Anwar: Blow by Blow

ANWAR: CONVENIENTLY FORGOTTEN TRUTHS ABOUT THE MAN AND MYTH

  1. Anwar Ibrahim did nothing to reform the system when he was an insider. And mind you, he was sitting at its apex and even acting as prime minister between May and July 1997.He did nothing towards a repeal of the ISA, OSA, Emergency Ordinance or Sedition Act. Nor did he roll back the restrictions imposed by the Societies Act and the UUCA.
  2. In the 16 years that Anwar was rising up the Umno ranks until he was a heartbeat away from the very pinnacle, he made no changes for the better from the inside. On the contrary, it was he who poisoned Umno’s well through expanding and entrenching the culture of patronage and money politics.
  3. He is no democrat. In 1995, the Umno general assembly decided that the top two posts should not and would not be contested in its 1996 party election.

The assembly instructed that only Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar could be nominated for president and deputy president respectively. Anwar was deep in the bowels of the BN system that has been dubbed a “guided democracy”.

Neither is Pakatan democratic. In the DAP, the first families of Lim and Karpal rule like as if the party is their personal fiefdom.

Guan Eng’s younger sister Hooi Ying is Penang DAP secretary. Three of Karpal’s children – Jagdeep, Gobind and Ramkarpal – are YBs. Ramkarpal was gifted an inheritance of his father’s Bukit Gelugor Parliament seat.

As for the PKR first family, Daddy is Anugerah Tuhan aka ketum parti, Mommy is president and Oldest Girl is vice president. There’s even talk of Younger Girl being given the chance to contest Permatang Pauh, previously rotated between her parents.

What democracy are Pakatan people talking about?

  1. Anwar was so Machiavellian in the ruthless way he toppled Ghafar Baba. Anwar was confirmed twice as Umno deputy president – in the 1993 and 1996 general assemblies.

He planted cells everywhere, appointing his coterie to vital and pivotal positions in the superstructure of the state. He was like a giant octopus with tentacles spread over the Umno machinery and the entire government bureaucracy. In short, he was a control freak.

Side note:

Man-in-a-hurry Anwar only served as Dr M’s deputy in Umno for five years (1993-1998) before trying to oust his boss. Unlike the treacherous Anwar, Tun Razak was a loyal deputy to Tunku Abdul Rahman. Tun Razak was Umno deputy president for 20 years (1951-1971) until Tunku resigned his party presidency in June 1971.

  1. True, Anwar was infamously given a black eye by the IGP but he was certainly not “beaten to within an inch of his life” as his declared by his lawyer. Reminder:A member of the Bar is not an aspiring novelist (or is he?). Hence he should always endeavour to be more factually precise in his expression and refrain from engaging in hyberbole.

Anwar, on the other hand, is an acknowledged drama queen. If you’ll recall, he had also alleged that he was being poisoned with arsenic. Oh, and the stage props – that ubiquitous neck brace and the wheelchair.

  1. As for the claim that Anwar was persecuted by Dr Mahathir, consider this: Among Dr M’s rivals, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had posed the most serious challenge. Yet in 1996, Dr M allowed KuLi to come back into Umno. He was not vindictive towards KuLi.

Musa Hitam was not expelled from the establishment either in spite of his falling out with Dr M. He enjoys a Tan Sri title and was given plum diplomatic postings and quangos despite the parting of ways with No.1.

Dr M is not vindictive. Guan Eng is.

  1. Anwar allowed himself to be co-opted into Umno in 1982. In doing so, he betrayed the cause of Abim.

Dr M commented: “His inclination would have been to join PAS. But he joined Umno because he foresaw no future for PAS. There was no way PAS could ever make him prime minister.” (Asiaweek interview, 26 Jan 2001)

Anwar does not “fight for the country”. He is serving himself and his own over-weaning ambition.

  1. After Zahid Hamidi attacked Dr M at the Umno Youth general assembly in June 1998, Dr M counter attacked by revealing the names of those cronies who benefited from the NEP nepotism. Prominent in the list were members of Anwar’s family.

Now how about explaining the source(s) of Anwar’s wealth where expenditure, like his residence nicknamed “Istana Segambut”, exceeds all visible legal income.

  1. It was Anwar who undermined the things that the Dapster evangelistas are today loudly clamouring for, i.e.
  • Religious freedoms – During Dr Siti Hasmah’s era, young Malay women did not cover their hair. It was Abim’s Yayasan Anda dakwah undergrads who popularized the wearing of tudung litup in our university campuses.
  • Role of English – Anwar was the Malay language nationalist who downgraded the use of English. As Education Minister, he renamed the national language Bahasa Melayu. It was Bahasa Malaysia previously.
  • Vernacular school – Anwar precipitated a crisis and Ops Lalang by sending non-Mandarin speakers as senior assistants to the SRJK (C).
  • Secularism – Anwar fast-tracked Islamism in the civil service and academia, and weakened the separation between ‘church’ (mimbar) and state.
  • Press freedom – He put his men in charge of the party and government media apparatus.

Daily the belligerent Dapsters will hurl curses at Ketuanan Melayu.

They fail to detect the anomaly in anointing Anwar as their PM-in-waiting given ketum’s past wherein it was he, more than any other Umno leader, who epitomized the Ketuanan concept. Ever heard the urban legend about Anwar’s threat to stop temple bells from ringing? (Oh, tapi dia dah bertobat. Ya ke?)

Duh, Dapsters can really be so self-delusional.

  1. The Dapsters hate Tun with a vengeance but seemingly forget that Anwar had been a close associate of Dr M for decades. In fact, the doctor even gave drafts of hisThe Malay Dilemmamanuscript for Anwar to preview. Yup, the two of them go back a long way and that’s why Dr M brought Anwar into Umno in 1982 – after a mere one year following his ascension as Prime Minister.

The ironic contradiction – Dapster embrace of Anwar as saviour and their damning of Umno, both in the same breath – invokes the split personality of his Chinese supporters as much as that of Anwar as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

  1. Anwar is an Umno veteran albeit one who was expelled from the party. He is also a veteran of the establishment.

Apart from the Education portfolio in his earlier career, Anwar handled the Finance Ministry right up till his sacking. So, what education policies are there to show of Anwar’s that have benefited our country? Which financial policy formulated by Anwar has had a lasting and positive impact on our economy?

It was Dr M who rolled up his sleeves in 1998 to stave off the IMF 

  1. Anwar is a chameleon and Pakatan a chimera. The former is all rhetoric whereas the latter is pretty polemics … of not much substance than ear candy.

“Anak Melayu anak saya, anak Cina anak saya, anak India anak saya”, goes the Anwar hook. And why not? It’s the kind of Bangsa Malaysia sop that Firsters – those non-Malays clutching at straws – desperately want to hear.

Now imagine Lim Kit Siang, the other one-third of the Pakatan triumvirate, saying: “Anak Melayu anak saya, anak Cina anak saya, anak India anak saya”. Now that would make the Malay toes curl and laugh.

As for the Indians, they will jolly well ask Kit Siang, “Hey, what happened to your Gelang Patah declaration?” Nothing of the DAP promise (plagarized from Hindraf’s blueprint) has been delivered to the Indian community since Lim Sr won the Johor Parliament seat in GE13.

Ultimately, what kind of man is Anwar? Consider all the many, many people who have turned their back on him. Read Dr Chandra Muzaffar, for starters.

  1. Anwar empowered the evangelistas.

It is repackaging the hardline Islamist with a Hallmark (greeting card) multiculturalist wrapping.

He goes to church and he tells the congregation that he had read the Bible every other day during his time in jail. Zul Noordin who helped to pack Anwar’s stuff upon his release has revealed that he did not come across any Bible among Anwar’s possessions.

It says something about the parishioners, doesn’t it, to whom the “I read the Bible” fairy tale was told. Why are they so easily duped by such hypocritical and cheap populism? (Answer: Too much J-Juice.)

  1. Anwar gave the Chinese false hope.

The Chinese like to posture as if they know it all. But in truth, they have swallowed a lot of bullshit, not to mention having poor judgment.

The Chinese rejected the best of Umno that is to say Dato’ Onn Jaafar but are embracing the worst of Umno – this B-grade actor Anwar.

They easily believe in all kinds of conspiracy theories and swallow propaganda (read how Odikal – Otak Di Kepala Lutut they are). Take the irony of DAP’s Ubah –from bashing Anwar during his Umno days, they now hype him as PM-in-waiting.

It was actually Karpal who denounced in Parliament the homosexual activities of Anwar (see Hansard @ Oct 22 and Dec 18, 1997).

Anwar is not innocent, okay. It is his coerced/consensual sex partners who are the real victims.

  1. Anwar is the consummate political animal. He will eat gullible little fools.

The above material is reproduced here by kind courtesy of its author Heleng Ang

ANWAR ANWAR OH ANWAR

A MUCH AWAITED DECISION: NO SURPRISES

Consider how this matter first arose. As Hansard (dated 22 October 1997, 18 December 1997) recalls, the very first time an MP stood up in parliament holding a statutory declaration that accused Anwar Ibrahim of sexual – homosexual – assault, Anwar Ibrahim was Deputy Prime Minister and his accuser was not a member of the government, but in fact an opposition MP from the DAP. And who was his original accuser? The late Karpal Singh, MP, a brilliant lawyer. Any account of the criminal and then political downfall of Anwar Ibrahim should recall who threw the first stone”.

(extracted from the New Straits Times 11 February 2015- A quote from Lawyer Shafee Abdullah’s Statement on Sodomy II)

Anwar did little to displace the evidence and the allegations against him on the charge that he had sex with Saiful (anal intercourse). He did not challenge the evidence or the corroborative testimony of his accuser sufficiently for him to raise reasonable doubt that his accuser was lying or that the evidence especially the DNA evidence presented against him was unreliable.

Anwar focused his defence on political issues. Speculative and conspiratorial theories of government and assassination of the prime minister’s character were central themes in his defence inside and outside of the courts. And Anwar with his supporters in tow went on a political rampage worthy of vandals.

In the process and from his unsworn statement from the dock, Anwar did not refute the challenges and allegations raised by the prosecution over the charges laid against him. His supporters did little to aid in his defence by their commentary in every public forum available to them. That comment goes also to his political allies and the political party he leads and to a handful of “journalists” who believed they were acting in furthering his legitimate interests. None were. They had become an albatross around his neck.

There was available to Anwar’s defence team, various other ways, means and tactics throughout this whole ugly and sad episode of his trial and the appeals that could have been deployed and successfully turned to his advantage. Unfortunately Anwar’s defence team fell desperately short of both experience and legal knowledge, and were equally distracted by the man and his antics, thereby failing to depart and dislodge themselves from Anwar’s “devil made me do it defence”. In the end they too were drawn into his vortex of troubles.

FLAWS IN HIS DEFENCE

Instead of trying to conduct a trial de Novo in an appeal, the defence ought to have focused on re visiting the legal and factual matrix that made up the charges against Anwar leading to the original decision at the heart of the appeal.

Anwar’s defence team had the opportunity to focus on the pleadings in the original trial as they should have. They should have dealt with any flaws in the judgement and the facts. They should have focused on the basis of the judgement which acquitted him. They should have focused on the evidence in both the forums in the lower courts and not ventured on the course they adopted which any competent fresh law graduate could have advised them was a slipper slope to a disaster. They did not.

The defence ought to have attacked the flaws (if any) in earlier decisions and the evidence used to convict the man attacking these instead in the context of the law and facts. Such a move may have supported an appeal in Anwar’s favour. They did not. He failed.

Suggesting the DNA was unreliable because it had been degraded since the trial, then attacking the credibility of the lab and reliability of the DNA in the appeal, in the manner in which that aspect of the evidence was presented and attacked was a fatal flaw in a desperate defence.

Saying (as Ramkarpal did) that the DNA had been degraded and therefore should not be relied upon as evidence is as pathetic and fatal as saying, as an example in analogy say in the case of statutory rape of an under aged girl thus:

“the girl’s age today is 21 therefore it can’t be statutory rape today. And her present age at 21 cannot be relied upon to convict on  a charge of statutory rape because her age has changed (like the DNA in Anwar’s case) from what it was at the time of the charge to what it is now”. The logic is both absurd and outrageous.

AND ANWAR WAS AN HONOURABLE MAN

As has been said a number of times before, this was a case in which many of Anwar’s so called allies have to be called to answer for his demise. It was never their intention to let the man lead or become Prime Minister of Malaysia if he and the opposition did win an election. The allegation is documented (Bersih). Anwar’s search for conspiracies should have been directed introspectively.

Anwar himself today cuts a pathetic figure as a refugee from a failed attempt at a coup all those years ago in 1998. Now abandoned, outed and discarded by forces that once believed they could use him as a proxy for US hegemony in the region Anwar stands alone.

He continues to see himself as a persecuted Messianic figure, a Martin Luther King Jnr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela type which he clearly is not. Anwar is delusional, broken, dysfunctional a man today as is the opposition in Malaysia that he leads.

Anwar worked for foreign intelligence services and foreign government’s using undemocratic means to sell his nation to the highest bidder a matter so widely and convincingly documented but denied only by Anwar.

His self appointed heir apparent Ambiga Sreenivasan works for the same causes and same objectives as he, funded and directed by the same discredited organizations and forces behind the scenes.

Alas it is pre election time in the US. They have the Ukraine, Europe and the very volatile middle east apart from a myriad of serious incurable destructive domestic issues to contend with. Anwar’s problems pales into insignificance when compared to the wider problems the west faces today. His use by date has long come and gone.

Anwar today is a distant and bad memory for most of his handlers and backers. His fate had been sealed a long time ago when he attempted to throw the country into chaos then grab power unto himself and his friends in the heady “reformasi” days supported by the tail winds of a similar movement in Indonesia.

What remains is the runt of a group of self serving individuals borrowing the cliched slogans of western trained vandals. None of them have any clout. None have any credibility where it matters. None have any basis for continuing their journey on a cart  whose wheels have now well and truly fallen off from its heavy load.

In its wake is a silent majority, denied a voice by the loud rattle of the Bersihs and PKR’s to properly combat all those ills of government, we all know about but can’t do much about because the opposition has become an incredulous, a dirty and a discredited by word for incompetence.

A PAPAL RESPONSE TO CHARLIE HEBDOU

AN INTRODUCTION

The following is an article by a Reuters correspondent whose name appeals at the head of the article. The contents of the article below are the Pope’s (Pope Francis) responses to questions about Freedom of expression and religion and the provocation of others through expression of these freedoms.

Pope Francis’s responses has disturbed and angered the France, a devoutly Catholic nation and others like it in Europe who expected him to apply the cliched responses of “liberty, freedom, fraternity and western democracy” and to stand united with them condemning Islam. Not to be.

The Holy father’s responses  are candid, independent, honest and honourable unlike those of his predecessors who contributed to the lies and justification of blood baths by western governments against weaker nations and people of other religions, especially the Muslims.

Is this man that light at the end of the tunnel the world (especially its Christians) has been waiting for?

HOW FAR OUR FREEDOMS

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis, speaking of last week’s deadly attacks by Islamist militants in Paris, has defended freedom of expression, but said it was wrong to provoke others by insulting their religion and that one could “expect” a reaction to such abuse.

You can’t provoke, you can’t insult the faith of others, you can’t make fun of faith,” he told reporters on Thursday, aboard a plane taking him from Sri Lanka to the Philippines to start the second leg of his Asian tour.

Francis, who has condemned the Paris attacks, was asked about the relationship between freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

“I think both freedom of religion and freedom of expression are both fundamental human rights,” he said, adding that he was talking specifically about the Paris killings.

“Everyone has not only the freedom and the right but the obligation to say what he thinks for the common good … we have the right to have this freedom openly without offending,” he said.

To illustrate his point, he turned to an aide and said: “It is true that you must not react violently, but although we are good friends if (he) says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch, it’s normal”.

You can’t make a toy out of the religions of others,” he added. “These people provoke and then (something can happen). In freedom of expression there are limits.”

Seventeen people, including journalists and police, were killed in three days of violence that began with a shooting attack on the political weekly Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical attacks on Islam and other religions.

PAST RELIGIOUS WARS AND CHRISTIAN CULPABILITY

Referring to past religious wars, such as the Crusades sanctioned by the Catholic Church against Islam, the Pope said:

“Let’s consider our own history. How many wars of religion have we had? Even we were sinners but you can’t kill in the name of God. That is an aberration.”

The Pope was also asked if he felt vulnerable to an assassination attempt or an attack by Islamic extremists.

Earlier this week, the Vatican denied Italian newspaper reports that U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials had informed the Vatican that there could be an imminent attack by Islamist militants.

Francis said he was more worried about others – rather than himself – being hurt in an eventual attack and that he was confident about security measures in the Vatican and during his trips.

I am in God’s hands,” he said, joking about having asked God to spare him a painful death.

Am I afraid? You know that I have a defect, a nice of dose of being careless. If anything should happen to me, I have told the Lord, I ask you only to give me the grace that it doesn’t hurt because I am not courageous when confronted with pain. I am very timid,” he said.

AIR ASIA- THE DEATH OF AN AIRLINE?

AIR ASIA QZ 8501- BACKGROUND TO A DISASTER

A recent comment by the editor of this blog, published on Che Det (the Tun Dr. Mahathir’s blog) about a report that Tony Fernandez of AirAsia apologized and issued a statement to the media  “accepting (full) responsibility” for the recent Air Asia tragedy drew sharp criticism from sectors of the public. Much of the criticism  in our view is misplaced for the perception that  we were attacking Tony Fernandez, Air Asia’s CEO. Fernandez is a man whose popularity and folk hero status is only matched by his flamboyance and AirAsia’s commercial successes. Fernandez knows how to ride the crest of a wave. In his case that wave was his association with Sir Richard Branson. Along with this came cheap no frills flying, a fresh approach to marketing, personalizing his product AirAsia, stamping it with the identities of the people who make it fly (and in this instance crash as well) and finally Fernandez’s his ownership of English football team Queens Park Rangers. All good so far. A real text book approach as was recently described by Caroline Sapriel, managing director of CS&A, a firm that specializes in advising clients on disaster management. But nothing it seems could stop the company having $200 million wiped off its value on the stock market. We suspect this to be the result of Tony Fernandez’s premature ‘mea culpa’. The shareholders now speak.

WAS AIRASIA OPERATING A PIRATE AIR TAXI?-RED FLAGS, SIRENS AND WHISTLES

Not long after our contribution to Che Det on this matter was published (two days later) Indonesian authorities issued a statement in which it questioned whether the pilot had followed correct weather procedures during the ill fated flight. Later in the same day they issued a further statement about suspending AirAsia’s (Indonesia) Surabaya to Singapore flights, saying ‘the airline’s operating license only permitted flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays’. The question that arises in light of the official statements issued by Indonesian aviation authorities about AirAsia flight QZ 8501 now is this: Was someone operating an unauthorized flight within AirAsia Indonesia? If so how did Surabaya control allow the flight to take off in these circumstances? Djoko Murdjatmodjo, Indonesia’s acting Director General of Air Transportation, said on Saturday 3 January 2015 that “the Transport Ministry would investigate other routes used by the carrier, which flies from at least 15 Indonesian destinations“. Is the acting Director General of Air Transportation Indonesia by his statement suggesting that AirAsia is suspected of undertaking unauthorized flights out of other cities it operates in and if so how many and by what means? “We are going to investigate all AirAsia flight schedules. Hopefully we can start on next Monday,” he said. “It is possible AirAsia’s license in Indonesia might be revoked,” he added. If AirAsia’s license is revoked that may indeed sound the death knell of what was once perceived to be a great airline. “It is without question”, an Indian aviation ministry official when asked and who spoke on condition of anonymity said “that we will be checking with all countries in which AirAsia has been flying to vet their compliance with international aviation practices and with regional laws and procedures”.

SHORT CUTS, DISASTERS AND THE ASIAN WAY OF BUSINESS

Garuda Indonesia and Philippine Airlines for a number of years had restrictions placed on them flying directly into Europe and the US because of their very poor record of maintaining standards and in meeting compliance sufficient to satisfy international aviation guidelines,protocols and benchmarks. Audits on both Garuda, Philippines Airlines and in fact all Indonesian and Philippines domestic carriers found serious breaches of compliance, flaws in reporting, short cuts in maintenance and fault reporting, falsification of documentation, poor aircraft maintenance (no maintenance in many cases to save on costs) the use of diluted fuel and over worked staff some reported to be doing up to three shifts in a single daily roster. It is widely believed by aviation experts that, these same malpractices and breaches of international air safety standards AirAsia now, Garuda and Philippine Airlines before it stand accused of, may in fact be far more widespread that is admitted to or acknowledged by aviation authorities in south east Asia. Airlines regularly flying the same routes in the region flown by AirAsia are going undetected in their breaches. Business models like that of AirAsia’s in allowing full autonomy to regional partners to manage their operations of the AirAsia business, makes monitoring compliance full time by head office difficult if not impossible.

UNAUTHORISED FLIGHTS-UNOFFICIAL SANCTIONS AND THE ASIAN WAY

An aviation expert from the US reinforced comments made by Indonesian authorities in suggesting that the AirAsia flight that crashed QZ 8501 may have been unauthorized. As QZ 8501 carried many Indonesian ethnic Chinese passengers, (a very wealthy and influential minority group in Indonesia), the flight could well have been ‘unofficially sanctioned’ in Surabaya. Unofficial sanctioning is a common practice in Indonesia and in many Asian countries. It simply involves paying off an official or officials to authorize an unauthorized act. In the specific case of flight QZ 8501 the SUrabaya Singapore flight may have been ‘unofficially sanctioned‘ (out of schedule) for the convenience of wealthy passengers. This would have involved administrative intervention, altering the status of the flight from one of (non) scheduled flight to that of a charter flight. In unofficially sanctioning the flight  this way, the aircraft bearing the AirAsia livery could then fly its passengers to Singapore ( who in a bizarre twist, say the flight was authorised to land in Singapore on a Sunday) as a scheduled AirAsia flight  on a date it was not scheduled to fly. Sunu Widyatmoko, Indonesia AirAsia chief, told reporters the airline, which is 49-percent owned by Malaysia-based AirAsia , would cooperate with the inquiry. “The government has suspended our flights from Surabaya to Singapore and back,” he said. “They are doing the evaluation process. AirAsia will cooperate fully with the evaluation.” Lets hope that the slogan “now everyone can fly” does not end up being “now anyone can die” in the wake of what is seen as an avoidable and preventable tragedy involving a first class airline. This according to many is what governments and businesses in south east Asia term “the Asian way” of doing business.

TONY FERNANDEZ & AIRASIA- WHERE LINES ARE BLURRED

It is widely reported that Tony Fernandez CEO of AirAsia issued an apology “accepting (full) responsibility” for the accident (by implication of what he said and the context in which his statements were reported). There are many who believe Tony Fernandez owns AirAsia. There those who believe that an apology and ‘accepting (full) responsibility’ for an accident by the CEO of the company is the right thing to do in the circumstances. It is also a widely held belief by many that an early acknowledgement of responsibility would help to reduce the prospects of the AirAsia tragedy turning into a bigger (PR) disaster for the airline and for its reputation. With the benefit of hindsight this is not an unreasonable view to adopt, considering the disastrous handling of the public relations and media briefings by government appointed spokespeople in the MH 370 and MH 17 disasters. There is merit and much to be said for good PR and effective communication with a grieving public delivered by people at the top immediately after the event. Full and frank disclosure helps. Accepting responsibility does not on any view help the Airline or its image so soon after the event without the benefits of the full facts behind the crash.

WHERE TONY FERNANDEZ ENDS- WHERE AIRASIA BEGINS

Tony Fernandez does not own AirAsia. The shareholders of who he is one, own the airline. Fernandez is a major and significant shareholder and founder of the airline. AirAsia is the property of a public corporation. The airline is indelibly stamped with the identity and persona of Tony Fernandez founder of AirAsia and he with it. And thus far that relationship and public perception of the two in one has endured successfully over a decade and half. One entity (Fernandez) is indistinguishable from the other (the corporation) in the public’s perception (till now). Fernandez also enjoys folk hero status amongst not only Malaysians, but also amongst Britons, south east Asians, China and people in the Indian sub-continent where AirAsia operates in one form or the other. It seemed for a while that nothing could go wrong for him or his airline. And from all accounts he deserves much praise for the airline’s success and for its good public image.

THE CRASH AND ITS CONSEQUENCES FOR THE AIRLINE

On Sunday 28 December 2014 the dream came crashing down over the Java sea in what was perhaps the most dreaded event in the life of any airline operator . Western journalists went to town reporting that a “Malaysian Airlines AirAsia airbus” had gone missing over the Java sea. Very few amongst them could distinguish between the official flag carrier of Malaysia, Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and the private sector owned AirAsia and it was only a few days later that some bothered to check their facts and get the story right. “Another Malaysian Airlines plane goes down” screamed the headlines over the airwaves and front pages of western media outlets. There was a careful and deliberate avoidance of any reference to Virgin Airlines or of any mention of Sir Richard Branson and any connection to AirAsia lest the fall out should infect the reputation of Virgin Airlines. The point seemed lost on many. A friend in need indeed is Virgin and Sir Richard Branson.

WHAT’S IN A WORD (OR WORDS)

The point I sought to raise in Che Det that appears to have escaped the comprehension of many readers is that by “accepting responsibility” for the problem”( i.e. the crash of the airliner AirAsia flight QZ 8501) Fernandez necessarily acknowledges and accepts the burden of legal responsibility for the consequences that flow from his “acceptance of responsibility” as the airline’s CEO. It was a dangerous and premature acceptance of responsibility on the part of Fernandez speaking for the airline AirAsia. And the market appears to have taken note of that acceptance of responsibility. All $200 milion of it. The reason I say so is this: The cause of the crash has not yet been established. The recovery operations to find the wreckage of the aircraft, its black box and the cockpit voice recorder have not yet been completed let alone located. To have “accepted (full) responsibility” in these circumstances before any other official, forensic and scientific finding is made is simply suicidal. It says something about culpability. Where were Tony Fernandez’s lawyers, where was his ‘well oiled’ PR machine?

WHY ANY ACCEPTANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY MUST WAIT FOR THE FACTS

The Asian media may forgive Fernandez (as should the rest of us) as his reported statement must have been a spontaneous heartfelt comment by a grieving CEO and an honest slip at that made by the man in the heat and emotion of such a disaster. However to make such an admission (which is what this is) by “accepting (full) responsibility” for something for which responsibility cannot yet be apportioned to, is a statement insurance companies, relatives and lawyers who will inevitably become a part of the gouging process in the aftermath of this tragedy would love to hear. Many may already have picked up on Fernandez’s acceptance of responsibility statement. Where were his legal advisors? Where was his well oiled media PR machine? An acceptance of responsibility has the effect of reducing an insurers liability if not partly at least, then wholly. There are then the relatives of the passengers and the owners of cargo QZ 8501 who have an interest and a right to sue the Airline who will not ignore the acceptance of (full) responsibility by AirAsia’s CEO to consider. What impacts his words as reported will have on the immediate and long term future of the airline is yet to be determined.

CONTAINMENT AND BIAS IN THE MEDIA vs SELF INFLICTED INJURY

QANTAS has had four aircraft technical failures in the air whereby aircraft had to return to base in a matter of one month in December 2014. Nothing in the international press. Thats PR. Thats containment. A Greek cruise ship caught fire off the Adriatic coast also in December 2014. The media reported 10 dead. The magistrate conducting the inquiry now in Italy has established 98 not accounted for in addition to the 10 confirmed dead. A ship was deliberately steered onto shallow waters and to rocks and is listing badly in Northern Scotland .4 people confirmed dead. Nothing is said of it. No apology issued no acknowledgement of responsibility as in the case with the Greek cruise ship. Paying huge sums of money to western based PR companies is never the answer. Common sense is. Another example as to what could happen when airlines (MAS) are privatized and short cuts and profit are the overriding consideration.

Najib to Stand Down in 2015?

A STOP GAP THAT LEAKS

The end of the road for Najib Razak as prime minister of Malaysia appears nigh. We understand from sources close to government and within UMNO that there have been intense (and confrontational) albeit secret discussions between groups jostling for the position of prime minister and by default leadership of the United Malay Nationalist Organization (known by its acronym UMNO).

Najib Razak’s tenure as prime minister of Malaysia was as it now appears only a stop gap for convenience and borne out of necessity following the disaster that was the Abdullah Badawi government. That government of Badawi tore apart the fabric of UMNO, of Malaysia and drove a wedge between the races  destroying the harmony and prosperity that existed before he arrived and thrust himself into the top job.

THE WORM IN THE APPLE

It is an indisputable fact that Abdullah Badawi was cultivated by (the Neo Cons) Washington during his posting at the UN. He was trapped (cultivated), wined and dined in much the same way Habibie the impotent president of Indonesia was before being shooed into office after former president Suharto was forced to step down there.

Anwar had originally been cultivated to take over Malaysia’s leadership in much the same way as Habibie was and by the same crowd. However a vigilant Mahathir intervened in time and the rest as we now know is history.

In Habibie’s case his impotence in office allowed the west to divide Timor into east and west Timor. In dividing Timor they ensured they would retain a hold on the strategic deep submarine caves of east Timor to counter the strategic foothold the Russians had gained for their nuclear submarines in the deeper waters off Cam Rahn Bay in Viet Nam.

DESTROYING UMNO AS A FIRST STEP TO ENDING MALAY DOMINATION

For the past 6 years the political landscape in Malaysia has been fraught with instability and internecine fighting within UMNO. Deep divisions have also arisen within the Indian and Chinese communities at all levels.

UMNO’s fate lay in the hands of the Badawi clan cultivated and lying in wait for an opportunity to strike. It was Badawi who sowed the seeds of discontent and division within UMNO and the rest of the coalition in government.

Badawi washed his hands of any responsibility for the country after lighting the fuse that gave rise to the large number of opposition groups, alternative media that turned into a juggernaut of foreign funded groups vying for power and Washington’s largesse to assist their varied agendas for Malaysia.

Badawi then tied the hands of the law enforcement agencies also whilst he was in government. His support of Ambiga Sreenevasan, the Malaysian Bar and other foreign funded groups in particular Chinese opposition groups is legend and well documented.

UMNO the organization, once the Achilles heel of Malay unity has been the subject of internal power struggles, betrayals and allegations of massive corruption, financial excesses, impropriety and personal feuds between regional political leaders. Once more the Badawi government’s handi work in these divisions is evident.

NAJIB MUST STEP DOWN: DEEP CONCERN IN THE ROYAL HOUSES

Najib Razak by his indolent and lacklustre performance whilst at the helm of government appears to have only encouraged divisions amongst Malays and the coalition parties originally created by Badawi. Najib even allowed his personal integrity, his reputation and that of his family’s to be sullied and defamed to a point his leadership has been severely undermined and his reputation irreparably damaged.

The various groups now jostling for power within UMNO and the Malays have reached consensus concluding that Najib Razak must go. We take that point one step further now with the news the King and a number of the sultans have also made it clear (but in private) that Najib Razak’s prime ministership has become untenable and that they can’t support it or him anymore.

Much has been invested by the US and some European countries supported by local Chinese groups and so called NGO’s to breaching that rock solid unity of the Malays UMNO.

Opposition funded from abroad has been designed to divide the Malays first and then to substitute Malay political and cultural dominance for ethnic Chinese domination of political power in government. Achieving this change would it seems complete the post independence vision of the Chinese to rally against others in their quest for political and economic supremacy and domination of government first, ensuring total Chinese domination over the peninsula and beyond in south east Asia guaranteeing US hegemony in the region.

UPDATE

Dr.Mahathir Mohamed former prime minister and elder statesman has confirmed in an interview with a Malaysian journal , the call to Najib Razak to step down by his party. It is further reinforcement of our report that prime minister Najib Razak’s term as prime minister of Malaysia may be close to an end.

UMNO AND THE GREAT BETRAYAL

Many Malays believe that UMNO has lost its direction, its political and its moral authority to validly represent the Malays as a people. They believe UMNO as an organization and they as its beneficiaries have been abused and used to further and to advance the personal ambitions and fortunes of UMNO’s current crop of leaders.

Many more Malays believe the excesses of UMNO’s current leadership has been nothing short of a betrayal of the promises of the founding fathers of UMNO that the organization in whom they placed their trust would be custodians of their future, their land and their inherent political and cultural rights into perpetuity.

The general neglect of the Malay community and the deep class divisions that now prevail within is evident in not only the political and social dialogue over cyberspace but also in the emergence of what appears to be a credible preferred alternate political group claiming ascendancy over UMNO to represent Malay aspirations. That group and new entity is Perkasa.

UMNO is widely seen as a platform for the promotion of the interests of the Chinese, some Indians and the wealthy connected urban elite group of Malays to the detriment of UMNO’s grass root constituents now being absorbed by groups like Perkasa whose appeal appears more in focus with Malay aspirations.

NEGOTIATIONS OVER SUCCESSION 

From the information provided to us, it is evident that negotiations on a succession plan have been on going for some time now (accelerated since the outcome of GE 13) between factional leaders. Our sources tell us that these negotiations have been held in secret and conducted largely outside Malaysia in places as Australia, London, the US and at other times in secret locations within Malaysia.

Dr. Mahathir Mohamed who although not directly involved in these discussions and negotiations has been asked to refrain from any overt comment or direct action in the dispute and succession plans  for fear it may add to greater volatility in an already tense situation. It is feared that any comment by the former prime minister now elder statesman would serve to further inflame the present situation adding to the inertia of Perkasa’s momentum and its ascendency amongst the Malays.

The situation is volatile and the Malays deeply divided. Dr. Mahathir’s input it is believed by many political observers will inevitably hasten if not bring about the  demise of present day UMNO. The Malays are from all indications demanding radical surgery for UMNO, the dismantling of the current power structures within it and a more inclusive organization and a more meaningful consultative role in government.

THE ALTERNATIVES FEW BUT CLEAR: “NAJIB MUST GO”

The alternatives for UMNO and prime minister Najib are limited. Any failure on his part to address the current situation pro-actively, sensitively and with haste, paramount to which is the divide amongst the Malays and address the excesses (perceived and real) and indulgences of an elite within its leadership  according to political observers, will further undermine his and UMNO’s credibility. Unless he takes some drastic and immediate steps to bridge the divide and rein in corruption within UMNO the current leadership of both government and UMNO it is inevitable that UMNO will implode leaving Perkasa standing as the only legitimate representative of the majority Malays.

Perkasa and Isma and the momentum they have gained given the vacuum created by UMNO appear to be more representative of the aspirations of Malays. They will emerge to victorious, fill the void and assume the mantle of UMNO as representatives of the political and cultural will of the Malays.

No one contacted within Perkasa’s leadership recently has been prepared to comment on the subject matter of this article.

FOOTNOTE

In an insult to the freedom of expression and independent media, online media outlets like Yahoo have embedded in their news portals, anti government media organizations like Malaysia Kini, the Star and the Malaysian Insider. News items on Yahoo are now attributed directly to each of these private media organizations redirecting ereaders to their websites allowing them control any rebuttals and comments to their “news items”. It also allows the likes of Malaysi Kini, the Malaysian Insider and the Star to do as they always have done and that is to censor any blogging, comments or responses to their “news” items. They censor anything that is not anti government or letters and comments that challenge the veracity of their journalism.

Yahoo has been identified along with Google as an eves dropping device and station of US intelligence and homeland security.  Their conduct in this regard is nothing short of censorship and interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state.

We stand by our sources and the credibility of their information

Syariah in a Secular Constitution

SYARIAH THE CONSTITUTION AND THE PROMINENCE OF NOUGHT

The debate currently raging on Islam and the constitution in Malaysia raises some very pertinent and perplexing questions not only about the character of the federal constitution, its role in government and politics, but it also reflects how little of the constitution is understood by those who comment on it and then attempt to interpret its provisions.

At the heart of the current debate on the perceived ‘rise of radical Islam’ ‘in breach of the secular character of the constitution is that “clash of civilizations” narrative conceived and conceptualized by conservatives in Washington post 9/11. That narrative and all that it stands for is now being played out in Malaysia.

Ventilating the position of what even the right wing in Washington refer to as the “rabid looney far right”, is an urban, ‘educated’ elite, embedded in the cities and metropolises of Malaysia. They and judging from their socio political dialect are an elite, alienated from the mainstream of Islam and their own culture. They have little connection to the realities of the daily lives, struggles and aspirations of the vast majority of Malaysia’s Muslims, Its Malays. Yet they claim to speak on behalf of Islam and the Malays in pronounced western monologues and tones .

THE GANG OF 25 AND ITS SECULAR ARGUMENT

The latest barnacle of this socially and politically aware coterie, attached to the hull of an opposition ship piloted by civil societies and other so called NGO’s is the Prominent group of 25. Led by former Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands Datuk Noor Faridah Ariffin, the group raises amongst other things, ‘a head of steam’ in what many in their class perceive as the unwelcome ascendancy of Islam as a religious and political force in national politics. They see this as threatening a breach of the secular character of the federal constitution. But they don’t raise any argument capable of supporting the non secular aspect of the  ascendancy of Islam as they see it or how it breaches the constitution’s secular character in the process.

Relevantly Faridah Noor is quoted as saying “It is high time moderate Malays and Muslims speak out. Extremist, immoderate and intolerant voices as represented by Perkasa and Isma do not speak in our name,”  in an open letter sent to all Malaysian media. What she failed to say was that the letter was not meant for the media. And then there were 24.

Noor Faridah fails to qualify or substantiate her claims in respect of the constitution, Islam and secularism  in that letter. She fails to address or ignores the fact she and her group of 25 Datuks and Datins have little in common with the wider body of the Malay Muslim population, from which it could be argued that the 25 have little in the form of a credible mandate than Perkasa or Isma to speak out for Muslims  or for Malays.

The 25 decorated, socially connected, upper middle class signatories to that letter have little connect with the vast body of marginalized mainly rural Malay Muslims for whom Isma and Perkasa speak so eloquently and effectively drawing Noor Fardiah’s ire and attention.

So much for her respect and knowledge of the constitution, of secularism, of democratic principles and  the needs and aspirations of Malays.

ONE MANS EXTREMIST ANOTHER MANS CHAMPION

Interestingly Noor Faridah refers to Perkasa and Isma as extremists for a few misplaced sentiments of its members. One swallow it appears does a summer make. She conveniently avoids comment on the totalitarian mindset and extreme language of chauvinistic (the exclusive and Chinese dominated) opposition politicians from the DAP, Bersih and elements of the Malaysian Bar. Each of these groups seek to overthrow government outside the ballot box.

Noor Faridah ignores reference to the plethora of  insults hurled at Islam and the Malays and the litany of lies and defamatory remarks in propaganda prior to and during the general election period of 2013 by her allies.These are the foreign funded rioters who  threaten to undermine democratic, representative, government by their actions.

Not even after Ambiga Sreenivasan’s audacious admissions on record to being foreign funded with an agenda to disrupt the elections and government has Noor Faridah anything to say about that threat and its extremist undemocratic non secular tones. Faridah and the 25 are not outraged. Nothing extreme there it seems. Nothing unconstitutional or intolerant about Bersih either. Yet the language she choses in her contumely against Islam is couched in very similar language to that used by Bersih, the DAP’s, PR and the civil society’s other assets in the region .

Noor Faridah  is deafeningly silent also about the Catholic church and its unwarranted divisive provocations of Muslims in cahoots with the US sponsored evangelistas. Critically and conveniently she fails to demonstrate why Perkasa and Isma are racist.

Could it be that she believes that Isma and Perkasa by one or even 10 of  their number have  issued political statements like those of Bersih’s, Fr. lawrence’s or Rev. Ong Moon and Anwar’s that do not meet with her approval? or worse still could Isma’s offending statements have been in the mold of the former Pope’s (Ratzinger)“Islam is a religion of evil” remark? or more to the point,  is it because Isma and Perkasa  are not of the same social pedigree of the 25?

WHERE DOES THE TRUTH LIE?

Nothing could be further from the truth than Noor Farida’s implied negativity and interpretations of secularism and the constitution arising as she implies from inclusion and recognition of Syariah law as an equal or parallel civil code in the Malaysian legal system.

It is a very long bow to draw to suggest that Malaysia, Afghanistan and Pakistan in some respects are in a parallel orbit because the Malays in a majority in exercising their constitutional rights appear to support Syariah whilst also resisting in a tide of opposition to their rights by non Malays.

This group of 25 does not comprise Islamic or legal scholars of any repute or distinction. Nor do they comprise anyone of standing with theological or academic credentials (Islamic) in Islamic or constitutional jurisprudence capable of supporting their arguments.

The group of 25 speculate, create fear and loathing of Muslims and invite incitement to sectarianism with the open letter. Nothing more, nothing less. Noor Faridah’s credentials as a lawyer and one who held such a high position in the public service and as one who may have instructed counsel in the Pulau Batu Puteh litigation leaves a lot to be desired.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH-STATE  A FICTION OF THE SEPARATION OF POWERS DOCTRINE

Truth is that religion, inspite of the fictional doctrine of separation of church and state has, always been like the Syariah, an integral part of state and politics.

The same applies to Holland (where Noor Faridah served) which is ruled by the House of Orange as it is in the UK ruled by the House of Windsor (the Queen) as it is in Malaysia.

The Syariah has from time immemorial been an integral part of Malay politics and deeply ingrained in the Malay psyche. Its existence and influence predates encroachment by the British colonial government and the ensuing influences of waves of imported migrants both cultural and religious. The conventions and influence of Syariah remains alive inspite of Anglo Christian legislation having obscured its existence, tarnishing its history and questioning its legitimacy.

The once seemingly dormant and benign force of Islam stirred up recently by provocative religious minorities and foreign funded anti Islamic forces appears to have finally found their sea legs. The opposition appears to have precipitated a crisis from which it is desparate to withdraw but unable to find the means to do so honourably.

These so called Liberal Muslims who the 25 appear to appeal to must in part shoulder responsibility for the increased radicalization,isolation,  militancy and rise of the politics of Islam in mainstream Malaysia today.

Islam is seen as The political doctrine, ideology and shield of a largely marginalized polity amongst the Malay population. The group of 25’s discomfort at the rise of Syariah is of their own making, their own negligence and their own incompetence.

The dispossessed amongst the Malays who are greater in number than their ‘Liberal’ counterparts the 25 appear to appeal to, have a far greater right to an expressive voice (however offensive and disagreeable) in a democracy. And from what is happening they appear to be prepared to use their voices to express their rights to their advantage in numbers. What is so wrong about that that others have to stand up to and be counted according to Noor Faridah?

A MUSLIM IS A MUSLIM -NOT LIBERAL NOT RADICAL- JUST MUSLIM

Liberal Muslims (whatever that term means) can no longer avoid the obvious, the inevitable and the consequential damage from decades of suppression of the deeply personal and religious aspirations of a silent marginalized majority, the Muslims.

Being Muslim and being Malay is as analogous to being celibate and being the Pope at the same time. These are inseparable characteristics of both concepts and not mutually exclusive terms or propositions. These are truisms we cannot ignore.

Terms like ‘moderate Islam’ and ‘liberal Islam’, ‘radical Islam’ and ‘progressive Islam’ are terms coined in places like the creative media rooms of the powerful Hill & Knowlton and other consultancies to the anti Islamic lobby in Washington more than a decade ago. They are colourable terms used to distort and to defame, to destroy and to debilitate.

These same terms now embarrassingly find currency amongst a belatedly ‘secularized’ community 13 years too late. The language is a dead give away of where the strings to these anti Islamic campaigns are attached.

THE AFGHAN PAKISTANI PARALLEL-IGNORANT AND UNFOUNDED

When all else fails………….Noor Faridah unfairly and unjustly draws parallels to what has occurred in Pakistan and Afghanistan to what is likely to happen to Malaysia if the Syariah Isma Perkasa juggernaut is not stopped. 

Afghanistan like Pakistan are two states cursed by their strategic location as entry points to central Asia and the Arabian sea. Historically the British, the Russians and the Americans had all sought to subjugate and rule a martial race of people in the Hunzas, Baluchi’s, Waziris (the people of Samson from Samson and Delilah of the bible) the Pathans and the other tribes that make up the two regions. None of Britain, the US or the Soviet army succeeded.

Pakistan and Afghanistan had a strong liberal, educated class who aspired and sought to claim for their people a fair share of the goods and services of a functioning democracy which would enable them to co-exist alongside the conservative principles and rigours of Islam and their tribal parochialism.

It was the British first, then the Soviets second then the Americans (under Ronald Reagan and William Casey) who militarised and radicalized the people of these two nations, assassinating, imprisoning and exiling their intellectuals, their liberal politicians, then setting up a false intellectual pseudo liberal class in an effort to lend a facade of legitimacy to their subjugating and ruling Pakistan and Afghanistan under an extreme form of Islam ‘Wahhabism’ to which the US was midwife at its birth in Saudi Arabia.

DEMOCRACY BY THE GUN-ISLAM BY WASHINGTON-FREEDOM BY DEATH

Coup after coup after assassination they failed. The west had by now brutalized, radicalized and militarized Islam in these places. It was now their brand of Islam that would exist in the region destroying it and its people whilst promoting western designs and supporting strategies in the region.

The lynching of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto one of the very few democratically elected Pakistani leaders was a watershed in Pakistani and South Asian politics.

Pakistan has had a sleuth of despots, military brutes, medieval warlords and tyrants all installed and supported by the US before and after that event. Noor Faridah appears to latently support the myth of Islam being the root cause of the problems of Afghanistan and Pakistan with her ill informed misdirected rhetoric.

If Malaysia is to become like either of these two states it will not be because of Isma or Perkasa  or the Syariah. It is more likely to be so because of the fear mongering and ill informed claims of a misguided Noor Faridah and her cohots and their ignorant (however well meaning) rants in this debate. This is exactly what occurred in Egypt and in other places in the middle east where American sponsored springs resulted in totalitarianism anarchy and bloodshed. The writing on the wall is the same.

What Noor Faridah and others like her are doing is precisely what the US did to Pakistan and to Afghanistan before destroying their liberal cultural and democratic and secular political institutions before turning these places into chaotic irredeemable failed states.

These agents of change achieve the destruction of their subject states by first creating then deploying a class of pseudo intellectuals with little limited knowledge, or regard for their own history or for fact.

Each of the extreme elements of Islam from the Taleban, Osma Ben Laden, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Algerian Brotherhood (the anti French resistance), the Chechen Rebels, (Saudi Arabian and American intelligence) the Filipino Abu Sayef (US intelligence to keep Marcos under check) and the Ayatollah’s Iranian Revolutionary Guard (the French), Hamas, Amal and Hezbollah (by Israel to keep the PLO under check) was a direct or collaborative instrument of US foreign policy. The same applies to ISIS.

Sadly for Noor Faridah there are no parallels to draw with Malaysia’s situation unless she is referring to the nexus with her group and these same forces of US foreign policy.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy them make mad first“.

WHAT’S IN A NAME A DEFINITION OR A LABEL?

There is no such thing as liberal Islam or liberal Christianity. These are socio political concepts in theologies (religions) born out of revolts, rebellions and social upheaval against oppression during their time.

The religious edicts of Islam demands strict personal disciplines as ‘ordained by God through his prophets’ and adherence to an even stricter moral code which is also claimed to be derived from the word of God.

For man (or woman) to alter the word of God in any way is more than merely Haram worthy of a Fatwa. It reduces God to a creation of man and a subject of man and not the other way round as it should be. There are no liberal or progressive or extreme versions of Islam. There is Islam and there is Christianity. It is absolute. You take it or leave it. But you can’t reinvent it.

SECULARISM VS SECULARISM-  ‘CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERTS’ VIEW- AMBIGA SPEAKS

The Malaysian constitution is secular in nature as Malaysia’s system of government is that of a parliamentary democracy. But whether or not one accepts these descriptions of Malaysia’s constitution, its government and its character the question is this. What is the meaning of secular in the context of government and the constitution. What is a democracy?

Ambiga Sreenivasan was quoted recently as explaining the meaning of secular in the framework of a similar constitution, the Indian constitution in which she as she explains “ it is to make the Christians and Muslims feel safe and to protect them against a government being pro Hindu”.

Ambiga failed to take the opportunity to disabuse the ill informed of why the word constitution and secular should not be cast in stone with copious references to articles of the constitution by their number and paragraph.

As an example of the point. Secularism is described as being an ‘areligious concept’ of politics in government where no religion or spiritual belief takes precedence over the laws or of government. Another way of describing this is simply” ” The rule of law. No one is above the law (institution or individual). That does not necessarily mean no religion can prevail within the confines of the law.

However in India, you have marriage and property acts directly applicable to separate religions. An example of a few appear below for convenience:

Anand Marriage Act, 1909. (07 of 1909)Arya Marriage Validation Act, 1937. (19 of 1937)Converts’ Marriage Dissolution Act,1866. (21 of 1866)Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act,1939. (08 of 1939,)Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. (78 of 1956)Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. (25 of 1955) Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. (26 of 1937) Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986. (25 of 1986) Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936. (03 of 1936) The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872. 

This example in the Indian constitution and its idea of secularism in truth can be argued as being the very antithesis of secularism. The law is subjected in part to religious doctrines and the various theologies which the law accommodates in varying degrees of discrimination resulting in a form of sectarianism. But they call it secular in India.

IGNORANCE IS NOT SECULAR- IT IS NARROW AND CANNOT ENLIGHTEN

The point is this. India’s constitution like that of Britain’s is said to be secular. But what secular means is clearly not understood by all. Secularism is like the elephant to the three blind men in the room. Each sees and feels it from a perspective of his or her own short comings and limited knowledge.

The US it is difficult to forget called itself a democracy for over a century defined by the “Gettysburg Address”. “ A government of the people by the people”. But no one dared ask the vexed question for over a century about, “a government by which people  for what people”. And for a century at least the Native Americans and the African American population lived under a shadow of unappalled oppression, deprivation and brutality till the events that culminated in Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights million man march of 1968.

Yet the world recognized this ‘moral, economic and military power’ as being not only a democratic state but also the model of democratic government and a secular constitution others had to aspire to or face their wrath in the breach. The demon then was communism. Today it is Islam.

WHY THE INCLUSION OF SYARIAH IS NOT A BREACH OF SECULARISM IN THE CONSTITUTION

Malaysia’s constitution is secular, its government a parliamentary democracy, its majority and therefore its social fabric fundamentally cloaked in a Muslim Malay character. By introducing Islam into the legal system the constitution does not in any way become non secular or breach  its ‘secular character’. It in fact gives it a wider interpretation and adorns the secular characteristics of the constitution. It in fact recognizes and gives legitimacy to the popular notion of the concept of secularism. Separation of church and state. But is that separation real?

Malaysia’s constitution, a variant of the Westminster English constitution according to the Malaysian Bar’s ‘constitutional experts’ and by implication of the call by the group of 25  is said to be secular.

In England the constitution its laws and every element of government in its preamble is by reference to the Queen in whose name parliament is called, prorogued and in whose name every law is enacted. Now how is that secular?

The Queen is head of the Church of England and the Protestant Churches. All government is hers. Her Prime Minister her Ministers, her armed forces, her courts and her civil service. Where therefore is the separation of state and church?

The laws which determine what is wrong and what is right has its origins in the 10 commandments beginning with the first “I am the Lord thy God thou shalt not have strange Gods before me”. Interpreted in simpler form “ The King and parliament is sovereign and no other power or law shall have precedence over them”. The “constitution is the supreme law of the land” Not the US constitution, not the British constitution, but the Federal Constitution of Malaysia is the supreme law of the land.

One can go on about the other laws such as the homicide act which is derived from the fifth commandment “thou shall not kill”, the tenth “thou shalt not covet they neighbours goods” the origins of the theft act and so on and so forth. But is it necessary?

SYARIAH VERSUS CHRISTIAN CIVIL CODES

Now where is the problem in the introduction and recognition of Syariah on par with the Christian civil code? Syariah is often ignorantly viewed through a ‘sensationalist ignorant’ prism as a regime of prohibitions alone leading to amputations and stoning.

Such perceptions are further reinforced by exaggerated media hype about organizations such as Boko Haram and ISIS whilst ignoring the equally evil “cult of the Christ of death” (Santa Muerta) in Mexico. Santa Muerta  has been responsible for the tens of thousands of deaths over the past decade where innocents have been hacked to death, mutilated, kidnapped, raped and beheaded indiscriminately. Referred to by the media as the Cocaine wars all care is taken to avoid reference to Santa Muerta a Catholic cult of death which hangs over this murderous rampage.

The US has done nothing to stop the carnage and continues to merely report it as organized crime. It in fact is far greater a danger than what ISIS (which the US created) is today. Yet the narrow minded amongst us sheepish and shallow in their intellect are willing to further advance these myths  riven by fear and a healthy dose of Islamophobia to the extent they have denigrated themselves in the process.

The singular incidents of a conflict of laws involving the Syariah and civil codes are but conflicts of law which cannot be resolved through name calling, hurling insults and demonizing one side or the other. Needless to say for a population as proportionately large as the Malays are in Malaysia they are dwarfed by the enormity of the resources in money and technical expertise of English and Chinese anti Malay anti Islamic online publications whose primary purpose is to insult them and hijack everything from their culture to their religion to their language and rights.

Isma and Perkasa are but creatures of necessity having been ignored for far too long by the comfortable middle classes and the voracious lofty ambitions of the mainly Chinese land grabbers in their midst. In the end they will prevail not because of us and what we think of them, but inspite of it all.

A CONCLUSION FOR ALL

Noor Faridah and any of the signatories to this “open letter to government” have an obligation to resign from any government position they now hold. A resignation in these circumstances is part of the Westminster Constitutional convention  Malaysia has adopted. It is imperative that they resign because their “open letter” is a disendorsement of confidence in the government they serve. They are therefore unfit or in the alternative not able to serve a government in whom they have expressed no confidence.

The other side of this situation is that the Prime Minister to whom and to whose government the letter is in effect addressed must resign if he does not immediately respond and put his position on the table. His response must be to sack any serving civil servant in the list of signatories to this “open letter” if he does not himself tender his resignation and that of his governments.

Anytime there arises an expression of no confidence in government, there are but very few options available to the protagonists if they are within government. It is the underlying principle of responsible government that demands such a response.

Floods and the Sultan’s Anger

A RIGHT ROYAL RAGE

The Sultan of Pahang, HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah may have opened up a Pandora’s box with his recent outburst directed at those who he believes responsible for the damage to the crown jewel of his state the Cameron Highlands.

The Camerons and surrounding areas suffered great physical and environmental damage following heavy rains recently precipitating a torrent in the rivers especially Sungei Bertam that resulted in heavy flood damage to the areas through which it flows.

The Sultan’s reaction to this calamity is captured in his comments published in the NST (New Straits Times 20 November 2014). The Sultan’s comments are surprising for his apparent ‘lack of knowledge’ of what has been occurring in his state over time. Surely the Sultan must have known of the stealthy encroachment into his territory through illegal means by certain groups, many of which are fronted by people he has decorated with knighthoods (Datukships), bought and paid for with the money from their illegal activities.

ILLEGAL LOGGING THE SULTANS AND DATUKSHIPS- THE KING’S NEW CLOTHES?

The degradation of the rainforests of Malaysia through illegal logging and ‘farming’ is legend. The rest of the world has been screaming out in anger and outrage for ages about this environmental disaster in the making (the deforestation of Malaysia), but It appears that the Sultan is about the only person in his state oblivious to the fact.

The Sultan thinks it is the lowly public servant who is to blame. He singles out a minister in Palanivelu a minister of government apportioning blame on the man for the problem which is decades old and then threatens to interfere in the electoral process by saying ‘the minister can forget about his chances for re election’ or words to that effect ‘if the situation is not corrected’. How convenient indeed.

The former Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed during a recent road trip through that state observed a large number of logging trucks and the abundance of valuable timber being carted on them to their final destinations. He wrote a comment on it on his website Che Det which is worth a read.

Each of the Malaysian states abundant with timber resources has been hijacked by rich and powerful business interests and communities all of them by-passing legal process and procedure to acquiring rights to these resources. They are then hailed by the same Royals as the Sultan as hard working examples of enterprise.

As a first step to their looting of the environment and state resources, these groups infect the integrity of the rulers of their target states. They pay them generously for their ‘Datukships’ and lavish upon these Royals gifts of cash, overseas trips, cars, women and other luxuries in an age old ritual that has become all too commonplace in Malaysia.

IGNORANCE BY DESIGN BETRAYAL OR WILFUL BLINDNESS?

To claim ignorance of the rape of state resources, land and forests is to feign ignorance in these matters is an insult to us all.

It is an unimpeachable truth that the Sultan’s claimed ignorance is feigned. And here are my reasons for saying so.  The claim to not knowing about what is happening in Pahang state is being made by a person who has both a moral and legal obligation to make it his business to know what is happening in his state, not after a tragedy like the recent floods in the Camerons but before it occurs.

At the Sultan’s disposal is the machinery of the state and the federal government. If he so desires he has access to these resources at any time. This same position applies to all Sultans and rulers of all states throughout Malaysia. In fact it is also true a position when applied to all politicians and parliamentarians.

Such a claim as is made by HRH the Sultan of Pahang (which I am quite certain is a defence likely also to be raised by other Royals if questioned) is not only laughable (if it were not so tragic) and indefensible, but it is also demeaning of the integrity and the sanctity of the office of the ruler of a state. His Royal Highness the Sultan of Pahang is not alone in this regard. His comments and his response to the floods is regrettable. It exposes the weaknesses of the Royal Households and the calibre of the traditional rulers of Malaysia.

If however the Sultan is genuinely as he implies ‘in the dark‘ about these practices of land grabbing and illegal logging in his state, then it is those who surround him in office that need to be identified, thoroughly investigated and punished for keeping the ruler insulated from reality and isolated from knowledge of the affairs of his state. What has occurred now has brought the Sultan and his office, through his comments and his actions, into disrepute. The damage to his reputation and to the office he holds is irrepairable.

Such conduct by the Sultan’s advisors and  minders is high treason, unpardonable and impermissible. It amounts to undermining the authority of both the Sultan and eroding the power of the state he rules over and deserves immediate and independent remedial action.

STATE AND SOVEREIGN COMPLICITY IN PILFERING NATIONAL RESOURCES 

The rape of the land in places like the Camerons is legend. It stands out like a pair of dog’s proverbials and no one, not least of all the Sultan could possibly have missed out on noticing it or claim not to know about it. The Camerons is but an isolated example of what is happening nation wide which needs attention. And the Sultans recent comments may have been the catalyst for action against these land pirates.

Kuala Lumpur and its surrounds has for decades been the scene of unlicensed, unlawful and unabated environmental damage for “development” purposes by unlicensed and licensed developers alike many working under the protection of the Royals. Local councils have been bought and planning laws sidelined if not completely ignored in pursuit of the development dollar.

Selangor, Johor, Perak and Kelantan have all become captive to groups of opportunists who help themselves in disproportionate amounts, to assets which rightfully belong to the state/ All this achieved through the device of a compliant Royal house or member of a Royal household.

Datukships are sold like confetti to the highest bidder and used by recipients as an accessory to be flashed at social functions and to embellish the otherwise pallid characters and under achievements of its recipients.

The practice has to stop. What the award of Datukships has served to do is to reduce the integrity of the office of ruler (Sultan) to that of being a captive to a community of law breakers.

These robber baron law breakers then  wave their paid for knighthoods (Datukships) as a badge of honour and a ‘get out of jail’ free pass in pursuit of their destruction of the social fabric and physical and cultural environment of the country.

In the process knowingly or otherwise the Sultans have allowed their reputations to become tainted, sullied and their positions seemingly tied to a leash controlled by these monied communities.

The Royal households of each state are complicit in the environmental vandalism that has led to tragedies such as the Cameron highlands floods and the erosion of law and order. There is no getting away from this allegation. The overwhelming body of evidence clearly implicates the Royal households of each state to the activities of land vandals, logging companies and improperly sanctioned developers.

FARMING SLAVES AND LAND GRAB-THE CAULDRON BOILETH OVER

The illegal market gardens and farms mainly Chinese owned in not just the Camerons but nationwide are now the property of corporate squatters from as far away as mainland China, using local fronts and imported slave labour from India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The practice endures in east Malaysia too on a very grand scale where the involvement of members of the state legislature are directly involved in these enterprises. The recent case of an Indian national who escaped a surreal and bizarre experience of being kidnapped and being forced to work as a slave in Sabah appears to be the tip of a very large iceberg of human trafficking in this area.

Unless the federal government acts and acts immediately, effectively and with sincerity, the anticipated change people  expect of government may not after all come through the ballot box.

There is a stygian anger brewing amongst not only the migrant population of the country. It now engulfs the grass roots rural Malays. And  unless there is immediate action by government against organized resource thieves and environmental vandalism, these problems will meld into a single cause that will inevitably cause the cauldron of the weak and dispossessed to explode into uncontrollable rebellion. If this does occur as many suspect it will, the human torrent of anger and inequity will outdo the overflowing and fast Sungei Bertam in a flood and consume everything in its path including an indolent government.

Considering UN statistics on the numbers of illegal workers and trafficked humans in Malaysia, disruption in this area may be an understatement. Any change at this level would be by an uprising in violence led by slaves imported from neighbouring countries in large numbers who have no recourse to justice or relief from their enslavement. Joining them will be the marginalized Malays. And they count for very large numbers.

The current government is and has been aware of human trafficking, illegal land clearing and unlicensed industries for decades. State governments and the Sultans too have been aware of these rorts which has made hundreds of millions of ringgit in untaxed wealth for their promoters.

IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE

Sadly an angry Sultan, and I suspect angry at the unavoidable murmurings of his own people at the grass roots level has decided to deflect responsibility by re directing his anger at low level public servants instead of directing it where it ought to be aimed at.

Public servants of the caliber the Sultan of Pahang has attacked have no legal power, authority or capacity to effectively restrain powerful business communities who hold him and his government captive to their enormous and tempting wallets.

Unless the Sultans of each of these states in Malaysia where illegal trades flourish do something fast and sincerely to abate these practices (including the award of knighthoods for sinister and unmeritorious purposes) , their own subjects will eventually out of necessity dislodge the power base upon which they now rest through direct action.