Posted tagged ‘PAS’

PAS is in the past, new hope with Pakatan Harapan

October 22, 2015

Parti Amanah Negara, DAP and PKR have officially announced the formation of their new coalition Pakatan Harapan on 22/9/2015 with much hope and promise in view of the fast emerging new political landscape. One faction in PKR wants the formation delayed until PAS is persuaded to join the coalition. But PAS seems not keen in joining the coalition while their friendship with UMNO is warming day by-day.
PAS members who oppose their courtship with UMNO have deserted and have formed Parti Amanah Negara. So waiting for Hadi’s PAS to join Pakatan Harapan seems futile. PAS has shown that they cannot be trusted and their words mean nothing. For Hadi’s PAS, the hereafter is more real and rewarding than bring about a clean and just government here and now.
The race and religious politics of UMNO and PAS have divided Malaysians and keep the Malays under siege mentality. The Malays are forever warned that they will lose their privileges and political power to non-Malays if they do not support UMNO. But UMNO, with its total control over the government machinery, judiciary, parliament, law enforcement and even the royalty, has transformed the country into a heaven for the corrupt, racists and religious bigots. Non UMNO connected Malays themselves and other races are the big losers. Now we are known internationally for corruption and money laundering. The situation is becoming direr as we go forward.
Malaysians of all races are looking for alternative to the current mess created by UMNO. Pakatan Harapan should but instead lead the country move forward taking into consideration the aspirations of all Malaysians. The young are no more interested in the racial and religious divide and rule politics of UMNO and PAS.
But of course the UMNO warlords and leaders will continue to perpetuate their brand of politics and derail any alternative to their brand of politics. Unfortunately PAS, which has been fighting against the UMNO corruption and high handedness all this while, has fallen in love with UMNO that is fully immersed in corruption.
By including PAS in Pakatan Harapan may portend yet another Pakatan Rakyat disaster in the opposition coalition. Once bitten, one needs to be twice as careful. PAS under Hadi Awang seem to be moving back to the stone ages by making ridiculous statements like all those who desert PAS must divorce their wives and the need for 4 witness to prove that 2.6 billion donation is bribe.
Nobody takes bribe and has 4 witnesses to testify to it!. He seems to be the agent provocateur in Pakatan Rakyat. Under Hadi’s leadership PAS lost Trengganu and Kedah state governments. And now, without Tok Guru,Nik Aziz Nik Mat, PAS may lose Kelantan too.
Hadi seems to be the down fall of PAS. Even the moderates in PAS have deserted it and formed Amanah. So why should one faction of PKR want Hadi’s PAS to be in Pakatan Harapan? Something is not right here. Do we still need religious and race based political parties after all these hiccups, backstabbing and scandals.
With urbanites voting for change, rural areas in peninsula Malaysia seems to be the political battleground. UMNO or PAS were the choice they had all this while. Now both these parties are in shatters and seem to be imploding. Can Pakatan Harapan able to convince these voters into voting for a change. These important constituents may be more conservative to new political developments and may be slow to changes. Amanah has to move in quickly to fill the vacuum.
Of course UMNO and even PAS will throw spanners and bottles to frustrate Amanah’s attempt. Younger voters who are victims of GST and the bad economic policies of UMNO are the hope. So, all is not lost in the Malaysian political quagmire. There is still hope. Let’s seize the moment. There is a new hope…

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Hudud incompatible with multi religious society

April 1, 2015

The Hudud amendment passed in Kelantan state assembly still preoccupies the thoughts of both Muslim and non-Muslim Malaysians. It is rightly so since the amendment can have far-reaching consequences that cannot be reversed. It is one way all the way.

Malaysians of all races and religions have to stand united to say a big ‘NO to Hudud’ once and for all to the proponents of this punitive bill. Party president Abdul Hadi Awang said PAS wanted to test Muslim MPs on their support for the Islamic criminal law. It is this kind of holier-than-thou attitude that we must stop. Religion is a personal matter and nobody has the right to test anyone’s faith in God. Islam gets a negative image due to the actions of people like Hadi and hardliners.

For a multiracial and multi-religious country, Hudud is certainly not an appropriate law. Many quarters have voiced their opposition to this bill and now PAS hardliners are saying that the government can save the money needed for operating prisons. This is a lame excuse for someone who has run out of bullet. Ulamas and Muslim hardliners must stop speaking for others. Everyone has equal access to God and these hardliners are not gatekeepers of heaven or hell to decide who is to go where. This attitude of ‘holier than thou’ of PAS hardliners and their UMNO supporters causes huge problems for moderate and ordinary Malaysians of different religions, including Muslims themselves.

This amendment is more about control and politics than anything else. It is public knowledge how the FT Islamic affairs department hounded and humiliated a Muslim bookstore manager after the High Court, Court of Appeal and even the Shariah High Court had all freed her of any wrongdoing. Now, she has to beg this department to let her go and to stop torturing her.

She has spoken up several times:

“My crime was being a Malay and Muslim store manager who could be a scapegoat for Jawi to show its power.”

“I thought the pain and humiliation I suffered for three years ended with the courts’ decisions. However, my happiness was short-lived.”

“Jawi, please let me go off this oppression.”(sic)

Already, JAWI, JAKIM and other state Islamic affairs departments feel that they are above the law. Life will become a veritable hell on earth for those like the bookstore manager if these departments are further equipped with Hudud punitive laws.

We already face problems with having two sets of laws – civil and shariah. These include body-snatching in the midst of grieving relatives and family without evidence of conversion, marriages interrupted because one party has Islam written somewhere in their identity documents and schoolchildren converted by teachers without their parents’ knowledge. The Islamic affairs departments are more keen on enforcing their religious law than on enforcing justice and fairness. Hudud law will certainly complicate and make matters worse.

When Sabah, Sarawak, Peninsular Malaya and Singapore, all separate entities, agreed to come together to form Malaysia, the condition set by Sabah and Sarawak was that there was to be no Islamic state and Hudud.

Yet, hardliners like Hadi Awang do not honor their words, as was seen in the Selangor Menteri Besar appointment. If they do not honor their words, how can people trust them regarding Hudud. They can twist their words and all promises of fairness and light punishment may be broken when it comes to delivering actual punishment. What happened to the welfare state promised by PAS before GE13?

The Hudud issue remains unresolved because Prime Minister Najib is steadfast in his silence. Malaysia has the weakest prime minister now. The Hudud amendment to the Kelantan Syariah Code 11 1993 has put Malay MPs in a difficult position. Either way they will be criticised. The prime minister must at least provide protection for those who openly voice their opinions. Threats of murder and rape must be acted upon by the police. If this is not possible, then there is no democratic process as claimed by PAS.

Umno, the devil’s advocate in pushing for hudud

March 27, 2015

The passing of amendment to the Syariah criminal code 11 1993 in Kelantan is uncalled for at a time when Malaysia is inundated with serious economic and financial debacles and dilemmas. The 42 billion 1MDB loan, weakening of ringgit, high cash outflow, the 16 years continuous budget deficit, rising prices and wages stagnation, rising extremism and fundamentalism supporting ISIL to name a few. While the whole nation is grappling and coming to term with these issues PAS has unilaterally created another constitutional crisis by passing this punitive and primitive law. Datuk Nazri Aziz the tourism minister said that only stupid people will talk about hudud law in Malaysia.

PAS claims that they have tabled and passed the bill democratically but this bill removes all democratic rights of both Muslims and non-Muslims. The peer pressure within Malay/Muslim community silences people from voicing out their opposition against hudud. Even those few who honestly voice out like the satirical artist of BFM are threatened with murder and rape. PAS Ulamas and UMNO supporters of hudud did not speak against these threats. They seem to accept and tolerate rape and murder threat but cannot accept an honest opinion of this punitive and primitive Shariah law. PAS Ulama’s narrow interpretation of punitive laws is reducing the status and dignity of Shariah laws.

Obviously UMNO is playing the devil’s advocate to push hudud as a legislation to deliberately break the unified opposition. UMNO should not spite the opposition to hurt the country and itself. UMNO creates a national crisis whenever it is confronted with serious scandals and internal strife. Operasi lalang and even UMNO Baru were staged and hosted to avert and divert serious challenges to UMNO leadership. UMNO has shrewdly coaxed PAS Ulama faction to table the hudud bill to divert public attention from 1MDB, GST and rising prices.

PAS Ulama faction and UMNO have failed to reckon the sprinkling support emerging for IS militants and growing fundamentalism. Malaysia don’t need more religious laws that will encourage extremism.

The moderate group’s growth and acceptance within PAS makes Ulamas vulnerable and not confident of themselves. They lean on UMNO to gain support and financial aid and this lethal partnership is destroying what our founding fathers painstakingly built. UMNO’s support for the Syariah criminal code 11 1993 amendment in the Kelantan state assembly is blatantly clear after 12 of its assemblymen voted for the bill. It will be a flagrant deviation from the stand taken in the so-called global movement for moderation by Prime Minister Najib.

UMNO support to Hudud bill clearly violates the 18/20 point agreement with Sarawak and Sabah. The first point says that while there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia, there should be no State religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo. Therefore this Hudud bill is not applicable in multiracial Malaysia.

PAS good at scoring own goals.

March 21, 2015

UMNO must be relieved at the turn of focus from 1MDB to now Hudud amendment in Kelantan. PAS without Tok Guru Nik Aziz has lost its focus and falling into UMNO trap. The Islamist party had won both Terengganu and Kedah in the past but then lost both due to its fanatical focus on religious matters and not bread and butter issues. Both the states were lost to Umno, and yet the Ulama faction in Pas finds it is somehow kosher being chummy with Umno, its former arch enemy, rather than being faithful to its Pakatan Rakyat allies. And Umno is skillfully and successfully enticing Pas into the hudud trap that will eventually help it wrest Kelantan from Pas.

Kelantanese revered Tok Guru and voted him in as Menteri Besar. But Pas has lost a spiritual and moral leader and runs the high possibility of losing the state in GE14. Umno has been subtly nudging Pas to amend the Kelantan Syariah Code 11 1993, knowing very well that it will not go down well with the people of Kelantan who are just recovering from the worst flood ever. It is unfortunate that the Ulama faction in Pas has wool pulled over its eyes and cannot seem to distinguish between friend and foe.

A recent Merdeka Center survey shows 81% of Malay/Muslim respondents across Peninsula Malaysia felt that the Kelantan state government should prioritise repairs and reconstruction of homes damaged during the devastating floods rather than concentrate its efforts on passing a bill to amend its 1993 hudud enactment. A similar survey conducted in April 2014 revealed that a majority (58%) of Malay respondents thought that the country is not ready for hudud implementation. But the Pas political leadership is not listening.

Another recent survey shows that 67.5% of Malays, 91.4% Chinese and 89.2% Indians who polled preferred a party that takes care of all Malaysians and not race-based parties championing their own communities. While Malaysians are moving towards national harmony and unity, Umno and Pas are galloping in the opposite direction for their own political survival.

But these recent developments have opened up space and opportunities for more moderate and people-centric political leadership among Malay/Muslim communities. But, of course, the hardline faction of both Umno and Pas will never allow space for the moderates to flourish. Malay/Muslim communities are being suffocated and suppressed by these religious and racial zealots and bigots. Both Umno and Pas are preventing and building barriers for the community to be competitive and strong to face the challenges of globalisation.

Kelantan remains one of the nation’s poorest states and its agriculture-driven economy has remained largely sluggish. The average monthly family income is one of the country’s lowest at RM3168 in 2012. The large presence of foreign workers are stagnating the wages for working class which is largely Malay/Muslim. Even race based parties are getting outdated but PAS is going back to stone ages of cruel inhuman punishment and suppression. Malaysians have to show them the door out.

 

The UMNO hidden hand in Selangor crisis

August 30, 2014

The Pakatan Rakyat debacle in Selangor has finally exposed the hidden hands of UMNO using the palace and the UMNO rough supporters within Pakatan Rakyat. The Palace’s   unconventional request for 2 names to be submitted by each component parties in Pakatan Rakyat is unprecedented. The constitutional monarch has no jurisdiction in appointing the Menteri Besar other than the one who commands the majority support in state assembly. The Sultan nor his royal office are new to Mentri Besar crisis. Yet there are elements close to palace dictating to Pakatan Rakyat component parties what the sultan wants. UMNO the puppet master behind the scene is pulling the strings using the palace to prolong the crisis to finally form an alternate unity government with defections from PAS and PKR.

The revelation that PAS president was the actually Trojan horse promoting UMNO interest in forming new unity government without going back to voters, indicates the direction and target of UMNO in Selangor crisis. UMNO through PAS president is plotting the ‘Perak like defection’ to form a new government. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib knows pretty well that if there is a snap election UMNO and BN has no chance of returning to power. The other way of taking power without going to people is defection from Pakatan Rakyat. But Pakatan Rakyat has 43 assembly members compared to 13 on UMNO side. It is an uphill task unless PAS members defect. But too much water has flowed below the bridge for the entire 13 PAS assembly men to defect. Pakatan Rakyat has 30 assembly members in its side against UMNOs 26.

Selangor is the jewel in the Malaysian political crown. UMNO feels it is worth the while doing the unethical and illegal political defection attempt. But now that their plans are slowly becoming apparent and having their hand soiled this far can they retrieve without achieving anything. That must be embarrassing and they could become more desperate. In Perak they were successful because of 2 member difference but in Selangor it is a different ball game all together.

Datin Sri Dr Wan Azizah received her early education in St. Nicholas Convent School, Alor Setar. She continued her education at Tunku Kurshiah College in Seremban before she went on to study medicine at the Royal of surgeons in Ireland where was awarded a gold medal in obstetrics and gynecology and she later graduated as a qualified ophthalmologist.

Dr. Wan Azizah served as a government doctor for 14 years before deciding to focus on volunteering work, when her husband, Anwar Ibrahim was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia in1993. As part of her voluntary pursuits, she became a patron of MAKNA (majlis Kanser Nasional in that period and became the second woman to lead a political party in Malaysia’s history. Ganga Nayar founded and became the first president of the Malaysian workers’ party in 1978.

To say that she will be remotely controlled by her husband is a political irony and belittling the effort of promoting a woman into the forefront of politics in Malaysia. A woman who also happens to be the wife of Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim hounds UMNO and their allies into fabricating excuses blocking the Pakatan Rakyat candidature. Selangor crisis may not end soon.

UMNO will create more mess and confusion with the tacit support of main stream media and divert the blame to Pakatan Rakyat. The Prime Minister has already expressed his support for outgoing MB Khalid Ibrahim and disapproval for a new woman MB who has the majority support in state assembly. The Palace churns constitutional crisis to serve the UMNO purpose. The deputy PM Tan Sri Muhiddin Yassin has reaffirmed that BN state assemblymen will stand with Khalid all the way. UMNO had successfully dwarfed the Kajang move to replace khalid and the pro-UMNO faction in PAS are still supporting him.

UMNO the puppet master has made the constitution irrelevant in Selangor crisis. Selangor voters have made their choice loud and clear and it is up to the federal government and Palace to accept and respect the choice. The ball is in UMNO’s court.

Long and Close acquaintance with UMNO has blurred MCA vision

April 4, 2012

MCA president Datuk Chua Soi Lek says the number one enemy of MCA is DAP. He wants the MCA to wipe out DAP by getting the people’s support in Chinese community majority seats and emerge stronger. This statement by Datuk Chua Soi Lek reminded me of my often repeated comment to MCA Senators during Dewan Negara sittings. When I speak on Tamil/vernacular schools, a few UMNO Senators will interpose to say that students studying in vernacular schools do not get the opportunity to mix with Malay students. Vernacular schools should be closed and its existence is against the spirit of national unity. There was once an UMNO Senator during such debate told me not to speak on this topic but to move the next topic during my speech. Whenever I speak on Tamil school there will be one or two UMNO senators interposing with disagreement on the existence of vernacular schools.

 

There were occasions when one or two MCA senators speak on the problems of Chinese schools. Here too the UMNO Senators will interpose and criticize them for supporting Chinese schools. The poor MCA senator will not get any support from his fellow party man and UMNO senators will be able to overwhelm him. Outside the hall (Dewan) I have spoken to the concerned MCA senators on a few occasions that their enemy is not me from DAP but your comrades from UMNO. We agree on these issues but the UMNO senators are dead against this issue whenever you and I speak. But the MCA Senators will just smile and move away.

 

The blurred vision MCA president Datuk Chua Soi Lek has openly declared that the DAP is enemy number 1 and vow to work closely with UMNO/BN. He also added that the DAP uses “the Chinese fight against Chinese” strategy against MCA. Either he has forgotten or conveniently omitted the fact that MCA Chinese candidates have lost to the DAP Indian candidates. In the last election Mr Charles Santiago of DAP defeated MCA Selangor chairman in Klang parliamentary constituency. Similarly in the Seremban parliamentary constituency Mr John Fernandez defeated MCA Negeri Sembilan chairman. In Ipoh barat Mr kulasegaran defeated Mr Yik Pui Fong of MCA Perak. Therefore to say that DAP is deliberately planning the Chinese fight Chinese strategy is factually wrong and glazed with sinister motive.

 

The defeat of Chinese candidates of MCA and Gerakan by non Chinese candidates of DAP and PKR shows that voters have matured and has moved away from race based politics of BN. They are demanding more accountability, transparency, better governance and intolerance to corruption and bribery. The inability of MCA president to read and seize the expectations and demands of Chinese community shows the censure and dissonance of MCA. Therefore to redeem the dignity and pride of MCA, the party must leave BN and contest against BN and win the people’s mandate.

 

Chua Soi Lek also insinuated that a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS. The DAP has countered that with a vote for MCA is a vote for UMNO. Which is a progressive and people friendly party, UMNO or PAS? PAS has rejected Ibrahim Ali’s Perkasa and Hasan Ali’s Jati, which is spewing racial venoms to destroy the national unity and solidarity sowed and painfully natured by our founding fathers. But the irresponsible and power crazy UMNO holds Ibrahim Ali and Hassan Ali close and dear. UMNO is corrupted and arrogant but PAS is not. Therefore which is a better alternative for Malaysians? Chua Soi Lek has lost his plot and becoming increasingly irrelevant.

 

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

4/4/2012