What a Najib win could mean for Malaysia

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The rule of the Umno-led Barisan Nasional looks set to be extended for many years to come if the Umno-PAS alignment works, according to an editorial in the East Asia Forum.

However, this portends ill for the non-Malay minorities and liberal Muslims, as Umno, increasingly dependent on PAS, dances to the latter’s tunes, it says.

The editorial of the East Asia Forum, which is based in the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, says Najib Razak will almost certainly survive the 1MDB scandal unscathed if Umno’s understanding with PAS holds and its manoeuvring to drive a wedge between the opposition parties continues to succeed.

“Decades of institutional degeneration under Umno rule, and the concentration of power in the office of the prime minister, has seen Najib able to swat away any domestic attempts to hold him to account for his role in the 1MDB affair. The unfortunate importance of identity politics in shaping voter behaviour also helps insulate him from much of the electoral backlash.”  Read more

PAS Youth claims state laws insufficient to protect Islam, curb Christian evangelicalism

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PAS Youth says since state laws have failed to restrict the movement among Malay Muslims, federal laws to curb Christian evangelicalism are needed. — Reuters pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 ― Federal laws to curb Christian evangelicalism are needed because state laws have failed to restrict the movement among Malay Muslims here, PAS Youth alleged today.

The Islamist party’s department of law and human rights director Wan Rohimi Wan Daud said in a statement that statistics by the Shariah courts showed there were 863 requests to “change the status of Islam” between 2000 and 2010.

He said that this situation is unacceptable, considering that the Federal Constitution and state enactments have laws restricting the propagation of faiths other than Islam to Muslims. Read more

PAS to apply new Shariah punishments in states it takes in GE14

Source: The Malay Mail Online

ALOR SETAR, April 27 — PAS will introduce higher Shariah sentencing limits in the five states the party aims to control after the next general election, PAS Youth chief Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz said today.

Nik Abduh said this was also contingent, however, on PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill being passed by Parliament.

He then urged the Islamist party’s youth wing to help realise Hadi’s ambition for PAS to rule five states and win 40 parliamentary seats in the next election.

“If it is fated that Act 355 is passed in Parliament, and PAS manages to rule five states in GE14, we actually have the powers to amend Shariah enactments at the state levels,” Nik Abduh said during his opening speech at the PAS Youth Muktamar here today. Read more

PAS starts donation drive for Sarawak Report lawsuit

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Tuan Ibrahim announced the drive while opening its youth wing’s meeting here, urging each member to contribute RM5 to the fund. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

Tuan Ibrahim announced the drive while opening its youth wing’s meeting here, urging each member to contribute RM5 to the fund. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

ALOR SETAR, April 27 — PAS kicked off today a donation drive among members to fund its lawsuit against UK-based website Sarawak Report.

The Islamist party’s deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man who announced the drive while opening its youth wing’s meeting here, urged each member to contribute RM5 to the fund.

“Today, we will start a special fund to collect money to fund the lawsuit,” he said.

PAS is planning to sue the website for claiming its party leaders had received monies linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Read more

Punish errant publications but don’t shut them down, says Guan Eng

Source: The Star Online

GEORGE TOWN: Nanyang Siang Pau should not be closed since it has apologised and retracted a caricature that allegedly mocked two political leaders, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“Publications should be given chances to admit their mistakes, be punished but not to the extent of closing them down,” he told a press conference in Komtar yesterday.

Some quarters are asking that Nanyang Siang Pau be closed after the Chinese daily published a cartoon depicting PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia as monkeys. Read more

PAS undeterred by government decision on shariah bill

Source: FMT News

Vice-president Idris Ahmad says the party will continue its fight till judgement day. Pic from FMT News.

Vice-president Idris Ahmad says the party will continue its fight till judgement day. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS today vowed to continue pushing for heavier penalties for shariah offences, a day after Prime Minister Najib Razak said the government would not table a bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act as announced ealier.

“We will fight for it till judgement day,” PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad told reporters at the Parliament today.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang tabled the bill, also known as Act 355, seeking to increase the maximum punishment on offences under shariah to 30 years’ jail, 100 lashes of the cane, and RM100,000 fine.

Idris brushed aside suggestions that the government’s decision would affect the party’s ties with Umno, saying there had never been one to begin with. Read more

Najib says BN won’t push Shariah Bill

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Barisan Nasional will not table amendments to increase Shariah punishments being sought by PAS, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

The prime minister and BN chairman said this was decided by the coalition following its supreme council meeting this evening.

“Therefore it will remain a Private Member’s Bill and if it is presented, it will depend on the Speakers instructions,” he was quoted as saying by the Star Online news portal.

BN previously said it would take over PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s proposal and convert it into a government Bill eventually.

Tonight’s announcement will remove the obligation that would have existed for BN federal lawmakers to support the amendments were these tabled by the government.

Hadi’s Bill may now fail to even surface in Parliament; he was only able to table the motion for his Bill last year after an Umno minister intervened to elevate it above government matters. Read more

The politics of Himpunan 355 — Hew Wai Weng

Source: New Mandala

Hew Wai Weng reports on Malaysia’s recent rally for sharia law, and what it says about the prospects for Islamic party PAS in upcoming elections.

On 18 February, Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur hosted Himpunan 355, a rally to support the enactment of the 1965 Syariah Courts Act, best known as RUU 355. The rally was organised by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), together with a few Muslim organisations.

The enactment of RUU 355, proposed by PAS President Hadi Awang, is a contentious issue in Malaysia. PAS leaders have publicly reiterated that the main aim of the proposed amendment was not about hudud but merely to strengthen the sharia laws, while opponents claimed it is an unconstitutional move and a stepping stone for the implementation of hudud.

About 30,000 purple-shirted people attended Himpunan 355. This is slightly higher than the Malay crowd at Bersih 5. Yet, this should not be seen as indicative of the strength of PAS’s electoral support. While this figure reflects the ability of the Islamist party to mobilise a crowd, it also reveals its limitations. Read more

Hadi: Malaysian politics must be dominated by Muslims

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Hadi also was quoted saying non-Muslims need not worry of tyranny or unequal treatment, claiming Islam forbids leaders to act in such way against anyone, including the non-Muslims.

Hadi said non-Muslims need not worry of tyranny or unequal treatment, claiming Islam forbids leaders to act in such way against anyone, including the non-Muslims. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa from the MMO.

Hadi said non-Muslims need not worry of tyranny or unequal treatment, claiming Islam forbids leaders to act in such way against anyone, including the non-Muslims. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa from the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Muslims should control Malaysian politics because its adherents make up the majority of the country’s population, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang insisted yesterday.

The president of Islamist party PAS further claimed that in Islam, a religion that dominates a country should lead the nation.

“And since Malays are the majority in this country, they will have to be leaders.

“Non-Muslims do not have to worry because we have to go by the population’s breakdown to ensure a harmonious country,” he was quoted saying in Malay daily Sinar Harian. Read more

Three things we learned from: The Himpunan 355 rally — Da Lim and Yiswaree Palansamy

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY DA LIM & YISWAREE PALANSAMY

PAs supporters are seen at Padang Merbok during the PAS-led Himpunan 355 rally in Kuala Lumpur February 18, 2017. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

PAs supporters are seen at Padang Merbok during the PAS-led Himpunan 355 rally in Kuala Lumpur February 18, 2017. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — Thousands attended the PAS-led Himpunan 355 rally yesterday in the nation’s capital in a bid to increase punishments for Shariah offences.

PAS and several Muslim NGOs have packaged the proposed change to the existing law as the seemingly innocuous “RUU355”, a reference to Act 355 or the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 which currently limits the Shariah courts’ maximum sentencing powers to three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and six lashes.

Now in its third edition, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill is seeking an increase of the penalties that Shariah courts can mete out to a maximum of 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes.

Here are the three takeaways from the Himpunan 355: Read more