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Muslim scholars urged Muslims to unite

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 06:55 PM PST

(NST) - Disunity among Muslims will only benefits the enemies of Islam, said Ummul Qura university aqidah profesor Lutfullah Khaujah.

He said it is better for Muslims to focus on similarities to foster unity, than to fight among themselves due to disagreements between different groups.

"The enemies of Islam will rejoice if Muslims fight among themselves over some differing views,"

"Muslim should instead focus on the basic tenets of Islam which everyone agrees on as the basis to unite," he said.

Speaking at a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday, Lutfullah said Muslims in Malaysia are fortunate to have the presence of Islam highlighted prominently by Islamic institutions such as the syariah court.

Also present at the press conference were Masjidil Haram imam Halid Ali Alablaji Al Ghamidi and the Saudi Arabia embassy Islamic counsellor Dr Abdul Rahman Al Belaihi.

Umno Youth exco Fathul Bari Jahaya acted as interpreter for them.

Asked about allegations in opposition-friendly websites that Halid was a Wahabi sect follower and the Friday prayer at PWTC led by Halid being void, Lutfullah said there is no such thing as a Wahabi sect.

"We are of the Hambali sect and part of the ahli sunnah wal jamaah (Sunni). The term 'Wahabi' has never been part of the Muslim lexicon," he said.

He pointed out that such differing views will only drive Muslims to fight among themselves. Commenting about the contention that hudud implementation is a prequisite for an Islamic country, he said Muslims should emulate Prophet Muhammad where Islamic laws are concerned.

"Even the prohibition of alcohol came in stages, beginning with highlighting its negative effects and then the banning of those who had consumed alcohol from the places for solah (prayer)," he said.

Lutfullah and Halid both lauded the proposal to add ahli sunnah wal jamaah to define Islam in the Constitution.

Halid said it will help curb the spread of teachings that are detrimental to Islam.

"The Muslims in Malaysia should stand behind the government in its efforts to strengthen Islam and its institutions,"

He said the presence of Islam is already strong in Malaysia and further strengthening should be done in stages.

‘Declare war against deviant teachings’

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 06:39 PM PST

(Bernama) - An all-out war must be carried out against deviant teachings as they could divide the Muslims and go against the teachings of the Sunnah Wal Jamaah, which is practiced by Muslims in Malaysia.

The Syiah ideology which originated from the Middle East not only went against the faith but could also destroy the country due to the differences in religious practices.

The ideology had already been declared as 'haram' or forbidden by the National Fatwa Council at a special discussion or 'muzakarah' in 1996 and must be addressed aggressively by the authorities and the Islamic Religious Council as it clearly threatened the Muslims' faith, thus affecting solidarity among Muslims in the country.

Strongly upholding the Sunnah Wal Jamaah, independent preacher Mohd Fikri Che Hussain said Umno, as the largest Malay and bumiputera political party championing the Islamic cause, must act quickly to check the Syiah ideology.

"As is the case in countries like Syria, the Syiah proponents are embroiled in civil wars because of the differing ideologies between the Syiah and 'Ahlul Sunnah'. Thus, before the situation gets out of hand, the government must take stern action," he told Bernama.

The fact is that there are 81 deviationist groups that were actively operating throughout the country.

According to the chairman of the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah Organisation Malaysia, Abu Syafiq Mohd Rasyiq Mohd Alwi, five of the groups were the Syiah, al-Arqam, Hizbut Tahrir, Wahabi and Tarikat Naqshabandi teachings.

Mohd Fikri said the Islamic education system in schools and the universities must be strengthened and streamlined by focusing on their faith so that the future generation would not be easily influenced and deceived by deviationist teachings.

"The threat from the Syiah will only be apparent in countries which did not take action to suppress its influence," he said.

Actually there are advantages and disadvantages in the proposal to define Islam according to the practice adopted by the 'Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah' in this country.

The head of the Muslim Transformation Bureau, Malay Consultative Council, Mohamed Ghazali Md Noor conceded that the proposal was good but required in-depth discussions and must be studied in detail in a wide context.

"Islamic bodies in the country such as the Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim) and other non-governmental organisations must be proactive and effective in carrying out such efforts, besides tightening enforcement," he said.

Former PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa believed the proposal was a good move but there must be follow-up action too.

Acknowledging that Islam was facing major challenges that not only involved the Syiah teachings, but also the demands of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which were hiding behind human rights movements, Mohd Fikri wanted the government to be more sensitive to the current environment.

"The younger generation nowadays are seen to be keen to be closer to religion. What is feared is that they get involved in deviationist teachings and went against the teachings of the Sunnah. Thus, the government must look into this development," he added. 


Bersih’s aims for ‘one-on-one with PM’

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 06:30 PM PST

The coalition intends to meet with the prime minister for the first time to discuss the appointment of a "fair and neutral" election commissioner.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Frustrated with the Election Commission's (EC) unceasing "ineptitude", polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 has announced its intention to engage directly with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to discuss electoral issues plaguing the country.

The meeting, which Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah hopes will take place within the next year, will focus on the flaws in the election process and the role of the EC.

"We can't do it this year, as it is already coming to an end. But we do have the intention to meet with the prime minister, and with him alone, so we will be communicating with him soon," she told FMT.

Maria, who was elected chairperson in Nov and came into the position just this month, said the coalition was bypassing the EC to meet Najib directly because he had the powers to appoint the election commissioners.

"So if the PM is going to appoint a new chief, we are hoping he will take into consideration all the flaws that we bring up to him during our proposed meeting, and therefore appoint someone more fair and deserving of the position," said Maria.

This will be the first attempt by the coalition to directly engage with the prime minister in a one-on-one meeting.

Previous efforts such as inviting him to its events, as well as holding global rallies have so far failed to garner positive attention from Najib, despite the massive influence Bersih wields.

However, Maria said she would not be pessimistic over the chances that Najib would agree to a meeting with Bersih when they write to him.

'Take responsibility for your mistakes'

Meanwhile in a statement yesterday, Bersih took the EC to task for allegedly failing to take responsibility for its errors during the 13th general election – most notably over the issue of the easily washable indelible ink.

"The (EC's) statement admitted to the failure of the indelible ink but evaded responsibility for them…the statement did not acknowledged(sic) flaws in procurement process of the so-called indelible ink used for GE13, which cost taxpayers RM7.1 million.

"Nor did the EC take responsibility for its ludicrous excuses following widespread discontent over the failure of the indelible ink," office-bearers of the coalition's steering committee said in a joint statement.

The coalition was referring to the EC's 11-page post-mortem statement released a week ago detailing seven flaws in its handling of the May 5 polls.

In the statement, the EC acknowledged that the ink had stained ballot papers, its implementation was not explained thoroughly, and that the ink could be washed off and took to long to dry.

But it further added that they had since improved from feedback given by the media, and the two subsequent by-elections was testament to that.

Besides indelible ink, the post-mortem statement touched upon the lack of training and briefing of the election workers, its difficulty in detecting a person's residential and bankruptcy status during nomination, and the difficult EC officers faced when executing their duties during the campaign period.



BN partners: Najib should talk to Anwar

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 05:56 PM PST

Anisah Shukry, FMT

In an unexpected turn of events, Barisan Nasional component parties MCA, MIC and Gerakan said they welcomed engagement between Pakatan Rakyat and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, "as long as it benefits the people".

Their openness to the possibility of inter-party discussions flies in the face of comments made by Umno leaders that Najib was "too busy" to accommodate Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's invitation to talk on matters of national unity.

"To me, there is no harm with any discussions. I think that it is good to discuss among each other how the country can improve. There has been too much politicking this year," said Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong.

"Election is over, 505 is over, so let us all work together to build the nation. I think the prime minister has a lot of plans to move the country forward, so let's put aside our differences," he added.

He warned the PKR de facto leader not to politicise every issue and to use the talks, should they take place, as a platform to support what was good for the people.

MIC central working committee member S Murugesan said that as prime minister of Malaysia, Najib should be open to talks with "everybody".

"But of course, whatever the terms are must be agreed upon by the component parties. For instance, the discussions should be strictly about what can be done to benefit the country, and not for politicking.

"As the prime minister of the country, I believe that he should be able to discuss with anyone for the benefit of the country."

Former MIC vice president SK Devamany also welcomed the talks, adding that remaining a fractured government would only harm the rakyat.

Time for real 'inclusiveness'

The Perak state assembly speaker said the Pakatan-Najib discussions would be in line with the "inclusiveness" ideal as outlined in the New Economic Model, which he said he had worked on during his time as deputy minister in the prime minister's department.

"All parties must play a role in bringing the country forward, and this is facilitated by us all coming together.

"Pakatan Rakyat should come before the prime minister with a full proposal on how we can help the rakyat. The more we are fighting, the more the rakyat will suffer," Devamany told FMT.



The 7 threats against Muslims in Malaysia, according to Perkasa’s Zulkifli Noordin

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 05:07 PM PST 

Hasbullah Awang Chik, TMI 

Perkasa today highlighted seven threats to the survival of Malay-Islam in Malaysia and warned Putrajaya that the 14th general election may turn out to be a "Christianisation Tsunami" if the threats are not dealt with seriously.

The vice-president of the Malay rights group, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin, said the threats included Pakatan Rakyat, Singapore, non-government organisations (NGOs) and liberal Malays.

He pointed out that the move by Christians to drag the Allah issue to court was provocative and one which insulted Muslims.

"Their failure in the appellate court did not deter them as they attempted to drag it into the international arena using the United Nations.

"The Christian movement has received support from a faction of Malays who are hell-bent on capturing Putrajaya at all costs.

"If the 13th general election was labelled as a 'Chinese Tsunami', I would not be surprised if the 14th general election turns out to be a 'Christianisation Tsunami'," Zulkifli was quoted in today's Utusan Malaysia.

He then trained his guns at the DAP, saying that the Chinese-based party is the main threat to Muslims because of its "chauvinistic, racist, extremist and anti-Malay attitude which is strongly prevalent within the party".

Zulkifli highlighted the controversy surrounding Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi, who was forced to apologise publicly to the staff of the Penang Municipal Council for calling them "kucing kurap", as an example.

"As the majority of the Penang Municipal Council staff are Malays, calling them 'kucing kurap' proves how chauvinistic and racist the party is," Zulkifli said, adding that Ooi had failed to issue an immediate apology.

"It is as if apologising to the Malays is an insult. Remember how DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua labelled the officers and staff of the Registrar of Societies as Umno's running dogs?"

Another threat mentioned by Zulkifli was Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Calling PKR irrelevant, he blamed Anwar for causing a split among the Malays in his quest to take over Putrajaya.

"Pakatan Rakyat has given a political lifeline to DAP to penetrate into constituencies which it had previously been unable to enter.

"This is a coalition which is led by a man who has been hauled to court twice on moral charges involving his own staff," he said, referring to the two sodomy charges against Anwar. 


Zahid orders action against Mat Sabu over alleged Syiah links

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 04:56 PM PST 

(MMO) - Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today issued an order for religious authorities to clamp down on PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu over his alleged links to the banned Syiah movement.

Addressing a packed auditorium on the last day of Umno's 64th general assembly, Zahid — who is also an Umno vice-president — said his ministry will no longer tolerate any elements that are seen as a threat to national security.

"PAS, set aside politic interests. This is about akidah (faith) and national security... I am surprised how their party elections installed a Syiah as the number two leader in PAS," he said in his winding up speech, in a clear reference to Muhamad Sabu.

"We are done laying low. Jamil Khir, KDN gives you the power to take action against (that) PAS leader," he said to thunderous applause from the over 2,000 delegates.

Read more at:

Call to set up Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah institute

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 04:53 PM PST 

(MMO) - Johor Umno has urged the government to set up an institute on Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah in an effort to ward off the spread of Syiah and deviant teachings. 

Johor Islamic Religious Committee chairman Abd Mutalib Abdul Rahim said Johor already had such institute which was found to be effective in containing liberalism, pluralism and Al-Arqam. 

"Previously, there were only a handful of them, but now they have a number of followers. They used to be a covert operation, but now they operate openly and dare to challenge the authorities. 

"Ironically, we are still trapped in comfort zone. We have not been taking action against them until the problem gets out of hand," he said when supporting the motion on religion and education at the 2013 Umno General Assembly here today.  

Hence, Abd Mutalib said the institute could play a major role in curtailing falsehood and deviant beliefs. 

Perlis Umno proposed that the Home Ministry take action against the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) under 'Ops Cantas' for poisoning the minds of the people. 

Its representative, Ramli Sharif said stern action should be taken against Comango for denigrating Islam and disrupting unity.  

Malaysian lecturer escapes jail over bribery charges in Perth

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 09:35 AM PST

(Bernama) - A Malaysian-born Perth university lecturer has escaped imprisonment after admitting he took thousands of dollars in bribes to increase exam marks for students who would otherwise have failed.

The Australian Associated Press said Foong Tuck Cheong, 54, pleaded guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court in June to three charges of corruption and two counts of bribery following a Corruption and Crime Commission investigation into offences committed at Curtin University in 2012.

Foong increased the marks of two students who should have failed units for their Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction Management and Economics) degree.

One student paid him A$3,000 (RM8,800) and the other paid A$1,500.

For a third student - whose father in Malaysia had known Foong for many years - he increased the mark on one assignment and gave him a pass mark on another project even though the assignment had not even been submitted.

Judge Philip McCann today sentenced Foong to 16 months jail, suspended or two years.

He said the offences were very serious and had the potential to cause serious damage to Curtin University's reputation.

While it was important to send a message to others that jail would follow such offending, and that academic integrity was taken seriously, McCann acknowledged Foong's behaviour was "irrational and out of character", and accordingly suspended the sentence.

It followed Foong being told he was about to be made redundant after 24 years with the university, which left him "emotionally devastated" and affected his judgement.

Foong was also fined A$6,000 for his actions relating to the Malaysian student.


'Make Sunni Islam official religion'

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 09:23 AM PST 

(NST) - The Home Ministry will be referring the suggestion to insert the Sunnah wal Jamaah (Sunni) word for Islam in the Federal Constitution to curb the spread of deviant teachings in the country.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said he would forward the motion to the government for discussion to weed out the threat of deviant movements.

"The move might be necessary to protect the sanctity of the teaching of Sunnah wal Jamaah and to stop the spread of other teachings in the country," he said in response to a proposal by Penang Umno delegate Datuk Shabudin Yahaya in his Islamic and education motion yesterday.

The Tasek Gelugor Umno division chief was supporting the call by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Shabudin said the move was necessary to weed out deviant teachings disguised under the Islamic religion, such as Shia, which were becoming more widespread within the country.

He proposed the government establish a commission to safeguard the interests of Islam and the rights of Muslims.

"It is crucial for the government to set up a commission to supervise, manage and handle the interests of Muslims and address threats to Islam as the country's main religion."

Puteri wing delegate Isfarina Mohd Bali from Ipoh Barat stressed on moderation, a value which Islam emphasised in many aspects of a Muslim's life.

She said the country and the party must take a firm stand in facing threats that might endanger the sanctity of Islam.

"We have to stand united in defending the faith. We also have to fortify and improve existing syariah laws, judicial facilities and Islamic institutions," said Isfarina, who seconded the motion.

She said non-governmental organisations should also come together to defend Islam.

Isfarina then called for religious education to be given throughout the life of a Muslim.

"I cannot stress how important religious education for Muslims is, as without faith, there will be no guidance or direction."

Bernama, meanwhile, reported that Kelantan Puteri Umno leader Norwahidah Patuan had proposed setting up a counselling house to help abused children and women with domestic problems.

Besides counselling services, she said, motivational talks and religious education could also be arranged for participants.

"Puteri should be on the front line on issues of abused children and women, as well as marital problems and social problems among teenagers."

Norwahida, who is also Jeli Puteri Umno leader, said when addressing social problems, the movement should not only focus on the victims, but also the victim's family members. For this purpose, she said Puteri Umno should set up a secretariat in Kuala Lumpur.

She also proposed the setting-up of a political academy to mould young people into credible and great leaders, who are capable of understanding and pursuing Umno's aspirations.

Tee Yong: We can work with anyone

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 08:47 AM PST

(The Star) A group of 15 MCA candidates headed by Labis MCA chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong says it is able to work with other contenders after the party's Dec 21 polls.

Chua, 36, and Kampar division chairman Datuk Lee Chee Leong, 56, are going for the vice-president's post while the rest are vying for a central committee member post (see table).

There are 31 posts open for contest – president, deputy president, four vice-presidents and 25 central committee members.

Chua said his team only filled up about half of the seats for contest and hoped others would get a chance.

"This is different from the past where each faction came up with candidates for the entire line-up, resulting in very fierce fighting.

"Nevertheless, anyone who is qualified to contest can do so," he said during a gathering of some 800 party grassroots leaders nationwide to show support for his team at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

On the team's winning chances and whether they got blessings from president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who is his father, Chua said: "We hope the 2,380-plus central delegates will give us a chance. The president has only one vote."

While factions were inevitable in any political party, Chua said it was important that everybody would unite after the election and work for the good of the party.

Chua said his line-up, comprising professionals, including two medical doctors, and businessmen, had the expertise and experience to contri­bute effectively to the party.

Seven of them were in their 30s and 40s and this was in line with the party's need to groom young leaders, he said, adding that the more senior leaders would guide them.

The 15 said in a joint statement that there would be hope for the MCA if all in the party could accept their differences and unite as one formidable team to face the challenges ahead. 



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