- Ex-NST boss to PM: Why not make Rosmah minister?
- Mat Sabu denies he is a Syiah follower, threatens legal action against Zahid Hamidi
- Mat Sabu denies Syiah links
- Post-Umno assembly, PKR predicts doomed Malay race
- Ku Nan: Anti-BN Malay tsunami ‘impossible’
- It will be Malay tsunami next, Utusan warns Umno
- Where’s Pakatan’s national development plan?
- Najib charts Umno’s Islamic direction
- In redefining Islam, PAS-DAP reps take divergent paths
- PM wraps up 67th general assembly with declaration
- In “Agama dan Bangsa”, Umno sees a lifeline
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:33 PM PST
(MM) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should seriously consider making his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, a full minister in recognition of her "contributions to the country", former NST editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin wrote today.
In an acerbic entry on his blog The Scribe, the senior newsman poked fun at Najib's speech at the close of Umno's general assembly yesterday, in which the prime minister heaped praise on his wife for helping to settle international crises involving Malaysians.
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 08:59 PM PST
PAS information chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar accused Zahid of trying to pit Muslims against each other.
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 03:45 PM PST
(MM) - PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu has denied Putrajaya's accusation that he has links to the banned Syiah movement, insisting instead that he follows the accepted Sunni school of jurisprudence.
The PAS leader reportedly confirmed this to Astro Awani when contacted yesterday.
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 03:42 PM PST
(MM) - The Malays are heading towards a future that is rapidly growing dimmer under Umno's continued rule, PKR said today, citing the ruling party's alleged failure to address key national issues during its just-concluded annual assembly.
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said the week-long assembly had only seen more chest-thumping from the ruling party's bellicose leaders to the tune of their new "1Melayu" refrain, instead of debates on the nation's dip in education standards and how to better address issues like corruption and the rise in living costs.
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 03:38 PM PST
(MM) - Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor dismissed today an editorial by Utusan Malaysia warning of a "Malay tsunami" if Umno does not continue to be a party loved by Malays.
In its "Awang Selamat" column, the Umno-owned daily said PAS and PKR will try to create a "Malay tsunami" in the next general election.
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 11:38 AM PST
Lee Shi-Ian, TMI
PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat will change their strategies to garner more support from Malays and Bumiputeras to create a "Malay tsunami" in the next general election, columnist Awang Selamat said today.
After the "Chinese tsunami" in the 13th General Election, as described by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Awang predicted the outcome of the 14th polls would revolve around the Malay votes.
"Umno will have a fierce fight on their hands from PAS and PKR in order to win support from the Malay majority. PAS and PKR are set to change their game plan," Awang said in his Sunday column in "Utusan Malaysia".
"The Umno supreme council needs to be humble as they will have nobody to blame but themselves if the party fails to retain Putrajaya in the next polls."
The party's mouthpiece, "Utusan Malaysia", reminded the supreme council members not to focus on their personal ambitions to the extent of forgetting Umno's fundamental principles.
Awang, the pseudonym for the newspaper's collective editorial team, said the supreme council members would be held responsible if Umno failed to defend its political position in the next general election.
"Be wary, while Umno is strong, it is not invincible. Everyone must take up the struggle and fight for Umno to be supported, especially by Malays and Bumiputeras," Awang said.
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 11:21 AM PST
Since its 2008 historical sweep into the political forefront and its retention of two key states – Penang and Selangor - in GE13, the Pakatan Rakyat coalition has done doing but gripe, claims a NGO.
Athi Shankar, FMT
An NGO here wants answers and a national development floor-plan from Pakatan Rakyat, which it claims has done "nothing" todate except criticize the Barisan Nasional government and tarnish the country's reputation abroad.
Sensible & Ethical Malaysian United Team (Semut) president Huan Cheng Guan said that for every criticism hurled against the federal government, Pakatan was neither innocent nor blameless in not committing the same actions its leaders condemned.
"For all their criticisms at the federal government, has Pakatan proposed any concrete ways to overcome problems highlighted?
"Pakatan does not have a good record securing foreign investments on their own without riding on BN efforts.
" Have any of their leaders ever praised or promoted the country locally or internationally in speeches or social networking platforms?
"Pakatan have never assured Malaysians or foreigners that the country is a fantastic place to live and to invest, " he said in a statement yesterday..
Huan said that since 2008, Pakatan was yet to produce a shadow cabinet to provide the much needed check and balance and prove their leaders can be better than BN leaders.
All they seemed to be doing is complaining, ranting and disgracing the federal government on corruption, wastage and other issues, he said.
"Malaysians are keen to know what Pakatan has done for the country as a whole.
"Picture this scenario. Two opposing factions declare their allegiance to their country.
"One works to develop the nation positively although not perfectly, while the other consistently runs down the country locally and abroad supposedly for the rakyat's sake.
"Internationally, the nation's prestige is on the downward trend. Many conclude that things are not well on the home front.
"So whom would you trust?" asked Huan.
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:54 AM PST
(Bernama) - Umno closed it 2013 General Assembly yesterday in high spirit and with a commitment to formulate concrete strategies to implement affirmative action to achieve Malay and Bumiputera agenda, as well as to uphold Islam.
The assembly, which is the first after the 13th general election (GE13) and October party polls, also agreed for Umno to continue its political transformation agenda at all levels.
At the GE13, Umno managed to win 88 out of 133 parliamentary seats won by Barisan Nasional (BN), compared to only 79 in 2008, thanks to the support from the Malays and Bumiputeras, especially in rural areas.
Umno president Najib Tun Razak stressed that the causes of Islam would continue to be fought by the biggest Malay party, including through amendments of party's constitution to recognise Islam as federal religion.
To define Islam, Umno will amend the Clause 3.3 of its constitution to recognise Islam as the federal religion, while Islam constitutes Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah, he said in his adjournment speech.
A total of 2,759 Umno delegates attending the assembly also heard Najib emphasise the Bumiputera Empowerment Agenda, which he said would be made a national agenda and implemented by government-linked companies.
"For social justice, the positions of Malays and Bumiputera must be improved. This is our rights, but we are not sidelining the rights of others," he said.
On Umno's political transformation, Najib called on members to change their strategies for success based on the five transformation strategies for Umno to emerge as the party of hope and stay relevant.
On Thursday, Najib in his policy speech, said filling the transformation included efforts in strengthening the economy of the Malays and Bumiputera; upholding the syariah objectives; strengthening the party cadre; preparing the transformative machinery; and to draw up the Umno Key Performance Indicators or KPI.
Wanita Umno the 'backbone'
During the five-day assembly, Wanita Umno was also declared as Umno's 'backbone' based on its roles, hard work and contribution in ensuring success for the party, as well as the country's development, all this years.
Established in 1949 as Kaum Ibu Umno before being renamed as Wanita Umno in 1971, the movement now has 1.3 million members from 191 divisions and 20,797 branches nationwide.
For the sake of the party's survival. Umno is committed to implementing the party cadreship development programme, involving aspects of creativity, personal skills and mastering the new media to face the challenges of the new political landscape.
This is to facilitate the delivery of party and government policies so that they could be accepted by the people in a responsive manner to resolve the grassroot's problems.
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:17 AM PST
Joseph Sipalan, The Star
A proposal by Putrajaya to specify "Sunni" as Malaysia's only legally recognised Islamic sect has drawn divergent views from two Muslim leaders in the multiracial Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact, with Islamist PAS backing the move and secular DAP labelling it "un-Islamic".
DAP assistant national publicity secretary Zairil Khir Johari said there was "no need whatsoever" to legally define the sort of Islamic ideology that is practised in Malaysia, as it would only lead to discrimination against other Islamic groups, driving a stake deeper into Muslim unity here.
But his PAS comrade Salahuddin Ayub, a vice-president in the Islamist party, tacitly agreed to the plan, saying it is important in Islam to streamline the ideology, especially since the practice of the religion has long been adopted as part and parcel of Malay culture.
"In things like this, the less state interference the better. After all, who are any of us to define religion?" Zairil said when contacted by The Malay Mail Online.
"For that matter, discriminating against other Muslim groups is in itself un-Islamic. Islam is Islam. There is no need to set it in stone. Islam is the religion of the federation, and that is good enough," the Bukit Bendera MP added.
But Salahuddin appeared to believe differently, pointing out that in Malaysia, the Sunni school of jurisprudence has long been practised and accepted as the country's brand of Islam.
"That has been the practice all the while in this country. In general, we accept that it is Sunnah wal Jamaah... but the approach must be polished," he said.
On Friday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the proposal would be brought before the government for discussion in a bid to prevent the spread of other Islamic ideologies, including the Syiah sect, in Malaysia.
National newswire Bernama quoted the minister as saying that by inserting the words "Sunnah wal Jamaah" in the definition of Islam in the Federal Constitution, it would ensure that Muslims who follow other ideologies are prohibited from spreading their teachings.
It is widely accepted that "Sunnah wal Jamaah" is the de-facto ideology adopted by the majority of Muslims in Malaysia, though religious authorities have long grappled with pockets of different sects that have taken root across the country.
But Zairil brushed aside Umno's call to specify the denomination that can be legally practised in the country as mere fear mongering so they can remain as the country's most powerful political party.
"Their standard modus operandi is to divide and rule. All these games by Umno are to keep the Malays fearful, to create the enemy... the other, so they can mobilise their people.
"The whole idea is to create a siege environment, because Umno is irrelevant the moment the Malays can see that Umno is not taking care of them.
"They are looking for ways to distract from the economic agenda," he said, citing the subsidy rationalisation, the recent hike in rates for public amenities and the 2015 implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
On his end, Salahuddin reminded that ideological differences have been a long-standing issue among Muslims in Malaysia, particularly in the case of Perlis, which he said has not adopted any particular Islamic ideology for a long time now.
"It is normal for a Muslim country to review acts or enactments related to the practice of Islam from time to time.
"But the most important thing is that religion falls under the (jurisdiction of the) state and the sultans, the Council of Rulers.
"There is a need for Ahmad Zahid to have a roundtable meeting and get input and advice from the state governments, because this does not only concern the federal government. Even in the Constitution, it says that this matter runs concurrently with the states," he said.
Prior to the creation of PR in 2008, ties between DAP and PAS were at times tenuous and even directly antagonistic as both parties disagreed on how Islam should be approached in the national context.
DAP has long maintained that Malaysia is a secular state, insisting that Islam's position as the religion of the federation does not make the country an Islamic state.
PAS, on the other hand, continues to hold on to the aim of establishing an Islamic state — as outlined in the party's constitution — despite easing up on the issue in recent years to accommodate their partners in the PR coalition.
The two parties, however, still lock horns every so often over issues related to Islam, with the latest tiff surfacing early last month when DAP chairman Karpal Singh suggested that all religious- and race-based professional or political bodies be de-registered to protect the unity and interests of Malaysia's multi-racial society.
At the close of the Umno general assembly yesterday, party president and prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that his party would be taking the lead in formalising "Sunni" as Malaysia's brand of Islam in its internal constitution.
Several Muslim lawyers, however, have voiced out that any move to gazette this in the Federal Constitution, the highest law of the country, would be "unconstitutional" as it would entirely wipe out the Malay-Muslim identities of non-Sunni Muslims in Malaysia.
Former Umno minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim recently echoed the same, arguing that hardline Islamic leaders who seek to punish Syiah Muslims here may only "destroy the country".
He likened the crackdown to the intra-faith conflict raging among Arab nations and urged Malaysians not to go down the same road as their Muslim brethren there.
"Are they Syiah Muslim? Obviously they are; otherwise Jakim would not be interested in them.
"So if you are Muslim, but not of the variety accepted by Jakim, you get punished... If this is not stupidity, what is?"
"Just because the Arabs partake in Syiah-Sunni warfare doesn't mean we have to follow. Do we want those killings in this great country?" he said in his tirade on Twitter in August.
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:11 AM PST
Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:06 AM PST
Sheridan Mahavera, TMI
The Umno president's first two messages for his party grassroots to take home represent the party's hopes to get back flagging support among urban Malay Muslims and check the influence of its main political rival, PAS.
The first was that the party was taking back the mantle of "true defender of Islam" from PAS.
The second was that the party was going full steam ahead with its Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda, which seeks to serve the interests of Malay-Muslim businessmen.
The second message is easily understood. As Datuk Seri Najib Razak has declared time and again, Umno has increased its support among Malay Muslims.
The Barisan Nasional, which Umno leads, was returned to federal power by a combination of votes from Malay Muslims, Sabahan and Sarawakian Muslims and non-Muslim Bumiputera.
And then in his speech at the start of the assembly, he said those two communities make up 67% of the population.
So by simple math, if Umno and the BN can harness the support of at least 60% of them, it can return to power in the 14th general election.
As was repeatedly said by the party's grassroots, and reaffirmed by Najib during the assembly, these are their hardcore supporters.
To increase its support among urban Malay Muslims, Najib himself said that he will personally see to it that the CEOs of government-linked companies help Malay Muslim contractors and vendors.
"They will be getting a KPI on this and they will have to submit report cards on how they have met their targets," said Najib to rapturous applause from the audience at the assembly.
The first message, on the other hand is more subtle in its aim but has a far reaching impact.
A slew of the party's grassroots leaders took to the stage to demand that the authorities persecute Shia Muslims, homosexuals, liberals and anyone it thinks has insulted Islam.
They also wanted the government to enforce the ban on the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims.
They even wanted the Federal Constitution to be amended to declare that the official religion of the federation was the Sunni branch of Islam.
Najib did not go this far, saying only that the party's constitution would be changed to say that Umno only recognises Sunni Islam.
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