Ahad, 17 November 2013

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An Islamic State of Mind

Posted: 17 Nov 2013 08:28 AM PST


Why are UMNO and its mouthpieces interested in seeing that ulamaks win all the PAS leadership positions? Are we to believe that they are motivated with the purest of intentions? 

Sakmongkol AK47

I see UMNO mouthpieces and those aligned to it- especially the articles written by that Jezebel of a journalist from the Star( I hear some UMNO people who are English Language-challenged, get multiple orgasms when quoting her) are tripping over one another saying the ulamaks are good for PAS.
Why are UMNO and its mouthpieces interested in seeing that ulamaks win all the PAS leadership positions? Are we to believe that they are motivated with the purest of intentions? Of course not.  They are interested in furthering their own agenda and to stay in power. UMNO wants to add another Uncle Tom party under its wings just as it treats MIC and MCA and 12 other BN janitor boys.
Of course the ulamaks have always dominated PAS- after all PAS is a religion-based party whose core values are guarded jealously by the Islamic clerics. The only reason why UMNO and its allies want the ulamaks to win all is because they know how easy it is to run circles around these ulamaks. Should PAS ever teamed up with UMNO, all Najib will do is give PAS two cabinet posts and that's the end of PAS. It will be a repeat of what PAS went through when it joined BN a long time ago. The foremost ulamak, TG Nik Aziz will never sanction PAS sleeping with UMNO.
If PAS revere theTok Guru they will ensure that PAS never teams up with UMNO. What use is teaming up with UMNO? For what purpose? So that the right wingers in both parties can stay under one roof and become racists?  A Progressive PAS can replace UMNO and lead Malays. Why should it want to extend a life line to a sick UMNO?  
A sick party like UMNO can control the minds of Malays with sick policies and agenda. There must be something wrong in this arrangement. It can only do this because PAS limits its own potential. If PAS becomes a progressive party, UMNO is finished!
PAS has to play the game intelligently. As my friendWalla perceptively observed,  GE12 was Hindraf. GE13 was DAP. So that GE14 will be PAS.  Now take the earlier statement that in this country our Malays can be the most globally-attuned community member and graft it onto the role that PAS can play towards total success in GE14, and we have immediately a new transformation wave for this tired land.

PAS can also do the same to dignify all life again. People should not be corrupted about their needs. They can be helped by earnest and honest community work extended to all who suffer regardless of race or religion.     It's not about forming an Islamic state. It's all about forming and living an Islamic state of mind. And that has to be globally attuned in nature. After all, isn't He global?

Read more at: http://sakmongkol.blogspot.com/2013/11/an-islamic-state-of-mind.html 

11 ways to be unremarkably average

Posted: 17 Nov 2013 08:21 AM PST


Everyone wants to achieve great things and imprint their life in the history. However, only the minority of them devote sufficient effort to achieve their dreams. Gavin Aung Than, freelance cartoonists based in Australia illustrated this social phenomen in one of his mind blowing drawing cartoons. Following cartoon illustrates quotes and worldview of Chris Guillebeau, an inspiring entrepreneur and writer, who helps people to follow their passion and find a meaningful way to use their talents.

See the comic at: http://catinwater.com/2013/11/15/11-ways-to-be-unremarkably-average/ 


PAS Youth Gives DAP Five Days To Wrangle Apology From Karpal

Posted: 17 Nov 2013 01:54 AM PST

(MM) - PAS Youth renewed today its call on Karpal Singh to apologise for allegedly suggesting the de-registration of PAS, even giving the DAP veteran a five-day deadline to respond to its demand.

In a media statement here, the wing's vice-chief Dr Raja Ahmad Iskandar Al-Hiss said the transcript of Karpal's remarks to the press on November 5 had proven that the senior politician had indeed lumped PAS in the category of "race-based" parties that should be dissolved.

"Operating along religious, racial lines, is a very dangerous thing in a multi-racial and a multi-religious society like ours. I think the time has come perhaps for all racial parties to be deregistered, that will include unfortunately even PAS.

"We have to be practical, we have to be practical, if we want a united country then we must have parties which are multi-racial," Karpal had purportedly said that day, according to a transcript of the press conference that Raja Ahmad attached to his statement today.

Citing this, the PAS leader said Karpal should not only apologise but should also retract remarks he reportedly made yesterday in a media statement.

According to a copy of the statement provided today, Karpal had reportedly said:

"Any citizen in the country in his right mind would not disagree with me that there should be no place for political parties based on racial or religious considerations in a multi-racial and multi-religious society like Malaysia and that ultimately there should be complete eradication from its political turf of political parties based on racial or religious considerations."

In demanding the apology, Raja Ahmad said it was made with due consideration to the resolutions passed at two PAS muktamars - in Ipoh in 2008, and the 2010 session in Kelantan - whereby delegates supported the party's stand to uphold its Islamist ideology while establishing a relationship with its multiracial partners in Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

The resolutions had also included seeking cooperation from PAS's PR partners DAP and PKR to respect PAS's Islamic struggle and not to raise matters that could affect these sensitivities.

"Therefore we from PAS Youth request that the DAP leadership instruct Karpal Singh to apologise to PAS and retract his latest remarks," he said, before issuing a five-day deadline on the DAP leader.

The Islamist party's youth wing had first demanded the apology from Karpal on November 6, a day after his alleged de-register call, saying that the veteran politician should not equate PAS to other religious or race-based political or professional bodies.

"We, from Federal Territories PAS, hope that Karpal retracts his statement and makes a public apology, especially to PAS. We do not want to jeapordise our relations in Pakatan Rakyat," said its Youth chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad had reportedly said, according to The Star.

Karpal, in his remarks on November 5, had been responding to the warning from the Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA) to the Bar Council over the latter body's alleged support for the Christians in the "Allah" controversy.

But Karpal had refused to apologise, denying that he had ever called for PAS to be de-registered.


The politics of positioning

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 08:48 PM PST

Thus far, Pakatan Rakyat has been able to get away with being evasive regarding various positions. We agree to disagree. We will only act based on consensus. We will sort it out once we get into power. We have no objections to them using it as long as it is not abused. We cannot reveal that yet or else the government will steal our ideas. We try harder because we are number two (Avis's brilliant marketing line that eventually made them number three).


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Positioning is very crucial in marketing. I did a study on the subject once and was quite surprised to find out that your success in the positioning game can also result in your failure.

For example, Xerox had already positioned itself as the number one of photocopy machines and IBM as the number one in computers. So they were very successful in their respective markets. But when Xerox tried its hand at computers and IBM at photocopy machines, they lost their pants and had to cut their loses and get out of the market.

The market just could not accept IBM photocopy machines and Xerox computers because this was not the 'position' they had built up (at least in America). So they withdrew into the market that they reigned supreme and continued to be the number one in those markets.

In politics, especially in American politics, positioning is also very crucial. This becomes even more important when both choices are fundamentally the same. If it is a Socialist party or an Islamist party or a Christian Democrat party, and so on, then the choices become clearer. But when both contenders are seen as the reverse side of the same coin, then positioning may have to decide the victor.

And the American media will always bombard contenders with questions regarding their position, in particular when both candidates are perceived as basically cut from the same cloth.

What is your position on national security and the threat from Islamic fundamentalists?

What is your position on the Middle East and Israel?

What is your position on China and America's huge debt to China?

What is your position on abortion and the decline in moral values?

What is your position on gay marriages and gays in the military and the church?

What is your position on welfare and the healthcare system?

What is your position on education and religion in the schools?

What is your position on pollution and the global warming?

The list goes on. Basically, we the media, on behalf of the American people, want to know your position regarding these and many more. And the contenders had better be ready with answers.

The main thing here, however, would be whether you reply truthfully based on what you believe or should you reply according to what the voters would like to hear so that you can win their votes? Maybe the Christians would like us to believe that the truth will set you free but that does not mean the truth will win you votes.

In the past, Malaysian politics was very simple although complex. It was simple in the sense that Umno was about Malay nationalism. PAS was about Islam. PSRM (now PRM) was about socialism. MCA was about Chinese interests. MIC was about Indian interests. DAP was about…hmm, I am not sure what it was about other than anti-Malay interests. PPP, again, I was not sure what it was about other than another socialist party. And so on.

But that line has now become blurred. And with the coming of Semangat 46, an Umno splinter-party (now defunct), and now PKR, another perceived Umno splinter-party but trying to project itself as a multi-racial party (Malay-base-multi-racial party was how the late MGG Pillai described PKR), we are beginning to not be able to tell one from the other.

In short, with Gerakan, DAP, PPP, PKR, and so on, all trying to present themselves as multi-racial parties, the lines become blurred even more and identities get lost in translation. And soon the line between Umno and PAS will become hazy as well when both start to move to the centre.

In time, most of the parties would have no clear identity, especially when DAP becomes less Chinese-centric and PAS less Islam-centric, added to Gerakan, PKR, PPP, PSM, etc., all offering the same 'product' of multi-racial and liberal politics. And if Umno becomes less of a Malay-centrist party, this would create utter confusion in the market (so maybe Umno should remain a rightist Malay party for the benefit of Pakatan Rakyat).

Up to now, Malaysian politics has been the politics of mudslinging. But what happens if Umno cleans up its act and PAS becomes more liberal and discards its hard-line Islamic stand? Invariably, there would be less mud to sling. So they would need to market themselves in other ways to win votes. And this is where positioning becomes very crucial.

Soon the questions that the US media asks the American politicians would be posed to Malaysian politicians. It will no longer be about how bad or corrupted the other side is (and therefore vote for the better and cleaner me) but what your position on these various issues are.

Thus far, Pakatan Rakyat has been able to get away with being evasive regarding various positions. We agree to disagree. We will only act based on consensus. We will sort it out once we get into power. We have no objections to them using it as long as it is not abused. We cannot reveal that yet or else the government will steal our ideas. We try harder because we are number two (Avis's brilliant marketing line that eventually made them number three).

But the recent controversies, especially those regarding Islam, can no longer take the 'elegant silence' treatment. Also with the other issues such as English language, LGBT, and so on. Sooner or later, each party's position must be clarified. And better sooner than later before someone 'steals' that position.

Many say, because of the Internet, the Malaysian voters are today much wiser than, say, ten years ago. If that is so then that is also bad news because a wiser voting population is also a more demanding population. Hence the wiser voters would analyse your position and vote according to your position since the other person is the reverse side of the same coin anyway.


Raising the ante somewhat

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 06:37 PM PST

Okay, allow me to go back to the matter of the 3Rs, which is actually what I want to talk about in my normal cheong hei fashion. The 3R issue will still be with us whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat runs the country. So how would changing the government solve the matter of the 3Rs unless society itself is able to discard the doctrine of the 3Rs?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

I was invited to give a talk in Cambridge not too long ago and the focus of my talk was on the 3Rs. Basically this means race, religion and royalty. Earlier I had written about it (a few times, in fact), which upset quite a number of people -- Haris Ibrahim a.k.a. Sam of the ABU or 'Anything But Umno' movement being one of them, who said I was playing the race card.

This is where some people do not understand that you do not shoot the messenger if you do not like the message. 'Shooting the messenger' is a saying derived from olden day Greece when the King would kill the messenger if he brought back a message His Majesty did not like -- such as "Your Majesty, we have just lost the battle and our entire army has been wiped out and the enemy is marching towards us and should be here in an hour."

I suppose many would rather that I downplay sensitive issues, sweep them under the carpet, and do not throw the spotlight on them. That is just like what some of my friends tell me when I ask them whether they have gone for a routine medical check up, especially those who are past 50 or 60 (like me).

It is advisable to do so, I tell them, in the event you have cancer or whatever. Then the cancer can be detected early while there is still time to do something about it. By the time the cancer is at stage three, or by the time there is a swelling and you feel the pain, it may be too late.

The response they give me is that they do not want to do that because they would rather not know. If they do go for a routine medical check up and in the event the doctor does detect cancer they would be very worried. Hence better they do not know. Then they would have no worries.

Yes, quite a number of my friends actually did say that, believe it or not. And I have lost quite a number of friends, or their wives, who have since died from cancer. Two of my favourite aunts died since I left the country in 2009, both due to cancer. Hence, as they say, early detection is the best way to beat cancer. Don't wait till you feel the pain or see the swelling. Most times that would only mean you have crossed the point of no return.

Yes, cancer, my 'favourite' subject. And it is my favourite subject not because I love it but because I fear it. And I fear it because (and I have told you this story before) my wife suffered from breast cancer (and so far is beating it) while recently I, too, was suspected of having colon cancer (which happened to be a false alarm although the symptoms were there).

The bottom line is, you can fear cancer and would rather not know if you do have it to avoid the anxiety of knowing. But that does not mean this is going to keep you safe. It just means ignorance is bliss and you live under the false pretense of being safe when you actually may be slowly dying without knowing it.

I am talking about cancer not to sound morbid but because Malaysia, too, is suffering from cancer. And, as I said, it is better that we have early detection rather than wait until the cancer reaches the stage where it becomes incurable. But then many would rather I not talk about it. They whack me when I talk about it. They would rather scream 'ABU' than deliberate on Malaysia's cancer and explore what we should do to beat this cancer.

So how do we beat Malaysia's cancer then? Simple! We change the government. And that is why we need to shout ABU, so that the government can be changed. Once the government has been changed the cancer would disappear all by itself.

But that is just it. It is not the government that is giving us this cancer. It is society. So can we beat Malaysia's cancer by changing the government if we do not also change society, which is the real cause of the cancer? Changing the government without changing the way society thinks will just be old wine in a new bottle.

Let me put it another way. Governments comprise of people. So we change the government but the same type of people (albeit wearing different 'clothes') run the new government. Will this change anything?

Now, at this point of my article, the Pakatan Rakyat supporters and ABU-screamers will say that I am propagating to keep the present government. And they will say this because I said changing the government is of no use if we do not change the people. That is how narrow-minded people perceive things. These people are beyond reasoning.

Okay, allow me to go back to the matter of the 3Rs, which is actually what I want to talk about in my normal cheong hei fashion. The 3R issue will still be with us whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat runs the country. So how would changing the government solve the matter of the 3Rs unless society itself is able to discard the doctrine of the 3Rs?

And you know that doctrine is the foundation of the belief system and cannot be easily changed. And it is doctrine that cause conflicts just like the conflicts between religions or between different sects of the same religion.

Let me use the following analogy to explain what I mean.

You hold to the doctrine of Islam. You then decide to change religions and, say, become a Catholic (my analogy of changing governments). But you still hold to the doctrine of Islam even after becoming a Catholic. You still believe that Prophet Muhammad was the last Prophet. You do not accept the Trinity or the doctrine of Jesus as the Son of God. You do not believe that Jesus died on the cross but believe that someone else who looked like Jesus did and Jesus, in fact, ascended to heaven and escaped death.

Okay, you are no longer a Muslim. You are now a Catholic. But you do not accept the Catholic doctrine. You still subscribe to the doctrine of Islam. Have you really changed religions other than in name only? Or are you still a Muslim at heart?

Hence, the doctrine of the 3Rs is an Umno doctrine. Do those in Pakatan Rakyat accept this doctrine? Or do they reject this doctrine and hold to an entirely different doctrine? And will those Malays in Pakatan Rakyat agree to the new doctrine or do they still hold dear the old doctrine?

If you regard the 3Rs as the cancer facing Malaysia and if you regard it as a serious problem that needs solving then we must decide what to do about it. Changing the government without discarding the 3R cancer is not changing anything. 

That is the point I am trying to drive home.

But how do we change it? Is Pakatan Rakyat going to ensure that the Constitutional Monarchy remains a true Constitutional Monarchy -- which means it is seen but not heard? In that case can, for example, the Sultan of Selangor issue Royal Decrees -- like His Highness did regarding the Christian use of the Allah word?

Can we tell His Highness to shut up and not issue any statement? And if His Highness does issue a statement can we issue a counter-statement telling the people to ignore what His Highness said? Can we warn His Highness that Islam may come under the Rulers' jurisdiction according to the Constitution but that is merely ceremonial and this does not give His Highness any real powers over Islam?

And if we do decide to do all that, will the Malays in Pakatan Rakyat agree with that move? And if the Malays in Pakatan Rakyat do not agree with that move, would changing the government change anything when the doctrine that forms the foundation of your belief system remains the same?

These are hard questions that require honest answers. And by 'cleverly avoiding' these issues -- as some political analysts said today (READ HERE) -- this does not mean that Pakatan Rakyat has solved the problem. It just means that Pakatan Rakyat is ignoring the cancer because it is better to ignore it than know you have it to avoid the anxiety of knowing.

Let me assure you that the matter of the 3Rs is not going to go away. In fact, Umno is raising the ante, as events over the last two or three years have proven. Many praise Pakatan Rakyat for not falling into Umno's trap by not responding to these sensitive issues.

Some of my friends feel the same way when it comes to cancer. Nevertheless, eventually the cancer gets them however they may ignore it. And I believe that the 3R issue has reached the stage of incurable. The Malays are soon going to be placed between a rock and a hard place. The Malays are going to be made to choose what doctrine they subscribe to.

But I may be speaking too early. Let us see what happens during the PAS party assembly and elections first before coming to a conclusion. And if the ulama' faction grabs power and the liberals are ousted, then I suppose my thesis is spot on. If not then Umno would have to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate their 3R strategy.

How middle-of-the-road or centrist Umno becomes will depend on whether the liberals or fundamentalists get to lead PAS. If PAS becomes more liberal, then Umno will need to change course and become more liberal as well. But if PAS becomes more Islamist, then Umno's 3R strategy becomes even more relevant.

Is it not ironical that what happens with Umno and the direction Umno will take the country depends on what happens in Pakatan Rakyat, PAS in particular? Hence if we expect Umno to change that will have to depend on whether PAS changes first.

Strange, is it not? PAS is going to determine the direction that Umno takes. And this is because the Muslim votes are going to determine the outcome of the next general election. So the real fight is between Umno and PAS, not between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.


Selangor stand on Allah needs urgent clarification

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 04:16 PM PST

Bob Teoh, Hornbill Unleashed

The statement by Selangor Royal Council secretary Hanafisah Jais yesterday that the use of the word Allah in the Bible and in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of the Catholic Herald be stopped immediately needs urgent clarification as it raises concern over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.

Hanafisah is reported to have said the statement was released after the Selangor Sultan consulted the Selangor Royal Council on Monday.

The decision is made based on Section 9 of the Non Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation against Muslims) Enactment 1988, which classifies use of certain words and expressions of Islamic origin without the state's authority as a religious offence in the state. Allah is one of these words.

The statement also referred to a decision by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council which was gazetted on February 2010, barring non-Muslims from using the word Allah to refer to God.

The first legal issue is that the usage of the Al-Kitab, or the Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia Bible and the word Allah are matters under the constitution and federal laws. Islam is a state matter under the respective sultans.

Pronouncements and gazette orders made by the respective state Islamic Religious Councils apply only to Muslims in these states and not on federal laws.

The question of whether the Herald can use the word Allah is determined by Federal laws, specifically, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. It is not under the purview of any state Islamic Religious Councils or state laws or fatwas.

This much is clear and implicit from the High Court of Kuala Lumpur judgment of December 31, 2009 as well as the Court of Appeal judgment of October 14, 2013.

The question of usage of the Al-Kitab Bible is also to be determined under Federal laws, in particular, the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) which has been replaced by the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.

The Al-Kitab was banned by the Mahathir administration in 1981 by a gazette order issued under the ISA on December 2, 1981, but was subsequently amended to a restricted ban by another ISA gazette order on March 22, 1982.

Under the Najib administration, the Al-Kitab is allowed to be freely used in Sabah and Sarawak while in the peninsula, it can be used if the words "Christian publication" and the symbol of the cross is embossed on its cover. This was a Federal Cabinet decision made in 2011, known as the 10-Point Solution, during the Sarawak state election campaign period.



Ex-Kedah DAP man hits out at party

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 04:07 PM PST

(NST) - Former Kedah DAP vice-chairman Syed Araniri Syed Ahmad yesterday hit out at the party leadership for making the Registrar of Societies (RoS) a scapegoat over its own failure.

He cited Clause 4 Article 10 of the party's constitution, which states that every approved membership shall be issued an acknowledgment letter and a membership card.

"What is the point of having a constitution if they fail to follow it? This is a serious violation of DAP's constitution."

Syed Araniri claimed that instead of admitting its own mistake, DAP leadership was shifting all the blame on the RoS to cover its own weaknesses. On Nov 1, Syed Araniri tendered his resignation citing that he had lost faith in DAP leadership for failing to process his and 70 others membership applications after submitting the form more than a year.

The Taman Wira DAP branch chief said he was shocked to learn recently that his membership application form was never processed.

He also claimed that a DAP central executive committee (CEC) member had informed him that they forgot to process his application and also admitting its failure to register the Taman Wira Mergong branch with the RoS.

Syed Anariri had questioned the party's leadership credibility for appointing him as the Kedah DAP interim vice-chairman although his membership was not approved.

"I have had enough and the party should be more responsible towards its members. I decided to leave DAP as I was uncertain about my membership status and the status of those appointed as interim committee members."

Syed Araniri also alleged that DAP was now functioning to serve the interest of the elite in the party.

Testing time for the ulama

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 04:02 PM PST

A lot is resting on the contest for the PAS deputy president post because the outcome will reflect whether the ulama class still have clout and influence in the party.

The ulama normally do not like to campaign but this time around, the young Turks among the ulama have launched a very aggressive campaign on behalf of the ulama candidates. They are not only campaigning for Nik Amar who is an ulama, but also for more religious scholars to be in the 18-member central working committee.

Joceline Tan, The Star

THERE is often an air of serenity around Datuk Seri Hadi Awang even when things around him are turning topsy-turvy. The PAS president tries not to let worldly affairs impinge too much on his sensibilities and it is often hard to read what is on his mind.

But earlier this week, the serene veil lifted when Hadi was caught in a weird situation linking him to the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood.

An Egyptian newspaper had carried a front page report naming him as the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's Ikhwan International, the organisation that the ousted Egyptian president, Morsi Mohamad belongs to. He has strenuously denied that he is the secretary-general of Ikhwan International.

Hadi is quite a big name among international Muslim groups and is invited to their forums and gatherings. He is regarded as a learned Muslim scholar who walks the straight path.

That is largely what is keeping him up there as president of PAS because when it comes to politics, Hadi is the captain of a football team that he has little control over. His players are running rings around him and some of them are even said to control him.

But no one blames him because they know he is a reluctant politician. He had wanted to sit out the general election but his party would not allow it.

Hadi, 66, is not as robust as he used to be and party members say he has diabetes and high blood pressure. He watches his diet these days although his favourite food is still ikan terubok, the milky-taste fish that is fraught with tiny bones.

Hadi has also stayed above the fray in the party's election campaign which has been the most intense ever. He has often said he can work with whoever is elected but the truth is that this intellectual-minded politician is not good at playing politics.

In 2011, it was said that he would have preferred Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man as his deputy but he accepted the eventual victor Mat Sabu, as Mohamad Sabu is known, with an open heart.

Hadi has also been hands-off about the ongoing contest for the No 2 post between Mat Sabu and Datuk Nik Amar Nik Abdullah.

But not so his fellow ulama who have made no secret about wanting Nik Amar over Mat Sabu who is associated with the Erdogan group, as the professionals and activists in the party are known.

The ulama normally do not like to campaign but this time around, the young Turks among the ulama have launched a very aggressive campaign on behalf of the ulama candidates. They are not only campaigning for Nik Amar who is an ulama, but also for more religious scholars to be in the 18-member central working committee.

They are not holding back, and a number of Facebook fan pages have popped up to promote the ulama candidates and also to criticise the "parasites," their label for the Erdogans whom they accuse of feeding on the party to promote an agenda that may not benefit PAS.

However, Nik Amar, when contacted a few days ago, said he is not campaigning.

"I have been in Kelantan all this time. People in the party know us, they can evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. I leave it to their maturity and wisdom," he said.

The recent announcement by the Kelantan Syariah chief judge Datuk Daud Muhammad that Kelantan is ready to implement hudud law should give a boost to Nik Amar.

Hudud law has always been an ultimate aim of PAS and if Kelantan is to be the first to go down the hudud road, it is only fitting that Nik Amar, who is from Kelantan, gets their endorsement.

One of the things said about Nik Amar is that he will be unable to bring something different from what Hadi already has.

Or as those who are pro-Mat Sabu put it: "If Hadi goes to the mosque, Nik Amar will also go to the mosque."

The implication is that Nik Amar will merely duplicate the role of Hadi whereas Mat Sabu can push the boundaries and bring PAS to a larger audience.

Nik Amar has also been described as basically a regional leader who is not ready for the big post but the same could have been said about Mat Sabu two years ago. The thing is that there are no hard and fast rules about being ready in politics.

What is clear though is that Nik Amar does not have a big and interesting personality like Mat Sabu. He does not push himself forward in a crowd and he is not a crowd puller.

But he is a persuasive and intelligent speaker compared to the run-of-the-mill speakers that populate the PAS ceramah stage. Reporters like him because he gives logical comments unlike most ulama who often beat around the bush.

One advantage he holds over Mat Sabu is that he is not controversial. Mat Sabu is fighting a perception war about having Syiah links.

This issue is not new and has been hovering over him like a dark cloud for years. It is believed that this was a contributing factor to his defeat in Pendang during the general election.

"Such allegations can be a killer issue. If he loses, it will be because his enemies played up the Syiah issue," said a close associate of his.

Events in recent months have not helped either. State governments all over the country are looking into enacting laws to enable the religious authorities to arrest and prosecute Syiah activities.

The shooting of the Pahang religious enforcement chief added to the situation because the deceased officer was actively going after the Tuhan Harun cult, Syiah groups and other vice activities in the state.

The Sunni Muslims in Malaysia are very conscious of preserving the purity of their beliefs and there is now a heightened sense that the Syiah practitioners have become a threat to the faith.

Some of Mat Sabu's supporters also imagine that the ulama group is using the mosque against him. They claimed that "suddenly, there are sermons warning about the dangers of Syiah."

Apparently, such sermons have taken place in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur and they think it is to undermine their man. But it could also be a case of mosque officials responding to the burning issue of the day.

"I have not detected anything in my dealings with him. What I know is that Mat has good friends in Iran. He likes the way Iran stands up against the west," said Kedah deputy commissioner Datuk Phahrolrazi Mohd Zawawi.

Mat Sabu, said former Wangsa Maju chief Dr Rayney Ali, will have to fall back on his track record as a PAS veteran who has helped build up the party to defend his post.

The leading Malay newspaper Utusan Malaysia had tried to support the ulama cause shortly after the campaign started. But the paper could again end up doing the ulama group a disservice.

In the last party polls, several leading ulama used Utusan to air their views about the election and it backfired spectacularly. PAS members do not like Utusan because of its Umno links and they were angry that the ulama turned to Utusan for publicity.

A total of 1,300 delegates will decide the new leadership line-up this Friday.

Basically, members want to see a more balanced dynamic in the party. The last 10 years have seen the Erdogans, mainly professionals and activists who streamed into PAS during the Reformasi years, gaining in dominance over the party's politics and direction.

This has made the ulama class very unhappy. They feel that their Islamic state goal has become unclear and the party is too subservient to DAP and PKR. They are worried about their standing among the Malays especially after Umno's general election seat count went from 70 to 89 whereas PAS' went down from 23 to 21.

In 2011, the delegates wanted to elect a deputy who could help them face the general election. This time, the feeling is that the deputy must be someone who can take over from Hadi in the event of an emergency.

Former Harakahdaily editor Zulkifli Sulong had written in a news portal that if Tuan Ibrahim and incumbent vice-president Datuk Husam Musa had agreed to contest the No 2 post, it would have been about choosing from the best. Instead, delegates now have to make do with second best.

But there are very few perfect people to be found in the imperfect world of politics and sometimes an election is not about choosing the best but a choice between the lesser of two evils.

This muktamar will test the clout and influence of the ulama. The election outcome will be a testimony of just how relevant the ulama still are in the party.

The alarm bells went off when Mat Sabu won in 2011. If he wins again, it is Code Blue for the religious scholars in PAS. The ulama prestige is at stake.


Pakatan’s stand on religious issues is a smart move, say political analysts

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 03:54 PM PST

Jayum, however, added that it would be beneficial for PR to come up with a broad policy on religion, so that they don't contradict each other later and save them the ordeal of having to repeatedly make statements on the same issues that keep cropping up over and over again.

Jennifer Gomez, The Malaysian Insider

With the many religious controversies taking place in the country now, political analysts described the stand taken by Pakatan Rakyat in reacting, rather than taking pro-active measures, as "smart".

They felt that by reacting to the issues, rather than coming out with a clear policy on religious issues, PR lawmakers have avoided walking into a Barisan Nasional trap.

Recently, the opposition lawmakers have been very vocal on the controversial Allah ruling, the slaughter of cows in schools and the demolition of the 101-year-old Sri Muneswarar Kaliyaman Hindu temple in the city centre.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng, in dubbing it a "honeymoon period" for PR, explained there was no need for the opposition coalition to make a clear stand on religious issues.

"The main strategy for Pakatan now is not to make a stand on issues that touch on grey areas, especially religion, to avoid getting attacked by Umno.

"They have avoided this all along and it is clearly working," he said.

Universiti Putra Malaysia's Professor Dr Jayum Jawan agreed, adding that PR was playing "good politics".

He said that rather than come up with a stand for which they are bound to be attacked by their political opponents, this was a safer approach.

"Commenting on issues is better than coming up with a stand. They are also trying to avoid being attacked by their opponents, so they are playing good politics and this is expected of a political party," he explained.

Jayum, however, added that it would be beneficial for PR to come up with a broad policy on religion, so that they don't contradict each other later and save them the ordeal of having to repeatedly make statements on the same issues that keep cropping up over and over again.

"This way, the public would also be able to see that they are a united front."

But Khoo felt that PR could continue operating with their present strategy, given that there are no demands from the rakyat for them to make a stand.

"Pakatan is issue-centric, where they react to controversies created by BN, especially Umno. This is why they are popular.

"They are riding on this wave of harping on Umno's mistakes and flip-flops and it is clearly working," he said, adding that PR was benefitting from the perception and anger of the people towards BN by capitalising on Putrajaya's mistakes.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president N. Surendran agreed, pointing out that as long as PR did not hold federal power, its role was to pressure the government to change their conduct.

Surendran also said that the role of the opposition in Malaysia was "highly important" as it had to deal with a "highly corrupt and oppressive government".

According to Khoo, another reason why PR avoided making a stand on religious issues was because what works for one party may not go down well with another in the opposition pact.

"The Allah ruling is an easy one for them. But when it comes to Islamic state and implementing syariah laws or even local council guidelines for businesses in Kelantan, for example, it would be tough for them to agree," he pointed out.

He added that the only time PR would need to make a clear stand on religious issues is when they control Putrajaya.



Hudud di Kelantan: Najib belum halang, kata Ketua Hakim Syarie

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 03:43 PM PST

Ketua Hakim Syarie Kelantan, Datuk Daud Muhammad, berkata beliau yakin undang-undang Hudud di negeri Kelantan boleh dilaksanakan memandangkan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak belum lagi menentang hasrat tersebut.

Daud berkata, pelaksanaan undang-undang Islam di negeri wajar kerana diluluskan oleh semua wakil rakyat Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN).

"Kalau pusat halang, DUN tidak lulus, BN (Barisan Nasional) pun tidak halang.

"Dulu Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (bekas perdana menteri) sahaja yang dikatakan tidak lulus, PM sekarang ini tak dengar lagi dia kata tak boleh," katanya  yang dipetik dalam satu wawancara khas dengan akhbar milik Umno edisi Ahad, Mingguan Malaysia hari ini.

Beliau juga bertegas keputusan yang dibuat adalah sebulat suara, iaitu PAS, Umno dan BN bersetuju dengan pelaksanaan hukum Hudud di negeri tersebut.

Di samping itu, Daud mempertahankan undang-undang Islam sebagai sesuai dengan peredaran arus zaman kerana ia dibuat oleh Tuhan.

"Islam sesuai untuk setiap zaman, setiap masa, setiap keadaan, apa jua boleh laksana, Tuhan lebih mengetahui.

"Dia (Tuhan) buat undang-undang masa berlaku macam mana, kalau tidak tak ada ertilah, hanya undang-undang manusia sahaja masa tertentu sesuai masa lain pula tak sesuai," katanya.

Apabila ditanya mengenai bangkangan dan tentangan terhadap hasrat untuk melaksanakan Hudud, Daud berkata, ia sememangnya sudah dijangka akan berlaku.

"Itu mana-mana pun ada, undang-undang negara sekarang mana ada orang tak menentang," katanya.

Rabu lalu, Daud berkata, Mahkamah Syariah Kelantan bersedia melaksanakan hukum Hudud lantaran prasarana yang mencukupi bagi membolehkan hukuman tersebut dilaksanakan.

Selepas pengumuman tersebut, Timbalan Menteri Besar Kelantan, Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah menyahutnya dengan baik dan berkata, kerajaan negeri Kelantan sudah menubuhkan Jawatankuasa Teknikal itu bagi mengkaji pelaksanaan hukum Islam yang terkandung di dalam Al-Quran itu di negeri yang diperintah PAS sejak lebih  20 tahun.



IGP: No problem arming religious guards

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 03:40 PM PST

(MM) - The police has no problems with issuing firearm licenses to Islamic enforcement officers, provided they are frequently faced with life-threatening risks, said Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

Malay-language daily Berita Harian quoted the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) as saying that the police are currently studying the applications for firearm licenses by Islamic enforcement officers in each state, whose lives are often at danger.

"Whether the applicant is a religious enforcement officer or the general public, anyone can apply for the license, but they must have a good reason, like their lives being endangered frequently," Khalid was quoted as saying yesterday.

The police chief was responding to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, who reportedly called for religious enforcement officers to be armed, following the fatal shooting of Pahang Islamic Religious Department (Jaip) chief Ahmad Rafli Abdul Malek at home recently.

Terengganu has gone ahead and armed its Islamic enforcement officers, urging other states to follow suit.

Last week, the police urged members of the "Tuhan Harun" religious sect to surrender over Rafli's shooting, which has been linked to the state's ban on Shiah adherents.

Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers have criticised the proposal to arm Islamic enforcement officers, calling it an overreaction that would exacerbate Malaysia's struggle with gun violence.

Shootings and gun murders exploded into the nation's consciousness in August when Arab-Malaysian Development Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi was assassinated in broad daylight by a gunman in Kuala Lumpur, just days after the chairman of crime watchdog MyWatch, R. Sri Sanjeevan, survived an attempted hit in Negri Sembilan on July 27.

A string of shootings have since occurred throughout the country and were reported almost on a daily basis for a period of time. 


Malaysia should prepare for a crisis

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 03:26 PM PST

DAP MP Liew Chin Tong urges the government to come up with ideas to weather an economic storm, expected in two years time.

Hawkeye, FMT

The government should prepare the people for a possibility of a financial crisis that could affect Malaysia come 2015.

Stressing that he is not trying to create a panic nor to gain politically mileage, DAP MP Liew Chin Tong urged stakeholders to come up with ideas on how Malaysia could weather such an eventuality.

"We should not mask ourselves with the goodwill our economy brings today. We must be prepared for future challenges," he said.

For starters, Liew said that the soon to be adopted Goods and Services Tax (GST) would burn holes in the pockets of the lower and the middle income earners in the country, which would hurt domestic demand, the main driver of the nation's economy.

Liew warned with GST, cost of living would skyrocket, which in turn would increase inflationary pressure on consumers.

"Malaysia may go the way of Europe and US by falling into a recession due to higher costing of goods and services, which will spike our inflation rate," he said.

The DAP leader also said that the government should take into consideration the possibility of fuel prices going down in the global market, which would affect Petronas' profits.

"Petronas in the main contributor the nation's coffers. If it's profits dwindle, it means that the country will have lesser money to contribute for government expenditure," said Liew.

He added that the rising household debt ratio to the gross domestic product (GDP) and the recent downgrade by Fitch Ratings would affect the nation's borrowings in the future.

"And will the property bubble in Malaysia implode anytime soon? he asked, as it seems to be running out of control speculations.

Liew added that the political impasse and the racial polarisation in Malaysia would also have an effect on the nation's economic growth.



Ke mana PAS selepas muktamar ini?

Posted: 16 Nov 2013 03:18 PM PST

Polisi warisan ini eolah-olah tidak ke mana, adakah mahu terus kekal sebagai tradisional atau menjadi lebih liberal? 

Muda Mohd Noor, FMT

Reformasi Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pada tahun 1999 menjadikan PAS semakin terbuka.  Parti Islam itu semakin menghampiri menjadi sebuah parti politik yang moden.

Moden yang yang dimaksudkan itu bukan dari pakaian. PAS bukan lagi sebuah gerakan politik kampung, yang ahlinya petani, nelayan mahupun buruh kasar serta guru agama lepasan sekolah pondok.

PAS moden ini dipenuhi rofesional yang terkandung di dalamnya jurutera, ahli perniagaan, akauntan dan sebagainya. Sebahagian pimpinan telah menguasai polisi parti.

Timbalan Presiden Mohamad Sabu adalah kumpulan profesional, begitu juga tiga Naib Presiden iatu Salahuddin Ayub, Datuk Mahfuz Omar dan Datuk Husam Musa. Episod itu mahu diulangi pada muktamar 22 November ini.

Apa yang pasti PAS kini semakin terbuka supaya menghampiri polisi Pakatan Rakyat yang turut disertai PKR dan DAP.  Tidak syak lagi PAS meninggalkan tradsional kerana memenuhi keinginan rakan kongsinya itu.

Namun ahli PAS telah berada di peringkat persimpangan. Mereka perlu membuat keputusan untuk menentukan hala tuju – moden atau sebaliknya.

Sebahagiannya bimbang kerana permodenan parti akan menyebabkan meminggirkan golongan veteran yang bukan berkelulusan profesional semakin terpinggir.

"Saya mahu PAS yang lama, iaitu PAS yang Islam," kata Rosli Idris, berusia 73 tahun seorang ahli PAS di Titiwangsa.

"Tetapi PAS hari ini telah menjadi parti untuk orang bijak pandai. Saya bimbang golongan seperti saya tidak lagi berguna," katanya yang dihubungi hari ini.



Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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