Thursday 25 December 2014



Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam has declared that HE IS A LIBERAL AND PROUD OF IT.

He joins a small but growing band of Malay Muslims speaking up in the face of Islamic fundamentalism that has crept into the country.

In an interview with The Star daily published today, Musa, the first of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s four deputies, also pointed out that UMNO WAS FOUNDED ON THE PRINCIPLE...S OF MODERATION AND LIBERALISM because the Malay nationalist party wanted Malaysia to be one.

Musa’s declaration of his liberal beliefs comes after a group of 25 retired senior civil servants called for open debate of Islamic legislation in Malaysia and urged Putrajaya to assert the supremacy of the Federal Constitution over Shariah state laws.

Tun Musa said,

“Only moderation and liberalism will allow us to survive.

“First let me say this emphatically and very firmly - I have always been a liberal and a moderate and am proud of it. My family, my parents, my elders brought me up that way, and in my more grown up days since I entered politics, my political party Umno adopted the stance of moderation from the early days that we gained independence.

But I don’t know what’s happening there now."


Malaysia’s religious authorities have long derided liberalism and pluralism, with Friday sermons nationwide claiming a conspiracy by “enemies of Islam” to manipulate Muslims through such philosophies and other ideologies like secularism, socialism, feminism and positivism.

This has been repeated by Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who in April said that Islam was being tested by new threats under the guise of humanism, secularism, liberalism and human rights.


The 80-year-old also noted that “many Malay leaders” were attempting to instil fear and a siege mentality among the Malays, but did not name anyone.

“As a result, they are also instilling a very serious inferiority complex among the Malays. This is misplaced. So many Malays are capable, yet every day these groups are saying ‘You are inferior, you need protection’ and ‘Those superior people are attacking or threatening us’,” said Musa.

He said Malays had no reason to fear as they were well-equipped to face such challenges and to be competitive.

The former deputy prime minister and home minister, who served from 1981 to 1986, stressed that a democracy must have a high tolerance of criticism, amid a spate of investigations and prosecutions under the Sedition Act 1948 targeting mostly dissidents against the government.

“So, what I am trying to do is appeal to both sides, don’t just arrest them and hassle them. Use rationale and reasoning,” he said.


Musa also expressed concern about the use of racial and religious issues to gain political mileage, which he said hearkened back to the time leading up to the bloody May 13 race riots in 1969.

“Very early on in my political career, I saw so many attempts for popular support using racial and religious issues. I hate to use this example but I have to - the May 13 incident was the result of it all.

“But we were supposed to have learnt and corrected ourselves after that. Yet now, after so many years, we seem to be back to the old days. The basic ingredients are the same, the approach is the same, even the statements are the same in many respects. In the historical perspective, it brings a very eerie reminder of the bad old days,” he said


Musa told The Star that he was very happy to see the statement made by the 25 prominent Malays.

“To me personally, that was a very good symbolic statement made by them in that they triggered thinking, arguments and conversations. Then there were the responses, which I compliment also because they are not calling names. They are not arguing based on irrationality but arguing on an almost point-by-point basis. This was absent before,” he said.




"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” – Luke 2:14

And yes YOU have the Right NOT not to wish anyone a Merry Christmas.


The people at ISMA are absolutely right when they say that they have a right not to wish anyone a “Merry Christmas”.

After all, Christmas isn’t central to any facet of their culture or beliefs, and it shouldn’t be compulsory for them to have to wish anyone anything during any cultural or religious celebration other than out of a sense of community and camaraderie.

In fact, no Christian would go out of his way to expect one of Malaysia’s far-right groups to wish him a merry anything, given the protestations we’ve heard throughout the year from ISMA.

But it is ISMA’s right to not wish anyone a “Merry Christmas”.

However, that’s not what we ask for from ISMA. All we want is the right to celebrate peacefully, without controversy, probably for the first time this year.

All we want is to meet some friends, whether at home or at a restaurant, and maybe exchange gifts.Perhaps even have a drink or two to celebrate getting through another year together, still going strong.

Even to the less devout of us, Christmas is a special time to be thankful for family and loved ones, to presents gifts in thanks for receiving the love and company we’re been given throughout the year.
It’s not as grandiose as it seems on a personal level, and is a time for reflection above all else.

It’s a time to head back home and enjoy dad’s lamb shanks and mom fussing over the guests, to say hello to the siblings and perhaps even give them something, to connect with cousins you haven’t seen for months, to let the uncles and aunties ask about marriage and smile inanely after brushing the question off.

It’s about going to church early in the morning to be reminded that even if we don’t love ourselves, there is a Creator who does, and that all hardships we endure eventually will seem small in hindsight.

To greet friends you haven’t seen in a while because you haven’t been as dutiful as you might like in going to church.

To listen to the pastor speak and think that perhaps next year I will do better by myself and my loved ones.
It’s a time for forgiveness. So, on behalf of all Christians, I’d like to say to ISMA, we forgive you.

You may hurt our feelings and belittle our beliefs. You may make us disheartened and feel as if we are being crushed even as we go about and live life in our own little ways.

But our faith is predicated on the idea of unconditional forgiveness, even towards our enemies, and in that self-same spirit, we wish you the very best of the seasons greetings.

Let this be a time to lay down our swords and instead to enjoy a moment of peace after all the turmoil that’s raged in Malaysia throughout the year.

After all, there’ll be plenty more where that came from soon enough.

- Scott Ng


Housing, Local Government and Urban Well-Being Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan has asked Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) to "butt out" with their claims that Muslims should not wish “Merry Christmas” to Christians.

In a series of Twitter postings this morning, the Umno MP from Kota Belud showed defiance by wishing Christians “Merry Christmas” before sarcastic swipes at Isma.

"Not only (do) I wish Merry Christmas to all, I will host a bigger Christmas celebration this year in Kota Belud. Isma is invited to learn about moderation," he posted on his Twitter handle this morning.

"Isma is not my voice. They don't represent me and millions of Muslim Malaysians. Religious bigotry has no place in moderate Malaysia," he added.

He was responding to claims made by Isma activists recently that wishing Christians “Merry Christmas” would be tantamount to Muslims admitting that God had a son, and that Muslims should conduct preaching instead during the festi


PAS today dismissed talks that its renewed push for hudud in Kelantan will destroy Pakatan Rakyat, saying the coalition had "agreed to disagree" on issues such as this.

Its information chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar said in the spirit of democracy, the party would accept if Parliament rejects the move to introduce the Shariah enactment.

"I don't consider hudud can split PR. This is because we have reached an agreement previously... when the late Karpal Singh was still alive, we had reached a consensus on this (hudud), to agree to disagree," he told reporters at the PAS headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

"PAS has agreed that DAP did not agree on hudud. The meaning here is we respect each others' opinions. This is a fine democratic achievement that PR has made.

"Like a married couple, there must be something that they disagree with one another, but they can still live under one roof. No problem."

The Pokok Sena MP's statement comes as the PAS-led Kelantan government recently moved to convene a special sitting of the legislative assembly on Monday to amend its Islamic laws in order to pave the way for a private member's bill in Parliament.

The bill will need a simple majority of 112 lawmakers supporting it in order for it to be passed and can be tabled once the Kelantan assembly passes the amendment to its Shariah Criminal Code Enactment II.

DAP has repeatedly demanded that PAS shelve its plans in Kelantan, stressing that the Islamic criminal code was not part of the opposition's common policy framework.

After a long silence, PKR today agreed with DAP.

PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali said PR would focus on the highest objectives of Shariah, including economic, social and safety issues, over the Islamic criminal law.

Mahfuz today added that its partners should not worry about the implementation of hudud as it would still need to go through the proper democratic process.

"If Parliament rejects it, then Kelantan will not be able to implement the enactment. This means PAS must accept if Parliament rejects the move.”

At the same time, Mahfuz also urged the Kelantan government to arrange a meeting with interested stakeholders to brief them on the amendment.
"I hope the state government can share this and arrange a meeting to brief to all parties interested in this issue.
"This is because all this is just an amendment to the current enactment, not a new one. Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code II has existed for almost 20 years," he said, urging sceptics to listen to the presentation of the amendment before coming to any conclusion.



PAS central committee members said they NEVER AGREED to bring the Kelantan's Private Member's Bill on hudud to Parliament.

This means PAS-led Kelantan government may be doing more than what it is allowed to by PAS.
PAS’ central committee ONLY AGREED to the Kelantan government to work on the technicalities with the Umno-led federal government, they said.

The state government was then supposed to come back to the PAS central committee to present their findings.

Central committee members Mujahid Yusof Rawa , Dr Hatta Ramli and another member who preferred anonymity said that this was what was agreed.

"We had decided for the federal government to table the motion," Hatta said.

Hatta, who is Kuala Krai MP, also refuted Kelantan PAS state deputy commissioner Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who said the state had the blessing of the PAS central committee.

Mohd Amar, the deputy chief minister of Kelantan, in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini said all PAS MPs are duty bound to bring the Private Member's Bill on hudud to Parliament, as the orders are coming from the party’s central committee.

Mujahid, who is Parit Buntar MP and PAS Unity Bureau chief said that Kelantan government did not get back to the central committee over discussions it had with the federal government.

"They were supposed to come back to us with the government-to-government discussions and then we (PAS central committee) were supposed to decide if we were to be the ones to bring the Private Member's Bill to the Parliament.

"In fact, in recent meetings, we were too busy with other issues that we did not even discuss hudud," Mujahid said.

Party deputy president Mohamad Sabu (left) was only willing to say that the hudud issue is still very much under discussion and that there is no decision on who will table it in Parliament.

The Kelantan government will hold a special state assembly sitting on December 29 to amend the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (II) Enactment 1993 before it is brought to the Parliament in a Private Member's Bill, to enable to state to implement the hudud.


Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad is among PAS leaders who have been caught off-guard by the move to amend a Shariah Criminal Enactment in Kelantan that would lead to hudud law in the state.

The decision by PAS in Kelantan to go ahead with plans that will lead to the implementation of hudud in the state has taken the party's top leadership by surprise as it was not discussed at its central committee (CC) meeting.

Central committee member Khalid Samad confirmed that the matter was NOT raised at its last meeting on December 15.

The CC meeting took place a day before Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob's announcement that the state assembly will convene a special sitting on December 29 to amend its Shariah Criminal Code Enactment II as part of a move to pave the way for a private member's bill in Parliament to enable the state to enforce the Islamic penal code.

"The issue was not discussed at the last meeting. We were only debating if a Bill should be brought to Parliament or if it should be approached in a different manner," he told The Malaysian Insider.

He said quite a few of the CC leaders were taken by surprise by Kelantan PAS as they were unaware of its intentions.'

However, the Shah Alam MP downplayed talks that Kelantan PAS's insistence to go ahead with the proposal would lead to the break up of Pakatan Rakyat (PR), saying that the issue will be further discussed at the PAS leadership meeting next month.

"The next Parliament sitting is in March and there is still room for discussion," he said.

He said PAS is aware of the concerns addressed by its PR partners. PKR and DAP, and pledged to raise it with his leaders at the meeting.


Pakatan Rakyat will have to SUSPEND WORKING TIES WITH PAS if the Kelantan government goes ahead with its plan to amend the Shariah Criminal Enactment that will pave the way for hudud implementation in the state, a DAP lawmaker said.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said PR which consisted of PKR, DAP and PAS must demonstrate its commitment to uphold the common policy framework, even if it meant suspe...nding or cutting ties with any partner who threatened the spirit of the loose coalition.

"We must inspire confidence and demonstrate our commitment to the common policy framework in PR. We must be firm and show that it is something which cannot and must not to be taken lightly," Gobind said in a statement today.

Kelantan is proposing changes to the law ahead of its plan to table a private member’s bill in Parliament to facilitate implementation of hudud in the state.
Hudud covers crimes in Islamic law such as theft, highway robbery, adultery, alcohol consumption and sexual intercourse outside marriage.

Those convicted could face punishment such as amputation of limbs, flogging and death by stoning.

Gobind, who is also DAP's legal bureau head, referred to a report quoting Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who said PAS changed its focus on Islamic state to welfare state and allowed Christians to use "Allah" in their worship, but "still, we did not win Putrajaya" in 2013.

He also cited Amar's statement that hudud was more important than capturing Putrajaya and that the Islamist party was prepared to even sleep with arch rival Umno to see it through.

Gobin said this was by far the clearest admission by PAS that they were never serious about their role in PR and that they were never committed to its common policy framework.

"It appears that all this while PAS weighed in on PR to win Putrajaya so that they could set up an Islamic state and implement hudud even with Umno, if DAP and PKR disagreed to do so," he added.

He said PAS was going ahead to table an amendment in the Kelantan state legislative assembly on December 29 despite being reminded numerous times by PKR and DAP that they cannot do this without the consensus of all parties.

"It is very clear that the bill does not have the backing nor support of PR. More importantly, it strikes against the common policy framework of PR," he said, adding that PAS was therefore forcing a split.

He said PAS knew fully well objections by the DAP and no discussion nor agreement had been reached with DAP and PKR on the matter.

Gobind reminded PAS that all component parties in PR were dutybound to defend the common policy framework, which formed the basis for the coalition's gains in the 2008 and 2013 general elections.

"If ever Pakatan Rakyat is to remain a political force to be reckoned with, one which the people can trust and will respect, we must now demonstrate our commitment to uphold the common policy framework," he added.

Constitutional lawyers have repeatedly said it is almost impossible to implement hudud under the present political, democratic and constitutional framework.

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan said the entire system would have to be overhauled if the Islamic criminal law was to replace the penal code.

He said any attempt to introduce hudud was a mere political game to demonstrate to Muslims which party – PAS or Umno – was more "Islamic".

December 24, 2014


- DAP's Response to Kelantan PAS's HUDUD Bill.

I fully endorse what the Selangor Mentri Besar and PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali said yesterday, that hudud is not a common policy of Pakatan Rakyat, hence PAS should bring the issue to the Pakatan Rakyat presidential council for discussion.

Azmin referred to the September 28, 2011 meeting of Pakatan Rakyat Presidential Council at the PAS Headquarters attended by over 30 top leaders of DAP, PKR and PAS, which was also attended the then DAP National Chairman, Karpal Singh, and Kelantan exco members, and the consensus was that hudud was not part of PR joint common policy framework until all parties agreed to it.

As Azmin said: “If there is any new opinion or suggestion, it has to be brought back to the original consensus which was agreed among Pakatan, meaning that it has to go back to Pakatan's presidential council.”

But PAS has never brought this matter to Pakatan’s presidential council.

In fact, the headline of The Malaysian Insider report on the Sept. 28, 2011 PR Presidential Council meeting was: “Pakatan: Hudud only if all parties agree.”

If the PR Presidential Council had not reached the consensus on Sept. 28, 2011 that hudud was not common PR policy and that PAS would not unilaterally push for the implementation of hudud without the consensus of all PR parties, three things would have happened:

1. PAS would have continued to push for the implementation of hudud regardless of the views of DAP and PKR.

2. Pakatan Rakyat would have disintegrated.

3. UMNO/Barisan Nasional would not have become a minority government with only 47% of the popular vote – in fact it would have regained the two-thirds parliamentary majority it lost in the 2008 General Elections.


It is shocking that there are PAS leaders who are claiming that there is nothing wrong in misleading Malaysian voters in the 13th General Elections in May last year to support Pakatan Rakyat and PAS candidates and yet renege after the general elections on the undertaking that PAS will comply with the PR common policy framework and would not unilaterally push for the implementation of hudud without the agreement of the three PR component parties.

Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah has said that winning Putrajaya will come second to the implementation of hudud, that it is only the means to an end!

I am not sanguine that the Kelantan State Assembly special sitting on Dec. 29 can guarantee that PAS will be returned to power in the next general election, as what could be sacrificed as a result of PAS reneging on its undertaking to PR and the Malaysian voters would be both Putrajaya and the Kelantan State Government.

But we have to await the 14th General Elections to see the full impact of the consequences.

DAP leaders have agreed to disagree with PAS leaders on the issue of hudud because we believe we are on the same page to want to promote justice, freedom, democracy, good governance, incorruptibility and moderation in Malaysia.


We believe that we are honest politicians who will not use devious and dishonest means to mislead and cheat voters to vote for PR candidates under false pretences.

As I said yesterday, the December 29 Kelantan State Assembly special sitting to implement hudud will be a point of no return for both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

If certain UMNO leaders, like certain PAS leaders, can act unilaterally and arbitrarily to act against the founding principles of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat by devious and dishonest means, then it is doomsday not only for Pakatan Rakyat but also Barisan Nasional.

If the Kelantan State Assembly special meeting to push through the implementation of hudud, which even the PAS Central Committee is unaware of, is held,

 I see no purpose in my attending any future Pakatan Rakyat Presidential Council meetings, and I leave it to the party to decide on its next course of action.

- Lim Kit Siang
MP for Gelang Patah