No race should seem superior to others, says minister Paul Low

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Paul Low delivers a speech during the Suhakam forum in conjunction with World Human Rights Day, Kuala Lumpur December 8, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Paul Low delivers a speech during the Suhakam forum in conjunction with World Human Rights Day, Kuala Lumpur December 8, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — Malaysians should avoid ethnic nationalism which will divide the fragile state of multiculturalism here, Datuk Paul Low said today.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said one race should not be made to seem better than other races as it goes against the nation’s constitution.

“We must never put the country in a state where we have ethnic nationalism, where one ethnic group says it is superior than the other.

“We should not allow ethnic nationalism to rise in this country. Such ethnic nationalism will basically expound a philosophy of supremacy, a philosophy of exclusiveness,” Low said during his speech at the Christian Federation of Malaysia Christmas High Tea. Read more

Street protests open doors to liberalism, Muslims warned ahead of Bersih 5

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Federal Islamic authorities cautioned Muslims today against street protests that it said would invite liberalism, just a week before the Bersih 5 rally which will be held on November 19.

The Friday sermon prepared by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) expressed its concern that more Muslims are joining street protests driven by discontent, allegedly spurred by unnamed parties and uncensored social media statements.

“Yes, whether we realise or not, therein lies an idea of the liberal democracy ideology that is concealing itself behind the struggle for democracy and fundamental rights,” said the sermon distributed to mosques nationwide.

“The truth is, they wish to install certain individuals who are ready to follow their orders and spread this ideology to make this society more open to accept liberal values.”

Jakim said Islam endorses mass gatherings as part of its worship as a sign of protest against blasphemy and ignorance, but such events must be done with civility. Read more

Liberalism Conference 2016: Can Liberalism Save Malaysia?

Liberalism Conference 2016: Can Liberalism Save Malaysia?

Who is this for and how to register?

We welcome everyone to attend this conference. Fees start at RM 100.00 for adults and RM 50.00 for students to register please click here

Liberalism in Malaysia

Referred to as either Libertarianism in the United States or Classical Liberalism in the United Kingdom, the term Liberalism has become increasingly misunderstood in Malaysia.

Liberalism has in fact been part and parcel of Malaysia’s genesis. On 31 August 1957, Tunku Abdul Rahman read out the Proclamation of Independence which included the words (that the Federation) “shall be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people…“. Our Rukun Negara which came about after the tragedy of 13 May 1969 held that Malaysia aspires to achieve unity amongst its people by “ensuring a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural traditions“. Vision 2020 also holds that one day Malaysians will live in a society “that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous.

Liberalism forms an important part of our nation’s birth, it was referred to during our greatest moment of crisis and it is one of our greatest aspirations for our future. So what does liberalism have to say about the challenges faced by our country today?  How can liberal ideas be used to formulate a solution?  Can liberalism save Malaysia?

This conference will explore the big issues, to spark a debate about the role of liberal ideas in our country today.

What is the Conference about?

The conference explores the relevance of liberalism today in Malaysia. We begin with a discussion on Malaysia’s future in an increasingly illiberal environment by Dr Razeen Sally, former Chair of IDEAS’ Political Economy and Governance Programme and world class international trade expert. This is followed by a panel discussion on how liberalism can help avoid billion ringgit scandals involving Government linked companies including the infamous 1MDB Sovereign Wealth Fund. The conference then delves deeper into the concept of multiculturalism and the importance of liberalism in Malaysia – which neither forces assimilation nor restricts personal freedoms in the guise of achieving national harmony.  Finally the conference looks into how Malaysia can move beyond race and religion in politics – and how liberalism may provide an answer to this dilemma.

Liberal Muslims being monitored, Parliament told

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has called liberal Muslims deviants, saying it would increase efforts to sway them back to traditional religious beliefs.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said that these liberal groups would also be monitored and may have their publications censored if they try to post on print or electronic media.

In a reply to Nik Abduh Nik Abdul  Aziz (PAS-Pasir Mas), Jamil said that the Government had made its stance clear against liberalism in a 2006 declaration during the 74th National Fatwa Council’s muzakarah (discussion) task force on Malaysian Islamic affairs.

It had labelled that liberal movements contain “understandings which deviate from faith and Syariah”.  Read more

Malaysia among nations least tolerant of atheists and freethinkers, says report

Source: The Malay Mail Online

GENEVA, Dec 10 — Amid a global decline in religious belief, some governments are stepping up efforts to portray atheists and secularists as a danger to society and even as terrorists, according to a report issued today.

The study, by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), pointed to “hate campaigns” launched by public figures against those who renounce the dominant or state religion in Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Egypt.

It said “the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers” as set out in UN treaties, adding that 13 states, all of them Muslim, had made apostasy or blasphemy against religion a capital offence. Read more

Equality is not about being liberal, ex-judge tells former chief justice

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram arrives at the Federal Court in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 30, 2014. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram arrives at the Federal Court in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 30, 2014. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

A retired Federal Court judge has taken a former chief justice to task for claiming that liberal-minded judges are a threat to Malaysia’s Islamic values as they used Western human rights as a benchmark to administer justice.

Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said it was wrong for Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad to label judges as liberals because those who sat on the bench were required to interpret the law correctly.

“It is a most unfair criticism to level against a Court of Appeal judgment which accorded equality to people different from us, purely on medical reasons,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Sri Ram said this in response to a report in Utusan Malaysia on Monday where Hamid was quoted as saying that the liberal judges had overlooked that the Federal Constitution recognised offences under Islamic law. Read more