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PAS admits decline in Malay support

Posted: 23 Nov 2013 01:07 PM PST

Malay support for the Islamist party declined in the last general election but increased for the majority Chinese party, DAP.

Alyaa Ashar, FMT

Malay support for PAS and PKR declined in the last general election as opposed to the DAP, noted Dzulkefly Ahmad who heads the PAS general election postmortem committee.


In the winding speech for PAS' 59th Muktamar, Dzulkefly said although Pakatan Rakyat can be proud of the popularity vote, the reality is: "Pakatan Rakyat is still not occupying Putrajaya".

"Our hope to replace Umno as the main Malay party has therefore not been achieved," he said.

Other than losing Kedah, PAS had lost many seats in the last general election, including the parliamentary seat of Kuala Selangor where Dzulkefly was the previous MP.

"PAS had a decline in Malay support at 2% while PKR's Malay support declined at 7%. DAP however had an increased support of 2%," he said.

He also pointed out how the female support for PAS is still low, at only 30%.

"As with the general support, we need to increase it from 40% to 44% if we want to be victorious in the next general election," he said.

He was however optimistic for PAS' future as the trend is still positive for the party, especially since its support increased in Terengganu and Johor.

Dzulkefly then said that wooing young Malay voters becomes priority as their number will increase in the coming general election.

The young voters' current support for PAS is at 45%.



Little evidence of justice in hudud-ruled nations

Posted: 23 Nov 2013 12:05 PM PST 

PAS' intention to implement hudud even in states like Penang and Selangor shows at best, a deeply religious fervor or, in reality, an unbridled arrogance that is terrifying when one can remember that in a hudud legal system, the ulama will reign supreme as unquestionable, unchallengeable and unaccountable overlords with the powers to prosecute and persecute, punish and prohibit at will.

KTemoc Konsiders

I refer to Malaysiakini's news article 'Dewan Ulama wants Pakatan alliance reviewed', in which we learnt of PAS' intent to assess whether there has been genuine progress in the tahaluf siyasi or political consensus in Pakatan, which incidentally left me wondering whether there is a Bahasa word for the Arabic term tahaluf siyasi?

Further reading on the tahaluf siyasi has indicated that PAS has far-reaching expectations beyond mere political cooperation among coalition members, that of requiring Pakatan-held states like Penang, Selangor and Kelantan to implement hudud laws within those states.

While understanding PAS' keenness to implement hudud in Kelantan, I am deeply concerned by the Islamic party's expectation that Penang and Selangor are to follow suit. And there is no mistaking this as its information chief, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, has stated this very clearly.

Already we have had glimpses of PAS' value system in the recent threat by its Penang deputy commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff for the party to withdraw from the state coalition if certain conditions were not met.

Two examples of those conditions have been that PAS and not the state exco, the voice of the Penang people, will have sole control of (a) appointments to the state religious council (MAIPP), as well as board directors in agencies and subsidiaries under the council, and (b) appointments of Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK) members in the six state and two parliamentary constituencies in Penang contested by the party, regardless of whether those constituencies are held by PAS.

The above demands coupled with PAS ulama faction's proposal to leave the top three party positions for only ulama indicate that the party's ulama do not understand both democracy and coalition cooperation when it boils down to holding posts of power. I am beginning to speculate what will PAS do to general elections if it comes into federal power?

PAS' intention to implement hudud even in states like Penang and Selangor shows at best, a deeply religious fervor or, in reality, an unbridled arrogance that is terrifying when one can remember that in a hudud legal system, the ulama will reign supreme as unquestionable, unchallengeable and unaccountable overlords with the powers to prosecute and persecute, punish and prohibit at will.

PAS has of course claimed that hudud will reduce if not eliminate crimes, perhaps a la the Japanese occupation when the dreaded Kempeitai policed Malaya?

Just last year, the Islamic Republic of Iran executed 1,663 people, followed in numbers of execution by other Islamic states like Saudi Arabia with 423 people, Iraq with 256, Pakistan 171, and Yemen 152.

Their respective executions all exceeded even that of the draconian dictatorship of North Korea, whose state executions numbered 105.

Obviously hudud in those Islamic nations hasn't done much at all to quell crimes, or if it has, then those executed were not criminals.

I've read that under hudud, in cases of adultery a woman's pregnancy could be evidence of that crime. What happens when a woman has been the raped victim and then becomes pregnant?

Victim ordered flogged

If anyone believes my question is ridiculous, just recall that in 2007 in Saudi Arabia, a 19-year old Shiite woman who reported she was raped was penalised with 90 lashes because prior to the rape, she was with a man to retrieve her photo from him. They were then set upon by seven other men who sexually abused both of them.

That was the hudud system in action, where instead of dealing with the horrendous crime of rape, the judges wanted the rape victim flogged for being with a man.

She then appealed, no doubt unsuccessfully, but the outcome of the appeal saw her sentence increased to six months jail and 200 lashes. The judges claimed she attempted to influence the judiciary by the ensuing publicity.

Just how in the world did those cleric-judges determine she was guilty of the ensuing publicity, when the media was attracted in the first place by the initial punishment of 90 lashes for a rape victim?

Now this was the most shockingly notorious part of the rape trial. The court ruled it was the girl's fault in the first place that she was raped, and that the rape would not have happened if she had not met with the non-related male friend. The judges failed to mentioned it was not her male friend who raped her but seven other men.

The judges' appalling atrocious ruling reminds me of a similar misogynist remark by Abdul Fatah Harun, former PAS MP for Rantau Panjang, who told Parliament in 2006 that "If we see women who don't have husbands and are divorced not because their husbands are dead, (it must be because) they are 'gatal sikit'." 

But wait, there's more. Apparently a rape conviction carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, but the court did not impose it for those seven rapists because, according to the amazing court, there was the 'lack of witnesses' and the 'absence of confessions'.

I wonder whether the coincidence that the victim belongs to Saudi Arabia's minority Shiite community, while the rapists have been all Sunnis, had anything to do with the syariah court's ruling?

Alas, given such unbelievably disturbing standards of jurisprudence, I am forced into suspecting our PAS people and those Saudi syariah court judges could be sharing similar values vis-à-vis women and minorities.

Continuing with the Saudi rape trial, the victim's husband told Arab News they would appeal (again), but the court warned that the sentence could be increased if she lost the appeal again.

Wasn't it shockingly hideous for the court to threaten that the rape victim's sentence could be increased if she loses the appeal? What did it mean for syariah laws?

It would seem those clerics had misused the laws of God vindictively and maliciously rather than justly.

Laden with human prejudices

Remember, Saudi Arabia is the land of Prophet Muhammad pbuh, but we mustn't blame the laws of Allah swt just because that court in supposedly dispensing out justice in accordance with those divine laws, could yet make misogynist and threatening comments, because those so-called cleric-judges were laden with their inherent human prejudices, weaknesses, failings and self-interests.

And that's precisely my worries about syariah law, more so hudud, when it won't be administered by Allah swt Himself but by such clerics who have shown that they are not only unquestionable, unchallengeable and totally unaccountable, but unable to fairly and impartially dispense out the divine laws of Allah swt. 

Read more at: 

Pro-ulama group fails to make inroads

Posted: 23 Nov 2013 11:44 AM PST 

The failure of the pro-ulama group in PAS to wrest back the No. 2 post from Mohamad Sabu is a signal that the party wants to go mainstream rather than pursue its original Islamic agenda.

Joceline Tan, The Star

IT's hard to keep hot news a secret and by late afternoon, the word was that Mohamad Sabu had won. But no one would have been able to foretell that looking at him the last few days.

The normally cheery and talkative PAS politician has not been his usual self. He was at the side of his president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang for most of the events including the daily press conferences but did not utter a word.

No comment, no smile, no expression – Mat Sabu has been like a coiled-up spring since the muktamar began.

At about 5pm, when incumbent vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar took a short-cut through the media centre to the prayer room, reporters called out, "Tahniah, Datuk!"

The word was that he had won but the tall and lanky Mahfuz claimed he had not heard anything and almost ran out of the door.

He was not acting because when Election Commission chairman Asmuni Awi went on stage to announce the results, he said the votes for the vice-presidents' contest were still being tallied. It was greeted by loud groans from the media crowd.

Apparently, there was a request for a recount and the result for the vice-presidents will only be known today.

The outcome of the most intense election campaign in the history of PAS has been a severe blow to the pro-ulama group in PAS. They failed despite a fierce campaign to wrest back the deputy president post for one of their own.

Mat Sabu polled 588 votes to defeat ulama candidate and Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who secured 490 votes. It was a credible margin.

His victory is no small feat. He was up against the moral might of the ulama who painted him as an interloper who took a post that ought to have gone to an ulama. He also had to endure a bruising attack on his religious beliefs.

But he is quite aware that winning again is only going to make the pro-ulama group more resentful and he tried to downplay the win, saying that it was a contest among the jemaah or the Muslim family.

His post-victory body language was a contrast from when he first won the deputy president post in 2011. It had been his second try back then and he was openly delighted to have pipped two big ulama names for the post.

He was rather subdued this time around because he was aware of the raw emotions out there.

The real challenge for Mat Sabu actually lies ahead. The party was clearly split down the middle over the contest for the No. 2 post. It is hard to see how he will be able to reach out to the other side and to bring them around to some common ground.

The 18 Central Working Committee (CWC) posts were quite evenly divided between those from the pro-Erdogan camp and the ulama group.

The man to watch from the CWC line-up is Idris Ahmad, a hardline ulama figure from Perak. He was the top scorer securing 927 votes from among the 1,000-plus delegates. He nudged the former top scorer and Felda activist Mazlan Aliman into second place with 840 votes.

The attacks against the pro-Erdogan group also appears to have limited impact and the main protagonists from among them were re-elected.

It means that the delegates want the party to continue the journey that it started in 2008 and that means working with DAP and PKR. They have tasted power through Pakatan Rakyat and they want more.

It looks like PAS has reached the point of no return. Instead of redefining the party's role in Pakatan, the party may have to redefine its policy of leadership by the ulama.

The once powerful and influential ulama cliche will have to accept that a non-ulama may one day be the president of PAS.

The ballot paper blunder will also haunt PAS for a while to come. It was basically a careless mistake done when the ballots for the 62 CWC candidates were being collated to voting booklets.

About 15 people had voted when one of the delegates raised the alarm. He could not find the ballot paper for former Youth chief Nasrudin Tantawi.

Another booklet contained double ballots for a woman candidate Dr Najihatusolehah Ahmad.

Voting for the CWC was immediately halted but that for the deputy and vice-presidents posts continued.

It was very embarrassing considering that it involved only 1,000-plus voters or delegates and 62 candidates. It was also a humbling lesson for PAS which has been a fierce critic of the Election Commission.

Asmuni later told colleagues that "now, I know what the Election Commission goes through".

Asmuni, a lawyer with a quaint Beatles hairdo, had looked stressed-out when met on the morning of the election. He had said then that it was a "high blood pressure job". The polls fiasco must have caused his blood pressure to shoot up further. To his credit, he offered to resign immediately but was told to continue.

One of the happiest man yesterday was probably Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamad, the PAS commissioner for Johor. He got to go up on stage to announce that the Sultan of Johor had decreed Friday as the weekend for the state.

Friday is the holiest day of the week for Muslims and a motion to thank Tuanku Johor was passed with immediate effect by the muktamar with three cries of "Takbir!" And "Allahuakbar!" 


In Mat Sabu win, proof PAS doesn’t run on faith alone

Posted: 23 Nov 2013 09:44 AM PST 

All eyes will now be on the results for the vice-presidents' fight, which will be announced this morning, where the three incumbent vice-presidents seen as progressives, were faced with two veteran challengers from the ulama group.

Zurairi AR, The Malay Mail 

While clerics have advanced into PAS's top leadership tier, Mohamad Sabu's success in keeping his deputy president seat in heated polls yesterday proved the Islamic party is acutely aware it cannot steer straight in Malaysia's current political reality propped up by one faction over the other.

The popular rally speaker, nicknamed Mat Sabu, faced a tough challenger in Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, but managed to edge out the Kelantan deputy mentri besar by a 98-vote majority, which to Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Abu Bakar showed equal support within PAS for both the ulama, the Islamic clerics who make up the party's soul, and the so-called progressives faction, consisting largely of professionals and seen as its brains.

"Whether Mat Sabu or Nik Amar won, especially if it was a slim win, it shows that PAS depends on the strength and the support of both groups," the Universiti Malaya political analyst told The Malay Mail Online.

"This also shows that PAS has remained the same since before, where there is a fair alliance of the ulama and the professionals," added the history lecturer of two decades.

At PAS's 59th annual muktamar (conference) held here since Friday, party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had insisted that the synergy between the two groups has been the "secret" to PAS' success.

Delegates also spoke proudly of the evolution of PAS's image, perceived previously as a party of yokels and religious teachers, to its present vibrant mix of clerics, political activists, and technocrats.

Abdul Hadi's remarks also comes as the party's ulama wing approved a motion on Thursday, calling for the posts of president, deputy president, and one of the three vice-presidents to be reserved for the clergy class.

According the wing's chief Datuk Harun Taib, the ulama group understands the Islamist party's struggle best as they are more knowledgeable in the Quranic teachings that form PAS's core values.


Christians seek time off for Sunday services in Johor

Posted: 23 Nov 2013 09:33 AM PST 

(Asiaone) - The Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) will seek time off for Christians in Johor to fulfil their religious obligations on Sundays following the change of the state's rest days to Friday and Saturday.

"We will request for time off for both workers and students to attend church services on Sunday," said CCM general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri.

Hermen, who is not from Johor, said he does not know how Christians in the state managed or went to church prior to 1994 when Friday and Saturday were non-working days.

However, he said all stakeholders in state should have been consulted before the decision was made.

"There should have been broad-based discussions with political parties, civil society and other religious communities," said Hermen.

This view was echoed by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism.

Council president Jagir Singh said it is always best to have consultations so there is a better understanding of the views of other parties and faiths.

Perhaps Pas could look to Umno for polls tips?

Posted: 23 Nov 2013 09:29 AM PST 

Adrian Lai, NST 

WHAT was supposed to be a straightforward party election turned into an embarrassing and drawn-out affair for Pas at its 59th muktamar when the voting process was marred by a technical glitch on Friday.

The complication, which the party said was because of "mistakes in the ballot papers", left the party red-faced when its 1,129 frustrated delegates were forced to recast their ballots yesterday to decide the line-up of the party's central working committee (CWC).

The unforeseen boo-boo, besides causing massive delay to the day's proceedings, ultimately resulted in dire repercussions of Pas suffering markedly dented democratic credentials.

At 4.30pm on Friday, the thousand-plus delegates were instructed to cast their ballots and elect the party's new deputy presi-dent, three vice-presidents and 18 central working committee members.

However, eyebrows were raised when Pas' election committee chairman Asmuni Awi stopped the voting process less than an hour after it started.

Explaining the sudden turn of events, Asmuni had said voting had to be stopped after detecting "mistakes in the ballot papers", and that the voting process for the CWC posts would restart with the right ballot papers yesterday morning.

Asmuni said the flawed ballot papers for the CWC posts had been cast before the mistakes were detected.

Those votes would not be counted and delegates were required to vote for the affected posts again.

Voting for the other contested posts, namely the deputy president and vice-president posts, was, however, continued.

To everyone's surprise, Asmuni and the election committee members had, on Friday, offered their resignations over the technical glitch, but were told by the party's top leadership to continue with their work and see the election process through.

"After discovering the error, we wanted to resign en masse, as we felt that we had failed to accomplish our duties well.

"Nonetheless, the election process must continue to ensure that doubts about the election's legitimacy do not arise," Asmuni told delegates in an apologetic tone yesterday.

The delegates, however, were not too impressed with the goings-on.

Firdaus Masood, a Pas delegate from Johor who was debating the party president's opening speech, slammed the irony of the situation, as many of them had previously taken the Election Commission to task in the past via the Bersih and Blackout rallies.

"It is disheartening to see that irregularities have occurred in our own party election.

"We hope that it will not happen again," he said.


PAS’s new old Putrajaya team

Posted: 23 Nov 2013 09:25 AM PST 

Sheridan Mahavera, TMI 

PAS does not believe in hype. That was one thing that a PAS grassroots leader said was what members have described as the most vicious (by its standards) party elections.

The second is that the grassroots reward hardworking, articulate, outward-looking leaders who do not just preach to the converted.

Party members with whom The Malaysian Insider spoke believe these were among the considerations they used to choose the people who will lead the party into its quest for federal power in the next three years.

The 18-member central working committee, the party's highest decision-making body, which emerged last night was almost a carbon copy of the previous one that had steered the party into the 13th General Election.

It was CWC that was stocked with three groups: the so-called professionals, religious teachers and scholars, and activists.

Only four of the CWC members are new. And they were religious teachers who replaced mostly other religious teachers.

Yet the social media campaign waged in the months leading up to the elections framed it as a war between the party's conservatives and its progressives.

The talk was that the conservatives were staging a comeback into the CWC, which had been dominated by progressives.

But the results, said PAS leaders, showed that the grassroots liked the formula of an urbane, open-minded PAS that worked hand-in-glove with Pakatan Rakyat allies, PKR and DAP, and wanted to deepen its ties with mainstream Malaysian society.

The results, which also saw veteran political organiser Mohamad Sabu being retained as deputy president, were an endorsement and acknowledgement of the old CWC's track record in leading PAS in the last general election, said PAS Kuala Kedah division leader Nasir Zakaria.

By re-electing the same people, Nasir said, the grassroots acknowledged the hard work its leaders had put into expanding PAS support and winning seats despite the fact that it fared badly among rural Malay Muslims.

"It's a realisation that our party is strong internally and that the challenges are external. Our loss of rural Malay Muslim support was not due to us but because we could not counter all the BR1M (1Malaysia People's Aid)," said Nasir.

He also pointed to the fact that unlike what had been depicted in the pro-Umno media and in  social media, the grassroots were not swayed by talk that PAS was losing its way because it was ruled by progressives.

"It just shows that all this talk about ulama versus Erdogans versus professionals was just nonsense created by outsiders". 


Mat Sabu keeps PAS deputy hat, but clerics gain on Erdogans

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 11:22 PM PST

(MM) - Incumbent PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu beat challenger Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah to keep his seat in party polls today, but the Islamists party's conservative clerics, better known as the ulama faction, gained more muscle within its central leadership.

The Penang-born popularly known as Mat Sabu won by a slim 98-vote margin, scoring 588 out of 1,086 votes against Mohd Amar's 490 votes. "When the result was announced just now, I did not celebrate because it was just a friendly fight."

We're not like in our rival party, where you have to spend RM1 million to win the post," Mat Sabu told a press conference after the results were announced. 

He did not name the rival party.

"It was just a common fight, we are still under one party and one congregation," he added.

The former activist also explained that the slim majority meant nothing to him, conceding that he would not have been perturbed even if it was in the single digit.

More candidates seen to be aligned to PAS's influential ulama faction — who make up the opposition party's soul — were also voted into the party's central working committee, including the entry of the Youth wing's two former top leaders, Nasruddin Hassan and Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz.

Their numbers now match the candidates seen as representing PAS' progressives, nicknamed the Erdogans, after three-term Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, popularly known for his economic reforms.
The results for vice-president posts are however still undergoing a recount, signalling a close battle between the three incumbents and their two challengers.

PAS Central Election Committee chairman Asmuni Awi revealed that the results were too close to call, with all five candidates in a neck-to-neck fight.

He also explained that the recount will be finished by tonight, but the results will only be announced tomorrow morning.


PAS passes resolution to review political cooperation with DAP, PKR

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 11:22 PM PST

(The Star) - PAS has appeared to heed the calls from party conservatives as it passed a resolution to review the tahaluf siyasi (political cooperation) with its partners PKR and DAP.

The resolution, which was proposed by the Dewan Ulama, was approved without debate.

However, they acknowledged the success of the political cooperation, which was the reason they retained Kelantan, Penang and Selangor.

The Dewan Ulama said that the proposal would be forwarded to the highest policy decision-making body, namely Majlis Syura Ulama and PAS committee, to review and revise the cooperation.

"It also needs to assess the strengths and weaknesses, success and failure of the tahaluf siyasi since it was first established, and weigh its pros and cons in order to improve and strengthen Pakatan Rakyat ahead of the next general election," they said.

Kuala Kangsar PAS division had also called for similar resolution so that the party could strengthen the political cooperation with allies.

"We realise that PAS is known as a party that is supported by ulama and Muslim leaders.

"PAS is also known to be a party that fights on a platform that holds strongly on Islamic principles," they said.

Therefore, they said that PAS should take a firm stand on matters that touch on its principles and party policies.

Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib had previously called for the review of the party's political cooperation with allies PKR and DAP in the wake of the party's dwindling support in the May 5 general election.

He said this was because PAS was no longer dominant in Pakatan Rakyat and its position in the alliance was "weaker than ever" for being "too accomodating" to its allies in order to garner support from non-Malays.

There were also talks that PAS leadership wasn't firm enough with its stand on the usage of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims and the implementation of hudud law.

Other resolutions passed without debate were to streamline Pakatan Rakyat policies in the three states.

The resolution, which was proposed by the Dewan Ulama, said that it was time that the coalition standardised the administration policies to show that the three parties were united in governing the states.

Meanwhile, PAS also passed a resolution by PAS Teluk Intan division to ensure that the party remained free from Syiah teachings and urged the party to remain vigilant.


Mat Sabu returns as PAS deputy chief

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 11:18 PM PST

Alyaa Azhar, K Pragalath & Jamilah Kamarudin, FMT 

Incumbent PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu retains his post after a tough electoral battle, winning with a wafer thin majority of 98 votes.

Mohamad Sabu, or more known as Mat Sabu, garnered 588 votes while his contender, Kelantan deputy Menteri Besar, Mohamad Amar Nik Abdullah received 490 votes.

PAS election committee chairman Asmuni Awi made the announcement at 7.10pm, after counting votes from 1,086 delegates.  There were eight spoilt votes.

There were some technical glitches yesterday, prompting the election committee to continue the voting process today.

When met later at a press conference, Mat Sabu said that he was not in a celebrative mood.

"There is nothing to celebrate because it is a contest among brothers.  They are not like our rival Umno that have to spend millions to win a vice president's post," he said.

On his next course of action, Mat Sabu promised to work hard with the new leadership team, adding, "We hope this team will be more successful to take over Putrajaya.

On the slim majority win, Mat Sabu said "One or two vote majority does not matter because it is still a win," he said.

The election results for three vice presidents post would be announced tomorrow.

Mat Sabu's win comes amid calls from certain quarters within the party for him to be replaced as he is claimed not effective in uniting Malay-Muslims within the party.

However, the tide against the non-ulama changed after party president Abdul Hadi Awang announced a few weeks ago that non-ulama could lead the party, citing example of the PAS' second president, Alias Abas who was not an ulama.

Mat Sabu contested for the Pendang parliament seat in the 13th general election but was defeated by Umno's Othman Abdul.

The new central working committee line-up are:

Idris Ahmad (927 votes)

Mazlan Aliman (840 votes)

Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin (688 votes)

Amiruddin Hamzah (679 votes)

Mohd Hatta Md Ramli (649 votes)

Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi (645 votes)

Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abd Aziz (627 votes)

Mujahid Yusof Rawa (626 votes)

Dzulkefly Ahmad (610 votes)

Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (604 votes)

Kamarudin Jaffar  (562 votes)

Khalid Samad (547 votes)

Nik Zawawi Salleh (518 votes)

Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi (476 votes)

Riduan Mohd Nor (469 votes)

Mahfodz Mohamed (455 votes)

Siti Mariah Mahmud (437 votes)

Nuridah Salleh (424 votes)


Guan Eng is ‘incompetent’, says ex-Dap branch leader

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 06:22 PM PST

(NST) - DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was described as 'incompetent' by a former party branch leader for submitting a mere 'three-page' report to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) in the recent party election.

Former Jalan Bagan Luar chairman G. Asoghan said Lim had caused an embarrassment to the DAP by giving such sketchy report over the Sept 29 special congress and Central Executive Committee (CEC) re-election in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

"He is unfit to be a secretary-general. A three-page report sent to he RoS is too short and it did not do any good to our party's tarnished image.

"He's clearly hiding something in the CEC elections,"he told reporters here today.

The party's CEC elections last December were marred with a tabulation "glitch", with complaints by party members, claiming that there were irregularities.

The glitch caused party activist Vincent Wu to be moved to the 26th spot from his original sixth position, giving way to Lim's political secretary Zairil Abdullah, who was originally in the 39th position, to move up to the 20th spot in the CEC elections at the party's national congress in Penang on Dec 15 last year.

The RoS had then sent a letter to the DAP saying that it did not recognise the top leadership, which in return led to the party to hold a CEC elections to avoid risk of de-registration. 


Delegate: PAS needs to go back to basics, regain support of rural Malays

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 06:10 PM PST

Azril Annuar,

PAS needs to get back to basics and the root of its support which built the party prior to its membership in Pakatan Rakyat – the rural Malay votes, a delegate said at the party's annual muktamar here today.

Perak delegate Dr Mohd Nuri Al Amin pointed out to the party leadership that the May 5 general election saw PAS losing 5% of the Malay votes in the state despite the tremendous gain of non-Muslim votes.

"We saw the voting trend in Perak during the elections. PAS made a 20% gain in non-Muslim votes which is a reflection of the strength of PAS' partnership with its Pakatan Rakyat partners DAP and PKR. We have gained the trust of the non-Muslims.

"But we have to accept the fact that in Perak, we lost 5% of the Malay votes. This is a fact. What does it mean? It means, that no matter how strong we have become because of our partnership with Pakatan Rakyat, we must never forget our voting base.

"We must accept the fact that we have not been able to dispel Umno's hold over the Malay votes. We must go back to our base and our roots," said Mohd Nuri.

He pointed out that lately, PAS has not really been discussing Islamic issues, which are close to the hearts and mind of the rural Malay heartland.

"We are so busy with other party's issues that we forgot to fight for our own issues. We need a better strategy to win our voting base. We should not just champion issues brought up by our partners but we must also champion our own issues, based on what our voters, the rural Malay needs based on the norms of their everyday life.

"The issues brought up by PKR are based on their strategy to win over the urban voters. Our voters have different needs, different issues facing them. Corruption issues are what the urban voters want to hear but it means nothing to our voter base, who are the rural Malays.

"Perak would like to suggest to the PAS Central Committee to segment the PAS election engine, with one to address national issues brought up by our partners and another to address the need of our voting base," said Mohd Nuri.


Choice of Pakatan leader a collective decision, not PAS', says Hadi Awang

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 05:58 PM PST

(The Star) - PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said that it is not up to the party alone to decide who should lead the opposition pact, but a collective decision.

Speaking at a press conference here, Hadi said that such decision should be made by the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council on who should be the 'chairman' and to lead the alliance.

"We have a right (to lead) but not a right to appoint ourselves. This matter should be discussed with other Pakatan Rakyat leaders," he said.

Hadi was commenting on a delegate from Johor, who earlier questioned who would be the right person to lead the coalition.

Firdaus Mohd Noor, said that PAS should make an official stand on the potential Prime Mnister in-waiting, should Pakatan Rakyat wrest take Putrajaya in the next general election.

Hadi also denied allegations that there were party leaders that were "power crazy", which affected their ability to focus on a specific task given, and eventually, the party.

He said PAS had never asked for any position, but the request came from the grassroots who wanted a particular leader to hold a position.

"We tend to face problems when the members suggest a leader to hold many positions at one time," he said, referring to PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

"Take Nik Aziz for example. There have been demands from the people in Kelantan and the Syura Ulama council who wanted him to continue as Mentri Besar and PAS state commissioner.

"We know that he is ailing, but because of such demands, he was forced to continue as Mentri Besar.

"But we lessened his burden and to allow him to continue as a spiritual leader," he said.

Earlier, Firdaus had blamed the downfall of Terengganu in the 2008 general election to overlapping tasks held by Hadi, who was then the state Mentri Besar, the party president and also state commissioner.


Fridays, Saturdays are new weekends in Johor from Jan: Sultan

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 05:45 PM PST 

(NST) - The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar announced that Johor's new weekends will be officially changed to Fridays and Saturdays.

The changes with take effect from January 1, 2014.

Johor's official weekends were on Friday and Saturday, 15-years ago.

Addressing his subjects at the Jubli Intan Sultan Ibrahim hall, where his 55th birthday celebration are held, Sultan Ibrahim said the changes was to allow Muslims to attends their prayers, without rushing for time.


A Comedy Of An Interfaith Meeting

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 05:31 PM PST 

Yussof Condred 

Unlike parliament, this interfaith meeting was well attended and by representatives of the various faiths. Unlike parliament too, this is a meeting of honest, loving, sincere and God-fearing people. While we have been made to expect parliamentarians to wallow in shameless antics and speech during a session, we expect religionists to exhibit 'prim and proper' behaviour during an interfaith meeting.

The chairman started the meeting by reciting a well-worn quotation in an orotund voice:


"There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions " 
He declared that he was pleased to see so many brethren of the society present. He said, in a tone garnished with unmitigated piety, "All religions are but different roads to the same destination of love and compassion. The sooner we understand each other better, the sooner the walls of suspicion and mistrust will be breached."
When he concluded, a thunderous applause ensued. Delegates were seen clapping their hands, nodding their heads and smiling to each. There was a feeling of love in the air and it was almost palpable.
When it was time for open discussion, a young delegate, a maverick, raised what might appear to be an idiosyncratic observation, to the consternation or amusement, according to the individual leaning, of the audience. He addressed the Chair and said, "Sir, I see that we do not have a representative here from the community of the Atheists. For me Atheism is a religion with a fair number of followers. Atheists do not believe in the existence of a God and that is their belief. And faith according to definition is 'a belief in something'. Therefore they have a faith and it follows that they have a religion". He further asserted that the meetings in future should include atheists' representatives. 

A murmur rippled through the congregation of delegates accompanied in equal measure by the sounds of half-stifled chuckles. The Chairman frowned, raised his right to appeal for silence and at that moment an angry, troubling thought went through his mind, "What in heaven's name is this nincompoop trying to do? Throwing his crooked  spanner in the works?" But because the feeling of love was still strong in the air, he checked himself and posed this question to the delegates, as if the subject matter in hand warranted serious discourse, "Would any of my brethren here like to comment on what our brother has just said?"
An elderly, erudite scholar immediately raised his hand, stood up and said, "Sir, it is said that the word atheist comes from the Greek ethos. But ethos doesn't refer to people who don't believe in God; it refers to the lonely ones, people whom the Gods have abandoned. This proves that people can't really be atheists, because even if we wanted it, God would never abandon us here. We can't accept the existence of atheists." This was greeted with applause from the group of delegates who were earlier gripped by 'consternation'.
Next a young delegate stood up and offered his opinion, "Sir, We certainly do have atheists among our society; atheists who pray to the God of Money. You can find them among those in the business community. Why, they visit their places of worship almost everyday, places like the banks, the stockbrokers' and the casinos. A pious lot of atheists they are!"
So a fissure had begun to appear in the gathering over a ' nincompoop's' silly, innocuous observation.
Those delegates who were earlier gripped by 'amusement' were sympathetic towards the 'nincompoop 's' cause. They were mostly the hot-headed, Young Turks of the same age as the maverick. They began to chant, 'We want the atheists . We want the atheists!" The opposition replied by thumping the tables loudly. The love in the air had grown thin.
When the meeting appeared to look like a parliamentary session a few reporters were seen shaking their heads and making their quick exits.

So, were we right or were we right?

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 05:11 PM PST

And is that not what is happening today with the many issues hitting PKR, DAP and PAS, plus Pakatan Rakyat? Just read the news and see what I mean. All hell is breaking loose. And back in 2010 we said this will happen if you remain arrogant and treat us as the enemy just because we speak out against what we feel is wrong.


Raja Petra Kamarudin


Do you want to have your say about the Lib Dem Manifesto for the next election?

Lib Dem members play a key role in deciding our policy. We're unique, no other party does this, so we've launched a Manifesto Website to make sure that every member has the chance to make their voice heard.

Before 2010 it might have seemed fanciful for anyone to say that our manifesto would end up as Government policy. Now we've all seen the very real difference we have made by putting that plan into action in the last three years.

Our 2015 manifesto is perhaps the most exciting in the party's history, please do join in and make sure your voice is heard.

Best wishes,

David Laws MP


That was the e-mail I received from my party today.

No doubt the news is not good for my party, the Liberal Democratic party. We have lost a third of our members since 2010 -- down from 65,038 to 42,501 -- and more than a thousand of our councillors. Last year, the party was running at a deficit of more than RM2 million and is struggling to raise the funds required to fight an adequate general election campaign. Worse of all, even based on conservative estimates, the party is expected to lose nearly half of its 57 parliament seats in the 2015 general election.

Some ask me why I joined Lib Dem back in 2009, just before the 2010 general election. Well I suppose this was the reason:

The Liberal Democrats are a socially liberal political party that supports constitutional and electoral reform (one of my favourite subjects), progressive taxation, environmentalism, human rights laws, banking reform, and civil liberties (issues that many Malaysians are also talking about).

The party was formed in 1988 through a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party (just like PKR was formed through a merger of PKN and PRM, once called PSRM). However, the two parties had formed the electoral SDP–Liberal Alliance seven years prior to that. The Liberals had been in existence for 129 years and in power under leaders such as Gladstone, Asquith and Lloyd George. In the 1920s, the Labour Party replaced the Liberals as the largest opponent of the Conservative Party.

Anyway, the point I want to bring to your attention is that, today, my party sent all its 40-odd-thousand members an e-mail asking for feedback on what we would like to see in the 2015 general election manifesto. The fact that Lib Dem may do badly in the coming general election and may lose half the seats it won in 2010 is one thing. What is important is that the members have been asked to 'guide' the party, so to speak, and help come out with the new election manifesto for the coming general election.

Is Lib Dem on the way out? I really don't know but with just 30 or so seats it will no longer be a major player in the 650-seat UK Parliament. That comes to only about 5% or so of the seats.

Will Lib Dem still be the third force? That may still be possible if, again, UK sees a hung parliament in 2015 like it did in 2010.

Anyway, let us now shift to talking about Malaysian politics and Malaysian general elections, which is what I want to stress on.

In 2008, a month or so before the 12th general election in March, we from the civil society tabled a Peoples' Declaration or Deklarasi Rakyat. Everyone who read it said it was a good document and very sensible, plus not that difficult to achieve (meaning realistic).

Six of the non-Barisan Nasional political parties (three of the Pakatan Rakyat parties included) accepted and endorsed the document in a public ceremony at the Blog House in Damansara. The document was signed and speeches by the representatives of these parties were made.

After the March 2008 general election, the Peoples' Declaration was conveniently forgotten and swept aside. For two years we tried to enter into dialogues with Pakatan Rakyat but they played the avoiding game with us.

Then, when Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim made a trip to London in 2010 with a couple of other PKR and DAP leaders, I grabbed that opportunity to raise this matter and to express our unhappiness at the way Pakatan Rakyat has not shown sincerity. They agreed to the document before the general election just to court our support and win our votes, and after they got what they wanted from us, they discarded us -- just like you would a prostitute after you have satisfied your lust.

From then on, in late 2010, my relationship with Pakatan Rakyat went downhill. The strained relationship crossed the point of no return after we launched the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) and Haris Ibrahim announced his Independent Candidates Initiative and said that he was looking for 30 independent MPs and State Assemblypersons to field in the 800 or so seats in the 2012-2013 general election.

The message from Pakatan Rakyat was that 'outsiders' should not 'interfere' in party matters. Our job is just to vote for the opposition. After that we stay out and don't try to tell Pakatan Rakyat what to do. If we are so smart how come they and not we are running the party? Who are we, mere Bloggers and civil society activists, to tell the politicians what they should do?

That was three years ago. And three years ago I said that we have a right to comment about the party that we not only supported in 2008 but also went down to the ground to campaign for in the run-up to the general election.

In fact, we still continued to campaign for Pakatan Rakyat one year later in the Kuala Terengganu by-election in 2009 where PAS managed to grab that seat from Umno by a very impressive majority. And we 'interfering' Bloggers and civil society activists camped for ten days in Kuala Terengganu to campaign door-to-door and give talks at the ceramah every night (you can still see the videos on YouTube).

We were not interfering, as alleged. We were expressing our anxiety. We were worried about the 3R issue. We were worried about the internal bickering in PKR, DAP and PAS. We were worried about the inter-party conflicts amongst the three Pakatan Rakyat member parties. We were worried about the issue of Islam, the Islamic State, and the Islamic Sharia laws of Hudud, which have still not been resolved.

In short, we were worried about so many unresolved issues, which, if not resolved, would prevent Pakatan Rakyat from winning the 2012-2013 general election, and which, if not resolved, may cause a serious split in the opposition coalition.

The reply we got was that all those can be resolved later, once Pakatan Rakyat takes over. It is not yet time to resolve these issues. First take over the government, and then resolve all these issues, once Pakatan Rakyat is in power.

Well, 'they' were wrong and we were right. First of all, Pakatan Rakyat did not take over in 2012-2013, as we said would happen if we continue with this 'denial syndrome'. Secondly, unresolved issues will never solve themselves or go away. And if you do not resolve them now, then, one fine day, when you least expect it, they will resurface and bite you in the rear.

And is that not what is happening today with the many issues hitting PKR, DAP and PAS, plus Pakatan Rakyat? Just read the news and see what I mean. All hell is breaking loose. And back in 2010 we said this will happen if you remain arrogant and treat us as the enemy just because we speak out against what we feel is wrong.

So, were we right or were we right?


Mohd Salleh backstabbing us – Penang PAS grassroot

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 03:32 PM PST

(The Malaysian Times) - Interference from the DAP and PKR in the administration of Islamic religious affairs in the state has been described as a slap in the face of PAS grassroots members.

PAS activist Mohamed Hafiz Mohamed Nordin said the action by the PAS commissioner was strange and contradictory and could be likened to stabbing the PAS members in the back as they had made their stand for the sake of the party's integrity and future wellbeing.

"What was the intention of Mohd Salleh in issuing a contradictory statement?

The matter raised by PAS deputy commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff at a press conference was the voice of the PAS grassroots at the state PAS liaison meeting on Nov 14.

"Why is he defending them (DAP and PKR) and is it because he wants to be a member of the party?

"To me, the denial shows that he lacks integrity," he said at a news conference, here yesterday.


PAS leaders come under fire from delegates

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 03:25 PM PST

Sean Augustin and Azril Annuar,

Several delegates at the 59th PAS Muktamar today voiced their concerns and blasted the party leadership over various issues, including failure to step in during the Kedah PAS internal crisis and to raise issues concerning Sabah and Sarawak in Parliament.

Kedah delegate Nasir Zakaria criticised the party's leadership for not stepping in when Kedah PAS faced an internal crisis in the months prior to the 13th General Election and hinted that the crisis was the reason the state was lost.

"We are aware that there are many voices in and out of PAS saying that this defeat must not be repeated. So like the other delegates, we call upon the Electoral Post Mortem Committee to reveal their findings.

"As for our loss of Kedah, there were internal factors leading to it. In a family, children will argue with each other and being kids they can never resolve some of the issues. It's the duty of the parent to step in when things get out of control.

"A father must take quick action to stop things from escalating. Kedah does not want this kind of cancer (internal disputes) to topple another PAS led government. We don't want our constituencies to come under siege (when we are internally weak)," said Nasir.

He also pointed out that to win or regain the rural Malay support, the party must fulfil five criteria, namely integrity, defend the faith, defend the Malay rulers, have local personalities, and show concern for the Malays and protect them.

"PAS only fulfils two criteria while Umno fulfils all five. We are known only for defending the faith and for our integrity. We need to reposition ourselves through greater political education, " said Nasir.

'Sabah, Sarawak important states'

Sabah delegate Datuk Ali Akbar Gulasan also criticised the party's MPs for not taking up East Malaysia issues to Parliament.

"We have requested PAS MPs to speak up on our behalf and take up our issues to Parliament because we (Sabah and Sarawak PAS) don't have any presence there.

"We require their assistance but we have never received any response," he said.

Ali Akbar said PAS divisions in Sabah and Sarawak will receive more support if some of the party vice-presidents include Sabah and Sarawak in their portfolios.

"If you look at our opponent (Umno), they elect a Sabahan as one of their three vice-presidents. And BN has called Sabah and Sarawak as their fixed deposits.

"In this context, Sabah and Sarawak are very important states and PAS needs more strength to seize it from BN. Therefore, Sabah suggests that we divide the vice-presidents portfolios according to region, with Sabah and Sarawak being one region.

"Representatives from Sabah and Sarawak should also be part of the various Dewan and the Central Committee," said Ali Akbar.

Module on party struggle for supporters club

Taman Templer assemblyman Zaidy Abdul Talib urged the PAS central leadership to come up with a module for its supporters club to foster better understanding among members.

While PAS is an Islamist party, its supporters club comprises comprise non-Muslim members.

A "black and white" syllabus, Zaidy said, would not only help explain the party's struggle to non-Muslims but also help them understand the Islamic perspective better.

Currently, non-Muslims learnt about Islam through their experiences and interactions with the Muslim community, he said.

"The module would contain 'dos and don'ts' and list down the sensitivities of the various communities in Malaysia.

"The booklet can be distributed to everyone in the party to give a clearer picture about the brand of Islam practiced by PAS," Zaidy said when met by reporters after debating President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's keynote address this morning.

Zaidy also said the party should increase their engagement with NGOs whose cause mirrors the PAS' struggle, such as human rights of which he said was also found in Islam.

He had earlier cited the party's support for electoral reform group Bersih, which saw a multi-racial and religious participation

PAS, Zaidy said, can help increase support for the party if such initiatives were implemented.

Is DAP treating PAS as enemy, asks delegate

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 03:18 PM PST

(The Star) - A Penang delegate on Saturday has claimed that DAP-led state government has given them the cold shoulder amid the ongoing crisis between the two parties in the state.

Mohd Nor Haron, in debating the president policy speech at PAS' 59th Muktamar here, said that the state government's decision to appoint more representatives from NGO as local councilors was an attempt to "bury" their presence.

"Although we only won one seat in Penang, they shouldn't think we are not as equally important.

"Is it fair for them to appoint four representatives from NGO and appointed only two representatives from PAS? Are they trying to bury us?" he asked, stressing that PAS has a say in some state portfolios. 

He said that the state government has not responded to any of their formal complaints lodged on the matter, but PAS was asked for their views in their manifesto ahead of general election.

"Is this double standard against Penang PAS? As soon as we won the state, PAS was sidelined. Are they saying that we are an enemy to them? They have to remember this is not Barisan Nasional," said Mohd Nor.

He also said that the DAP-led state government, which champions the tagline 'Competency, Accountability, Transparency' or in short CAT should walk the talk.

"Please be a loving cat, not a fierce cat," he said, insisting that the Islamist party should not be a mere 'passenger' in the alliance.

DAP-led Penang was recently accused by its PAS counterparts of "unreasonably interfering" in the Islamic affairs and in the appointments to state agencies and village development and security committees.

This subsequently led to an ultimatum issued by Penang PAS commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff, saying that they would pull out their representatives from the state and municipal council posts.

PAS president Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang said they would meet with the party's partners in Penang as soon as possible and said that the matter would be discussed 'closed-door'.


Universal values won’t help resolve issues faced by Malaysia

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 02:46 PM PST

Isma is one of the 17 Muslim groups which had come together as the Muslim NGOs in the UPR Process (MuslimUPRo), and Abdullah Zaik (picture) said the coalition was formed in response to demands made by Comango – a separate coalition of 54 NGOs whose recommendations were officially submitted as part of the stakeholders' report to the UN.

Alyaa Alhadjri, The Ant Daily

The Al-Quran, Sunnah and the Federal Constitution must be maintained as the points of reference for any government policies rather than subscribing to a universal standard of values in the name of upholding human rights.

Islamic NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman told theantdaily that these three considerations, within a Malaysian context, should supersede any "Western values" championed by global superpowers.

"We [Isma] do not see how adopting wholesale the United Nations human rights conventions can help to resolve issues faced by Malaysians," said Abdullah Zaik, adding that the conventions were designed based on Western experiences which are then marketed as universal values.

He said, as such, Malaysia should not yield to international pressures to ratify the various United Nations (UN) human rights instruments as it will only create "more problems" within the society.

Isma is one of the 17 Muslim groups which had come together as the Muslim NGOs in the UPR Process (MuslimUPRo), and Abdullah Zaik (picture) said the coalition was formed in response to demands made by Comango – a separate coalition of 54 NGOs whose recommendations were officially submitted as part of the stakeholders' report to the UN.

Isma and Comango have since been engaged in a battle of words, with the former alleging that there were attempts to undermine the status of Islam in Malaysia through calls for the government to sign the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Comango has also been accused of supporting homosexual acts which are forbidden in Islam, which the coalition had subsequently denied.

When it was pointed out that Muslim nations such as Afghanistan, Yemen and Jordan are already a party to the ICCPR, Abdullah Zaik insisted that there are no "real benefits" to them doing so.

"Each country should consider its own unique situation. Muslim nations are increasingly forced to accept such liberal Western values or risk facing political and economic pressure [from global superpowers]," he claimed.

Malaysia has to date ratified three UN conventions pertaining to rights of women, children and persons with disabilities but with reservations on certain clauses.

Article 18 of the ICCPR states that "everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion" and when asked whether Malaysia should instead express its reservation to the clause, Abdullah Zaik insisted that the government should not "compromise" its stand on the matter.

"Once the government decides to compromise [by expressing reservation], there will be future calls to eventually accept the whole convention.

"This is all part of an ongoing Westernisation process," he said.

Meanwhile, Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) advocacy officer Yu Ren Chung said while Isma and the Muslim groups are entitled to express their views on the matter, the use of state machinery to vilify Comango is a cause for concern.

WAO is one of the 54 endorsees of Comango's demands and Yu said the coalition has been subjected to "outlandish comments" and "baseless allegations" – including through the official Friday prayers sermon text prepared by the Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim) on Oct 18.

"It is our responsibility to respond to Isma because what they have said are factually untrue. Isma is claiming to speak on behalf of the larger Muslim community when that is not necessarily true either," said Yu, in pointing out that matters of religion should be personal to every individual.

He also maintained the overall concept behind championing for adoption of universal human rights standards is so that every individual will be able to live their chosen life with dignity.

This, he said, is due to the fact that a UN member country will receive technical assistance to implement the resolutions which it has ratified for the betterment of the people.

Malaysia has received over 200 recommendations from UN member countries that participated in the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review process on Oct 24 and the government has until March next year to state its commitments over the next four-and-a-half years.


Penang PAS: Don’t treat us as a pillion rider

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 02:41 PM PST

PAS was only consulted during general election and are left out at other times, Penang PAS secretary Mohd Nor Haron.

K Pragalath, FMT

Penang PAS secretary Mohd Nor Haron said the state government should not treat the party as a pillion rider and give more say in the administration of the island.

Bagan division chief Mohd Nor Haron said PAS relations within the Pakatan framework began in 2008 and must be open to differing views and stand.

"I hope CAT (competency, accountability, transparency) is not a cat that scratches us. Be a loving cat. To keep leading, you have to keep learning," he said.

Mohd Nor said this when debating the president's speech at the 59th PAS muktamar in Stadium Melawati today.

Several days ago, Penang PAS deputy commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff said the party wanted more space within Pakatan to speak out and decide on party appointments in the Penang Islamic Religious Council (Maipp), local government and village development and security councils.

He warned the state government and Pakatan state council not to interfere in the administration of the Maipp headed by the state commissioner and Permatang Pauh assemblyman Mohd Salleh Man.

Mohd Nor said the Penang state administration should give more priority to PAS.

"We join hands during election campaigns and then during the administration you treat us like a pillion rider. Don't treat us as an enemy when it is Umno who is the enemy.

"How can you appoint four NGO representatives and only two PAS representatives in the councils? Would this appointments help PAS?" he asked.



DAP: Janice cannot contest in state polls

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 02:34 PM PST

Former Teratai assemblyman Janice Lee will not be able to contest in the state DAP polls because her appeal has been rejected, says national organising secretary Anthony Loke.

Priscilla Prasena, FMT

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said today Janice Lee would not be able to contest in the upcoming party elections in Selangor because the former Teratai assemblyman has been sacked by the party.

"Although she has appealed to contest, the party has rejected her application," Loke told FMT.

Lee had said that she would still take part the state elections in December's because she was appealing against her sacking.

She had also said she remained a DAP member and was entitled to take part in the state polls while waiting for the central executive committee to hear her appeal.

Lee was dropped as a DAP candidate in the last general election after the party's disciplinary committee (DC) found her guilty of misappropriating state and residents' funds in Sungai Pelek and Teratai respectively.

She went on to stand as an independent candidate in the general election and lost.

Lee had said her dismissal was an act of double standard by the CEC because other DAP leaders who had committed similar deeds were spared from punishment.

Loke, however, dismissed it by saying that she had a lot of allegations against her and this led to the party sacking her.

"I really don't know what is she talking about," he said.


Liberal Muslims have to liberate themselves, not Islam

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 02:26 PM PST

Now let us inspect what Liberal Islam really denotes. One of the key hallmarks of liberalism is that individuals be accorded with absolute freedom of choice. In trying to apply this to Islam, its proponents call for a total reinterpretation of what Islam is and how an individual should practice it now. 

FMT LETTER: From Umar Hakim Mohd Tajuddin, via e-mail

The term 'Liberal Islam' is so bemusing it is amusing.

The true sense of the word Islam is 'submission' and the entity to which the submission is directed to is Allah and Allah alone. In Arabic, although the word 'submission' etymologically shares the same root with the word 'peace', all the verses with the word 'Islam' in the Quran are all interpreted by the former.

True to its actual meaning, and some prefer to express it as to fully surrender, Islam frees those who embrace it from any form of obedience, voluntarily or by subjugation, towards another being. It is in the state of this absolute submission one is said to be in peace with his Creator.

Now let us inspect what Liberal Islam really denotes. One of the key hallmarks of liberalism is that individuals be accorded with absolute freedom of choice. In trying to apply this to Islam, its proponents call for a total reinterpretation of what Islam is and how an individual should practice it now. They call for a new exposition that breaks away from the system that is claimed to be too dogmatic, too literalistic.

Then what it should be based on now, one may ask. The many answers to that question actually can be summarised as this- whatever that is desired by individuals in general, in the particular period of time and irrespective of what Allah has outlined in Quran or through the conducts of The Messenger.

This is where the bemusement begins. While embracing Islam means Muslims must submit to Allah's will and in so doing be freed from shackles of obedience to other human beings, the liberals somehow determinedly promote exactly the opposite- Islam, and by extension Allah's ruling, must conform to what is currently desired by people. Putting it in another context, combining Islam and Liberal in a set of idea is a self-contradictory- an oxymoron. Rather unfortunately as we may see later, this is also where the amusement ends.

Closer to home, there have been many attempts of late to fuse Islam with Liberalism. Marina Mahathir, for instance, recently quoted a Quranic verse that, in general, calls for mutual respect and acceptance between people of various groups and tribes. She extended the context of this verse and implied that Allah recognizes LGBT. This is despite the many verses in the Quran that have already explicitly decided this matter. Whether this is an honest error or deliberated, her previous works and records on this issue speak for herself.

This penchant for selective, often abusive, use of Quranic verses can also be observed in their demands to abolish shariah law, permit murtad and revise Islamic family law among others. Some even go all the way to suggest that certain parts of the holy texts contravene the rights of human. This is just unfathomable as all Muslims regardless of their level of faith believe that Allah is All-Knowing and by that knows what is best for humans. For a mere mortal to claim that he is wiser than his Creator is just wrong on all levels.

In spite all this, one must not deduce that human rights has no position at all in Islam. Human rights in Islam are governed by Islamic morality and spirituality as outlined in the Quran and exemplified by The Messenger. One may find that in most cases, the rights in question are actually supported and protected in Islam such as the right to life, to education, to accumulate wealth, to a fair trial, to healthcare and so on. Only when its objective shifts to pursue absolute freedom in satisfying human desires and go against the principles of Islam are they rejected.

For example, several decades ago LGBT was regarded as a behavioral disorder and a violation even to Western norms and this is consistent with the view of Islam. Through the process of normalisation on the basis of human rights, LGBT has gained recognition over the years and now is accepted in the West as just a form of sexual orientations. Disturbingly, the same transformation cycle is now being initiated by the pedophiles and, by manipulating the same line of argument, they could expect an ending that is not dissimilar to what the LGBT has achieved.

There seems to be no stopping to this as the list of 'disorders' queuing to be normalised into 'orientations' is just endless. This is one example why Islam prohibits from submitting to human desires as it tends to erode morality. As most sensible human rights are already duly recognized in Islam, the next time someone laments about their position in Islam, chances are it serves as a disguise to another effort of fulfilling some twisted desires.



PAS election error: Polls committee nearly quit

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 02:23 PM PST

However, PAS election committee chairman Asmuni Awi says that his team rescinded on their decision at the behest of the party leadership

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

The election committee overseeing the PAS central committee election almost resigned from their posts following a technical bungle affecting the ballot papers yesterday.

However, party leadership stepped in and urged the committee members to stay put.

Speaking on the matter, PAS election committee chairman Asmuni Awi expressed his regret on the irregularity.

"As soon as we realised the technical error, all of us wanted to resign. However, we were entrusted by the party leadership to continue with our duty.

"We (the committee) then agreed unanimously that the voting process must therefore be continued," he said.

Yesterday, what was supposed to be a voting process for the deputy president, vice presidents and central working committee members was marred after mistakes were found in the ballot papers.

It eventually resulted in the election taking place for the deputy president and vice president posts. Election for the 18 posts in the PAS central committee had to be held today.

Asmuni also took the opportunity today to apologise on behalf of the committee.

"Justice must be done and must be seen to be done. We will ensure the same mistake will not be repeated," he said.

Commenting on the matter, PAS secretary general Mustafa Ali said the resignation was unnecessary after the committee admitted to their mistake and was ready to tender their resignation.

"These kind of mistakes happen to everyone. On that basis, on behalf of the leadership, we accept their apology," said Mustafa.

PAS permanent chairman Abu Kassim Abdullah said what was most important is that the process has been successfully completed.

The voting process for the PAS central working committee members were completed at 11 am earlier.




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