Malaysian who had subscribed 10 times to the oath as an MP to “bear true faith and allegiance to Malaysia” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” become a “kafir habir” to be killed or slain?

Or did I become a “kafir harbi” when I stood up in Parliament in 1978 to defend PAS to oppose the UMNO-controlled Barisan Nasional government’s declaration of state of emergency in Kelantan to topple to PAS state government?

Or did I become a “kafir harbi” when in 1985 I deplored the government handling of the tragic Memali incident which killed 18 people and called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry?

Or did I become a “kafir harbi” in 1998 when my son, Lim Guan Eng went to jail for defending the honour and dignity of an underaged Malay girl, losing his position as MP for Kota Melaka, his parliamentary pension as well disenfranchised and deprived of right to vote or to stand for elective office for five years from release from Kajang Prison in August 1999?

Or did I become a “kafir harbi” in 2000 when I denounced the Federal Government for hijacking the five per cent oil royalty of Terengganu because PAS had won the Terengganu State Government in the 1999 general election and Hadi Awang had become the state’s Mentri Besar? Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO/BN must be voted out of Putrajaya at least once if Malaysia is to become a normal democratic country and break the present national trajectory trending down the slippery slope towards a fractured, failed and rogue state

Many are asking about the future of Malaysia after the two big Barisan Nasional wins in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections a week ago, with the backdrop of the BN landslide victory in the Sarawak State General Election and the previous Teluk Intan by-election.

Is it still possible for Malaysians to hope for political change in Putrajaya at the 14th General Election whether in 2018 or a year earlier in July or August next year or in the near future?

Let us have a reality check as we have travelled quite a political distance in Malaysia. Only eight years ago, before the 2008 General Election, if any Malaysian was asked if it was possible foresee a change of Federal Government, the answer would be an unanimous and and unambiguous “No”.

But the “political tsunami” of the 2008 General Election had completely changed the political landscape, and what had been “unthinkable” and “impossible” had been transformed into a “thinkable”, “possible” and “achievable”, and the question of a change of Federal Government has taken the quantum leap from “whether” to “when” and “how”.

The 2013 General Election was fought on the platform of a change of Federal Government, and although 53% of the voters voted for change, victory was denied them because of the undemocratic electoral system which allowed Datuk Najib Razak to become the nation’s first minority Prime Minister by winning 60 per cent of the parliamentary seats though only securing a minority of 47% of the popular vote.

Malaysia is now an extraordinary paradox – on the one hand, Najib Razak an increasingly more powerful and unshakeable Prime Minister of Malaysia inside the country , while internationally he is under increasing siege perceived as corrupt, haunted and hounded by the RM55 billion 1MDB global scandal (which contained within it the RM4.2 billion “donation” scandal) which is being investigated by seven other countries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting should be convened to declare the BN stand on Pahang state mufti’s incendiary and seditious “kafir harbi” statement

When I suggested last month that an emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council should be requisitioned over what happened in Parliament on May 26, where the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, fast-tracked Hadi’s hudud motion and violated the 43-year Barisan Nasional stand and consensus that PAS’ hudud proposal was not appropriate for Malaysia’s plural society and against the fundamental provisions of the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and 1963 Malaysia Agreement, there was not a single leader from the 14-party Barisan Nasional coalition who dared to take up the suggestion.

Since then, the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections had been held with unexpectedly big victories for the UMNO/Barisan Nasional candidates.

But what do the twin Barisan Nasional by-election victories mean in terms of Hadi’s hudud motion, which will need another Ministerial motion to “fast-track” it in the parliamentary agenda when Parliament reconvenes on Oct. 17, so that it could be given priority over government business to be presented to Parliament for resolution.

Will the twin Barisan Nasional by-election victories mean that there will be another Ministerial motion at the end of the year to fast-track Hadi’s hudud motion, or will it mean that there will no Ministerial motion to fast-track Hadi’s hudud motion and that it will left in limbo as had been the case with Hadi’s hudud motion in the past?

All the leaders of the other 13 parties in the Barisan Nasional coalition are keeping mum on the subject as none of them know what is going to happen in Parliament at the end of the year as it will all depend on what would best serve the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s interests to ensure his own political survival.

This is a sad commentary that the Barisan Nasional has long ceased to be a coalition of equals, where the Prime Minister is ‘primus inter pares’ but a very lop-sided political coalition where the UMNO President and Prime Minister, can singly, unilaterally and arbitrarily disregard 43-year-old Barisan Nasional consensus and decide what should be Barisan Nasional policy as happened in Parliament on May 26. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to convene special Parliament meeting before National Day on August 31 to debate the country’s burning issues, including Najib’s twin global scandals, the NSC Act and worsening racial/religious polarisation highlighted by Pahang mufti’s incendiary “kafir harbi” statement

I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to convene a special Parliament meeting before National Day on August 31 to debate the burning issues in the country, including Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” twin global scandals, the National Security Council (NSC) Act and the worsening racial/religious polarisation in the country highlighted by the Pahang mufti’s incendiary “kafir harbi” statement.

Parliament adjourned on May 26 and is next scheduled to reconvene on Oct. 17 – a recess of some five months.

In an era of fast-changing developments, especially with many burning national issues crying out for answers and solutions, it is the height of irresponsibility for Parliament to adjourn for as long as some five months and this is why Najib should convene a special meeting of Parliament before National Day on August 31, where the two newly-elected MPs from Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar can officially take their oath of office.

There are many national burning issues awaiting answers or resolutions, and I will touch on three of them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three cries for Malaysia – that in run-up to the 53rd Malaysia Day and 59th National Day celebrations, a state mufti could classify non-Muslim Malaysians as “kafir harbi” who could be slain

I cry for Malaysia – firstly, that in the run-up to the 53rd Malaysia Day on Sept. 16 and 59th National Day celebrations on August 31, a state mufti could classify non-Muslims Malaysians as “kafir harbi” who could be slain.

I further cry for Malaysia that the state mufti’s statement was made a day after the Islamic State IS) released a new propaganda video where a Malaysian identified as Mohd Rafi Udin from Negri Sembilan warned that there would be “no peace” for police personnel in the Bukit Aman headquarters, and urged IS supporters in Malaysia to employ whatever means necessary to kill non-believers – “Kill them wherever you meet them…if you have a car, hit them…Use your weapon and knives to stab them in the chest”.

The state mufti’s statement has prompted the reaction, “Daesh is already in Malaysia”, among many Malaysians.

My third cry for Malaysia is that the mufti’s statement was made as part of a high-level UMNO/BN political conspiracy after the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections to incite hatred and animosity among the diverse races and religions to accummulate political capital, spearheaded by the UMNO propaganda mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia, as if there is no rule of law in Malaysia and in utter contempt of six decades of nation-building efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Goldman Sachs, a ‘Nama letter’ and the links to a $6bn fraud probe

Simon Rowe
Irish Independent
19/06/2016

When a Wall Street star left under a cloud, the ‘smoking gun’ was a letter destined for our bad bank

A senior ex-Goldman Sachs banker who quit the Wall Street firm after being investigated over a falsified assurance letter – which, it is believed, he had sent to a European bank to assist a Malaysian tycoon’s bid to purchase property from Nama – has become embroiled in a $6bn global embezzlement probe.

Tim Leissner, who had close ties to the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB and was considered Goldman Sach’s point man in Singapore dealing with the fund, was interviewed on January 19 this year in relation to “inaccurate and unauthorised statements” made by him in a June 2015 reference letter.

According to filings with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the US securities industry’s self-regulating body, the letter was written without Goldman Sach’s knowledge or approval.

Sources close to the case said Leissner’s letter had included details about the finances of his client, who is believed to be well-known Malaysian tycoon Jho Low, while overstating the extent to which Goldman Sachs had done due diligence on him.

The letter, which vouched for Low and his finances to a financial institution in Europe, was to be used to help Low reach a deal to buy real estate from the National Asset Management Agency, it is believed. Read the rest of this entry »

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BSI Appealing Swiss Regulator Actions Against It Over 1MDB

by John Letzing
Wall Street Journal
June 23, 2016

BSI says Finma actions are “unlawful” and “disproportionate”

ZURICH—BSI SA, a Swiss bank embroiled in the legal controversy surrounding Malaysian state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., said on Thursday that it is appealing “flawed” actions taken against it by Switzerland’s financial regulator.

The Swiss regulator, Finma, issued a sternly worded statement in May, saying that BSI had committed “serious” breaches of money-laundering regulations in its dealings with the Malaysian fund, 1MDB, and had executed a number of large transactions for the fund “despite clearly suspicious indications.” Finma ordered BSI to pay 95 million Swiss francs ($99 million) in profits tied to its business with 1MDB to Switzerland’s public coffers.

Finma also said it was starting enforcement proceedings against two unidentified former managers at the Lugano-based bank.

On Thursday, BSI said Finma’s communication about actions taken against the bank “has severely harmed the reputation of the bank and its employees.” BSI added that it “challenges Finma’s assessment of the facts, and holds that the measures [Finma] ordered are unlawful and disproportionate.”

BSI said it has lodged its appeal with the Swiss Federal Administrative Court. A BSI spokesman declined to comment further on what remedies the bank is seeking.

A Finma spokesman said that its decisions can be challenged and are subject to judicial review, and declined to comment further. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political Islam will go the same way as nationalism and communism

Moncef Marzouki
Middle East Eye
15 June 2016

After the demise of nationalism, pan-Arabism and communism, Islamism is now facing its inevitable decline

Over the past half century, throughout which time I have been politically active, I have witnessed the rise and decline of three waves of political thought: nationalism, pan-Arabism and communism. Today, I am about to see the decline of a fourth wave, Islamism, after witnessing its launch in the early 1970s and reaching its peak in the late 1990s.

Some might argue the contrary, pointing to the increasing numbers of bearded men and veiled women visible in streets all over the world. They’d point to news reporting the actions of armed religious groups. Or direct my attention to the Islamic resistance Hamas, charities helping the poor, the uncorrupt ruling party in Turkey, or the Muslim Brotherhood’s standing up to the Egyptian dictatorship.

I am not disputing any of that. But many will remember that when we were young in the 1970s, the Soviet Union was seen as a power that will stay for the next thousand years. That communism will conquer the world and take hold of the future, leaving all other ideologies in the dustbin of history. Some intellectuals might remember the days when you couldn’t appear as politically intelligent or ethical if you weren’t Marxist or at least trying to be. Read the rest of this entry »

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A paradox, but two by-election victories make UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for general election victory and there will be greater demonization campaign against the opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam or even anti-Chinese

This is a paradox – but the two by-election victories in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar have made UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for victory in the 14th General Election and I expect a greater demonization campaign against the Opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and even as anti-Chinese.

I will give three examples post twin by-elections:

Firstly, I would place in such a category the statement by the former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad who alleged that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s support of opposition parties DAP and Amanah in the recent by-elections were “detrimental to Malays”.

He said that the former prime minister could try and oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from within Umno, but should steer clear of lobbying for support within the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance as the chances of Malays retaining power once they have lost it is “very slim”.

Could the former Chief Justice answer the two questions which had been posed by the National Laureate Pak Samad:

“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)?”

Whatever happens in the 14th General Election, whether Najib is toppled as Prime Minister or UMNO loses the Federal Government, the Malays in Malaysia will continue to exercise political power in Malaysia as there is no way they will lose their political power. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rached Ghannouchi Q&A: Thoughts on democratic Islam

David Hearst – Peter Oborne
Middle East Eye
13 June 2016

MEE talks to Rached Ghannouchi after he presided over the separation of Ennahda’s religious and political activities

MEE: Ennahda has just taken a historic decision to separate itself from the mosque and to define itself purely as a political project. How do you define what you have done? Is it separation or specialisation?

RG: Its a continuation, not a rupture. Last week in the congress we adopted the idea of a civil party so that we can distinguish between what is sacred in Islam and what can be freely interpreted. The political field is not sacred nor immutable. It’s civic, human. It’s free for ijtihad or independent human reasoning. More than 90 percent of Islamic texts are open to interpretation and to nuance. We consider few texts as fixed or immutable. Many Muslims confuse the two kinds of texts and consider all texts as sacred and untouchable and only capable of bearing one meaning. The Islamic text concerning politics is open to interpretation, and this is the field in which we now act. We consider ourselves observant Muslims. We believe in Islam, that Islam came to Earth to liberate mankind, and to define the free person. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why a one-to-one fight is not the “magic potion” to defeat Barisan Nasional without a common policy commitment

There has been a vehement reaction to my suggestion that the results of the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections may be justification to revisit an earlier proposal that PAS concentrate in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis while AMANAH focus on all the other states, subject to adjustments to the arrangement by two political parties.

PAS Vice President and MP for Bukit Gantang Idris Ahmad described the suggestion as “illogical” and that PAS should be allowed to contest in areas it had previously contested in to “maximise victories for the opposition” – as in last Saturday’s Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.

He said there would not have been an issue in the first place if PAS was up in straight fights against the Barisan Nasional in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.

Idris cannot be more wrong, for the recent two by-elections are good examples why after the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat because of the refusal of the Hadi-led PAS leadership to honour the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework and the Pakatan Rakyat consensus operational principle, the one-to-one fight is not the “magic potion” to defeat the Barisan Nasional. Read the rest of this entry »

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An early GE14 on the cards?

P Gunasegaram
Malaysiakini
21 Jun 2016

QUESTION TIME While most people had expected BN to win the parliamentary seats of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar hands down, the huge margin of victory must have surprised both BN and the opposition and raises the possibility of early general elections in the wake of the euphoria and an opposition in disarray.

But before we discuss that, what caused the rout and what are its implications? By numbers, two things seem fairly obvious. One, there was a massive swing to BN of Chinese votes and two, Amanah’s support among Malay votes were even lower than expected. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fallacies and facts on the two by-elections

Kim Quek
Malaysiakini
21 Jun 2016

COMMENT Bombastic assertions abound since the conclusion of the by-elections in Sungai Besar, Selangor and Kuala Kangsar, Perak. Chief among these are Malaysians’ resounding endorsement of PM Najib Abdul Razak’s otherwise precarious leadership and the allegedly corrupt rule of the Barisan Nasional government, as well as a huge shift of Chinese support to BN.

These claims are in reality more fallacy than fact. Read the rest of this entry »

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Asia University Rankings 2016: Malaysia must refocus to develop as a higher education power

By Ellie Bothwell
THE World University Rankings
June 20, 2016

The country spends more on higher education than many of its regional neighbours, so why isn’t this reflected in the Asia University Rankings?

Malaysia aims to be the “education hub” of South-east Asia, says Wahid Omar, vice-chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

“Higher education is the catalyst for innovation for the country and the key agent in revolutionising the lives of the community as a whole,” he says.

While Singapore is the strongest country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in the rankings, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are also home to some of the continent’s top-ranked universities.

Thailand leads on the number of representatives, with seven, but the highest-ranked institution in the region outside Singapore is Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, in joint 70th place.

Jamil Salmi, former coordinator of the World Bank’s tertiary education programme, says Malaysia has “more consistently focused on excellence in its university sector” than Thailand and Indonesia and has “one of the highest levels of public spending on tertiary education in the world”.

But Simon Marginson, professor of international higher education at the UCL Institute of Education, says that as Malaysia has “two-thirds of the gross domestic product per head of Korea”, it “should be doing much better”, and he questions whether the country is “paying the price for being a resource-rich economy”.

“This can lead governments to ‘coast’ and underperform in higher education,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

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