The problem with UMNO is that it is NEVER in-tune with the BROAD spectrum of the rakyat.
UMNO only tunes in to the greed of its cronies, to the racist tendencies of the ultra-Malays in its midsts, and to the emotionally charged outbursts of the UMNO Youth thugs and its sponsored Mat Rempits.
What UMNO needs now are NEW batch of leaders, different from the present ones, who can think out of the box and act rationally, and who have the courage to free themselves from the straight-jacket of UMNO's racist past.
UMNO's relevance today is as a MALAY party which can also look after equally the interests of NON-Malays.
Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
PRESS RELEASE - ISA ARRESTS
13th September 2008
The arrests of MP Theresa Kok and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng under the ISA following that of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin raise grave concern for Malaysians.
An endearing legacy of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership that we have come to appreciate is the openness albeit limited, that has come as a breath of fresh air after 2 decades of punitive control of the public sphere.
The arrests of the three individuals under the draconian law at a time when Malaysians have become more mature politically and less inclined to be baited by racial politics will no doubt further erode the legitimacy of and support for the ruling party, perhaps irrevocably.
Of no less import will be the repercussions to Malaysia’s reputation internationally, that time and again the ruling party resorts to an unjust and antiquated piece of legislation to silence dissent in order to sustain her cling to power.
It is clear to all that the arrests of MP Theresa Kok and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng are COMPLETELY WITHOUT justification.
Tan was merely doing her job as a journalist and UMNO has undertaken the appropriate measures, including an apology from its deputy president.
In the “Puchong Azan Issue”, MP Theresa Kok was arrested over what is clearly a FALSE allegation.
We urge the authorities to immediately release the two and bring to book those responsible for fomenting racial and religious hatred.
It cannot be completely denied that Raja Petra Kamarudin in his writings and those who contribute to his blog have expressed views that many Muslims consider as denigrating the prophet and the religion of Islam.
However we believe this can be countered by sound arguments based on well accepted teachings and sources of Islam.
In the extreme, the authorities may take him to the Syariah court. The use of the ISA is excessive, inhumane and runs counter to Islam’s principles of justice.
In this blessed month of Ramadhan, we urge the authorities to act justly in carrying out their responsibility of maintaining the peace and security of the country.
We also urge everyone in the public sphere to exercise restraint and wisdom in discussing issues of race and religion.
Board of Directors
Muslim Professionals Forum
Dr. Mazeni Alwi
Dr. Shaikh Johari Bux
Haji Mohamed Ali Ghazali
Dato’ Dr. Musa Mohd. Nordin
Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim - The Lone Voice of Decency in the Politically Insane UMNO-Led Government: Threatens to Quit over ISA
Excerpts: Read here for more in Malaysiakini
De facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim today threatened to resign if the government continues to use the Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial, against political dissidents.
Zaid Ibrahim also called for the immediate release of DAP MP Teresa Kok and controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin who were arrested under the tough security law last Friday.
Zaid Ibrahim said:
".... We have a government that commits to laws and reforms, we can't be using old-style politics or resort to creating fear. We have laws and they (the detainees) should be charged in court.
I'll try to meet with Prime Minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) this week to convey to him my position.
If (he considers) my position untenable, I will leave .
ISA should only be used to curb terrorism, which was the reason why it was first enacted. The problem with the ISA now is that it is used against certain people, it is a very unjust law.
I am very sad that people like Teresa, whom I know personally, can be seen as a threat.
I can't see how a journalist doing her duty, or even Raja Petra, can be seen as a national threat.
If their statements upset certain people, let the police investigate.
I don't want to make it difficult for him (Abdullah).
If my views are inconsistent or unsuitable (to that of the cabinet's), I can leave the government.
It (the crackdown) is a setback (on my work).
The government wanted to change certain things, otherwise they don't need me (to be in the cabinet)."
The minister conceded that his views on certain matters do not go down well with his cabinet colleagues.