Archive for June 28th, 2015

Salafism – Politics and the puritanical


Islam’s most conservative adherents are finding that politics is hard. But it beats the alternative

WERE it not for his bushy beard and trim moustache, Nader Bakkar could be mistaken for one of Egypt’s secular liberal politicians. The young spokesman for the Nour party is tolerant, reasonable and smart—he is about to begin a fellowship at Harvard. “We are reformers, not revolutionaries,” Mr Bakkar (pictured left) says of his party. “Compromise is not a bad word.” But his facial hair conveys a different message. Mr Bakkar and his party adhere to the ultra-conservative brand of Sunni Islam known as Salafism.

In the West that brand is most associated with extremist groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS), whose members are sometimes called Salafist-jihadists; or the intolerance of Saudi Arabia, where adherents are called Wahhabis. The Saudis have used their oil wealth to spread the influence of Salafism across the Muslim world, funding Wahhabi-inspired mosques and madrassas—and, at times, extremist groups. As a result, some think Salafism is the fastest-growing Islamic movement.

It is also growing more diverse. All Salafists take a fundamentalist approach to Islam, emulating the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers—al-salaf al-salih, the “pious forefathers”—right down to their facial hair. They reject religious innovation, or bida, and support the implementation of sharia (Islamic law). Salafist scholars, though, are far from homogeneous, expressing different views on everything from apostasy to activism. Most notably, many Salafists now engage in politics despite a tradition of quiescence. But with little to show for their efforts, they must decide whether to push on, withdraw or pursue politics by other means, such as war or terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »

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MACC may be guilty of gross incompetence and inefficiency if after tip-off in March, it still have to sent officer to Melbourne to investigate MARA Inc property corruption as if fresh from scratch

I could not believe my eyes when I read the Bernama report in The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

Entitled “Mara Inc to open doors to Melbourne property deal probe”, the report quoted the MARA Inc Chairman Datuk Mohammad Lan Allani and the MARA Inc Chief Executive Officer Datuk Abdul Halim Rahim in a joint statement as saying:

“We welcome any investigation or inquiry in respect to our investment, locally and internationally.

“We will pledge our full cooperation and assistance to the relevant authorities for a fair and transparent investigation on the matter or any other matters in respect of MARA Incorporated Sdn Bhd”.

What impertinence! What impudence! Read the rest of this entry »

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A. Samad Said

Jalan bersama Waibi Kit Siang
di Pasir Tumboh di suatu petang
cepat terimbas papan dan paku,
palang jendela dan ensel pintu.

Petang sejarah langit yang lusuh
waktu unggas menghindari ribut,
gema guruh di ufuk nan jauh
mengerdip kisah banjir yang kalut.

Di Pasir Tumboh letih dan mengah
mereka julang panji maruah
sementara pondok dipulihkan
watikah qalbu pun dimasyurkan. Read the rest of this entry »


Empire Strikes Back (Part IV) – is the script for 1MDB executives Arul and Shahrol to walk out of PAC hearings, probably escorted by Shafee as their counsel, and boycott of PAC proceedings on 1MDB on the ground that Tony Pua has not stepped down as PAC member?

The highly-paid Public Relations Consultants of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and 1MDB (as Najib is both in law and fact the final approving authority of 1MDB) have gone into an overdrive of offensives since the arrest of former PetroSaudi International (PSI) IT executive, Xavier Andre Justo in Thailand six days ago for attempting to blackmail his former employer on leaked information.

One can already discern four chapters in “The Empire Strikes Back” offensives overdrive:

Chapter 1 – the arrest of the 49-year-old Justo, a Swiss national and former PSI IT executive at around 3 pm on Monday (June 22) at a house in Koh Samui, Thailand with computers, hard drives and other data storage devices.

Chapter 2 – Campaign of demonisation and character-assassination of Justo led by UMNO media like the New Straits Times portraying Justo as a “hedonistic” and “greedy” blackmailer with a photograph of him covered in tattoos on its front-page.

Chapter 3 – Vague and unsubstantiated allegations by Malaysian Cabinet Ministers of tampered leaked information about the 1MDB scandal and threats by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi against the media under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) for reporting “tampered” and inaccurate facts about the 1MDB scandal, again without any substantiation of these allegations.

Are we now in Chapter 4 of “The Empire Strikes Back”, featuring Najib’s choice prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who accomplished the mission to ensure that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is now incarcerated in Sungai Buloh prison as a result of Anwar’s Sodomy II trial. Read the rest of this entry »

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Emails are not the cause of 1MDB’s financial troubles, but we will defer to the home minister

The Malaysian Insider
27 June 2015

There are now allegations that emails published by The Edge in recent months about certain dealings between 1MDB and PetroSaudi International were doctored and forged.

This follows the arrest of a former top PetroSaudi executive in Thailand on accusations that he extorted his ex-employer.

Certain media have also quoted unnamed security experts as saying the emails were tampered with or forged.

As a consequence, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has issued a warning that The Edge could be suspended. Read the rest of this entry »


In recurring religious conflicts, Muslim MPs ask where Malaysia is headed

by Joseph Sipalan
Malay Mail Online
June 27, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 ― Muslim lawmakers from both sides of the political divide have raised concerns over the seeming trend of Muslims imposing their beliefs on others, questioning if this is reflective of a wider agenda that is backed by Putrajaya to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state.

The federal lawmakers noted that the federal government appeared either unable to stop or even condoning of incidents in which Islamic sensibilities are imposed on the larger society by religious authorities and individuals.

“This issue bothers me because as our forefathers taught us, religion should be about faith and (is) personal,” Umno’s Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed told Malay Mail Online via text message.

“I suspect the longer-term objective of these groups is to usurp power through religious means and therefore avoid being legitimately elected.

“While I respect their motives and intentions, the elected government of the day must control the actions of these groups and act in the interest of all the citizens of the country,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »