- The Malay psyche and Chinese philosophy
- Ulama group flexing its muscles
- New Gerakan chief determined to revive party's fortunes
- PAS at the crossroads
- One week to retract or we meet in court, Marina tells ISMA
- MCA hits out at ‘political chameleon’ Anwar
- Nik Aziz optimistic Hudud law can be enforced in Kelantan
- ‘Sacked’ Jenice to run for state DAP posts
- Is this not called ‘the Malay dilemma’?
- Selangor Opposition leader thrown out of Assembly
- Pro-ulama factor in PAS Youth
- Ulamas’ push for original Islamic state risking Pakatan pact
- PAS perlu berhenti “menangis seperti bayi” jika mahu perintah Malaysia
- Deputy CM sees Penang PAS grouses a bid for more posts
- PAS maafkan Karpal sebab dia jahil
- Kongres PKR Ahad ini beri kuasa kepada akar umbi?
- Why Malays do not vote for PAS
- Antara Ambiga, Anwar dan Maria
Posted: 22 Nov 2013 09:52 AM PST
Clash of philosophy
Posted: 22 Nov 2013 09:37 AM PST
Posted: 22 Nov 2013 09:34 AM PST
(The Star) - Clad in his white Gerakan party uniform, the recently elected party president Mah siew Keong 52, greets the Star online with a smile at his office at the party headquarters.
Mah certainly has his work cut from him. "I joined the party 20 years ago, when it was still growing at the grassroots level. I was then asked to contest for the Teluk Intan state seat, a seat that was never won by Barisan Nasional and my luck was such that I did."
Posted: 22 Nov 2013 09:31 AM PST
The answer will be unveiled tonight. If Mat Sabu and the other Erdogan leaders manage to keep their edge, the party's all-people roadmap and its cordial relationship with PKR and DAP could be further consolidated.
Tay Tian Yan, Sin Chew Daily
Mat Sabu has been pretty quiet recently.
The deputy president of PAS used to be highly exposed PAS leader in local media, and is known for his outstanding and vastly popular speeches or rather stage shows.
He is also a very popular figure among Pakatan component parties, one of the PAS leaders easiest to work with.
His power to mobilize people has been well acclaimed. He was the key person behind several mammoth public campaigns.
Unfortunately he lost the Pendang parliamentary seat in Kedah during the recent general elections, a seat PAS never thought it would lose at all.
Some in the party until today still cannot accept the fact that the seat was lost, the seat was held by the much revered late president Fadzil Noor. Even when PAS was at its lows, Pendang voters still went with the party.
The defeat was not only that of Mat Sabu alone but the so-called Erdogan faction of professionals in the party as well.
The party elections two years ago catapulted Mat Sabu to the pinnacle of his political career. He defeated two other opponents with cleric backgrounds in a three-cornered fight to become the party's first ever non-cleric deputy president while the Erdogan faction clinched the three VP posts.
Mat Sabu, Husam Musa, Mahfuz Omar, Salahuddin Ayub and other central committee members have vowed to transform PAS into a party for all Malaysians while pushing for closer cooperation with other Pakatan allies.
If PAS were to gain a broader support in the GE, in particular support from the Muslims, the status of the Erdogans would be further consolidated. So would the party's more open roadmap.
But the outcome was that Mat Sabu and many of the Erdogans were defeated in the elections, and the party's overall performance was lackluster.
The party's muktamar and party elections beginning today would serve as concluding benchmark. It would be an opportunity for the conservatives and clerics to reclaim their stakes, and time for them to hold the Erdogans accountable for the electoral flop.
It is impossible for the clerics to repeat their past mistakes. In the 2011 party elections, two clerics, Nasharuddin Mat Isa and Tuan Ibrahim both ran for the party's deputy presidency in a contest that eventually gave the post to Mat Sabu.
The cleric camp is under the commandership of Kelantan deputy MB Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah this time. Mat Sabu is facing a severe test and if he loses the contest, he will be out for good. Fortunately Amar is not a strongman nor a national-level leader. His chances will be very bad if his opponent is Tuan Ibrahim, who enjoys very good acceptance and status and is deemed the next to claim the party presidency.
Posted: 22 Nov 2013 09:28 AM PST
(MM) - Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir has issued a legal ultimatum to Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA), promising to haul the Muslim activist group to court unless it retracts allegedly false and "defamatory" claims against her by next week.
The Malay Mail Online understands that Marina had through her lawyers recently sent out a letter of demand to ISMA and its office-bearers over the group's statements that had purportedly cast serious doubts on her "integrity and honesty".
The letter claims that ISMA's allegedly groundless statements were intended to smear the reputation of Marina, a prominent activist who is also the eldest daughter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In the letter of demand (LoD) sighted by The Malay Mail Online, Marina's lawyers listed four demands that ISMA must fulfill, including a confirmation on whether the group stands by its allegations.
One of the demands states that ISMA must give a satisfactory explanation of the reason and the grounds for the group's attempt to link Marina to local human rights coalition Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the Universal Periodic Review Process (Comango)'s campaign.
ISMA is also required to fully retract its defamatory claims and publish an apology based on Marina's terms in its own website and Facebook page, on news portals The Malay Mail Online and The Malaysian Insider, as well as in two Malay dailies, Sinar Harian and Utusan Malaysia.
ISMA must also give Marina a written assurance and undertake to refrain from further publishing the defamatory statements or make similar statements against her, the letter said.
According to the LoD dated November 19, ISMA must fulfil these demands within seven days from the letter's date or face a court case.
Earlier, the letter traced ISMA's allegedly defamatory statements, where the group was said to have distributed 70,000 leaflets that had featured Marina's photograph and named her as a purported "dalang" or mastermind of Comango, which ISMA had claimed was composed of 54 "anti-Islam" non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 10:37 PM PST
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 10:21 PM PST
(Bernama) - PAS Spiritual Leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat said today he was optimistic that the Hudud law championed by PAS can be implemented in Kelantan.
He claimed that the Hudud law was now getting open support from the groups who had been silent on the issue in the past, including a handful who had previously objected to its implementation.
Nik Aziz disclosed this to reporters after the official opening of the 59th PAS general assembly which was being held here for three days beginning today.
Those who had rejected the Hudud law were narrow-minded but those who were far-sighted would have confidence in the law, he said.
Nik Aziz also denied that the Hudud law in Kelantan followed the one adopted in Brunei although a Brunei national was involved in formulating the draft of the Hudud law in Kelantan.
"If there are inadequacies...there is no law in the world that is complete...the judge must use his discretion...that is the advantage. Insya Allah let us pray together so that it (Hudud) can be implemented (in Kelantan)," he added.
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 06:14 PM PST
The former Teratai rep says she is entitled to contest for a state committee seat as her sacking is still under appeal
Leven Woon, FMT
Despite being sacked twice from the party, former Teratai assemblywoman Jenice Lee said she would still take part in the December's Selangor DAP election because she is appealing her sentence.
Lee said she remains a DAP member and is entitled to take part in the contest while waiting for the central executive committee to hear her appeal.
The 33-year-old is bullish about her chances of winning a spot in the 15-member state committee, having snatched the top spot by receiving the most votes in the 2010 polls.
"If there is no hanky-panky in the election, then for sure I can make it into the top 15," she told a media conference in her service centre today.
She said she has filed the nomination paper two weeks ago with more than two branches supporting her candidature.
Lee was dropped as a DAP candidate in the last general election after the party's disciplinary committee (DC) found her guilty of allegedly misappropriating state funds and residents' funds in Sungai Pelek and Teratai respectively.
She maintained that she was innocent and went on to stand in the election as an independent; which prompted the party to sack her. She lost in the election.
However, in a turn of events later, she was reinstated after the Registrar of Societies nullified the CEC election last December thus making her dismissal invalid.
How about Ean Yong and Kee Hiong?
Lee attended the CEC re-election on Sept 29 this year.
Following that she claimed she was again sacked from the party on Oct 7 via a letter signed by DC chairman Tan Kok Wai.
After a series of legal proceedings in which Tan's lawyer told the court that Lee is still a DAP member, pending for the outcome of her appeal, Lee appealed with the CEC again on Nov 15.
Lee also charged today that her dismissal was an act of double standard by the CEC because other DAP leaders who have committed similar deeds were spared from punishment.
She said the Royal Commission of Inquiry's (RCI) report on the death Teoh Beng Hock mentioned that Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah had in the past approved allocations of Selangor state funds to a connected company; which belonged to the then DAP's councillor Lee Kee Hiong's uncle – Lee Wye Ming.
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 05:26 PM PST
Do you think this is easy? Even the 'more progressive' Chinese and Indians are still a very superstitious lot and believe in temples, feng shui, lucky charms, ghosts, spirits, black magic, mother-tongue education, vernacular schools, and whatnot. Even the Chinese and Indians cannot discard their medieval beliefs, cultures and customs. And you expect the Malays to change?
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Today, Ahmad Mustapha Hassan, one-time press secretary to second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, and the writer of the book "The Unmaking of Malaysia", wrote a very interesting piece in The Ant Daily.
You can read it below.
I think he put it quite aptly that there is nothing wrong with criticising a certain community -- in this case he meant the Malay community. In fact, criticism is constructive. And I tend to agree with Ahmad Mustapha's opinion because I have said the same thing many times myself.
My only reservation is that there is a very narrow line between criticism and insult. And this is why in the days when I was very active in the Malay Chamber of Commerce we usually had to 'sugar-coat' our criticism somewhat so as not to offend those who might interpret our criticism as an insult.
I mean it is not just the Malays who are bad at taking criticism. Even the Chinese and Indians will scream 'racist!' if we were to criticise them. One negative comment from a non-Chinese or non-Indian and that person would immediately be labelled a racist. That has been proven time and again even here in Malaysia Today.
Somehow, Malays, Chinese and Indians have this impression that their community must not be criticised by those from another community. If they do then these people are racists. But what about when we criticise, say, the US, regarding their Middle East policy? Does this also make us racists? And should other countries criticise Malaysia's general elections (or human rights record) since this touches 'Malay sensitivities'?
To understand what Ahmad Mustapha should probably call 'the Malay dilemma' requires a study not only of the mindset of the Malays but the history, education (which can also mean indoctrination), upbringing, and so on, of the Malays. But Ahmad Mustapha would probably not call it 'the Malay dilemma' because people might interpret that as an endorsement of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's book of the same title or, as what Lim Kit Siang would call, Mahathirism.
However, if you do not call this 'the Malay dilemma' then what would you call it?
Anyhow, while Ahmad Mustapha may have identified some of the dilemmas facing the Malays, I feel he has merely scratched the surface, so to speak. And it is not possible for Ahmad Mustapha to address all the issues in merely two pages, like he has attempted below. The Malay dilemma will require a thesis if we wish to address them completely.
Ahmad Mustapha has identified Umno as the culprit behind the Malay dilemma. In the past I have said the same thing myself many times. Today, the PAS President hit the nail on the head when he said that the Malays have this perception that opposing Umno means opposing the government because Umno is equated to the government. In the same breath PAS upholds the Islamic criminal laws of Hudud.
Now, if I were to say that I oppose Hudud then I would be accused of not being a good Muslim, or worse, of being an infidel. So most Malays would not want to oppose Hudud for fear of being accused of something or another.
But is not one of the seven punishable crimes under Hudud the crime of rebellion (opposing the government)? And do the imams not say often enough in their Friday sermons (kutbah) that Muslims must not oppose the government because this is not allowed in Islam?
Hence, are Muslims not being indoctrinated since very young that Islam forbids dissent. Hence how can you expect the Malays to oppose Umno (meaning the government) when they have been brainwashed into not doing so?
Hence, also, is Umno really to be blamed here? Or is the Islamic indoctrination that Malays are being subjected to that is at fault? And if Malays were allowed to leave Islam, and they did so in huge numbers, would the 'new' Malay (meaning non-Muslim Malays) see things the way the current generation Malay (meaning Muslim Malays) see things?
So you see, according to the law, Malays mean Muslims and Malays may not, by law, become non-Muslims. Hence the Malay mindset is very much the Muslim mindset. But how many Malay leaders (meaning Muslims) would dare admit this out of fear that they would be called apostates (murtad)?
As you can see, it is a more complex issue than Ahmad Mustapha has pointed out in his two-page article. And as I said earlier this week, we need to reformat the Malay mind and reinstall a new 'operating system'. And this may also involve 'un-Islamising' the Malay mind.
However, trust me, no Malay would admit this or agree to this, whether they are from PAS, Umno or PKR. To admit so would admit that there is a 'weakness' in Islam and most Malays would rather die than admit that.
Ahmad Mustapha pointed out one culprit to the problem of the Malay mind, which is feudalism. Even Tun Dr Mahathir said exactly the same thing (that the Malays are too feudalistic).
Say we agree with this assumption -- that the feudal mind of the Malay is one of the contributing factors to the backwardness of the Malays. Would Ahmad Mustapha then agree that the solution has to be to remove the Monarchy and turn Malaysia into a Republic? You cannot say that you want to maintain the feudal system and at the same time expect the Malays to not be feudalistic in mindset.
So the solution is not that simple after all, is it?
About poor Malays such as farmers and fishermen having to borrow from moneylenders (mostly Chinese, even in the Malay heartland in Kelantan and Terengganu) and finally ending up in their clutches. Who is to blame here?
Can these poor Malays who own nothing walk into a bank and borrow money without any collateral? The only people who will lend them money with no collateral would be the moneylenders. So who is to be blamed here when banks are profit-motivated and would never lend to a bad risk or someone with no collateral?
Trust me, I have been in business long enough to know that Malaysian bankers are fair-weather bankers and will only lend to the rich and not to the destitute. Try walking into a Malaysian bank and tell them that you are broke and that you need a loan. The moneylenders, however, have no problems lending to people who are broke. The more broke you are the better for them.
And the Chinese millers mentioned by Ahmad Mustapha are very happy to lend the rice farmers money against 'future' crops (the collateral). Then these same millers will buy back the rice many months down the road as one of the terms of the 'repayment scheme'. And will the rice farmers get the best price for their rice or will they receive below market price?
You tell me!
These are just some of the so many issues that we will need to discuss and which have not been fully addressed by Ahmad Mustapha. The problem may be with Umno, as what Ahmad Mustapha said, but it is not confined to just Umno. It extends to way beyond Umno.
Islam, feudalism, and much more, are embedded in Malay 'values'. Hence to reform the Malays and to get them to change their values involves also to get them to change their values regarding Islam, the Monarchy, Malay privileges, Malay language, and so on.
Do you think this is easy? Even the 'more progressive' Chinese and Indians are still a very superstitious lot and believe in temples, feng shui, lucky charms, ghosts, spirits, black magic, mother-tongue education, vernacular schools, and whatnot. Even the Chinese and Indians cannot discard their medieval beliefs, cultures and customs. And you expect the Malays to change?
I fear not!
Malay bashing and upward mobility! Criticism most essential to achieve progress
Ahmad Mustapha Hassan, The Ant Daily
Does it mean that when someone comes out with constructive and critical comments about the Malays in order to highlight their weaknesses it should be inferred as Malay bashing? Let's bear in mind the adage that if there is no criticism there will be no progress in the life of any community. Without pointing out the weaknesses, there will be no way to provide the remedies.
The Federation of Malaya achieved independence in 1957 and the destiny of the country was in the hands of the Malays led by their leaders in Umno. The other communities simply acted as unequal partners. Thus the fate and the future of the Malays were determined by their own leaders, nobody else.
In 1971, a Malay agenda was executed in the form of affirmative action. This agenda was to end in 2001. Yet the Malays remained in the backwaters of the country's economy. Something is definitely not right with the Malay leadership and yet the Malays still elected these leaders back into office.
Who is then to blame? The Malay leadership in Umno especially Umno Baru had completely failed the Malays. Those who write critical articles do so in the hope that the Malays will wake up and realise that they have been duped.
The writers are attempting to get the Malays out of their feudal mindset. To achieve progress the Malays should no longer just accept what their leaders tell them. They have to question the promises and exhortations.
The feudal mentality of "mine is not to reason why but to do or die" has to change. This mental makeup has to undergo very serious modification. Unless there is a change in the mindset, the Malays will be pulled along like a pack of buffaloes by the Umno Baru leadership.
I have the experience of working in the rural areas and also working among the peasants and quite understand what they were facing in order to overcome their problems. The affirmative action that was put in place would not solve their problems.
Most padi farmers were tenant operators. They simply did not own the plot that they were cultivating. At one time, yes they did own the land but as there were no financial institutions in these areas where they could go and borrow to finance their operations, they had to depend on other sources. These sources were the rich farmers in their area who exploited them.
Once they could not pay what they had borrowed, their plots would be transferred to these rich landowners. That was the agreement made. And from then on they would be renting what was once their land. These rich landowners would have several schemes all of which favoured them. Thus such schemes like "padi kunca", "padi ratus", "jual janji" and "jual salam" came into being. All these schemes were cut throat schemes. The peasants laboured on these lands but the benefits went to these new owners.
The peasants some time would go to the towns to borrow from the moneylenders there but as most of the land came under Malay reservation, these moneylenders would still lend out but at very exorbitant rates. Again the moneylenders would then get some rich Malay to buy off these lands when the borrowers defaulted.
The peasants too some time became victims of the rice millers. The millers would extend loans and then would deduct the borrowings from the padi sent for milling.
The peasants therefore fell victims to three sources --- the landlords, the moneylenders and the rice milers.
The government, without solving this ownership and credit crunch problems, introduced mechanisation to supposedly increase the yield. The peasants would not benefit from this mechanisation of the operation. The ones to benefit were the landlords and the rice millers.
The land ownership problem could not be solved, as most of these rich landlords were Umno chieftains in the area. They had no interest whatsoever to solve this vital problem.
The remedy was to sidetrack the issue and create some token to convince the victims that the Umno-led government was doing something for the peasantry.
This example is only one of many to showcase just how the Malays had become the victims of their own kind.
It is time especially for the rural Malays to wake up and realise that they had not been given what is due to them – a better and improved standard of living.
Ahmad Mustapha Hassan is a former press secretary to second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and the writer of the book, "The Unmaking of Malaysia".
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 03:38 PM PST
(The Star) - Selangor Opposition chief Datuk Shamsudin Lias (BN-Sg Burung) was thrown out of the state legislative assembly for unruly behaviour during debate time.
Deputy Speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad ordered Shamsudin to leave the house when he came in defence of his Barisan counterpart Halimaton Saadiah Bohan (Kota Damansara) who was taken to task for allegedly making an erroneous statement when debating.
Halimaton Saadiah had said rental of government low cost flats had been increased from RM124 to RM 250 since June this year.
"My constituents have been complaining about this and the increase is a burden to senior citizens and the disabled," said Halimaton Saadiah.
This raised the hackles of the Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen as the rental was in actual fact raised in 2007 and not in 2013 as alleged by Halimaton Saadiah.
Elizabeth Wong (PKR-Bukit Lanjan) stood up and said that the issue had already been explained.
Halimaton Saadiah was then told to retract her statement but the first term assemblyman refused to do so.
The Kota Damansara assemblyman was then told that she would be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee for creating ill intent by misleading the house if she was adamant in her refusal to retract.
This irked Shamsudin who stood-up and lambasted the Pakatan Rakyat representatives for always saying the Opposition had ill intent towards the state.
Nik Nazmi ordered Shamsudin to leave.
Later at a press conference, Shamsudin said he was fed-up with the Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen's regular citation of bad intent whenever the Opposition addressed an issue.
"I was ordered out because the deputy Speaker said I breached the standing order. I accept that," said Shamsudin.
He added that all he wanted was a healthy debate.
Later, Nik Nazmi told a press conference that he ejected Shamsudin for disregarding his position as Speaker under Standing Order 44 (2).
He said Shamsudin had stood-up in defence of Halimaton Saadiah after she had refused to retract her erroneous statement.
"He did not cite any Standing Order in spite of me giving him many opportunities to use a Standing Order," said Nik Nazmi.He added that he had suspended Shamsudin for only a day.
SEE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYOtX1t-OQ4
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 03:27 PM PST
The PAS Youth wing has set the tone for the party election by voting in an ulama-dominated team that intends to defend the role of the religious scholars in their party.
Khalil is the eldest son of PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and Nik Abduh's father is Mursyidul Am Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat. Political parties love the idea of continuity because it means that the party is moving along. The pro-ulama team took two of the three Youth posts in a hard-fought contest.
Joceline Tan, The Star
ONE famous son has been replaced by another famous son in the Youth wing of PAS.
When Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi was named the new Dewan Pemuda deputy chief in the party election, his outgoing counterpart Nik Abduh Nik Aziz flashed his shy smile.
It was quite a special moment in the history of the party and everyone, particularly Nik Abduh, could see the significance.
There was a sense of a political transition in the making – the young and rising sons of two of the party's most prominent ulama are moving towards centrestage in the party.
Khalil is the eldest son of PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and Nik Abduh's father is Mursyidul Am Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat. Political parties love the idea of continuity because it means that the party is moving along.
The pro-ulama team took two of the three Youth posts in a hard-fought contest.
Youth wing chief Suhaizan Kaiat secured 320 votes, narrowly beating his pro-ulama rival Kamaruzaman Muhammad, who secured 307 votes.
Suhaizan's deputy Khalil and vice-chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin are from the pro-ulama group.
Suhaizan won on the strength of his track record as the former Youth information chief and his reputation as an activist.
It may not be the ulama dream team but it is actually quite a good combination of Suhaizan the activist, Khalil the religious scholar and Khairil the technocrat.
In fact, this may be the most qualified in terms of educational background that the Youth wing has elected. They will give Umno Youth a run for their money.
Zulhazmi Shariff, who was the third candidate for the top post, lost badly.
He had been the first to declare his interest in the post via his Facebook as calon KP (calon Ketua Pemuda or candidate for Youth chief).
He said he wanted to merakyatkan pemuda or to democratise the wing but many saw him as a wildcard candidate.
He is just an ordinary member, he was not a delegate to the muktamar, he could not vote and had to sit with the observers in the gallery area.
His rejection shows that delegates are quite discriminating about who and what the candidates are about and those with no track records have no chance in a high level contest.
Suhaizan's victory is a vindication of sorts. At the party polls two years ago, he was all prepared to go for the top post in the wing, but then-Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan begged to stay on another term. Suhaizan contested the deputy post but lost to Nik Abduh.
Those vying for places in the Youth wing leadership had been quite imaginative in their campaign.
It was evident that even the Youth wing was uncomfortable about the intensity and tactics employed in this election campaign. A pro-ulama Facebook page El Haraki was singled out for mention.
Many of the speakers lashed out at what they called fitnah and benda-benda buruk used by campaigners. They could not believe that a group claiming to be promoting the ulama cause could actually resort to name-calling and accusations.
Some in the party took the easy way out by blaming Umno as being behind the attacks. But deep in their hearts, they know it is internal because the views expressed could only have come from within.
There were lots of jubah and kopiah at the opening ceremony of the Youth wing a day earlier. But the next day, all the delegates were attired in white and green shirts, topped with white kopiah. They looked neat and disciplined, so different from the PAS Youth crowd of just a decade ago.
It was a metaphor of the young Malays, who now dominate the party's Youth wing, a modern generation that takes their religion seriously going by the passionate defence of the ulama role in PAS during the debate.
Many of them are well educated, whether in religious studies or secular fields. They are the future profile of PAS and they will be a force to reckon with.
Does the pro-ulama outcome of the Dewan Pemuda contest mean that an ulama wind will blow through the election of the main party today? No one can quite tell. In the 2011 polls, the pro-ulama group took the top posts in the Youth wing but the next day, big posts in the main party election fell to the Erdogan candidates.
And that is why all eyes will be on today's election.
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 03:19 PM PST
Sheridan Mahavera, TMI
Amid all the talk about the PAS ulama wing or Dewan Ulama calling for a review of the Islamist party's cooperation in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) – and whether that will lead it to leave the coalition – there was a persistent theme of unity running through its deliberations.
Unity not just among PAS members, be they conservatives or moderates, religious scholars or engineers. It was about everyone in Malaysia unifying under the umbrella of a benevolent so-called Islamic state administered by PAS.
Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib (picture) repeatedly went back to this theme went he talked of diverse subjects from Karpal Singh to Muslim liberalism to the future of PAS and especially the PR cooperation. This call for unity reflects the crossroads at which PAS finds itself.
The party has become a mainstream presence in Malaysia's political and social landscape and has gained support among non-Muslims in ways it could not have imagined 10 years ago.
Though it lost the Kedah state administration, PAS won eight more seats in Selangor than it did in 2008 and made inroads into Pahang.
Yet the Dewan Ulama and its conservative supporters believe this has come at the cost of it tempering its original struggle of wanting to set up an Islamic state in Malaysia.
More than that, in order to make those inroads into Malaysian society and to work with its allies the DAP and PKR, the Dewan Ulama feels that it was done at the expense of talking up its plans to implement hudud, or Islamic criminal law.
"When we were at war during the general elections, we had a common enemy (Barisan Nasional). So we swept our differences (between Pakatan parties) under the carpet," says a Dewan Ulama delegate from Terengganu who requested anonymity.
During the elections, Pakatan parties largely held to a promise to campaign on a common platform which was the "Manifesto Rakyat: Pakatan Harapan Rakyat".
PAS rarely mentioned its struggle for an Islamic state or its intention to implement hudud in places which it had won.
"But after the elections, we felt that it was time to review things especially on where we (PAS) stand and how we cooperate," said the Terengganu delegate.
Harun and the conservatives want PAS to return to its original of aim of setting up an Islamic state which includes hudud, and they want it to be expressed clearly to the public and its Pakatan partners.
"If we do not implement Islam then there is no meaning in our struggle. PAS should not be afraid to talk about Islam," said Harun in his opening remarks at the start of the assembly.
"There should not be members who say that if we talk about Islam, we cannot win (votes)."
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 03:11 PM PST
"Semasa PAS memerintah Kedah pada penggal lalu, jawatan apakah yang diberikan mereka kepada DAP? Begitu juga dengan di Kelantan, walaupun DAP mempunyai ahli di negeri berkenaan, tidak pernah pula terdengar mereka 'merengek' meminta sesuatu. Ini patut dihentikan."
Amin Iskandar, TMI
PAS perlu membuat keputusan sama ada mereka mahu bersama-sama Pakatan Rakyat (PR) menawan Putrajaya atau terus "menangis seperti bayi" dan menjadi "penumpang" dalam usaha mengalahkan Barisan Nasional (BN) yang sudah memerintah Malaysia sejak negara mula merdeka.
Perwakilan PAS Pulau Pinang, Mohd Raduan Ramli (gambar) semasa perbahasan ucapan Ketua Pemuda PAS semalam terus "membelasah" rakan PR DAP dan mendakwa mereka sekadar menumpang dalam pentadbiran kerajaan negeri pimpinan Lim Guan Eng.
Sedangkan masih banyak yang perlu dilakukan PAS seperti mempertingkat usaha untuk memenangi sokongan golongan muda Malaysia dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang, seperti kata bekas Ketua Pemuda PAS, Nasrudin Hasan semasa ucapannya dua hari lalu.
Ahli Parlimen Temerloh itu berkata, kebanyakan negeri termasuk yang diperintah PR di Pulau Pinang, merekodkan kurang 50 peratus undi golongan muda menyokong pakatan pembangkang itu dalam Pilihan Raya 2013 lalu.
Keputusan pilihan raya umum dari 1999 hingga 2013 menunjukkan dengan jelas pola pengundian terhadap PAS.
Timbalan Presiden PAS, Mohamad Sabu dalam satu ceramah di Selangor baru-baru ini menyedari hakikat kekuatan PAS apabila berkata secara sinis: "Jika PAS keluar dari Pakatan, maka PAS akan menjadi lebih kuat. Tetapi jajahan takluk PAS hanya bermula dari Rantau Panjang dan berakhir di Kemaman."
Pergantungan kepada undi Melayu sahaja, keputusan terbaik yang boleh PAS perolehi adalah seperti pada 1999 iaitu 27 kerusi Parlimen dan menguasai dua negeri; Kelantan dan Terengganu.
Bagaimanapun, keputusan Pilihan Raya 1999 tidak akan memberikan kelebihan kepada PAS jika Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad tidak memecat Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim daripada jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan Timbalan Presiden Umno.
Pemecatan Anwar menyebabkan 55 peratus undi Melayu beralih kepada Barisan Alternatif (BA) yang pada ketika itu dianggotai PAS, DAP, PRM dan Parti Keadilan Nasional (PKN) berikutan kekuatan pengaruhnya di kalangan Umno.
Tetapi, tanpa sokongan bukan Melayu, BA gagal menawan Malaysia pada 1999 apabila hanya menguasai 42 kerusi Parlimen (PAS 27, DAP 10 dan PKN 5).
Pilihan Raya 2004 pula menyaksikan PAS hanya tinggal tujuh kerusi Parlimen, PKR satu sementara DAP pula sudah keluar dari BA dan mempunyai 12 kerusi Parlimen.
Jumlah kerusi Parlimen BA hanya lapan berbanding sebelumnya akibat peletakan jawatan Dr Mahathir sebagai perdana menteri dan digantikan oleh Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Bebasnya Anwar dari penjara selepas Pilihan Raya 2004 memberikan harapan baru kepada pakatan pembangkang di Malaysia.
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 03:04 PM PST
(MM) - Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mohd Rashid Hasnon (picture) today dismissed claims the state administration was sidelining PAS and suggested it was a bid by the Islamist party's grassroots to use its ongoing conference to press for additional posts.
Rejecting claims made by delegates at the PAS muktamar in Shah Alam yesterday, Rashid insisted that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Penang administrations did not fail to consult the ally party when making appointments.
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 02:46 PM PST
Tidak ada sebab PAS perlu melatah dengan Karpal dan parti itu akan hanya mengambil sikap berdiam diri
Jamilah Kamarudin, FMT
PAS sama sekali tidak berkecil hati dengan cadangan Pengerusi DAP Karpal Singh yang mahu semua parti politik berasaskan kaum dan agama dibatalkan.
Ketua Dewan Ulamak PAS Pusat Datuk Harun Taib sebaliknya berkata, PAS tidak akan melayan sebarang gesaan daripada Karpal kerana menganggap pemimpin veteran DAP itu tidak memahami asas perjuangan Islam.
"Saya tak berdukacita dia bercakap demikian sebab Karpal Singh tidak memahami Islam.
"Dia ingat parti yang ditubuhkan berasaskan agama Islam ini akan menyebabkan berlaku perpecahan atau pergaduhan antara kaum sedangkan Islam itu diturunkan oleh Allah untuk menyatukan semua kaum dan bangsa yang sebelum ini hidup berpuak-puak," katanya kepada pemberita selepas perasmian muktamar Dewan Ulama' di sini hari ini.
Katanya, tidak ada sebab PAS perlu melatah dengan Karpal dan parti itu akan hanya mengambil sikap berdiam diri dan enggan memanjangka polemik tersebut.
"Macam mana kita nak kutuk dia, kita bertahaluf dengan DAP dan PKR ini bertujuan untuk berdakwah agar mereka dan boleh faham Islam.
"Karpal Singh ini belum sempat lagi nak belajar Islam, jadi kita maafkanlah kerana dalam Islam kata biarkan orang jahil bercakap dulu, kalau lawan orang jahil rosak kita," katanya.
Ahli Parlimen Bukit Gelugor itu awal bulan lalu berkata, perubahan itu perlu dibuat supaya semua rakyat tanpa mengira batasan kaum dan agama boleh menyertainya selaras dengan konsep amalan perpaduan.
"Masanya sudah tiba bagi semua parti berasaskan kaum dibatalkan pendaftarannya, malang sekali, PAS, kita perlu bersikap praktikal jika kita mahukan sebuah negara yang bersatu-padu."
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 02:42 PM PST
Buat masa ini kuasa PKR berada di tangan kepimpinan pusat yang diketuai ketua defacto parti Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Oleh Alan Ting, Bernama
Ahad ini (24 Nov), PKR akan mengadakan kongres kebangsaan khas di Shah Alam untuk meminda perlembagaannya bagi memberi laluan kepada pengagihan kuasa dalam parti.
Para pemimpin akar umbi parti itu mahukan lebih banyak suara serta sokongan dalam proses membuat keputusan tetapi buat masa ini kuasa PKR berada di tangan kepimpinan pusat yang diketuai ketua defacto parti Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Ketua-ketua PKR negeri dilantik oleh kepimpinan pusat di Kuala Lumpur dan peranan mereka adalah terhad memandangkan setiap keputusan mengenai perlantikan biarpun di peringkat negeri perlu dirujuk kepada kepimpinan di Kuala Lumpur.
Inilah yang membuatkan pihak akar umbi di Sabah merasa kecewa kerana kepimpinan pusat parti tidak mendapatkan pandangan mereka ketika melantik Datuk Lajim Ukin sebagai ketua negeri PKR.
Oleh yang demikian, pindaan-pindaan yang dibuat akan memberi kuasa kepada ketua negeri dan cawangan dalam membuat keputusan mengenai perkara-perkara di peringkat negeri termasuk Sabah dan Sarawak.
PKR pada masa ini menguasai Selangor sementara rakan sekutunya DAP dan PAS, masing-masing menguasai Pulau Pinang dan Kelantan dengan Anwar memastikan ketiga-tiga parti kekal bersama dalam pakatan pembangkang. Melangkah
"Kami mahu memberi lebih banyak kuasa kepada negeri, bahagian, sayap pemuda dan wanita terutamanya kuasa memutuskan calon untuk pelantikan politik di peringkat negeri dan bahagian," kata pengerusi jawatankuasa pindaan perlembagaan Datuk Tan Yee Kew.
Selaras dengan pindaan yang bakal dibuat, salah satu jawatan naib presiden yang dilantik akan diperuntukkan kepada orang kuat PKR sama ada dari Sabah atau Sarawak.
Dalam masa yang sama, pengerusi PKR dari kedua-dua negeri secara automatiknya juga memperolehi keahlian dalam biro politik parti.
Pada masa ini, PKR mempunyai empat naib presiden yang dipilih sementara kepimpinan tertinggi parti dibenarkan melantik tiga orang lagi.
Para pemerhati politik percaya perubahan itu akan menggalakkan komunikasi dua hala dan membantu mengelakkan pertelingkahan antara pemimpin di peringkat bahagian atau cawangan dengan kepimpinan pusat parti.
Menurut mereka, tanpa pindaan itu, pemimpin akar umbi tidak mempunyai banyak hak untuk bersuara mengenai keputusan-keputusan penting dan ini mungkin mendorong mereka yang tidak berpuas hati membawa rungutan mereka kepada Pendaftar Pertubuhan seperti yang berlaku dalam DAP.
Sesetengah pihak percaya langkah membuat pindaan itu ada kaitannya dengan peralihan strategi yang didokong parti iaitu daripada parti yang bertumpu kepada Anwar kepada parti populis yang menyokong kepentingan orang awam.
Ini terutamanya untuk menjadikn PKR lebih menarik kepada penyokong-penyokong dari Sabah dan Sarawak.
"Berdasarkan hasil keputusan PRU13, satu-satunya cara untuk parti itu memperbaiki peluang dalam pilihan raya akan datang adalah dengan memenangi lebih banyak kerusi di Sabah dan Sarawak.
"Ini mungkin menjelaskan mengapa mereka memutuskan untuk memberi lebih banyak suara kepada Sabah dan Sarawak," kata seorang pemerhati politik dari Sabah.
Bagaimanapun, ada yang yang percaya bahawa banyak lagi yang tersirat dalam pindaaan perlembagaan parti terutamanya memandangkan pemilihan parti yang dijadual berlangsung awal tahun depan.
Sesetengah penganalisis percaya pengaruh Anwar dalam parti semakin pudar, justeru Anwar sedang menyediakan parti itu untuk mengharungi era selepas beliau.
Juga terdapat desas-desus yang parti itu sedang mempersiapkan anak perempuannya Nurul Izzah yang juga naib presiden parti dan Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai untuk memainkan peranan yang lebih besar.
"Bukan itu sahaja, ianya juga mungkin sebahagian daripada strategi kepimpinan tertinggi untuk memastikan mereka menerima sokongan peringkat akar umbi dengan memberi sedikit kuasa kepada peringkat bahagian dan cawangan."
Bagaimanapun, Tan menyangkal tanggapan itu sambil menjelaskan sejak beberapa tahun lepas, PKR telah membuat pelbagai perubahan secara berterusan dalam usaha pembaikan berdasarkan maklumat balas daripada akar umbi dan tidak ada kaitan dengan agenda peribadi.
"Parti ini telah melalui tiga pindaan dalam tempoh 14 tahun, masing-masing pada 1999, 2003 dan 2009.
"Sebagai contoh, pindaan kepada perlembagaan parti pada 2009 adalah untuk memperkenalkan pemilihan secara langsung bagi jawatan kepimpinan bahagian dan pusat selain mesti ada sekurang-kurangnya 30 peratus perwakilan wanita dalam semua peringkat kepimpinan parti.
"Hakikatnya, jika diambil kira semua parti politik di Malaysia, parti kami adalah yang pertama memperkenalkan sistem pemilihan secara langsung," jelas Tan.
Bagaimanapun, di sebalik usaha gigih parti untuk menonjolkan imej barunya, parti itu masih dikawal oleh Anwar dan keluarganya.
Isteri Anwar, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah adalah presiden parti, anak perempuannya Nurul Izzah adalah seorang daripada naib presiden parti sementara Anwar sendiri adalah ketua defacto parti di samping ketua pembangkang di Dewan Rakyat.
Pensyarah Universiti Sains Malaysia, Dr Sivamurugan Pandian yang juga seorang pemerhati politik menjelaskan adalah penting untuk PKR menunjukkan bahawa "parti itu bukan lagi tentang Anwar" dengan melakukan perubahan yang lebih ketara dan mantap.
Sehingga keadaan itu wujud, Anwar dan keluarganya akan dilihat sebagai pihak yang menentukan segala-galanya untuk parti itu.
"Sekiranya mereka memutuskan untuk membuat perubahan yang lebih mantap dan bertenaga, perkara seterusnya siapa yang akan memainkan peranan Anwar selepas itu?
Oleh itu, bolehkah para perwakilan yang hadir di kongres parti Ahad ini menetapkan rentak untuk membentuk PKR yang lebih dinamik dengan perubahan-perubahan yang melampaui pindaan perlembagaan ini?
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 02:38 PM PST
The Malay voters feel that changing Umno is equivalent to bringing about the fall of the government and this creates fear in civil servants and their families, says PAS president Hadi Awang.
K Pragalath, FMT
PAS president Hadi Awang pointed out that the major challenge for his party is to overcome the Malay political psyche that has failed to distinguish the difference between a ruling party and a government.
"We cannot deny that there is dependence of Malay voters on the ruling party, limited understanding of the faith, weak education and no access to information," said Hadi regarding the party's core voters while delivering his keynote address themed as 'Blessings for All' at PAS' 59th muktamar session at Stadium Melawati.
"They have failed to differentiate a ruling party and a government. As a result, they think Umno is government and government is Umno," he said.
Hadi said this had created an Umno relying on the mentality to the Malays.
"They think that government property is Umno's and so do not see anything wrong in the misuse of funds by Umno to openly bribe voters.
To overcome this hurdle, Hadi suggested three methods.
The three are to ensure all of PAS briefings to the people must be based on changing the ruling party instead of changing the government.
He called for continuous talks so that the Malay voters would understand that the government would remain and it was only Umno that would be removed from ruling.
Hadi said bringing the downfall of Umno was not equivalent to bringing down the downfall of the Malaysian government.
Posted: 21 Nov 2013 02:31 PM PST
Empire Strikes Back
Masalah dalaman BERSIH bukanlah sesuatu yang baru. Desas-desus mengenai Ambiga mahu melepaskan jawatannya sebagai Pengerusi BERSIH bermula sebelum perhimpunan BERSIH 2.0 pada 2011 lagi.
Dikhabarkan bahawa Ambiga mahu berbuat demikian kerana sudah tidak lagi boleh bertolak ansur dengan campurtangan politik daripada Pakatan Rakyat yang beria-ia mahu menjadikan BERSIH sebagai anggota keempat pakatan tersebut.
Ramai sebenarnya tidak tahu bahawa Ambiga adalah pilihan kedua Anwar dan Ambiga dipilih menjadi pengerusi setelah calon pilihan Anwar Ibrahim menolak untuk terlibat dengan pergerakan itu. Individu yang menjadi pilihan utama Anwar bagi jawatan tersebut menolak kerana merasa tidak senang dengan sumber pembiayaan BERSIH. Mungkin ada yang tahu individu tersebut cuma tidak manis rasanya untuk menyatakan nama beliau di sini.
Manakala Ambiga, bekas Presiden Majlis Peguam pula, yang dulunya adalah seorang pro-kerajaan menerima 'lamaran' Anwar dengan tangan terbuka kerana didorong rasa kecewa apabila kerajaan tidak menyokong permohonan beliau untuk satu kekosongan jawatan di bawah Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu.
Jadi, hakikat bahawa Ambiga tidak lagi mahu menjadi Pengerusi Bersih adalah sesuatu yang telah dijangkakan apabila menyatakan dia pasti akan bersara tetapi hanya akan berbuat demikian hanya selepas pilihan raya umum Mei 2013 bagi tidak menjejaskan peluang Pakatan Rakyat dalam pilihan raya berkenaan.
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