Archive for March 22nd, 2015

Malaysian politics in no man’s land – may be time for a new “Save Malaysia” coalition federal government comprising MPs from both sides of the political divide who defend constitutionalism and rule of law

Suddenly, Malaysian politics on both sides of the political divide seems to be in no man’s land.

The Barisan Nasional coalition Federal Government, which is in Putrajaya on a minority 47% of the popular vote in the 13th General Elections in May 2013, continues to be rudderless.

The government has lost its sense of direction, with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s major initiatives, whether 1Malaysia Policy, the New Economic Model, National Transformation Programme or the Global Movement of Moderates, discredited and all in tatters.

But Najib had personified a paradox of a Malaysian Prime Minister – one of the weakest Prime Ministers in Malaysia but a strong UMNO President.

As a result, the host of problems dogging and haunting Najib, whether the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal; the nine-year-old Altantunya Shaariibuu murder which has returned to haunt Malaysian politics with Sirul at large in Australia ; the fourth-incarceration and five -year jailing of Anwar Ibrahim which has made Malaysia again an international “bad boy”; the embarrssing controversy over Tun Razak’s “inheritance” which has seen public differences between the Prime Minister and his four brothers, as well as former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir joining the ranks of those who want Najib to step down as Prime Minister, have seemed like water over a duck’s back.

But Najib’s woes have worsened in recent weeks, with the escalation of the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, new financial scandals like the RM29 billion Pembinaan PFI Sdn Bhd scandal, the new jet for the Prime Minister, the lavish spending on the wedding of Najib’s daughter and the latest, the warning by former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam that UMNO could “self-destruct” if Najib continued with his political games with PAS as to support the private member’s bill moved by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on hudud implementation. Read the rest of this entry »


Musa Hitam is both right and wrong when he said that opposition parties in PR should not pretend they are surprised with PAS’ hudud bill

I welcome the open and forthright position taken by former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam that UMNO should make a stand that hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia, that it should not try to out-PAS PAS.

He said: “As a former Umno leader, I strongly believe in my heart that since its establishment until today, Umno’s stance too has been that hudud is not suitable for a multi-religious, multi-racial country like Malaysia.”

Warning that UMNO could set on a course of “self-destruct”, Musa said that if he was wrong about UMNO’s stand on hudud, Umno should make a decision on its stance immediately and not brush off the matter.

Musa said opposition parties in Pakatan Rakyat should not pretend that that they are not aware and surprised with PAS’ hudud bill as the party had been championing the issue consistently for a long time.

Musa is both right and wrong when he said that DAP and PKR should not pretend that we are surprised with PAS’ hudud bill.

The Joint Statement of the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council of 28th September 2011 acknowledged that the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment 1993 and the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment 2003 were passed before the formation of Pakatan Rakyat, but took the clear position that while it was unreasonable to require PAS to abandon the agenda, the three PR component parties would give priority to the PR Common Policy Framework and that all policies involving PR and their implementation must have the agreement of all three parties. Read the rest of this entry »


Make a stand now on hudud, Musa Hitam tells Umno

The Malaysian Insider
21 March 2015

Umno should make a stand now on PAS’s hudud and not pretend to be surprised with the Islamist party’s push for the implementation of the Islamic criminal law in Kelantan, says Tun Musa Hitam.

The former deputy prime minister said hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia, expressing his disappointment over Umno’s slow response on the issue.

“I am disappointed that Umno appeared to be shocked (by PAS’s move) and until now have yet to decide on its stance. I have been worried about this for some time,” he said in a statement from Cordoba, Spain.

“Umno must take a firm stance. This national issue has a very long implication to the country, both domestically and internationally,”

He said as Umno could not afford to be seen as trying to outdo PAS on this issue.

“Don’t try to be more PAS than PAS themselves. Umno should not be trying to out-PAS PAS!”, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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The caliphate cracks

Mar 21st 2015

The war against Islamic State

Though Islamic State is still spreading terror, its weaknesses are becoming apparent

WHEN the jihadists of Islamic State (IS) seized Mosul and the Iraqi army fled last June, they became the world’s most dangerous terrorist organisation. Sweeping out of Syria and north-western Iraq, they stormed southward, and came close to taking Baghdad. They murdered male prisoners in gory videos and enslaved female ones. Groups from Nigeria to Libya and Afghanistan pledged allegiance to them. Devotees attacked innocent civilians in Western cities; this week at least 19 people were killed in an assault on tourists in Tunisia (though the culprits are unknown). The IS threat has pushed together unlikely allies: in Iraq America provides the air power while Iran musters the ground forces.

As our briefing explains (see article), IS differs from jihadist groups that have gone before, including its parent, al-Qaeda. It is uniquely brutal in its treatment of foes and uniquely competent as a propagandist. But what most sets it apart is its claim to have restored the Islamic caliphate. The revival of a single state to rule over all Muslims, dating to Islam’s earliest days and abolished in 1924 by modern Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman empire, was meant to eradicate decades of supposed humiliation by outsiders and Arab rulers who presided over the decline of flourishing Arab societies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Formulating the 11MP: Challenges for Multiracial Malaysia & the Indian Community

1. First of all, I would like to congratulate the organizers for having this forum at a very opportune juncture in our history. Our country faces new challenges as we approach the year 2020 and we will pay close attention to the upcoming 11th Malaysia Plan that is supposed to take us to the status of a developed country in 5 years’ time. But at the same time, we need to remind ourselves that the problems of poverty and inequality are still very much present in our midst despite the many self-congratulatory statistics that are being used by the government to highlight our many so called ‘achievements’.

2. The gap between not just the ‘haves’ but the ‘have-a-lot’ and the ‘have-nots’ could not have been in starker display in our country in the past three months. While low income families have been struggling to cope with the increase in the price of petrol, electricity and other basic necessities, billions have been squandered by politically connected individuals on expensive champagne in Las Vegas, penthouses and mansions in New York and Beverly Hills, round the world shopping trips and partying with Hollywood celebrities. While some shopkeepers, especially from the older generation, have been forced to close their business because they cannot cope with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), our First Lady of Malaysia hopes that the GST won’t increase the price of her RM1200 hair-dye house call. While the average Malaysian is worried about the increase in the toll charges, taxi and bus fares, the Prime Minister’s Office goes out to spend almost half a billion ringgit on a new plane! Read the rest of this entry »

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