Archive for June 13th, 2016

Pluralism remains critical to Malaysia

Straits Times
JUN 10, 2016

Those fearing a creeping Islamisation of Malaysia reacted sharply when the government, led by the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), allowed Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) to table a Bill on hudud – the controversial Islamic criminal code. The debate over its widespread application, if legislated, has divided Malaysia’s multi-religious landscape.

That PAS should push for hudud is hardly surprising. The party’s insistence on Malaysia becoming an Islamic state governed by syariah law, including hudud, has constituted its core political mission for decades. What is noteworthy about the hudud Bill being on the parliamentary agenda is the signal of a possible convergence of interests between Umno and PAS – two Malay-based parties whose erstwhile electoral rivalry expanded space for multi-religious politics. Nominally, the Bill seeks to only enhance the present powers of syariah courts. The larger purpose behind it is the Islamisation of the country through the induction of hudud into the body politic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Would voters who vote for UMNO’s Mastura in Kuala Kangsar or Budiman in Sungai Besar “sinned and be damned by Allah”?

Apart from refusal to be loyal to the Common Policy Programme of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and his insistence to exercise a veto power overriding the decisions of other PAS leaders reached at the PR Leadership Council, there is another powerful reason why the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang wanted to cause the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat – his refusal to accept Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister as he himself wanted to be Prime Minister.

When Hadi found that the other two parties in Pakatan Rakyat would not endorse him as Prime Minister of Malaysia, he had no use for the Pakatan Rakyat and decided on a new political course for PAS led by him, acting as “adviser” to the UMNO President and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak – even when this required him to be blind to Najib’s two global scandals, the RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” twin mega financial scandals.

Under the circumstances, it did not come as a surprise that Hadi was unmoved and not interested to rock Najib’s boat although former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir met him three months ago to explain about Najib’s “wrongdoings”.

What Mahathir revealed at the Second Colloquium on the RM55 billion 1MDB global scandal in Kuala Kangsar yesterday was news to the whole country, that he had taken pains to meet the PAS President to explain to him about the 1MDB scandal and other “wrongdoings” of the Prime Minister, but although Hadi admitted that there was some truth in what Mahathir had told him, the PAS President decided to side with Najib.

Hadi’s reply to Mahathir was most revealing. Read the rest of this entry »


Challenge to UMNO Ministers to cite just one case that I had been anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics or they should stop their politics of lies and hatred and focus on how to unite and build an united, great, just and prosperous Malaysia

The statement by the UMNO Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob in Sungai Besar is typical of the lies and politics of hatred spouted by UMNO leaders, even in this holy month of Ramadan.

Ismail accused former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir of working with a group who wants to reject Malay special rights and Islam, and said that if Mahahtir is “with Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang that speak for itself”.

I challenge UMNO Ministers to cite just one case that I had been anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics or they should stop their politics of lies and hatred and focus on how to unite Malaysians of diverse races and religions in the country to build a great, just and prosperous Malaysia.

I can cite a list of the racist speeches by Ismail and other UMNO leaders, including Ismail’s infamous call to Malays last year to boycott Chinese businesses, but can they cite just one instance of my being anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in Malaysian politics?

I do not think there is another political leader who had suffered more sustained and greater demonisation in the past 50 years than myself, as I had been accused of all sorts of dastardly and evil deeds especially through the Barisan Nasional-owned and controlled mainstream media.

I have been accused of being anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Malay Rulers, anti-Chinese-educated Chinese, anti-English-educated Chinese, anti-Indian, an agent of Russian KGB, agent of American CIA, agent of British M16, agent of Australian Intelligence Services, and a host of unimaginable allegations.

I had been accused of causing the May 13, 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur, of having led illegal processions through the streets of Kuala Lumpur hurling anti-Malay slogans and provocations and even urinating in the house of the then Selangor Mentri Besar, Datuk Harun Idris, in Kampong Baru in Kuala Lumpur, as was portrayed in the film “Tanda Putera”!

But I was never in Kuala Lumpur during the May 13, 1969 days as I had flown to Kota Kinabalu early on the morning of May 13, 1969 to help in the belated election campaigning in Sabah and Sarawak and I learnt about the tragic events of the May 13, 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur when I was whispered the shocking news while speaking at a massive public rally at the Sabah capital. Read the rest of this entry »