Jumaat, 8 November 2013

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Mohamad vs Mohd: Why should anyone care about the PAS elections?

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 10:51 AM PST

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/assets/uploads/resizer/MOHAMAD_SABU_240913_TMINAJJUA_01_200_133_100.jpg 

(TMI) - If PR manages to one day rule the country, PAS as the dominant Malay-Muslim party will have a crucial voice in determining government policies and the country's direction. 

Who was that again?

This was the response from a Selangor-based national PKR leader when told that Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah would be the sole challenger to Mohamad Sabu (pic, right), PAS's incumbent deputy chief.

This article, however, is not meant to deride Mohd Amar, who is Kelantan deputy menteri besar, or in anyway lobby for Mohamad.

But the reflexive response from the PKR leader, who requested anonymity, is an indicator of what is at stake in the upcoming PAS party elections later this month.

The 58-year-old Islamist party is the largest component in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in terms of membership. It also has hopes of replacing Umno as the party that represents Malay-Muslims as seen in its slogan "PAS ganti Umno".

If PR manages to one day rule the country, PAS as the dominant Malay-Muslim party will have a crucial voice in determining government policies and the country's direction.

So, the PAS deputy president is expected to be a leader with intelligence and charisma who is comfortable on the national stage and also with all Malaysian communities.

Who fills the post of deputy president and the make up of the party's central committee will also determine whether the party goes back to becoming inward-looking and conservative or whether it continues to reach out to a larger pluralistic audience.

Also of importance is whether the new leadership continues to stay the course with PR, seeing as how there have been rumblings after the May 5 elections from certain leaders who wanted PAS to reconsider its relationship in the coalition. 

Mohd Hisomudin Bakar of the independent think tank, Ilham Centre, believes that delegates who will vote for the post of deputy chief and 18 members of the party's central working committee (CWC) are looking for leaders with vision.

"They want leaders who can plan, who can chart a direction for the party to take it to the next level," said Hisomudin.

Going by the results of PAS's kawasan annual general meetings (PAS's version of divisions), Hisomudin believes that the party's grassroots want their delegates to make rational, practical choices for the CWC and the senior posts.  

"What is interesting in the contest for the deputy president's post is that the two people who got the highest nominations have pulled out."

He was referring to party information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and vice president Datuk Husam Musa. Both have announced that they are not contesting the post.

According to Hisomudin, Mohamad leads Mohd Amar in terms of nominations. 

Pundits have described the contest between the two as being a tussle between the party's conservatives (who support Mohd Amar) and progressives (who want Mohamad).

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/mohamad-vs-mohd-why-should-anyone-care-about-the-pas-elections 

No appeal against Ling's acquittal in PKFZ case

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 10:48 AM PST

http://www.fz.com/sites/default/files/styles/1_landscape_slider_photo/public/ling%20n%20ena.jpg 

(fz.com) - It appears that former Transport Minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik is truly a free man after the Attorney-General Chambers decided not to appeal against his acquittal in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) land deal.

Today was the last day of the 14-day deadline for the AGC to file the appeal following Ling's acquittal on Oct 25. As of 7pm, fz.com understands that there has been no decision on the matter.

The former minister, 70, has been acquitted over three charges of cheating the government in relation to the PKFZ development project.

It was reported that High Court judge Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi had said that Ling "had discharged his burden of raising reasonable doubt upon the prosecution's case".

The former MCA president was accused of cheating the government by not disclosing to the cabinet an additional interest rate of 7.5% per annum on the purchase price of the land for the PKFZ project, knowing that it had been fixed at RM1,088,456,000 by the Valuation and Property Services Department.

He also faced two alternative charges of cheating and intentionally not disclosing to the cabinet that the 7.5% per annum was an additional interest rate on the land price.

Ling was alleged to have committed the offences at Level 4, Prime Minister's Office, Perdana Putra Building, in Putrajaya between Sept 25 and Nov 6, 2002.

He was represented by Wong Kian Kheong.

In his written judgement, Ahmadi said that Ling's only interest in the case was acquiring the piece of land as soon as possible after things were "moving too slowly" despite the Cabinet deciding to purchase the land in 1999.

Ahmadi had said that the issue of concealing the valuation by the Valuation and Property Services department (JPPH) and the element of interest payable for the purchase was a "non-issue" as it was the Finance Ministry (MOF) that determined the purchase price and had full knowledge of the total cost incurred.

Ahmadi also noted that there was no evidence on who initiated the PKFZ project involving the land procurement, with evidence making it clear that Ling was not involved.

The probe into the PKFZ land deal started in early 2009 after then Port Klang Authority chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng lodged a report following a financial audit of the project.

 

MNS cries foul over Pos Malaysia’s alleged stamp plagiarism

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 10:46 AM PST

http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/Images/TSOL/Photos-Gallery/Nation/2013/11/01/7HWs0WP.ashx?w=620&h=413&crop=1& 
(The Star) - Its president Prof Maketab Mohammad said that although the media house responsible for designing the stamps claimed that the images were merely 'drafts', the excuse is still not valid since the images were uploaded to Pos Malaysia's official Stamp and Philately Facebook page. 
 
The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) has voiced its disappointment over Pos Malaysia's alleged used of plagiarised bird photos in their Visit Malaysia 2014 stamp collection.

Its president Prof Maketab Mohammad said that although the media house responsible for designing the stamps claimed that the images were merely 'drafts', the excuse is still not valid since the images were uploaded to Pos Malaysia's official Stamp and Philately Facebook page.

"Even if these were 'drafts', the use of images without permission is still wrong," he said in a statement.

Last week, photographers Romy Ocon and Con Foley claimed that the images used in the stamp are theirs and they have not received credit for their work.

Singapore-based Foley said: "The image of the Malaysian Hill Partridge is mine, and I was neither contacted nor credited," he responded when contacted through Facebook.

Ocon had reportedly said that he was satisfied that the national postal agency had suffered bad publicity and has stopped using his image in their stamps. As such, he will not be pursuing legal action.

Prof Maketab hoped that the incident would serve as a reminder for parties to be mindful of copyrights and intellectual property of others.

"MNS is always available to act in an advisory capacity to all with regards to promoting the celebration, awareness and conservation of Malaysia's unique wildlife and plants," he said.

On whether the MNS has been in touch with the other photographers whose claimed that their images of birds had been used without credit, Prof Maketab said there was no direct communication between both parties.

"But there has been communication through other photographers who are also MNS members," he added.

MNS Perak Branch Bird Group coordinator Dr Chan Kai Soon said: "From what Neoh Hor Kee (MNS Penang member and lawyer) writes on the MNS Perak Bird Facebook group, it seems he or his law firm may have been engaged by one of the photographers."

The MNS will wait for Pos Malaysia's response on the issue before taking any further action.

Media Eye Sdn Bhd, the design house commissioned to produce the stamps in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, released a statement to The Star on Wednesday saying that the images posted were only intended as drafts and not the final version of the stamps.

Media Eye is a design house under public relations agency World Communications Network Resources. 

The stamps were originally planned to be released later this month but have since been removed from Pos Malaysia's Facebook page and queries regarding it remain unanswered.

Worst Educational Measure Ever? Making History a Compulsory Pass Subject

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 10:42 AM PST

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_jbAukQcWP_g/TICwZn14RYI/AAAAAAAAHIw/2m4DefmvAUI/s320/utar-kampar-koon-yew-yin.jpg 

We already have one film producer, Shuhaimi Baba failing to distinguish between fact and fiction and lies, distortions and truth in the film, Tanda Puteri. The new policy will see other such bigoted and opportunistic individuals being nurtured to emerge and ply their propagandist products to Malaysians. 

Koon Yew Yin 

The recent policy decision to make history a compulsory pass for SPM students ranks as one of the most ill-conceived and irresponsible measure ever introduced into the Malaysian educational system since we gained our independence.

According to the Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, the move is an effort toward teaching students to become good citizens.

"It is not our intention to fail them. We intend to pass them, but at least let them know the basic history of our country. He also said that if history is not made a compulsory-pass, many treat the subject as unimportant and they don't want to know our history, what happened in the past and will not appreciate what we have now," he said.

Everyone knows what a bad state Malaysian education is in. At the secondary school level standards of mathematics and science are low; fluency of Bahasa and English is poor; and knowledge of ICT and technology is limited. At the same time competence in skills such as analysis, problem solving, reasoning and communication are lacking.

These are the core subjects and skills that need more time and attention if Malaysia is ever going to make it to the first or even second rung of nations. Without mastering them we will continue to wallow amongst the also-run nations living off our oil and gas bonanza which will end sooner or later. Without improving on these internationally core subjects and other work-related learning, we will continue to churn out even worse than half baked high school products who will enter the job market or colleges and universities woefully unprepared and unable to compete with their peer group from other countries.

Instead of improving standards of attainment in these areas, what we are getting is a policy departure which will have the opposite effect. None of the advanced countries that I am aware of have a policy of making history a core subject. None of them insist that the student needs to have a pass in history before he is deemed to have successfully passed through his secondary education and can move on to higher studies or the job market with a formal certificate.

In Britain, a country after which we have patterned much of our educational system, history, geography and the arts are part of what is regarded as non-core non-compulsory subjects which are made available to students if they so desire to learn them. This should be our policy – history as a non-core, non-compulsory subject with no ulterior political or other agenda or objective or as an elective subject.

What will be the effect of the new policy measure? Firstly, we will see less time and attention given to the core subjects. Secondly we will have greater controversy rather than unity or loyalty. There has already been much opposition to the current history curriculum by many parents educationists which have gone unanswered by the authorities.

If the Minister of Education, Muhyiddin and his colleague, Idris Jusoh, believe that making history a compulsory pass subject will make for good and loyal citizens, they are badly mistaken. What will happen are the following negative impacts:

1. Students will regurgitate what is necessary to earn a pass. There will be no attempt made to instill critical and analytical skills as these skills will lead to a questioning of key subjects such as the pre-Islamic history and culture;the British and immigrant role in building up modern Malaysia; the anti-Japanese and nationalist movement; the struggle for independence; what happened during May 13; etc.

2. If the history curriculum is as badly skewed as shown by the Kempen Sejarah Sebenar (KemSMS) or Campaign for True Malaysian History group, then we will see racial and religious extremists and bigots get their introduction in indoctrination in the schools leading to greater polarization.

Read more at: http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2013/11/08/worst-educational-measure-ever-making-history-a-compulsory-pass-subject/ 

Crucial contest will decide PAS’ future

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 08:57 AM PST

http://i.imgur.com/xkDaB0N.jpg

Of course, watching keenly on the sideline is PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, whose ardent wish is to see the liberals triumph so that he can exert some form of influence over the Islamist party.

The Ant Daily 

When PAS holds its crucial election on Nov 22, the stage is all set for a clash between the fundamentalists and liberals as they decide who will be the next deputy president.

Incumbent Datuk Mohamad Sabu, or popularly known as Mat Sabu, is expected to face a stiff challenge from fundamentalist Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.

Incumbent Datuk Husam Musa, a liberal, was said to be to going for the number two post but he has now decided to defend his vice-president's post.

"My decision to contest the vice-president's post is based on the fact that I received the most number of nominations for this post," he said in a brief statement.

With Husam out of the picture, the race will be a mainly between Mat Sabu and Amar.

More importantly, the outcome of the election will dictate which direction the party will take – the path of liberalism or fundamentalism.

If the liberals get the upper hand, their goal is to win the general election and stay put in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

If the fundamentalists take over, they want to resume their original struggle of upholding Islam and setting up an Islamic state, and reviewing their ties with DAP and PKR.

Of course, watching keenly on the sideline is PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, whose ardent wish is to see the liberals triumph so that he can exert some form of influence over the Islamist party.

Mat Sabu and Husam are with the liberal camp while PAS information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Taun Man and Amar are identified as fundamentalists or conservatives. Both sides are working hard to influence the 2,000-odd delegates to the party assembly.

Tuan Ibrahim is not in the race as he has expressed his interest in contesting for the vice-president's position.

The two other incumbent vice-presidents are Salahuddin Ayub and Mahfuz Omar.

Husam is trying hard to defend his post as his "political life" in Kelantan is hanging in the balance when he was not picked as an executive council member in the state.

A few months ago, Husam created a controversy when he questioned the performance of state-linked companies, which sparked a row between him and the fundamentalists who are governing the state. 

READ MORE HERE 

More than just a storm in the tea cup for Gani?

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 08:50 AM PST

http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae159/Malaysia-Today/Mug%20shots/gani.jpg 
 
Mohsin Abdullah, Fz.com 
 
THEORIES a plenty – now that many have come to know of (via online media with Malaysiakini first breaking it) the mystery meeting between famous lawyer Datuk Shafee Abdullah, former top cop Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – during which the "misconduct" of AG Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was discussed.
  
In attendance also were Matthias Chang, Mahathir's former political secretary and another top cop Datuk Ramli Yusof who has had his share of "run-ins" with the AG. So it was reported.
 
Also of Mat Zain's extensive statutory declaration against Gani – "suggesting" for want of a better word, that the AG was "ill prepared" before the International Court of Justice resulting in the loss of Pulau Batu Putih to Singapore.
 
We all know the details by now. Hence the big question – are the allegations true? Hence the call by Mat Zain himself, for a RCI to look into it. In the event of that happening, then that poser will be answered. Should be anyway. 
 
So the next big question – why? As to why all these "things" are hurled at Gani. With all the "central figures" keeping mum, theories a-plenty, as said earlier. One such "theory"  is the mystery meeting "suggests a move against the AG".
 
Before this Batu Putih SD, Mat Zain has been sending open letters to the authorities urging action against allegedly corrupt government officers involved in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's first sodomy trial. And he had also alleged that Gani had fabricated evidence in the course of investigations into Anwar's black eye incident. Mat Zain was, then, the investigating officer.
 
So it's not wrong to say Mat Zain has been "consistent" with his allegations.
 
But why is Mahathir involved? Is he "going after Gani"? Aides of the former PM didn't want to respond. According to an acquaintance of Gani, said the former PM and the AG enjoy good relations. 
 
Which brings us to Shafee. Is he also "out to get" the AG? If so, why? Wasn't it the AG who had appointed him to head the prosecution in the appeal against Anwar's acquittal on the second sodomy charge?
 
Another "theory" has it as this being a case of "someone stepping on someone's toes". No details. No specifics as to who is stepping on whose toes.
 
There's also this talk of the AG becoming too powerful for the powerful – thus this "attempt to get rid of him". Again, nothing to back it up as to who 'the powerful' are and what big cases are being pursued.
 
People who are supposed to be in the know, even among the legal fraternity, are not talking. Not openly, at least. Except to say "baffling" and "interesting" when asked  just what is going on. Nothing more.
 
But to PAS Youth's Ahmad Zamri Asa'ad Khuzaimi, himself a lawyer, considering the people who attended the meeting with Mahathir "it appears that the revelation to the media is to put pressure on Gani and his boss Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak".
 
Now, on to remarks made by Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as reported by The Malaysian Insider. Said the former AG, it's pointless to congregate at someone's house and badmouth the individual without pursuing further action.
 
Therefore, those with evidence of criminal wrong doing by the AG must be responsible enough to lodge police reports and stand by the allegations, said Abu Talib.
 
But to Lawyers for Liberty co-founder Eric Paulsen, state institutions like the police, the AG's Chambers and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) are not free from political interference and as such, police reports if any, made against Gani "will come to nothing".


Read more at : 
http://www.fz.com/content/mohsin-abdullah-more-just-storm-tea-cup-gani

A matter of individual choice, not communal right

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 08:36 AM PST

http://i.imgur.com/XlLspTH.jpg


It is wrong to over-exaggerate the situation, as if Muslims are 'persecuted' or 'oppressed' with regards to the hijab, which is how some voices (especially those with an "axe to grind") are portraying it.

Yes, one may argue the State has not been sufficiently reasonable with regards to the policy, yet the matter must be argued in a rational and fair manner.

Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib, Today Online

Several people have asked why I've not weighed in on the 'hijab issue'. To be frank, the only reason why I'm apprehensive about commenting on the matter is because of the way the issue has been crafted and the utter lack of civility, divisive attitude and extremely patriarchal and bigoted nature of some of its major proponents who are dominating the various social media platforms, particularly on the Malay online sites.

But here's my stand on the matter, in gist.

1. This matter is a political issue, not a religious issue. Therefore, any discussions on the matter must be submitted to public reason, not theological arguments. The issue has to do with policies in dealing with multicultural space in Singapore. As such, there must be an over-arching framework in dealing with such issues.

2. The over-arching framework, in my opinion, ought to be individual liberty and the right to practice his/her religion as long as it does not infringe on the fundamental rights of others, cause harm to others or undermine the nation-building process.

This matter, therefore, must not be seen as an assertion of communal right, as no one person, group or institution can lay claim to being representative of the entire Muslim community. The call for allowing hijab must be seen within the lens of individual liberty and rights with regards to practising his/her religious belief.

3. The call for women to be able to don hijab in the uniformed services and front-line jobs in government sectors is legitimate from the standpoint of point 2. The hijab can be tailored to match the uniform, as has been done in many government and private sectors in Singapore and other countries. It does not infringe on the rights of others nor cause harm to others, nor is it inimical to the nation-building process (which professedly subscribes to 'multiculturalism' policy)

4. It must be noted that the call for allowing Muslim women to don the hijab is not equivalent to ensuring all Muslim women don the hijab. The latter is undesirable, nor should be tolerated as it infringes again on the liberty and right of an individual to dress as she deems fit according to her personal or religious belief.

5. The wearing or non-wearing of hijab must be left to the individual's discretion and no woman should be coerced to wear it on religious grounds, just as she cannot be coerced to take it off on secular grounds.

On religious grounds, the hijab has always been a subject of contention even among Muslim jurists and scholars of the past and present, and wearing/not wearing it has never been part of the fundamental belief system of Islam. However, traditionally, the hijab has been seen as part of the (non-definitive) Muslim women's attire and the State ought to respect this standpoint and allow ease for those who so choose to wear it.

6. Public education must continue in ensuring that Muslims and non-Muslims, men and women, do not adopt stereotypical views on the hijab and confuse the women wearing it as ignorant or oppressed, nor with the view that women who do not wear it as immoral or immodest.

READ MORE HERE 

Pakatan, wake up!

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 08:23 AM PST

http://i.imgur.com/ctTGsBR.jpg 

Selena Tay, FMT 

It is high time Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders stir themselves back into action. Why so?

Consider recent events: a hike in RON95 petrol price from RM1.90 to RM2.10 in early September, announcement of the GST (Goods & Services Tax) implementation in April 2015 and re-delineation of electoral boundaries beginning end of this year.

PR leaders should organise ceramahs to inform the rakyat about the impact of the GST on one's pocket. BN are already launching their nationwide efforts to explain the GST to the citizens.

Although Pakatan have organised some forums – the pace is very slow.

Pakatan needs to present their side of the argument as the BN Government will do everything in its power to present the GST as a people-friendly tax.

Pro-GST economists will inform the rakyat that many goods are zero-rated but will not tell the rakyat that most goods are not.

Under the present system of Sales & Service Tax (SST), over 3,000 items are tax-exempted but under the GST system, over 1,000 items only are to be given tax-exemption.

Low-income earners need to buy soap – previously they do not pay tax on the soap, now they will. The same goes for stationery, toothpaste, detergent and other daily necessities, not to mention shoes, bags, etc.

Does this not show clearly that the poor will be taxed?

A taxi driver told this columnist that the GST is a method of 'forcing' the poor to pay taxes through the purchase of items needed for daily living, therefore low-wage earners will have less money in their pockets once GST is implemented.

"The BN government is trying to deceive me by saying that GST is good. How is it good for me when I have less money in my pocket?

"Only stupid people will believe the government," said the taxi driver who goes by the surname of Ng.

Regarding BR1M, Ng said that it is only a small amount which will not cover the GST he will be paying the whole year round, as prices of goods will also go up in the course of a year.

How long should PR leaders rest?

Ng remarked that it is time for PR leaders to organise a protest against the RON95 price hike and the GST.

He lamented that of late, PR seemed to be in deep slumber. Although Pakatan leaders had protested strongly and were present at Ground Zero against the demolition of Kg. Hakka in Negeri Sembilan.

The 25 people I recently interviewed, excluding relatives and neighbours, all shared the view that lately PR have been quiet and said perhaps it is due to political fatigue.

It is now six months after the 13th general election.

I knew that this time round, Pakatan was going to have some difficulties because the parliament debates after GE13 are not as 'hot' as the debates after GE12.

An ancient Chinese Military Manual states: 'a soldier who rests too long will fail to be a good soldier when war is declared' and 'a sword that is not in use is a useless sword'.

Pakatan leaders should shake off their lethargy and swing into action at a more vigorous pace, starting with GST ceramahs/forums.

There is no better time to kickstart momentum as now. My survey also revealed that all 25 respondents think the RON95 petrol price will be increased again, next month or latest before the end of Jan 2014.

The amount of increase according to these respondents' guess will be between 10sen to 30sen.

Too many protests may look bad and be energy-zapping, however, lack of protests will embolden the government to simply do whatever they like, such as raising the price of goods.

One must take note that there are already new petroleum producing countries, namely Brazil and Russia while countries that buy oil have maintained the same level of imports.

The price of petrol in the world market has dipped. So why is price of petrol going up in Malaysia?

Definitely the answer has got to be due to the government's mismanagement and that is the reason why subsidies have to be reduced – in order to fill/fuel up the government's coffers.

Thus on Pakatan's 'List Of Things To Do' will be to educate the rakyat regarding GST. And to organise a protest by April 2014 against the RON95 price hike plus the GST implementation.

Pakatan must wake up and give meaning to the phrase 'strong opposition watchdog'.

The ancient Chinese Military Manual also says: 'a soldier who rests too long will forget how to fight'. Pakatan leaders need to be reminded of this!

Dialogue is the only way forward

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 08:13 AM PST

http://i.imgur.com/5pOdQmT.png 

The responsibility of sincere and sensible Christians, Jews and Muslims of good conscience is to assist one another against wickedness and wicked people, and to work together in union and togetherness. 

Harun Yahya 

Following ratification of the ruling by the Malaysian Court of Appeals  that the name "Allah" can only be used by Muslims, Prime Minister Najib Razak once again defended the decision.What first needs to be said is that in the same way that this ruling is incompatible with the friendship of Christians and Muslims - who have lived together in Malaysia for many years -  it also conflicts with understanding of Islam itself.

Non-Muslims constitute some 40% of the population of Malaysia. The fact that copies of the Bible published in the Malay language 400 years ago used the term 'Allah' gives us a better idea of the problem to which this ban will lead. Alongside the question of social peace and understanding, there is no logic in religious terms in telling someone who uses the name 'Allah' that he must not do so. There is nothing troubling about a non-Muslim using the name Allah in prayer and worship; on the contrary, it is a cause for rejoicing for a Muslim. 

While this is going on in Malaysia, more interesting things are happening in Iran. No matter how much I say that there can be no solution until the deep state in Iran and Shiite extremism are eliminated, I still support all the initiatives, since the election of President Ruhani in Iran indicates a positive step forward for the region that will lead the way to peace and brotherhood. 

Following the election of Ruhani, major steps have been taken toward the dream of a freer Iran. Language denying the  Holocaust  is being abandoned, moderate messages from President Ruhani via Twitter on the occasion of  his U.S. visit, the telephone conversation between President Obama and President Ruhani, and President Ruhani ending his address to the U.N. by emphasizing the common values found in the Torah, the Gospels and the Qur'an are some of these strides forward. Another instance was added to these just the other day.

President Ruhani hosted Archbishop Leo Boccardi in his office. The message, accompanied by a photograph, that was published on Twitter following that meeting was exceedingly important. President Ruhani said:

"Today we have common objectives and enemies. Extremism and terrorism are our common enemies and, based on the divine teachings, human interactions and cooperation for the elimination of poverty and injustice are common objectives," We need to have a deeper knowledge of each other's beliefs and cultures, because nowadays, most of the gaps and enmities are rooted in unfamiliarity and lack of knowledge about each other's cultures."

President Ruhani's words are actually a reflection of the moral values recommended by Islam. According to Islam, Christians and Jews are the People of the Book, and Muslims' relations with the People of the Book are based on love and understanding. The faithfulness to the Prophet Jesus or the Prophet Moses of the People of the Book, and their loyalty to the Torah or the Gospels, are delightful things for Muslims.

Another important matter shaping Muslims' relations with the People of the Book is that it is lawful in Islam for Muslims to eat food prepared by them, and Muslim men are allowed to marry women from the People of the Book. The fact that Allah encourages Muslims to engage in such social relations is clear proof that He wishes us to establish warm and high-level human relations with the People of the Book. Sitting down at the same table and raising children together by marrying and spending a lifetime together is a fine and appropriate response from Islam to those who strive to create division and sow disagreement between the two communities.

There may have been various conflicts and disagreements between members of the three divine faiths in the past. However, these did not originate from the essence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but from mistaken ideas and opinions on the part of nations, communities and individuals, and from expectations of political or economic gain. Otherwise, one of the common aims of the three divine faiths is for all people to live in peace, tranquility and security, and all opinions that reject that aim and encourage conflict are mistaken in the eyes of all three faiths.

The responsibility of sincere and sensible Christians, Jews and Muslims of good conscience is to assist one another against wickedness and wicked people, and to work together in union and togetherness. That union must be built on the basis of the principles of love, respect, affection, compassion, understanding, harmony and cooperation.

So let us be united and work together to eliminate all the causes that might lead to conflict and fighting. Let us strive together against the bigotry that hinders such an alliance. Let us love and watch over one another. Let us not make differences of belief into pretexts for conflict. Let us build upon our common beliefs for unity and togetherness.

The writer has authored more than 300 books in 73 languages on political, faith-related and scientific topics.

Chinese community is not stubborn

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 12:15 AM PST

Sin Chew Daily

The BN has not only successfully reduced the majority votes of PAS in the Sungai Limau by-election, but the result also showed that 70% of Chinese votes have returned to the BN, even more than the expected 45%. It was a morale booster for the BN and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak also said that the result was encouraging.

During the general election in May this year, despite the BN had offered various friendly policies to the Chinese community, it did not receive the expected support rate but this time, it finally got a positive return. Of course, a by-election result reflected only the voting trend of the constituency instead of the Chinese community as a whole. After all, there were only 1,837 Chinese votes in Sungai Limau.

Kedah Menteri Besar, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir had reportedly said before the by-election that the state government would not entertain any requests from Chinese schools in Kedah and the remarks were severely attacked by Pakatan Rakyat, more or less affecting the voting tendency of Chinese voters. The situation was later saved by the RM2.25 million funds for Chinese schools announcement made by Deputy Prime Minister and Education Ministry Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the by-election result finally brought relief to Mukhriz.

The funds appropriation had indeed brought some effects and some senior Chinese voters were gratitude to the move, but it is believed that Chinese voters will continue to wait and see the governance ability, as well as the words and deeds of Mukhriz, particularly how he treats Chinese schools in the state, including whether the state government would appropriate funds to the three Chinese independent schools in the state. In the recent by-election, it is believed that many young Chinese voters had not returned to vote due to various reasons, making their voting tendency remains unknown.

Thus, the voting tendency of the Chinese shown in the by-election is interesting. It showed that the Chinese community is not stubborn and they actually know how to play a role even when they are the minority in an election to increase the weight of their votes and gain their interests through the political battle between the two major political parties in the two-party system. Of course, the Chinese community might not necessarily vote for the BN just because of the funds appropriation or some other benefits. It might bring some effects in the by-election but for the national political landscape, I'm afraid that it might not be able to bring a positive effect, but might provoke resentment and lead to the loss of some votes instead.

As Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said during an interview with the Sin Chew Daily, the BN cannot just rely on funding to win back Chinese votes. It is an outdated idea. The Chinese community is concerned not only about the development of Chinese education, but also other national issues, including corruption, the abuse of power and crimes. These are the factors affecting the Chinese voting tendency.

If the BN, particularly Umno, still pursues a rightist political thinking, makes racial politics the spindle, implements racial economic policies while taking political revenge against the Chinese, it will then never be able to regain the support and votes of the Chinese.

Overall, the Sungai Limau by-election showed that the Chinese community has been constantly observing the words and deeds of BN's component parties, particularly Umno, as well as Pakatan Rakyat. Voters, after all, are always the major decision-makers deciding the fate of political parties.

 

Muslim activists: Dr M’s daughter, Ambiga masterminds behind ‘anti-Islam’ NGO

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 07:34 PM PST

Marina Mahathir

(MM) - Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) accused today Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan of supporting a local human rights coalition called Comango, whose demands the Islamist group said were a threat to Islam.

Isma distributed 70,000 leaflets at mosques throughout the country after Friday prayers today that slammed Comango for calling for the freedom to renounce Islam; the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) rights; the removal of Malay privileges; the freedom to embrace Syiah teachings; and the right for Catholics to refer to God as "Allah", among other things.

"The leaflets were meant to explain to Muslims about Comango's demands that threaten the position of Islam in Malaysia and how it's backed by liberal figures and 54 anti-Islam NGOs," said Isma on its website today.

Comango is the acronym for the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the Universal Periodic Review Process, which had come under fire from several Muslim activists here who claim the group's human rights recommendations to the United Nations ran counter to the "true" teachings of Islam.

"Those who are behind it include Bersih chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan, Malaysiakini (chief executive officer) Premesh Chandran, Sisters in Islam board director Marina Mahathir, Tenaganita executive director Irene Fernandez, Suaram executive director Cynthia Gabriel, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) (director) Sonia Randhawa, Malaysia Youth & Students Democratic Movements (DEMA) secretary Yong Kin Yin, Suaram director Kua Kia Soong, and... Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general, S. Arutchelvan," it added.

The leaflets featured pictures of Marina, the eldest daughter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad; Ambiga, a prominent lawyer and co-chairman of election reform group Bersih 2,0; and the others named in Isma's list.

The Islamist activist group also named several non-government organisations as supporting Comango, highlighting Malaysia's umbrella group, which represents over 90 per cent of churches here at the top of its list.

Ambiga Sreenevasan

"The NGOs involved are the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), Seksualiti Merdeka, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Sisters in Islam (SIS), Pusat KOMAS, Association of Kindergarten Teachers in Peninsular Malaysia, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Childline Malaysia, and many more," said Isma.

Isma also claimed that only 12 of the 54 NGOs in Comango are registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

The Islamist group urged Putrajaya last Monday to Comango's proposals at the United Nation's (UN) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva recently.

Isma deputy president Aminuddin Yahya said the recommendations were an affront to religious sanctity and the sovereignty of the Federal Constitution for insisting on religious freedom, LGBT rights, the right of a Muslim to be an apostate and the removal of Malay privileges.

Isma, which has since signed on with a coalition of Muslim NGOs called MuslimUPRo, had also accused Comango of attempting to spread "liberalism teachings" backed by Western powers.

Comango countered that their report was merely an effort to encourage Malaysia to prove its commitment towards improving the lot of all Malaysians via the UPR.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, however, said last Tuesday that his administration is willing to listen to views "from all sectors" on human rights issues, but noted that such views must be in line with the founding principles of the country.

 

PKR rep: “How can I resign when I don’t know if I am really a member”

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 07:26 PM PST

(The Star) - PKR's Matunggong assemblyman Datuk Jelani Hamdan (pic) has taken one-step further away from the opposition party by quitting as its Sabah liaison committee vice chief.

In a twist to an ongoing spat with the PKR leadership, Jelani said he had never been a member of the party that he had applied to join in July 7, 2010.

He said he never received an official reply from the PKR about his membership application nor was he ever given a membership number.

On whether there was a need for him to resign from PKR, Jelani said: "How can I resign when I don't know if I am really a member."

Asked whether he should be a party member by virtue of winning the Matunggong state seat under the PKR ticket in the 13th general election, Jelani said his situation was similar to that of Datuk Wilfred Bumburing.

Bumburing, a former Upko deputy president and the ad hoc Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) chief, won the Tamparuli state seat on the PKR ticket without being its member.

On his appointment as Sabah PKR vice chief, Jelani said: "They offered me the post and I accepted. They must have presumed I am a member. Today I am resigning from the post."

He said his dissatisfaction with the PKR leadership stemmed from party advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's appointment of Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin as the Sabah state assembly opposition chief and state party leader.

"There was no consultation among the opposition assemblymen. Instead Lajim went around gathering signatures. This caused a lot of uneasiness among the opposition assemblymen until even the Assembly Speaker was initially confused about who the opposition chief was," Jelani added.

On Lajim's appointment as state PKR chief, Jelani said Anwar had called him to support the move on the basis of Lajim's seniority.

"What seniority? Lajim joined PKR two days after the election? Surely there were other more established party leaders who could have led Sabah PKR committee," he said.

Asked whether he was intending to join another political party, Jelani who was a founding member of Kota Marudu Umno, which he led as division and Youth chief in 2001, said he could not rule out the move.

He said a future option for him was also to form a new political party if he found this move to be necessary.

 

Asabiyyah: a scourge according to PAS

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 06:13 PM PST

The only way to end asabiyyah would be for, say, Indonesia to invade and conquer Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc., and create a new Muslim empire a la the Ottoman Empire of more than 500 years ago where non-Muslims become second-class citizens and would be required to pay a special tax.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

First see the video below regarding the statement by Mahfuz Omar, the PAS vice president and the head of PAS Kedah.

PAS has been very consistent in its stand regarding its opposition to asabiyyah since way back, as it is about its stand on the Islamic State. And this was one reason why those from the 'Islamic wing' of Umno broke away from the party in 1955, two years before Merdeka, to form the Pan-Malayan Islamic Party (then called PMIP and now known as PAS).

Asabiyyah comes from the word asabah, which means your relatives from your father's side (abah means father). I suppose some would call this nepotism but asabiyyah in the context of politics more accurately refers to nationalism.

Tribalism, clanism, parochialism, racism, sectarianism, provincialism, regionalism, sectionalism, etc., can also tantamount to asabiyyah.

Anyway, you can read more on the subject below if you require a better understanding of the concept.

In arguing its case against asabiyyah, PAS always refers to Prophet Muhammad's Final Sermon (a.k.a. 'The Farewell Sermon') delivered on 9th March 632 on Mount Arafat where the Prophet clearly stated that God is against racism. Hence asabiyyah, in the context of Islam, is viewed as racism (because the Prophet talked about the different 'colours' of humans that God created) -- which means that racism is forbidden in Islam.

Now, Umno, MCA and MIC are race-based political parties. This would mean that these three parties violate Islamic tenets and hence would be considered haram in Islam. And that was why PAS said that Umno is a kafir (infidel) party since way back in the 1970s -- because it is a racist party, which is forbidden in Islam.

In that sense, nationalism would also be considered asabiyyah, and therefore haram, mainly because it lumps Malaysians into a grouping. In Islam, you must fight for a Muslim ummah (community), not for nationalism, which divides Muslims into various countries.

In short, Malaysia must not exist. If it does it will be asabiyyah. What should exist instead is a community (meaning new country) of Muslims from Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, and so on.

If Muslims are separated or divided into various countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc., then we are practicing asabiyyah, which Islam (and PAS as well, I suppose) is against.

And to sing Negara Ku and salute the Malaysian flag would also be asabiyyah because it smacks of nationalism, and hence is haram.

The only way to end asabiyyah would be for, say, Indonesia to invade and conquer Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc., and create a new Muslim empire a la the Ottoman Empire of more than 500 years ago where non-Muslims become second-class citizens and would be required to pay a special tax.

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Asabiyya or asabiyyah (Arabic: عصبية, ʻaṣabīya) refers to social solidarity with an emphasis on unity, group consciousness and sense of shared purpose, and social cohesion, originally in a context of "tribalism" and "clanism". It was a familiar term in the pre-Islamic era, but became popularized in Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah where it is described as the fundamental bond of human society and the basic motive force of history. Asabiyya is neither necessarily nomadic nor based on blood relations; rather, it resembles philosophy of classical republicanism. In the modern period, the term is generally analogous to solidarity. However, the term is often negatively associated because it can sometimes suggest loyalty to one's group regardless of circumstances, or partisanship.

Ibn Khaldun uses the term Asabiyyah to describe the bond of cohesion among humans in a group forming community. The bond, Asabiyyah, exists at any level of civilization, from nomadic society to states and empires. Asabiyyah is most strong in the nomadic phase, and decreases as civilization advances. As this Asabiyyah declines, another more compelling Asabiyyah may take its place; thus, civilizations rise and fall, and history describes these cycles of Asabiyyah as they play out.

Ibn Khaldun argues that each dynasty (or civilization) has within itself the seeds of its own downfall. He explains that ruling houses tend to emerge on the peripheries of great empires and use the much stronger asabiyya present in those areas to their advantage, in order to bring about a change in leadership. This implies that the new rulers are at first considered "barbarians" by comparison to the old ones. As they establish themselves at the center of their empire, they become increasingly lax, less coordinated, disciplined and watchful, and more concerned with maintaining their new power and lifestyle at the centre of the empire—i.e, their internal cohesion and ties to the original peripheral group, the asabiyya, dissolves into factionalism and individualism, diminishing their capacity as a political unit. Thus, conditions are created wherein a new dynasty can emerge at the periphery of their control, grow strong, and effect a change in leadership, beginning the cycle anew.

Khaldun's central concept of asabiyyah, or "social cohesion", seems to anticipate modern conceptions of social capital arising in social networks.

This cohesion arises spontaneously in tribes and other small kinship groups; and it can be intensified and enlarged by a religious ideology. Khaldun's analysis looks at how this cohesion carries groups to power but contains within itself the seeds - psychological, sociological, economic, political - of the group's downfall, to be replaced by a new group, dynasty or empire bound by a stronger (or at least younger and more vigorous) cohesion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asabiyyah

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SEE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7qRaF970Zg

 

About freedom of association in Malaysia

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 04:57 PM PST

Now, if we agree that there should not be any religious-based lawyers associations on grounds that it will cause disunity and disharmony, why should we stop at just lawyers associations? There are many other associations, movements, societies, etc., that are also religious-based. And if it is wrong for lawyers associations to be religious-based then it is equally wrong for other religious-based groupings as well.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Adding that he was appalled at the way he was attacked by certain political vultures, academicians and commentators, Karpal said that he had called for the deregistration of the Muslim Lawyers Association for its condemnation of the Bar Council.

"I stand firm over my call for the deregistration of the Muslim Lawyers Association which was formed in 1988 at the height of the Tun Salleh Abas dismissal, obviously with full support from Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was then the prime minister, which led members from that association to assemble and demonstrate quite violently in front of the Bar Council office near the Masjid Jamek station," he stressed.

Karpal's comments had come under the spotlight after he slammed the Muslim Lawyers Association for criticising the Bar Council. Karpal had said that it was time for parties and organisations operating on racial and religious lines to be deregistered. PAS responded by hitting out at Karpal, saying he had failed to understand PAS's struggle.

Last Saturday, Muslim Lawyers Association president Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar said the group would oppose any move by the Bar Council to support an appeal by the Herald against last month's Court of Appeal ruling on the use of the word "Allah". (The Malaysian Insider, 8 November 2013)

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Zainur: Zaid should also personally apologise to the judiciary and the Bar

The proposal by the de facto minister for law to get the government to apologise for the serious transgression of the law and the injustice committed by the previous administration against Tun Salleh Abas, other judges and their families is to be welcomed. I applaud Datuk Zaid Ibrahim's proposal.

However, I feel that the apology should not only be made by this present administration on behalf of the previous "management".

The minister himself should also tender a personal apology not only to Tun Salleh Abbas and the other judges, but also to the Bar Council.

This is because, at the height of the judicial crisis between the Malaysian Bar and Tun Hamid Omar (the then lord president), Zaid, who was then the president of the Muslim Lawyers Association, issued a press release (NST, Nov 6, 1991) criticising the Bar Council.

He called upon the Bar Council to dissolve itself or have its members quit en masse.

Zaid also suggested that the government seriously consider setting up an alternative body that could work with the judiciary if the rift was not settled.

To prevent further public acrimony between the judiciary and the Bar Council, Zaid further proposed the formation of a Malaysian Law Academy to replace the Bar Council. (The Malaysian Bar, 26 March 2008)

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I remember when Zaid Ibrahim first mooted the idea of a Muslim Lawyers Association. I felt that he was creating a monster plus opening a Pandora's box that may never be closed again.

What if the Jews, Catholics, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Mormons, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Adventists, Calvinists, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, and so on, also want to create their own lawyers associations? More interesting would be what if they want to create an Atheist Lawyers Association?

Do we say no? And why do we say no? Does not Malaysia allow freedom of association? Article 10(c)(1) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia guarantees the freedom of association subject only to restrictions imposed through any federal law on the grounds of national security, public order or morality.

And since freedom of association is enshrined in Article 10(c)(1) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, is this not the right of all and any Malaysian to form an association as long as it does not threaten the peace and security of the nation?

Okay, the government may reject the application of all those non-Muslim lawyers associations on grounds that it will split Malaysians and cause disunity. And disunity can threaten the peace and security of the country. Hence no other religious (or anti-religious, such as atheists) lawyers associations can be allowed.

But would not splitting lawyers into two associations, one Muslim and the other non-Muslim, also trigger that same affect? The pious Muslims will all join the Muslim Lawyers Association while the atheists, non-Muslims, liberal Muslims, apostate Muslims, heretic Muslims, pro-gay Muslims, pro-free-sex Muslims, and what not, would all join the other group.

Now, if we agree that there should not be any religious-based lawyers associations on grounds that it will cause disunity and disharmony, why should we stop at just lawyers associations? There are many other associations, movements, societies, etc., that are also religious-based. And if it is wrong for lawyers associations to be religious-based then it is equally wrong for other religious-based groupings as well.

We cannot just target lawyers associations and declare that religious-based lawyers associations are bad for the country. The main reason we say they are bad is because they are religious-based. Hence anything religious-based is bad because it divides the people into them-and-us groupings.

In that case we should oppose all religious-based organisations -- political parties, Islamic movements, Church organisations, Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh societies, missionary organisations (Islamic as well as Christianity), and more. 

But first of all can both the government as well as the opposition members of parliament amend Article 10(c)(1) of the Federal Constitution and abolish freedom of association in Malaysia?

 

I will not apologise – Karpal

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 04:06 PM PST

(TMT) - DAP national chairman Karpal Singh commented that he will not apologise to PAS on his race-based political parties statement.

Karpal said, "Demands for an apology by "so-called" PAS leaders will not be met. That much, I assure them."

Defending his statement, Karpal said, "True, I had stated that race-based political parties and professional bodies should open their doors to other races which, unfortunately, included PAS. But I did not ask for the de-registration of PAS at the press conference."

Karpal continued to deny calling for the de-registration of the party's ally PAS recently, describing it as a "vile allegation".

"I was quick to add that PAS acknowledged the necessity of multi-racialism by having a non-Muslim supporters' wing," he said in a statement Friday.

It was reported on Tuesday that Karpal, a veteran lawyer and politician, had called for the de-registration of all political or professional bodies that operated along racial and religious lines, including PAS, saying that the move would work in the interest of national unity.

He said this while hitting out at the Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA) for threatening the Bar Council over its alleged support for Catholic weekly The Herald, saying that such associations should be de-registered.

His statement earned the wrath of PAS leaders, who said Karpal failed to understand the party's struggle. Some also called for his public apology on the matter.

Karpal explained that at the press conference on Tuesday, he in fact threw PAS a life-line.

"I did not bring PAS into the net I had cast against political parties and professional bodies set up along racial lines. I have stated the truth," said the Bukit Gelugor MP.

However, he stood firm on his statement calling for the de-registration of the  MLA.

"The president of the Muslim Lawyers Association threatened further action against the council. I stand firmly over my call for the de-registration of the MLA," he said.

 

Karpal denies calling for PAS to be deregistered

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 03:42 PM PST

(TMI) - DAP national chairman Karpal Singh (pic) has denied ever calling for the deregistration of PAS. Instead, the veteran leader clarified in a statement today that he had thrown PAS a lifeline when he had stated that the party realised the need for multiracialism by having the non-Muslim Supporters Congress.

"I had also said at the press conference on Tuesday that this was unlike Umno, MCA and MIC which were unadulterated racist parties which required to be deregistered."

He further stressed that he did not bring PAS into the net he had cast against race-based political parties and professional bodies when commenting on the Muslim Lawyers Association's threat to the Malaysian Bar over the use of the word "Allah" in the Catholic weekly, the Herald.

As such, he said he would not apologise to PAS.

Karpal said certain officials from the Islamist party had also joined others in criticising him over his alleged remarks.

"It is true that I had stated that race-based political parties and professional bodies should open its doors to other races which unfortunately included PAS but I was quick to add that PAS had acknowledged the necessity of multiracialism by having a non-Muslim supporters' wing."

Karpal pointed out that PAS had established the non-Muslim Pas Supporters Congress prior to the 2004 general election and also agreed to field non-Muslim candidates in the 2013 general election. The DAP veteran leader also pointed out that in GE 2008, PAS fielded an Indian candidate to contest the Tiram state seat in Johor.

Adding that he was appalled at the way he was attacked by certain political vultures, academicians and commentators, Karpal said that he had called for the deregistration of the Muslim Lawyers Association for its condemnation of the Bar Council.

READ MORE HERE

 

Zaid: Malays need Perkasa 2.0 to lead the way

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 03:20 PM PST

(MM) - Successful Malays and politicians should work together to guide the Malay community with positive messages and act as a peaceful alternative to Malay rights group Perkasa, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim suggested today.

The Malays need to be shown a fresh approach on how to achieve success without being divisive, the former Umno minister said, adding that the community should be well-equipped to make full use of opportunities in the country.

"The government and successful Malays need to counter Perkasa's agenda by offering differing methods and solutions that are more relevant and useful—and far less harmful—than what Perkasa offers," Zaid wrote in his blog today titled "Why we need Perkasa 2.0".

Zaid noted that Perkasa's approach to tackling the Malay community's problems by playing the "blame game" was not helpful in propelling Malays to move forward.

"Perkasa may be concerned about the welfare of the Malays but its leaders offer little by way of practical solutions. Meanwhile, the blame game they have adopted will not stop the Malays who are backwards from moving forward.

"Perkasa's aggressive negativity will have a lasting effect not just on the Malays but on the delicate balance of inter-communal relations as a whole, unless it is replaced with new thinking and ideas that are positive and fulfilling. This is what is needed urgently,' he wrote.

In the same blog post, Zaid said the fact that Perkasa had managed to attract members showed that young Malays have "genuine concerns and legitimate grievances", but he said the Malays need guidance and need to know that peaceful solutions exist.

He listed down the problems faced by the Malay community, such as dissatisfaction with working conditions, insufficient wages, lack of role models and lack of skills to move up in their careers.

But if successful Malays can help the "young Malays" view things differently, the latter may not be attracted to join Perkasa, Zaid said.

"They need to get organised, perhaps work with other groups, to take their message of positive change to the ground. Their personal stories on how they each achieved success—the problems they encountered and how they overcame them—can be inspiring, and can give new insight to young Malays who hope to venture into similar fields.

"Instead of hurling abuse and spreading fear in the community, this approach will show younger Malays how they can have a successful life by being positive and proactive," he said.

"Perkasa's many followers can be made to see that the path to success does not have to be divisive and that there are many options available. At the very least, the process of reaching out to the Malays can help them overcome the anger and fear they are experiencing," he added.

But Zaid concluded that the political leaders must themselves believe the new message, warning that "their credibility" will otherwise "be questioned and Perkasa 2.0 will gain no traction".

In Malaysia, many in the Malay community remain among the country's poorest, with critics saying that decades of affirmative action programmes aimed at improving their economic lot had only benefited a small group.

Perkasa, which was formed a few years ago, has said it has hundreds of thousands of members, but critics have dismissed the right-wing group as not representing the views of the majority.

 

‘Be careful with your statements, Karpal’

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 03:09 PM PST

The Bukit Gelugor MP should have been more circumspect with his views, especially since Islam is the country's official religion, says PAS 

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

DAP's Karpal Singh should have been more careful in giving his views on politically contentious matters, said PAS Youth deputy chief Raja Ahmad Iskandar Al-Hiss.

He said while he appreciated the DAP national chairman's statement that he did not call for PAS' deregistration, he should have have been mindful of sensitivities regarding the matter.

"It's good if he did not say that but he should have been more careful in giving his views," said Raja Ahmad.

He said this was because when Karpal mentioned about religion-based parties, his statement had implicated PAS as it is an Islamist party.

"We agree that parties based on race should be deregistered. However, he should not have mentioned about Islam especially since it is the country's official religion," said Raja Ahmad.

Karpal today defended himself, stressing that he did not call for the deregistration of PAS.

He went on to explain that he had mentioned how PAS acknowledges the necessity of multiculturalism by having the non-Muslims PAS Supporters Congress (DHPP).

Slow process

Karpal also remained steadfast on his views, saying that demands for an apology by "so-called PAS leaders" will not be met.

According to Bernama, Karpal had on Tuesday called for all race and religion-based political parties or associations to be deregistered or opened to all.

He was lashing out at Muslim Lawyers' Association president Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar for allegedly threatening the Bar Council if it supported The Herald in relation to use of the word Allah.

READ MORE HERE

 

Tuduhan komisen 30% untuk DAP hanya khayalan

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 03:05 PM PST

Beliau turut menjelaskan bahawa kos pembuatan sepanduk diurus oleh calon dan bukannya ibu pejabat DAP Pulau Pinang. 

K Pragalath, FMT

Setiausaha DAP Pulau Pinang Ng Wei Aik hari ini menafikan tuduhan bahawa DAP meminta komisen sebanyak 30 peratus untuk membuat sepanduk sambil menyatakan tuduhan tersebut ialah khayalan pemilik syarikat Banner King, Chan Boon Tong.

"Ini khayalan Pengarah Syarikat Banner King, Chan Boon Tong yang mendakwa tindakan-tindakan diambil oleh MPPP terhadap sepanduk-sepanduknya yang tidak dikeluarkan permit ada kaitannya dengan satu insiden yang berlaku sebelum PRU ke-12 pada tahun 2008," kata Ng yang juga ialah Ahli Parlimen Tanjong.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika menafikan tuduhan Chan.

Chan Boon Tong mendakwa parti DAP meminta syarikatnya membuat sepanduk DAP untuk tujuan kempen pilihanraya umum di dalam tahun 2008.

Menurutnya, wakil DAP yang berunding dengannya meminta agar semua harga ditingkatkan sebanyak 30% sebagai komisen.

"Saya menolak tawaran tersebut dan ekoran itu, syarikat saya dimalukan oleh mereka beberapa kali," kata Chan dalam satu kenyataan media.

Chan yang mendapat kontrak Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang turut mendakwa bahawa peluang perniagaan pengiklanan semakin berkurangan kerana peluang pengiklanan dikawal oleh pihak tertentu dari DAP yang memonopolinya.

Beliau menambah bahawa beliau dan kakitangan syarikatnya ialah penyokong yang mengundi DAP dalam pilihanraya umum.

Ng menambah bahawa dakwaan Chan tidak masuk akal kerana sepanduk calon DAP dalam pilihan raya umum ke-12 dicetak sendiri oleh calon dan tidak diuruskan oleh ibu pejabat DAP negeri Pulau Pinang.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘Lajim, not money, reason for defections’

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 02:57 PM PST

Anwar Ibrahim's hand in Sabah PKR is ruining existing relationships and kindling memories of Umno's 'ousting' of Usno. 

(FMT) - Matunggong assemblyman Jelani Hamdan, who is widely speculated to quit Sabah PKR and declare his independence, has been spewing his angst against the party leadership for sometime now.

He is not the only one. In fact federal PKR's decision in August to appoint Lajim Ukin to spearhead Sabah has irked the grassroots in Sabah no end.

And the simmering discontent is coming to boil.

One Sabah source contacted today said that dissatisfaction among traditional PKR followers in Sabah has been festering for sometime and money was not the main issue.

"This whole situation is Anwar (Ibrahim)'s fault. He has forced Lajim on us. He knew the local opinion on Lajim and ignored it. He took him and promised him Sabah.

"Lajim got his way and put his people in. The original PKR members are overtaken by these people…same like when Umno came and killed off Usno," said the source.

Jelani recently fumed that he and his Kadamaian colleague Jeremmy Malajad, who defected earlier this week, can no longer work with Lajim.

"We cannot work with Lajim anymore…," he said, adding that he had opposed Lajim's appointment as Sabah PKR chief from the onset.

Lajim, Jelani had claimed, was biased against the KadazandusunMurut communities, an allegation that Lajim, a Bisaya, has denied.

Fork-tongued Anwar

But Jelani pointed out that Lajim's state PKR liasion committee lacked representations from the KDM and Rungus communities.

He claimed he had in the past raised the issues with Anwar and Lajim but "as always a decision taken is different when implemented." – a view shared by another PKR member here in Kuala Lumpur.

According to this member-observer, it was typical of Anwar's 'bulldozing' style.

"Anwar says one thing and does another…if you take him seriously, mati la," he added.

READ MORE HERE

 

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