Archive for December 18th, 2015

Malaysia’s ISIS conundrum

Joseph Chinyong Liow
April 2015

The recent emergence of an ISIS recruitment video featuring young Malay (possibly also Indonesian) speaking boys attending religious classes and engaging in weapons training in ISIS-held territory has caused a furor in Malaysia. Estimates of the number of Malaysian fighters in ISIS vary from between 60 to almost 150, depending on who you ask. The high end of these figures approximates the number of Indonesian fighters that are also believed to be in Syria and Iraq. Yet the population of Malaysia is barely one-tenth that of Indonesia. In other words, Malaysians seem to be joining ISIS at a higher rate than Indonesians.

This state of affairs is all the more perplexing given how often Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Tun Razak, waxes lyrical on the international stage about moderation and how Malaysia is the epitome of multi-ethnic and inter-religious harmony, as he continues to press a nebulous “Global Movement of Moderates” agenda.

What accounts for the appeal of ISIS in “moderate” Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »


Abdul Rahman can only play with tweets as he has no input on the two seismic developments in the country – Najib’s galloping twin mega scandals and his courtship of Hadi and PAS leadership

My commiseration with Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

He is feeling so lonely and forlorn after he thought he has clambered up the mountain to deserve a special place next to the “The Chosen One”.

What a disappointment for him to find that he had been replaced or overtaken by others, even by a “political junior” from his home state, who have gone ahead to become the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, a position which is more important and higher on the political protocol than his recent sinecure as the Barisan Nasional Director of Strategic Communications (whatever that means).

I stand by what I said about him on July 24, 2015:

“Minister for Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan will be guilty of the greatest national disservice if the sole agenda of his appointment as Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director is to distract attention from Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) July 2 report that Malaysian government investigators have found US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts in AmBank in 2013 just before the 13th General Election instead of helping to establish the facts of the Prime Minister’s alleged RM2.6 billion personal accounts.

“Since his sudden appearance as BN Strategic Communications Director the previous Wednesday, Rahman had got so much eggs on his face, and on a daily basis, that it is virtually impossible to find a centimeter on his face which is not egg-splattered – whether because of Rahman’s “God-send” Lester Melyani; Lester’s utterly discredited video confession even before all the parts had been aired publicly; the crazy and counter-productive notion for Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block access to Sarawak Report (forcing Malaysians to undergo an instant education of how to circumvent official Internet blocks) or the hyping of patriotic and valiant efforts to pry open the RM42 billion 1MDB financial scandal whether by journalists in the Edge or by MPs like Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli as offences like ‘activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy’, sabotage, ‘toppling the elected government’ or even treason!”

Read the rest of this entry »

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If NSC Bill is aimed primarily at fighting terrorism, the National Security Council should be parked under POTA and not be created by another statute which empowers the PM to usurp the constitutional powers of the YDPA, the Cabinet and the 13 State Governments

The Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has defended the National Security Council (NSC) Bill on the ground that it is part of Putrajaya’s bid to act more proactively in the fight against terrorism and not intended to usurp the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong in declaring a state of emergency for the country.

Nobody is really convinced by Nur Jazlan’s claim, but giving the Deputy Home Minister all the benefit of the doubt that the NSC Bill is not a dangerous grap for power by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak which will pave the way for a dictatorial regime, let Nur Jazlan explain why the National Security Council is not parked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) instead of being created by another statute with such far-reaching powers, including the usurpation of the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet and the 13 State Governments?

Furthermore, if terrorism is the real target of the NSC Bill, can Nur Jazlan explain why there was not a single reference to the threat of terrorism or terrorist attacks in the monstrous NSC Bill passed by the Dewan Rakyat which defined “national security” in so wide and catch-all a fashion that it could be interpreted to cover all situations, even those which would not normally be associated with national security issues arising from political, economic and nation-building factors and circumstances? Read the rest of this entry »

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Bigotry wrapped in prayer is still bigotry

Azrul Mohd Khalib
The Malay Mail Online
December 18, 2015

DECEMBER 18 ― When I first heard of last week’s seminar “Ancaman gerakan pemurtadan Kristianisasi” (Threat of the Christianisation movement), my first reaction wasn’t to sigh in exasperation at the wanton abuse by the administrators of the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Lendu campus of the trust and mandate to educate young minds.

It wasn’t my outrage that this is yet another example of how ignorant and misinformed dogma and bigotry have somehow percolated and seeped into the minds of our educators at one of our institutions of higher learning.

I was dismayed that the Police DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM) saw fit to attend and present at this seminar. Our women and men in dark blue are supposed to enforce the law, keep the peace and protect the lives and property of all Malaysians.

PDRM’s presence and participation at such an event, while not ― as the IGP rightly points out ― unlawful, sends the wrong message and provides legitimacy and credibility to something that is more suited to the fringe, paranoid and crazy-eyed crowd.

PDRM’s participation in this kind of seminar by virtue of its presence, provides support and endorsement to the idea that Christians, their faith and their actions could, or in this case, should be considered and viewed as national security threats.

I cannot emphasise enough that this viewpoint is not only wrong and malicious, but also that this is actually religious bigotry disguised as righteousness. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia: Clear and present danger from the Islamic State

James Chin
December 16, 2015

Two weeks ago, an internal Malaysian police memo was leaked to the media. The leak came after Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he and several other Malaysian leaders were on the IS hit list. The memo gave details of a November 15th meeting between the militant groups Abu Sayyaf, the Islamic State (IS), and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), in Sulu, the southern Muslim-majority part of the Philippines. Attendees passed several resolutions at the meeting, including regarding mounting attacks in Malaysia, in particular Kuala Lumpur and Sabah in eastern Malaysia. The report mentioned that eight Abu Sayyaf and IS suicide bombers were already on the ground in Sabah, while another ten were in Kuala Lumpur.

While the news shocked many Malaysians and foreigners living in Malaysia, for Malaysia watchers, it was nothing new. There is general consensus in Malaysian security and intelligence circles that IS and home-grown Islamic radicals are planning a terrorist attack in Malaysia. For the past two years, in fact, Malaysia’s security services managed to disrupt at least four major bombing attempts. Their targets are mainly symbolic, such as beer factories and government buildings. Others were senior political figures and tycoons to be held for ransom and propaganda. IS regards the Malaysian government (and neighboring Indonesia) as un-Islamic and a pawn of the West.

While the Malaysian government is lucky that its intelligence services are on top of the situation, there are recent signs that they may be overwhelmed by the scale of the threat and the number of operatives involved. Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno, what price loyalty?

Dennis Ignatius
17 Dec 2015

COMMENT | Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, hounded by scandal and facing open rebellion within his ranks, made an impassioned plea at his party’s general assembly last week for unity and support. He demanded loyalty and obedience from all. He invoked God, race and country to justify his leadership.

But what price loyalty and obedience?

Great leaders appeal for support on the basis of a great cause, in defence of righteous principles or to uphold great ideals. They inspire support by their vision, by their integrity, by their example, by their commitment to great national goals.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill, for example, in his nation’s darkest hour, inspired his countrymen to stand firm against Nazi tyranny despite the odds. Mahatma Gandhi summoned his nation to the great ideals of tolerance and respect for diversity and human dignity.

President John F Kennedy appealed, in his inaugural address, for sacrifice and commitment to make America that shining light upon a hill, an inspiration to the world. Nelson Mandela urged a nation divided by decades of apartheid to reconcile, to build a new nation based on justice and inclusiveness.

They invited their countrymen to join them in a great quest, and millions freely and willingly rallied to them.

Despots, dictators and demagogues, on the other hand, bankrupt of vision, devoid of principle, blinded by avarice and ambition, demand mindless obedience, blind loyalty and passive submission. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let’s kill hate now

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
18 December 2015

Those in the corridors of power know that our country is not under any kind of threat.

They also know that a large majority of Malaysians regardless of ethnicity, religion and gender support the liberties bestowed upon us by our great Federal Constitution – even if it has undergone numerous amendments and omitted certain important details which made it rather different than its original intention.

In the midst of calls to foster greater union and camaraderie among citizens of this federation, there are those in high positions who continue to contradict calls for “social unification”. Read the rest of this entry »

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