The Passing of Australia’s Greatest Golfer Peter Thomson


July 23, 2018

The Passing of Australia’s Greatest Golfer Peter Thomson

Peter Thomson

TRIBUTES are flowing for Aussie golf legend Peter Thomson who died this morning, two months shy of his 89th birthday.The five time British Open champion is being remembered as a great of the game and a proud Victorian.

Brunswick-born Thomson was the first Australian to win the British Open and one of only two men to win it five times alongside Tom Watson of the US.

He won on the American senior tour nine times in 1985, setting a record that may never be broken.

His record includes:

— Five British Opens (1954, ‘55, ‘56, ‘58, ‘65)

— Six PGA Tour wins

— 33 PGA Tour of Australasia wins

— 11 PGA Tour Champions wins

— Fifth at US Masters (1957)

— Tied fourth US Open (1956)

— World Golf Hall of Fame (1988)

— Arnold Palmer Award (1986)

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Peter Thomson, Arnold Palmer and Bruce Devlin

He is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

peter.rolfe@news.com.au

Former MB of Kedah Sanusi Junid is dead


March 9, 2018

Former MB of Kedah Sanusi Junid is dead

by Amin Iskandar

https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/41923/

Image result for Sanusi Junid and Mahathir Mohamad

 

FORMER Kedah Menteri Besar Sanusi Junid died today, his son Akramshah confirmed. He was 74.

“My father died this morning just before subuh prayers,” Akramshah told The Malaysian Insight.

According to Bernama, Akramshah said Sanusi had gone for a medical checkup yesterday.

“Yesterday, my father went for a medical checkup and everything was fine, in fact he even attended the Pakatan Harapan manifesto launching last night without showing signs of a health problem.

“This morning, (he) had performed ablution and was waiting to go for prayers when he suddenly fell unconscious,” he was reported as saying.

Sanusi’s body has been brought to Saidina Umar Al-Khattab Mosque for prayers and will be laid to rest at Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery after Friday prayers.

Sanusi was UMNO Minister of Rural and Regional Development between 1981 and 1986 and also served as Deputy Home Minister from 1980 to 1981.

He left UMNO and joined the party started by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad – Bersatu. Last June, Sanusi was elected Chairman of Bersatu’s Disciplinary Board.

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 “We want to die in the ring,” Sanusi said.

In an August interview with The Malaysian Insight, Sanusi said the political reconciliation between Dr Mahathir and de facto PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim had rattled Barisan Nasional leaders.

But he also said there was no longer any point for him to stay on in UMNO as it was no longer the party he joined in 1963. He left UMNO the first time in 2008 over dissatisfaction with then Party President and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

More recently, he told The Malaysian Insight that UMNO was now a party “with the same name (but) does not have the spirit and goals of the UMNO that I used to be a part of”.

Sanusi’s long political career in public service began at the age of 31, when he was elected the Jerai MP. Later, he also won the Jerlun parliamentary seat in the 1982 General Election.

He served a stint as Federal Minister of Agriculture before becoming Kedah Menteri Besar from 1996 to 1999. Most of his years in public service were under Dr Mahathir’s administration and the two men, who are both Kedah-born, are close.

Sanusi last contested in the 2000 general election, winning the Kuah state seat.

Image result for Sanusi Junid and Mahathir Mohamad

In 2015, when Dr Mahathir had not yet left UMNO to start Bersatu, Sanusi in an interview said he and the former Prime Minister were living on “borrowed time” as they sought to raise pressure within UMNO for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s resignation over alleged scandals in state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

“We want to die in the ring,” Sanusi said. – March 9, 2018.

Former ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan dies at 68


November 30, 2017

Former ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan dies at 68

Former Thai Foreign Minister and ASEAN  Secretary-General Dr.Surin Pitsuwan died of acute heart attack. He was 68.

Former Foreign Minister and ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan died of an acute heart attack on Thursday. He was 68.

Surin collapsed while preparing to speak at the Thailand Halal Assembly 2017 at Bitec in Bang Na.

He was rushed to Ramkhamhaeng Hospital and later pronounced dead at 3.07p.m.

Surin was born on October 28, 1949 in Muang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat. He graduated from Claremont College in California in Political Science in 1972 and earned a master’s degree from Harvard University.

He entered politics in 1986 as a Democrat Party candidate and won a seat in his hometown in Nakhon Si Thammarat in all contests from 1986 to 2005.

Surin was the Deputy Foreign Minister from 1992-95 and rose to become the Foreign Minister from 1997 to 2001 under the premiership of Chuan Leekpai. He was the first Thai to become the ASEAN Secretary-General during which he served in Jakarta in 2008 for a five-year term before rejoining the Democrat Party.

A former Bangkok Post columnist, Surin was a speaker at the Bangkok Post Forum on November 16 this year. He was expected to run for Bangkok Governor when elections are allowed.

People can pay their last respects at his house on Soi Pitsuwan, tambon Sai Ma, Muang district, Nonthaburi province, from Thursday to Friday at noon. The religious ceremony is held all night.

Kassim Ahmad: An Iconoclast


October 14, 2017

Kassim Ahmad: An Iconoclast

 

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Muslim intellectual Kassim Ahmad was a courageous and brave thinker and his passing on October 10, 2017 is a loss for the nation, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said. Dr Mahathir said he was very sad that his 84-year-old “friend” Kassim had passed away this morning in the Kulim hospital in Kedah. “We lost a brave figure who held on to the principle of his struggle no matter what happened to him,” he said in a statement posted on his blog.–Dr. Mahathir on the Passing of Dr. Kassim Ahmad

by Terence Netto@www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT | Much of the encomia for Kassim Ahmad, who died at the age of 84 in Kulim yesterday, spoke of his courage in the face of repression of his beliefs.

Kassim exemplified Ernest Hemingway’s definition of courage as grace under pressure. He was serene in facing the waves of hostile reaction to his beliefs – save in one instance.

This was when he blamed Anwar Ibrahim for forestalling the evolution of a debate he wanted with critics of his book, “Hadis: Satu Penilaian Semula” (Hadith: A Re-evaluation).

Kassim had wanted the book, which was banned shortly after its publication in 1986, to evoke a debate on the arguments he had adduced for making the Quran – and not the Hadith – as the principal source of Islamic faith and jurisprudence.

The conventional view was that the sources of Islamic jurisprudence were the Quran, Hadith and the general consensus of Islamic scholars. Kassim had argued that the Hadith contradicting the Quran could not be relied upon as a source of Islamic jurisprudence.

 

 

He fingered Anwar (photo), then a Cabinet Minister, as having played the main role behind the scenes to stop any debate on the book from taking place, specifically a debate with the Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (ABIM). The debate didn’t go ahead. Kassim, ever willing to debate his disputants, blamed Anwar for this.

Anwar was then seen as the go-to Islamist in government, having been ABIM leader from the early 1970s, before mutating from government critic to collaborator in the drive that begun under then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1982 to inject Islam into the administration and governance of the country.

From the perspective of the years gone by, this move is now seen as having paved the way for the weakening of the secular underpinnings of the 1957 Constitution inaugurating the country’s birth – thus opening the way to what many feared would be the eventual Islamisation of the country, which would have been a travesty of what the country’s founders envisaged.

Kassim would remain scurrilous and vituperative on Anwar’s alleged role in foreclosing debate on the banned book.

‘Amenable, amicable and kind’

The venomous streak that was much in evidence whenever Anwar’s name or fate came up in conversations between Kassim and friends who came a-visiting seemed uncharacteristic of the man who was otherwise amenable, amicable and kind.

From the time he graduated from the University of Malaya in Singapore in the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, when he called for a reevaluation of the hadith, Kassim distinguished himself as a thinker who was wont to go against the convention.

 

He had espoused the merits of Hang Jebat as the authentic Malay hero, in contradistinction to Hang Tuah as the archetype, in Malay intellectual discourse in the early 1960s.

He introduced “scientific socialism” to Parti Rakyat Malaysia in the mid-1960s when he took over its reins from founder Ahmad Boestamam, and changed the party’s name to Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia, in conformity with the Marxist view that their ideology was irrefutable science.

Even when he began to abandon scientific socialism for an Islamic worldview while under ISA detention between 1976 and 1981, it was towards “Teori Sosial Moden Islam” (Modern Islamic Social Theory), the name of the treatise he would pen after being freed, and not towards anything nebulous.

Kassim’s was an intellect who craved certainty for its beliefs, where such certainty is elusive. That was probably why he took an oppositional view of the Hadith, with some of its origins in the mists of times long ago.

Whether it was jousting with national literary laureate Shahnon Ahmad on the role of art and literature in Islamic discourse, or with Islamists on the reliability of the Hadith, Kassim evinced the air of the scientific rationalist.

He had the iconoclast’s penchant for challenging orthodoxies, but this yen came with the ideologue’s weakness for certainties.

The French writer Honoré de Balzac knew the type when he observed that “It’s not sufficient to be a man; one must be a system.”

Read more at https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/397983#Zu1Yr8RvHWv8cqG0.99

The Passing of My Friend, Islamic Scholar, and Public Intellectual Pak Kassim Ahmad


October 10, 2017

The Passing of My Friend, Islamic Scholar, and Public Intellectual Pak Kassim Ahmad

 

I am deeply distressed this morning to learn from Jaffar Ismail  of the passing of my friend public intellectual Pak Kassim Ahmad. The last time I heard from Pak Kassim  was about a month ago when he sent me via email his blog piece on the Holy Prophet Mohammad pbuh. We communicated often on matters of mutual concern to both of us. He educated me on Islam, for which I am eternally grateful.

Being of the same generation, only a few years my senior, my fellow Kedahan Pak Kassim was a man of integrity and courage who spoke the truth to power. He was persecuted by our religious authorities for his views on Islam. He was educated at the famous School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London and The University of Malaya in Singapore.

 

Image result for Kassim Ahmad  and Din Merican

 

He will be sorely missed by those whose lives he touched by his example, generosity and compassion. It is indeed tragic that a man of such prodigious talent, intellectual verve, and deep convictions  was  not appreciated by our religious establishment (JAKIM) and  UMNO politicians. They feared his ideas and views on Islam to the extent that they did not realise that Pak Kassim Ahmad was a lifelong member of UMNO. As far as I am concerned, Pak Kassim Ahmad led an examined life of learning and deep contemplation.

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My wife, Dr. Kamsiah Haider and I wish to express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family. Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat keatas roh Allahyarham Pak Kassim Ahmad. Al-Fatihah.–Din Merican