Isnin, 14 Oktober 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Parliament Must Replace Najib With Tengku Razaleigh

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 06:44 PM PDT

With the Will and Guidance of Allah, SWT, Najib can spare himself this unprecedented disgrace and simultaneously relieve his fellow parliamentarians of this distasteful chore by ceding the Prime Ministership to Tengku Razeleigh (TR-2). By gracefully withdrawing now, Najib could return later to lead his party for the 14th national election, and would be a better leader for this voluntary hiatus.

Should Najib contemplate being stubborn, he should remind himself of similar parliamentary practices resulting in the ejection of his contemporaries. In August, British MPs denied Prime Minister Cameron his motion to intervene in Syria. This defying the leader is also not alien to UMNO. TR-1 did it to Tunku Abdul Rahman, albeit in a soft, subtle way. The wise and sensitive Tunku readily saw the signals.

A parliamentary no-confidence vote would not affect Najib's UMNO presidency. The constitution does not mandate the leader of a ruling party should also be prime minister. That is only tradition, tenable only as long as he has Parliament's confidence.

As UMNO has the largest parliamentary representation, it is appropriate that one of its members should be the Prime Minister. There is no better choice than TR-2. He is a glittering gem to the sparkle of pebbles that is the current UMNO leadership. He also has the exquisite synthesis of talent and experience.

Rest assured that TR-2 would not be preoccupied with reelections and the consequent pandering to various constituencies, Najib's destructive obsession. He would focus exclusively on running the country. With no children, TR-2 would have no grandiose pretensions of starting a political dynasty, yet another preoccupation of current leaders.

Malaysians can be assured that TR-2, like TR-1, would pick only the competent and untainted to be his ministers and advisors. They would reflect the man; his team would be the antithesis of Najib's. TR-2 has no need for courtiers or cheerleaders.

Unlike Najib, TR-2's executive and leadership abilities have been tested inside and outside of government. Malaysians can be assured that there would be no freelancers or lone rangers in TR-2's team spouting out offensive racial taunts. Najib on the other hand could not restrain the extremist ulamas on his payroll who think that the marriage of a Muslim to a non-Muslim is invalid.

Najib is not up to par even when compared to his lackluster predecessor, Abdullah Badawi. With Abdullah, Malaysians within and beyond his party clearly expressed their disapproval; some politely, others less so. The man recognized this and wisely withdrew.

Dissatisfaction with Najib is palpable even or especially within his party. However, he is a stubborn mule, and with as much insight. He must be told in no uncertain terms by Parliament that his leadership is wanting. As a dumb mule responds only to a big stick, anything less would not do it.

Relieved from running the country, Najib could focus on ridding UMNO of its fortune seekers. They mock the party's aspiration of Agama, Bangsa, Negara (Faith, Race, and Country). There is nothing Islamic or Malay about corruption, cheating and the plundering of our nation's wealth. There is no reflected glory for Malays to see UMNO leaders grow glutton on hogging the public trough. Malaysia would be far better without these scoundrels.



Malaysia's "Allah Controversy" revisited

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 06:34 PM PDT

Only in Malaysia is the world perhaps witnessing a raging debate on who has the patent to the word 'Allah'; simply translated as 'the/that god.' It seems to be a seasonal debate to get the political parties to wrestle over the linguistic or semiotic of the word; one that connotes and denotes 'the Force of Divinity' that Man has attempted to understand, revere, love, and fear yet can never comprehend. This is simply because we are in a matrix of truth and representation, and in a prison-house of language unable to see what the Ultimate Reality looks like.

What's in a name? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. And even more so this Shakespearean "a rose is a rose" type of problematique seems relevant in a world of political manipulations such as in Malaysia when race and religion are the twin determinants of political evolution.

The debate on the origin of the word 'Allah' is obviously interesting as a topic of dissertation or as an inquiry theme in fields such as bio-semantics, bio-semiotics, linguistic philosophy, philology, or the study of the transcultural flow of language as yours truly embarked upon on the origin of the words 'Cyberjaya' and 'Putrajaya' in a dissertation submitted to Columbia University, a few years back.
To ascertain the origin of the word 'Allah' might also yield those studying it to also explore the origin of the concept of 'god', 'religion', 'scriptures', and even the notion of soteriology in the study of religion; a human enterprise that began with the agriculture society and what the sociologist Karl Wittfogel would term as the 'hydraulic societies'.

The attempt to name 'god' and to call it by 'special nouns' have been a human cognitive exercise since Man has been trying to figure our what causes his crop to do well or to be damaged or destroyed, the night to go dark and the sun to illuminate, or the fate of his or her clan as the tribe moves from one planting area to another after slashing and burning crops.

The search for 'god', perhaps noted as early as the discovery of cave paintings in Southern France moving on to the conceptualisation of the Divine and Ultimate Reality, to the birth of Zorastrianism, to Judaism, to Christianity, and to Islam (in the Fertile Crescent) and in the non-monotheistic conception of it in cultural philosophies such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism (in the Indus valley).

These are ways that Man has tried to name the un-namable, explain the unexplainable, and conceive the unconceivable.

I am not sure if there have been controversies or people killing each other over who has the right to the name of this or that god. The Romans and the Greeks have gods in common playing different roles, but I have not come across crisis and conflict in such naming of gods in these two civilisations.



The story of Sabah’s two most powerful politicians and their gentleman’s agreement that ...

Posted: 12 Oct 2013 11:46 PM PDT

The current political landscape in Sabah is dominated by two heavyweights – Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Federal Minister for Rural and Regional Development Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

It is a fact that Musa Aman and Shafie Apdal are currently the two most powerful politicians in Sabah, each with their own supporters and detractors.

But it is also no secret that Musa Aman and Shafie Apdal don't see eye to eye, let alone talk to each other.

Even if their paths do cross inadvertently, be it at official functions or party gatherings, they quickly shake hands, mumble greetings and turn the other way around.

But more than a decade ago, both men were good friends.
Situation, circumstances and the people surrounding them is certainly to be blamed for the animosity between these two astute, intelligent and shrewd politicians.
There is also a third force active in Sabah politics that want to see both men removed from their respective positions and this was the group that initially started to pit Musa with Shafie, and vice-versa.
This third force comprises few shadowy characters within Sabah Umno itself and from component parties in Sabah, not to mention those who have a beef with either Musa or Shafie.
Some party veterans in Sabah claim the political rift between Musa and Shafie is beyond repair, but others believe they will readily bury their hatchet if the situation warrants the need for them to work together for a greater cause.

Shafie hails from a family with deep political ties with Umno.
His uncle (mother's brother) is Tun Sakaran Dandai, Sabah's first Chief Minister from Umno.

For more than three decades, the families of Sakaran Dandai and Shafie Apdal have worked and struggled for Umno.

There is no question on their loyalty to the party.
Sakaran Dandai and his colleagues prepared the framework that played a pivotal role in Sabah Umno becoming a dominant party in the state in the 90s.

Shafie is a close confidant of Prime Minister Najib Razak and served as Deputy Defence Minister when Najib was Defence Minister between 1999 and 2004.
Over the years, Shafie has earned Najib's trust and their relationship has grown beyond politics.

Najib feels secure when he is with Shafie. He never has to second guess or doubt Shafie's loyalty unlike a few other politicians within the party.
Musa on the other hand, never had that kind of relationship with Najib.

But he made efforts to become close with the First Family and eventually earned the trust of First Lady Rosmah Mansor.
It is a known fact amongst senior Sabah politicians that Musa has Rosmah's ears.

And in his own way, Musa has proved his loyalty to Najib and takes great effort to maintain strong ties with Putrajaya.
Much of the bad blood between Musa and Shafie started more than a decade ago when both politicians' careers started to rise.

Shafie rose to prominence in the Federal scene while Musa took the top job of running the state.
While it is not really possible to pinpoint the one single cause that led to the cracks in their relationship, many believe it was over the way Shafie and Musa handled the state's coffers.
Shafie was known to be generous while Musa was very selective about spending, to a point that prudence was the keyword.
Camps aligned to Shafie become unhappy with Musa's management of the state while camps aligned with Musa became unhappy with Shafie's way of doing things in the state as well as federal level.
All this infighting gave a splendid opportunity for the third force within Sabah's political echelons to further aggravate the situation between Musa and Shafie.
There are also stories on how Shafie's powerful Rural Ministry with billions under allocation refused to hand over it funds for Sabah to Musa because of the people associated with Musa.
It is learned that Shafie's camp was concerned that the funds might not reach the intended people but end up in the wrong hands. 

Musa's camp, on the other hand, was angry that only people deemed aligned to Shafie were getting lucrative infrastructure contracts.
Each time the rift became wider, and more controversies surfaced, the third force was smiling gleefully.


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