Archive for November 7th, 2014

Indonesia has to raise its voice to speak out for moderate Islam

– Rizvi Shihab
The Malaysian Insider
6 November 2014

One of the many challenges facing the current government is re-establishing Indonesia’s unique geographical, cultural and ideological identities.

Presently, there is a concerted governmental effort to augment Indonesia’s power by introducing its “maritime-axis” foreign policy to fully take advantage of its strategic geographical position.

But in addition to this maritime emphasis, I believe Indonesia needs to start disseminating its ideological character globally as a world ambassador of religious moderation. Members of the international community often wonder about the silence exhibited by the majority of moderate Muslim countries. This provides opportunity for Indonesia to step up and become the leader of this quiet group.

If the United States is known as the ethnic melting pot, Indonesia should strive to be acknowledged as the religious melting pot where members of all faiths live in tranquil harmony. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s moderate Muslim face takes a beating

The Malaysian Insider
6 November 2014

When Malaysia’s urbane Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak travels abroad, he invariably touts his country’s widely accepted reputation for moderate Islam, but that image is taking a beating at home.

Increasingly strident Islamist pressure, often initiated by Najib’s own government, is causing deepening dismay in the traditionally tolerant multi-faith country.

The trend is rooted in the decades-old regime’s attempts to strengthen its weakening grip amid repeated electoral setbacks, as a formidable opposition taps into broad sentiment for liberal reform.

But the ruling establishment is setting the country on an uncertain path, critics warn. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s road to perdition

3 November 2014

There is no delicate way to put this: Malaysia is on a downward spiral, led down the dangerous path by overzealous religious authorities, misguided or plain stupid individuals and groups.

And perhaps more alarmingly, the government of the day is either allowing this implosion of a blessed country or has become a clueless bystander to the dismantling of multiracial and multi-religious Malaysia.

Not a day seems to go by without some new group seeking to change the complexion of Malaysia.

Not a day goes by without a reminder that stray words and ignorance are far more dangerous than sticks or stones.

Just another day in Malaysia:

Brouhaha over church site in Petaling Jaya Read the rest of this entry »


In solidarity with UM8 – UM alumni, academics and concerned individuals

The Malaysian Insider
6 November 2014

We, the undersigned individuals, call on University Malaya (UM) to drop the charges against student leader Fahmi Zainol and all other students pertaining to the forum entitled “Empat PuluhTahun Dari UM ke Penjara” which took place on campus on 27 October 2014.

We support the right of Persatuan Mahasiswa University Malaya(PMUM), as an elected bodyrepresenting UM students, to organise events on campus. Their choice of topic for the lecture is reflective of the currently debated issue within academia and society.

We laud the students’initiative in seeking knowledge and critical views in understanding this issue further. The choice of inviting a politician as a guest speaker is not extraordinary as the university regularly haspolitical leaders coming to speak on its campus.

We wish to also record our serious concern and raise objection to the series of actions taken byUM in the handling of this event. The university’s response raises serious concerns regarding the professionalism of its administrators and the institution’s commitment to academic integrity and intellectual freedom. Read the rest of this entry »


Time to rally against ‘oppressive regime’, says convicted youth activist

The Malaysian Insider
6 November 2014

Youth activist Safwan Anang, who was sentenced to 10 months in jail for sedition in September,‎ said the recent outcry among student activists against the “oppressive regime” was no ordinary protest and could usher in a greater movement at the societal level.

“It is time for the students to unite all Malaysians from among the youths, workers, social activists, NGOs, party activists and ordinary citizens who are fighting against endless issues such as the rise in fuel price and living costs, the goods and services tax, the use of the Sedition Act and the oppression of people’s rights.

“The students should be the pioneers in mobilising a huge ‎movement to shake the regime from its comfortable position,” said Safwan in a statement.

The ‎Lensa Anak Muda (Lensa) executive director praised his juniors for initiating the student movement on October 27, when they invited Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim into the Universiti Malaya (UM) campus despite the university’s ban on the event. Read the rest of this entry »

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