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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Proposal: expand cake increase Malay quantum

I am sick of hearing all the quarrels over the 30% in public listed company for Malays. I propose that we just concentrate on increasing the cake and this will allow the Malays to get richer and not worry about the percentage. I did not state it properly. Maybe I will give it further thoughts and rephrase it later.

Najib buys billion ringgit helicopters sight unseen

Abu Saman Yusop Defence Deputy MinisterWell, almost. The Malaysian government and the Defense Ministry (Najib was the Defense Minister) had wanted to purchase 12 helicopters from Eurocopter at RM1.6 million (that is RM1.6 x 12 = RM19.2 million) without even bothering to inspect them. It probably would have happened if not for the hue and cry raised by the public and the oppositions. And the price. Is it RM1.2million per helicopter or RM1.6million. Apparently, they are not even sure of the price
Would you buy a RM50,000, or maybe RM60,000 (not sure) car sight unseen? Well, the Malaysian government, would going by what is revealed by the probe by PAC. Abu Seman Yusop, the Deputy Defense Minister admitted it during a his Budget 2009 winding-up speech in the Malaysian Parliament.

The news was reported in Malaysiakini. Would it be reported in theStar? I doubt it. This piece of news is still missing from theStar online. Let us see if it gets reported tomorrow,

MCA: Ali Rustam UMNO dictates. MCA don't count

To all MCA officials and members. Ali Rustam said UMNO must dictate government policies. That means MCA doesn't count. MCA is in Barisan Nasional as wall paper for decorations. You can make all the noise you want it wouldn't make any difference because UMNO will tell you what to do. Where is your dignity?

Source: Malaysiakini

Saturday, October 25, 2008

MCA toothless tiger empty vessel

MCA made a lot of noise about the ISA (Internal Security Act) but when it comes to action - zilch! Zero! No action. Did any of their MPs sign the petition urging the prime minister to prioritise the debate on the Internal Security Act? No. Not a single MCA MP sign the petition. So all the noise they made against the ISA is hot air, hogwash. MCA is a toothless tiger. An empty vessel making the loudest noise not accompanied by action. I have given up completely on MCA. MCA is history. They can be consigned to the rubbish bin for all I care.

Billy Abit Jol MP for Hulu Rajang and vice-president of Parti Rakyat SarawakHere is one MP who is not an empty vessel. This is Billy Abit Jol, MP for Hulu Rajang and vice-president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak. This the the only BN (Barisan Nasional) MP who signed the petition to press Abdullah Badawi for a debate on the ISA. The other MPs who signed the petition were 2 independents and the rest are from Pakatan Rakyat.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Najib Abdul Razak according to Wikipedia

Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak (born July 23, 1953, in Kuala Lipis, Pahang) is a Malaysian politician, who has been the country's Deputy Prime Minister since January 7, 2004. Najib is a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and is currently the Deputy President of the party.

Personal life of Najib Abdul Razak

Najib is the eldest son of Abdul Razak, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, and a nephew of Hussein Onn, the third Prime Minister of Malaysia. He was first married to Tengku Puteri Zainah Tengku Eskandar; but is currently married to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. He has three sons, Nizar (born 1978), Nazifuddin and Norashman, and two daughters, Puteri Norlisa and Nooryana Najwa.

Najib received his primary and secondary education at St. John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur. He also attended Malvern College, Worcestershire, England and subsequently attended the University of Nottingham, where we received a bachelor's degree in industrial economics in 1974.

Najib holds the title of Orang Kaya Inderapura of Pahang.

Political career

UMNO

As a candidate for UMNO, Najib was first elected to the Dewan Rakyat in 1976, representing the parliamentary constituency of Pekan in an uncontested election after the death of his father. At the age of 23, Najib was also the youngest member of parliament to be elected.

Within the ranks of UMNO, Najib was first appointed as the head of UMNO Youth's Pekan branch and as a member of UMNO Youth's Executive Council (Exco) in 1976. Beginning 1981, he was selected as a member of UMNO's Supreme Council, before winning the post of vice president of UMNO Youth in 1982, succeeding Mokhtar Hashim following his decision to vacant the post.

In 1987, Najib was announce as the Pemangku Ketua Pergerakan of UMNO Youth by Anwar Ibrahim after Anwar was asked to contest for the post of Vice President of UMNO. Following the complete reorganisation and founding of the "New" UMNO by Mahathir Mohamad in the aftermath of the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis, Najib was appointed president of UMNO Youth in 1988.

By 1993, Najib was elected as one of six vice presidents of UMNO in response to Anwar's decision to contest as the deputy president of UMNO. Najib continued to defend his post in party elections held in 1993, 1996 and 2000.

Cabinet member

Early career in Cabinet

Throughout his political career, Najib held a variety of ministerial portfolios (the first at the age of 32), culminating in the post of Minister of Defense before being chosen as the Deputy Prime Minister by Abdullah Badawi. Najib was first assigned into the Cabinet of Malaysia at the age of 25 when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Post in 1978, becoming the youngest deputy minister in the country.

Najib would go on to assume a myriad of posts in the Cabinet, including the Deputy Minister of Education, the Deputy Minister of Finance, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (and its split successor, the Minister of Youth and Sports), the Minister of Education, the Minister of Defense, and the Minister of Finance beginning September 17, 2008.

Minister of Defense

Problems with National Service



The Malaysian National Service, the brainchild of Najib Razak, has been plagued with poor management right from its inception.[2] As of May 2008, there have been 16 deaths in the Malaysian National Service.[3] Earlier in 2007, when queried by the press on these deaths, Najib was quoted as saying that "only" 14 children have died, in an attempt to minimize the bad press being received for these deaths.[4] When recently pressured by more calls to suspend the program due to the 16th death, Najib responded that it was not feasible to stop the program since "many parties are involved".[5]

Eurocopter deal

Malaysia Today posted an article entitled "Eurocopter" featuring a letter purportedly from Datuk Zahar Hashim, the chairman of Mentari Services Sdn Bhd, the local representatives for a Russian helicopter company with a series of allegations. The letter alleges irregularities in the recent award to Eurocopter for the supply of 12 new aircraft to replace the ageing Sikorsky S-61A-4 "Nuri" fleet of the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The letter claims the award was given to Eurocopter even though it was the most expensive of all the companies which submitted tenders. It was claimed that Eurocopter's bid was more than RM1.4 billion over that of the lowest bidder and that there was no proper evaluation done by the Defense Ministry. A Letter of Intent was signed by a mid-ranking officer in the ministry just two days before Najib switched portfolios and moved from the Defense Ministry to the Finance Ministry.[6][7]

Issues of succession

In many of the controversies about him, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi identified Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Razak on 6th April, 2008 as his probable successor in line with the ruling party's tradition of political succession.[8] Because of his implied involvement in the controversial Altantuya case, the court trial has gone through numerous irregularities and delays [9]. Even former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir predicted that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will never allow his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take over as Prime Minister. He said that although Abdullah promises that Najib would succeed him by 2010, allegations would be hurled against the deputy prime minister before then to show up his inability to take over.[10]

Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) report was lodged by veteran Selangor Umno leader Datuk Mazlan Harun in August against Najib Razak and Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi for alleged abuse of power. Mazlan had said the report was based on a letter written by Petaling Jaya Selatan Umno division head Kapt (R) Datuk Zahar Hashim which accused the two of "political corruption of the highest order." In the letter addressed to the Umno secretary-general, Zahar said the two top leaders had been campaigning to defend their positions despite asking others not to do the same, adding their actions had violated guidelines issued by party headquarters.[11] On 8 October, 2008 Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced he would step down in March 2009 paving the way for Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak to succeed him. However he said the onus was on Najib to win party elections set for March before he could take over.[12][13]

Other posts

In addition to positions held in the federal government, Najib served as the Menteri Besar (Chief Executive) of Pahang between 1982 and 1986, becoming the youngest Menteri Besar in the state to enter office when he was sworn in at the age of 29.

Najib was also appointed chairman of the Livestock Development Institute (Lembaga Kemajuan Penternakan, Majuternak).

Controversies

1987 Kampung Baru rally

In the midst of UMNO's internal crisis in 1987, a rally by UMNO Youth led by Najib was held in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Anti-Chinese sentiments were expressed openly during the rally with placard carrying slogans like "May 13 has begun", and "Soak (the kris) in Chinese blood". This precipitated existing ethnic tensions leading to fears of a repeat of inter-ethnic violence and eventually resulted in a security operation known as Operasi Lalang, where administrative detentions were made on hundreds of individuals.

UMNO was also declared illegal in early 1988, allowing then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to consolidate his power with the establishment of a new party that assumed the name of the previously banned UMNO. The newly formed party excluded those who had previously challenged Mahathir's authority within the party.[15]

Statement on Malaysia as an Islamic state

In keeping in line with UMNO's strategy of politicizing racial and religious issues [16], Najib declared on August 2007 that Malaysia has "never been secular because being secular by Western definition means separation of the Islamic principles of in the way we govern the country."[17]

Murder of Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa

Main article: Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa

He had a close aide, Abdul Razak Baginda, who was involved in a high-profile murder case of a Mongolian woman[18], Altantuya Shaaribuu. In a statutory declaration in his sedition trial in June 2008, Raja Petra accused Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (his wife) of being one of three individuals who was present at the crime scene when Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered on Oct 19, 2006,[19] adding Najib's wife, Rosmah Mansor, and Acting Colonel Aziz Buyong and his wife, Norhayati, Rosmah's aide-de-camp, were present at the scene of the murder; Raja further wrote Aziz Buyong was the individual who placed C4 plastic explosive on Altantuya's body and blew it up.[20]

Shaariibuu Setev, the father of murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, has asked the police to conduct a thorough investigation into an allegation by Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin. He said the police should look seriously into the allegation by Raja Petra as it might provide them with fresh evidence.[21] In retaliation, the two people named in Raja Petra Kamarudin’s statutory declaration on June 18, Lt-Col Aziz Buyong and his wife Lt-Col Norhayati Hassan, as having been present at the murder scene of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu are suing the Malaysia Today editor for defamation. Aziz is seeking an apology from Raja Petra to be published in certain websites and newspapers, the removal of the statutory declaration from his blog and damages of RM1 million.[22]

Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal, a private investigator hired by Abdul Razak, testified in a statutory declaration that Abdul Razak had told him that Najib had had a sexual relationship with Altantuya, introduced her to Abdul Razak, and made arrangements to protect Abdul Razak from the murder trial. All mention of Najib's involvement had been removed from Balasubramaniam's testimony under police interrogation and not brought up in the murder trial [23]. Soon after Balasubramaniam made a retraction of the statutory declaration that he made on July 1 and replaced it with one that erased all traces of allegations with references to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder. There were accusations that this new statutory declaration could have been due to intimidation or inducement, and was done not of his own free will. His lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu said he was not able to get in touch with Bala despite repeated phone calls.[24] The Malaysian police said on Sunday 6 July that they have asked Interpol to help find the private investigator who has been reported missing since making explosive claims linking the deputy premier to a murder. Bala's nephew has filed a missing person's report, saying the investigator and his family had disappeared. [25] It was discovered on July 10 that Balasubramaniam's house in Taman Pelangi here has been broken into but police have yet to ascertain whether anything was stolen. Balasubramaniam is said to have taken refuge in a neighbouring country with his wife and children.[26]

On July 22, 2008, in light of the new declarations lawyer Karpal Singh filed a notice of motion to call Najib and three others to testify in the trial for the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. Karpal who holds a watching brief for Altantuya's family, also sought to recall private detective P. Balasubramaniam who was the first prosecution witness in the trial. Karpal also wanted all proceedings with regard to the trial to be postponed pending the disposal of his application. [27] On 23 July 2008 the High Court rejected a petition by lawyer Karpal Singh to obtain testimony from Najib, dealing a blow to the opposition's efforts to link Najib to the 2006 killing of translator Altantuya Shaariibuu. In rejecting the application, High Court judge Mohd Zaki said Karpal, who is holding a watching brief for victim Altantuya's family, has no locus standi or is in no position to make the application. He mentioned only the parties involved, namely the prosecution and the defense, have the right to do so.[28][29]

Even behind bars under ISA detention, Raja Petra's website Malaysia Today carried a report detailing allegations on an exchange of text messages between Najib and Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda before he was charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of the Altantunya. The SMSes, which went on from 8 November to 2 December, 2006 raises some questions over the handling of the murder case and suggests that Najib took a strong interest in the investigation from the beginning.[30]

Alleged Hindu practitioner

On 22 August 2008, Najib publicly swore according to Islam at Masjid Jamek Guar Perahu that he never knew murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, nor had anything to do with her. The deputy prime minister said: "Even though this is not an official oath on the Quran: Wallahi, Wabillahi, Watallahi, I never knew nor had anything to do with the Mongolian woman Altantuya." [31] Raja Petra, who has vowed to deny Najib a chance to be Prime Minister, put up the sworn statement on this Malaysia Today website by Thagarajoo Thangavelu who claimed to be a driver for businessman Datuk Kenneth Eswaran and formerly for politician Datuk K.S. Nallakaruppan in a posting titled "Najib: Muslim by birth, Hindu by practice". In the statutory declaration dated Aug 22 and made in Kuala Lumpur, Thagarajoo claimed Eswaran was a close friend of Najib and had brought a Hindu priest from Kerala named Mr. Ji to perform rituals regularly at the deputy prime minister's private residence in Jalan Duta and also at the official residence in Putrajaya. He also claimed that the priest had performed similar rituals before the 2007 Ijok by-election to ensure Barisan Nasional's victory and also to prevent Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from marrying Jeanne Abdullah.[32][33]

Alleged political conspiracy against Anwar Ibrahim

On 30 June 2008, Najib denied any personal involvement in the alleged political conspiracy against former deputy premier Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, including a police report alleging Anwar committed sodomy against his former aide. He said the picture of his aide Khairil Anas Yusof with the alleged sodomy victim Saiful Bukhari Azlan at his office had been taken three months ago when the latter, in his capacity as a student leader, came to his office to seek a scholarship.[34] However, on 1 July 2008, Najib mentioned that he met Saiful at his residence a few days before the Saiful made the police report on Anwar. Najib also said that Saiful wanted to reveal that he had been sodomised by Anwar.[35] Raja Petra contended that a friend had accompanied Saiful to a meeting with Najib before charges against Anwar were made public, implying that the new charges against Anwar had been trumped up.[36] It was alledged by Federal Territory Mosque imam Ramlang Porigi that Najib's special officer Assoc Prof Khairil Annas Jusoh asked him to witness the oath-taking at the mosque on 15 August 2008 by Saiful that Anwar sodomised him. Ramlang was the witness at the Federal Territory Mosque in Jalan Duta on August 15 when Mohd Saiful Bukhari took an oath to demonstrate he was telling the truth when he accused Anwar of having sodomised him.[37]

Source: Wikipedia: Najib Abdul Razak

Socialist Republic Sarawak Anti Barisan Nasional meeting

We will be holding our first meeting in Mukah. Yes Mukah and right in the birth place of Taib Mahmud and also the place where our corrupt and terrorist BN in Sarawak was born.

We have enough manpower in our Ranks to give the Sarawak BN a good fight afterall the Tsunami of March 08 started in Urban Sarawak and we are now bringing our fight to the rural areas where BN think the rakyat can be bullied and bought.

Anyone who wish to attend this meeting please contact me at 086484225 and 0198884836.

Our first meeting will be held at Kpg Lintang Balingian, Mukah, Sarawak.
We are self funding group and only receive token donations from anti government activist locally and overseas.

If you feel this government have been fair, do not contact us. We invite all opressed Citizens of Malaysia to come forward and support our cause.

Luke Siaw Lu Tiong
Commisar Socialist Republic Sarawak
Kpg Lintang
Balingan
Sarawak

Monday, October 20, 2008

Najib Manifesto Racial: my Malaysian Status?

Update: Malaysiakini has reported that the manifesto is from a support group and is not official.

Photo of Najib Abd. Razak courtesy of Malaysiakini


Najib Abdullah the Malaysian Prime Minister to be???? revealed his manifesto today which unfortunately do not seem to indicate that if he ever succeed to become the Prime Minister, he will not be a Prime Minister for ALL MALAYSIANS. The part which caused me to think so is:

"I will defend the supremacy of the Malays until the last drop of my blood if I win the mandate of the delegates to become the next Umno president at election to be held in March 2009. This is the solemn promise I made to my late father before he died,”


This bit coming from a Deputy Prime Minister is very discouraging to me, a non-Malay born and bred in Malaysia with no other country to call my motherland other than Malaysia. Well is Malay Supremacy is of paramount importance here, where do I stand as a non-Malay Malaysian? Am I a second class or third class Malaysian? Is my status as a Malaysian secondary to those Malaysians who migrated to Malaysia from Indonesia or those born to Indonesian migrants but considered as a Malay?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

21st Anniversary Operasi Lalang: Mass arrest under ISA


Say NO TO ISA


Tomorrow, 19th October, is the 21st Anniversary of Operation Lalang (Operasi Lalang or Ops Lalang) during which 106 persons were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the publishing licenses of two dailies, The Star and the Sin Chew Jit Poh and two weeklies, The Sunday Star and Watan, were revoked. To commemorate that infamous even, a black mark in Malaysia's history, GMI (Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA) and AI (Amnestry International) is organizing this event:

21st Anniversary Operasi Lalang
A Shameful History of the
I Simply Arrest (ISA)


Venue: Open Space at Prangin Mall (Beside/Outside Starbucks)
Date: 19 Oct 2008
Time: 12noon - 10pm
Organiser: GMI Penang and AI

NOTE: Prangin Mall is also know as Perangin Mall

Programme:
Exhibition: Know More About Operasi Lalang
Video Screening: Know More About ISA
Band Performance: 12noon - 1pm / 3pm - 4pm / 5.30pm - 6.30pm

Special Guest!!!!!

Operasi Lalang was carried out by Mahathir's Barisan Nasional Government on October 27, 1987 by the Malaysian Police to crack down on opposition leaders and social activists. The Operasi Lalang saw the infamous arrest of 106 persons under Internal Security Act (ISA).

Location Map: Prangin Mall (click map to enlarge):


location Prangin Mall @ Perangin Mall, Jalan Lim Chwee Leong, Penang

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM )
Penang Branch
63B-01-07, University Heights,
Jalan Sungai Dua,
11700 Penang.
Tel / Fax: 04-6582285
E-mail: suarampg@gmail. com
http://suarampg. blogspot. com/

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Islamic State Book Review Bakri Musa

The Islamic state issue is a touchy sensitive topic in Malaysia and if you want to probe deeper into this Islamic state issue, it will be good to read widely on the topic. One of the book that touches on Islam and the Secular State is a book by the same title - Islam And The Secular State: Negotiating The Future of Shari’a, by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim:

[islam+and+secular+state.jpg]


Below is a review of the book by M. Bakri Musa, a Malaysian living in the United States of America:


Book Review: Islam And The Secular State: Negotiating The Future of Shari’a, by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
324 pp, Indexed, US $35.00, 2008.
M. Bakri Musa (www.bakrimusa.com)
Every so often I would read a book that would profoundly affect me. I have yet however, to get two such books written by the same author, that is, until now.
In 1990 I came across a paperback, Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law,” by Abdullahi A. An-Naim. I do not remember what prompted me to browse through let alone buy the book. Its cover design was nondescript, and neither its author nor publisher (University of Syracuse Press) was exactly well known. But bought the book I did, after scanning only a few pages.
Despite being only 255 pages, it took me awhile to finish it. I have read it over many times since. It is not that An-Naim’s prose is dense (far from it!) rather that the ideas he expounds are breathtakingly refreshing. They also appeal to my intellectual understanding of my faith.
That book resurrected my faith in Islam. Brought up under the traditional teachings of my village Imam, I had difficulty reconciling that with the worldview inculcated in me through my Western liberal education. The certitudes that had comforted me as a youngster were becoming increasingly less so as an adult.
I knew however, a religion that gave my parents and grandparents (as well as millions of others) their anchoring stability despite the terrible turbulences in their life must have something substantive to offer. I took that as a matter of faith. It was just that I was not getting the message, until I read An-Naim’s book.
I discovered that many of the issues I had wrestled with were shared with and have been dissected by many great minds in Islam of the past. This realization reassured me. Far from weakening my faith, those doubts ironically strengthened it.
Shari’a: A Human Endeavor
In that earlier book, An-Naim developed further the thesis of his mentor, Sudanese reformer Mahmoud Mohamad Taha, that while the Shari’a was based on the Quran and the Sunnah (sayings and practices of the prophet), nonetheless it remains the works of mortals. As such the Shari’a suffers from all the limitations inherent in such endeavors. It is time to revisit it using the same rigorous intellectual tools used by our earlier scholars, while cognizant of today’s universally accepted norms of constitutionalism, gender equality, and human rights, among others.
That is exactly what An-Naim has been doing with his “The Future of Shari’a Project” at Emory University, Atlanta, where he is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law. Islam And The Secular State: Negotiating The Future of Shari’a is the culmination of his scholarly effort.
Like that earlier book, this one is also a slow read despite being written in highly readable prose. The book is packed with substantive and innovative ideas that require some digesting and much contemplation. An-Naim’s writing is also precise and concise; he conveys in one sentence what others would take two or three, or even a paragraph.
An-Naim is a solid scholar but the book is written for a general audience, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. He uses Arabic phrases sparingly, and there are adequate references in English, Arabic, and other traditionally native Islamic languages including Bahasa (Indonesia).
An-Naim asserts, “The historical reality is that there has never been an Islamic state, from the state of Abu Bakr, the first caliph in Medina, to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and any other state that claims to be Islamic today. This obvious reality is due to the incoherence of the idea itself and the practical impossibility of realizing it, not simply to bad experiments that can be rectified in the future.”
The immediate rebuttal by many Muslims is that there is historical precedent – and a very excellent one – of an Islamic state, that of the first Muslim community in Medinah. Muslims rightly hold that as the ideal, but it cannot possibly be replicated, led as it was by Prophet Muhammad, s.a.w. He was both spiritual and political leader. To have a similar state today would require us to be endowed with another prophet, a blasphemous assumption in Islam.
Not only is an Islamic state not achievable, it is also not desirable. The very idea of an Islamic state, according to An-Naim, is based on later European concept of the nation-state and the law, not on Shari’a or Islamic tradition.
Throughout Islamic (indeed, world) history, there has always been tension between ulamas (and religious establishment generally) versus the state and its rulers, with each trying to use the other to further their own ends. Caliphs and sultans have co-opted ulamas to justify their (rulers’) power, while ulamas are not shy in maximizing the bounty they get from the state from such collaborations. In Malaysia for example, they vie with ministers and mandarins for government-issued worldly trinkets as the plushest bungalows, sleekest sedans, and most exalted royal titles.
A few ulamas have been known to leave their mimbar (pulpit) for political office. Some like Kelantan’s Nik Aziz do not even bother to separate their roles. Islam is actively being subjugated by political rulers while religious functionaries eagerly prostituted themselves to the state.
“As a Muslim, I need a secular state in order to live in accordance with Shari’a out of my own genuine conviction and free choice,” An-Naim declares, “… which is the only valid and legitimate way of being a Muslim. Belief in Islam, or any other religion, logically requires the possibility of disbelief, because belief has no value if it is coerced.”
He goes on, “Maintaining institutional separation between Islam and the state while regulating the permanent connection of Islam and politics is a necessary condition for achieving the positive role of the Shari’a now and in the future.”
Caution here, before hurling the epithets! An-Naim’s “secular” state does not mean the atheistic communist regime of the Soviet Empire where religion is completely vanished from public sphere, rather one where the state is “morally neutral” with respect to religion.
America proudly cites its “strict” separation of state and church. The reality is far different. Prayers are regularly offered at opening sessions of Congress, and as the current presidential campaign demonstrates, religion is never far from voters’ considerations.
Muslims yearn for an Islamic state without having the foggiest idea of what that would entail, except for some vague mumbling about it being based on the Quran, Sunnah, and Shari’a. The reason for the longing is obvious; most so-called Muslim states today fail miserably in the basic task of governing. Worse, they regularly trample with impunity on the basic rights of their citizens.
Perversely, this obsession with the Islamic state detracts these leaders from their basic task of governing, and citizens from taking their leaders to task for this elemental failure. Such fundamental and pressing needs as providing heath care, housing, education, development, and a modicum of freedom are best handled less by fussing over the Shari’a or the Islamic state and more with acquiring the skills of modern management. Today’s Islamists would get closer to achieving their vision of an Islamic state if they would first learn how to build effective and enduring institutions of governance.
Negotiations, Not Religious Fiat
While An-Naim advocates the separation of Islam and Shari’a on one hand from the politics and the state on the other, nonetheless he actively encourages nurturing the relationship between the two, including the state’s regulating the public role of Islam.
This would first involve reexamining the Shari’a. “For Muslims, Shari’a should be known and experienced as a source of liberation and self realization,” writes An-Naim, “not a heavy burden of oppressive restriction and harsh punishment. No action or omission is valid from a Shari’a perspective unless it is completely voluntary, and there is no religious merit in coercive compliance.” The emphasis is mine, and I would have it in huge fonts framed in every JAKIM office!
In its time the Shari’a represented a quantum leap in intellectual as well as juridical achievements. It emancipated women. Whereas before, women were part of her husband’s inheritance, to be disposed off like the rest of his estate; under the Shari’a they were entitled to their own rightful shares.
As that other law professor, Harvard’s Noah Feldman, wrote in his Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, “ … for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world.”
Feldman notes further that with Shari’a the scholars provided the crucial and fundamental checks and balances on the powers of the rulers. This is exactly what is glaringly absent in many Muslim countries today. Consequently, self-professed Islamic states like Iran and Saudi Arabia have more in common with fascist Germany and totalitarian Russia, both in the traits of the regimes as well as the tendencies of their leaders.
It was the genius of those early scholars to be able to reconcile the apparent contradictions in the Quran and Sunnah by resorting to “abrogation,” where certain verses of the Quran “override” earlier ones. With that they formulated a coherent body of laws that had served the community well for centuries. They successfully reconciled the earlier Meccan verses that there be no compulsion in matters of faith to the latter Medinah ones relating to apostasy. Likewise, the latter verses relating to the differential treatment of inheritance between sons and daughters to the earlier verses that declare everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah.
Abrogation was the tool devised by the ancient scholars; it was not a divine mandate. Today’s scholars should likewise use their insights and intellectual prowess to formulate a new Shari’a which should also be based on the Quran and the Sunnah. This is the only basis to make it acceptable to Muslims and not violate our basic beliefs and traditions. Such an exercise must be inclusive, with engagement of the entire community, utilizing the insights from various disciplines.
If we were to incorporate the Shari’a into the laws of our country, the objective of advocates of an Islamic state, such “negotiations,” as An-Naim puts it, must necessarily also include non-Muslims, especially for a plural society like Malaysia. The consequence of this is that the Shari’a formulated for Malaysia would necessarily be different from those for homogenously Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, just like there are significant variations in the Shari’a in the various fighs (jurisprudence) in Islam.
In short, An-Naim separates the concept versus content of Shari’a. The concept is readily apparent: a body of just laws applicable to all based on divine revelations (Quran) and the sunnahs. All Muslims agree to that, while most non-Muslims could be readily persuaded to the viewpoint of “just laws applicable to all.” The content however, must necessarily vary with time, place, and culture. That is An-Naim’s central message.
The central enduring values of the concept of the Shari’a are regularly missed and often confused by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In the West, as Feldman noted, the Shari’a is caricatured by such odious hudud laws as stoning to death for adultery while ignoring the Shari’a stringent standards for conviction. Contrast that to the gross perversion of justice in many capital convictions in America today, as revealed by the Innocence Project.
The central premise of the Shari’a is that all – ruler and ruled alike – are subject to its rule. That is the rule of law at its most fundamental level. That is a novel concept in the West for most of its history (the prince being above law) as well as in today’s self-professed Islamic states. Malaysia amended its constitution removing the sultans’ immunity with respect to their personal conduct only in 1993.
An-Naim has advanced and elevated the debate on the Shari’a and the Islamic state by a quantum leap. His is a much-needed intellectual antidote to those who would mindlessly exhort “Islam is the answer!” to every political problem, as well as those who delude themselves that the myriad problems facing Muslims today would magically disappear once we establish an Islamic state or a caliphate.
This book will be widely read in the West. I hope it will also reach a wide audience in the Islamic world. Muslims – especially leaders – would do well to expend the necessary intellectual diligence to ponder the totality of the ideas and concepts presented in this book. We should not dismiss them because they challenge our comfortable assumptions.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why UMNO BN beyond redemption

Abdullah Badawi and Najis Abdul RazakRazak Baginda
Photos are courtesy of Malaysiakini


According to Malaysiakini, Abdullah Badawi had come out in public to defend Najib Abdullah Razak against insinuations that Najib was involved in the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu, a 28-year old Mongolian woman who was murdered here in 2006. This was despite the fact that RPK (Raja Petra Kamarudin) had claimed that Rosmah Mansor, wife of Najib Tun Razak, was present when Colonel Aziz Buyang placed C4 explosives on the body of Altantuya. (source: Rosmah at murder scene

This was also despite the fact that a series of SMS messages between Najib Tun Razak and lawyer representing Abdul Razak Baginda before Razak Baginda was charged with abetting two UTK police officer in the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu, a Mongolian model.

Malaysia Today carried a report detailing what it alleged was an exchange of text messages between Najib and Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda before he was charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of the model.

These SMSes – if true – raise some questions over the handling of the case and suggest that Najib took a strong interest in the investigation from the beginning.

The SMS exchange, which went on from Nov 8 to Dec 2, 2006, is likely to become great fodder for the Opposition when Parliament sits again on Monday. More so now that Najib is a cusp away from becoming the president of Umno and the prime minister of Malaysia.

In one SMS, Najib allegedly tells the lawyer that Razak Baginda – his advisor – “will face a tentative charge but all is not lost.”'

Malaysia Today said that this message raises some questions about Najib's role in the case. “Why did he mention ‘tentative’ charge and that ‘all is not lost’ for RB (Razak Baginda)? How would Najib know this before Razak was charged? These are important questions which will have ramifications, not just on this case but far beyond,” a posting on the website said.

Source: NAJIB UNDER PRESSURE, AGAIN

A Mongolian witness in court today when she revealed that murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu had been photographed having a meal with a Malaysian government official named Najib Razak.

Burmaa Oyunchimeg, also known as Amy, told the Shah Alam High Court that Altantuya had shown her the photo in Hong Kong when she returned from a trip to France.

It is believed that the government official in the photograph is Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who has close ties with political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.

Source: Altantuya murder case: Who is Najib Razak?

Now with all this incriminating evidences, why would Abdullah Badawi at least make an attempt at finding out if there is any truth in what had been alleged? Why would none of the UMNO divisions question Najib if there is any truth in the allegations? These allegations are serious and if true, would render Najib Tun Razak unfit to assume the post of Prime Minister of Malaysia, even as Deputy Prime Minister.

Here lies the weakness of UMNO. The members are not interested in digging out the truth and that is why I said and UMNO including the other components of Barisan Nasional are beyond redemption. Components of Barisan Nasional are also beyond redemption because none of them asked it there are any truth in the allegations and are like ostrich burying its head in the sand, like the 3 monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Draconian ISA Abolished MALEK HUSSIN detention

Here is a personal account of Malek Hussin, who was arrested and detained under the draconian and unfair ISA (Internal Security Act). Malek Hussin described how he was arrested and handcuffed in front of his house and the police searched his house without a search warrant. His repeated requests for the reasons for the arrest and the search warrant just met with a robotic answer "ISA" by the arresting officer special branch officer Borhan Daud. Malek Hussin described how he was slapped on the left cheek by special branch officer Borhan Daud that left a ringing tone in his left ear which probably caused a 50% hearing loss. Malek described how he was stripped of his cloths and handcuffed while completely naked, how he was punched and kicked by a number of officers while naked and handcuffed.

His account showed how cruel the police can be and gives very strong reasons why ISA should be abolished and why IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission) should be implemented immediately to prevent abuses by the Malaysian police.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Anwar Ibrahim Hari Raya Open House Kuala Lumpur

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KeADILan) invite all Muslims and races to the Hari Raya Open House on the 12th October. It is advised visitors to take public transport:

Alternative 1 Putra LRT
Use the LRT at Kampung Baru station and walk in the direction of ‘Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa’ before crossing over the road to Kelab Sultan Sulaiman. Distance need to walk is around 250m

Alternative 2 KL Monorail
Use the Monorail at Jalan Sultan Ismail station (near Concorde Hotel). Walk in the direction of Kg. Baru - Hotel Renaissance. Distance need to walk is around 350m

Date: 12 October (Ahad)
Time: 2-pm
Location: Club Sultan Sulaiman, Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur

Candlelight Vigil - free RPK and abolish ISA

There will a a candlelight vigil in aid of the "free RPK" and "Abolish ISA" causes. (RPK is Raja Petra Kamaruddin who is unfairly detained under the draconian ISA or Internal Security Act)

Venue: Padang in front of Amcorp Mall, next to A&W Restaurant, Petaling Jaya
Time: 8pm
Date: Sunday, 12th October, 2008

Come one, come all. Please bring along your own candles (red & yellow) & wear your RPK t-shirts. T-shirts will be available for sale on-site subject to stock availability. Let's show our support to RPK & family, and all of the ISA detainees.

Location map Taman Jaya LRT station, AmCorp Mall, A&W drive-in

Click on map to enlarge:

location map Taman Jaya LRT station and AmCorp Mall

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Abdullah Badawi 3 tasks before resign

At long last Abdullah Badawi current Prime Minister of Malaysia made decisive, firm decision? He will not go for reelection for the President of UMNO (United Malays National Organization). However, after so many policy flip-flops and telling what many said are lies (denied he is getting remarried but actually did get remarried a short while after, denied the Parliament is going to be dissolved on February 13 2008 on February 12 but announced the dissolution of the Parliament the very next day), will he go back on his word once again?

Whatever it is, the general consensus among many are that he has 3 major tasks to perform before he leaves office if he is not to go down in history as a lame duck Prime Minister, reform the JAC (Judicial Appointment Commission), reform the ACA (Anti-corruption Agency) and implement the IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission).

Let us pray that at long last Abdullah Badawi finally get to deliver the promises that he made in the 2004 General Election.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Abdullah Badawi - reformist or failed flip-flop leader?

Abdullah Badawi, current Prime Minister of Malaysia, a reformist who left a lasting legacy before he leave office.

Am I dreaming? Is it too good to be true? Would this flip-flop and lying Prime Minister eventually turned out to the the leader that all Malaysians are yearning for? I certainly hope that I am not dreaming and I will wake up tomorrow and found that it only occurred in my dream. All right thinking Malaysians are earnestly praying for a positive change after nightmare decades under dictator Dr. Mahathir and the five disappointing years under the very weak leadership in form of Abdullah Badawi who failed to initiate the reforms he promised us Malaysians before the 2004 General Election where he won a landslide victory but end up squandering the huge mandate handed to him by Malaysians fed up the the years of misrule under Dr. Mahathir.

Abdullah Badawi, a liar? Too strong a description? He denied that he was going to get remarried but actually did so soon after his denial. He also denied that the Parliament will be dissolved

According to Ronnie Liu, "PM Abdullah was telling lies when he claimed that the police has offered both BERSIH and Hindraf to hold gatherings in a stadium. IGP Musa Hassan has made similar claim last week but he could not answer BERSIH’s challenge i.e. to furnish us the details, such as the date of the offer of using stadium, the name of the stadium and the police officer who conveyed the offer to us or whether he has a letter or directive in black and white to back up his claim."

Matthias Chang, former Barrister and Political Secretary to the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad plus author of “Future FastForward”, “Brainwashed for War, Programmed to Kill”, and “The Shadow Money-Lenders and the Global Financial Tsunami”, also asked if Abdullah Badawi can be trusted after all the lies about the oil price hike:

"LIE NO. 1

The Star – 25th May 2008 Front Page

“There is more good news. There will be no hike in petrol prices at least until September, despite spiraling global crude oil prices. There were fears of a price increase, particularly after Indonesia raised fuel prices by 30% yesterday”.

LIE NO. 2

The Star – 6th June 2008 Page 8

“The decision to expedite the announcement of the increase in petrol and diesel prices was not an ‘afterthought’ but rather a need, said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad. Admitting that the ministry had assured consumers recently that there would be no increase in fuel prices until August, Shahrir explained that the Government could no longer delay the decision.”

Which is correct – September or August? Whatever, it was a lie!

LIE NO. 3

The Star – 6th June 2008 Page 6

“Petronas will go bust within ten years if all its profits are handed to the Government to continue subsidizing fuel, said its president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Hassan Merican”.

But no one has demanded that Petronas hand over all its profits to the Government and it is not true that all the profits have been utilized to subsidise the price of petrol and diesel. The critical issue is how the profits are utilized, not whether it is handed over to the government.

Is Tan Sri Hassan Merican implying that the Government cannot be trusted with the custody of Petronas profits?

LIE NO. 4

The New Straits Times – 9th June 2008 Page 6

“The current prices of petrol and diesel will be maintained until next March [2009] even if world oil prices touch US$200 (RM660) a barrel, said Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad”.

When crude price reached US$80, the Government announced an increase in petrol prices. When it hit US$137 per barrel, the Government announced a hefty 40% hike amounting to an increase of RM 78 sen per litre of petrol and RM1 for diesel. Does this idiotic Minister think we are so stupid and naïve to believe that when crude hits US$200 per barrel there will be no increase until March 2009?

LIE NO. 5

The Sun – 12th June 2008 Front Page

“The price of fuel will stay for the rest of the year, the Cabinet decided yesterday. This is to allow people time to adjust to the situation”

The New Straits Times – 12th June 2008 Front Page

“No more price hikes this year, assures PM.”

Once again, one idiot says March, 2009 the other idiot says the end of 2008. Who do you trust?

I HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR THE PRIME MINISTER TO STEP DOWN AS HE HAS NOT THE FAINTEST IDEA AS TO HOW TO RESOLVE THE GROWING FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC CRISIS.

The prime minister has responded to the call by saying that he will hand over the reins of power to Datuk Najib in an orderly manner.

But can we trust him to do the right thing?

LIE NO. 6

New Sunday Times – 15th June 2008 Front Page

“Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the exact date for the leadership transition to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak had not been decided yet … The leadership change will definitely take place at the right time”.

If Badawi can lie so blatantly about the petrol price hike, how can anyone trust him that he will step down so that the country will not have to suffer further from his failures and inefficiencies? If not now, when the country is falling apart, when will it be the right time?"


But this time our hope for positive changes for Malaysia will finally be realized for below, from Malaysialini is the press statement released by our flip-flop Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi today:

'I fully intend to see through my mission'
Oct 8, 08 6:21pm
Press statement by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to announce his decision to step down next March.

I have been in public service for over 45 years. I have served this country as a civil servant, and as an elected representative of the people. I have served as a member of government and feel blessed to serve in the highest office in the land.

I have seen this country grow from a small, poor nation into the modern, prosperous Malaysia that we live in today.

Despite our successful track record, for the past few years I have firmly believed that our nation is standing at an historic crossroads. We must reform some elements of our nation, we must evolve and mature, or we risk losing all that we have gained in over 50 years.

Throughout this time of reform and transformation, we Malaysians need to be united now more than ever before.

In all my years of service, I have always been guided by my conscience. I have always placed the interests of the nation above all else. It is with this in mind that I announce I will not stand for the presidency of Umno.

I do not want a divided party and governing coalition, but one that is united and harmonious. A united Barisan Nasional is vital in order for the country to face the global challenges ahead and for Malaysia to become a fully developed nation, with prosperity and fairness for all.

My current term as president of Umno ends in March next year. There are several initiatives I intend to see through before I leave office. These initiatives are important because they are necessary to move our country forward.

These initiatives are needed to regain our country's competitiveness. They are necessary to enable our nation and our society to face the challenges that the world has in store for us.

I ask all Malaysians to unite and join me in working towards making Malaysia a better place.

Reforming the judiciary, police force

First, our institutions need to be reformed and strengthened.

The judiciary needs to enhance its stature and credibility in the eyes of the public. Before I end my term, I will table a Parliamentary Bill to establish a Judicial Appointments Commission.

Such a commission will propose judicial appointments in a transparent and merit-based manner.

We also need a strong and effective anti-corruption body that can combat the cancer of corruption without fear or favour. Before the end of the year, I will table a Parliamentary Bill to establish the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, with greater powers of investigation and enforcement.

The commission's oversight structure has been modelled after the successful ICAC in Hong Kong.

I also intend to complete the establishment of a Special Complaints Commission to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of enforcement agencies.

Second, I have long spoken about the need to ensure that the fruits of growth are more equitably distributed.

In the recent budget, I explained the government's commitment to strengthening and enlarging the social safety net. We will speed up work on this front to help poor and disadvantaged Malaysians, regardless of background, race or religion.

I will also work to ensure that tangible results can begin to be enjoyed in Iskandar, as well as the development corridor initiatives around the country.

Third, I would like to see the government and BN renew their commitment towards building a united and harmonious nation. Society has seen an alarming decline in inter-racial and inter-religious relations.

BN convention

Various issues have cropped up which threaten to tear the very fabric of Malaysian life.

We need to tackle these issues head-on, through dialogue; deal with the issues constructively and even-handedly; ensure greater clarity and certainty for the people; and focus on the points that unite us, rather than the points that divide us.

For this reason, I will convene a BN convention early next year. This is a long-term effort that I hope to kick-start and continue to contribute towards.

I fully intend to see through my mission, and I am sure that my successor will carry on this agenda. I want to hand over to my successor a Malaysia that is capable of weathering the challenges of a dangerous global economy, a Malaysia not of rich and poor, of young and old or of the city or the kampong, not of south and north, and not of one religion or another but of unity and harmony.

This is not the time for infighting and narrow politics but for greatness, unity and cooperation.




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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Selamat Hari Rakyat (Happy Citizen Day) at Putra World Trade Center

Today, 1 October 2008 is Hari Rakyat (Citizens' Day) as well as Hari Raya. It is both a day for celebration for Muslim as well as Malaysian citizens. The People's Parliament led by Haris Ibrahim, human rights lawyer, managed to make a statement at Malaysia Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi Hari Raya Open House at the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur when after much trouble and struggle we managed to meet Abdullah Badawi face to face and put our message across - Free Raja Petra (and for me to wish him Selamat Hari Rakyat:

Our group of about 40 activists gathered at Secret Recipe at The Mall opposite Putra World Trade Center at around 11am. At 11.30am we moved to the entrance to the PWTC banquet hall. We were stopped by the Police at the entrance, so we formed a line to make our unspoken statement as the crowd moved past us. About an hour later, we were allowed into PWTC by the police who said he has obtained permission for us to enter. However, we were diverted into a dining hall where we could not meet Abdullah Badawi face to face. So we exited and reentered and after much trouble, we finally get to line up to wait our turns to meet Abdullah Badawi face to face.

People's Parliament activists on the way to meet Abdullah Badawi
Photo curtesy of Malaysiakini


Haris Ibrahim passed the request to Abdullah Badawi ("Please free Raja Petra and the ISA detainees") and I wished Abdullah Badawi "Selamat Hari Rakyat" (Happy Citizen Day) instead of the customary Selamat Hari Raya.

After completing our mission, we gathered for a group photo:

People's Parliament Mission Accomplished
Photo curtesy of Malaysiakini