Is this Umno’s knockout punch for Pakatan Rakyat? But then Pakatan Rakyat is already lying sprawled on the canvas, after it “ceased to exist” yesterday. So is this a blow after the bell has rung and the towel thrown in?

The private member’s bill towards hudud laws is listed as the last item in the Order Paper, according to an MP in a text message from Parliament at 11.20am. He feels it is unlikely to be debated though.

“Theoretically, the government could vacate the rest of the Bills ahead of Hadi’s and move his up. But very unlikely.”

So is this just a wayang?

Meanwhile, what do you think of Nazir Razak’s reported plan for a new party? (Nazir has since clarified he is setting up an NGO to advocate moderation.)

While some may welcome a more moderate approach to politics, we should be wary of the top 1 per cent and those pursuing the corporate agenda stepping forward to ‘hijack’ the movement for real change during the current realignment of politcal forces.

PKR for its part held its political bureau meeting last night but did not reveal the outcome to waiting journalists. It is possible that the party will make an announcement later today, after consultation with party leaders.

We are also watching to see what the Pas ‘progressives’ have got up their sleeve. The 18 ousted Pas leaders are mulling over a new platform, either by setting up a new party – perhaps an Islamic democrats party? – or an NGO, aligned with PKR and DAP.

READ MORE:  Hadi's bill: Opponents not taking any chances


Pakatan may be flat on the canvas, a white towel covering it, but the way things are shaping up, we could well see a new coalition emerging: Pakatan v2.0.

Many are also watching Razaleigh’s next move as some have speculated that he could turn out to be an interim leader in whatever realignment that takes place.

Some analysts are seeing the current realignment of political forces as the drawing of a line in the sand between  liberal, ‘moderate’ Malaysians on the one side and conservative, nationalistic right wing forces in Malaysian society on the other.

Let there be no doubt where we stand: for a progressive, democratic Malaysia that upholds international human rights standards and empowers ordinary people.

In the midst of all this realignment, concerned people must insist to the political parties that people-centred policies should be their priority:

  • the abolition of the regressive GST
  • the introduction of a more progressive tax system
  • improvements to the conditions for workers and unions, including raising the minimum wage
  • really affordable housing (not RM400,000 ‘affordable’ housing)
  • universal quality health care in the public health care system
  • radical improvements to education in government schools and public universities
  • a revamp of the judiciary, MACC and Election Commission
  • the repeal of all oppressive laws and
  • the protection of the ecology.

That will do nicely for starters. Under no circumstances should the people’s movement for change be hijacked by anyone or any party,  existing or new.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Malaysian sharia laws: Parliament to debate hudud bill that could introduce stonings and amputations in state of Kelantan

    The Malaysian Parliament is set to debate a controversial bill that could see stricter forms of sharia law introduced in the state of Kelantan, but critics have warned the so called hudud bill would result in whippings and even the amputations of limbs for crimes such as theft.

    The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party – commonly known as PAS – is pushing to introduce the proposed laws in the conservative north-eastern state, but first the bill must be passed by the Malaysian national parliament.

    Kelantan is a major stronghold for PAS, which was founded in 1951 and is among the country’s oldest and largest opposition parties.

    “Among the mandate from the people is to try to establish the Islamic system here, including the Islamic criminal law,” PAS executive council member Mohd Fadzi said.

    Kelantan’s state capital Kota Bahru is deeply religious and many of its citizens live by a strict adherence to Islam.

    At shops and supermarkets there are separate queues for males and females, while signs advising women to cover up are common outside offices and government buildings.

    PAS secures Prime Minister’s support

    Earlier this year, PAS tabled a private members bill to amend act 355 of the federal constitution with the support of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s United Malays National Organisation party (UMNO).

    The bill aims to increase the powers of sharia courts to enforce some aspects of hudud, which is the Islamic system of crime and punishment that includes amputations and stoning.

    Rozana Isa is a member of Sisters in Islam, a non-government organisation working on the rights of Muslim women.

    Sisters in Islam maintains that the implementation of hudud has the potential for enormous injustices and said it finds PAS’s justification for advocating hudud unconvincing and worrying.

    “[It’s] on the cards in relation to whipping especially and the cutting of limbs for the acts of robbery,” Ms Isa said.

    However there is a groundswell of popular support for the Islamic penal code within Kelantan, with many believing it will help tackle crime and violence.

    Others believe, as an Islamic country, Malaysia and in turn Kelantan should follow the strict religious laws.

    Minorities worried

    These sorts of sentiments have many citizens in the more cosmopolitan national capital of Kuala Lumpur worried, especially minorities, who fear the hudud bill may set a precedent for other states to follow suit.

    UMNO’s political partners – the Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress have threatened to quit the coalition if the bill is passed.

    As the parliament braces for debate, UMNO is keeping its cards close to its chest in relation to exactly how the parliamentary vote will proceed.

    “I don’t know what our instructions are for us, we still have to wait for the whip to instruct us what to do after this,” Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz said.

    “Whatever we do with regards to Islamic laws, it must never encroach on the rights of non-Muslims, that’s very important.”

    PAS insists non-Muslims will not be affected and that changes would only apply to the state of Kelantan.

    “We are living now in a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-racial country and then at the same time we just want our right to practice our own religion and Islam,” Mr Fadzi said.

    While minorities have expressed their concerns, the hudud bill is also dividing the majority Malay Muslim community.

    “As a Muslim I feel very unsafe,” Ms Isa said.

    “Under the hudud law, pregnancy of a single woman would be regarded as evidence of having committed illicit sex.”

    Lim Guan Eng, leader of the Democratic Action Party, fears UMNO will not follow the correct parliamentary process with the proposed laws.

    “They are trying to amend these laws by a simple bill, which only requires a simple majority when the proper approach to take is through a constitutional amendment – two-thirds majority.”

    Political motivations

    Political analyst Chandra Muzaffar said there are political motivations behind the UMNO party’s support for the proposed laws.

    Supporting the laws is seen as a pragmatic way to shore up support within Kelantan ahead of a general election in 2018.

    “I suspect that UMNO will find some way of supporting the bill, because they’re preparing for elections and they would see this as something which is electorally useful.”

  2. U.S. FINALLY WAKES UP – MALAYSIA NOT MODERATE AT ALL: ALMOST ZERO SUPPORT FOR NON-MUSLIM RELIGIONS

    Non-Muslims and those with interpretations of Islam that differ with the state face difficulties practising their faiths in Malaysia, the United States State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report 2015 says.

    Non-Sunni Islamic schools of thought are considered deviant, with followers open to state action, the US department reports.

    It also states that while there is heavy state financial support for Sunni Islam, the same cannot be said for other religions.

    “Some government bodies, including the federal government’s Department of National Unity and Integration, were tasked with encouraging religious harmony and protecting the rights of minority religious groups, but many faith-based organisations stated they believe that none enjoyed the power and the influence of those that regulated Islamic affairs,” the report reads.

    For example, it said, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) received RM819 million in 2015 for various “Islamic education and mosque-related projects”.

    However, no specific allocations were made in the government budget for non-Muslim religious groups, beyond the irregular funding that temples and churches say they receive, it reported.

    It added that non-Muslim groups report regular difficulties in obtaining permission from local authorities to build places of worship, prompting them to worship in commercial spaces.

    While largely tolerated, it said, it has left the groups vulnerable, with at least one church’s use of a commercial shoplot in Selangor declared illegal by the local council.

    The Selangor government declared that no action would be taken, but the church is still technically operating illegally and is vulnerable to state action, it said.

    Muslim, non-Muslim custody battles

    Non-Muslims also lose out in custody battles between a non-Muslim parent and his or her former partner who has converted to Islam, the US Department reported.

    “When facing competing orders by civil and syariah courts regarding custody, (civil liberty groups and non-Muslim religious leaders) stated the police generally sided with the syariah (courts),” the report reads.

    Intolerance of religious freedom

    The report states that there have been continuous reports of societal intolerance of religious freedom, including conversion out of Islam and different interpretations or ways of practising Islam.

    “Muslim women and girls faced social pressure to wear the tudung. On social media, Muslim women who did not wear the headscarf or dress modestly were often subject to shaming,” it said.

    It added that “insult to Islam” has also been accepted as an offence under the Sedition Act, with the conflation of religion and ethnicity complicating matters.

    “The government prosecuted some deemed to have ‘insulted Islam’ under sedition laws, often following criticism of the government’s policies on religion.

    “Because Islam, Malay ethnic identity and the ruling Umno party are closely linked, it is difficult to categorise many incidents as being solely based on religious identity,” the report reads.

    It also noted that regulations to bar proselytisation to Muslims and restrictions against evangelical groups, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of the Latter Day Saints, are an infringement of freedom of religion.

    Source: Malaysiakini

  3. Malaysia is moving towards a total imposition of Islamic Sharia. Malaysia’s government has pledged its support for an Islamic penal code that seeks to impose Sharia-prescribed punishments such as amputations, public stoning and flogging on its multi-religious population. The new legislation referred to as “Hudud Law” also seeks to segregate women from public life in Kelantan province, a predominantly Muslim northern state. The proposed constitutional amendment will allow other Malaysian provinces to align their legal system to stricter Islamic law as well.

    With a population of around 30 million, only 61 percent of the people identify as Muslim. Apart from Christianity that makes up to 10 percent of the population, Malaysia is home to many ethnic Chinese and Indians who mainly follow Buddhism and Hinduism respectively.

    Malaysia, a constitutional monarchy has long practiced dual legal system, allowing Muslims to seeks redressal of marital and personal disputes — outside the country’s legal system — in Sharia courts presided by Islamic clergy and imams. The government-sponsored bill now seeks to expand the Islamic jurisdiction and supersede some of the established provisions of common law rooted in country’s British colonial history. With massive financial support from Saudi Arabia and other Arab States, Islamism has been on the rise in the Southeast Asian region. Brunei and parts of Indonesian have already come under Sharia rule.

    Many politicians in the West have advocated dual legal system offering Sharia courts to their growing Muslim populations. Just last week the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, said that British people have “benefit a great deal” from the guidance offered by Sharia teachings. Rejecting the discriminatory rulings against women handed down by Sharia courts in U.K., Home Secretary May, a female and a Conservative, defended the Sharia courts saying that Islamic law was being “misused” and “exploited” to discriminate against Muslim women.

    Apologists of Islam in the West, the likes of Reza Aslan and others, have often cited Malaysia as an example of a tolerant Muslim society with equal rights for minorities and women. With Malaysia moving towards blanket Sharia rule, they are running out of places to show the moderate face of Islam. Reuters news agency reports:

    Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government threw its support in parliament this week behind an Islamic penal code that includes amputations and stoning, shocking some of his allies and stoking fears of further strains in the multi-ethnic country.

    Critics believe the scandal-tainted prime minister is using ‘hudud’, the Islamic law, to shore up the backing of Muslim Malay voters and fend off attacks on his leadership ahead of critical by-elections next month and a general election in 2018. (…)

    Although debate on the law was deferred to October by PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang, its submission to parliament brought criticism from leaders across the political spectrum, including allies of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, who represent the ethnic Chinese and Indian communities.

    The developments in Malaysia should come as a wake-up call to the governments in the West toying with the idea of Sharia to make themselves appear welcoming and hospitable to migrant Muslims. The recent push for Sharia in the West is not devised to serve the needs of the pious among the Muslims, but is a political instrument to establish Islamist pre-eminence over other faiths in the land. To put it bluntly in the words of Omar Ahmad, the founder of US-based Muslim group CAIR, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

    What once started with parallel Sharia courts in Europe has today ended up in Sharia vigilantes roaming German and British cities, and in no-go zones from Paris to Oslo.

    There is very little the West can to do to reverse this disturbing trend across the Muslim world. But the eroding of the laws and liberties handed down to us by our ancestors — preserved time and again with great sacrifice — should be a clarion call to stand up to the forces of regression and darkness in our times.

  4. Now Malaysia is infested with Disintergration Syndrome ?
    I dread to think of if Malaysia as a nation is also facing that !

  5. Commentators yang super all now must explain why the rich businessmen now swapping for A$, S$ and even Hong Kong money causing no confidence in ringgit to slide further.
    jangan asyik CAT nanti semua susah duit

  6. I think most Pas progressive will not leave Pas with the exception of Sabu or Huzam. Like I said before, the CAT and senior are now in panic mode. Remember how the Cat senior wanted to entice M to save Malaysia. M spurned him so he is now going for Razaleigh. Anyone once regarded as syaitan will now do lah, no problem and will be regarded as God sent. Holy cow anything chau sui (sour or smelly) also no problem. What has become of the CAT and senior.

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