Anwar: Not easy to explain September 16
|Rahmah Ghazali | November 30, 2008|
|After keeping mum on the issue for over two months, Opposition Leader and PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim finally breaks his silence on the botched September 16 deadline he had set to topple the government.The former deputy premier also claims he has a back-up plan which will commence with the winning over of Sarawakians before the next state elections.
During his speech at the PKR congress in Shah Alam last night, Anwar said it is not easy to explain the September 16 issue.
“It is not easy for me to explain it. There are so many things that I cannot say. There are people who agreed to cross over but with a condition – reveal it only when they are ready,” he said.
Breaking into a song and drawing laughter from the some 3,000 people gathered, Anwar rendered: “Cakap salah, tak cakap salah, jadi semua serba salah, (It is wrong if I tell, it is wrong if I don’t tell, so all has become wrong).”
On the same note, he said the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat should set its sight on Sarawak and make it the ‘front line’ and stepping stone to forming a new federal government.
“When? (will the new government be formed). Just wait. For the time being, we will tackle Sarawak… and Sarawak is our new front line (to take over the government),” he added.
The Permatang Pauh MP also vowed that all his fellow opposition MPs from the peninsula will take turns to visit Sarawak every week.
Sarawak has become a hot topic at the PKR congress as the state elections may be held as early as next year.
Many delegates, including those from Sarawak, have urged PKR to pay extra attention to the state.
According to one Sarawakian delegate Wan Zainal Wan Yasin, a ‘surprise’ awaited Pakatan Rakyat in Miri and Kuching. However, he did not elaborate on this.
‘I am still confident’
Meanwhile, Anwar said he is still confident that the opposition alliance will form a new federal government.
The 61-year-old politician, however, stressed that this should be done in accordance with the law.
He also claimed that there were some BN MPs from Sarawak who had agreed to cross over and provided their signatures, but later attacked him out of fear.
Without revealing names, he said: “When I asked him (the MPs) why, he said he was scared of being suspicious, but I am confident as I was confident before the general election that a new government will be formed.”
He also stressed that Pakatan Rakyat has to set a new target and rebuild its strength following the Sept 16 episode.
Turning to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the opposition leader spoke of how the former had refused to entertain his request for a meeting.
“We had a letter signed by myself, (PAS president Abdul) Hadi (Awang) and (DAP leader) Lim Kit Siang to arrange a meeting with (Prime Minister) Abdullah, but he refused to do so.
“We had even asked for an emergency House session to table a motion of no-confidence but that also was not entertained,” he added.
Azizah slams power transition plan
|Rahmah Ghazali | November 29, 2008|
PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today slammed the March transition plan of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy, Najib Tun Razak, saying it would not bring any positive changes to the country.
During a policy speech at the PKR annual congress in Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam this morning, she told the 4000-strong crowd that the transition plan would only impact the nation in a negative way.
“We are here to stress that the transition plan between the prime minister and his deputy, Najib Abdul Razak will not make any positive changes to the damage that has been done to the judicial system, the police, the Anti-Corruption Agency and Parliament,” she said.
Wan Azizah, who is also former Permatang Pauh MP and the wife of PKR de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, said the transition plan would be “no different than the old regime”, referring to the tenure of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“It will have so much similarities with the old regime, where the Internal Security Act and corruption were widely practised. The same regime also contributed to the terrible erosion of government institutions,” she added.
The transition plan, which was originally planned for June 2010, had to be pushed forward to next March after Abdullah was forced to review his departure date after losing support from Umno grassroots in the wake of the huge loses suffered by Barisan Nasional in the last general election.
Najib, who is Umno deputy chief, last month won the leadership of the ruling party unopposed, paving the way for him to be appointed prime minister next March.
Touching on the good relationship between the political parties in Pakatan Rakyat, Wan Azizah also reiterated PKR’s commitment to DAP and PAS, saying the opposition coalition would do all in its power to preserve the special position of the Malay rulers, Malays, Islam and Bahasa Melayu.
“In fact, we are willing to return royal immunity in the spirit of a constitutional monarchy. This is the real meaning of the change we are committed to bringing to the country,” she said.
However, she clarified in a press conference later that she was not talking about the restoration of royal immunity per se but restoring the power of the Agong in the law-making process.
According to Wan Azizah, she was referring to restoring the Agong’s power to reject a Bill in enacting a new law. At present, any bill that is not assented by the Agong will be passed in 30 days.
Growing support from Sabah and Sarawak
Wan Azizah today also vowed to pull off an “incredible performance” during Sarawak’s state election next year. She said PKR had thousands of new members, mostly from Sabah and Sarawak, a strong indication of winds of change sweeping the two states.
“If we were able to gain power in Sabah and Sarawak during the previous general election, we could have formed a new federal government by now. Insya’Allah this hope will materialise when the time comes,” said the 56-year-old politician.
She added that PKR was currently in the midst of strengthening the party’s relationship with the two states to “ensure a more successful future” with them.
“We are also committed to our promise – where 20 percent of petroleum and oil revenues in Sabah and Sarawak will be given back to the people.
“We also promise to give more pro-active roles to these states at the federal level if we are chosen to lead the country one day,” stressed Wan Azizah.
It is not often that I go Nusantara, except occasionally when the situation warrants. This is one of those occasions and I dedicate this set of my favorite picks to a very special lady. Her name is cik cun. She is sheen, gentle, smart and most engaging. There are thousands of cik cuns in Nusantara but none near the cik cun I know. She is somewhere out there. Please take care, cik cun. I am routing for you—DJ Din Merican
Malaysia’s Ella Fitzgerald–Adibah Noor–Terlalu Istimewa
Melly, Ruth and Shanty–Bunda: Dedicated to All Moms including my late Mother for being there for me
29 November 2008
Anwar Ibrahim Keynote Address at PKR 2008 Congress, 29 November 2008, Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam
I stand before you, humbled by your courage, overwhelmed by your loyalty, and inspired by your extraordinary feats. From a dark cell I felt your pain. I cried when your freedom was taken from you.
And today I share your pride and joy; that we are gathered here to celebrate the historic event our fellow Malaysians brought forth on March 8 – a Brave New Dawn.
I welcome the new faces among us. When we formed this party we knew a day would come when we would open our doors to a flood of Malaysians joining us on this noble mission. Your presence marks the beginning of a new phase for our party and for our nation.
I marvel at the support we have earned from our nation’s youth and women. You have given us hope that Malaysia’s future will fall into the hands of a generation that cherishes democracy and will continue the fight for freedom and justice.
With this Congress we embark on a major exercise to refocus and reorganize the party to reach new levels of discipline and new heights of effectiveness. We will take steps to ensure that our call for justice is heard loud and clear from the northern reaches of Perlis to the southern tip of Johor and all the way to the shores of Sabah and Sarawak.
Yet it was not too long ago that many believed this party had no future. They poured scorn on our aspirations and laughed at our dreams. Some even said we would just disappear!
They said multi-racial politics were impossible and our vision for a unified nation had all but expired. There are some whose conviction wavered and who believed that the ship upon which we were sailing may not reach its destined shore. To those who harbor doubt I say: trust in the wisdom of the people and trust not the pundits and cynics bent on supporting a corrupt and decadent establishment.
The desire for change is unstoppable. The people can no longer tolerate the abuses of the current government that affront us each day. The prevailing order prevails no more.
Never in the country’s history have Malaysians in such great numbers exercised their right to vote out of office such an entrenched institution. Never before have the people set aside their racial and religious identities and called in a single voice for a Brave New Dawn.
Our successes in 2008 are immense and we should be immensely proud. After two successful elections we have a proven that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition is strong and unified, working together hand-in-hand for change.
We have also witnessed a government under siege and a ruling party in disarray. We have seen them strangle and suffocate the democratic process and we have seen them ignore the crisis of an economy in turmoil.
Yes there have been setbacks. We skirted with destiny on September 16 and despite our best efforts our march to victory has been delayed. I empathise with you and with the people of Malaysia. We are all forced to further endure the slings and arrows of an incompetent government that has lost touch with the people. Although our promise has not yet been fulfilled, the Pakatan Rakyat leaders and I remain committed to the agenda for change and our tenacity has never been stronger.
I call upon you to aspire — as only we united in our quest can — to A Brave New Dawn: Where every child has the right to quality education and every family feels safe at home and in their streets. Where we can believe what we read in the newspapers and what we watch on the television. Where the country’s leaders will be honest, where justice prevails and where judges cannot be bribed.
I ask of you first as Malaysians and second as members of KeADILan, let us prepare ourselves with a renewed resolve and the courage of conviction that with our efforts a thousand flowers of freedom will yet bloom in Malaysia.
To my fellow citizens in the Pakatan States, you have humbled me with your support and I thank you. I say to you – let us work together to bring forth a new order and a better quality of life; a new measure of confidence in the accountability of government. I ask you to bear with us; the challenges we face cannot be overcome in a single month and some may take more than a year to redress. Much has been accomplished already, and soon our State Governments will report regularly their accomplishments and their plans for the continued development of our states.
To those living outside the Pakatan States the task before you is formidable. You believe in KeADILan and you believe that with Pakatan Rakyat the future of the country can be great. Yet you live in the stronghold of Barisan Nasional. We need your unwavering commitment and we need you to work harder than ever before so that Pakatan Rakyat’s banner can be raised throughout Malaysia.
We in Pakatan Rakyat will continue to protect the rights of every Malaysian including the Malays and Bumiputeras, and strive to bring forth greater quality of life for all. We will reach out to our friends in Sabah and Sarawak – Ibans, Kadazans, Dayaks. Your cry for help has been ignored. We in Pakatan Rakyat say we hear you and we will support you.
Members of Keadilan: Your work has brought our people together. Look around you. Our ancestors might not come from the same place. But we are citizens of this nation and we each want this country to move in the same direction to make it a better home for our children and grandchildren who – we hope – will be living together peacefully. And for them we wish a nation that is prosperous where they can obtain a good education and find a decent job to support their families.
These are Malaysian problems. They are not just Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban, Dayak or Kadazan problems. They are ones that affect Sabah and Sarawak the same way that they matter to people living in Selangor, Penang, Kelantan or Johor. They are problems that we all face, day after day. And will continue to face them unless we work harder for change.
Today our nation is confronted with monumental challenges. The economy is in virtual crisis. Violent crime in our cities and villages has never been more pervasive. More Malaysians are jobless, or will lose their jobs in the coming year than ever before in our history. Our education system is crumbling just like the buildings in which our children attend school. Billions are wasted every year in blatant corruption while the poor and marginalized are left hoping for some reprieve.
We have called this gathering to celebrate our success but I am now calling you to arms. Let us renew our commitment. Let us resolve to build on what has been accomplished this year and make Malaysia great once again.
Let us fulfill our promise to our friends in Pakatan Rakyat, DAP and PAS, to build a strong partnership. We have shared aspirations for the country and we are stronger as a coalition than the sum of our parts. Together we will win the hearts and minds of the entire nation.
|Anwar stays mum over September 16, 2008|
|Beh Lih Yi | November 29, 2008|
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim did not offer any new explanation over his failure to topple the Barisan Nasional-led federal government at the annual PKR congress today.
Anwar, who is also PKR de facto leader, did not explain why the takeover did not happen during his much-awaited speech – which lasted for about 20 minutes – at the congress this morning.
He merely touched on the subject in passing at the outset of his speech, admitting that the change the opposition promised the rakyat would take place on September 16 is yet to happen.
“Our wish to change the government is not about personal political ambition or greed. We want a just system, an independent judiciary and a professional police force.
“Despite all the sabotage and plotting (towards the Sept 16 plan), our desire to bring about a new dawn for Malaysia will never be quashed,” he told a 4,000-strong crowd at the Malawati stadium in Shah Alam, Selangor.
He later moved on to other topics, including the economy and the Sarawak state elections.
He evaded the press conference too
In a copy of his speech distributed to reporters, Anwar conceded there were setbacks to his plan but said the party’s “march to victory” had merely been delayed.
He did not explain the reasons in the written speech, which he did not read out at the congress.
The 61-year-old ex-deputy premier also evaded a press conference held during a break later. The media session was instead attended by his wife, party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and a few other party leaders.
Many were expecting Anwar to issue a proper explanation at the congress over his failure to meet his self-imposed deadline of toppling the BN-led federal government.
Prior to September 16, Anwar had consistently said he had enough BN lawmakers to defect to the opposition alliance, Pakatan Rakyat, and obtain a simple majority to form government.
Following his failure to topple the government, the PKR leader merely attributed the reasons to purported harassment from the authorities on those who intended to defect to Pakatan but did not reveal any names or details on the ‘defectors’.
Party deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali at the opening of the party’s Youth and Women’s wings meet yesterday said Anwar and Wan Azizah would explain on the September 16 plan today.
However, Wan Azizah also did not offer any explanations in her policy speech this morning.
Despite the lack of an explanation this morning, party officials and Wan Azizah said Anwar will elaborate on the matter at a ceramah (political talk) at the stadium tonight.
Vice-president Azmin Ali said the explanation will be made at the ceramah instead of the official congress because “the ceramah is also part of the congress”.
New target – Sarawak state election
Meanwhile, in his speech, Anwar said the party will mobilise its big guns to Sarawak to start preparing for the Sarawak state election.
He said a rally is being planned next month in the state to kick off the party’s campaign.
Party officials said they expect the state election to be called by June next year, although it is officially not due until 2011.
“Hopefully there will be change in Sarawak and hopefully, there will be a bigger change in the country,” he said, before ending his speech.
Anwar’s speech was preceded by speeches from several multi-racial leaders including former MCA Wanita leader Tan Yee Kew and Sarawak’s Ngemah state assemblyperson Gabriel Adit. Adit, who was an independent state assemblyperson, joined PKR early this month.
source: The Malaysian Insider
By Debra Chong
SHAH ALAM, Nov 28 – PKR’s No. 2 told its youth and women’s wings members to shape up and reach out to the growing number of Malaysians looking for a multiracial and multi-religious party to represent their needs in a changing world.
Dr Syed Husin Ali told the two wings that now was not the time to rest on their laurels even though they had won big at the March general elections as the victory came from the people’s support rather than the party’s own efforts.
“They gave a clear message that the party which implements policies, runs campaigns and acts to fight for one community and denies the rights of other communities will not be accepted,” he said.
He added: “They gave a clear indication that parties such as Umno, MCA and MIC are only waiting to be buried.”
Syed Husin said that its political rivals, especially Umno, was fanning racial and religious fires because they were threatened by the opposition’s climb to power in five states.
He reminded them that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) plan to take over the federal government was still on track even though the leadership was keeping quiet on when it will happen.
“The lesson learnt is that we talk about it, it alerts undesirable elements,” the deputy president said at PKR’s annual general meeting for its youth and women wings here today.
In sober tones, the party elder told the 1,000-strong crowd to seriously examine themselves to raise the quality of the membership and party.
He stressed that the party did not only want more members but thinking members who could fight for justice for all.
“I fervently hope Wanita and Angkatan Muda prepare themselves to face the challenges ahead.
“We must not disappoint the rakyat after they gave us their trust to lead the government of our beloved country,” Syed Husin ended.
Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam, Selangor
November 28, 2008
I joined the Press corps this morning (November 28, 2008) at Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam, Selangor for the Official Opening of “Kongres Wanita dan Angkatan Muda Parti KeADILan Rakyat 2008“. It was formally launched by PKR’s Deputy President Dr. Syed Husin Ali.
Dr. Syed Husin’s address to the delegates was inspiring and very upbeat yet heart rendering. He recounted the difficulties the party faced in finding a suitable venue for its annual congress. Since its first congress in Ipoh in 2004, PKR had to meet in many places and under very tense circumstances. He added, “[Di] mana ada hotel yang berani menyewakan dewannya, kita bersidang di hotel. Akan tetapi dimana tidak ada hotel yang berani atau tidak tahan ugutan dari pihak-pihak tertentu, kita tidak putus harapan. Mujurlah ada tokong Budhis atau sekolah Cina yang berani dan bermurah hati menyewakan dewan mereka”.
He went on to say “[B]egitu juga, dulu bendera yang kita kibarkan sempena beberapa kongres yang lalu sering diragut turun oleh pihak penguatkuasa majlis bandaran atas arahan UMNO-BN yang memerintah. Tetapi hari ini kita gembira kerana beribu bendera Parti terus berkibar di sampang bendera negeri dan Jalur Gemilang (the Malaysian Flag) di sepanjang jalan ke mari (to Stadium Melawati)” [Applause].
He added that “[S]aya percaya kerajaan PAKATAN tidak akan membalas dendam dengan mengarahkan mana-mana jabatan menurunkan bendera UMNO dan parti-parti sekutunya apabila mereka mengadakan perhimpunan tahunan. Saya yakin pimpinan kerajaan kita tidak berhati kecut seperti para pemimpin kerajaan yang korup dan tidak adil , yang kita ganti.”
The PKR Deputy President touch on many issues which affect the party, Pakatan Rakyat and our country. He in particular touched on race based politics (ketuanan melayu).
He said that UMNO Malays think that only UMNO can redeem the fate of the Malays and added that” [M]ereka lupa dan menafikan hakikat bahawa selama 50 tahun memerintah, pemimpin Melayu dari UMNO lah yang paling banyak bertanggungjawab merampas hak orang Melayu dan merompak kekayaan negara…Mereka membenarkan sebahagian besar orang Melayu yang miskin dan berpendapatan rendah terus terbiar atau terpinggir”. In order to further enrage the Malays,”…mereka (UMNO) mengbangkitkan bermacam-macam isu” in Penang, Perak and Selangor, said the PKR Deputy President.
Please read the malaysiakini report (below). The party congress begin tomorrow ( November 29,2008) with Ucapan Dasar by PKR’s President Datuk Seri Wan Azizah binti Wan Azizah. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will also address delegates later that day. —Din Merican
PKR: There will be change of government
|Beh Lih Yi & Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | November 28, 2008|
PKR has revived its ambition of toppling the BN federal government, saying its failure to take over as promised on September 16 did not mean it will fail to do so forever.
If (the power transfer) is not tomorrow, it will be the day after tomorrow; if it is not in the near future, it will be in the 13th general election (due 2013),” PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali declared today.
Opening the annual congress of the party’s Youth and Women’s wings this morning, the party’s No 2 conceded a lot of people were “disappointed” when the much-talked about Sept 16 plan did not take place.
However, he blamed the powers-that-be for allegedly using underhanded tactics and asserting pressure on BN lawmakers who were purportedly planning to defect to the opposition, such as monitoring their movements through the police Special Branch.
Anwar says he is in ‘no hurry’
Syed Husin also claimed these purported defectors were offered a big sum of money for them to stay within the BN although they had given an undertaking in black-and-white that they would defect to the opposition.
“Pakatan Rakyat’s attempt to meet with the prime minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) to discuss the transition of power was also rejected.
“In view of all these obstacles, the power transfer has yet to be carried out. However, this does not mean it will never happen,” he told 900 delegates gathered at the indoor Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam, Selangor, where the three-day congress is held from today.
Syed Husin also criticised a small group of party members who were taken in by the ‘propaganda’ mooted by certain media to believe that Anwar had lied to them on the take over plan.
“Not many people believed this propaganda. Unfortunately, I see a small group of PKR members, including Youth and Women, believed this cheap propaganda,” he pointed out.
He added that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would elaborate on the matter in their speeches at the parent body’s congress tomorrow.
The Youth and Women’s wings meetings, are being held simultaneously today.
The national congress is the first since the opposition party’s powerful showing in the March polls.
From one parliamentary seat in 2004, the multiracial party gained significantly from widespread voter disillusionment and resentment to win 31 parliamentary seats.
Under Pakatan, which includes Chinese-based DAP and Islamic party PAS, the opposition won 81 parliamentary seats and took power in five states.
After the general election, Anwar repeatedly claimed that he had secured enough BN defectors to form the federal government through a simple majority.
However, he missed the declared deadline of September 16 and has recently played down the possibility of a takeover, saying that he was in “no hurry” to topple BN.
In his speech, Syed Husin also called on the people to be wary of certain quarters bent on stirring up racial sentiments after the last general election.
He said these tactics were targetted at the leadership in the five states ruled by Pakatan.
“This small group of people claim that Malay supremacy is under threat just because they see a slight increase of the non-Malay role (in the administration). They see from their narrow-minded perspective that only the Malays from Umno can defend Malay rights.
“They have forgotten and dismissed the fact that Malay leaders from Umno were those responsible for taking away Malay rights and robbed this nation of its wealth,” he charged.
Touching on the two PKR wings, Syed Husin said their representation among the party’s elected representatives is not as high as the party had hoped it would be.
Among its 31 MPs, only three are from the Women’s wing and four from the Youth wing, he said.
He said he hoped to see more women representatives in state assemblies in future.
At a press conference later, Syed Husin conceded that the party has learnt a lesson over the Sept 16 plan and emphasised that the plan was still on the party’s agenda.
“It’s very much on (the agenda). We talk less about it but we do more about it, the lesson we have learnt is when we talk about it, it alerts a lot of undesirable elements (to the plan).
“Not that we shouldn’t talk about it, (it’s just that) we don’t talk much about announcing the date or announcing the takeover,” he told reporters.
“September 16 was the beginning of the process, it was not the beginning or end of everything. It’s the beginning of the process and the process is still going on, it could happen at anytime,” he said.
According to Syed Husin, the party has received over 100,000 new membership applications over the past few months after the last general election.
He was also asked to comment on PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin’s statement yesterday that some Pakatan-led state governments did not accommodate the Youth members in the government-linked companies (GLCs) in order for them to play a more significant role.
Syed Husin has earlier in his opening speech called on the Women and Youth members to be more active.
“I was not talking about accommodation (of Youth into GLCs). I was talking about activities within the party and the masses, you can’t accommodate everybody to the sort of things that you mentioned, certainly we encourage our members to be more active on the ground,” he told reporters.
On his speech on a small group of grassroots leaders who were “dominating” the decision-making process at the divisional and state level, he said: “These are some legacy of leadership that is not good. It’s now slowly being improved upon.”
|November 27, 2008|
The outcome of the March 8 general elections, which witnessed the opposition making unprecedented gains, also appears to have given the rulers a new lease of life.
At a luncheon address on ‘The Role of the Constitutional Monarchy in 21st Century Malaysia’ in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Negeri Sembilan Regent Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Jaffar outlined how the political twist has affected the rulers.
Among others, he said, the elections has given the Malaysian monarchy “an opportunity to come to the fore.”
“The electorate expressed its displeasure with the ruling government resulting in the opposition taking control in five states and leaving the federal capital monopolised by opposition figures.”Even in Negeri Sembilan, Barisan Nasional’s majority in the state assembly was by a mere three representatives. A close shave by any standards,” he added.
Calling it the “decimation of Barisan Nasional”, the regent underscored the fact that the election results reflected the rakyat’s deep dissatisfaction over many issues.
“I shall not endeavour to go through these issues to avoid misrepresentation. Even rulers have to be discretionary at times,” he quipped.
‘Courageous, bold and almost confrontational’
Nonetheless, Tunku Naquiyuddin said in Kedah, Perlis, Perak, Penang, Selangor and Terengganu, the rulers and the Penang governor had exercised their right under the constitution to appoint the menteris besar and chief minister.
In Perlis, he said, the ruler used the occasion to stand firm to express the rakyat’s dissatisfaction.
“Despite the prime minister’s public support for the incumbent (Shahidan Kassim), the ruler decided to appoint a new menteri besar (Mat Isa Sabu).
“Similarly in Terengganu, the new menteri besar elect (Ahmad Said) was fully endorsed by the ruler against the recommendation of the prime minister who was again supporting the incumbent (Idris Jusoh).”
“These two incidents which took place over a period of eight and 19 days respectively saw the whole country gasping at the political ramifications and the forthrightness of the ruler to put his foot down.”
“Never had a prime minister withdrawn his candidacy in the face of a vociferous ruler. In fact on March 23, Abdullah (Ahmad) Badawi actually called the appointment ‘unconstitutional’.”
“However, an audience with the (Yang di-Pertuan) Agong (who is also Sultan of Terengganu) on March 25 obviously paved the way for BN to fully endorse Ahmad Said as menteri besar.”
In Selangor, Tunku Naquiyuddin said, there was a totally new experience to see an opposition member being appointed menteri besar by the sultan.
“Being so close to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysians were generally pleased that the changeover went so smoothly. This was a vivid example of a mature democracy in action.”
All these instances, he said, witnessed the respective ruler exerting his power during times of change. By sensing the need for change, he added, the rulers exercised their role to appoint new faces.
“In the past when BN governments were in the clear majority, the rulers were often just endorsing and obliging the recommendations of the prime minister.
“In this instance, the ruler has actually taken stock of the situation. Some of the appointments were surely based on the feedback of the rakyat that change was necessary and a new face in politics was the order of the day.”
“If you really analyse the situation that the ruler is supposed to act upon the advice of the prime minister, then one can sense that the action of the ruler (in those states) is really quite courageous, bold and almost confrontational.”
‘Perhaps select a PM one day’
Tunku Naquiyuddin also pointed out that the rulers share a close rapport with the rakyat and by being apolitical, this gives them an honest and accurate view of the situation.
“The ruler also thinks in the long term and what is good for the nation. Quite often, politicians look only to the next elections.”
On the same note, the regent said, perhaps one day the king may have to select a prime minister if no one group has a majority in Parliament.
“Article 40 (2)(a) provides for the procedures and appointment of prime minister by the Agong using his own discretion. This means he is not bound by the wishes or advice of an outgoing prime minister.”
However, he said there are certain constraints and conventions which guide the ruler in performing this role.
For example, he added if there is a party enjoying absolute majority in Parliament, the king has no choice but to appoint the party leader as prime minister.
“But if a general election leads to a ‘hung’ Parliament, the king may exercise his discretion to choose a person likely to command the confidence of Parliament.”
“As such the king’s ability to exercise discretion in his selection and the need to be politically impartial are very important attributes in his capacity to act as head of state.”
Apart from this, the regent said, rulers have recently come out with timely reminders regarding peace and harmony as well as respect for the constitution.
He cited the Regent of Perak Dr Raja Nazrin Shah’s call on rulers not to agree to the advice given by government leaders if it goes against the spirit of the constitution, rule of law and universal principles of justice.
“Several other rulers have also come out with various piece of advice. The Sultan of Selangor is well known for his drive for a clean and efficient administration.”
“Corruption at all levels have been condemned and environmental degradation has been brought to the attention of the authorities. Racial unity is quite often a rallying cry. There are also many speeches which go unreported.”
Inevitably, Tunku Naquiyuddin said, the ruler has to assert himself in the political process while trying his best to be apolitical.
“If Malaysia, in the future, is to see a much more vibrant scenario of opposition political forces then we can envisage the Malay ruler playing a more crucial and assertive role in order to ensure that peace and harmony prevails and that the laws are provided for under the constitution are adhered to by all parties.
“If political parties see themselves as the representatives of the people, then the rulers see themselves as the guardians of the constitution.”
In order for the ruler to exercise his duties in a fair, just and impartial manner in protecting the constitution, the regent said, their sovereignty needs to be duly protected too.
“Thus full immunity from civil and criminal proceedings should be reconsidered so that he (the ruler is on par) with other constitutional monarchs around the world. It is ironic that judges are immune in the performance of their judicial functions but rulers are not.
“Royal immunity has been lost for 15 years. It needs to be reclaimed and reinstated so that the constitutional monarchy can be restored its full sovereignty so as to play a more fitting and effective role in the 21st century as guardian of the constitution so that the endeavour to safeguard the interests of all communities, to promote peace, prosperity, economic security and good governance can surely be fulfilled.”
He lamented that after the 1993 constitutional amendment which was made under then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia is probably the only country in the world in which the monarchy has not been accorded with immunity.
November 27, 2008
By Farish A. Noor
Since I became an activist at the age of nineteen, I have spent more than two decades of my life defending Muslims and the image of Islam. During my 22 years of living in Europe, I must have attended hundreds of conferences, seminars, public debates and lectures where I tried my best to dissuade people from the negative image of Islam that is so prevalent in the international media of late.
But there were moments when it seemed as if this was an uphill struggle where every battle won was soon followed by a string of defeats, thanks to the actions of Muslims who took it upon themselves to ‘defend Islam’ on their own parochial and short-sighted terms; and whose actions and words did untold damage to the image of Muslims. I recall one particularly bitter episode when I was asked to speak about the universalism of Islam – that took place just when the Taliban were occupied with the task of blowing up the Buddha statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan. It seemed pointless to continue then, and despair has been my lot for the past few years.
Now I find myself again in such a situation, after it was announced that the Fatwa Council of Malaysia has just issued a fatwa declaring that the practice of Yoga is haram and thus forbidden to Muslims. Overnight I was bombarded by emails and sms-es from my Islamist friends in Indonesia where I teach at two Islamic universities, who asked: “What is wrong with you Malaysian Muslims, and haven’t you got anything better to do?” How do I reply to such a question when I am forced to ask it myself?
That the Malaysian Fatwa Council could even contemplate issuing a fatwa on Yoga of all things beggars belief. It leaves many Muslims and non-Muslims alike stunned and speechless for it would suggest that the state of normative religiosity in Malaysia has sunk to such a shallow and superficial level that only the most mundane issues are deemed worthy enough to gain the attention of the country’s ‘defenders of the faith’.
There are three issues that I would like to raise at this point, and they are the following:
First, it should be noted that for millions of people around the world who may be Hindus or non-Hindus, Yoga is seen primarily as a form of exercise and little else. In Europe where Yoga has been popular since the 1960s, millions of Europeans have been practicing Yoga in their spare time as a hobby or part of their health regimes, with scant attention to its religious and spiritual connotations. If it were indeed the case that Yoga forms an intrinsic part of Hindu belief and that it can be used as a means to convert non-Hindus to Hinduism, then there ought to be millions of Hindus all over Western Europe by today! So where on earth are these closet European Hindus then? Has anyone considered this commonsensical point with any degree of reflection or honesty? If Yoga is seen as merely a regime of exercise, then how on earth does sitting cross-legged miraculously transform me into a Hindu? It would be akin to suggesting that continual consumption of curry would eventually make me an Indian; and I hope we can all see how patently ridiculous that is.
Second, let us be clear about what thing: Yoga practices have been part of Southeast Asian culture for more than four thousand years and they are as much a part of Asian society as many of the other cultural legacies left by the period of ancient Indianisation. Another practice that has become normalised and localised over the past four millennia is the practice of massage, which is hugely popular in predominantly-Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia as it is in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Look at the relief carvings on the temples of Prambanan and Borobudur and it will be seen that massage was prevalent during the Hindu-Buddhist period and the detailed carvings show that what Malay-Muslims call ‘urut’ or ‘picit’ (pressure-point massage) was practiced as far back as the Sanjaya and Sailendra dynasties. Today picit and urut are still popular among Malaysian and Indonesian Muslims, and is practiced by Muslims. Has this ancient form of therapy transformed us into Hindus too? Certainly not, so why the fuss over Yoga?
Third, the declaration that Yoga is haram has robbed Malaysia and Malaysians of yet another neutral civic space where Malaysians of all walks of life can meet and interact as Malaysians and friends. As someone who has been practicing Yoga since the age of nineteen, I can say for certain that many of the Yoga classes I have attended were plural, cosmopolitan gatherings where Malaysians of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds can meet and form lasting friendships and acquaintances. To declare this practice haram for Muslims effectively robs us of another space where we can meet other people, constraining our personal freedoms and limiting the choices in our lives.
Muslims in Malaysia are more closely guarded and policed than ever before, with more and more laws, rules and restrictions on how we dress, eat, speak, interact and even marry and form relationships with. After this fatwa on Yoga, what will be next? A fatwa on karate, kung-fu, pilates, Qi Jong?
At the root of the matter is the fact that the Malaysian Fatwa Council has acted unilaterally once again and unilaterally issued a blanket prohibition in the name of Islam and all Muslims. Well, I did not vote or elect any of the members of this council; and neither did any other Muslims in the country. Here lies the real problematic of power behind such appointed bodies that have been given so much power and authority over our lives. Lest it be forgotten, the only body that is allowed to legislate on our behalf as Malaysian citizens is the Parliament, that was elected by the citizenry themselves. Yet over the past three decades of an Islamisation process that has gone out of control, more and more non-elected and non-democratic bodies have been created that wield enormous power over the lives of Malaysians, particularly Muslims.
What has aroused the angry reaction of Malaysian Muslims in the case of this fatwa is the fact that it was issued unilaterally without any consultation with society. And this reflects the extent to which the Fatwa council is in fact a body that is not answerable to the Malaysian public. More so than a question of theology or theocratic details and fine-print, the workings of the Fatwa Council in Malaysia has demonstrated the workings of a state that has abdicated its responsibility to lead the way towards a modern, progressive Islam that is relevant to the plural and multicultural world we live in today. Yet ironically all this is happening under the watch of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, who made it his project to promote an ‘Islam Hadari’ that is modern and tolerant. How, pray tell, can there be a tolerant, moderate and modern Islam when books are banned on a monthly basis and Muslims are not even allowed to exercise and meditate in peace? And once again, it is the image of Islam that has suffered the most.
Dr. Farish Ahmad-Noor, Senior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
|Stanley Koh | November 27, 2008|
analysis On March 8, some 3.8 million Malaysians cast their votes in support of the opposition front Barisan Rakyat.
It was the most important collective decision in electoral history, and it continues to impact on changes in the domestic political landscape.
Opposition parties DAP, PKR and PAS captured 82 parliamentary and 196 state seats, and subsequently dubbed themselves Pakatan Rakyat as they took the reins of five states – Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor.
In all this, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim (left) - since appointed parliamentary opposition leader – has played the role as facilitator.
He accomplished a feat that former Semangat 46 chief Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was unable to do in the 1990 general election under his Gagasan Rakyat coalition.
The loosely-formed Barisan Rakyat’s electoral understanding faced much scepticism and cynicism in the initial stages. Doomsayers from the ruling Barisan Nasional had generously predicted that ideological differences would be the doom of its political rival.
However, the opposition not only denied BN its two-thirds majority in Parliament, but increased its popular vote from 34.6 percent in 2004 to 47.7 percent on March 8.
What was Anwar’s role in bringing about success?
A party insider cited Anwar’s ability to rally the parties on common ground, particularly on the electoral battlefield.
He enabled the disparate leadership to mobilise a positive campaign that also awakened millions of Malaysian voters to the need for change.
“It was a campaign that accommodated a collective voice of dissent against the BN’s incompetent governance against corruption, power and judicial abuse amongst other key issues,” said the insider.
PKR treasurer-general and Selayang MP William Leong was more specific: “The election manifesto – themed Harapan Baru (A New Dawn) – caught the imagination of the people. People want change. Anwar was the moderator and facilitator who built the common platform.”
How different from BN?
Many of the conservative mindset have been quick to equate Anwar’s role in Pakatan to that of the BN chairperson, but others see “great differences”.
“Pakatan is a people-driven coalition, driven by a reservoir of goodwill and political will among top leadership of all the component parties,” said Leong, comparing the decision-making process with that of BN.
“The Pakatan parties share equal status unlike those in BN (where there is one dominant party with self-acclaimed supremacy) and (which use threats and manipulate) racial tensions and fears (among the people).
“Pakatan believes in working together for the good of the people. In Selayang, for example, we have co-opted a DAP representative into our structure, even though it does not have a elected representative in the constituency.”
Elaborating on the perceived unequal status of BN component parties, Leong said there is no such hierarchy within Pakatan.
“Our coalition should not repeat the mistakes and shortcomings of the BN. Anwar is the driver of the coalition (and not a big brother) as he only plays a pro-active role as facilitator,” he said.
PKR information chief Tian Chua said Pakatan is fortunate that it is a new organisation without the “serious mental or historical luggage”of the BN.
Pakatan leaders also challenged the notion that BN operates on a basis of consensus in decision making, given the many instances of directives issued by Umno without consulting other component parties.
“(Unlike BN), PKR’s role is not to dictate (decisions or policies) to component parties because the party is not a big brother. Decision-making is done after consensus is among the leaders,” said Leong.
“Pakatan will not emulate the bad examples set by the BN.”
Chua described PKR’s role within Pakatan as one that is evolving.
“As a moderator, PKR will encourage internal debate on issues and will not impose policies or decisions (on other parties). It will not place any restriction on open discussion even if there are differences on ideological grounds,” he said.
“BN as a political institution has failed miserably and we (in Pakatan) should not use it as a yardstick. Pakatan must offer new and innovative leadership in governance.”
Formal or loose structure?
Many Malaysians hope it will deliver the ‘Malaysian dream’ for civil and political liberties, eradication of poverty and corruption, and a guarantee of independence for watchdog institutions including the media and judiciary.
Whether the coalition should be institutionalised as a formal entity like the BN remains a muted question, but suggestions have emerged for the working relationship to be strengthened among its leaders.
“Coalition-building takes time. It is time now for second- and third-tier (leaders) to strengthen their rapport, cooperation and mutual understanding,” said a source.
A close aide of Anwar is of the opinion that Pakatan should aim towards a formal structure instead of remaining a loose alliance.
The coalition is currently putting the finishing touch to a Pakatan charter that will serve as a common platform for its three component parties.
“Pakatan’s representatives are in place nationwide, from Kedah to Johor. Its control of the five states has created a strategic continuous corridor,” said the aide who declined to be named.
“In view of this, PKR’s future role too should take on a different or higher level. It could spearhead joint economic development activities, as well as set up Pakatan secretariats at division and state levels.
“Although ideas have been thrown about for a joint conference of the five heads of Pakatan state governments or even a joint parliamentary convention of Pakatan MPs, nothing has come of this to date.”
“I hope with Anwar’s pro-active role, these will materialise soon. If Pakatan leaders put their heads and hearts together to organise these strategic activities, the coalition will move forward.”
The PKR congress this weekend is expected to address key economic and education issue, while re-examining the coalition’s post-polls political convictions.
But will it also find the momentum for the long-delayed delivery of its promises to voters?
Related article: Perfecting PKR
Badawi is a bad dream for Malaysia, but soon it will be over, not necessarily for the better. Che Det chose Badawi to perpetuate his legacy. It is Malaysian history’s irony that things never turn out the way it should. God disposes what man proposes. Badawi became his son-in-law’s man.
Today, as a result of the unwillingness of our Imam of Islam Hadhari to fight for the UMNO Presidency—he actually got cold feet– we are facing the prospect of the return of the pernicious Mahathirism via the back door. Najib Tun Razak is the proxy. That is the conventional view and the dream of his cronies. Will it become a reality? —Din Merican
Pakatan is failing the rakyat
|Dean Johns | November 26, 2008|
In the eight months since voters delivered Pakatan Rakyat five states and enough seats in the national parliament to form a credible opposition, its progress has been a dreadful disappointment.
Admittedly, the new state governments couldn’t be expected to achieve miracles, with the, police, judiciary, local government and federal funding all still under Barisan Nasional control.
And following 50 years of BN iniquity, incompetence and indolence, they could hardly be expected to make a major difference overnight.
There’s also the possibility that they’ve achieved a good deal that’s not yet evident to the outside observer, and if so I owe them an apology.
But they also owe their constituents some tangible signs of progress. And from what I’ve been able to perceive from a distance and reports from local observers, little has changed.
In Petaling Jaya, by way of example, there’s still the scandalous spectacle of thousands of illegal billboards. And as Zorro rightly wrote the other day in his blog “Tan Sri, mildly put, you are pathetic,” Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and PKR in general have largely failed to stand up for citizens’ rights to hold peaceful candlelight vigils in protest against the ISA.
And under the Pakatan state government in Penang, town planning appears as chaotic and idiotic as ever, with projected high-rise projects threatening the island’s hard-won inclusion on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.
What about the shadow cabinet?
When his promised coup failed to materialise, he apparently felt he had no cause to either apologise for the let-down he’d inflicted on his supporters, or to explain what went wrong, or why, or to predict when, if ever, it could be expected to happen.
Not that I’ve turned anti-Anwar or given up hope that he or at least the coalition he leads will eventually prevail. I assume he has more problems that I can even imagine with politicking within and between PKR, PAS and DAP. And also, of course, he’s distracted by having to fight the latest sodomy charge against him.
But even in opposition, Pakatan hasn’t exactly proven much of an inspiration to the rakyat. In the eight months since the March ‘tsunami’ gave it respectable numbers in parliament, it’s had little or no effect on BN’s conduct – or rather misconduct – of Malaysia’s affairs.
To be sure, Pakatan members have been largely negated in parliament itself with their calls for debates of crucial issues consistently denied by the speaker.
But what about the shadow cabinet that any opposition worth its salt is supposed to form?
A shadow cabinet performs two vital functions. One, it affords the leading lights in the opposition the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their abilities in designated portfolios in preparation for when they come to power. And two, it puts pressure on incumbent ministers to do their jobs properly.
But Pakatan has made no apparent attempt to select a team of shadow ministers, thereby allowing itself to look to the voters like a rabble that can’t get its act together, let alone ever be trusted to run the nation, and letting BN government ministers run as much riot as ever.
It’s not as if Pakatan lacks an example of everything a shadow ministry should be. Lim Kit Siang is a world-class exponent of the art of opposition.
Take a look at his latest inquisition into government criminality and incompetence: a barrage of intelligent and incisive questions to Tourism Minister Azalina Othman Said about the scandals surrounding the Pempena Group of companies.
It’s a copybook example of parliamentary opposition at its best. But as unrelentingly watchful and outspoken as Lim is, he can’t be expected to do the job of an entire shadow cabinet. He’s only one man, after all, and he’s not getting any younger. So it’s high time Pakatan started building a team in his image.
Despite years of outraged revelations by bloggers, the so-called “silent majority” of Malaysians clearly has no real inkling of the virtually endless catalogue of crimes and injustices committed against them over the years by the BN government.
The “mainstream” media collude with the culprits to cover-up their crimes, and in any case the scandals are so numerous, so blatant and so routinely brushed-off by the agencies responsible for investigating and prosecuting them, that millions of citizens are rendered stunned, hopelessly cynical or simply incredulous.
There’s also a growing BN backlash in the cyberspace as signaled by the fact that the sneering reactionary rambling of the superannuated Dr Mahathir Mohamad are reportedly attracting so many hits that some have taken to proclaiming him “king of Malaysia’s bloggers”.
Mahathir’s self-serving claptrap may not fool anybody but his hard-core sycophants, of course. But, like other BN blogs and the media, it must create confusion in many peoples’ minds and help divert attention from both his own and his colleagues and cronies past and present crimes.
Pakatan urgently needs to find ways of revealing to the rakyat, for once and for all, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about BN’s atrocious record. So even if most of its crimes are so far unpunished, and most of the criminals still at large, they can at least go on trial in the court of informed public opinion.
The same court of public opinion in which, if it doesn’t get its act together very soon, Pakatan itself will continue to appear less impressive every day as a credible and eventually electable opposition.
source: the sun daily, november 26, 2008
by K. K. Tan
THE election of Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States has inspired people not just in the US but also the world over on the issue of “looking beyond race”. Obama has been elected to represent not just his own “kind” but white Americans and other minorities such as Hispanics and Asians as well.
Our government leaders have welcomed president-elect Obama as someone who is likely to be more sympathetic to developing countries. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said any citizen can be prime minister of Malaysia while Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim added that Obama’s victory proved that Americans were able to look beyond race and religious beliefs in electing their leader.
The issue of whether a person of any race can represent and be fair to the interests of other races has been a paradox in many countries and even for mankind over the centuries. There have been many conflicts and wars fought on the grounds of race and/or religion. The problem is that the borders of many countries today were originally formed to represent predominantly one racial or religious group.
Open and even rational debates on any race issue have tended to be muted. Even in this so-called modern civilised world, many people are still governed by their baser instincts of irrational fear and insecurity that a person of one race cannot be trusted to truly represent or look after the interests of other races. The use of race and religion in history for politics has tended to reinforce this prejudice till today.
The oppression of one race by another in a systematic manner is called racism and it was manifested most vividly by the former apartheid regime of South Africa. There is a clear line between defending the legitimate rights and interests of one race against aggression and oppression and a racist party which attacks and denies other people their legitimate rights as human beings based solely on their race.
The above points were some issues I had to deal with as a student leader in Britain. From being a local overseas student leader at a university in United Kingdom, I subsequently became president of a national overseas student body in Britain representing the diverse nationalities of students from Asia, Latin America, Africa and Middle East. In a somewhat negative and hostile environment in Britain in the late seventies towards overseas students or coloured people (including black British citizens), uniting the overseas students for a common cause such as against racism and the discriminatory tuition fees was not too difficult. Often I had to forget that I was a Malaysian but an overseas student first as I had to represent the interests of all these students. Otherwise it would not be fair for me to hold such a position.
The dilemma about my own nationality and representation of other races became more intriguing when I was elected by the British students to be the sabbatical president of the students union for a one-year term in the early eighties. I stood my ground firmly as a proud overseas student and won in a landslide victory against other British students and became the only other overseas student (besides the late Benazir Bhutto from Pakistan in the late seventies) to be elected president of a British university students’ union.
How did I reconcile my efforts and policies to look after the interest of a small minority of overseas students and the vast majority (about 95%) of British students (who were very demanding in their expectation of their president to perform well)? Simple, I reminded myself that I was first and foremost a human being and all the others were also equal human beings and I represented every one there, including those who did not vote for me. Our commonality as human beings was far greater than any perceived differences due to our racial origins.
I remember during a debate at the “student parliament”, my white political ally told a racially inclined white representative: “I will defend your right to criticise the president for his views, policies and performance but if you ridicule his race or nationality, I will punch you in your face and risk my life for it.” He got a standing ovation from the other white representatives and I felt a lump in my throat over this incident. This was the kind of “humanness” that I look forward to see in our society one day.
More recently at home, when former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad condemned Zionism and its strong influence in the West at the 10th OIC Summit in October 2003 (just before he stepped down), there were many criticisms against him for being anti-Semitic, especially from the Western media. Hardly anyone came to his defence. I wrote an article in the local press to defend his stand and explain the history and ideology of Zionism (which the UN had even resolved to be a form of racism). I highlighted the terrible injustices against and sufferings by the predominantly Muslim Palestinian people since the creation of the state of Israel.
Mahathir wrote to me to express his gratitude over the article, saying that “not many have done this or argued based on reason”. A non-Muslim friend had questioned me and found it hard to accept that as a non-Muslim, I could be so strong in my stand on what was perceived as basically a Muslim position. My reply was that I am a human being first, everything else next. Fighting injustices and oppression or defending universal rights or values should transcend one’s race, religion or nationality.
In our local scenario, excessive race-based politicking is becoming counter-productive, self-destructive and often plain stupid because they undermine the collective strength of our racial diversity and our economic competitiveness as a nation.
The winds of positive change are sweeping not just the US but the world in general, our country included. With much greater access to education and the freer flow of information and knowledge, the younger generations are also becoming more open minded, less gullible and smarter in looking at various issues.
With the recent changes on the local political landscape, our local race-based parties, which were created out of political expediency during the times of our Independence, will need to reform or even overhaul themselves by “looking beyond race”, otherwise they risk becoming irrelevant.
The writer is an analyst and management strategist based in Kuala Lumpur. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
While our leaders boast and brag about how they could care less how the rest of the world views us, the rest of the world is probably laughing. I look forward to the day when I will be proud to have my prime minister standing side by side with other great leaders. But for now we have to settle for crooks and criminals, people under suspicion and who evade answering questions.
The documentary produced by Foreign Correspondent is very well done – and summarises the depth to which Malaysian politics has sunk under the UMNO led BN coalition.This is the same show which produced “Sham Trial“, regarding Anwar Ibrahim’s earlier encounter with a corrupt judiciary and police force.
|Stanley Koh | November 25, 2008|
Eight months have passed since the euphoria and excitement that gripped millions of voters when the ‘political tsunami’ swept three opposition parties into power in five states and 10 of the 11 federal seats in Kuala Lumpur.
Some called it the tipping point or ‘perfect storm’ in our electoral history, but the probable emergence of a two-party system has been held back by Pakatan Rakyat’s failure to grab the federal government from Barisan Nasional on September 16, as it claimed it would.
Amidst ebbing exuberance and cautious optimism, Pakatan’s major partner PKR will hold its annual congress this weekend at Stadium Melawati in Shah Alam, Selangor.
Changing political circumstances will prompt Pakatan to go through soul searching, perhaps requiring it to re-evaluate its performance and re-formulating its prospects.
Pakatan’s destiny will be challenged by the inevitable changing of the guard in the ruling Umno next March, which will spell the end of the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi administration.
Much uncertainty also lies ahead with his anointed successor Najib Abdul Razak taking over Umno and the BN machinery, which were left discredited, fractured and humiliated after the general election.
PKR, meanwhile, reflects the truism that politics tend to revolve around personalities – in this case, de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, 61.
Some consider him the ‘Malaysian Obama’ in terms of charisma, oratory skills and crowd-pulling ability; even detractors find it difficult to dispute the electioneering calibre of the former deputy prime minister.
Most would agree that Anwar was responsible for cementing the working relationship among the Pakatan component parties, after having grappled with their contrasting ideological differences before and after the general election.
Anwar’s unrivalled strength of leadership is a plus factor – he is perceived as the only opposition leader qualified to be the alternative prime minister.
However, others – even within his own party – are not so sure. A critic contends that Anwar is his own worse enemy.
PKR continues to face inherent organisational weaknesses, despite having garnered 1.5 million votes in 2008 – almost three times more than in the previous polls in 2004.
“Every major decision on party matters seems to need Anwar’s tacit approval and frequently his indecisiveness has stalled or delayed the party’s progress,” an insider said of the Anwar-centric syndrome in decision-making.
In fact, there is a general consensus among staunch supporters that, as a political organisation, the party lacks an infrastructural network at the branch, division and state levels.
“We agree that the BN took more than half a century to build its branches in every nook and corner of the country, but PKR must do this quickly,” a supporter noted.
Anwar, who is in the driver’s seat, seems oblivious to this, prompting concern that a clear-cut strategy is not being readied for the next general election.
“All decisions emanate from Anwar,” said the insider, who opined that this is not a healthy practice.
He suggested it is time for the party leaders to delegate decision-making to technocrats within PKR to strengthen its organisational structure.
PKR also lacks the political will to enhance leadership skills and roles, particularly among its parliamentary and state leaders.
“The leaders need to undergo a mental paradigm shift while retaining humility. Some of them are getting big-headed and suffer from the Yang Berhormat syndrome,” a critic lamented.
There is disquiet within the party, for all that Anwar is attempting to build a mass movement among Malaysians in support of its political objectives.
“Much needs to be done but the leadership is just not moving,” an activist pointed out.
“PKR needs to put its own house in order and its leadership must move away from being Anwar-centric, so that basic building blocks can be put in place.”
Running out of time
The leadership must also define the relationship between the various levels in the party, and establish guidelines for the relationship between, say, state and division levels.
Political observers reason that PKR had not anticipated its astounding electoral success.
“It had functioned as a rag-tag political party, or like an army of bandits struggling to turn itself into a regular army,” a political researcher said.
“It probably will take a few years to do that, but the problem is that the party is running out of time. The race is not only against time but the formidable BN machinery, which will be better prepared the next time around (having learnt from serious electoral mistakes).”
PKR’s future will be placed on a surer footing when its leadership under Anwar takes a quantum leap forward by building institutional strength, rather than rely primarily on his personality or prerogative in making decisions.
“The party must diversify its image by creating successful role-models from within its ranks. Success stories of its leaders in community services or building rapport with constituents will help to build its image as a mass movement,” a supporter said.
Indeed, if Anwar wishes to be known for his leadership credentials, including that of the ‘Father of the Asian Renaissance’, surely he must convince his supporters that he is not just a vocal opposition leader.
Unless reforms are made to position PKR as a stronger partner in Pakatan, Anwar’s charisma and oratory skills alone may not guarantee another successful electoral outing.
posted by din merican-november 25, 2008
Full text of speech by Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah at the Diversity Matters Forum on Diasporas in the Commonwealth at Monash University, Sunway Campus on November 19, 2008.
The serious study of diversity and multiculturalism is precisely what the world needs at this critical juncture. I do not believe that we will ever approach the goal of human security until we are able to come to terms with our feelings of hatred, fear and apathy of our differences. If we were to spend but a tiny fraction of the resources poured into waging wars to promoting and appreciating how our differences work in our favour, rather than against it, the world would be an infinitely safer and more prosperous place.
Diversity is not only to be cherished; it is essential. I know this as an educationist for the store of knowledge does not increase until and unless there are differences in thinking. It is when there is stultifying uniformity that stagnation occurs. I know this as a Muslim for Islam recognises other religions. Islam itself is built on a history of myriad traditions. I know this as a Malaysian for what has built this country and made it strong are the contributions of its different communities. Malaysians of different races and religions have come together to put their shoulders to the collective plough despite their differences, something that many countries have not been so fortunate enough to share.
Large-scale migration of people, or in the language of this conference, diasporas, has been a constant feature in human history. As Ramesh Thakur, former Vice-Rector of the United Nations University and a noted scholar on human security, has written: “If human beings were not genetically programmed to travel vast distances, we would still be living in Africa. Whether our restlessness is rooted in curiosity about lands on the other side of the land or ocean, whether we seek to escape destitution and persecution “at home” or even whether we simply go astray, large-scale movements of peoples have been intrinsic to human nature and are an integral part of the human story.
From a purely economic perspective, theory would seem to support the presumption that international migration expands global output and increases global welfare. Moving labour from low productivity to high productivity countries improves allocative efficiency in the world economy. The persistence of large differences in average income between countries is prima facie evidence that allowing greater international labour mobility would raise world welfare. Thus, allowing labour to move across borders more freely would be a simple way to help narrow global income gaps”.
But this, of course, is not the whole story. In receiving countries, public debate about immigration drives national politics, with recent electoral campaigns in Australia and the US each devoting substantial attention to the topic. Immigrants are often blamed for disrupting civil society, draining public coffers and lowering wages. At the same time, skilled immigrants receive credit for spurring innovation and the growth of technology sectors. To the extent that immigrants pay taxes and have the right to benefit from public services, they change the net tax burden on native residents. Once they become citizens, immigrants generally obtain the right to vote, altering domestic politics.
There are also sizeable effects on the sending country. Whilst emigration has brought a welcome financial windfall in the form of remittances, it has also drained poor economies of their most educated workers.
Among OECD countries, those with the largest immigrant presence in 2005 include Australia (24%), New Zealand (19%), Canada (19%) and the UK (10%). Australia, New Zealand and Canada are unique among receiving countries in using a point system (rather than quotas) for admission, in which individuals with higher levels of skill are favoured for entry. European countries take into account an individual’s refugee or asylee status in making immigrant admission decisions.
Among Commonwealth countries, India is the largest example of a diaspora-enriched, as well as enriching, country. There are estimated to be some 23 million non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin. They represent significant minorities of the population of the United Kingdom, the United States, the Gulf States and countries on the African continent. Their combined wealth is estimated to be over US$1 trillion dollars in 2007, a figure roughly equivalent to India’s GDP. The World Bank has estimated that remittances by overseas Indians in 2006 were in the order of US$27 billion dollars, a little more than 10 percent of total global remittances in that year.
Significant as these numbers are, they still do not describe the full contribution. Successful migrants often return to their homeland and create new businesses, thereby acting as growth catalysts. Overseas Indians have been a vital conduit for multinational companies seeking to do business in the country. The Indian government has astutely sought to tap the Indian diaspora network by offering tax and other benefits. The latter are therefore being engaged and integrated into the country’s economic growth and development strategies.
For the receiving countries, the economic gains can be enormous. They gain a willing and energetic workforce, a thriving pool of taxpayers, and a growing domestic market for goods and services. Migrants often also take an active part in the social life and governance of their adopted countries. Many emerge as top government officials, brilliant academics and business personalities. Malaysia is a prime example of how a diaspora of Chinese, Indians and other races have led to the creation of a more heterogeneous and prosperous state. Today, all are integral to the Malaysian landscape; all belong. At the same time, Malaysians from all walks of life can be found all over the world and many have distinguished themselves in various fields.
I mention all these things with the full knowledge that there is already a long and rich discourse on these issues. I understand that among the important issues that will be discussed at this forum are how to ensure that the many diasporas are included, engaged and integrated in their adopted countries. In the remaining time available, allow me to share with you three perspectives on this issue.
First, diasporas can only be consistent with pluralistic societies. A pluralistic society is one that not only tolerates but appreciates and encourages the active participation of those of different races, cultures and lifestyles. Fundamental to the creation of truly pluralistic societies are two fundamental principles, that of equality and fairness. Of course, to ensure that these two principles are more than just nice thoughts and are vigorously enforced, the rule of law is required. And for the rule of law to be operational, there must be the most meticulous observation of the doctrine of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. In the UK in 1981, the Scarman report pointed out how minorities often had difficulty in getting good behaviour from the police and felt that they were discriminated. I have spoken long and often about these matters and do not wish to do so here. I also do not wish to appear to reduce the entire problem of managing diversity to a matter of the law. I do think, however, that it is a most basic building block underpinning pluralism.
Second, the principles of equality and fairness suggest a preferred policy of integration rather than assimilation. Integration accepts and enlists; it does not coerce. It respects and values differences as legitimate. Integration seeks a confederation of peoples and cultures unified by common values and voluntarily cooperating towards the common good.
Assimilation, on the other hand, seeks to change language, customs, religions and even worldviews. Nation-building was once thought to be impossible unless differences were subsumed into the dominant norm. Most of the time this has been achieved through relentless and merciless force. In the name of unity, immigrants have been forced to change their names, banned from using their mother tongue and prevented from holding certain jobs.
The integrationist path to nation building is a difficult one to pursue. In many ways more difficult than attempts at forced assimilation. In all of human history, wars have been waged over attempts to compel dissimilar communities either to fit into a uniform mould or else forcibly exclude them. Sadly, even today, there are those whose primary response to diversity is to pound those who are dissimilar into submission. They often react to diversity by insisting on socio-cultural uniformity rather than adaptability.
Integrationist approaches, it must be admitted, are beset by their own problems. Some countries that practice multiculturalism end up having significant enclaves of isolated and alienated communities. Each community stays in its own little box without contact with other communities. These communities are not bound by common ties or interests with mainstream society. Rather, they regard their adopted country in a purely utilitarian way, as places to eke out a living rather than a cherished homeland.
Which brings me to my third point. Integration is a gradual process consisting of many acts over many generations. By and large, immigrants everywhere have common needs and wants. They want food on the table, money to spend, their children educated and to be able to lead useful lives. They desire good homes, a physically secure environment, good healthcare and protection in their golden years. But many, especially those of subsequent generations, will also yearn for a deep sense of belonging and identity. To be incorporated into the wider community and not to be treated as strangers.
In this regard, the effort of some Commonwealth governments to introduce deliberate diversity policies in their public services is therefore a timely and responsive measure that can have manifold consequences down the line. Diversity needs to be promoted at every level, down to local governments and communities.
The idea behind multiculturalism is that countries with people of different cultural backgrounds should allow them to live a free life without being forced to do things they don’t want to do. What characterizes democratic life is that it is the person who decides whether he or she wants to adjust more and be absorbed, or remain aloof. At the same time, the need to forge a community of people with shared values and interests remains paramount. The French riots in 2005 served as a reminder about what can happen if a country allows its immigrant communities to drift in the fringes of society without meaningful integration.
Where do we draw the line between the individual’s right to live the life he or she chooses and the need to forge a cohesive society? The notion that the burden of responsibility rests solely with receiving countries is perhaps misplaced. On the part of immigrant communities, the spirit of respecting and accepting local traditions, local history and system of government is equally important–a spirit reflected in the Malay saying “di mana bumi di pijak – di situ langit di junjung”.
Multicultural societies are fast becoming the rule rather than the exception. Contrary to the rhetoric, however, it is not becoming a source of strength. Mankind is failing – and failing badly – at creating a sense of community. Instead race, culture and religion have become the dominant discourse.
We must avoid falling into a new and destructive form of modern day tribalism. Nothing is inevitable. Cultures can co-operate as much as clash.
We need to reclaim religion from those who would distort its truths. We must reject radicalism and extremism of all types. If there is someone in my society who is hungry, or unemployed or sick and cannot afford treatment, then it diminishes me even if he is of a different race or religion.
posted by din merican-november 24, 2008
November 23, 2008
Sunday, 23 November 2008
It has been my wish to have my own blog over the last few months. So I have created my blog yesterday to start blogging today. But I guess it is bad enough when I have to start my blog by answering one shameless puppet and Malaysia’s most “misused” journalist: one Zubaidah Abu Bakr. This hatchet woman needs no introduction, all you need to know about her is what you need to know about the troubles of our nation and that’s enough. A masochist who drives her ‘happiness’ through phone orders to concoct cheap stories, spin lies and engage in shameless journalism. She represents the ugly and the unacceptable face of Malaysia’s journalism.
What adds to my troubles is that she is a Malay like me (though I guess she is genetically manufactured as most of the UMNOputras are) and a woman who should have been at the forefront in being honest and community concerned. But that is wishful thinking knowing that she is suffering from Malaysia’s incurable disease: Umnotitis. But that is fine. Suffice that Raja Petra has enlightened us on who this stooge is in the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-election.
I don’t read the New Sh..ty Times (NST) that she works for since my brain is not damaged and I am not a certified buffoon (unlike the ones she serves) who are fed on defeatism and “we will run amok” mantra that will make you cringe in shame and lose faith in humanity. So while reading Malaysia-Today, I came across her piece titled: “Pas Begins to Axe ‘Erdogan Faction’”. While on average, no one would have cared about the toddler’s work she engages in, one is compelled to laugh at her unceasing stupidity and unequalled ignorance. Therefore, I will post her article here and comment on each paragraph. NB: My comments are in red, hers in italicized black.
PAS Begins To Axe ‘Erdogan Faction’” NST-Zubaidah Abu Bakr
“It was no surprise when Selangor Pas took the lead on Friday, removing two popular leaders — Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad and Hulu Kelang state assemblyman Saari Sungip — from its main committee line-up.
A division leader who attended the liaison committee meeting at the Selangor Pas office in Shah Alam claims that the decision was unanimous as members felt that Selangor Pas chief Datuk Dr Hassan Mohd Ali should have people with whom he can work in the committee. The removal of the duo was made after a lengthy discussion at the state Pas’ Dewan Harian, or management committee meeting, that was held before the liaison committee met. Both Khalid and Saari said they had expected to be axed.
Party insiders had warned that it was a matter of time before more casualties emerge in its leadership line-up as tension has been building since the general election in March between the Erdogans, a reference to Turkey’s liberal Muslim president Recep Tayyip Erdogan used to label the younger moderates led by vice-president Husam Musa, and the pragmatic ulama-backed group.”
Now, since you said it was felt that Selangor PAS Commissioner Datuk Dr Hassan Mohd Ali should have people with whom he can work with, where does the idea that they were axed for being Pro-Anwar come from? And at what time did Dr Hassan say he was anti-Anwar? And who informed you that both Khalid and Sungip were expecting to be axed? They themselves? Or since that happened, you saw it to create your own “insider” sources as every dishonest brutus would do? You said “Party insiders”, who are they? Why can’t you name them? You think people can’t read between your lines? That they can’t detect your shenanigans? That they can’t realise that you are concocting your cheap lies and vanishing them so that your naked lies are not detected? That you have no information but since that will shame you, you need to create your imaginary ‘inside sources’? Well, everyone knows that “insider sources” is every dishonest journalist’ last refuge!
Zubaidah, please know that Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pic-right) is the Turkish Prime Minister and not its President as you wrote. The Turkish Republic’s President is His Excellency Abdullah Gul (pic-left), Erdogan’s immediate Deputy PM and his former Foreign Minister and comrade for 3 decades and also his predecessor into the Prime Ministry (for 5 months) before Gul cleared the way for Erdogan who was barred from elective politics. You are an ignoramus but a haughty buffoon and that’s is the trouble with this nation. The more I see your ilk, the more I remember Chinua Achebe’s book: The Trouble with Nigeria.
By the way, Erdogan and Dollah bin- Bodohwi became PMs in 2003. However, Erdogan modernised Turkey in 5 years while your Dollah (read UMNO) took us to the Stone Age. In 5 years, the FDI that because of Erdogan’s modernisation poured into Turkey beat the entire FDI that all the Turkish PMs since 1923 could bring to Turkey. Yes, he was preceded by 27 Prime Ministers but he beat their combined record in just five years. He built more roads in 5 years than the 27 former PMs could build. He built more Universities than 15 PMs could do. He gave women more rights next to Kemal Ataturk who despite being an avowed secularist whose disdain for faith was legendary was nonetheless a moderniser and saved Turkey that would have been fragmented into dozen states and colonised.
He built Turkey’s image abroad, revived its collapsing economy. Deepened relation with the Islamic World and the West at the same time, gave his nation an enviable position that today without Turkey, nothing would move in Euroasia and the larger Middle East. Deepened Turkey’s involvement in Africa by creating the Turkey-Africa Council and inviting all African leaders to Turkey and advancing Turkish companies’ profile in Africa. He opened 15 new Turkish Embassies in Africa. With such high profile, he made Turkey get elected into UN Security Council (2009) by defeating EU Iceland with the highest vote ever obtained by a nation in almost 5 decades. Where is Malaysia? No comment!
In its Global Trends 2025 released 3 days ago, the National Intelligence Council (US) that brings together the findings of all the US 16 Intelligence Agencies, Turkey was for the first time included in the nations that will have an absolute power by 2025 as the US influence decreases. Other Muslim Nations include Indonedia and Iran. Malaysia? No comment.
Erdogan was standing tall when the world leaders met in Washington on Financial Crisis one week ago alongside who is who in the economic giants of the world. Where was Malaysia? No comment! And by the way Zubaidah, while your UMNO tells the “infidel” Malaysian Indians that they are “snakes” who deserve to be killed, India landed on the moon. Ironically, your UMNOputras are busy reporting to the police about underwears, T-shirts worn by the people and the food served in UMMOputra jails.
Your UMNO-Muftis are busy dividing the people through petty issues while India and China conquer the world. The more I see Ameno and its Muftis, the more I’m reminded of the celebrated Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul who 50 years, yes 50 years ago said:
While the world is reaching for the moon,
We remain too busy,
Thumping through the Quran,
Debating fatwas about Talaq’.
50 years down the line after he recited that poen, India landed on the moon. Malaysia? Ask Ameno youth who bragged that they have sent a bunch of glue sniffing hardcore Matrempits to the North Pole to show that “the Malays have conquered the world.” Inna lillah wa ina ilahi raji’un. In the same Global Trends Report, India and China will have absolute power by 2025. Malaysia? No comment!
Zubaidah, please know that Erdogan is not a liberal politician but a conservative-Muslim democrat (left with his wife Emine). His party doesn’t accept neither the liberal nor the secular tag but defines itself as a “conservative democratic” party. The Western media calls it “pro-Islamist”. However, the party respects Turkey’s unchangeable secular identity that even can’t be suggested to be amended. Any party that even suggests that (yes suggests only) would be shut down in a twinkling of an eye.
Zubaidah, when you say Mustafa Ali and his faction is “pragmatic”, (of course by sucking up to Umno-your bastion), what would Tok Guru Nik Aziz and his ‘faction’ be? “Dispragmatic“? (huh!) Mind you at the end of the article, you contradict yourself (as usual) and say that the Mustafa Ali led faction will be “curling [PAS] back into its hardline cocoon again.” So, when does pragmatism curl bakc into hardlinism? Don’t you think in your blind pursuit to divide PAS and Pakatan, you are uncovering your sheer stupidity? I will tell you not to over dance lest you expose your anus (though already it must be). Shameful.
“There was even talk about casualties among the national leaders holding appointed positions before the party elections, scheduled some time in the middle of next year. A party official says there were already proposals for the leadership to remove Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad as director of the party’s think-tank.
The split between the warring factions, centred on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s obsession to become prime minister, has led to speculation of imminent contests for senior posts in the coming party elections. The most commonly bandied about is that Husam will take on Nasharuddin Mat Isa for the deputy president’s post.
The undercurrent has remained strong even after the party’s August muktamar (general assembly) in Ipoh endorsed Pas’ commitment to remain in Pakatan Rakyat following heated debates at both the youth and main assemblies.
The last time the fracture emerged was over Anwar’s claim — which has since proven to be a bluff — of forming a new government by Sept 16. Terengganu Pas commissioner Datuk Mustaffa Ali landed in hot soup when he reasoned in an article published in Harakah, the Pas organ, why Anwar would not be able to meet the September 16 deadline.
He was summoned by the party spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Nik Mat, who strongly backed Husam and his colleagues in their support towards realising Anwar’s dream to become prime minister. Pas insiders, however, fear that the internal conflict could have an impact on the Islamist party’s future in Pakatan Rakyat, especially with Anwar’s continued inability to deliver on his promise to oust Barisan Nasional from the Federal Government.”
When I was young, my dad used to talk about a sense of shame and why shame is such an important trait. Not understanding much due to my age, I asked my father what shame was and why did the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said if one doesn’t have haya (sense of shame), he should do whatever he intends to do or should do whatever he can. My dad said ‘shame’ means “conscience”. Therefore, if one doesn’t have conscience, then that person doesn’t feel any sense of shame and therefore will engage in every despicable act from lying, stealing, false testimony, negative jealousy (yes there is a positive one), slander, gossiping, immoral acts and many more other ills. Now, one Zubaidah Abu Bakr doesn’t have haya and that’s why she can afford to puke like this.
Zubaidah, must you be so dirty minded to imagine that there is chaos in PAS and bloodshed should start. Evil is your thought! What are the casualties you are talking about? The ones you know in Ameno or what? That cut-throat, immoral and anal politics of your Ameno or what? And how is PAS’ “split” (as you call it) centred on Anwar Ibrahim’s desire to become the PM of this nation when PAS has a stake in that and needs to move foward? Since when did a positive result cause chaos? I’m a PAS man and let me tell you even the unborn knows PAS benefited from Anwar Ibrahim more than him benefiting from us.
Anwar rallied the opposition while we couldn’t talk to DAP. Did you see Lim Kit Siang flying all the way from Ipoh during the Hari Raya to greet Tok Guru Hadi Awang in his house? It was the Muhibbah created by Anwar. Anwar too created all the platforms the elections were fought over. It was Anwar who created:
1. The Lingam gate that rallied the nation and exposed the evil Ameno judges who meet at night to issue ghost judgements against anyone who stands to the evils in UMNO.
2. The misuse of NEP by the UMNOputras and came up with another one that will steal the thunder from the Ameno people since it will be need based and therefore the misuse of the current NEP curbed.
3. It was him who campaigned for all opposition candidates from PKR, PAS and DAP while Lim Kit Siang and Hadi Awang concentrated on their “tribal” enclaves.
4. It was him who rallied the Malay middle class and intellectuals to cross a new frontier and choose another path to Canaan.
5. It was him who became the bogeyman of UMNO and therefore got PAS spared by UMNO’s dirty media. They tried to character assassinate him in every way possible and this helped PAS to concentrate on the people while Umno concentrated on killing Anwar.
6. It was because of him that we thrived in 1999. When he wasn’t there on the stage, we know what happened in 2004. We almost tumbled for no return. And when he returned to the stage, we did a spectacular work.
(DSAI-Hadi. Pic-buletin online) If the Terengganu faction is popular and the Malay people listen to them, why didn’t they win their Terengganu? Anwar won his Penang with the Malays in Penang avoiding Ameno like plague and even Dollah bin-Bodohwi scraping through. How comes Mustafa Ali couldn’t snatch one seat in Terengganu? Isn’t Terengganu a Malay heartland? Where are the Malays who support them? Dr Siti Maria stood in a constituency that has majority non-Malay voters and they gave her a thumping victory never seen before by any PAS leader while Ustaz Hadi Awang could only afford to scrape through in Marang while all other PAS leaders in Terengganu tumbled. It was because of Anwar that the non-Muslims and Malay intellectuals supported us. It was because of him that Malay liberals supported us campaigning for us day and night. It was because of him that the hardcore anti-Ameno Malay youth chose to carpool and vote for us with some of them coming to the ballot centres during their exams.
Did you see the Malay youth in Penang and Permatang Pauh? 92% of them voted for Anwar. Mind you these youth were the ones who were fed for one decade on UMNO’s dirty, conscience killing food that Anwar is a gay, anti-Malay, a Jewish Rabbi, a Singaporean, a Christian, an infidel and many other unprintable names/tags. Even MCA veteran spinmistress Joceline Tan admitted that Anwar is the single most shaper of Malay youth after the Malays gave the middle finger to UMNO in Permatang Pauh. These hardcore, anti-Ameno youth vote for PAS when they can and they are not scared of the cheap lies your ilk peddle around or the nausating conspiracy theories Utusan Munafik cooks for the braindamaged UMNOputras.
Zubaidah, tell me, why would PAS therefore feel “disturbed” that it is with a man who is one way or another benefited it? How many Malays did we get after Anwar left UMNO? Majority of our members are former UMNO people and all of them are with us because of Anwar. No person has indirectly shaped PAS than Anwar Ibrahim. And even while he was in UMNO, he was the only who could talk to our leaders and meet with them and in particular our late President, Allayarham Ustaz Fadzil Noor who even named Nurul Izzah Anwar when she was born.
Since we (PAS) don’t have a far reaching national media platform like Ameno, UMNO would have committed crimes and outrightly rigged the elections. However, due to Anwar’s popularity in the Islamic world and the West, UMNO’s evils are highlighted by the world media that keeps an eye on Anwar all the time. This forces Ameno to restrain itself out of fear, after all they have no shame. And did you see how the world media is covering PAS nowadays? Very positive. Before, they used to borrow the names the Ameno media used to call us, like hardcore Taliban, filthy Islamists, Stone Age traditionlists.
Al-Jazeera and the West’s media say the “Islamic party” that has an alliance with Anwar. Our tattared image has improved not only in Malaysia but in the world. We have opened new frontiers with the non-Muslims who used to fear us because of UMNO’s dirty propaganda. PAS knows whom to thank for that and since you yourself know that, you try to create division and hatred. You are not only evil, but a reincartion of evil and we can see through your shenanigans.
When you say Tok Guru Nik Aziz stronly backed Husam scolding Mustafa, do you think our beloved Tok Guru is naive and uninformed that he needs to nod to Husam Musa? First of all, Mustafa was scolded because he didn’t publish Tok Guru’s statement and he also talked rubbish as if he was an UMNO Youth winger. Secondly, PAS without Tok Guru will falter. He is not only a politician per excellence but a man of foresight and staggering productivity.
When PAS was almost wiped out, he retained Kelantan because of his sheer personality. You think Tok Guru doesn’t know the strategic interests of PAS? No one endears PAS to the people more than Tok Guru Nik Aziz. He is PAS’ conscience and its fine example. His humility is that of the Prophets and his courage and fatigue represents the spirit of this nation.
You remember when a mauled UMNO begged PAS and the jobless Terengganu faction fell over each other in obtaining jobs and falling for UMNO’s trap? Well, Tok Guru showed his genius when he said he “loved” UMNO, provided Ameno implements the Hudud law. Boy, the Ameno people scampered for safety. Everyone knew they will lose their limps and that way he ended the job seeking clique’s charade and Ameno’s desperate and shameful begging for consideration. If you think he depends on Husam Musa, then you must be a dimwit and you are indeed. The other dimwit in the Shitty Times is one Azmi Anshar who takes ages to create a pathetic story and ‘nag’ himself in the process. Hopeless!
“Khalid, who won praises from the non-Muslims over his “very open” approach in engaging them, was removed as Deputy Commissioner II and replaced by Hulu Langat MP Dr Che Rosli Che Mat.
His famous visit to the Catholic Church of the Divine Mercy in his constituency, which had endured a long struggle with the BN state government before it was allowed to be built, had an enormous impact on Malaysia’s Christian community.
He has also been critical of BN’s handling of issues involving the Indian community.Kelana Jaya division chief Roslan Shahir Mohd Sharir, who is also the press secretary to Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, has taken over as information chief from Saari.”
Zubaidah, what do you want Khalid to do if he doesn’t engage in an “open” manner with Christians? You want him to spit on them? To make them bogeymen? To lambast them for being Christians? What is the wisdom in you putting “very open” between quoatation marks? Don’t you seem to be trying to make it as if you quoted from someone (read PAS) and therefore create the impression that there are members in PAS who hate Christians or even hate the Malaysian Muslims talking to them, engaging with them and attending to their needs? Low class creature. What does Islam tell us to do in relation to others? Doesn’t Islam teach us to talk to them, debate with them and engage in constructive dialogues with them, etc? Evil is your thought, evil is your judgment!
“Now, will this new development upset Pas’ attempts to reach beyond the Malay/Muslim community? Yes, there was overwhelming support from Chinese and Indian voters in the last general election that saw an unprecedented push for Pas in the west coast of the peninsula and the growth of Pas non-Muslim supporters’ clubs, but many non-Muslims still have a distrust of Pas.”
Zubaidah, you said Khalid and Sungip were removed because Dr Hassan wanted people with whom he can work with. You blamed Khalid and Sungip for being “open” with other compatriots of this nation, you said they are “liberals” while the Terengganu Faction was “pragmatic”. Now, what makes you engage in somersault and ask if PAS would lose the non-Muslim support because of the Terengganu faction? Didn’t you cheer just now the Terengganu faction that would make PAS lose its non-Muslim support? That said, do non-Muslims have love affair with your Ameno if they are ‘distrustful’ of PAS? Would you tell us how much they are distasteful of your party or the party of the ones who misuse you?
“Pas’ electoral victory in March had given the party a multiracial image but this and the openness of the “Erdogans” are being met with resistance from the conservatives within the party.
The roles played by the “Terengganu group”, widely perceived as being led by Hadi and Mustaffa and supported by the younger ulama to clean the party of the likes of Khalid, may see Pas curling back into its hardline cocoon again.”
So, if PAS would lose the non-Muslim support, is it because of the “open” manner in which Khalid and others talk to them and try to understand them or through the tribal chattering of the Terengganu faction (that you are praising to divide PAS and plant hatred in their midst) that thrives in tribal alliances, conpiracy theories and has an incredibly limited knowledge about global issues, realities, geopolitics, economic matters and the chaotic world?
“Clean” the party of the likes of Khalid? Clean? How strong is that word? You are using these terms to create hatred in PAS and cause confusion. Why would Khalid who took Umno’s Shah Alam with over 9,000 majority cutting its previous 13,000 majority and thus garner 23,000 extra votes be “cleaned” out by someone who even can’t get elected in Terengganu? Where are the Malays who love him? We know the ones who love Khalid Samad elected him with a thumping majority in hardcore UMNOland!
Take it from me my ‘dear’ desperate girl, PAS is united, will remain united and eveyone is entitled to his/her opinion. PAS will remain in Pakatan whether it forms the Federal Govt now or waits for the next election. Toppling Najis bin Scandal is such an easy, exhilarating job and if you are think we are bluffing, then wait for us and will compare the notes.