Archive for November 5th, 2009

The Asri problematique and the rise of denominational Islam?

By Azly Rahman

The current uproar over the arrest of Dr. Asri, former Mufti of Perlis interests me. I am not particularly interested in the political and ideological dimension of it; rather in how this issue will develop in this hypermodern country plagued with internal contradictions. “The center cannot hold” as the Irish poet W.B. Yeats once said, and “Things Fall Apart” as the title of the great African novel of Chinua Achebe suggests – these describe the Malaysian theological dilemma, a dilemma that has a history and a future.

Malaysian Muslims are yet faced with another challenging situation; one which presents an interesting extrapolation of the historical dilemma the Muslims have been facing intellectually. Coming soon would be a public intellectual crisis that involves the Grand and subaltern voices in Islam. Those of the Wahabbi, Salafi, Sunni, Syiah, Sufi, and the “denominations derived from traditional and indigenous practices” (the tariqats primarily) will come out in the open to assert the “truth-ness” of their perspective and practice of Islam.

Essentially now, Islam seems to have many ‘denominations’ based on cultural, geographical, political, economic, and intellectual factors Read the rest of this entry »


PAC report on PKFZ scandal revealed ongoing high-level conspiracy to suppress pertinent information about Ministerial and top governmental abuses of power and malpractices

The Public Accounts Committee Report on the Port Klang Free Zone scandal does not reveal enough although it had revealed inadvertently what it had not intended to reveal – the ongoing high-level conspiracy to suppress pertinent information about Ministerial and top government abuses of power and malpractices landing the country with a RM12.5 “mother of all scandals”.

This is why the statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the special task force set up by the Cabinet in September on the PKFZ scandal would look into the PAC findings and would take action is greeted with widespread skepticism and disbelief.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is competing with the Prime Minister as to who can make a more incredulous statement on this subject.

Muhyiddin said PAC had the power to recommend that former transport minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy and former Port Klang Authority general Datin Paduka Phang Oi Choo be investigated for criminal breach of trust in the PKFZ, and that the government’s stand on the PKFZ scandal had been clear from the start,viz:
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