Himpunan Sejuta Umat: A Sigh of Relief from Pakatan

October 19, 2011

Himpunan Sejuta Umat: A Sigh of  Relief from Pakatan

by Terence Netto@http://www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT :There must have been this morning an audible exhalation of air from thousands of bated breaths in precincts where the opposition holds sway following news of the decision by PAS not to be involved in the Himpunan Sejuta Umat which will be held in Shah Alam, Selangor on October 22, 2011.

Adding piquant flavour to the relief was the cagey explanation offered by Party President Abdul Hadi Awang:

“PAS has been informed that the event does not involve political parties, thus PAS’ position is not to participate in the rally to respect the wishes of the organisers.”

The fabulous, they say, is never anything but the commonplace touched by the hand of ingenuity.

Himpunan’s organisers had nicely figured they had PAS, putative defenders of the sanctity of the Islamic religion in Malaysia, in a corner by touting the point that no political party (read UMNO) had inspired them to hold the rally which is shaping up to be an anti-Christian gathering.

They felt that way they could entice PAS supporters to make common cause with them. On the evidence of the decision not to be involved and by its explanation for non-involvement, the central leadership of PAS, in conclave last night, proved equal to the challenge.

They replied they shall abide by the Himpunan organisers’ wish to keep clear of political party involvement and stay away from Saturday’s rally.

There’s an art to giving the dubiously-intentioned enough rope to hang themselves; PAS has done that with their riposte to Himpunan’s organising claque.

The latter reckoned by assuring all and sundry that such agent provocateurs as Datuk Zulkifli Nordin (left), Member of Parliament for Kulim-Bandar Baru, and Senator Ezam Mohd Noor, who are allied to UMNO, were not involved in the planning of the rally, they would give their banner a non-partisan patina. This would draw support from across the Islamic political spectrum.

No Need to rein in Nasrudin

True, the PAS Youth leader Nasrudin Hassan has already indicated his movement’s support for Saturday’s rally. But he is someone who can always to be counted on to be only a pace or two to the left of the rabid Harussani Zakaria, the Perak Mufti. And that’s not saying something in his favour, Harussani being beyond the pale of a non-Muslim’s perception of religious moderation.

Having adopted an official hands-off stance to the Himpun rally, PAS should not now muzzle or baulk Nasrudin in his attempt to provide support to the event. A democratic party ought not to hinder dissenters on matters like these; also, this way PAS would be extending to Nasrudin the discretionary wisdom of its ‘Give ’em enough rope’ policy.

As with ostensible would-be allies like Himpun’s organisers so also with putative allies like Nasrudin – consistency of stance is key to resolving touchy issues.

By its decision not to get involved with Himpun and by its rationale for opting out, PAS has shown equipoise in picking its way through the shoals of a complex polity.

13 thoughts on “Himpunan Sejuta Umat: A Sigh of Relief from Pakatan

  1. That is probably the intention. PAS wants to play safe to get Malay -Muslim Umat votes.They also worry that the PAS Supporters will leave the party en masse, having already threatened PAS leadership on Hudud.–Din Merican

  2. Today we try not to politicise the events that led to the darkened days in may 1969.For many born after that date it does not exist in their memory but only in what they have heard form the state truth of the event. But for many Malaysian like me, who had just graduated from University of Malaya during that period and began to look forward to our lives armed with a degree from one of the best Universities in the region at that time, we became politicised and had our world turned up side downs by those events. For those who were outside those event it was just an event that became an aspect of their perception. But for people like me it was basically a real human event. And it will remain a human event for a very very long time to come- until the end of my shelf life.

    Those who went through that period know very well that at that time we needed each other. And there are many incidents that brought out our human nature to protect one another irrespective of race.In those extraordinary day we came to an extraordinary conclusion that we needed each other more than what our separate way of living had made us all what we we were at that point in time. In a strange way I am blessed that I was there because I do not want see that happen again in my country. I know that I want avoid that drama at all cost. Others who are now advocating this Himpunan Sejuta Umat may be of the view that events of this nature are necessary to make a statement. But for me the darkened days in our short independent history is a one-off event and I do not want to see it again.
    Anon, I was spared the trauma and agony of May 13, 1969 as I was in Washington DC doing my MBA in Finance and International Business. But being in DC, when the meetings of the IMF-World Bank Group were held in September of that year, I saw Governor Ismail Mohamed Ali, Treasury and Embassy officials who kept me informed of what had happened and what they were doing to prevent it from happening again.I also met Dr Agoes Salim was at the time the new Chief, Department of National Unity under Tun Abdul Razak.

    I was a frequent visitor to our Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue where I interacted with Ambassador (late Tun) Ong Yoke Lin-Omar, Minister Counsellor (Dato’) K.T.Ratnam and my former colleague at MFA, Ben Harun and used to have lunch at the IMF with Malaysia’s Malek Ali Merican, the Executive Director representing Southeast Asia.

    Racial tensions were high back home in 1969. Politicians on both sides played up race issues and that got out of control after DAP’s strong finish in the General Elections. Spared to trauma, but I was shocked as I watched NBC TV. Kuala Lumpur was in flames and I thought of family and friends. Today (2011), people cannot connect with the past and they are all playing with fire again. I hope we have matured enough to deal with the present situation where both religion and race are being exploited for political advantage.–Din Merican

  3. What is this Himpunan Sejuta Umat trying to achieve or what message are they trying to convey?

    Is Islam that stronger just by a display of numbers? Nama sahaja Islam dan Muslim tapi tabiat macam shaitan. Lihatlah perkara perkara dan angkara yang berlaku di Malaysia. Skandal video seks, pembuangan anak, zina, korupsi keterlaluan, penuipuan dan pembohongan, semuanya dilakukan oleh orang Islam.

    Lebeh baik ubah tabiat tu semua kemudian baru lah buat perhimpunan, baru ada makna.

  4. What’s the objective for this rally again? At least Bersih has clear objectives. You are right, webelos. Can’t get the basics right yet they want to do these kind of things.
    Wrong, these guys know what they want: they want to mobilise political support for UMNO-BN. I would ask: Is the right way to get it? Anyway, let us hope it is peaceful and orderly. No traffic jams. PAS members are free to join as individuals, not as representatives of their party. Does that make sense to you? It call that hedging.–Din Merican

  5. “Anon, I was spared the trauma and agony of May 13, 1969 as I was in Washington DC …. ” Din Merican

    And I was on guard duty at the Nurses’ Hostel, University Hospital, later feted by nurses with biscuits and delicacies and drinks. A few were so appreciative and gave us their panties to take home as souvenirs.

  6. So wouldn’t this Himpunan cause massive traffic jam, disturb the peace, and cause the small and petty traders to loose business? Wouldn’t this Himpunan scare ordinary folks or hinder their free movement? How can you fit 1 million people into the stadium? Fire Marshall should shut down the stadium due to safety and risk to life for exceeding its seating capacity.
    Will the FRU be out in full force? Will the water cannon be used, will tear gas be fired, remember the Selangor Medical Center is close by.

    How do the organizers ensure no untoward incidents will happen?. How much bond they put up to ensure no damage with such a large crowd? Who is going to pay for the extra police and security personnel?

    How can the CPO of Selangor and the Shah Alam OCPD issue the permits so quickly? Isn’t this Himpunan a threat to national security? Have they run a background check on the organizers? Is Himpunan”legal” and registered with the Registrar of Societies? Why is IGP and his attention seeking Dy not making statement to caution? Can the Police handle 1 million umat?

  7. sir jacob
    I’m sure there will be more what with nasi bungkus and teh tarek for all participants courtesy of UMNO. You know Malaysians will come out in droves when there is free makan. However if you ask any one of them the purpose of the gathering they’ll give you that blank look.
    Looking at the program there’s singing and dancing so it’s more of a Muslim rock concert.

  8. Even the organizers do not know what will come out from the event. What a bunch of load crap. How can a rally stop apostasy? Launch a crusade against the Christians?

  9. It pains me to hear you guys arguing like this. This is not for political purposes. Those who believe that it is and really use it are some of the bad apples in the crowd but what about the rest of us? We are there to unite and is there anything wrong with that? It’s not showing our strength but our support and love for Islam. Similar to when football fans flock stadiums and ‘kedai mamak’s to support their teams. It’s about loyalty and support.

    No, we won’t launch a crusade. We want to warn the Muslims on the existence of Christian movements working undercover in promoting apostasy. We would like the Christians to respect our rights. We allowed them to practice their religion because we see our Muslim brothers out there in Thailand, Bosnia and India been tortured just because they’re not adapting themselves to the government. We wouldn’t want the non-Muslims taste the same fate especially since Islam is all about peace and love. But they’re taking advantage on that. We’d just like to remind them that it is unfair for them to do so and please stop it.

    And I’d like to remind the peopls in Malaysia, politics isn’t everything. Whether we’re in the opposition or the government, we are all of the human race, so please, please lets all unite and stick together as one.

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