Archive for June 4th, 2016

After resignation of Mustapha Kamil as NST group editor over 1MDB global scandal, who is the next journalist of mainstream media who will take a stand for integrity, truth, transparency and good governance?

After the resignation of Mustapha Kamil as New Straits Times group editor over the 1MDB global scandal at the end of last month, who is the next journalist of the mainstream media, whether print or electronic, who will take a stand for integrity, truth, transparency and good governance?

In his Facebook posting on May 31, Mustapha said he had received numerous private messages enquiring why he opted to leave New Straits Times early, and he related “the final moments” before he tendered my resignation “from a place I had until then treated as my second home”.

He wrote:

“On the morning of April 25th I walked into the CEO’s room with my resignation letter in hand. We sat and talked about my wish for a good one hour where naturally, the CEO enquired why I had wanted to do so.

“The CEO is a chartered accountant, a man who took his job very seriously, one who is adept with numbers and besides heading the company, someone whom I also considered a friend…

“There were two things I related to him that morning. First, just as he, a chartered accountant, would not hesitate to qualify a set of flawed accounts, signing each of them not only by his name, but also by the ethics enshrined within the professional body in which he was a member, I too take journalism ethics seriously.

“In my line of work, there is this element called the ‘truth discipline’. It is one that requires a journalist to be correct, right from the spelling of names of persons or places, to all the reports he must file. His responsibility is first to the truth, by which he must then guide society in navigating the path they had chosen.

“Second, I told him that I had weighed the situation for as long as I could but when an American newspaper, headquartered somewhere in Lower Manhattan in New York, wrote a story that got nominated for the coveted Pullitzer Prize, about an issue that happened right under my nose, I began to seriously search my conscience and asked myself why was I in journalism in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »


Call on Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Assembly Hall and Federation of Chinese Guilds and Associations to put pressure on MCA Ministers to explain why they dare not requisition an emergency BN Supreme Council meeting to end “once and for all” the problem caused by Azalina’s Ministerial motion in Parliament to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill?

The response of the MCA leadership to my challenge whether MCA had learnt from the lesson of its 201 3 General Election debacle which reduced MCA from the second biggest Barisan Nasional party to a puny “7/11 party” (as compared to winning 28 MPs and 68 SAs in 1999 GE) is so predictable and characteristic that it could have been guessed in advance:

“All three MCA Ministers run for cover from the challenge, avoiding any response as the facts used are undeniable and incontrovertible – that at most only some 30 per cent of MCA’s million-strong card-carrying members voted for the MCA candidates in the 13th general election on May 5, 2013, as even the ordinary MCA members have lost confidence in the sincerity and trustworthiness of MCA Ministers and leaders. The task of responding to the challenge that the MCA leadership should requisition an emergency Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting to resolve one-and-for-all the problem caused by Azalina’s Ministerial motion in Parliament to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill left to low-level MCA officials, who could make ferocious and even extreme statements which MCA Ministers and leaders can claim ignorance.”

This is exactly what happened in the past 24 hours – thunderous silence from the three MCA Ministers but ferocious and even irrelevant outbursts by some inferior MCA underlings, which can be completely ignored as even MCA Ministers dare not endorse them. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Islamism Is Dead!’ Long Live Muslim Democrats

New York Times
JUNE 2, 2016

TUNIS — “Islamism is dead!” announced Said Ferjani, a leader of the progressive wing of Ennahda, Tunisia’s main Islamist party, as we drank coffee in a hotel cafe here last month. Mr. Ferjani, a former hard-liner who once plotted a coup against the regime of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, was upbeat as he described the historic transition his party was about to make.

His wing had combined with the party leadership to push through a raft of resolutions that would not only rebrand Ennahda but also break with the tradition of political Islam that began with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded in Egypt in the late 1920s. According to Mr. Ferjani, Islamism had been useful under the Ben Ali dictatorship when “our identity and sense of purpose” was threatened by an authoritarian state. Now that Ennahda is engaged in open, legal party politics under a new Constitution, which it helped to write, and competes for national leadership, the Islamist label had become more a burden than a benefit.

The party’s co-founder and leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, was more circumspect when I interviewed him at his home. He shifted uneasily when I asked him whether he thought Islamism was dead.

“I wouldn’t put it that way,” he commented. But he did reject the label, saying, “We don’t see any reason to distinguish ourselves from other Muslims.” Both Mr. Ghannouchi and Mr. Ferjani prefer the term “Muslim Democrats” — which deliberately draws an analogy with the Christian Democratic parties of Western Europe — to describe their new, post-Islamist identity. Read the rest of this entry »

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