Why it’s crucial for Amanah to put on a strong showing in by-elections

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The nation is at a crossroads now: we are faced with a choice between going down a more conservative route to religion, which we could alter the long-accepted character of public life in the nation, or we could adopt a more enlightened approach to Islam.

The conservative approach took on a worrying turn with the tabling of Hadi’s bill in Parliament aided by an Umno deputy minister helping the private member’s bill to leapfrog over government matters. This happened at around the time when Swiss private bank BSI in Singapore was ordered to close and when the real owners of PetroSaudi were revealed in the foreign media. The effect of fast-tracking Hadi’s bill was to partially divert attention from the 1MDB scandal.

A more enlightened approach has been evident in Tunisia, where the Ennahda party is ditching political Islam and refashioning itself as a party of Muslim democrats. Among the three parties contesting in the two by-elections, it is Amanah which carries the most hope of adopting a more enlightened approach. This is why it must be bolstered by a strong showing in the two by-elections so that Malaysians will be presented with an alternative, more progressive approach to religion in public life.

So for me, this is where the significance in the by-elections in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar lies, quite apart from voters making it clear they reject what has transpired in the 1MDB scandal.

That said, the ‘alternative’ Pakatan development model pursued in a place by Penang has left many feeling uneasy. Think of the excessive high-end property development, the lack of protection for the hills and seas, and the fundamentally flawed Penang transport masterplan proposals.

READ MORE:  Has Pakatan done enough to persuade rural voters to ditch Umno?

Nonetheless, these two upcoming by-elections should be seen as a test whether Amanah would be encouraged to pursue a more enlightened and progressive alternative approach to Islam. A strong showing for the party will force Umno and Pas to reconsider their own conservative positions.

This is why it is essential for Amanah to put up a robust performance.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t even see the need for Amanah to exist. Why isn’t Pakatan is still using the BN template when it supposed to eschew race/religion based politics? Why can’t PKR or DAP go alone with Pakatan without PAN or PAS?

    It is obvious that PAN was created to appeal to the Muslim voters who think there should be no separation between the State and Islam. Basically this is the vote bank of PAS. This also means PAN is supporting Hudud without saying so in the public.

    Unless PAN can come out and declare their categorical rejection of hudud and politicisation of Islam, I don’t see there any difference between PAS and them. Why tell me why the voters should vote PAN otherwise?

    Voting to reject UMNO in this case would result in voting to raise a monster in PAN in the future.

  2. Islam is islam. No such things as islam hadhari, moderate islam, fundamental, progressive, conservative, radical or what have you, if you care to find the meaning of the word.

    Hudud? It has always been a non-starter, merely political stunts on-and-off, seasonal.

  3. May be anilnetto.com readers can organise overseas trip of lawatan sambil belajar trip?

    How about charter a private jet to Turkey? No limit to luggage carried on board?

  4. David Huckle issue dominated the media this week to sidetrack 1MDB scandal to blow out of proportion in Sg Besar & Telok Intan.

    On local scene, PCM’s Huan CG and a some Penang-lang continue to blast LGE to also sidetrack major issue of bigger concern to us ?

    • Promised and honor their words?
      rajraman. No such thing when Political Traders sell their saliva.Out of thousands of promises made maybe one they will fulfill.
      But people’s still buy their saliva.
      I promised not to blog again.
      Goodbye every one expecially to Tunglang and Anil.
      Thank you Anil for accepting my posting.It’s will take me another few years to come back to your blog.Take care Anil – the bee warrior.( hope you remember the nickname i given you many years back 2015)

      • hopefully reincarnated into a higher being, not condemed into oblivion. This blog needs controversial comments to boost readership. Raj can rise from the ashes of 666 apocalypse into a mutant X-Raj with more bites and canggih weaponry to counter lies and propaganda.

      • To some of us, saliva stinks.
        Esp one from Komtar Tower of Arrogance.
        You may try drinking Kopi-O brewed in 308 saliva (2-in-1) with Niao Kong.

        rajraman666, you are not the only one to ‘leave’ this blog.
        Others like Gerakan K, Yang, Ah Soon – they once were active contributors to this blog.
        Their comments stung as high as 28th Floor Komtar Tower. But minions & trollers with the stinking saliva they lapped up all over their faces vehemently attacked like deranged demons. Some of their antics like knee jerk reactions speak volume of their intentions.
        In years to come, this blog may be flooded by such minions to shut the mouths of critics in the name of CAT. Those who cannot take the heat from these minions will definitely leave.

        rajraman666, do take care. Not worth the ‘stress’ from these minions if you are to enjoy your retirement years. You have spoken & the public will judge who is speaking the truth. Go overseas for a holiday with your family. Smile & enjoy a break of scenery. (Penang will still be the same politically managed by whoever the Political Traders. So “jangan harap ada Ubah selain dari simen-simen tanpa hijau-hijauan”)

        Cheers Kopi-O kau kau, without the Stinking 308 Saliva.

      • Worshippers always wrong and persecutors always right. We have no right to prove and demostrate persecutors can be wrong. Afterall persecutors are gods.
        Raj has no eyes to see. Why not form the third eye and force? Always can call teh. He is the jebat or teh halia? Otherwise just teh tarik.

      • Gerakan K, Yang, Ah Soon & tunglang are the 4 Musketeers (or mouseketeers?) or the dreaded 4 Horsemen of Apocalyse?

        Now only one Lone Ranger left? I suppose Raj is taking a Ramadan break to hold his tongue.

      • We hope to witness resurrection of Gerakan K, Yang, Ah Soon, Raj666 in particular to be as resilient as the hardened tunglang do that anilnetto.com continue to be ad colourful as ever!

        Probably tunglang can pass over his chendol bowl so that these folks can be revived with his saliva stain?

        Anyway, justice can only exist if everyone is free to voice out.

      • A sarcastic remark to revive those exit commentators yet you take it as a compliment?

        Anyway I also look forward for their resurrection so that anilnetto.company remain vibrant with laughable comments out of frustrations.

        It appears that invasion if Singapore investors on Penang heritage properties has provoked the kiasuism and kiasism among us???

      • Jive, I suppose you are not doing business in Penang, so invasion of SinKaPoe lang is of no concern to you?
        Talk is easy, survival is not so easy. Can you pay rental at Rm7,000?

      • how to fight with singland? even if kopi kau2 or cendol is sing 1.50 in singland. they can buy 3 nos here. what more they have more than 30 years experience in renovating heritage houses in tg pagar orchard road geyland. afterall if malaysian pasar mlm traders find it too cheap and cannot afford let the shophouses stay dark no lights.

      • Better don’t let Sing$ ideas to renovate sia boey like Geylang, otherwise kung fu gives way to red lanterns as decor!

        Sia boey folks should boycott chendol orimaestro that keep on increasing the price and betraying years of lorong standing style loyalty to go upmarket at malls!

      • Renovate like Geylang?
        What is the point when many still cannot afford to pay Komtar sky high rentals???
        Why not let SingLang renovate and bring in Red Lantern SingKaPoe Cha Bor? At least can nego when no business at 3 am!
        At least chendol orimaestro doesn’t increase chendol price 5 times unlike SingLang renovated properties which rent out 5 times rental charges (Example: previous rentals about rm1,500. Now SingLang rentals about rm7,500)
        Still happy ah?

      • Malaysians tend to copy bad habits from Singapore, and failed to learn their good points. That is why Singapore is always ahead.

        While Malaysian students still practice rot learning to score straight As in SPM, Singapore education system has evolved focusing on creative and critical thinking. NUS is ranked #1 university in Asia, NTU #3.

      • ‘Others like Gerakan K, Yang, Ah Soon – they once were active contributors to this blog.
        Their comments stung as high as 28th Floor Komtar Tower. But minions & trollers with the stinking saliva they lapped up all over their faces vehemently attacked like deranged demons’.

        So these commenters were hapless innocence who were ‘vehemently attacked’ by others? Perhaps followers of this blog can form their own opinion by referring back to earlier comments and exchanges involving these commenters.

      • Their exits cost Anil more readers more revenues.
        They find no incentive to comment unless some form of “decal” being offered to them?

      • Who cares about them (gerakan k, yang, ah soon) leaving, contributed much in their comments just because they were against lim guan eng ??? Sneeze and yawn !!!

  5. Hope Amanah does well in both the by-elections as they are a ray of hope in the political landscape in Malaysia with moderate and respectable leaders. Malaysians should given them a chance to succeed.

  6. A lot of people do not get it that the religo-racist politics is basically political narcotic dealing. The problem with selling drugs is that the dealers need to sell more and more quantiries or/and more hallucinating drugs to keep the business viable. As soon as the business starts to stagnate or decline, it falls apart as they kill each other off. So all Amanah really need to do is make sure PAS votes fall drastically and BN do not gain more votes, and they have succeeded.

    • As reported by Reuter:

      Malaysia’s veteran former leader Mahathir Mohamad campaigned against his old party over the weekend, seeking to turn voters against scandal-tainted Prime Minister Najib Razak in two by-elections being fought next week.

      Mahathir, who led the country for 22 years until his retirement in 2003, quit the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) earlier this year in disgust over Najib’s grip on the party despite allegations of massive corruption.

      The feisty 90-year-old has teamed up with old foes in the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance to remove Najib, his one-time protege.

      “If the people want to see this country being robbed by the PM, who has now passed a law that makes him stronger than even the Agong (King)… If that’s what the people want, they’ll get what they deserve,” Mahathir told a newsconference while campaigning on Saturday.

      Najib, who denies any wrongdoing, has seen his popularity sink to all time lows because of a multi-billion dollar graft scandal at the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) state fund and reports that around $1 billion were deposited in his personal bank account.

      The multi-ethnic Barisan Nasional coalition led by UMNO has lost support among the Southeast Asian nation’s ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities because the controversy, leaving the embattled premier desperately trying to shore up his Muslim Malay votebank.

      Last month, UMNO convinced parliament to allow members to debate a bill submitted by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) – which has stayed outside the anti-Najib alliance – for the introduction of hudud, the Islamic penal code that sets punishments like amputation and stoning.

      The constituencies being contested on June 18, midway through the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, are largely Malay, and the only runner that the anti-Najib alliance has in the race is a new moderate Islamist party that splintered from PAS.

      The by-elections at Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar will show how well support for Najib is holding up, with an eye to a national election due in 2018.

      Mahathir on Saturday carried his anti-Najib message to Sungai Besar, a coastal town amid the paddy fields, coconut groves and palm oil plantations on the western side of the Malaysian Peninsula.

      He called on voters to rally behind the candidate from the newly-formed National Trust Party, known as Amanah.

      “It doesn’t matter what party, these are parties for the people against Najib because he has committed a lot of corruption, including misappropriating up to 50 billion ringgit ($12 billion) that cannot be explained,” Mahathir said, referring to the troubles at 1MDB, whose advisory board had been chaired by Najib until recently.

      HUDUD GAMBIT

      Najib has strengthened his grip over UMNO by purging dissidents including a deputy prime minister and, worryingly for non-Muslim Malaysians, he has also built bridges with PAS, whose Islamist hardliners make up the second-largest Malay party.

      Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said UMNO and PAS had insufficient votes to force the hudud bill through parliament, and saw the issue as a ploy to distract Malay voters away from 1MDB.

      Some analysts suspect Najib of testing the ground for working with PAS to secure a victory at the next general election.

      “UMNO is trying to use the Islamic card to build a relationship with PAS,” Professor James Chin, director at the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute.

  7. Am scratching my “kepala” .
    Wonder as to how to lent support to this “enlightened Amanah” or vote for Amanah
    When they are also for “hudud”.
    Amanah never explicitly deny or issue a big NAY to”hudud”.
    Amanah merely disagree with PAS’s version.
    PKR is also another type of animal in this “hudud” guessing game.
    Why politicians found it extremely hard to give out an honest answer.
    I mean this is just an issue of AYE or a NAY.
    Pakatan started out as a credible grouping but not anymore.

    **The bill forwarded by PAS is not merely simply seeking an increase penalties within the existing “syarie” law.
    It should be viewed as a platform / spring board to having a Full Blown hudud .
    This is not funny if you look at Bandar Aceh in Indonesia.

    • SINGAPORE PAPER WARNS AGAINST UMNO-PAS’ SINGLE RELIGIOUS PARTY

      Those fearing a creeping Islamisation of Malaysia reacted sharply when the government, led by the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), allowed Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) to table a Bill on hudud – the controversial Islamic criminal code. The debate over its widespread application, if legislated, has divided Malaysia’s multi-religious landscape.

      That PAS should push for hudud is hardly surprising. The party’s insistence on Malaysia becoming an Islamic state governed by syariah law, including hudud, has constituted its core political mission for decades. What is noteworthy about the hudud Bill being on the parliamentary agenda is the signal of a possible convergence of interests between Umno and PAS – two Malay-based parties whose erstwhile electoral rivalry expanded space for multi-religious politics. Nominally, the Bill seeks to only enhance the present powers of syariah courts. The larger purpose behind it is the Islamisation of the country through the induction of hudud into the body politic.

      Attempts by PAS to reach out to non-Muslims in recent years appeared to signal a move away from its roots in theocratic orthodoxy towards an inclusive idea of Malaysia as a religiously pluralistic nation. However, that phase now appears to have been a tactical one. The renewed bid for hudud reveals the strategic rationale of PAS – to treat every political opening as an opportunity to install Islamic governance in Malaysia. In that sense, the party’s overt return to its hudud agenda serves the useful purpose of reminding voters of the ultimate inability of religion-based parties to embrace social and political heterodoxy.

      Ironically, however, PAS continues to work with the secular opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in the Selangor state government. How long that will last is anyone’s guess as PKR has lent its support to PAS’ opponent, Amanah, for an upcoming parliamentary by-election. That politics makes for strange bedfellows might well hold the door ajar, for now at least, and prevent it from closing in on the country’s attempt to find a status quo that does not subvert the multi-religious nature of its polity.

      Malaysia is not a secular state, nor is it an Islamic one, as top political leaders have stated. Political parties, civil society organisations and an increasingly vocal intelligentsia navigate their way between these two realities as they envisage the national future. Nations being imagined communities, an acceptance of diversity helped to turn Malaysia into a model Muslim-majority country where religious minorities are comfortable with their place in the national scheme of things. Many would hope that this state of affairs will continue, despite the efforts of PAS to manoeuvre its way to power. The ambitions of a single religious party ought not overturn the long-held multi-religious and multiracial aspirations of an entire nation.

      http://www.straitstimes.com/

  8. AMANAH very silent about Hudud.
    pkr sleeping with AMANAH,PAS AND DAP.Still got vacancy to sleep with UMNO as 4th wife.

    rajraman. By no choice had to support PKR and Amanah.The God fearing people’s ( just assume ) going to have the say about Malaysian Minority.
    I am a fallen angel ( Devil ) have no say since i am a minority group.Keep the finger cross with option open wide to migrate in the event Hudud take over Civil Laws.This Hudud Law will finalised my destiny to be a Malaysian or buy a Citizenship in another Country.Hope Ringgit get stronger by then.

    • Very high chances they will loose this by election since Mic and Mca supporting UMno.
      rajraman. Although Mic and Mca against Hudud but they sell their community votes locks,stocks and barrels to UMno.
      I hope not but rural folks looks for next meals .The next meals comes from UMno although the $$$ comes from tax payer.
      Will Hudud will be a reality?

  9. See how hudud in Acheh also applied to non-Muslims. For that reason please vote for Amanah since Umno and PAS are collaborating to table hudud bill.

    • Mahathir on hudud in the latest TIME’s interview:

      The hudud laws they want to pass and implement are actually against the teachings of Islam. The Quran [says] when you judge, judge with justice. Justice is the most important thing. In a plural society like Malaysia, you cannot have two laws — one law for the Muslim, one law for the non-Muslim. If a Muslim and a non-Muslim thief steal, you cut off the Muslim’s hand, and the non-Muslim gets two months’ jail. Is that justice? Obviously it is not justice. If it is not justice, it is not Islamic.

      They were not able to make any progress with their hudud laws during my time. I didn’t tell them that this Islam is out of date or anything like that. I said Islam stresses justice, and what you are doing is to create injustice, therefore it is wrong. But when I stepped down, they brought it up again. Hudud is man-made; it’s political, it is just meant to show that you are very Islamic … Today, Muslims are in a lot of turmoil, and it’s not because of Islam. It is because they reject Islam.

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