Archive for February 25th, 2017

Hadi’s bill: A violation of the shariah

By Nurul Haq Shahrir
Free Malaysia Today
February 25, 2017

It is not whether the shariah should be reintroduced or reinforced as statutory law, but rather how can medieval Islamic jurisprudence be adapted to meet the needs of justice in modern societies.


The two leading Malay-Muslim political parties, PAS and Umno have been competing to be the greater defender of Islam since the early eighties – a necessary stratagem in bolstering the credibility of their Islamic credentials in the eyes of the Malay electorate.

Due to the multi-religious composition of the governing coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), Umno which is the leading party of Barisan Nasional cultivates its image as the promoter of a moderate, pragmatic form of Islam and contrasts itself against the ostensibly backward, conservative brand of Islam as advocated by PAS whose calls to “Islamise” the laws of the country from as early as the 1980s were emboldened by the recent tabling of the motion to amend the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or what is commonly referred to as Act 355, by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang in November 2016.

The Malaysian government’s earlier move on May 26, 2016 to expedite for parliamentary deliberation the private member’s bill introduced by Hadi too surprised and unsettled many. The move has been construed by many as a step towards the implementation of Islamic penal code (also referred to as hudud).

Others, in particular the prime minister and his cabinet members have dismissed this reading and clarified that the bill would only augment the sentencing power of the shariah court, which only involves Muslims.

Obviously, one cannot deny that this move has also been interpreted as nothing more than a ruse to boost the political credentials of Umno and PAS in the face of the coming general election.

It would eventually come to nothing. It is all part of the ruling coalition’s political gambit to win the next election. That is totally understandable and politically imperative to do so. Read the rest of this entry »


An important note for 60th National Day celebrations – Najib has achieved in eight years what none of the five previous Prime Ministers had done in 52 years

Malaysia will be celebrating our 60th National Day celebrations on August 31, 2017.

It will be an important note for our 60th National Day celebrations that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has achieved in eight years what none of the five previous five Prime Ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah – had done in 52 years.

Firstly, Malaysia has become a global kleptocracy since Najib became Prime Minister in April 2009.

Although Najib and his Cabinet keep up a pretence and a façade that the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal does not exist, the “ghost” of the 1MDB scandal would not go away, for almost every other day, there would be new developments resulting in 1MDB world headlines in some part of the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three challenging tasks for Reformists in the 14th General Elections

The 18-year-old Reformasi Movement which we commemorate today is an important milestone in the 60-year history of the nation to become a truly developed country in every sense of the world – not only in achieving economic progress and justice, but also in promoting democracy, upholding the rule of law, practicing the principles of good governance and building an united nation from diverse races, languages, religions and cultures.

It marks an important coming-of-age of the vision and consciousness that Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or class must unite to forge a transcending national unity to pursue the common goals of justice, freedom, integrity and ethics.

There have been important gains in the Reformasi movement in the past 18 years, but there have also been major setbacks and a lot remains to be done before we reach our goal.

There has on the one hand a greater realization that Malaysians must not just live in their separate communal and religious worlds, but must interact with different racial, religious and cultural groups to forge greater tolerance and understanding with each other, while on the other hand, there has been an intensification of the politics of race, religion, hate and even lies by certain quarters in their last-ditch effort to perpetuate their political power. Read the rest of this entry »

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