Archive for category Islam
One of the first things a new Federal Government in Putrajaya replacing the UMNO/BN will do after the 14GE will be to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to “chase down every penny from 1MDB”
At the official launch of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in Shah Alam last night, PPBM Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said PPBM would “chase down every penny from 1MDB”.
I have no doubt that one of the first things a new Federal Government in Putrajaya replacing the UMNO/BN will do after the 14th General Election will be to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to “chase down every penny from 1MDB”.
In fact, if we have a Cabinet which is patriotic and protective of the good name of Malaysia, the top priority of the agenda of the next Cabinet meeting on Wednesday should be on how to purge and clear the country of the infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”.
I said in Parliament that a kleptocracy is a government of 3Ps – Pencuri, Perompak and Penyamun.
I do not believe that any patriotic and proud Malaysian would stand idly by and do nothing when the country is defamed worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”!
I also do not believe that the first four Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein and Tun Mahathir would have stood idly by and done nothing if Malaysia had been defamed and regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy during their premiership.
Even the fifth Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah would also have acted to defend the honour and reputation of Malaysia if the country is defamed world-wide as a global kleptocracy!
Why then has the Cabinet done nothing in the past three years to put the ghost of 1MDB scandal to rest, instead allowing the country to be battered, haunted and hounded by the issue, which has aggravated the host of political, economic and nation-building crisis of confidence confronting the country? Read the rest of this entry »
Liow should explain how MCA could reconcile its public stand to oppose Hadi’s private member’s bill with Najib’s announcement that Barisan Nasional government will vote in support of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in March Parliament and government take over Hadi’s bill?
There is a rule of thumb in political exchanges that personal attacks or character assassination is the last resort of political opportunists and scoundrels who have run out of arguments based on facts and reason, and this is what the MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai resorted to when he launched a ferocious personal attack on me, accusing the DAP as a privately-owned “Kit Siang & Son Sdn. Bhd” and not a political party.
I can understand Liow’s frustration and exasperation, but it is no justification nevertheless for him to resort to personal attacks and character-assassination.
What was Liow frustrated and exasperated about?
The latest incident was the MCA leadership’s total inability to respond to my statement on Thursday catching Liow “red-handed” in saying one thing to the Chinese but giving a totally different impression to the Malays – which is the height of political dishonesty and chicanery at work in plural Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
Jan 7th 2017
The opposition has a chance to strike
A ROUND of applause, ladies and gentlemen. Any typical leader of a typical democracy, when found with nearly $700m of ill-explained money from an unnamed foreign donor in his accounts, would experience a swift and fatal fall. Yet, nearly two years after news first broke that Najib Razak’s bank balance had been thus plumped up, his high-wire act continues.
You could even argue that the Malaysian prime minister, who denies any wrongdoing, is at the top of his game. Mr Najib appears to command the unstinting loyalty of the party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which leads the coalition that has ruled the country since independence in 1957. He has undermined a fractious opposition, not least by peeling an Islamist party away from it. And as investigations proceed in several other countries into the alleged bilking of colossal sums from 1MDB, an indebted state investment-fund whose advisory board Mr Najib once chaired, the prime minister himself remains untouched. Staying in power helps stave off any risk he might face of international prosecution. A general election is due by late August 2018, but perhaps Mr Najib will call a snap poll in the next few months to give himself several more years’ rule. Read the rest of this entry »
Liow Tiong Lai, Mah Siew Keong and Subramaniam must explain whether they have deviated from the stand of their parties and broken ranks with BN component parties from Sabah and Sarawak by secretly agreeing with UMNO to support BN government take-over of Hadi’s private member’s bill?
MCA President Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong, the MIC President Datuk S. Subramaniam should know that silence is no option and that they should explain whether they have deviated from the stand of their parties and broken ranks with the Barisan Nasional component parties from Sabah and Sarawak by secretly agreeing with the UMNO leadership to support BN government take-over of Hadi’s private member’s bill.
This is the logical conclusion from their continued silence on the Pensiangan Formula as the best way to address the political and constitutional stalemate created by UMNO’s support for PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Awang Hadi’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355).
The Pensiangan Formula comprises two elements, viz:
• Firstly, no government take over of Hadi’s private member’s bill; and
• Secondly, the formation of an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee with the overall objective to strengthen inter-religious relations in Malaysia based on the Malaysian Constitution, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Rukunegara, and with the specific objective to study Hadi’s private member’s motion, and to make recommendations.
Final tranche of questions for Salleh after the Communications and Multimedia Minister admitted he is unable to answer the 35 questions directed at him
This is the final tranche of five questions for the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak as he had admitted he is unable to answer the 35 questions directed at him in the past seven days.
This means however that Salleh is unable to reinstate his right to ask questions and to demand answers from others – having doubly forfeited such right when firstly, as Minister responsible for the portfolio of information, he failed to answer numerous questions about government scandals and failings; and secondly, failing to acquit himself when given a second chance to redeem himself when I put 35 questions to him.
Out of the 34 questions I have put to Salleh, 14 were about the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal and Malaysia’s international infamy and ignominy of having ascended to the exclusive club of “global kleptocracy”; three questions about Malaysia’s second international infamy and ignominy for being excluded from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, regarded as the world’s school report, for data and sample bungling; four questions on the perfidy in UMNO and Barisan Nasional over Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355); three questions about the abuses of power and repression against critics and the civil society and seven questions about UMNO’s exploitation of the extremist politics of race, religion, “Big Lies” and hatred to hang on to power in the forthcoming 14th General Election.
It speaks volumes that Salleh is unable to answer any of these important national questions. Read the rest of this entry »
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS, GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
06 DEC, 2016
Southeast Asians must value the cohesive elements of society, embrace diversity and not allow political differences to destroy the pluralistic fabric of society if they are to avoid the disinetgration and conflict that has ensued from the Arab Spring, writes Michael Vatikiotis.
To understand the comparative success and failures of political transition in Asia and the Middle East, it is important to say from the outset that in neither part of the world has political transition worked very well.
The Arab Spring soon turned into Arab fall and winter, destroying the former countries of Libya, Syria and Yemen and leading to stronger military rule in Egypt. Here in Asia, there has been more of a rolling transition; it started at the back end of the so-called third wave of democratisation in the mid-1970s and ultimately led to the People Power revolt in the Philippines a decade later.
For different reasons and in different ways, this wave of political liberalisation stalled and then got started again after the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. While Indonesia has undeniably embarked on the path to democracy, it is still regarded as only partly free. Prevailing democracy deficits in the region, suggest that Southeast Asia’s rolling transition still has not completely delivered effective change.
There are lessons each region can learn from the other. And perhaps counterfactually, I tend to think there is more that Asia can learn, specifically Muslim society in Asia, from the Arab context. Read the rest of this entry »
Are MCA Ministers seeking “insurance” to remain in Cabinet as long as possible by equivocating on Hadi’s private member’s bill motion?
MCA Ministers led by the MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai must have thought that they are very smart and clever in finding a way to get “insurance” to remain in the Cabinet for as long as possible by equivocating on PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill motion.
MCA leaders have been going round the country declaring that MCA Ministers will relinquish their Cabinet posts if Hadi’s private member’s bill is passed.
This is begging the question as MCA Ministers are completely avoiding the issue which may come up in the first week of Parliament beginning on Monday as to whether Hadi’s private member’s bill motion will be debated and passed by simple majority vote.
Will MCA Ministers declare that they will relinquish their Cabinet posts if Hadi’s private member’s bill motion is passed in Parliament either next week or the last week of Parliament from Nov. 21 – 24?
And if not, why not?
This applies to the Ministers from Gerakan, MIC and other Sabah/Sarawak Barisan Nasional component parties.
By making an artificial distinction between Hadi’s private member’s bill motion and Hadi’s private member’s bill, MCA Ministers hope to get “insurance” to cowardly and cravenly hang on to the Cabinet for as long as possible – relying on Standing Order 49(3), (4) and (5) to argue that although Hadi’s private member’s bill motion had been passed in Parliament, Hadi’s private member’s bill had not yet been passed. Read the rest of this entry »
Six possible scenarios as to what could happen to Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in the 25-day budget Parliament
There are six possible scenarios as to what could happen to the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill motion in the 25-day Budget Parliament beginning on Monday, viz:
1. Hadi’s private member’s bill motion comes up for debate in the first week of Parliament, whether on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and passed with simple majority support.
2. Hadi’s private member’s bill motion debated in the first week of Parliament and rejected with simple majority vote.
3. Hadi’s private member’s bill motion not debated in the first week of Parliament and deferred until after the 2017 Budget’s debate and passage in the last week of Parliamentary meeting from Nov. 21-24.
4. Hadi’s private member’s bill motion debated in Parliament’s last week and passed by simple majority.
5. Hadi’s private member’s bill motion debated in Parliament’s last week and rejected by simple majority.
6. Hadi’s private member’s bill motion not debated and deferred to next year’s Parliamentary meeting.
I am quite perplexed by the statements which the MCA President and the MCA Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, had been making in the past two days about the possibility of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion coming up for debate and vote in next week’s Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »
Will there be a tectonic shift of the fundamental basis of the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Agreement 1963 next week in Parliament if Hadi’s private member’s bill is passed?
I visited Parliament to collect the Parliamentary Order Paper for the 25-day budget meeting of Parliament from Oct. 17 to 24th November, and I find the parliamentary business planned most surprising and even shocking.
Firstly, will there be a tectonic shift of the fundamental basis of the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Agreement 1963 next week in Parliament if the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill is passed?
Hadi’s private member’s is slated as the fourth item of parliamentary business after a motion by the Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin to congratulate the Malaysian Olympians and Para-Olympians for their sterling performances in the two recent world sporting events; the Advocates (Sabah) (Amendment) Bill 2016 and a Treasury motion to convert a RM500 million loan to Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad (SME Bank) to equity.
Under the circumstances, the possibility that Hadi’s private member’s bill motion will come up for debate and voting either on Tuesday, or even on Monday, cannot be ruled out. Read the rest of this entry »
Has Barisan Nasional consensus degenerated from the original meaning of agreement by all 13 BN component parties into a perverted and corrupt version of what is unilaterally and arbitrarily decided by UMNO even in the face of objection by the other 12 BN component parties?
An UMNO-owned mainstream media reported today that PAS President, Datuk Seri A Abdul Hadi Awang’s hudud-enabling private member’s bill would be tabled and debated in Parliament next week.
In the circumstances, the continued silence of the Presidents of MCA, Gerakan, MIC and Sabah and Sarawak component parties of Barisan Nasional on whether they have agreed on a Barisan Nasional consensus for Hadi’s private member’s bill to be given priority over official business in the budget meeting of Parliament to be debated and voted upon is no more tenable.
The time has come for all the Barisan Nasional component parties to break their silence on Hadi’s private member’s bill.
Early this month, the UMNO and Barisan Nasional secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that BN has arrived at a consensus regarding Hadi’s private member’s bill. Read the rest of this entry »
48-hour silence of top MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders on Tengku Adnan’s claim that BN has arrived at a consensus on Hadi’s private member’s bill is more eloquent than any statement by them
The 48-hour silence of the top MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders who are also Cabinet Ministers to the claim by the UMNO and Barisan Nasional secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor that the Barisan Nasional has arrived at a consensus regarding PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill is more eloquent than any statement anyone of them could make.
As usual, the top MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders allow their low-level underlings to cast doubt on Adnan’s claim, but they dare not personally contradict Adnan’s statement and their silence are louder than the protestations by the MCA, Gerakan and MIC underlings.
Before the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting two Fridays ago, I had said that the BN Supreme Council had degenerated from the Barisan Nasional Federal coalition government’s highest decision-making body into a superfluous and even superannuated creature without any bite, role, authority or purpose whatsoever.
What UMNO leadership decides is the order of the day, and this is what happened to Hadi’s private member’s bill in the May meeting of Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »
By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV
Wall Street Journal
Sept. 22, 2016
International conference in Russia’s Chechnya leaves out Saudis, creating fresh religious strife — this time within Islam’s Sunni sect
Political conflicts in the Middle East between the Saudi-led camp of Sunni powers and a rival Shiite camp led by Iran have already morphed into a religious war. Now, a theological dispute within Sunni Islam is causing another regional political rift — a result of an initially obscure conference in Russia’s Chechen Republic.
Chechnya’s strongman Ramzan Kadyrov — just re-elected with a modest 98% of the vote — is a follower of the Sufi current of Sunni Islam. The diverse and more mystical version of the Muslim faith is one long at odds with the puritan Islam promoted by Saudi Arabia and based on the teachings of 18th-century cleric Mohammed ibn Abdel Wahhab.
Normally, Mr. Kadyrov, a former Islamist rebel known for his fierce loyalty to President Vladimir Putin and for using his Instagram account to solicit citizens’ help in locating a missing cat, isn’t considered an authority on Islamic affairs, at least not outside Chechnya. But buoyed by Russia’s new influence in the Middle East after last year’s intervention in Iran-allied Syria, he managed to bring some of the Muslim world’s most famous luminaries to a conference in late August in the Chechen capital of Grozny.
The conference, co-sponsored by an Islamic foundation in the United Arab Emirates, was attended by the imam of Al-Azhar Grand Mosque in Cairo, advisers to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, influential Yemeni cleric Habib Ali Jifri and the mufti of Syria, among others. Its mission was no less ambitious than determining who qualifies to be a Sunni Muslim. Read the rest of this entry »
The Mahathir-Anwar reconciliation is creating waves in Indonesia, and is the subject of inquiry of the many political leaders and public intellectuals I met during the four-day visit to Jakarta and Yogyakarta.
This is the third overseas visit by DAP leaders to learn and update on the latest political developments with regard to Islam and democracy, particularly in Moslem-majority nations.
The countries first visited were Jordan and Egypt in April last year, followed by visits to Tunisia and Turkey last October. Read the rest of this entry »
Rendi A. Witular
The Jakarta Post
January 25 2016
Unlike his contemporaries, cleric and terrorist convict Aman Abdurrahman has never seen war. He never fights along his fellow jihadists in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria or in any domestic sectarian conflict.
But Aman’s preaching is so contagious that Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, the elder statesman of the regional terrorism network, has succumbed to his doctrine and authority.
Aman’s notoriety was recently extended with the alleged involvement of his followers in an attack targeting police and foreigners in a Central Jakarta district packed with shopping centers, embassies, the UN headquarters and government offices on Jan. 14. The attack killed four civilians and four perpetrators. Read the rest of this entry »
World Politics Review
Aug. 30, 2016
During my last visit to Malaysia in February, I met the famed film director Chiu Keng Guan to discuss his fourth and latest movie, “Ola Bola.” It had just come out in local cinemas and was already proving to be such a sensation that one newspaper asked if there was an “Ola Bola overload.” A little misty-eyed perhaps, the film is a fictionalized account of the Malaysian national football team’s qualification for the 1980 Olympic Games, arguably one of the country’s finest sporting milestones, made all the more memorable by the fact that it was achieved by a multiracial, multireligious team.
“Ola Bola is a story about Malaysia,” Chiu told me as we sat on the steps of the decaying Stadium Merdeka, where independence from Britain was announced in 1957. “I wanted to talk about team spirit, how a team of young players went through difficulties, trained together, sweated together, and how they worked as a team.”
Being in Malaysia at the time of the film’s release, it wasn’t difficult to notice that, aside from the nostalgia, people were speaking of it as a piece of social commentary in a country where racial and religious tensions are never far from the surface. One critic surmised, “Ola Bola [has] been able to do for Malaysia what many politicians cannot do—to remind us as a nation and as Malaysians, ‘kita menang sama-sama, kita kalah sama-sama’”: We win together; we lose together. One cannot help but feel the critic’s words were even more pertinent months later when politicians forced the country into yet another existential debate.
In May, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, PAS), an opposition party, successfully tabled a bill to introduce strict Islamic criminal codes, known as “hudud,” in the northern state of Kelantan, which has been a PAS stronghold since 1990. Hudud are criminal punishments established by the Quran and Sunnah, the oral teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, which typically cover what are deemed criminal offenses, such as theft, fornication, intoxication, apostasy and slander. Punishments can include the amputation of limbs for theft, flogging for “improper” sexual acts and stoning to death for adultery, although the latter is not always imposed. Read the rest of this entry »
by Scott Shaneaug,
New York Times
Aug. 25, 2016
Critics see Saudi Arabia’s export of a rigid strain of Islam as contributing to terrorism, but the kingdom’s influence depends greatly on local conditions.
WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump do not agree on much, but Saudi Arabia may be an exception. She has deplored Saudi Arabia’s support for “radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism.” He has called the Saudis “the world’s biggest funders of terrorism.”
The first American diplomat to serve as envoy to Muslim communities around the world visited 80 countries and concluded that the Saudi influence was destroying tolerant Islamic traditions. “If the Saudis do not cease what they are doing,” the official, Farah Pandith, wrote last year, “there must be diplomatic, cultural and economic consequences.”
And hardly a week passes without a television pundit or a newspaper columnist blaming Saudi Arabia for jihadist violence. On HBO, Bill Maher calls Saudi teachings “medieval,” adding an epithet. In The Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria writes that the Saudis have “created a monster in the world of Islam.”
The idea has become a commonplace: that Saudi Arabia’s export of the rigid, bigoted, patriarchal, fundamentalist strain of Islam known as Wahhabism has fueled global extremism and contributed to terrorism. As the Islamic State projects its menacing calls for violence into the West, directing or inspiring terrorist attacks in country after country, an old debate over Saudi influence on Islam has taken on new relevance. Read the rest of this entry »
Koon Yew Yin
COMMENT In two months from now, Parliament will be sitting again. What is at stake for the nation is nothing less than our way of life and our Malaysian dream.
This is because a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 will be tabled and debated at that sitting.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has been going around to claim that this bill is only to upgrade the Syariah Courts and that it has nothing to do with non-Muslims.
PAS-oriented analysts and ulama leaders have also commented that it is not really a “Hudud Bill” and that it’s passage is only intended to pave the way for PAS to enforce its version of the Islamic penal code in Kelantan. Hence they argue that its effect will be limited.
However, Hadi and his supporters are only trying to fool the public. Read the rest of this entry »
by RICHARD ENGEL
JUL 6 2016
ISTANBUL, Turkey — Muslims around the world on Wednesday were celebrating Eid, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. But this year, the end of the month of fasting brings special relief because ISIS turned Ramadan — a time of prayer, charity and self-restraint — into a month of terror.
The terror group used Ramadan as a rallying cry for violence.
But was the wave of attacks — from Turkey to Bangladesh, Baghdad to Medina — a sign of ISIS strength or weakness? The answer may be a bit of both. Read the rest of this entry »
Hari Raya 2016 will be held in a very sombre backdrop, both nationally and internationally.
On the eve of Hari Raya Aildifitri, the Police have confirmed that Malaysia is in the crosshair of Islamic State terrorism, with the attack on Movida nightclub in Puchong last Tuesday the first act of terror by Islamic State (IS) elements in the country and the arrest of 15 IS militants.
Internationally, there has been a wave of unprecedented Islamic State terrorist attacks killing hundreds of innocent lives, ranging from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Malaysia and the world must stand guard against extremist interpretations of Islam, like turning Ramadan from a month of restraint and reflection into a month of war and conquests or nearer home, the classification of DAP and non-Muslims as “kafir harbi” who could be slain. Read the rest of this entry »
Does the Najib government accept Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara 1970 that provide that all Malaysians are citizens and not “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi” and what it proposes to do to stop the rhetoric of hate, intolerance and bigotry
The Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr. Abdul Rahman Osman is trying to pull the wool over the people’s eyes, by inventing a new category of “kafir harbi” who need not be slain or put to death, following religiously the Prime Minister’s Office’s statement last Wednesday which “whitewashed” instead of condemning the mufti’s statement by coining a new category of “kafir harbi”.
Does the Najib government accept Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara 1970 that provide that all Malaysians are citizens and not “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi” and what it proposes to do with official religious officers who preach the dangerous message of hate, intolerance and bigotry in plural Malaysia by classifying DAP and non-Muslims who disagree with Hadi’s hudud motion or hudud law as “kafir harbi”?
Three days ago, the Christian Federation of Malaysia chairperson Eu Hong Seng expressed dismay at the “silence over the years as our society is hit by the divisive issues of race and religion” and called for the Prime Minister’s leadership at such an “incendiary” statement by the Pahang mufti by eradicating such rhetoric.
Eu stressed that Malaysians had a constitutional right to question implementation of Islamic laws as “Questioning, doubting, or rejecting any change in laws or policy – such as with establishing hudud – is the fundamental constitutional right of all Malaysians”.
Eu said hudud is a small part of the syariah, not even constantly or consistently applied throughout the history of Islam, so how can such Malaysians be designated as enemies of Islam?
Five days ago, 55 NGOs of the Malaysian’s multi-racial and multi-religious civil society, in a joint declaration, stressed that all Malaysians are citizens, and no more “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi”. Read the rest of this entry »