Lee Kuan Yew’s death on Monday at the age of 91 marks the passing of an era.
The tributes from world leaders in the past few days is testimony of the mark he had made not only in Singapore, ASEAN, Asia but in world politics in his transformation of Singapore in three decades from a backwater British colony into a first world country, or in World Bank statistics on GDP per capita PPP, into the fourth wealthiest nation in the world, after Macao, Qatar and Luxembourg.
Under Kuan Yew leadership, Singapore had punched above its weight in the international area in many areas of human endeavour.
This is something Malaysians should ponder long and hard, as to why we are losing out in the international stakes, as we are not only unable to punch above our weight in international affairs on many fronts, but even punching below our weight.
Singapore is set on many new challenges in the post-Lee Kuan Yew era, not least of which is how Singapore can continue to punch above its weight in many areas of human endeavour, but can also lead the way in upholding human rights and democratic freedoms.
(Media Statement after signing the condolence book on the passing of Lee Kuan Yew in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 25th March 2015)
by Joseph Sipalan
The Malay Mail Online
March 25, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 – The police are acting beyond their legal means by relying on a law provision that has been declared unconstitutional to arrest people for participating in public shows of dissent, lawyers said.
They argued that the authorities cannot continue to detain individuals using disputed laws when the courts have clearly ruled against the admissibility of such legislation, even if an appeal is still pending.
“This is a worrying development. The authorities seem to take the position that just because an appeal is filed, it means there is no finality to the interpretation of the impugned provision,” said civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan.
“This is a deliberate misapprehension of the law,” he added when contacted by Malay Mail Online. Read the rest of this entry »
By Wong Chin Huat
Mar 21, 2015
COMMENT There is perhaps no political debate more mislabelled and misleading in Malaysia than that of the so-called “hudud” law.
Hudud, an Arabic word, is the plural form of hadd (had in Malay), which means ‘limit’. It refers to fixed punishments mentioned in the Quran for certain crimes.
Section 4 of Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code II (1993) 2015 listed six types of crimes: sariqah (theft), hirabah (robbery), zina (adultery), qazaf (accusation of adultery without four credible witnesses), syurb (intoxication), and irtidad/riddah (apostasy).
The same is listed in Section 4 of Terengganu’s Syariah Criminal Offences (Hudud and Qisas) Enactment 2002 [Enakmen Kesalahan Jenayah Syariah (Hudud Dan Qisas) 2002].
The Brunei Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 lists two more types of crimes: zina bil-jabar (non-consensual adultery) and liwat (sodomy).
The most well-known of hudud punishments are stoning to death for adultery, and amputation for theft and robbery. Read the rest of this entry »
Mar 23, 2015
Six months after Prime Minister Najib Razak stood before the United Nations and urged Muslims worldwide to be moderate in their religion, members of his own party are supporting a law that punishes adulterers with death and thieves with amputation.
Lawmakers from Najib’s Umno joined the opposition PAS to pass Islamic criminal law, or hudud, in the opposition-held state of Kelantan. The move has drawn criticism from other parties in their respective coalitions, while human rights groups say it’s an unconstitutional step for secular Malaysia.
Umno officials are burnishing their Islamic credentials to safeguard support among the ethnic Malay majority after the coalition retained power in 2013 by the narrowest margin since independence. The swing by Najib’s party to the right risks worsening race relations at a time economic growth is forecast to slow.
“What Umno and PAS are doing on hudud is not about Islam, it is about politics and staying in power,” said Noraini Othman, a retired sociology professor who co-founded a group promoting progressive views of Islam.
“Religious indoctrination has created extremist voices in these parties, in these governments, that have succeeded in becoming louder while the so-called moderates are now a silent majority.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Liew Chin Tong
Mar 23, 2015
MP SPEAKS First of all let me stress that Muslims have the right to believe in hudud law. I respect that right, as much as I believe Muslims respect the rights of people of other faiths.
However in the case of the Kelantan hudud enactment, it is more than just a legal matter but rather as a political ploy meant to eliminate the progressives in PAS and to break Pakatan Rakyat in the process.
Worse than that, albeit unintentionally, the bickering and anger arising from the fiery emotional arguments could tear the nation apart.
The end game for those who designed the plot is to draw the battle line along a ‘Muslims versus non-Muslims’ conflict. Read the rest of this entry »
By Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi
Mar 24, 2015
COMMENT Over the past few days, the mainstream media has highlighted the case of a “penghina hudud” (hudud insulter) from radio station BFM who subsequently received death and rape threats. Most of the news failed to put the concept of “insulting hudud” or “insulting Islam” in the proper perspective.
In this comment piece, I would like to ask who is actually insulting hudud by analysing the content of four YouTube videos – that of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Nur Jazlan Mohamad, Ahmad Farouk Musa and BFM’s Kupas clip.
The first video I would like to “kupas” (analyse) is the video of former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir. This video is an excerpt from an Astro Awani news clip where Mahathir was quizzed on PAS’ hudud.
He said PAS’ hudud was not fair because if a Muslim steals, his hand will be cut off, but if a non-Muslim steals he will only be jailed for two months. He add that “in the future all Muslims will have no hands.”
Now let us ask ourselves, is Mahathir an insulter of hudud? An ustaz from PAS, in the same video, argued that Mahathir has indeed insulted hudud. I am of the view that Mahathir did not. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
24 March 2015
Kenyataan Tun Musa Hitam Sabtu lalu (21 Mac) mengesahkan apa yang selama ini ramai “syak” (atau sedia maklum?) iaitu Umno ttidak pernah berminat melaksanakan hukum hudud di negara ini.
“Sebagai seorang bekas penganjur Umno, saya penuh percaya yang hati sanubari Umno sejak ditubuhkan hingga sekarang berpendirian hudud tidak sesuai bagi Malaysia yang berupa negara majmuk berbagai keturunan dan agama ini “.
Jelas bukan? Kata kata bekas timbalan presiden Umno itu.
Pun begitu, Umno pintar menyuarakan hujah bahawa “kami bukan tidak mahu hudud tetapi masanya belum sesuai untuk dilaksanakan “. Lantas “ia perlu dikaji“.
Walaupun tidak menegaskan bila masa yang sesuai untuk hudud, hujah seperti itu menyaksikan Umno ,”terlepas” daripada dituduh “tidak Islamik” atau “anti perundangan Islam”. Sekali gus terus menambat hati sebilangan besar pengundi Melayu.
Dan apabila PAS, pada 1993, membentangkan Enakmen Jenayah Syariah II di dewan undangan negeri Kelantan, Umno tetap “terlepas” daripada dituduh “anti undang undang Islam “ dan “ tidak Islamik”.
Caranya dengan melabelkan enakmen yang dibentang PAS itu sebagai “hudud PAS“ dan bukan “hudud Islam sebenar“. Oleh kerana perundangan itu pada hemat Umno “bukan hukum Allah sebenar”makaia “tidak patut disokong”. Read the rest of this entry »
By Mariam Mokhtar
Mar 23, 2015
It takes a brave Malay woman to say what the whole nation is thinking, and it is amazing how many Malay men cannot wait to show the world the ugly face of the Malay psyche.
The threats of physical violence and rape on BFM host Aisyah Tajudin, for her satirical take on the Kelantan hudud law, have proven that despite receiving the ‘best education in the world’, many Malays remain shallow, servile and seriously stupid. Only insecure, egotistical Malay men would feel threatened, not just by the truth, but by a woman, and worse still, a Malay woman.
The rakyat’s problem is that Malaysia’s religious men aspire to become politicians, and its politicians pretend to be religious men.
The latest hudud debacle has very little to do with religion. It is about power. Power over the Malays in Malaysia. Power to overcome any non-Malay resistance. And power to crush any opposition, especially from progressive Malays, who represent the biggest threat. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY JAHABAR SADIQ, EDITOR
The Malaysian Insider
23 March 2015
Justice or hubris, democracy or hypocrisy, these are the questions cropping up as hudud laws make their regular appearance in the Malaysian political and legal landscape.
If you read or listen to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, and even self-confessed PAS progressives such as Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, you get the impression that hudud has a place in Malaysian society.
Fact is, even Umno politicians, with the exception of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, will find it hard to disagree with their political opponents in PAS.
And Muslims themselves have to confront the fact that the Quran does speak of such criminal laws and punishments. Read the rest of this entry »
Call on Malaysians to think the unthinkable – a new Prime Minister and a new Malaysian coalition government before 14GE to “Save Malaysia”, protect constitutionalism and rule of law and entrench good governance
The DAP Central Executive Committee decision last night to reaffirm its commitment to Pakatan Rakyat as the embodiment of the hopes and aspirations of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and region, for a new Malaysia where there is freedom, justice, democracy, integrity and human dignity had been a great disappointment and shock to UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders who had expected to see the demise of Pakatan Rakyat last night.
Pakatan Rakyat is undoubtedly facing its greatest crisis in its seven-year history as a result of the political conspiracies of plotters who use the bait of UG (Unity Government of UMNO and PAS) and hudud implementation in Kelantan to destabilise, divide and destroy PR.
What the UMNO/BN conspirators never expected was the unintended consequences of such a plot, as it has also brought UMNO/Barisan Nasional coalition to the brink of disintegration or of being totally discredited even if the shell of the coalition is maintained.
This is best illustrated by the great and prolonged “labour pains” of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to declare the stand of UMNO/BN on the private member’s bill of the PAS President and MP for Marang, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
Najib was supposed to make clear the official UMN/BN stand last Friday, but five days have come and gone, and there are no signs that Najib is out of his “labour pains”. Read the rest of this entry »
– Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
23 March 2015
Apabila saya diajukan soalan sama ada saya akan menyokong atau tidak rang undang-undang persendirian yang bakal dibawa PAS ke Parlimen bagi membenarkan pelaksanaan Enakmen Kanun Jenayah Syariah II 1993 di Kelantan, saya memberikan jawapan yang tegas dan jelas – tidak.
Keputusan saya itu berdasarkan ketetapan parti dan lebih penting lagi adalah pendirian saya sebagai seorang ahli Parlimen yang mewakili rakyat Malaysia.
Namun, saya dikecam dengan pelbagai tomahan dan celaan kononnya saya menafikan hukum Allah, bersekongkol dengan kafir, mengkhianati Islam dan sebagainya.
Sama ada mereka yang mencaci saya itu benar-benar Muslim yang mencari keredhaan Allah itu saya kurang pasti, tetapi dari segi akhlak dan kesopanan mereka saya agak ragu.
Bagaimanapun, izinkan saya menerangkan mengapa saya menolak rang undang-undang hudud yang mahu dilaksanakan oleh PAS ini. Read the rest of this entry »
PAS is in danger of losing nearly all of its parliament and state seats outside the northern states as a result of the tabling of the hudud private members bill
I am amazed at the gullibility and naivete of the Deputy Kelantan PAS Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who could say that he does not believe non-Muslims in the country are against hudud and that it was only the DAP which has been making noise.
Let me state that PAS is in danger of losing nearly all of its parliament and state assembly seats outside the northern states as a result of the enactment of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code 2015 and the tabling of the private member’s bill by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on hudud implementation in Kelantan.
PAS won 21 parliament seats in GE2013, 7 of which were outside its northern strongholds of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. In the same election, PAS won 85 state seats, 29 of which were outside Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.
Many non-Muslim voters were willing to give their support for PAS candidates in GE2013 because of their desire to kick BN out of office, their trust in the promises of Pakatan Raykat in the Common Policy Framework and the PR Manifesto, and the spirit of comradeship which existed among PR leaders. Read the rest of this entry »
Free Malaysia Today
March 23, 2015
Umno’s near silence on whether it supports hudud or not is causing grave uncertainty as to the future of Malaysia.
Former deputy prime minister Musa Hitam probably reflected the deep concerns of Malaysians when he said he was “disappointed with Umno for not making its stand on hudud clear”.
A significant number – perhaps even a majority – of thinking Malaysians have long been expecting the Umno-led government to come out unequivocally on this vital issue. Its near silence is causing national anxiety and grave uncertainty as to the future of our country.
As Musa correctly pointed out, this is a national issue “with far reaching implications to the country, both domestically and internationally”.
Confidence at home and abroad can dramatically decline as Malaysians see themselves at the crossroads of their destiny. We all ask whether we will continue to adopt secular ways to go forward or take the hudud highway and perhaps go backwards?
These uncertainties will also probably cause a further weakening of the ringgit, an increase in capital outflows, a worsening of the brain drain and even a rise in inflation. Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysian politics in no man’s land – may be time for a new “Save Malaysia” coalition federal government comprising MPs from both sides of the political divide who defend constitutionalism and rule of law
Suddenly, Malaysian politics on both sides of the political divide seems to be in no man’s land.
The Barisan Nasional coalition Federal Government, which is in Putrajaya on a minority 47% of the popular vote in the 13th General Elections in May 2013, continues to be rudderless.
The government has lost its sense of direction, with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s major initiatives, whether 1Malaysia Policy, the New Economic Model, National Transformation Programme or the Global Movement of Moderates, discredited and all in tatters.
But Najib had personified a paradox of a Malaysian Prime Minister – one of the weakest Prime Ministers in Malaysia but a strong UMNO President.
As a result, the host of problems dogging and haunting Najib, whether the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal; the nine-year-old Altantunya Shaariibuu murder which has returned to haunt Malaysian politics with Sirul at large in Australia ; the fourth-incarceration and five -year jailing of Anwar Ibrahim which has made Malaysia again an international “bad boy”; the embarrssing controversy over Tun Razak’s “inheritance” which has seen public differences between the Prime Minister and his four brothers, as well as former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir joining the ranks of those who want Najib to step down as Prime Minister, have seemed like water over a duck’s back.
But Najib’s woes have worsened in recent weeks, with the escalation of the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, new financial scandals like the RM29 billion Pembinaan PFI Sdn Bhd scandal, the new jet for the Prime Minister, the lavish spending on the wedding of Najib’s daughter and the latest, the warning by former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam that UMNO could “self-destruct” if Najib continued with his political games with PAS as to support the private member’s bill moved by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on hudud implementation. Read the rest of this entry »
Musa Hitam is both right and wrong when he said that opposition parties in PR should not pretend they are surprised with PAS’ hudud bill
I welcome the open and forthright position taken by former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam that UMNO should make a stand that hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia, that it should not try to out-PAS PAS.
He said: “As a former Umno leader, I strongly believe in my heart that since its establishment until today, Umno’s stance too has been that hudud is not suitable for a multi-religious, multi-racial country like Malaysia.”
Warning that UMNO could set on a course of “self-destruct”, Musa said that if he was wrong about UMNO’s stand on hudud, Umno should make a decision on its stance immediately and not brush off the matter.
Musa said opposition parties in Pakatan Rakyat should not pretend that that they are not aware and surprised with PAS’ hudud bill as the party had been championing the issue consistently for a long time.
Musa is both right and wrong when he said that DAP and PKR should not pretend that we are surprised with PAS’ hudud bill.
The Joint Statement of the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council of 28th September 2011 acknowledged that the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment 1993 and the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment 2003 were passed before the formation of Pakatan Rakyat, but took the clear position that while it was unreasonable to require PAS to abandon the agenda, the three PR component parties would give priority to the PR Common Policy Framework and that all policies involving PR and their implementation must have the agreement of all three parties. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
21 March 2015
Umno should make a stand now on PAS’s hudud and not pretend to be surprised with the Islamist party’s push for the implementation of the Islamic criminal law in Kelantan, says Tun Musa Hitam.
The former deputy prime minister said hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia, expressing his disappointment over Umno’s slow response on the issue.
“I am disappointed that Umno appeared to be shocked (by PAS’s move) and until now have yet to decide on its stance. I have been worried about this for some time,” he said in a statement from Cordoba, Spain.
“Umno must take a firm stance. This national issue has a very long implication to the country, both domestically and internationally,”
He said as Umno could not afford to be seen as trying to outdo PAS on this issue.
“Don’t try to be more PAS than PAS themselves. Umno should not be trying to out-PAS PAS!”, he said. Read the rest of this entry »
Mar 21st 2015
The war against Islamic State
Though Islamic State is still spreading terror, its weaknesses are becoming apparent
WHEN the jihadists of Islamic State (IS) seized Mosul and the Iraqi army fled last June, they became the world’s most dangerous terrorist organisation. Sweeping out of Syria and north-western Iraq, they stormed southward, and came close to taking Baghdad. They murdered male prisoners in gory videos and enslaved female ones. Groups from Nigeria to Libya and Afghanistan pledged allegiance to them. Devotees attacked innocent civilians in Western cities; this week at least 19 people were killed in an assault on tourists in Tunisia (though the culprits are unknown). The IS threat has pushed together unlikely allies: in Iraq America provides the air power while Iran musters the ground forces.
As our briefing explains (see article), IS differs from jihadist groups that have gone before, including its parent, al-Qaeda. It is uniquely brutal in its treatment of foes and uniquely competent as a propagandist. But what most sets it apart is its claim to have restored the Islamic caliphate. The revival of a single state to rule over all Muslims, dating to Islam’s earliest days and abolished in 1924 by modern Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman empire, was meant to eradicate decades of supposed humiliation by outsiders and Arab rulers who presided over the decline of flourishing Arab societies. Read the rest of this entry »
1. First of all, I would like to congratulate the organizers for having this forum at a very opportune juncture in our history. Our country faces new challenges as we approach the year 2020 and we will pay close attention to the upcoming 11th Malaysia Plan that is supposed to take us to the status of a developed country in 5 years’ time. But at the same time, we need to remind ourselves that the problems of poverty and inequality are still very much present in our midst despite the many self-congratulatory statistics that are being used by the government to highlight our many so called ‘achievements’.
2. The gap between not just the ‘haves’ but the ‘have-a-lot’ and the ‘have-nots’ could not have been in starker display in our country in the past three months. While low income families have been struggling to cope with the increase in the price of petrol, electricity and other basic necessities, billions have been squandered by politically connected individuals on expensive champagne in Las Vegas, penthouses and mansions in New York and Beverly Hills, round the world shopping trips and partying with Hollywood celebrities. While some shopkeepers, especially from the older generation, have been forced to close their business because they cannot cope with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), our First Lady of Malaysia hopes that the GST won’t increase the price of her RM1200 hair-dye house call. While the average Malaysian is worried about the increase in the toll charges, taxi and bus fares, the Prime Minister’s Office goes out to spend almost half a billion ringgit on a new plane! Read the rest of this entry »