The Palestine Issue gives UMNO-BN the edge in GE-14


February 2018

The Palestine Issue gives UMNO-BN the edge in  GE-14

Author: Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani, Universiti Utara Malaysia

http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2018/02/03/islamic-agenda-is-the-malaysian-oppositions-achilles-heel/

 

For the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition (BN), the Palestine issue is an opportunity to unite Malaysians ahead of the 14th general election, which will be held by July 2018 at the latest.

Concerns about Palestine bring out solidarity and sympathy among most Malaysians — Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Malaysian Muslims see the Palestinians as their brothers and sisters who they must help liberate from Israeli occupation. Jerusalem is particularly important to Malaysian Muslims since it is Islam’s third holy city after Mecca and Medina. Malaysian non-Muslims call for humanitarian efforts to assist the Palestinians, who they see as the victims of Israeli ‘apartheid’ and illegal occupation.

Image result for Mahathir and The Palestinian QuestionWe fiercely protest the proposal to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel,” said  Prime Minister Najib Razak to UMNO members

But solidarity on Palestine does not mean that there are no other divisions within the Muslim-Malay community. There are at least five parties representing Malays in Malaysia. The most dominant is the ruling party — the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). A splinter group of UMNO that is led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin formed an opposition party called Parti Peribumi Bersatu Malaysia. This party formed a coalition called Pakatan Harapan in 2015 with other Malay-dominated parties such as Parti Keadilan Rakyat, the Democratic Action Party and Parti Amanah Negara. Parti Amanah Negara is a splinter group of the Pan-Islamic Party (PAS) — a party with the long-term goal of creating an Islamic state in Malaysia.

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Pakatan Harapan’s Presumptive Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad refuses to be outdone on relations with Israel

Muslims constitute more than 60 per cent of the Malaysian population (approximately 32 million people) and over 80 per cent of Malaysian Muslims are ethnic Malays. As shown by the 2008 and 2013 general elections, Islam is a major issue that can sway votes needed to form a ruling coalition. Many Malaysian Muslims see Palestinian issues as religious issues, so the ruling Barisan Nasional government is presenting itself as the protector of Islam (as it has done in the past).

BN believes that if the party champions Islam, it will always have Muslim Malays’ support. This is why the ruling party works closely with the Islamic bureaucracy. In the 2018 national budget, the government provided additional financial resources to empower Islam and Islamic institutions. Senator Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki (Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs) said on 1 December 2017 that ‘[in 2018] alone, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia received an additional allocation of almost 1 billion Malaysian ringgit’ (approximately US$257 million).

The Deputy Minister further argued that the BN government was not shirking its responsibility of transforming Malaysia into an Islamic state. This statement of responsibility lured the support of PAS, which has openly showed interest in collaborating with the Barisan Nasional and UMNO in the upcoming general election. PAS’s intention is to have UMNO support the enactment of the hudud (Islamic criminal code) bill. The bill seeks to incorporate parts of Islamic law (such as stoning) into Malaysia’s existing legal system. It has yet to be passed by the Parliament, but regardless of its passage, UMNO and PAS will both favour a stricter interpretation of Islam.

Malaysia already has a national Islamisation policy with four objectives. The first is to make Islam a special religion with state sponsorship. The second is to make Sunni Islamic teaching — the dominant sect of Islam in the world — the teaching for all Muslims in Malaysia. The third is the empowerment of the Islamic bureaucracy through the Administration of Islamic Law Act. The final is to give legitimacy to the ruling Barisan Nasional party for championing Islamic issues such as constitutionally protecting Islam as the religion of the Federation in Malaysia.

So long as Najib favours a stricter interpretation of Islam, he keeps conservative Muslims and PAS on the same side as the Barisan Nasional and UMNO.

The opposition Pakatan Harapan has no clear agenda on Islamisation and although many Muslims want to see the coalition clinch power, it must be able to champion and protect Islam to gain popularity. So far, Pakatan Harapan has failed to show that they can uphold an Islamic agenda (let alone fight for Malay rights) and it has thereby failed to become an alternative to the Barisan Nasional.

If Pakatan Harapan fails to take such measures, the upcoming general election will see the majority of Muslims — particularly Muslim Malays — continue to vote for the Barisan Nasional and UMNO. As such, having no Islamic agenda means fewer votes for Pakatan Harapan and a win for the Barisan Nasional in Malaysia’s next general election.

Professor Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani is a Professor of Politics and International Relations at the School of International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

 

“Don’t slander Rosmah over jet ride, Dr M told.”


February 20, 2018

Comments of an UMNO serf in a resurgent feudal society-“Don’t slander Rosmah over jet ride, Dr M told.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/412260

The UMNO Serf- Rizal Mansor

The Special Officer to the Prime Minister’s wife, Rizal Mansor, said it was regretful that a statesperson such as Dr Mahathir Mohamad would resort to slander Rosmah Mansor.

“How can a statesperson (like Mahathir) listen to and believe in such hearsay? As a statesperson, he should check and research facts before making accusations. “Don’t put political interests above laws and adab (civility) until you create slander,” Rizal said in a statement uploaded onto Umno Online today.

He was referring to a video clip that depicted Mahathir’s speech, where he criticised Rosmah for boarding a private jet, unaccompanied by her husband.

Is her conduct and extravagant lifestyle  not subject to public scrutiny? If she wants to avoid negative comment, she should stay as an ordinary housewife and  not be the First Lady of Malaysia.

Rizal reiterated his previous explanation that Rosmah’s tight schedule necessitated the government having to rent a private jet for her to receive an award in Istanbul on May 25, 2016, and return to Malaysia the next day.

Also used by King and Queen

Rizal also rubbished the claim that the Airbus ACJ319 A6-CJE corporate jet was hired for Rosmah’s use alone, explaining that it is also used by other dignitaries, such as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong.

“The jet was rented by the Malaysian government temporarily for the two-month period (May and June 2016) as a replacement for the ACJ320 9M-NAB jet that was being serviced at the time.”

Rizal also slammed Mahathir’s apparent attempt to paint the PM’s wife as “wasteful”, by countering the RM86 million jet rental figure, first brought up by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli based on his own calculations.

“The calculation for the RM86.4 million cost is not true at all and is intended to deceive the public. The calculation does not make any sense because Rafizi is taking the flight cost of RM60,000 an hour and multiplying it by 24 hours and 60 days.

“Of course the plane cannot fly 24 hours a day for two months,” he said.

Excess baggage

In his statement, Rizal also repeated his claim that the cargo hold of the government-chartered jet used was full of the Permata Seni group’s performance paraphernalia, and not Rosmah’s own luggage.

Rafizi had disputed this claim at the time, pointing out that Permata Seni’s performance at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen International Airport took place before the jet touched down in the Turkish capital that day.

After using the “Plane Finder” application in 2016, Rafizi had revealed that Rosmah used a private jet for her trip to Istanbul. He took issue with the use of the private jet chartered from the Emirates airline, since she was accepting an award on behalf of the public-funded Permata.

“She has to answer this since she was the one who took the flight, and (Prime Minister) Najib Abdul Razak too has to answer because he has to be responsible for this,” he said at the time.

Rafizi had also questioned the need for the government to charter another private jet when it already has three existing aircraft. He had explained that the government has another ACJ319, the 9M-NAA, which was bought several years earlier, besides the ACJ320 9M-NAB under service that the chartered jet was supposed to replace.

Rafizi also highlighted that the government had announced that the ACJ320 9M-NAB was purchased to replace the BBJ737-700 M53-01 – which he found was still in active use, despite being advertised as being on sale in August 2015.

“I urge Najib, as Minister responsible in managing all of the government’s jets, to explain why BBJ737-700 has yet to be sold and why it is still being used, as this involves the rakyat’s money,” he had said.

When Criminals like M01 and his cohorts go free, and good men are going to jail, we Malaysians are doomed


February 13, 2018

Malaysia: When Criminals like M01 and his cohorts go free, and good men are going to jail, we  Malaysians are doomed

by Dato’ Dennis Ignatius

When good men go to jail & scoundrels go free

“When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are ruled by criminals.” ~ Anonymous

It was a rude reminder of the times we live in: Rafizi Ramli, Member of Parliament and PKR Vice-President together with bank clerk Johari Mohammad were sentenced last week to 30 months in prison for leaking details relating to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal. They are now out on bail pending appeal.

Improper conduct

NFC, a poorly conceived government-funded initiative to help the nation attain self-sufficiency in beef-production, became mired in allegations of nepotism, mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. In his 2010 report, the Auditor-General drew attention to “improper conduct” at the NFC which was funded by a RM250 million soft loan from the government.

Rafizi followed up with further startling allegations based on leaked bank records.

In March 2012, the CEO of NFC, Dr Mohammad Salleh Ismail (husband of then UMNO minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil) was charged with four counts of misappropriating RM49.7 million from NFC. He was later acquitted of all charges.

The end result: millions in public funds remain unaccounted for and no one has been held liable. Pretty much par for the course these days.

Following the outcry over the scandal, Shahrizat resigned her ministerial post. With the support of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, she continues to thrive in politics as head of Wanita UMNO. In 2016 she was bestowed one of the nation’s highest honours (PSM) which carries the tittle ‘Tan Sri.’ She is expected to contest a safe seat in the upcoming general election and might well return to cabinet.

Adding insult to injury

When all is said and done about this case, when you cut through the legalities and political spin, what is left is simply the inescapable conclusion that the justice system has failed us once again. They can finesse the facts and garnish the truth but the stench of it will long endure.

Image result for shahrizat abdul jalil

Dare you accuse me of being corrupt. That’s insulting. I am thoroughly corrupt mind and body. I learned the art of making  money effortlessly from UMNO leaders. NFC project came in my dreams. Fleece the cows and make huge amounts of money.–Anon

Shahrizat (photo above) now insists that she and her family were the real victims of the whole affair because they were subjected to “half-baked stories [that were used] to manipulate the people regarding the case.” She and her husband also claim, rather disingenuously, that it was all the negative publicity surrounding NFC that caused the project to fail. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

It is also laughable that she blames Rafizi for all her problems and makes it out to be a political attack against her and her family when it was in fact the Auditor-General who first drew attention to irregularities in NFC. And it was the police who filed criminal charges against her husband, presumably because they had reason to believe that a crime had been committed.

Standing with Rafizi

Rafizi may well end up in prison and his days as a member of parliament may be over but he will always remain a hero to the public. He modelled for the nation what a member of parliament ought to be – selfless, courageous and principled. If only more of our public officials were like him….

We may not be able to do anything about the sentence but there is much that we can do to ensure that both Rafizi and Johari are not abandoned or forgotten. They stood for us; we must now stand for them and let them know that we value their sacrifice and service. If they go to jail, we must do our part to help their families.

Image result for Rosmah MansorShahrizat’s Mentor  FLOM Rosmah Mansor

 

And we must use the power of our citizenship to vote against those who abuse our trust. Make no mistake, when those who expose abuse are jailed and scoundrels go free (as so many have over the years), our democracy is diminished and tyranny empowered.

Image result for edmund burke quotes

To stay silent, to do nothing in the face of such injustice, is to become accomplices to our own oppression.

In Conversation with Tukatube’s Hishamuddin Rais


February 13, 2018

In Conversation with Tukatube’s  Hishamuddin Rais

By Rosli Khan

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

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Hishamuddin Rais–A Civil Society Icon and Malaysian Rebel with  a Cause.

Meeting Hishamuddin Rais is always a refreshing experience and a candid affair, both rolled into one. As a social activist and critic, Hisham is not only knowledgeable and a forward-looking thinker, he is also equally at ease in digging out his past and colourful experiences. Our lunchtime conversation last week, however, centred on politics, another subject matter on which he has strong opinions.

Never a disappointment, Hisham is always full of new ideas. He strongly advocated that a number of well-known Malaysian bloggers, political writers and social critics be given seats to contest in GE14 by Pakatan Harapan component parties.

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He argued that what they have written over the online media and the number of followers that they command are sufficient considerations to determine their acceptance and popularity among voters. Meanwhile politicians, more often than not, tend to toe their party lines and speak up only when their leaders say so, especially on controversial social issues.

Hisham singled out Zaid Ibrahim, an old friend from his student demonstration days, as a good example due to his popular site, ZaidGeist.com He appeared firm and very serious about the three popular electronic media operators that tend to focus only on three bloggers for political news: Dr Mahathir Mohamad (chedet.cc), The Scribe Kadir Jasin (kadirjasin.blogspot.com ) and ZaidGeist (www.zaid.com).

ZaidGeist, which contains Zaid’s writings on current political and social issues, has proven to be a very popular site and going by the comments, it seems to resonate with the current thinking and political outlook of readers.

Image result for Zaid Ibrahim

From UMNO to PKR and on to DAP

As a matter of fact, Zaid has been consistently true to his beliefs and principles, according to Hisham. Hisham’s measure of Zaid’s consistency, taken from their student demonstration days in the 1970s when he first met Zaid, the events that led to his resignation as a minister in 2008 and his writings on many topics, views on politics and social development ideas that continue until today, represent a man of zero deviation from the basic principles he has espoused from then until today.

For his consistent beliefs and principles, Hisham argued that DAP should give Zaid a comfortable parliamentary seat in GE14.

Anti-Malay tag

DAP, of which Zaid has been a member since Febeuary 7, 2017, is busy preparing for GE14.

Image result for Kit Siang and Dr. Maa

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and DAP’s Lim Kit Siang–Strange Thing happens in Politics. A foe yesterday, an ally today. Common purpose –getting rid of corrupt Najib–brought these two giants of Malaysia together.

As a party, DAP has suffered from a mismatch of identity, poor perception and wrong publicity due to adverse propaganda by government parties. A common perception is that DAP is a Chinese-based party, the leaders only look after Chinese voters and their interests, and worst and perhaps most damaging of all, that DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

Even though DAP has consistently had more Indian MPs than MIC at any given time, no one sees DAP as an Indian party.

The fact that DAP has had a few Malays in the party as state assemblymen in the past does not seem to count. Several Malays who won under DAP tickets in the past include politicians such as:

  • Ibrahim Singgeh, DUN Tapah Road, Perak (1969)
  • Hassan Ahmad, DUN Si Rusa, Negeri Sembilan (1969)
  • Daing Ibrahim, DUN Pasir Puteh, Perak (1974)
  • Mohd Salleh Nakhoda Itam, DUN Guntong, Perak (1974, 1978)
  • Fadzlan Yahaya for Pasir Bedamar, Perak (1982, 1986 and 1990 for Lahat)
  • Mohd Asri Othman DUN Dermawan, Perak (1990)
  • Ahmad Nor, first Malay DAP MP, Bayan Baru, Penang (1990)
  • Mohd Ariff Sabri, second Malay DAP MP, Raub, Pahang (2013)
  • Zairil Khir Johari, third Malay DAP MP, Bukit Bendera, Penang (2013)
  • Tg Zulpuri, Mentakab, Pahang (2013)
Image result for Zairil Khir JohariMP Zairil Khir Johari (DAP)
A tragic truth is that there was a 23-year gap between Ahmad Nor (1990), as the first Malay MP from DAP and the second and third, Ariff Sabri (Raub) and Zairil (Bukit Bendera) respectively, who contested and won in 2013.
Image result for Ariff SabriFrom UMNO to DAP

 

 

For many Malay supporters, the fact remains that with the exception of those three, there have not been many prominent Malay leaders joining the party. Many of the state assemblymen in the list above have been seen as a token representation of the Malay community when compared to the number of Indian or Chinese MPs or state assemblymen in DAP since 1969.

Fault finding is easy. As there was no internet then and the mainstream media was government-controlled, DAP succumbed to an onslaught of UMNO’s propaganda. The repeated lies, as rightly pointed out by Nazi strategist Joseph Goebbels, and probably copied by UMNO’s strategists, stuck badly on the party. DAP, which also controlled most of the urban seats including those in Sabah and Sarawak, could not get the chauvinistic Chinese party tag off its back.

Image result for Ahmad Nor of DAP

Ahmad Nor, the First Malay MP for DAP, honored by Penang

But now, 28 years after Ahmad Nor became the first Malay MP for DAP, in an age of internet technology, a more educated group of readers and obviously in an era of a failed BN government tainted with corruption and financial scandals, DAP’s struggles and fight against corruption, embezzlement and injustice seem to be seen in a better light.

DAP leaders, therefore, should seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get rid of the monkey on their backs, once and for all. A major publicity campaign to introduce a top Malay leader into the GE14 arena could nullify this racial slur and at the same time correct the racial imbalance in the party leadership.

DAP must not only be seen as trying to rectify this particular issue, it must be seen as taking a big step towards correcting this major flaw in the projection of several intellectually-minded and capable Malay leaders, of whom Zaid is one of them.

Iskandar parliamentary seat

If the news about fielding Zaid in Gelang Patah (to be called Iskandar in GE14) is true, then YB Lim Kit Siang has indeed made a very bold and honourable move to end this anti-Malay tag that has been hanging around DAP’s neck for so long.

This strategy, coming from a top leader in the party, will be seen by many voters as him making a big sacrifice in order to promote a Malay leader within DAP. This form of sacrifice will lead DAP into the hearts and minds of many Malay voters not only in Iskandar, but also throughout Johor and possibly the whole country.

Such a tactical move will reflect positively on the sincerity and trust of the DAP leadership, two formidable qualities that will touch the emotions of many Malays. In one stroke, Lim would turn the Malay doubts in him into trust, and suspicion into sincerity. This would be a major boost to DAP. How could you continue to be branded as anti-Malay or anti-Islam with such a big sacrifice being made to honour a Malay candidate?

This strategy must be fully supported by other DAP leaders, big and small, a reflection of their seriousness in winning the Malay votes and support. At the same time, the party’s publicity machinery must also be geared towards this objective.

Why Zaid?

According to Hisham, for many obvious reasons: Zaid is a successful Malay lawyer albeit an entrepreneur who built the biggest law firm in the country. As a lawyer, he is a person of high repute and high moral character (which is indeed very rare in Malaysian politics). A liberal-minded person, he is clearly endowed with a non-racist disposition and fights for all Malaysians regardless of race or creed. He is a Malaysian first and not part of the old race-based party politics.

In UMNO for instance, it seems that the more racist a leader is, the more support the person can command from the members. DAP is certainly not like that, which means a person of Zaid’s stature could progress further.

In parallel, DAP leaders must demonstrate their true commitment to the Malaysian Malaysia concept by:

  • Fielding more Malay candidates in the GE14
  • Ensuring that a few of the semi-urban seats where Malay voters are in the minority are given to Malay candidates to fight against BN candidates.

This would be similar to the approach adopted by BN where seats which have had Malay majorities were given to MCA or MIC candidates to contest. Examples of such seats are Tapah, Cameron Highlands, Hulu Selangor, Bentong and of course the famous Air Hitam in Johor.

If Malay voters voted for MCA or MIC candidates in the past, why can’t Chinese voters vote for Malay (DAP) candidates? As Hisham put it, Malay voters are no different from others. The significance of sincerity and trust factors play an important part in their psyche and logic, in the same way that they now no longer trust Umno and BN. There is no better time than now for DAP to start the ball rolling.

Rosli Khan is an FMT reader.

Soft Barriers to Malay Participation In Commerce


February 12, 2018

Soft Barriers to Malay Participation In Commerce

by Dr. M. Bakri Musa, Morgan-Hill, California
Image result for The Malays

The Malays are not hardworking, says Dr. Mahathir

Soft barriers to active participation in the money economy are especially pronounced in societies that still exist in or have just exited from the peasantry and subsistence living. That is Malay society at the time of colonization. It is still true for a vast segment even today. The concept of money and the “money economy” is alien to them. Money was equated with greed and unbridled materialism, not a suitable topic in polite conversations. To ask for the monetary value of anything or service was tantamount to insulting its owner or provider. Monetary value was only for showing off your social status as with how much was your dowry or car.

The traditional trading activities in such societies are primitive, restricted to bartering. The worth of such exchanges, as with trading a few coconuts for fixing a leaky roof, is not with the economic value of the coconuts or the repairing of the roof, rather the goodwill generated, one fellow villager helping another.

One can imagine the difficulty members of such a society would have in adjusting to a money economy. If this were to be imposed from the outside world, as with colonialism, free-flow immigration, or unrestrained globalization, the difficulties in adjusting would be compounded.

Typically that society would react in one of two ways. It either withdraws, effectively declaring that it does not want anything to do with this alien value system, or else it blindly embraces the new system enthusiastically and uncritically.

The first reaction is seen in many Muslim countries, and I will pursue this further in the section, “Imprisoned by Religion.” We also see this with North American Indians, India under Nehru, and today’s Myanmar.

With the second, what typically happens is the absorption of only the superficialities and excesses, as can be seen in the immediate post-Mao period of China. After spurning the outside world, China suddenly changed under Deng Xiaoping. In mature capitalistic societies such as America and Western Europe, there is an effective taxation system with redistributionist elements, and where philanthropy is an honored tradition which have evolved and been perfected over time.

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A Towering Malay–A Role Model for Young Malays on how to lie and be utterly corrupt

In China (as in many Third World societies) you are considered stupid if you do not conceal your income from the government and cheat on your taxes. As for charity, when Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, two billionaires known for their charitable deeds as much as their capitalistic instincts, visited China to interest its newly rich in philanthropy, the pair were greeted with silence if not derision. America has its Dukes and Stanfords, elite universities that are testaments to the generosities of their capitalist titans. China has none as yet, and possibly never will.

It is the rare society that gets it right immediately. The hope is that it will learn and stabilize eventually. Otherwise those excesses would lead to instability. The Chinese leadership today is very much aware of the severe negative consequences to the excesses and flamboyance of its politburo members and their children, especially when displayed abroad. There is as yet no such abhorrence with the excesses, corrupton, and flamboyance of the Malay elite–our sultans and UMNOputras.

It was only a generation or two ago that Malay society was deep in its subsistence and agrarian mode, typical of the kampong lifestyle. Most Malays lived off the land, and gotong-royong (communal effort) was the norm; bartering or trading of goods and services were strange concepts. Instead you helped each other, with no financial considerations.

With the coming of colonial rule and with it, capitalism, Malays were thrown into the money economy precipitously without any transition. The later influx of immigrants further compounded the issue. The immigrants by default and out of necessity had to adapt to the money economy to survive; they had no social or physical support system as with Malays and our kampong lifestyle. This earlier entry into the money economy by the immigrant population conferred significant advantages vis a vis the native peasant population.

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The Wira Melayu (The Malay Hero) heading towards extinction

 

It was no surprise that Malays, specifically those in UMNO, at the dawn of our country’s independence were clearly anti-capitalistic, except for its top leader, Tunku Abdul Rahman, who remained unabashedly committed to capitalism. To those in UMNO during its infancy, the term kaum kapitalis was derogatory, comparable and perhaps synonymous with kaum kolonialist (colonialist class/hordes). That soon changed when they saw the tangible results of profits and wealth. This Malay embrace of capitalism was accelerated under Mahathir.

Like the Chinese in China today, Malays embrace only the primitive or animalistic form of capitalism, its raw and exploitative version, and the associated quick bucks and short-term mindset. Also akin to modern China, corruption, collusion, and influence peddling rapidly became the norm.

If those are not formidable enough obstacles, then there is yet another significant “soft” barrier to Malay entry into commerce–our religion, or more accurately our particular and myopic interpretation of the Koran and Hadith (sayings and practices of Prophet Muhammad, s.a.w.).

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The New Malay (as defined by the Malaysian Constitution)

I believe that Islam is fully consistent with and supportive of the ideals and practices of capitalism. Nothing in my reading tells me otherwise. After all, our Prophet Muhammad, s.a.w. (May Allah bless his soul) was a successful trader before receiving his prophethood. That reflected the profession’s high standing with Allah as much as His appraisal of the man.

One thing is certain; Islam cannot be supportive of atheistic communism or its close cousin, socialism. It is true that the egalitarian ideals of socialism may appeal and indeed have to many Muslims and can be construed as being consistent with those of Islam. On closer reading however, equality is not the ideal of Islam; indeed that would be against human nature. Allah in his wisdom has created us in all our diversities, with different skin colors, speaking different languages, and having diverse cultures. He has also endowed us with different talents and abilities.

Image result for oliver wendell holmes on equality

Equality in such a setting would be an elusive goal, as well as a cruel illusion. Those in power would determine what equality would mean. In America at the time of the declaration of independence, the “We, the people” phrase in the preamble of its constitution for whom “equality” would apply were restricted to only tax-paying white males. They alone were entitled to vote and have the protection of the constitution. Slaves, women, and those who did not own land were excluded. Only later was that “equality” extended to them.

Likewise with meritocracy; those already in power would determine what attributes are considered meritorious.  Meritocracy as a concept could easily be used to justify continued suppression and denial of opportunities to others not currently favored.

Islam emphasizes justice, not equality. We cannot treat an orphan in the same “equal” manner as the son of a privileged family. That would be the height of injustice. Indeed to be just, we should do more for the orphan, which would also be the right thing to do. The great American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes said it best, “It is a wise man who said that there is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of people who are unequal.”

It is easy for today’s observers, Muslims included, to conclude that Islam is against capitalism, or at least wealth creation and accumulation. Muslim countries, even those blessed with abundant natural resources like oil and gas, are over represented in the poor and deprived category. In Malaysia, Malays, who by statutory definitions are Muslims, lag behind the other races in all socioeconomic indices. That there was a time when Muslims were ahead of the curve has been all but forgotten, and if recalled, only for syok sendiri (self-gratification) exercises and not as a learning opportunity.

Capitalism is not un-Islamic. On the contrary, many of the practices and consequences of capitalism are very much in tune with the aspirations of our faith. Both capitalism and Islam are very adaptive. If the communist Chinese could adopt capitalism and imbue it with Chinese characteristics and sensibilities, and in the process emancipate hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty, I fail to see why we cannot do the same. Meaning, imbue capitalism with Islamic characteristics.

Dr. Mahathir leads Pakatan Harapan but his Heart and Soul is with UMNO


February 23, 2018

Dr. Mahathir leads Pakatan Harapan but his Heart and Soul is with UMNO

By Karamjit Gill

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Image result for tun dr mahathir mohamad ppbm

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad– My Heart and soul is with UMNO, but  he leads the Political Opposition. It is paradoxical, Mr. Watson

“Furthermore, Dr Mahathir should be reminded… that he singlehandedly destroyed the independence, impartiality and professionalism not only of the judiciary, but also of other important national institutions like the police, the Election Commission, the anti-corruption agency and the civil service.” -Lim Kit Siang, February 2015

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DAP’s Nelson Mandela–Shall we christen him Madiba Lim? What he wouldn’t do for Politics and Power.

It is heartbreaking to watch whistleblowers being punished while perpetrators walk scot-free. Rafizi Ramli’s jail sentence for revealing dirty secrets is a crushing blow to transparency. However, what can we do?

 

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Doing something ethically right but lawfully wrong is a punishable offence. Such occurrences happen in developed nations as well. Remember the case of Cyntoia Brown in America? Brown is still serving her life imprisonment sentence for killing a 43-year-old child predator in self-defence, who “bought” her when she was 16 years old to fulfil his lust for sex. Last year, this 2004 case picked up steam again on social media with A-list celebrities calling for her release. Although Brown’s lawyers recently filed for an appeal, she is still sitting behind bars.

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Selangor Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali hopes Rafizi Ramli will be released from jail for the sake of PKR solidarity

Leaders and supporters from the opposition coalition would call Rafizi’s sentencing a political move, although some within Pakatan itself would be glad. We often hear Pakatan leaders crying foul on the alleged non-independence of the judiciary. The important question is when did this impartiality of the judiciary start?

Such menace in the system was started by none other than their own Prime Minister candidate Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. But they have forgiven him for everything. Hence, they have forgiven him for meddling with the Judiciary as well. So, why cry now when you have forgiven and forgotten everything Mahathir did?

The gibberish excuse Pakatan leaders give today is that they are using Mahathir to win the Malay support, and Mahathir is only there to take down Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Is Mahathir really there to take Najib down and would he be willing to step down thereafter? Although it is proclaimed so by the opposition and apparently agreed upon by Mahathir behind closed doors, do any of Mahathir’s actions speak the same language?

Mahathir intends to recreate another Proton and says Pakatan may do so if it forms the government despite Lim Kit Siang saying numerous times in the past that Malaysia should not be venturing into the automotive industry. Will Lim suddenly change his stand now? Lim’s silence on Mahathir’s plan is deafening.

Most recently, Mahathir said he needs a couple of years to supposedly correct the current government’s wrongdoings. Wait a minute. Two years as Prime Minister and nobody from Pakatan is saying anything? What happened to getting a royal pardon for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and vacating the seat? Are you going to argue and say that the entire process will take at least two years and therefore Mahathir will be Prime Minister till then? Hence, Mahathirism can continue and all the supposed agreements will be thrown out of the window and again you will come and say sorry later?

Two years would be more than enough for Mahathir to ensure that his son moves up the political ladder.

Mahathir quit UMNO citing disgust over Tun Abdullah Badawi. His war was not with UMNO. He was against Badawi. Once Badawi quit, Mahathir and his wife happily rejoined UMNO in 2009. Upon rejoining UMNO, Mahathir said, “Although I was out of UMNO, my heart and soul were in UMNO.” Be assured that Mahathir’s soul is still with UMNO. His war is against Najib.

By the slimmest chance, if Mahathir does become Prime Minister and is pushed to resign, he will take his loyal supporters and rejoin UMNO with his teary wife probably expressing affection for UMNO again. Then what will Pakatan do? Call for another street demonstration and condemn Mahathir in another U-turn?

History tells us that street demonstrations with Mahathir at the helm will never be as peaceful as when Najib is at the top. Water cannons, physical abuse and arrests will be in abundance. Why should we Malaysians be used as political pawns when the opposition keeps messing up and shooting itself in the foot?

Personally, the opposition has already lost the election before it begins. Their defeat commenced the day they foolishly decided to make Mahathir their leader and Prime Minister designate.

An analytical paper was published in the Journal of East Asian Studies in 2015, titled “The 2013 Malaysian Elections”. Data analyses clearly showed that non-Bumiputera votes in rural and semi-urban areas were the key to BN’s victory despite having less than 50% support from Bumiputera voters, even in rural constituencies.

With Mahathir becoming the next Prime Minister, non-Bumiputera votes may increase in favour of BN. As for the Bumiputera votes, PAS being out of the coalition and becoming the third force will definitely split any extra support for the opposition with Mahathir’s inclusion.

Besides “Bangladeshi voters” and a power blackout hypothesis that has never been proven and was said to have never occurred by DAP’s own election strategist Ong Kian Ming, the opposition should start thinking about new fabricated excuses to comfort themselves once the elections are done and dusted. It was an absolute abhorrent idea to work with Mahathir.

Karamjit Gill is an FMT reader.