Archive for November 3rd, 2014

A brother-sister great debate – Isma vs SIS

by Azly Rahman
Nov. 1, 2014

The current debate between Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and Sisters In Islam (SIS); the former a masculinist-Islamist-para-jihadist group and the latter a feminist-Islamist study group, seems to present an interesting case-study analysis of Malaysia’s own 16th Century ‘Protestant- Lutheran Reformation’ breakthrough.

Ironically it is a debate on the word ‘liberalism’, seemingly as confusing a concept as ‘democracy’ and also of ‘Islam’. Here is why, as I see it, the debate is interesting and Malaysians should pay attention to it:

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, Shiite, 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 – as a consequence of globalisation. Muslims are all part and products of the various authorships of these ‘denominations’ – thanks to the power/knowledge matrix of the evolution of Islam. These denominations are even mutating, depending on class and consciousness of the adherents. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why would anyone flee Malaysia?

Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
November 2, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — When I returned home to Malaysia from a studying stint abroad in September 2008, I inevitably went into a so-called “reverse culture shock”.

Back then Malaysia had just undergone a botched attempt at a regime change by Anwar Ibrahim following the 12th general elections, leaving so many hopes dashed. (The same would repeat itself after the 13th general elections).

Everything seemed horrible to me back then: People minded other people’s faiths too much, superstitious hogwash was all over the newspapers, people could not even bother stopping at zebra crossings to let pedestrians walk… everything left me feeling slightly depressed.

Six years on, much of the feeling still lingers on. Perhaps even worse, as I get myself directly exposed to Malaysian politics with all its racial and religious madness. It takes a certain masochism for someone to read news headlines every day, what more write them.

The thought of leaving Malaysia for a less claustrophobic land has indeed crossed my mind. As surely it has some of you readers. Read the rest of this entry »


Muhyiddin not proud that UM is ranked No. 423 in latest US News 500 Best Global Universities Ranking 2015 although it is only Malaysian university ranked, because it confirms lowly international position of UM and Malaysian universities

The Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is not proud that University of Malaya is ranked No. 423 in the latest US News 500 Best Global Universities Ranking 2015 although it is the only Malaysian university ranked, because it confirms the lowly international academic position and repute not only of Malaysia’s premier university but also of other public universities in the country.

This is the reason for the “conspiracy of silence” in all the mainstream media in the past week since the publication of the new ranking for universities in the world last Tuesday, as if the new world universities ranking does not exist.

This is totally unlike countries which have received recognition for producing world-class universities as to be ranked in the Top 500 in the new ranking series by U.S. News & World Report, which published its first Global Universities Rankings online after producing the Best College in United States rankings for 30 years.

The new rankings of the top 500 global universities, based on their academic research performance and their global and regional reputations, come from 49 countries with 134 from United States, 42 from Germany, 38 from United Kingdom, with 90 from Asian countries, led by China with 27 universities, 17 from Japan, 11 from South Korea, 7 from Turkey, 5 each from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Israel, 4 from India, 3 from Iran, 2 from Singapore and one each from Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. Read the rest of this entry »