Archive for January 12th, 2014

The Empire strikes back – the plot for a putsch by reactionary anti-democratic forces thickens with the call for a return of Dr M to Putrajaya

The Empire strikes back – and the plot for a putsch by reactionary anti-democratic forces thickens with the call for a return of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to Putrajaya.

The blog by former Information Minister and one of Mahathir’s top propaganda minions, Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin, for the return of Mahathir to Putrajaya to help the Barisan Nasional federal government “tackle raging racial, religious and economic issues” is not only a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak but marks a new stage in the conspiracy and plot by reactionary anti-democratic forces in UMNO and Barisan Nasional government for a putsch.

Recent signs and developments that the plot and conspiracy of the reactionary anti-democratic forces in UMNO and Barisan Nasional government for a putsch, whose objective seems to be still fluid ranging from a minimum programme for a halt and change of the various transformation programmes launched under the Najib administration regardless of the extent of their implementation to a maximum programme for a change of Prime Minister, include the following:
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Gross governmental failure over religious issues

by Tommy Thomas
Jan 10, 2014

COMMENT Last week’s raid by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais), a government agency, on the office of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) must be condemned in the strongest terms by all right thinking people.

Apart from being unconstitutional and in violation of the rule of law, it represents the worst kind of behaviour by government bureaucrats flexing their awesome powers over minorities. Occurring in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society compounds the problem.

Twentieth century history across the globe is replete with examples where the safety of minorities is threatened by a majority abusing coercive state power; Nazi Germany being the most extreme.

Post-colonial developments since 1950 in Burma, British Guyana, Uganda, Fiji and Sri Lanka have illustrated the consequences of harsh treatment of minorities and the resultant irrevocable damage to the entire nation state when governments controlled by majorities abuse their power.

In other words, any historian will warn a plural society that it is a tinderbox insofar as ethnic and religious matters are concerned, and such issues must therefore be handled carefully, delicately and with sensitivity to minorities. One therefore cannot over-emphasise the responsibility of leaders to ensure fairness in such matters. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Allah’ row the product of concocted ‘siege’, observers say

The Malay Mail Online
January 12, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — The religious tussle over “Allah” that threatens to rend apart Malaysia’s interfaith ties is a contrived issue, according to observers who pinpointed political motives for fomenting communal friction over the Arabic word for God.

Despite appearing to be theologically different to outside observers, chief executive of Global Movement for Moderates (GMM) Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah saw right-wing groups that were cultivating a mentality that Islam was “under siege” as the root of the “Allah” problem that is unique to Malaysia.

“Some sectors of the Malay population, they are acting as if Islam is under siege,” he said when appearing on Al-Jazeera’s The Stream news programme this week.

But his remark led host Femi Oke to prod him for examples of how the perceived siege on Islam was propagated.

“When people make the pronouncements that we should burn the bible if it is translated to Malay… or something like that,” he responded.

Although Saifuddin did not identify the group by name, president of Malay rights group Perkasa Datuk Ibrahim Ali made such a call in January last year, drawing outrage from Christian and civil society groups. Read the rest of this entry »