Archive for category Islamic state
By Stanley Koh
October 22, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today
At a 2006 forum to discuss problems that non-Muslims face as Malaysian officialdom continues to assert the predominance of Islam in the country, a prominent scholar acknowledged – “with “sadness”, he said – that there was great confusion about the religion, especially among Muslims themselves.
Syed Ali Tawfik al-Attas, director-general of the Institute of Islamic Understanding (Ikim), said that Muslim administrators and Islamic activists generally had a poor understanding of the Islamic view of “knowledge” even as they examined the religion with a fine-tooth comb.
“That is the problem with the Muslim world,” he declared.
He explained that in Islamic scholarship, knowledge is generally separated into three types: interpretation of the meaning of what is perceived, revealed knowledge, and derived knowledge that is beneficial. This effectively means that non-beneficial knowledge is not construed as knowledge.
He stressed the importance of having the correct understanding of such terminologies as “freedom”, “democracy” and “Islamisation” and the equal importance of recognising that they were open to different conceptualisations. Read the rest of this entry »
By Stanley Koh
October 21, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today
Few will disagree that politicians are often trapped in history and history in them. MCA politicians should take heed. Unfortunately, when they throw stones at their rivals, they often forget that they live in a house of glass.
When in 1993 the Kelantan government proposed the law allowing hudud punishments, the two Umno representatives in the state assembly supported it. The law, formally called the Syariah Criminal Code (11) Enactment 1993, was passed in November of that year.
There was no public outcry and the MCA leadership did not threaten to leave Barisan Nasional. The only justification for the silence was that the then prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had already objected to the passing of the bill.
Fast forward to the present. MCA President Dr Chua Soi Lek recently said he would pull his party out of BN if its political master, Umno, ever decided to impose hudud. Is he in fact trying to rehash the anti-hudud position that his party took during the campaign for the 1999 general election? The results showed that the ruse worked. Read the rest of this entry »
Stanley Koh | October 20, 2011
Free Malaysia Today
In 2001, when Dr Mahathir declared Malaysia an Islamic state, MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik said he and other non-Muslim leaders supported the prime minister’s position
What is the role of religions in politics? Is Islam compatible with democracy? How do we deal with the conflicts between the constitutional provisions for fundamental liberties and equality with religious laws and policies that may violate them?
Should the state legislate on morality? Is it the duty of the state to bring about a more moral society?
Can there be one truth and one final interpretation of Islam that must be legislated and govern the lives of every Muslim citizen of the country?
These were some of the questions raised in 2001 at a MCA-organised forum attended by Dr Hamid Othman of the Prime Minister’s Department, Shad Saleem Faruqi of Universiti Teknologi Mara, Zainah Anwar of Sisters in Islam and representatives of the Inter-Religious Council of Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
The forum came in the midst of public disquiet over then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s declaration, in September 2001, that Malaysia was an Islamic state. Many Malaysians were confused and quite a number were in fear that the country would eventually be run like a Taliban state. Read the rest of this entry »
Stanley Koh | October 18, 2011 Free Malaysia Today
The party can’t hold a candle to DAP when it comes to principled opposition to Islamic state ambitions.
Two questions arise from MCA’s recent call on DAP to abandon the Pakatan Rakyat coalition because PAS is pushing for hudud punishments and, ultimately, an Islamic state.
First: Why did former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik fail to protest when former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad declared Malaysia an Islamic state in 2001?
MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong’s recent defence of Ling’s silence does not hold water. He said Mahathir’s declaration did not include a threat to change the Federal Constitution. Neither has Pakatan said it would change the constitution to suit PAS’s ambition.
Second: Since MCA is questioning DAP’s commitment to principles, what has happened to its own principles in the face of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s recent remark that Malaysia was merely “not ready” for hudud?
Muhyiddin’s statement seemed to suggest that Umno, like PAS, longs to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state. Read the rest of this entry »
by Pak Sako
14 October 2011
PAS and DAP’s decision to ‘agree to disagree’ on hudud must be taken for what it really is: a politically-motivated temporary ceasefire.
It does not resolve the hudud controversy.
The controversy can never be resolved as long as the fundamental questions of the hudud debate continue to be avoided. The questions are:
1. What goals are hudud meant to achieve?
2. What are the pluses and minuses of hudud?
3. Do all Malaysian Muslims as well as non-Muslims want hudud?
A national dialogue on implementing hudud must exhaustively probe these questions before anything else. Read the rest of this entry »
By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 29, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) agreed today that the contentious hudud or Islamic criminal law is not part of its joint policy until all parties agree to it, stepping back from the brink of a major difference that broke an earlier opposition coalition.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told a press conference just after midnight that the set of Islamic laws was “certainly now not PR policy and DAP’s objection has to be respected.”
Anwar said PR will continue to allow its members to air different views. — File pic
“Yes, very clear, it has to be together,” the PKR de facto leader replied to a question on whether any move to implement hudud would need the unanimous agreement of all three parties in the pact. Read the rest of this entry »
— Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 27, 2011
SEPT 27 — The hudud controversy has now returned to the eyes of the media after it was discussed at the National Syariah Seminar sponsored by the Department of Islamic Affairs of Kelantan. PAS indeed had taken a step forward in their comprehensive proposals for a welfare state but their preoccupation with the hudud issue clearly shows that they are still stuck in the framework of antiquarian politics.
For this evidently shows that the Hudud laws are still a crucial part of their raison d’etre. It doesn’t look likely that this will change, since evoking the hudud is a convenient way to claim that they are the real fighters for Islam in Malaysia, as opposed to Umno. It also somehow implies that the Islamic credentials of any party somehow hinges on their willingness to apply hudud laws.
Much worse, once the hudud issue is sensationalized it makes it difficult for there to be critical discourse: what is overstated, in the loudest tone, is to be regarded as truth. The priority is to scramble for as much influence in the debate as possible to show that one side is more Islamic than the other. Thus it is not surprising that PAS is no longer the only party supporting the Hudud laws. Read the rest of this entry »
By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 27, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — The DAP accused The Star today of falsely reporting that Lim Guan Eng had threatened to pull the party out of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) if hudud became part of the pact’s joint policy.
Zairil Khir Johari, Lim’s political secretary, wrote in an open letter to the English daily that the party secretary-general had merely promised that “the entire central executive committee (CEC) would resign to take full responsibility if hudud” became PR policy.
“An initially correct report had come to be replaced by one that was imaginatively concocted,” Zairil (picture) wrote.
He said that a correct version of the article was uploaded on thestar.com.my on September 25 in which the reporter quoted Lim as saying that the party’s CEC would resign if anyone could prove that hudud law was in the Common Policy Framework (CPF) or Buku Jingga.
But a second version was uploaded the next day which changed the headline from “Guan Eng: DAP top leadership will quit if hudud law included in Pakatan policy” to “DAP leaders threaten to quit Pakatan council”.
Zairil said the second article “implied wrongly and falsely that Lim had threatened the resignation of the party’s top leadership” from PR. Read the rest of this entry »
By Clara Chooi
July 18, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang today shrugged off talk that his party may split from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) due to recurring conflicts with PAS, saying the idea had “not seriously occurred” to party leaders.
The senior politician also rejected the notion that PAS had kowtowed to DAP when the former revoked the Kedah entertainment outlet ban yesterday, insisting instead that the state government had shown tolerance and their willingness to resolve conflicts through consultation.
“The issue has shown the preparedness of the Pakatan Rakyat leadership to discuss and resolve problems, a glaring contrast with Umno,” he told The Malaysian Insider today. Read the rest of this entry »
By Hazland Zakaria
Jul 17, 11 | MalaysiaKini
The PAS-led Kedah government has dropped plans to enforce a 1997 state enactment that requires bars, discos and karaoke clubs to close during the coming Ramadhan, a state official told AFP today.
The northern state decided in May to enforce closure of all entertainment outlets during the holy month, as stipulated in the state law passed by the previous BN-led administration.
However, the plan drew criticism from entertainment outlet operators, as well as other Pakatan Rakyat components who feared that a blanket ban would alienate non-Muslim voters. Read the rest of this entry »
By Syed Mu’az Syed Putra
July 17, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider
AMPANG, July 17 — Kedah has revoked the outright ban on entertainment outlets during Ramadan and will instead bar only Muslims from patronising such establishments, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today.
Hadi blamed the mainstream media’s inaccurate reports for causing confusion and sparking discontent among non-Muslims.
“The BN media is exploiting this issue. So only non-Muslims can enter (the entertainment outlets), but Muslims will not be allowed to enter,” Hadi told reporters here today. Read the rest of this entry »
I have been in contact with the DAP Kedah State Chairman and Kota Darul Aman State Assemblyman Lee Guan Aik on the Kedah ban on 13 types of entertainment outlets from operating during Ramadan.
Lee reports that Kedah DAP had never agreed to the ban and that the matter was never raised at the Kedah Pakatan Rakyat council level, although it was agreed that matters that might be sensitive to the different communities like the ban on entertainment outlets during Ramadan should be discussed at PR Kedah state council level first.
Lee also clarified that he had never agreed to such a ban in the Kedah State Assembly.
In the circumstances, the Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan should reconsider and revoke the decision to fully implement Kedah State Entertainment Enactment 1997, especially as the previous Barisan Nasional state government had not done so in the 11 years before it was ousted in the 2008 general elections. Read the rest of this entry »
By Susan Loone
Jul 14, 11 | MalaysiaKini
A big storm is shaking up the Pakatan Rakyat in Kedah over the PAS-led government’s recent ban on entertainment outlets during Ramadan.
PAS’ coalition partner, DAP, has expressed disappointment over the new ruling, accusing accused the former of not consulting its partners before deciding on the controversial issue.
The party’s Kota Darul Aman assemblyperson Lee Guan Aik said he regrets Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak’s very hasty decision to halt the outlets as the non-Muslim community’s livelihood would be affected. Read the rest of this entry »
By Shannon Teoh
June 15, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Umno’s Utusan Malaysia today accused DAP of masterminding PAS’s new welfare state agenda as a cover for its Malaysian Malaysia concept.
This comes despite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s recent arguments that the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) has already implemented a welfare state in its five decades in power.
Assistant chief editor Datuk Zaini Hassan wrote in his column that Malaysian Malaysia, first used by Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) when it was still part of Malaysia, would ignore special Malay and Bumiputera rights and lead to social unrest. Read the rest of this entry »
9 JUN — Dr Mahathir Mohamad masih lagi hendak bercakap terlalu banyak dalam mempertahankan Umno. Niat beliau mungkin ikhlas untuk mempertahankan Umno kerana beliau adalah ahli Umno. Tetapi kata-kata beliau mungkin membantutkan usaha Umno untuk kembali mendapat penghormatan rakyat. Beliau sudah agak pelupa orangnya dan banyak kali apa yang beliau kata terhadap musuh politiknya, itulah yang beliau lazim lakukan.
Dalam isu PAS dengan pembaharuannya selepas muktamar parti itu hujung minggu lepas Dr Mahathir telah mengatakan yang Karpal Singh-lah yang berjaya mempengaruhi PAS supaya menolak perjuangan Islam parti itu sedangkan parti itu hanya hendak memberikan tumpuan yang lebih kepada negara kebajikan jika diberi mandat untuk memerintah. Itu adalah sebahagain besar dari pimpinan ciri Islam.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin
June 04, 2011
4 JUN — Selamat bermuktamar kepada PAS dan tahniah kepada yang diberikan amanah. PAS adalah tonggak politik negara. PAS adalah nafas umat Islam dalam berpolitik di negara ini.
Saya mengalu-alukan kenyataan YB Presiden PAS DS Abdul Hadi Awang semalam yang menyebut: “Apa yang penting adalah pelaksanaan. Kalau letak jenama saja tak laksana tak ada faedah. Kita mulakan dengan pelaksanaan negara berkebajikan, itu ada dalam Al-Quran, Dia tak sebut negara Islam, Dia sebut negara berkebajikan”. Read the rest of this entry »
Bridget Welsh | Jan 31, 11 4:58pm
Malaysia’s 14th by-election since March 2008 scored another victory in the BN column, as they held onto their seat. This was expected, as it was home ground for Umno and the contest was purely about the winning majority.
Even with the lower voter turnout, Umno did well with a comfortable and higher majority of 3,707. Rather than provide a numerical assessment of the voting results, let me share some broader observations and tensions that arise from the Tenang campaign.
Despite the centrality of machinery and money, this election highlights the increasing challenges of engaging the diverse electorate in Malaysia. Arguably, the dynamics of the by-election in Johor muddy the waters, making the decisions about national electoral strategies and tactics even more complex.
Decision to proceed irresponsible
The most defining feature of this election was the weather. It was dreadful, and it negatively affected the polling. Watching voters drench themselves to vote, despite umbrellas, and wade in up to knee-high water to the polling station, made me question whether the by-election was worth the risks involved.
I remain deeply puzzled why this by-election was not postponed. I woke up the morning of the poll thinking that it might already be time for Noah’s Ark as the overnight downpour had already affected roads and submerged parts of the constituency. Read the rest of this entry »
Ong Kian Ming | Jan 29, 11
Tomorrow, Jan 30, and just four days before Chinese New Year, voters in Tenang will decide on the 14th by-election since the 2008 general election.
The outcome is not in doubt. BN will win this seat. Even the opposition has conceded as much. The only question that remains is BN’s winning majority and why the margin may (or may not) be important in the larger electoral picture.
Like most analysts and observers, I anticipate a higher vote margin for the BN than in 2008 as a reflection of the larger national trend of voters moving back to the BN in 2010, especially the Malay and Indian voters.
But the winning majority will fall far short of the 5,000-vote majority Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been predicting. Instead, I anticipate a majority of roughly 3,200 votes, or a 700-vote increase from 2008.
The increase in the BN majority will be from a five percent increase in the Malay vote, from 80 percent to 85 percent, and in the Indian vote from approximately 70 percent to 80 percent.
I expect the Chinese vote for the BN to remain at approximately 35 percent. I base these calculations on a 71 percent turnout rate, two percent less than the 2008 general election because of the proximity to Chinese New Year, and turnout rates of 77 percent, 71 percent and 58 percent among the Malay, Chinese and Indian voters. Read the rest of this entry »
Bridget Welsh | Jan 29, 11
In this semi-rural constituency, rain and floods have dampened the turnout at ceramah and made for a low-key campaign. Walkabouts and quiet face-to-face campaigning, sometimes backed by ‘gifts’, have been the norm, as the BN aims to reach the lofty target of 5,000 majority and Pakatan Rakyat fights hard to win ground in an area that is far outside of its usual base.
No question, political watchers are fatigued observing this 14th by-election since March 2008, and hearing the same old issues of money politics and racial politics shaping the outcome.
For some, the fight for a few thousand votes in the protracted struggle for power is a distraction and waste of money. With an estimated RM150 million cost for campaigns in this tiny constituency, it is no wonder that cynicism has set in nationally.
It is important to understand that the Tenang by-election – its campaign and political significance – symbolise an ongoing climate change in Malaysian politics that has evolved since Najib Razak came into office. As with climate change generally, we do not yet know the impact, but its immediate effects are significant.
The Tenang contest will affect future campaigns and political fortunes, even though the actual result will likely remain in the BN column. Below, I describe three broad transforming features tied to Tenang and point to a few key factors that will shape the contest in tomorrow’s outcome and the size of the majority. Read the rest of this entry »
Chua Soi Lek should have the courage to tell Umno not to misread Chinese votes for PR Tenang candidate Normala
MCA leaders led by its President Datuk Chua Soi Lek have made PAS and the Islamic State as their main weapons in the MCA “scare-and-fear” campaign strategy in the Tenang by-election to frighten the Chinese voters from voting for the Pakatan Rakyat Tenang candidate, Normala Sudirman.
Their first line of attack is that a vote for Normala is a vote for an Islamic State alleging that DAP has betrayed our principles and supported PAS’ Islamic State agenda.
This is a downright lie, as the DAP’s stand on this issue has remained constant and unchanged since the party’s establishment in 1966 – DAP upholds the 1957 Merdeka Constitution which provides that Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic State. The Constitution clearly stipulates that Malaysia is a democratic and secular nation. Read the rest of this entry »