Ahad, 8 Disember 2013

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Syiah: “Momok baru” untuk kuasai Melayu

Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:03 PM PST

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Amin Iskandar, TMI

Di antara sebab mengapa penjajah dapat menguasai tanah ini selama ratusan tahun adalah kerana kebodohan penduduk setempatnya. Selepas beberapa ratus tahun dijajah, barulah timbul kesedaran untuk memperjuangkan kemerdekaan.

Maka tidak hairanlah mengapa Malaysia hanya diperintah oleh parti politik sama semenjak hari pertama negara mencapai kemerdekaan.

Jika dahulu komunis atau fahaman komunisme merupakan "momok" untuk menakut-nakutkan rakyat, kini muncul momok baru iaitu fahaman Syiah.

Walaupun perdebatan di antara Sunni-Syiah ini sudah lama selesai di peringkat antarabangsa di kalangan ulama-ulama muktabar, di Malaysia ia umpama isu baru.

Umno yang memerintah Malaya semenjak 1957 dan Malaysia semenjak 1963 amat faham dengan kepentingan momok untuk menakut-nakutkan rakyat terutama orang-orang Melayu.

Kemalasan majoriti orang-orang Melayu untuk membaca dan ketidakupayaan mereka untuk menyoal apabila diajarkan sesuatu oleh ustaz-ustaz "separuh masak" memudahkan momok-momok ini untuk terus hidup.

Dalam erti kata lain, Syiah merupakan talian hayat Umno untuk terus menguasai minda orang-orang Melayu bagi memastikan mereka terus berkuasa selepas pilihan raya umum ke-14 (PRU14).

Dengan adanya fahaman Syiah, ahli-ahli Umno dan rakyat Malaysia akan terlupa dengan kenaikan harga petrol, gula dan elektrik yang mereka hadapi.

Momok Syiah ini umpama candu mengkhayalkan. Memerangi Syiah boleh menyebabkan anda terlupa akan kelaparan dan hutang-hutang yang belum berbayar.

Perhimpunan Agung Umno 2013 menyaksikan fahaman Syiah menjadi bahan belasahan daripada perwakilan Umno seluruh negara.

Sehingga terdapat beberapa cadangan agar Perlembagaan Persekutuan dipinda bagi menjadikan Malaysia sebagai negara yang hanya mengiktiraf Islam Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah.

Sesuatu yang tidak pernah dilakukan oleh mana-mana negara Islam di dunia, termasuk Afghanistan semasa diperintah Taliban. 

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Presiden Umno Datuk Seri Najib Razak (gambar) semalam dalam ucapan penangguhannya menyahut cabaran itu apabila mengatakan perlembagaan parti itu akan dipinda menjadikan hanya Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah diiktiraf Umno.

Selepas ini, umat Islam di Malaysia yang menganut mazhab selain Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah tidak boleh lagi mengundi Umno kerana parti itu tidak mengiktiraf mereka, walaupun sebagai manusia. 


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Waking up to a good history lesson

Posted: 07 Dec 2013 10:05 AM PST

History is interesting if we learn to live it, rather than just treat it as another examination subject.

Wong Chun Wai, The Star

IT'S a bit hard to swallow. Imagine you are a housing developer in an area like, say, Xian in China with its terracotta soldiers, or around Stonehenge with its ring of standing stones in Wiltshire, England, and you say you have no idea of their significance.

Can you believe anyone working or living in the area when they say they have no idea of these historical structures?

Take it to a Malaysian level. Here we have a Malaysian developer who wants to build houses in Lembah Bujang – known internationally as a historical area of archaeological significance – telling us exactly that.

The developer isn't working in Jalan Alor or Jalan Petaling but is carrying out work in Malaysia's largest archaeological discovery site.

And this is what Bandar Saujana Sdn Bhd project manager Saw Guan Keat said after his workers flattened a candi, one of the ancient structures on that site. The contractors subsequently removed and disposed of all the material that made up the structure.

"We had a site visit before land clearing started in September. We saw a stone structure (the candi). We did not know what it was," he said.

This must be one of the most incredulous and outrageous statements of the year. And we thought that such statements could only come from our politicians.

According to Saw, they carried out a land search at the Kedah Land Office on Jan 14 this year before buying the eight lots of land from the previous owner, another housing developer.

"The search clearly stated that the land has no encumbrances. The company proceeded to buy the land in February. When we did another search at the Land Office on July 30, again we did not find any encumbrance," he said.

In simple language, an encumbrance means any obstruction, impediment, hurdle or claim that stands in the way. In other words, legally speaking, there was nothing to prevent him from starting work on the area.

The company, he said, only knew it had demolished a candi after reading about it in news reports.

"If we had known the structure was a historical site, we would not have cleared it. Our company merely took over the project, which was approved back in 1994 or 1995."

Saw lodged a report on the incident at the Merbok police station on Nov 29.

Well, that's a bit late now as the damage has been done. But if it is possible for the candi to be rebuilt, using the same ancient materials, then it has to be done.

But the positive aspect of the demolition of the candi and the controversy it has sparked off is that even the most ignorant Malaysians are waking up for a good history lesson.

Located near Merbok, Kedah, between Gunung Jerai in the north and Muda River in the south, the Lembah Bujang area comprises ruins that date back more than 2,000 years ago. There are reportedly more than 50 ancient tomb temples, called candi, that have been unearthed so far.

It has been reported that in the area of Lembah Bujang known as Sungai Batu, excavation works have revealed remains of jetties, iron smelting sites, and a clay brick monument dating back to 110AD, making it the oldest man-made structure to be recorded in South-East Asia.

As one who studied Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) and history up to Form Six, and subsequently at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, I have always had an interest in the period of Hindu-Buddhist influence in our country.

Reading the writings of Sabri Zain in his website, which has a section on the history of the Malay peninsula, we learn that when a Malay speaks a sentence of 10 words, five would be from Sanskrit, three from Arabic and the remaining of English, Persian, Chinese or other origins.

The words of foreign origin include guru (teacher), asmara (love), putera (prince), puteri (princess), syurga (heaven), samudra (ocean), belantara (ocean), kenchana (gold), sukma (soul) and even sambah (pray). So is the often-used term "bumiputera" for prince of the earth or "puasa" for fasting.

For the Chinese, many Taoists may not be aware that the famous deity, Guan Yin, isn't of Chinese origin but of Indian origin, with her Sanskrit name Padma-pani, meaning "Born of the Lotus". It is already well reported that the Goddess of Mercy was originally male.

History is interesting if we learn to live it, rather than just treat it as another examination subject.

History is not about dead people, ancient culture, races that disappeared, disregarded stone structures or dates that we have to commit to memory. Rather, it is about how these historical events have affected our daily lives. Without the past, there is no present and surely no future.

Of course, there are many people and regimes that seek to rewrite history to their advantage.

But those who seek to re-write history to suit a political agenda will learn soon enough that it will never work because the past has a way of creeping up on us.

 

Adaptation and Extinction

Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:26 AM PST

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Why do you want to write something about Sunni Islam into the constitution when UMNO Malays don't have faith in our constitution?  
 
Sakmongkol AK47 
 
The principle of natural selection applied socially as used by Herbert Spencer for example refers to the ability and means by which a social organism adapts to its immediate, local environment. It's not used in the sense biologists understand the term.
 
It's the ability of a social organism to adapt to its social environment whereby it quickly acquires the traits that confers it advantages to survive. It's not merely being fit to survive but acquiring the traits that confer it advantages over others. In biology, as long as an organism can reproduce it must be by definition, fit. The fact that UMNO is there means it is already fit. It can reproduce political yahoos and the hallelujah types cant it?
 
But can it acquire the traits, values and culture to ensure political longevity? That requires leadership and quality members. UMNO lacks both. And that is good for all of us.
At the end of the UMNO PAU-wow recently, its president spoke of the imperative for UMNO to adapt. It simply means that UMNO must abandon its current traits and acquire new ones to ensure its longevity and survival.
 
From my own personal experience, there is a wide divide between what Najib says and what he will actually do. I am inclined to believe that when Najib spoke about adaptation, he intended it for public and not UMNO consumption. Much of what he said is lost amidst the din of morbid Malay triumphalism during the UMNO PAU-wow.
 
To me what Najib said was just empty talk. I draw this conclusion because he totally avoided qualifying his call for adaptation. Did he rein in the calls to assert Malay supremacy when delegates say UMNO should not care less if others call it racist? This actually affirms that UMNO is indeed a racist party. Now, when you don't have the culture and values that reject such extremism, UMNO racism will continue notwithstanding what its president says.
 
 

Rallying the Malay ground

Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:13 AM PST

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Umno is at its most stable in years after a successful party election but it is taking nothing for granted as it prepares to dominate the new political landscape and win the young Malay vote.

Joceline Tan, The Star

The floods in the east coast states succeeded in pushing news about the Umno general assembly off the front pages of most newspapers.

News about the rising flood waters in parts of Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu and Johor dominated the pages of all the print media including the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia.

Umno leaders from the affected states had to skip the annual do and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak headed off for Pahang shortly after delivering his opening speech on Thursday morning. Kuantan, the state capital of Pahang, had been inundated and even parts of Pekan was under water.

The next morning, deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin flew off to Terengganu where Kemaman and Dungun have been badly affected.

The general assembly is the party's biggest annual show but the east coast states are the Malay heartland. Acts of God crises like these are Umno's forte. Their management of such crises are partly why they are known as the party that membela rakyat, that takes care of the people's needs. It explains why Umno is still the staple party of the majority of Malays.

Umno's crisis response is well-tested. They know exactly what to do and that was why they told Kuantan MP and PKR politician Fuziah Salleh to return to Kuantan to help her constituents instead of trying to move a motion on the flood situation in Parliament. They saw her as a drama queen out to score publicity in the midst of a crisis.

Umno means to be the political party of choice among the Malays. That has been what much of the sound and fury from the recently concluded general assembly has been all about.

For several years now, Umno had tried to market itself as a party that could be accepted by all races. But the Chinese snub in the general election has been a sobering experience. Umno knows now that the Chinese have rejected the party and will continue to do so for some time to come.

At the same time, Umno members know now that they can still form the government without Chinese support. Umno is the party to beat and as long as Umno can secure the Malay ground, it will have the upper hand.

The explicit message coming from the Umno gathering is that Umno needs to reach out to the six million new voters in the next general election. The majority of the new voters will be Malays and Umno needs to secure their votes if it is to stay in power.

The implicit message is that they are not going to lose any more sleep about the Chinese vote. If the Chinese want to go with the other side, Umno has no choice but to rally the Malay ground to stay on top.

This is what the Malay rhetoric at the general assembly has been largely about.

Speakers finally felt free to dwell on bangsa, agama dan negara or race, religion and nation type of issues or what some have diplomatically termed the "core values" of Umno.

The Malays who are drawn to Umno range from centrist-thinking types to the right wingers. But they are basically defined by race and religion and many of them are nationalistic thinking Malays who will stand up for king and country.

The call for 1Melayu will resonate among many Umno members even as some of the top leaders try to play it down. It is evident that some in Umno feel that their president's 1Malaysia initiative has failed.

Penang Umno veteran Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir who made the call will probably be hailed as a Malay hero when he returns to Penang where his party's dislike for the DAP-dominated government has intensified rather than eased off.

Commentary on more proactive policies to help advance the bumiputra economy also dominated the assembly. Many of them quoted the statistics cited by their president - bumiputra will comprise 69% or two-thirds of the population by 2020 and it is only just and timely that economic policies be aimed at helping the majority of the population.

It is also likely that Umno members believe that their president did the right thing in defending the kalimah Allah as exclusive to the Muslims.

They are also relieved that Najib did not take the flip-flop path of PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang who initially said the "Allah" word could be used by all, then changed his mind and said only Muslims could use it.

Umno leaders sense that PAS Islamic agenda has been seriously compromised because of DAP's might. Umno wants to fill the vacuum to defend the faith and it will not compromise on those who propagate deviationist teachings.

The Chinese will probably view this Umno general assembly as yet another indication that Umno wants to punish them.

But where Umno members are concerned, their overtures were spurned, and they now need to take care of their core business of wooing Malay support.

Najib's challenge in the next few years will be to manage this trend so that it does not go overboard even as he continues to reach out to the other communities.

His Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin's bid to take the centrist and progressive path on issues will also help to counterbalance things.

The Umno ground is still quite restless. Things have not been the same since the 2008 political tsunami and the party is edging its way back to its old equilibrium.

Najib's edge over the other political parties is that his party is at its most stable in years.

The fact that he and Muhyiddin won their posts uncontested says a lot. Muhyiddin and the three vice-presidents are extremely loyal to Najib. On top of that, the leaders of the three wings won their posts in a convincing fashion.

There is also a sense of renewal in the party. The new election system has ushered in more than 60% new faces at the division level and when the new supreme council took their place on stage, there was a good mix of old and new.

Umno's transformation is on track.

Young and progressive ulama figures are starting to make their presence felt in the party. Ustaz Fathul Bari Mat Jayah who was one of the debaters came in with the highest number of votes in the contest for the exco of the Umno Youth wing.

But Khairy is the trail-blazer in Umno Youth. He scored a perfect victory in the party election, he is a news-maker and everyone can see that he is different from the run-of-the-mill Youth leaders. He is also controversial in an exciting way.

Not everyone in Umno likes him but most of them agree that he could be a future prime minister if he plays his cards well. The Youth wings of the Pakatan Rakyat parties see him as their greatest threat and that alone makes him an asset to his own party.

Another notable change is the emerging presence of younger and intelligent women within the Wanita and Puteri wings. They are the product of the NEP, they are impressive in a contemporary way and they are giving their Umno Youth counterparts a run for the money.

The days when nervous-looking Wanita ladies stood at the rostrum to deliver rambling grandmother stories are over. This year, some of the debates of substance came from confident and professional women speakers and one of them was Datin Nor Sabrina Mohd Noor, 34, the youngest Kedah executive council member.

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil who has been talking about grooming a core group of women in the wing, will be spoilt for choice. These younger women will shape the future of Wanita Umno.

Shahrizat also scored a morale booster for her wing which was officially recognised as the "Backbone of Umno.

Vice-president (VP) Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal in his winding-up, addressed her as ketua Tulang Belakang Umno (chief the backbone of Umno). Shafie is riding high after coming in close behind Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the VP contest.

Many in Umno see Zahid as most likely to move up should the No 2 post become available but Shafie should not be discounted as a contender.

But Zahid is such a charming populist and it was evident that he is a crowd favourite with his infectious smile, tough talk and cheeky remarks. His party president teased him as the ketua umum Jawa in reference to his Javanese roots.

The Home Minister drew loud support from the floor with his pledge to be firm on crime and security as well as to act against Syiah activities which may divide the Muslim faith in the country.

Zahid also made a daring accusation against the PAS deputy president. He did not name him but it was clear that he was referring to Mohamed Sabu.

The third VP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein had to follow the proceedings this year from his hospital bed. He suffered chest pains last Monday and had to undergo an angioplasty.

This has been a difficult year for the Defence Minister who almost lost the VP post to Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir. It has also been a year of wake-up calls in terms of his health and politics.

Hishammuddin is a notorious chain-smoker, hence his nickname Hisap-mmuddin ("hisap" means smoke). But he has promised his cousin and party president that he will give up smoking.

Najib is often seen as a decorous speaker. But over the last few years, he has let it all hang out when addressing the troops.

His off-the-cuff style has improved and yesterday, as he delivered his winding-up speech at the general assembly, he made it clear that the party would not be apologetic in standing up for the Malays and the faith.

He knew that party members felt that he had given more priority to those who did not support the government over them. Yet, they were the ones whose support helped return Umno to power.

In that sense, this party assembly was very much about acknowledging that and also to reassure the party faithful that the party's core values are intact.

 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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