Political Violence: Retiring the Word Terrorism


April 27, 2015

RSIS

No. 101/2015 dated 27 April 2015

Political Violence:
Retiring the Word Terrorism

by James M. Dorsey

Synopsis

Founders of many modern states, including stalwarts of anti-terrorism like Israel and allies in the war on terror like the Kurds, achieved goals with political violence that killed innocent people and would be classified today as terrorism. Political violence should be recognised as a reflection of deep-seated social, economic and political problems — rather than demonised through terms like terrorism or evil.

Commentary

RECENT DOCUMENTS uncovered by German magazine Der Spiegel trace the rise of the Islamic State to a network of former Iraqi intelligence officers loyal to toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. In 2003 they were deprived of their jobs with no future prospects when then US administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer disbanded the Baathist military and security forces. They were aided by Syrian military officers and officials who saw the group as a buffer against a feared US attempt to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

The history of the rise of the Islamic State as an extreme Sunni Muslim rejection of discrimination by a Shiite majority in Iraq and repressive dominance by an Alawite minority in Syria revives the notion of “one man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist”. That notion is similarly embedded in the policies of both Western nations and conservative Arab regimes concerned about their survival. They not only forged  cooperation with Turkey’s Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and Syria’s Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) but also Gulf support for the jihadist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al Nusra that is locked in battle with Islamic State and in Western distinctions between good and bad foreign fighters.

Good and bad fighters

‘Bad foreign fighters’, angry at the human and political cost of combatting political violence with a military rather than a predominantly political campaign, are the thousands who have joined the ranks of Islamic State; ‘good foreign fighters’ are those who have gone to Syria to fight with the Kurds against the jihadists, particularly during last year’s battle for the besieged Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.

The notion is also evident in the US National Intelligence’s most recent report to Congress that for the first time in years no longer includes Iran or the Tehran-backed Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah as a terrorist threat to US interests.

The list of internationally – recognised political leaders who can trace their roots to political violence and terrorism is long. Yet, they and their predecessors disavowed what is termed political violence once they achieved their goals. The list includes Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, whose ideological roots like those of former Israeli leaders Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, lie in the use of political violence and terrorism in pre-state Palestine without which the State of Israel most likely would not have been established. Both Begin and Shamir were wanted commanders of Irgun, a group denounced as terrorist by the British Mandate authorities.

Similarly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hails from a movement that was long condemned as a terrorist organisation. While nothing justifies the killing of innocent civilians, recognition of Palestinians as a people with national rights and the creation of the Palestine Authority would most probably not have occurred without Palestinian attacks in the 1960s and 1970s on civilian targets.

Finally, the PKK, an organisation deemed terrorist by Ankara and its Western allies as well as its Syrian counterpart, the YPG, are de facto allies in the fight against Islamic State, the jihadist organisation that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq that employs brutality as a means of governance. The list is far longer: think of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC), the aging leaders of Algeria or the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

The sole common denominator of all these examples is not an ideology but a political grievance and a belief, right or wrong, that the odds were stacked against them and that violence was a necessity rather than a goal in and of itself. Political violence is a tactic most often employed and frequently with success by those opposed to forces with overwhelming military might.

A moment of lucidity

All of these men and groups who today are either respected political leaders or on their way to returning to the international fold saw political violence as a means of the underdog to secure their perceived rights and right an injustice rather than as a criminal philosophy and practice implicit in the use of the word terrorism.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a moment of lucidity, implicitly recognised the underlying politics when he last year acknowledged that American Muslims had stressed to him that the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace was fuelling anger on the streets and recruitment by Islamic State. “People need to understand the connection of that … it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity,” Kerry said.

All of this is not to justify the use of political violence, the killing of innocent civilians or the extremist ideology and brutality of groups like Islamic State. Nor does it justify the indiscriminate torture of large numbers or mass rapes of women as a means of control. It is, however, recognising a political reality however unpleasant that may be.

Debunking de-politicisation

That reality involves acknowledging political violence for what it is and debunking efforts to depoliticise the roots of political violence that only serve to evade often painful political choices involved in confronting underlying grievances. It also involves accepting that it is politics, rather than military force and law enforcement, that offers the tools to effectively resolve situations that produce political violence.

It also serves to spotlight the fact that terms like ‘terrorism’ and ‘fighting evil’ turn the struggle against political violence into a zero-sum game in which victory constitutes the elimination of barbarians who, with problems unresolved, bounce back from setbacks in new, far more brutal guises.

Bombastic statements by Western leaders designating political violence termed terrorism, particularly in the case of jihadists, as an existential threat and an epic struggle against a form of totalitarianism comparable to that of fascism and communism, has only served to raise the profile and appeal of brutal perpetrators like Islamic State. The numbers speak for themselves: University of Maryland research shows that jihadist attacks had tripled in 2013 compared to 2010.

Political violence may be a scourge, yet it is fundamentally an act of politics. Recognising this makes politics rather than predominantly military force the appropriate response. A first step towards that recognition would be removing the term terrorism from the debate in a bid to eliminate ideological prejudice that serves vested interests and at best complicates the search for real solutions to real problems.

James M. Dorsey is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, a syndicated columnist, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog.

Click HERE to read this commentary online.

Why is MACC and Abu Kassim so dishonorable in the Trial of Rosli Dahlan?


April 6, 2015

READ THIS:

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/294390

Breaking News! Why is MACC and Abu Kassim so dishonorable in the Trial of Rosli Dahlan?

by Din Merican

 Abu KassimTake Responsibility and Apologise

This morning‎, the trial of Rosli Dahlan against Utusan Malaysia, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and 15 Other Defendants was supposed to start before High Court Judge Datuk Su Geok Yam. The courtroom was packed with reporters, Rosli’s wife and family and MACC officers. Also seen were Dato Ramli Yusuff and Tan Sri Robert Phang.

Judge Su noted that a majority of the Defendants including Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim and Kevin Morais, the source of all these problems, were absent. Instead the MACC appeared through 6 counsels including 2 paralegals. The most notable was that MACC is no longer represented by the Attorney General Chambers but by private senior lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham.

Now, that’s an expensive switch! In a turn of events, counsel for Utusan Malaysia informed the court that they want to settle the case and want to make a public apology to Rosli Dahlan in open court. ‎ This is great!

Utusan has crumbled even before the trial starts. Judge Su invited Rosli to come forward and sit in one of the counsel’s chairs while Rosli’s wife, family and friends then listened attentively to senior Legal Manager ‎ and company secretary of Utusan Encik Shirad Anwar reading the following public apology in open court: “

1.On  October 12, 2007, while the Muslim community were preparing to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri, we had published a news article about the arrest and prosecution of Lawyer Rosli Dahlan with the title “Police Lawyer failed to declare asset charged in court today” (“the Article”)

2. Shortly after the publication of the Article, upon demand by Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, we had among others, on  April 15, 2008, published at page 4 of Utusan Malaysia newspaper, an unconditional and unreserved Public Apology to Lawyer Rosli Dahlan (hereinafter referred to as the said Public Apology”), the contents of which are as follows.

3. That we had made several allegations which were untrue against Lawyer Rosli Dahlan as follows:

3.1. That he is a Singapore citizen who carries out legal practice in Malaysia, whereas he is truly and indeed a Malaysian citizen;

3.2. That he has breached the laws of the country by refusing to make an asset declaration, whereas he had indeed made the said declaration;

3.3. That he had hidden the asset of a Senior Police Officer who was under investigation by the ACA (Anti-Corruption Agency), whereas he never did that;

3.4. That he is of malevolent character and had acted deceptively in his dealings to frustrate the ACA investigations, whereas he had always fully co-operated with the ACA and his actions were always within the requirements of the law.

3.5 Our said article has given a totally wrong depiction of Lawyer Rosli Dahlan as a foreign lawyer who had acted in a manner contrary to the proper behaviour and ethics of an advocate and solicitor.

3.6 We acknowledge and expressed our deepest regrets that the said article was written and published in a sensational manner to generate publicity which exceeded the parameters of ethical journalism surrounding the investigation of YDH Dato’ Pahlawan Haji Ramli Haji Yusuff who at that time held the post of Director of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department of Police Di-Raja Malaysia.

4. We hereby again, upon request and with the consent and express agreement of lawyer Rosli Dahlan, repeat the contents of the said Public Apology referred to above and hereby again unconditionally and unreservedly apologise to lawyer Rosli Dahlan for our said untruthful article and we regret the damage that we have caused to him.

5. We further acknowledge that lawyer Rosli Dahlan has been conclusively discharged and acquitted by the court from all charges made against him by the ACA which is now known as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The question on everyone’s mind is why then is MACC not apologising? Why waste taxpayers’ money engaging expensive Cecil Abraham to defend a wrong that was committed to an innocent professional? I say to MACC – be honorable. Own up, apologise and pay up! Don’t waste the Courts’ time and taxpayers’ money to defend yourself.

Mr. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak: End your silence on what really matters.


March 27, 2015

Mr. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak: End your silence on what really matters.

by Scott Ng

In this open letter, the writer tells Najib he can reclaim leadership by preventing Malaysia’s destruction at the hands of extremists.

 COMMENT
najib-on-hududOur dear leader, Prime Minister Najib Razak, you are no stranger to controversy. Every time something happens that requires your attention, you famously remain silent for what could be considered an inordinate amount of time. Often enough, the excuse of your weak mandate is given when asked why you don’t act.

Indeed, as a sitting Prime Minister who failed to secure a two-third majority in Parliament for the ruling coalition, you can be considered politically weak to some extent. In your mismanagement of our country’s socio-political landscape, we have seen extremism mushroom like never before. It has driven a wedge between us Malaysians, with battle lines being drawn everyday by NGOs like ISMA beating their chests over Malay-Muslim rights, innocent store managers crucified by government Islamic bodies, the return of authoritarian abuse of the law, and even thought policing via social media.

If there was ever a time for strong leadership, it is now. Even as the ship sails on in stormy waters, you can still salvage your situation, given the new-found support you have received from more than 150 Umno division heads and the component parties of Barisan Nasional. Despite your loss of public support, you now have been given a mandate by the coalition in hope that it will give you the clout to properly govern the country.

Najib and RosmahSir, you now have political capital and support in your hands. You’ve come down hard on the opposition, and I am not so much of an optimist to hope for that to change any time soon. Your attacks on Pakatan Rakyat may be reprehensive to some, but we recognize that it is part and parcel of the game of politics, especially here in Malaysia.

So, rather than attempt to have you change your mind on Pakatan, I suggest this instead: use your power and authority fairly, and go after those who threaten to derail the peaceful lifestyle of Malaysians, who threaten our unity and harmony with the assertion of an extreme, puritan agenda that ignores the spirit of our Federal Constitution.

Sir, you have sat back for too long and allowed the extreme elements of our society free rein to terrorize the people with threats of what should happen if they believe their rights have been maligned, with no thought for the protections provided in the Federal Constitution. Some of these elements come from your own party.

I am not condoning your detention of opposition figures under laws like the outdated Sedition Act, but there is a need to also silence the extremists who have for too long rampaged against what it means to be Malaysian.

We have come to a very dangerous precipice as a country, and only you as our Prime Minister, as the leader of our country, have the authority to pull us back from the brink of self-destruction.

Direct Challenge

Under your watch, the heinous Islamic State has begun to take root, and more established extremist groups like the Hizbut Tahrir have become emboldened enough to say we should forsake the democracy upon which this country is founded. This is a direct challenge to you as the democratically elected leader, and you should not stay silent any longer.

Silence them before they destroy us all. Prime Minister, you now have that mandate in your hands, even if it was not handed to you by the people. In acting against the extremists in our society, you will have the people’s mandate because whenever we read the headlines in this day and age, we become a little more scared to step out of our houses, or to step foot into certain parts of town. We have sealed our mouths because now even the most innocuous statement invites vitriol and even death threats.

This is not the Malaysia you or I grew up in, and you know it. In fact, this Malaysia pales in comparison with the golden hope that we were just after Merdeka, or even at the height of Mahathir’s less-than-benign reign. We are better than this, and the first show of courage must come from you, Prime Minister. You must step up and say enough is enough, and the people will join their voices to yours.

Sir, you have craved the people’s approval for the longest time, resorting to what your critics say are blatant bribes to win the hearts of the people. It is far easier than that to gain approval. Show us we can believe in you to save us from the galling rise of fundamentalist extremism, which twists the tenets of peaceful religions to suit a twisted narrative of us-vs-them that is tearing this country in half.

Now is the time to act. The heated socio-political-economic situation of our country is a pot that is boiling over, and only you can do something about it.

I implore you Sir, be our leader at this time, when we need a leader most. You can change the course of history and reclaim the narrative of this nation so that it can again become the keystone of your “global movement of moderates”, which remains an inscrutable proposition for as long as you allow the extremists in this country to hijack the national narrative.

Now is the time to be the leader you wish to be. How you will be remembered may well reflect on how you handle this situation. Will you preside over a nation torn by chaos and strife, a nation where those who grew up side by side fight to the bitter death over skin colour, over ideology, over religion? Or will you be the one to overcome the odds and unite us against the greatest threat to our way of life?

How you will be remembered is in your hands, Prime Minister. If you must come down on the opposition, show us fairness and come down hard on everyone who threatens the peace of this nation, who challenges the Federal Constitution, who gives a bad name to Malaysia. If you will not, you risk being remembered as someone who, like Nero of Rome, fiddled away while his country burned to the ground. Be our Prime Minister, Najib Razak, and

Afghan woman Farkhunda lynched in Kabul


March 24, 2015

This is hudud as practised in Afghanistan. We cannot have this type of barbaric law in our multiracial country which has a constitution to protect the fundamental rights of all its citizens. What is being played out in Kelantan cannot be allowed to spread to other states in Malaysia.

Malaysians must have the conviction to stand up against its implementation and tell PAS via their Members of Parliament that we reject any move to impose hudud, even though it is supposed to apply to only Muslims in Malaysia. When it comes to justice and freedom, we must speak with one voice.  Hadi Awang must stop playing a dangerous game.–Din Merican

Afghan woman Farkhunda lynched in Kabul

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32014077

An Afghan woman who was lynched after being falsely accused of burning the Koran was killed for tackling superstitious practices, witnesses say.

Farkhunda, who was beaten to death by a Kabul mob last week, had been arguing with a mullah about his practice of selling charms to women at a shrine.In the course of the argument she was accused of burning the Koran and a crowd overheard and beat her to death.

farkhunda-screengrab2

Farkhunda, 28, was beaten, hit by bats, stamped on, driven over, and her body dragged by a car before being set on fire.

A Policeman who witnessed the incident on Thursday told AP news agency that Farkhunda was arguing with a local mullah. Her father said she had complained about women being encouraged to waste money on the amulets peddled by the mullahs at the shrine.

“Based on their lies, people decided Farkhunda was not a Muslim and beat her to death,” Mohammed Nadir told AP.

The Policeman who saw the incident, Sayed Habid Shah, said Farkhunda had denied setting the Koran on fire.

“She said I am a Muslim and Muslims do not burn the Koran,” he said. “As more people gathered, the Police were trying to push them away, but it got out of control,” he added. An official investigator has also said there was no evidence she had burned the Koran.

“Last night I went through all documents and evidence once again, but I couldn’t find any evidence to say Farkhunda burnt the Holy Koran,” General Mohammad Zahir told reporters at her funeral on Sunday. “Farkhunda was totally innocent.”

Police say they have detained 18 people over the incident, with more arrests expected. In addition, 13 policemen have been suspended for having failed to do enough to stop the attack.

Shukria, a woman visiting the shrine on Monday, told the BBC that the attack was “not just an attack on Farkhunda, but on all Afghan women. They have killed us all”. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has ordered an investigation into her death.

The attack, near the Shah-Du-Shamshaira mosque and shrine, is thought to have been the first of its kind in Afghanistan.

Breaking with tradition, women’s rights activists carried the coffin at her funeral, a role usually performed by men. Farkhunda’s family initially claimed she was mentally ill, but this has since been retracted by her father who said he was told to say so by police to reduce the chances of violent reprisals against them.

The Curse of The Obsession With Single-Issue Politics by M. Bakri Musa


March 23, 2015

The Curse of The Obsession With Single-Issue Politics

by Dr.M.Bakri Musa, Morgan-Hill, California (received via e-mail)

bakri-musaWe Malays are obsessed – and cursed – with the single-issue politics of bangsa, agama dan negara (race, religion and nation). We have paid, and continue to pay, a severe price for this. Our fixation with those three issues detracts us from pursuing other legitimate endeavors, in particular, our social, economic and educational development. Perversely and far more consequential, our collective addiction to bangsa, agama dan negara only polarizes us.

We, leaders and followers alike, have yet to acknowledge much less address this monumental and unnecessary obstacle we impose upon ourselves. The current angst over hudud (religious laws) reflects this far-from-blissful ignorance. With Malays over represented in the various dysfunctional categories (drug abusers, abandoned babies, and broken families), and with our graduates overwhelmingly unemployable, our leaders are consumed with cutting off hands and stoning to death as punishments for thievery and adultery. Meanwhile pervasive corruption and endemic incompetence destroy our society and institutions. Those are the terrible consequences of our misplaced obsession with agama.

If we focus more on earthly issues such as reducing corruption, enhancing our schools and universities, and on improving economic opportunities, then we are more likely to produce a just and equitable society. That would mertabatkan (enhance the status of) our agama, bangsa dan negara on a far more impressive scale.

Make no mistake, if we remain marginalized or if we fail to contribute our share, then it matters little whether Malaysia is an Islamic State or had achieved “developed” status, our agama, bangsa dan negara will be relegated to the cellar of humanity. Our hollering of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy) would then be but a desperate and pathetic manifestation of Kebangsatan Melayu (Malay Poverty).

A Historical Perspective

For the first half of the last century, our fixation was, as to be expected, on nationalism. Our forefathers were consumed with the struggle to be free from the clutches of colonialism, and the right to be independent. With merdeka a reality in 1957, the obsession then shifted from negara to bangsa, from merdeka to bahasa (language). Today with Malay language specifically and customs generally accepted as the national norms, our mania has now shifted to agama.

While our passion for negara and bangsa had a definite and definable endpoint (independence and Malay as the national language respectively), what is the goal with our obsession on agama? ISIS Malaysia? And as for entry into heaven, only Allah knows that.

We have forgotten, or are unaware in the first place, the price we paid for our earlier obsessions. Consider our nationalistic fervor of yore. While we Malays were consumed with treating the colonialists as white devils and fighting them, non-Malays seized every opportunity to work with and learn from them. In our smugness and misplaced sense of superiority we asserted that we had nothing to learn from those colonials and outsiders, blithely ignoring the obvious evidences to the contrary, just like the Japanese before the Meiji Restoration.

What has umno achieved Bakri M

As a result when independence came, non-Malays were much more equipped to take full advantage of that fact while we Malays were still consumed with endlessly shouting merdeka and rehashing an established reality. A decade later we found ourselves marginalized while the non-natives were busy taking over opportunities left behind by the British. Then like a wild boar caught in a trap of its own making, we lashed out at everyone and everything, with ugly consequences for all.

It took the brilliance and foresightedness of the late Tun Razak to first of all recognize the underlying pathology and then craft an imaginative and effective remedy.

As for our struggle for independence, let me inject a not-so-obvious observation. Our merdeka came less from the battles of our jingoistic warriors, more from British realization that colonialism was no longer chic. Indeed it became an affront to their sensibilities. I would be less certain of that conviction had our colonizers been the Chinese or Russians. The Tibetans and Chechens will attest to that.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the British for another reason. They cultivated sensible leaders amongst us and dealt harshly with the radicals. Consequently we were blessed with post-independent figures like Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Razak while spared the likes of Sukarno and Ho Chi Minh.

Had we been less arrogant culturally and instead learned from the British, we would have been able to give full meaning to our merdeka. There was much that we could have learned from a nation that ushered in the Industrial Revolution and the Scientific Age.

Folly of The National Language Obsession

The May 1969 race riot should have taught us the obvious and very necessary lesson that we must prepare our people well so they could make their rightful contributions and not be left behind. It did not. Instead we shifted our obsession, this time to language. Bahasa jiwa banga (Language the soul of a race), we deluded ourselves.

With that we sacrificed generations of precious and scarce Malay minds to the altar of the supremacy of Bahasa. We also squandered what precious little legacy the British had left us, specifically our facility with English. Imagine had we built on that!

Yes, Malay is now the national language, a fact affirmed by all. Less noticed or acknowledged is that while non-Malays are facile with that language they are also well versed in others, in particular English. Not so Malays, with our leaders eagerly egging on our fantasy that knowing only Malay was sufficient.

DPM MalaysiaWith English now the de facto language of science, commerce and international dealings, not to mention the language of global consumers especially affluent ones, our Malay-only fluency is a severe handicap. We are lost or ignored abroad, or even in Malaysia within the private sector. Again we are being left out because of our misplaced obsession.

The sad part is that we are only now just recognizing this tragic reality. Deputy Prime Minister Muhyyddin (who is also in charge of education) was stunned to learn that our students fared poorly in international comparisons. He is still stunned for he has yet to come up with a coherent solution.

Our Current Delusion with Religion

Judging from the current obsession with hudud, we have learned nothing from our earlier follies with bangsa dan negara.

Faith is a personal matter. This is especially so with Islam. Our Holy Book says that on the Day of Judgment we would be judged solely by our deeds. We cannot excuse them based on our following the dictates of this great leader or the teachings of that mesmerizing ulama. Islam is also unique in being devoid of a clergy class. There is no pope or priest to mediate between us and Allah, or a prophet who died in order to expiate our sins.

The now vociferous and overbearing ulama class imposing itself upon us is a recent innovation (bida’a) in our faith.  As is evident, this obsession with hudud does not bring Muslims together. Far from it! Hudud also creates an unnecessary chasm between Muslims and non-Muslims. Islam should bring us together.

To Muslims the Koran is the word of Allah, its message for all mankind and till the end of time. That is a matter of faith. While hudud is based on the Koran it is not the Koran. The present understanding of hudud is but the version interpreted by the ancient Bedouins. It is the handiwork of mortals, with all its imperfections. We should not be bound by it but be open to more enlightened readings of the holy book.

We paid dearly for our earlier obsessions with race and nationalism. What would be the price this time for our fixation with religion? Look at the Middle East today. Ponder Nigeria with its Boko Haram. Contemplate being under the brutal ISIS, the messianic Talibans, or the puritanical Saudis.

We have yet to recover from our earlier follies with nationalism and Bahasa, yet we blithely continue making new ones with our current obsession on religion. The mistakes we make this time could well prove irreversible.

Dispense with this public fixation with religion. Instead focus on adil and amanah (justice and integrity), the tenets of our faith. We cannot be Islamic if we are devoid of both. This should be our pursuit, from eminent Malays to not-so-eminent ones, from Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

If our leaders do not lead us there, then dispense with them and pursue our own path forward. Unlike the earlier colonial era, this time there is no superior power except for Allah to guide us find and groom enlightened leaders. We are on our own. As per the wisdom of our Koran, Allah will not change our condition unless we do it ourselves.

Dr. M.Bakri Musa’s latest book, Malaysia’s Wasted Decade 2004-2014. The Toxic Triad of Abdullah, Najib, and UMNO Leadership, has just been released. It will be available soon at major online outlets like Amazon.com.

Musa Hitam Urges UMNO to make a stand on Hudud


March 22, 2015

Tun Musa Hitam urges UMNO to make a stand on Hudud

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com

Musa HitamUMNO should make a stand now on PAS’s hudud and not pretend to be surprised with the Islamist party’s push for the implementation of the Islamic criminal law in Kelantan, says Tun Musa Hitam.

The former Deputy Prime Minister said hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia, expressing his disappointment over UMNO’s slow response on the issue.

“I am disappointed that UMNO appeared to be shocked (by PAS’s move) and until now have yet to decide on its stance. I have been worried about this for some time,” he said in a statement from Cordoba, Spain.

“UMNO must take a firm stance. This national issue has a very long implication to the country, both domestically and internationally,”

He said as UMNO could not afford to be seen as trying to outdo PAS on this issue.”Don’t try to be more PAS than PAS themselves. UMNO should not be trying to out-PAS PAS!”, he said.

With PAS’s partners, DAP and PKR deciding not to support PAS’s hudud bill should it be tabled in Parliament, the onus is now on UMNO and Barisan Nasional to clarify whether it supported the bill.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to make an announcement on BN’s stand on PAS’s hudud soon. Several BN component parties had given their views during the recent meeting and it was up to the Prime Minister to disclose it.

Musa, who is also the former UMNO Deputy President, said when it comes to hudud, the people should not be surprised with PAS’s hudud bill as the party has been championing the issue consistently for a long time.

“And to the opposition parties in Pakatan Rakyat, do not pretend you are not aware of it too,” he said. At the same time, Musa reiterated his stance that hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia.

“As a former UMNO leader, I strongly believe in my heart that since its establishment until today, UMNO’s stance too has been that hudud is not suitable for a multi-religious, multi-racial country like Malaysia,”

Musa said that if he was wrong about it, UMNO should make a decision on its stance immediately and not brush off the matter. “The nation will not the only one that is going to pay for the consequences, UMNO too will feel its bad effect, more so that it has served the country for so long, Do not let this destroy UMNO from within… don’t self destruct.” he said.

PAS Pesident Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is seeking to table a private members’ bill in Parliament during the current sitting ending April 9 to enable Kelantan to implement amendments to the state’s hudud laws which have drawn outrage from his own PR allies.

The conservative Islamist leader sent a notice to Parliament on March 18, after the Kelantan state assembly unanimously approved the Shariah Criminal Code 11 1993 (Amendment 2015), or hudud bill.

Hadi’s notice, which was confirmed by a senior party leader who said it was to amend Act 355 (Shariah Courts) which limits the powers of the court and is an impediment to implementing the hudud law.

Act 355 or the Shariah Courts Act (Criminal Jurisdiction) 1965 limits the shariah courts to a maximum penalty of RM3,000 in fine, five years’ jail and six strokes of the rotan.

An amendment is required in this law to enable the Kelantan hudud amendments to take effect. However, PAS allies PKR and DAP say hudud laws are not part of Pakatan’s common stand.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/no-shock-surprises-with-pass-hudud-says-musa-hitam