Archive for June 8th, 2009

Demonisation and the Politics of Banning : Why PAS Should Look To Its Own History

By Farish A. Noor

The recent general assembly of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party PAS has left us with a rather mixed serving of results and outcomes, some of which will linger for a while and some of which may prove harder to digest than others. Despite the re-iteration of PAS’s stand vis a vis the UMNO party that was couched in oppositional terms, we are left with the question of PAS’s long-term orientation and objectives, and where the party will go from here. It is clear that the party remains divided over the question of dialogue and co-operation with UMNO, which has been its nemesis since its genesis in 1951.

But when it comes to the question of dialogue and engagement, PAS’s stand seems clearer with regards to other Islamic movements and NGOs in the country: While PAS has demonstrated its willingness to work with some of the more conservative Muslim groups in Malaysia, it has steadfastly refused to work with other groups, notably Muslim feminist organisations such as Sisters in Islam (SIS).

What has shocked many of us, however, was the call on the part of PAS to have SIS investigated by the religious authorities of the country on the grounds that it is a movement that has allegedly ‘misled’ Muslims and which has been tainted by liberal ideas. More worrying still was the call to have SIS banned if it is found to be somehow ‘anti-Islamic’ in its activities. Read the rest of this entry »


USM Apex Uni admission foul-up – USM shld put online full list of 4,574 students forwarded to UPU

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Khaled Nordin said the special committee headed by Higher Education Ministry deputy chief secretary (management) Omar Abdul Rahman to investigate the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Apex University student intake foul-up is expected to complete its report by end of this week.

Yes, the reasons for the inexcusable USM student intake foul-up, where the names of all the 8,173 pre-qualified applicants were incorrectly uploaded on its website as successful when only 3,599 were successful, leaving 4,574 students roller-coasting between euphoria and despair in a matter of hours, should be thoroughly investigated and publicized; and those responsible dealt with severely.

But this should not distract the higher education authorities from the proper things that they should do.

The first thing that must be done is that USM should put online the full list of 4,574 victim-applicants it has forwarded to UPU for selection to other public universities so that the students could personally verify to make sure that there will not be another foul-up. One cannot run away from the fact that the foul-up has created a confidence problem in the integrity of the USM administration. Read the rest of this entry »


RM12.5b PKFZ Rip-off – OTK should apologise on behalf of MCA as scandal occurred under watch of 3 MCA Transport Ministers/4 PKA Chairmen

My three questions (No.28 to No. 30 on the 10th day in the current series) to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal today are:

  1. Is Ong prepared as MCA President to make a public apology on behalf of MCA to the nation and Malaysians for the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal as it occurred under the watch of three MCA Transport Ministers and four MCA Port Klang Authority (PKA) Chairmen?

    From a RM1.1 billion scandal in 2002 under Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik as Transport Minister, it has more then quadrupled to RM4.6 billion under Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy as Transport Minister, and now skyrocketed to RM7.453 billion under Ong’s watch, and likely to require another RM5 billion bailout with public funds to reach the astronomical total cost of RM12.5 billion.

    If everyone of the three MCA Transport Ministers and the four MCA PKA Chairmen (Tan Sri Ting Chew Peh, Datuk Yap Pian Hon, Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung and Datuk Lee Hwa Beng) had acted fully conscious of their public trust and responsibilities, the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal would not have reached the present proportion and magnitude!

  2. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib’s great analysis about failings of BN leaders with himself as foremost example

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has made a great analysis about Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders too obsessed with positions and failing to “learn and change” after the political tsunami electoral defeat last year – except he did not realise he was describing himself as such a foremost BN leader.

Speaking at the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) annual assembly opening yesterday, Najib scolded BN leaders who were too obsessed with party posts, saying they should focus on the people and regain support for the ruling federal government coalition after its dismal Election 2008 results.

This is the Malaysian Insider report of Najib’s speech yesterday: Read the rest of this entry »