Archive for October 5th, 2014

Secularism and a more honest Islam

Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
4 October 2014

Secularism and liberalism are not unfamiliar terms in this country, although how Malaysians understand them is a different matter altogether.

In the halcyon post-Merdeka days, our founding fathers would proudly proclaim such ideals to be their philosophical bedrock, so much so that the word liberal actually appears in the preamble to the Rukunegara (national principles). To be secular and liberal was to be constitutional and inclusive.

Things have changed much since then. Today, the very same terms are used deleteriously as a mark of shame, such that it has become the proverbial scarlet letter of the Malay-Muslim society. To be secular and liberal is to be ungodly and aberrant. Read the rest of this entry »


PAS reactionaries strike back

By Bridget Welsh
Sep 22, 2014

COMMENT With emotional outbursts, walkouts and contradictory statements, PAS’ 60th muktamar last week was more of a confrontation rather than a celebration.

With the PAS president referring to the Islamic party’s Pakatan Rakyat partners as “minor enemies” and its members who stood with ally PKR as “lackeys”, it has become evident that PAS under the leadership of Abdul Hadi Awang appears to be no longer a party that can be trusted to listen to the people and work with other parties to bring change to Malaysia.

There is a sense of betrayal among the public, whose hopes have been dashed by a reactionary faction of conservative ulama within PAS who think they are the ‘chosen ones’ – many of whom who have acted in a manner that is neither in keeping with their religious values nor reflects wisdom.

In the wake of this muktamar, where the reactionary forces have dominated the bitter discourse, the Pakatan coalition has suffered a serious blow from within. It appears that the opposition coalition is over.

This conclusion is understandable but – for now – premature.

Pakatan is clearly deeply wounded, but the intensity of the battle inside PAS reveals an ongoing struggle that suggests that there are many more battles ahead and the fight to develop an alternative political narrative is not over. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

Najib’s wasatiyyah campaign would have no credibility unless he could rescue the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) from the suspicion of a semi-underground organization inciting sedition, and take one step further, empower GMM to play a global role to mobilise world moderate opinion against Islamic State (IS)

In his Aidiladha message, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak reiterated that he would keep faith with the “moderation” pledge he made at the 69th United Nations General Assembly last month.

Najib should realize that his wasatiyyah (moderation) campaign of justice, balance and excellence would have no credibility whatsoever unless he is seen as upholding all these principles not only in the international arena but also in his government policies inside the country.

A news report today that an Umno delegate has called on the Umno General Assembly to discuss abolishing the Chinese vernacular school system on the baseless and spurious ground that it promoted racism and anti-establishment sentiments is the latest testimony of the failure of Najib’s wasatiyyah (moderation) campaign promoting the values of justice, balance and excellence.

The Umno delegate’s proposal to raise the intake of Malay and Indian students and teachers in Chinese schools to 60 per cent is the best proof that Najib’s five-year premiership has not only failed to foster justice, balance and excellence, but has provided a field day for immoderate, ignorant and intolerant viewpoints to spread and flourish.

This is no surprise when his two most important initiatives on wasatiyyah have proved to be such dismal failures. Read the rest of this entry »


Find out who wrote Beng Hock’s alleged suicide note, family tells cops

The Malaysian Insider
5 October 2014

Fed-up with Bukit Aman quizzing them about a so-called suicide note written by political aide Teoh Beng Hock, his family has decided not to give any further statements to the police until someone is arrested over the incidents which led to his untimely death.

The family’s lawyer, Teo Nie Ching, said this after Beng Hock’s wife, Sor Cher Wei, and his sister, Lee Lan, were questioned by federal police yesterday at the Batu Pahat district police headquarters.

According to Teo, senior investigating lawyer ASP Tony Lunggan had called up Soh and told her he wanted to record statements from her and Lee Lan over the “suicide note”.

Tony is part of a Bukit Aman six-member special unit tasked with re-investigating Beng Hock’s death. Read the rest of this entry »


Jamila Rahim better off in DAP than Isma, Umno, says Khalid

by Puteri Sabira
Rakyat Times
5 October 2014

PAS Central Committee member and Shah Alam Member of Parliament Khalid Samad says that Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) has no place in Malaysia with its extremist views.

Khalid has hit out at ISMA that had described DAP’s new recruit, Jamila Rahim, as a “confused Muslim” and challenged her to prove that the DAP would bring her any closer to achieving her goal of justice.

“PAS is definitely is a better choice for Muslims, but people are entitled to join any political party, I think it’s better for Jamila (left) to join DAP rather than ISMA or Umno,” he told The Rakyat Times when contacted.

Khalid stressed that DAP is a party that champions justice and holds firmly to its principles.

” Transparency, justice and integrity are part of Islamic teaching, therefore it’s crucial for people to uphold these values as long as it was in line with Islam,” Khalid added. Read the rest of this entry »


Sentiment divided at haj pilgrimage over role of Islamist militants

By Amena Bakr
October 3, 2014

ARAFAT Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Former Egyptian army officer Suliman Ouda minced no words as he climbed Mount Arafat, denouncing Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq as terrorists.

But Syrian engineer Ahmed Orabi, standing nearby on the hill where Muslims on their haj pilgrimage beg God’s forgiveness, disagreed.

“Islam is about peace and kindness, not murder and violence, and I don’t consider these fighters in Iraq and Syria to be Muslims,” Ouda told Reuters as he joined the mass of pilgrims early on Friday. “They bring shame to the word Islam.”

Orabi, in his 40s, served time in Syrian prisons for criticising the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before fleeing to Turkey. One of his sons was still in jail.

“If the Islamic state, or Nusra, or any other group can fight the government, I’m in full support of them,” he said in a hushed voice.

“Bashar is the terrorist here, Iran is the enemy. And although I can’t raise my voice today and say that, I’m crying out to God in my heart to give victory to those brave Islamic fighters.”

The haj, a hectic journey that brings millions from around the world to Mecca and Mount Arafat, is tinged this year with concerns over the threat posed by Islamist militants who threaten to target allies of the United States, including Saudi Arabia. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

DAP wins over six Pitas villages

Joe Fernandez| October 5, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

“Hearts and minds” initiative to improve quality of life in rural areas reaches poverty-stricken Northern Sabah.

KOTA KINABALU: Impian Sabah, a DAP Sabah outreach programme, seems determined to rub the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) nose in the dirt.

An Impian Sabah team turned up this time in Pitas, one of the poorest spots in Malaysia, to fund a basic access road for six villages with about 3,000 people to connect with the nearest town about 7.4 km away. Pitas is situated in the right wolf’s ear of Sabah on the map.

“We handed over RM33,000 on Saturday to the people at a ceremony in Kampung Dowokon, Pitas, for them to build the road,” said Sandakan MP Stephen Wong who also co-ordinates the Impian Sabah Programme.

“The money, sourced from the public, will cover phase one of the project. It will cover 3.8 km of the road,” Wong explained.

Dowokon will share the funds with five other villages viz. Mandamai, Kobon Seberang, Perupok, Maliau Pusat and Maliau Layung. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

At haj, Saudi Arabia clerics step up anti-Islamic State drive

By Amena Bakr

MINA Saudi Arabia
Oct 4, 2014

(Reuters) – Taking aim at Islamic State, Saudi Arabia has mounted a battle for hearts and minds at this year’s haj, warning pilgrims that the hardline group is “evil” and seeking to recruit their children to fight in Iraq and Syria.

As millions of pilgrims visited the holiest sites in Islam on the second day of the annual pilgrimage on Saturday, global leaders condemned the fourth beheading of a Westerner by Islamic State insurgents.

Saudi Arabia declared Islamic State a terrorist organization in March and sharply stepped up denunciations of the group after its fighters made rapid territorial gains in Iraq in June. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments