Congratulations, Anifah

Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

It has just been confirmed that Malaysia is the new Non Permanent Member of United Nations Security Council for 2015-6, after polling 187 out of total 192 votes casted. The South East Asian nation is in the cohort of New Zealand, Venezuela and Angola, for a two years term beginning 31 December 2014.

UN General Assembly voting to elect non-permanent Security Council members

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16 October 2014 –

With one round of voting complete, the United Nations General Assembly has just elected Angola, Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand to serve as non-permanent members on the Security Council for two-year terms beginning on 1 January 2014.

The new members will take up their seats on 1 January 2015 and will serve on the Council until 31 December 2016.

The Assembly will move into a round of restricted balloting to choose either Spain or Turkey to fill the remaining seat on the Council open to the Western European and Other States Group.

The five seats available for election in 2014, distributed regionally, are: one seat for the African Group (currently held by Rwanda); one seat for the Group of Asia- Pacific Group (currently held by the Republic of Korea); one seat for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, (currently held by Argentina); and two seats for the Western European and Others Group (currently held by Australia and Luxembourg).

Lithuania will maintain for another year, the seat for the Eastern European Group.

The respective contenders for the upcoming vacancies were Angola (Africa), Malaysia (Asia-Pacific) and Venezuela (Latin America and the Caribbean). There were three nations vying for the two seats designated for Western European and Other States – New Zealand, Spain and Turkey.

New Zealand was selected in the first round of voting.

The five permanent Council members, which each wield the power of veto, are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Along with Lithuania, the non-permanent members that will remain on the Council until the end of 2015 are Chad, Chile, Jordan, and Nigeria.

Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Each of the Council’s members has one vote. Under the Charter, all UN Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

The Security Council also recommends to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and the admission of new Members to the United Nations. And, together with the General Assembly, it elects the judges of the International Court of Justice.

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The Malaysian foreign policy of a moderate muslim nation under Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and consistent hardwork of Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman in the international politics and diplomacy arena, provided the confidence of this membership the most strategic defense and security forum.

Malaysia also provided pivotal role in regional security when peace was managed to be brokered in South Thailand and Southern Philippines.

Malaysia’s foreign policy is an extension of the attitude and strategy as a trading nation, which befriends all nations based on universally accepted international law and bi-lateral relationship.

This is the fourth time Malaysia was accepted into the UN Security Council as a Non Permanent Member, after stints in 1965. 1989 and 1999.

*Updated 17 October 2014 0830hrs

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak who is in Milan, Italy for the ASEM summit with EU leaders, accolades Malaysia’s consistent policy as a moderate muslim nation as they point of getting the international community trust and confidence for the two years stint at UNSC:

The Star story:

Published: Friday October 17, 2014 MYT 8:36:00 AM
Updated: Friday October 17, 2014 MYT 8:46:38 AM

Najib: Malaysia’s stand in moderation helped country clinched UN seat

BY ESTHER NG

MILAN (Italy): Malaysia won a seat in the United Nations Security Council largely because of the country’s stand in moderation and its international relations, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

The Prime Minister, who described the success in securing a seat in the 15-man body as “extremely meaningful”, said he believed the international community reacted positively to Malaysia’s policies, its responsible approach to issues and principle-based measures.

“They know we absolutely reject extremism which I made very clear in my speech at the United Nations last month,” he told reporters here, Friday.

Najib, who was delighted with the results, said Malaysia’s success in winning over 187 out of 193 votes was excellent.

On Thursday night, Malaysia was “returned” to the UN Security Council after a 15-year absence, representing the Asia Pacific region.

Malaysia had officially put in its bid for the seat, one of five vacancies of the total 10 non-permanent seats. Five others are permanent members.

He said the number of countries, which supported Malaysia exceeded that of the two previous occasions – 143 votes (for the 1989 to 1990 term) and 174 votes (the 1999 to 2000 term).

Najib said Malaysia’s success reflected the acceptance of the international community towards the country’s principled-based foreign policies.

“This also means they think we are highly credible and deserve to have a say in the Security Council,” he added.

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Published in: on October 16, 2014 at 23:30  Comments (14)  

Militant Wahabism on global dominance

The current self declared ‘Islamic State’ crisis (previously known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]) is sending never before shivers deep along the spine of leaders and people alike around the West Asia region and most of the free Western world.

The Guardian posting:

Obama meets foreign military chiefs to discuss Isis strategy

US president gathers foreign defence chiefs at Andrews air force base in attempt to strengthen coalition response to crisis

 

Agencies in Washington and Mursitpinar
The Guardian, Tuesday 14 October 2014 08.06 BST

Obama critic Senator John McCain said on Sunday that ‘they’re winning and we’re not,’ referring to Isis.
Barack Obama is to discuss the US-led strategy to counter Islamic State (Isis) with military leaders from 20 countries including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, amid growing pressure for the US-led coalition to do more to stop the militants’ advance.

President Obama will attend a meeting on Tuesday led by Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, with foreign defence chiefs at Andrews air force base outside Washington.

“It is part of ongoing efforts to build the coalition and integrate the capabilities of each country into the broader strategy,” said Alistair Baskey, spokesman for the White House national security council.

The meeting comes after the US-led coalition launched air strikes on Monday evening on Isis positions in Syria, most on the town of Kobani near Turkey.

The coalition’s strategy is being called into question. The Republican senator John McCain, a frequent Obama critic, said on Sunday that “they’re winning and we’re not”, referring to Isis.

The UN said on Monday that fighting in Iraq’s western Anbar province had forced up to 180,000 people to flee after Isis captured the city of Hit.

“This is a long campaign. It hasn’t gone badly, but it certainly hasn’t gone well,” said Anthony Cordesman, national security analyst at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

“It is very important, quite aside from trying to show Americans that he’s [Obama is] leading, that he shows other countries he’s committed,” Cordesman said, adding that the defence officials from abroad were in many cases more involved in setting policy than their US military counterparts.

Representatives from Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates were expected to attend.

Col Ed Thomas, Dempsey’s spokesman, said no major policy decisions were expected at the meeting, adding: “It’s about coming together in person to discuss the vision, the challenges, the way ahead.”

Having Turkey at the table will be key. Ankara has come under some pressure to send its own ground troops into Syria against Isis forces. The country could announce after the meeting that it will join Saudi Arabia in training moderate Syrian rebels, Cordesman said.

Turkey has not reached a new agreement to let the US use its Incirlik air base but reached an agreement with Washington on training Syrian rebels, sources at the Turkish prime minister’s office told reporters on Monday, without saying who would train the insurgents or where.

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These are some interesting perspective on ISIS and political development around the Arabian subcontinent and the West Asia region.

Former MI6 analyst Alastair Crooke’s posting on The Hufftington Post:

You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 08/27/2014 11:56 am EDT Updated: 09/05/2014 5:59 pm EDT

BEIRUT — The dramatic arrival of Da’ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed — and horrified — by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, “Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?”

It appears — even now — that Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da’ish’s strict Salafist ideology.

Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan — please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.

Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da’ish (ISIS) — and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia’s direction and discourse.

THE SAUDI DUALITY

Saudi Arabia’s internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom’s doctrinal makeup and its historical origins.

One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader — amongst many — of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)

The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz’s subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse — and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export — by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.

But this “cultural revolution” was no docile reformism. It was a revolution based on Abd al-Wahhab’s Jacobin-like hatred for the putrescence and deviationism that he perceived all about him — hence his call to purge Islam of all its heresies and idolatries.

MUSLIM IMPOSTORS

The American author and journalist, Steven Coll, has written how this austere and censorious disciple of the 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, Abd al-Wahhab, despised “the decorous, arty, tobacco smoking, hashish imbibing, drum pounding Egyptian and Ottoman nobility who travelled across Arabia to pray at Mecca.”

In Abd al-Wahhab’s view, these were not Muslims; they were imposters masquerading as Muslims. Nor, indeed, did he find the behavior of local Bedouin Arabs much better. They aggravated Abd al-Wahhab by their honoring of saints, by their erecting of tombstones, and their “superstition” (e.g. revering graves or places that were deemed particularly imbued with the divine).

All this behavior, Abd al-Wahhab denounced as bida — forbidden by God.

Like Taymiyyah before him, Abd al-Wahhab believed that the period of the Prophet Muhammad’s stay in Medina was the ideal of Muslim society (the “best of times”), to which all Muslims should aspire to emulate (this, essentially, is Salafism).

Taymiyyah had declared war on Shi’ism, Sufism and Greek philosophy. He spoke out, too against visiting the grave of the prophet and the celebration of his birthday, declaring that all such behavior represented mere imitation of the Christian worship of Jesus as God (i.e. idolatry). Abd al-Wahhab assimilated all this earlier teaching, stating that “any doubt or hesitation” on the part of a believer in respect to his or her acknowledging this particular interpretation of Islam should “deprive a man of immunity of his property and his life.”

One of the main tenets of Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine has become the key idea of takfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, Abd al-Wahhab and his followers could deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that in any way could be said to encroach on the sovereignty of the absolute Authority (that is, the King). Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honored the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honoring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead.
“Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. “

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity — a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.

There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab’s doctrine of “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” — these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of “the word” (i.e. the mosque).

It is this rift — the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests — makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.

BRIEF HISTORY 1741- 1818

Abd al-Wahhab’s advocacy of these ultra radical views inevitably led to his expulsion from his own town — and in 1741, after some wanderings, he found refuge under the protection of Ibn Saud and his tribe. What Ibn Saud perceived in Abd al-Wahhab’s novel teaching was the means to overturn Arab tradition and convention. It was a path to seizing power.

“Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. “
Ibn Saud’s clan, seizing on Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine, now could do what they always did, which was raiding neighboring villages and robbing them of their possessions. Only now they were doing it not within the ambit of Arab tradition, but rather under the banner of jihad. Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab also reintroduced the idea of martyrdom in the name of jihad, as it granted those martyred immediate entry into paradise.

In the beginning, they conquered a few local communities and imposed their rule over them. (The conquered inhabitants were given a limited choice: conversion to Wahhabism or death.) By 1790, the Alliance controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula and repeatedly raided Medina, Syria and Iraq.

Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: “They pillaged the whole of it [Karbala], and plundered the Tomb of Hussein… slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants …”

Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, “we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: ‘And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.'”

In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab’s followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.

But in November of 1803, a Shiite assassin killed King Abdul Aziz (taking revenge for the massacre at Karbala). His son, Saud bin Abd al Aziz, succeeded him and continued the conquest of Arabia. Ottoman rulers, however, could no longer just sit back and watch as their empire was devoured piece by piece. In 1812, the Ottoman army, composed of Egyptians, pushed the Alliance out from Medina, Jeddah and Mecca. In 1814, Saud bin Abd al Aziz died of fever. His unfortunate son Abdullah bin Saud, however, was taken by the Ottomans to Istanbul, where he was gruesomely executed (a visitor to Istanbul reported seeing him having been humiliated in the streets of Istanbul for three days, then hanged and beheaded, his severed head fired from a canon, and his heart cut out and impaled on his body).

In 1815, Wahhabi forces were crushed by the Egyptians (acting on the Ottoman’s behalf) in a decisive battle. In 1818, the Ottomans captured and destroyed the Wahhabi capital of Dariyah. The first Saudi state was no more. The few remaining Wahhabis withdrew into the desert to regroup, and there they remained, quiescent for most of the 19th century.

HISTORY RETURNS WITH ISIS

It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th century Wahhabism did not just wither in Nejd, but it roared back into life when the Ottoman Empire collapsed amongst the chaos of World War I.

The Al Saud — in this 20th century renaissance — were led by the laconic and politically astute Abd-al Aziz, who, on uniting the fractious Bedouin tribes, launched the Saudi “Ikhwan” in the spirit of Abd-al Wahhab’s and Ibn Saud’s earlier fighting proselytisers.

The Ikhwan was a reincarnation of the early, fierce, semi-independent vanguard movement of committed armed Wahhabist “moralists” who almost had succeeded in seizing Arabia by the early 1800s. In the same manner as earlier, the Ikhwan again succeeded in capturing Mecca, Medina and Jeddah between 1914 and 1926. Abd-al Aziz, however, began to feel his wider interests to be threatened by the revolutionary “Jacobinism” exhibited by the Ikhwan. The Ikhwan revolted — leading to a civil war that lasted until the 1930s, when the King had them put down: he machine-gunned them.

For this king, (Abd-al Aziz), the simple verities of previous decades were eroding. Oil was being discovered in the peninsular. Britain and America were courting Abd-al Aziz, but still were inclined to support Sharif Husain as the only legitimate ruler of Arabia. The Saudis needed to develop a more sophisticated diplomatic posture.

So Wahhabism was forcefully changed from a movement of revolutionary jihad and theological takfiri purification, to a movement of conservative social, political, theological, and religious da’wa (Islamic call) and to justifying the institution that upholds loyalty to the royal Saudi family and the King’s absolute power.

OIL WEALTH SPREAD WAHHABISM

With the advent of the oil bonanza — as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to “reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world … to “Wahhabise” Islam, thereby reducing the “multitude of voices within the religion” to a “single creed” — a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were — and continue to be — invested in this manifestation of soft power.

It was this heady mix of billion dollar soft power projection — and the Saudi willingness to manage Sunni Islam both to further America’s interests, as it concomitantly embedded Wahhabism educationally, socially and culturally throughout the lands of Islam — that brought into being a western policy dependency on Saudi Arabia, a dependency that has endured since Abd-al Aziz’s meeting with Roosevelt on a U.S. warship (returning the president from the Yalta Conference) until today.

Westerners looked at the Kingdom and their gaze was taken by the wealth; by the apparent modernization; by the professed leadership of the Islamic world. They chose to presume that the Kingdom was bending to the imperatives of modern life — and that the management of Sunni Islam would bend the Kingdom, too, to modern life.

“On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.”
But the Saudi Ikhwan approach to Islam did not die in the 1930s. It retreated, but it maintained its hold over parts of the system — hence the duality that we observe today in the Saudi attitude towards ISIS.

On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.

ISIS is a “post-Medina” movement: it looks to the actions of the first two Caliphs, rather than the Prophet Muhammad himself, as a source of emulation, and it forcefully denies the Saudis’ claim of authority to rule.

As the Saudi monarchy blossomed in the oil age into an ever more inflated institution, the appeal of the Ikhwan message gained ground (despite King Faisal’s modernization campaign). The “Ikhwan approach” enjoyed — and still enjoys — the support of many prominent men and women and sheikhs. In a sense, Osama bin Laden was precisely the representative of a late flowering of this Ikhwani approach.

Today, ISIS’ undermining of the legitimacy of the King’s legitimacy is not seen to be problematic, but rather a return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project.

In the collaborative management of the region by the Saudis and the West in pursuit of the many western projects (countering socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet and Iranian influence), western politicians have highlighted their chosen reading of Saudi Arabia (wealth, modernization and influence), but they chose to ignore the Wahhabist impulse.

After all, the more radical Islamist movements were perceived by Western intelligence services as being more effective in toppling the USSR in Afghanistan — and in combatting out-of-favor Middle Eastern leaders and states.

Why should we be surprised then, that from Prince Bandar’s Saudi-Western mandate to manage the insurgency in Syria against President Assad should have emerged a neo-Ikhwan type of violent, fear-inducing vanguard movement: ISIS? And why should we be surprised — knowing a little about Wahhabism — that “moderate” insurgents in Syria would become rarer than a mythical unicorn? Why should we have imagined that radical Wahhabism would create moderates? Or why could we imagine that a doctrine of “One leader, One authority, One mosque: submit to it, or be killed” could ever ultimately lead to moderation or tolerance?

Or, perhaps, we never imagined.

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And the continuum:

Alastair Crooke Become a fan
Fmr. MI-6 agent; Author, ‘Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution’

Middle East Time Bomb: The Real Aim of ISIS Is to Replace the Saud Family as the New Emirs of Arabia

Posted: 09/02/2014 8:43 pm EDT Updated: 09/05/2014 5:59 pm EDT

This article is Part II of Alastair Crooke’s historical analysis of the roots of ISIS and its impact on the future of the Middle East. Read Part I here.

BEIRUT — ISIS is indeed a veritable time bomb inserted into the heart of the Middle East. But its destructive power is not as commonly understood. It is not with the “March of the Beheaders”; it is not with the killings; the seizure of towns and villages; the harshest of “justice” — terrible though they are — that its true explosive power lies. It is yet more potent than its exponential pull on young Muslims, its huge arsenal of weapons and its hundreds of millions of dollars.

“We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.”

Its real potential for destruction lies elsewhere — in the implosion of Saudi Arabia as a foundation stone of the modern Middle East. We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.

The clue to its truly explosive potential, as Saudi scholar Fouad Ibrahim has pointed out (but which has passed, almost wholly overlooked, or its significance has gone unnoticed), is ISIS’ deliberate and intentional use in its doctrine — of the language of Abd-al Wahhab, the 18th century founder, together with Ibn Saud, of Wahhabism and the Saudi project:

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the first “prince of the faithful” in the Islamic State of Iraq, in 2006 formulated, for instance, the principles of his prospective state … Among its goals is disseminating monotheism “which is the purpose [for which humans were created] and [for which purpose they must be called] to Islam…” This language replicates exactly Abd-al Wahhab’s formulation. And, not surprisingly, the latter’s writings and Wahhabi commentaries on his works are widely distributed in the areas under ISIS’ control and are made the subject of study sessions. Baghdadi subsequently was to note approvingly, “a generation of young men [have been] trained based on the forgotten doctrine of loyalty and disavowal.”
And what is this “forgotten” tradition of “loyalty and disavowal?” It is Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine that belief in a sole (for him an anthropomorphic) God — who was alone worthy of worship — was in itself insufficient to render man or woman a Muslim?

He or she could be no true believer, unless additionally, he or she actively denied (and destroyed) any other subject of worship. The list of such potential subjects of idolatrous worship, which al-Wahhab condemned as idolatry, was so extensive that almost all Muslims were at risk of falling under his definition of “unbelievers.” They therefore faced a choice: Either they convert to al-Wahhab’s vision of Islam — or be killed, and their wives, their children and physical property taken as the spoils of jihad. Even to express doubts about this doctrine, al-Wahhab said, should occasion execution.

“Through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.”

The point Fuad Ibrahim is making, I believe, is not merely to reemphasize the extreme reductionism of al-Wahhab’s vision, but to hint at something entirely different: That through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.

For it was precisely this idealistic, puritan, proselytizing formulation by al-Wahhab that was “father” to the entire Saudi “project” (one that was violently suppressed by the Ottomans in 1818, but spectacularly resurrected in the 1920s, to become the Saudi Kingdom that we know today). But since its renaissance in the 1920s, the Saudi project has always carried within it, the “gene” of its own self-destruction.

THE SAUDI TAIL HAS WAGGED BRITAIN AND U.S. IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Paradoxically, it was a maverick British official, who helped embed the gene into the new state. The British official attached to Aziz, was one Harry St. John Philby (the father of the MI6 officer who spied for the Soviet KGB, Kim Philby). He was to become King Abd al-Aziz’s close adviser, having resigned as a British official, and was until his death, a key member of the Ruler’s Court. He, like Lawrence of Arabia, was an Arabist. He was also a convert to Wahhabi Islam and known as Sheikh Abdullah.

St. John Philby was a man on the make: he had determined to make his friend, Abd al-Aziz, the ruler of Arabia. Indeed, it is clear that in furthering this ambition he was not acting on official instructions. When, for example, he encouraged King Aziz to expand in northern Nejd, he was ordered to desist. But (as American author, Stephen Schwartz notes), Aziz was well aware that Britain had pledged repeatedly that the defeat of the Ottomans would produce an Arab state, and this no doubt, encouraged Philby and Aziz to aspire to the latter becoming its new ruler.

It is not clear exactly what passed between Philby and the Ruler (the details seem somehow to have been suppressed), but it would appear that Philby’s vision was not confined to state-building in the conventional way, but rather was one of transforming the wider Islamic ummah (or community of believers) into a Wahhabist instrument that would entrench the al-Saud as Arabia’s leaders. And for this to happen, Aziz needed to win British acquiescence (and much later, American endorsement). “This was the gambit that Abd al-Aziz made his own, with advice from Philby,” notes Schwartz.

BRITISH GODFATHER OF SAUDI ARABIA

In a sense, Philby may be said to be “godfather” to this momentous pact by which the Saudi leadership would use its clout to “manage” Sunni Islam on behalf of western objectives (containing socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet influence, Iran, etc.) — and in return, the West would acquiesce to Saudi Arabia’s soft-power Wahhabisation of the Islamic ummah (with its concomitant destruction of Islam’s intellectual traditions and diversity and its sowing of deep divisions within the Muslim world).

“In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success. But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous ‘gene’ within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.”

As a result — from then until now — British and American policy has been bound to Saudi aims (as tightly as to their own ones), and has been heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia for direction in pursuing its course in the Middle East.

In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success (if taken on its own, cynical, self-serving terms). But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous “gene” within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.

Winning western endorsement (and continued western endorsement), however, required a change of mode: the “project” had to change from being an armed, proselytizing Islamic vanguard movement into something resembling statecraft. This was never going to be easy because of the inherent contradictions involved (puritan morality versus realpolitik and money) — and as time has progressed, the problems of accommodating the “modernity” that statehood requires, has caused “the gene” to become more active, rather than become more inert.

Even Abd al-Aziz himself faced an allergic reaction: in the form of a serious rebellion from his own Wahhabi militia, the Saudi Ikhwan. When the expansion of control by the Ikhwan reached the border of territories controlled by Britain, Abd al-Aziz tried to restrain his militia (Philby was urging him to seek British patronage), but the Ikwhan, already critical of his use of modern technology (the telephone, telegraph and the machine gun), “were outraged by the abandonment of jihad for reasons of worldly realpolitik … They refused to lay down their weapons; and instead rebelled against their king … After a series of bloody clashes, they were crushed in 1929. Ikhwan members who had remained loyal, were later absorbed into the [Saudi] National Guard.”

King Aziz’s son and heir, Saud, faced a different form of reaction (less bloody, but more effective). Aziz’s son was deposed from the throne by the religious establishment — in favor of his brother Faisal — because of his ostentatious and extravagant conduct. His lavish, ostentatious style, offended the religious establishment who expected the “Imam of Muslims,” to pursue a pious, proselytizing lifestyle.

King Faisal, Saud’s successor, in his turn, was shot by his nephew in 1975, who had appeared at Court ostensibly to make his oath of allegiance, but who instead, pulled out a pistol and shot the king in his head. The nephew had been perturbed by the encroachment of western beliefs and innovation into Wahhabi society, to the detriment of the original ideals of the Wahhabist project.

SEIZING THE GRAND MOSQUE IN 1979

Far more serious, however, was the revived Ikhwan of Juhayman al-Otaybi, which culminated in the seizure of the Grand Mosque by some 400-500 armed men and women in 1979. Juhayman was from the influential Otaybi tribe from the Nejd, which had led and been a principal element in the original Ikhwan of the 1920s.

Juhayman and his followers, many of whom came from the Medina seminary, had the tacit support, amongst other clerics, of Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Bin Baz, the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Juhayman stated that Sheikh Bin Baz never objected to his Ikhwan teachings (which were also critical of ulema laxity towards “disbelief”), but that bin Baz had blamed him mostly for harking on that “the ruling al-Saud dynasty had lost its legitimacy because it was corrupt, ostentatious and had destroyed Saudi culture by an aggressive policy of westernisation.”

Significantly, Juhayman’s followers preached their Ikhwani message in a number of mosques in Saudi Arabia initially without being arrested, but when Juhayman and a number of the Ikhwan finally were held for questioning in 1978. Members of the ulema (including bin Baz) cross-examined them for heresy, but then ordered their release because they saw them as being no more than traditionalists harkening back to the Ikhwan– like Juhayman grandfather — and therefore not a threat.

Even when the mosque seizure was defeated and over, a certain level of forbearance by the ulema for the rebels remained. When the government asked for a fatwa allowing for armed force to be used in the mosque, the language of bin Baz and other senior ulema was curiously restrained. The scholars did not declare Juhayman and his followers non-Muslims, despite their violation of the sanctity of the Grand Mosque, but only termed them al-jamaah al-musallahah (the armed group).

The group that Juhayman led was far from marginalized from important sources of power and wealth. In a sense, it swam in friendly, receptive waters. Juhayman’s grandfather had been one of the leaders of the the original Ikhwan, and after the rebellion against Abdel Aziz, many of his grandfather’s comrades in arms were absorbed into the National Guard — indeed Juhayman himself had served within the Guard — thus Juhayman was able to obtain weapons and military expertise from sympathizers in the National Guard, and the necessary arms and food to sustain the siege were pre-positioned, and hidden, within the Grand Mosque. Juhayman was also able to call on wealthy individuals to fund the enterprise.

ISIS VS. WESTERNIZED SAUDIS

The point of rehearsing this history is to underline how uneasy the Saudi leadership must be at the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Previous Ikhwani manifestations were suppressed — but these all occurred inside the kingdom.

ISIS however, is a neo-Ikhwani rejectionist protest that is taking place outside the kingdom — and which, moreover, follows the Juhayman dissidence in its trenchant criticism of the al-Saud ruling family.

This is the deep schism we see today in Saudi Arabia, between the modernizing current of which King Abdullah is a part, and the “Juhayman” orientation of which bin Laden, and the Saudi supporters of ISIS and the Saudi religious establishment are a part. It is also a schism that exists within the Saudi royal family itself.

According to the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper, in July 2014 “an opinion poll of Saudis [was] released on social networking sites, claiming that 92 percent of the target group believes that ‘IS conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.'” The leading Saudi commentator, Jamal Khashoggi, recently warned of ISIS’ Saudi supporters who “watch from the shadows.”

There are angry youths with a skewed mentality and understanding of life and sharia, and they are canceling a heritage of centuries and the supposed gains of a modernization that hasn’t been completed. They turned into rebels, emirs and a caliph invading a vast area of our land. They are hijacking our children’s minds and canceling borders. They reject all rules and legislations, throwing it [a]way … for their vision of politics, governance, life, society and economy. [For] the citizens of the self-declared “commander of the faithful,” or Caliph, you have no other choice … They don’t care if you stand out among your people and if you are an educated man, or a lecturer, or a tribe leader, or a religious leader, or an active politician or even a judge … You must obey the commander of the faithful and pledge the oath of allegiance to him. When their policies are questioned, Abu Obedia al-Jazrawi yells, saying: “Shut up. Our reference is the book and the Sunnah and that’s it.”
“What did we do wrong?” Khashoggi asks. With 3,000-4,000 Saudi fighters in the Islamic State today, he advises of the need to “look inward to explain ISIS’ rise”. Maybe it is time, he says, to admit “our political mistakes,” to “correct the mistakes of our predecessors.”

MODERNIZING KING THE MOST VULNERABLE

The present Saudi king, Abdullah, paradoxically is all the more vulnerable precisely because he has been a modernizer. The King has curbed the influence of the religious institutions and the religious police — and importantly has permitted the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence to be used, by those who adhere to them (al-Wahhab, by contrast, objected to all other schools of jurisprudence other than his own).

“The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom. If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.”

It is even possible too for Shiite residents of eastern Saudi Arabia to invoke Ja’afri jurisprudence and to turn to Ja’afari Shiite clerics for rulings. (In clear contrast, al-Wahhab held a particular animosity towards the Shiite and held them to be apostates. As recently as the 1990s, clerics such as bin Baz — the former Mufti — and Abdullah Jibrin reiterated the customary view that the Shiite were infidels).

Some contemporary Saudi ulema would regard such reforms as constituting almost a provocation against Wahhabist doctrines, or at the very least, another example of westernization. ISIS, for example, regards any who seek jurisdiction other than that offered by the Islamic State itself to be guilty of disbelief — since all such “other” jurisdictions embody innovation or “borrowings” from other cultures in its view.

The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom.

If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.

“They hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of ‘purity’ lost”

In short, this is the nature of the time bomb tossed into the Middle East. The ISIS allusions to Abd al-Wahhab and Juhayman (whose dissident writings are circulated within ISIS) present a powerful provocation: they hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of “purity” lost and early beliefs and certainties displaced by shows of wealth and indulgence.

This is the ISIS “bomb” hurled into Saudi society. King Abdullah — and his reforms — are popular, and perhaps he can contain a new outbreak of Ikwhani dissidence. But will that option remain a possibility after his death?

And here is the difficulty with evolving U.S. policy, which seems to be one of “leading from behind” again — and looking to Sunni states and communities to coalesce in the fight against ISIS (as in Iraq with the Awakening Councils).

It is a strategy that seems highly implausible. Who would want to insert themselves into this sensitive intra-Saudi rift? And would concerted Sunni attacks on ISIS make King Abdullah’s situation better, or might it inflame and anger domestic Saudi dissidence even further? So whom precisely does ISIS threaten? It could not be clearer. It does not directly threaten the West (though westerners should remain wary, and not tread on this particular scorpion).

The Saudi Ikhwani history is plain: As Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab made it such in the 18th century; and as the Saudi Ikhwan made it such in the 20th century. ISIS’ real target must be the Hijaz — the seizure of Mecca and Medina — and the legitimacy that this will confer on ISIS as the new Emirs of Arabia.

************

The truth is the ISIS phenomena became a very quick developing crisis where exactly a year ago, the concentration was only on the several factions fighting along the Western backed Free Syrian Army and the involvement of several ‘terrorist organisations’ namely the Al Qaeda in their attempt to topple Bashar Assad’s regime.

Published in: on October 16, 2014 at 00:01  Comments (9)  

Aidil Adha 1435H: Position and role of HRH Rulers and Constitution shall be preserved

NajibRazak_AidilAdha-300x298

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak promised the position and role of HRH Rulers which include Constitutional Head of Islam and the Federal Constitution shall be preserved in the identity to reflect Malaysia’s moderate Muslim stance, in his Aidil Adha 1435H message.

From NajibRazak.com:

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Walillahil hamd

1. Alhamdulillah, segala pujian dan penuh kesyukuran hanya kepada Allah SWT. Selawat dan salam buat junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad SAW, jua buat sekalian keluarga serta sahabat baginda.

2. Bertepatan dengan nama Aidil Adha itu, perayaan agung ini diikoni oleh dua ibadah besar iaitu ibadah haji dan ibadah sembelihan korban. Intisari kedua-dua ibadah ini ialah sifat dan semangat pengorbanan demi mencari redha Allah dan meninggikan syiar serta syariat agama Allah. Pengorbanan ini, melangkaui dimensi material dan jasadi, malahan ia merangkumi sama aspek jiwa-rohani kita sebagai hamba.

3. Demikianlah kita mengiktibari semangat pengorbanan silam, untuk kita garap dalam perjuangan kita memakmurkan negara yang tercinta ini dengan berteraskan keadilan dan keharmonian. Tiga rencah utama wasatiyyah iaitu keadilan, seimbang dan cemerlang tetap kekal menjadi nilai dalam membangunkan negara Malaysia ini. Kita akan terus beriltizam untuk menjadikan Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara Islam yang progresif, maju dan berpendapatan tinggi menjelang tahun 2020 nanti.

4. Sebagaimana yang saya ikrarkan di dalam debat umum pada Perhimpunan Agung PBB (UNGA) ke-69 di New York baru-baru ini, Malaysia akan terus berpegang erat dengan pendekatan kesederhanaan sebagaimana yang digariskan oleh agama Islam. Kita bertekad untuk meneruskan agenda transformasi negara, yang mana ini tentunya memerlukan komitmen dan kesediaan untuk melakukan pengorbanan yang tinggi daripada kita semua.

5. Dalam masa yang sama, kita sedia untuk berkorban masa dan jiwa bagi memastikan kestabilan dan kemakmuran yang kita kecapi akan terus dipertahankan. Perlembagaan negara serta kedaulatan raja-raja akan kekal menjadi jatidiri bangsa Malaysia. Pengkhianatan mahupun pencerobohan daripada sesiapapun ke atas kedaulatan ini akan kita tentang dengan tegas dan tuntas.

6. Pada kesempatan ini, saya dan keluarga mendoakan, buat mereka yang berada di Tanah Suci, selamat mengerjakan ibadah haji dan semoga mendapat Haji Akbar yang mabrur. Manakala kepada yang berada di tanah air, marilah kita hiasi hari raya ini dengan takbir dan tahmid, sama-sama melaksanakan solat Aidil Adha serta melakukan ibadah korban. Semoga sembelihan korban kita ini benar-benar diterima oleh Allah SWT serta meneguhkan lagi takwa kita.

Sekian, wabillahitaufik walhidayah wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

**************

This should be the guiding policy of the interpretation of many issues in recent times being brought into centre stage as being prickly and contentious by so few, manipulated to be reflecting the sentiments of the majority.

This include Articles 153 on Special Malay Rights and 3 on Islam.HRH Rulers are not only Constitutional Heads but also sovereign.

Challenging the role and positions of these provisions in the Malaysian Federal Constitution which include the position, role and authority of HRH Rulers has been regarded as “Seditious” and subjected under the Sedition Act, which itself is contentious.

Of late, many pockets of individuals and minority groups are working towards to disband this provision, with the explicit to continuously challenge the role and position of Islam and Special Malay Rights, openly. Some even challenge the validity of the law, which was enacted as the extension of the Emergency Ordinance which was repealed two years ago.

The fact is that when Parliament was re-insitituted in February 1971 after the brief suspension due to the bloody race riots of 13 May 1969, the amendments to the Sedition Act was tabled and passed with two-third support of Parliamentarians.

The fifth para of this Hari Raya Haji speech is clear that provisions such as Articles 153 on Special Malay Rights and 3 on Islam are the basis to define the nationhood of the Federation of Malaysia, which which was formed when nine states under nine different Rulers agreed to form the union which was extended to the Federation of Malaya Agreement dated 21 Jan 1948.

Aidil Adha is the Muslim second holiest holiday, which signified God’s gift to man after prophet Abraham demonstrated submission by carrying out the command to sacrifice his own son prophet Ismail in the name of God.

In this context, Prime Minister Najib reflected the readiness of the Malay-Muslim majority to defend the liberty and the definitive description of this nation as provided in the Federal Constitution.

Published in: on October 4, 2014 at 23:00  Comments (15)  

Yellow-bellied ferral boar

The Facebook posting depicting disgusting portrayal of four strategic Malaysia Government office bearers

The Facebook posting on 27 September 2014 depicting disgusting portrayal of four strategic Malaysia Government office bearers

This is the work of a very coward ferral boar, who was not even man enough to face the music like a real man.

This wasn’t Alvin Tan’s first venomous posting in his Facebook account since arriving in the United States recently, after jumping bail and soon to be classified as a fugitive for scooting away from criminal charges current in the court.

The Malay Mail online:

Fugitive sex blogger Alvin Tan again under sedition scope

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 ― Already deemed a fugitive for skipping town and violating his bail terms, Malaysian sex blogger Alvin Tan is now facing yet another probe under the Sedition Act back home ― this time for criticising the country’s leaders on Facebook

According to Astro Awani, Deputy Federal CID chief Deputy Comm Datuk Amar Singh confirmed today that Tan is being investigated under the 1948 law for criticising, among others, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“Members of the public have lodged reports against Alvin Tan. Upon this, we initiated an investigation under the Sedition Act,” DCP Amar was quoted saying by the news portal.

Asked how the authorities plan to bring Tan, who is now believed to be in the United States, back to Malaysia to face his charges, DCP Amar said: “Let us complete the investigation first. Then, we will liaise with the Attorney General’s department to decide the next course of action.”

Tan, who is now seeking asylum in the US purportedly to escape Umno, recently took to Facebook to vent his frustrations against the government’s recent sedition crackdown on dissenters.

The controversial sex blogger also referred to IGP Khalid as the German nazi commander Heinrich Himmler and said Zahid was “the closest thing to true evil”.

A Twitter user was charged earlier this month under the Penal Code for “deliberately humiliating and provoking” Khalid when he too likened the IGP to Himmler.

Yesterday, IGP Khalid vowed to search every “wormhole” for Tan until the blogger is found, saying the youth’s repeated insults against the authorities on social media is “unforgivable”.

Tan, the fugitive Malaysian blogger slapped with multiple charges over his now-defunct sex blog and controversial Hari Raya greeting involving pork dish “bak kut teh”, resurfaced in cyberspace recently, saying that he is now seeking political asylum in the US.

Singapore media agency Channel News Asia (CNA) reported Tan as saying he is fleeing from Umno — the mainstay party of Malaysia’s ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), and had applied for asylum in the US in May.

Tan and his ex-girlfriend Vivian Lee May Ling, 25, were hauled to court last July 18 and slapped with three charges, but the couple known as “Alvivi” managed to get the court to struck off a charge under Section 298A of the Penal Code.

Tan and Lee still face a charge under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act for publishing a seditious photograph and the words “Selamat Berbuka Puasa” (dengan Bak Kut Teh…wangi, enak, menyelerakan!) [Happy breaking fast with bak kut teh...fragrant, delicious, appetising]” on their Facebook page last July 11 that also showed a halal logo.

They are also being tried for a second remaining charge under subsection 5(1) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 for displaying pornographic images on their blog, alviviswingers.tumblr.com, between July 6 and July 7 last year.

The court had previously ordered the duo to surrender their passports and allowed them to be released on bail, but allowed them to temporarily take back their travel documents on May 18 this year to travel to Singapore to shoot a documentary.

Only Lee returned the passport on June 3, while Tan failed to show up on the scheduled date and went missing, leading the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to issue an arrest warrant and forfeit his RM20,000 bail.

Interpol are also reportedly on the hunt for Tan.

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/fugitive-sex-blogger-alvin-tan-again-under-sedition-scope#sthash.ZcYnrZdv.dpuf

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Apparently, there are so many Malaysians like this. The come out from the woodworks and antagonise the majority as they like, with all sorts of excuses. When the law is thrown at and against them, they cry foul and as if as the majority is out to oppress and persecute them.

Alvin Tan's Facebook posting 26 September 2014

Alvin Tan’s Facebook posting 26 September 2014, which was mentioned by IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar

Aren’t they the sort who consciously and intentionally utilise free-to-use medium for public exposition to make many people anguish and sow hatred?

This is why there is the Sedition Act. It is not mere intellectual irritation. This is an example of continuous irritation that unless dealt with, would compound into hatred.

*Updated midnight

Published in: on September 29, 2014 at 15:00  Comments (15)  

From being the village idiot into an international laughing stock

Alvin Tan’s and Vivian Lee’s ‘Selamat Berbuka Puasa’ message via FB, which landed them facing charges under the Sedition Act

Malaysians lashed against seditiously stupid social media abuser Alvin Tan who sought asylum in the United States after hoodwinking Malaysian immigration authorities for a work excuse in Singapore, who conveniently blamed UMNO and Federal Government for his troubles. He also ditched his current seditious case insulting the Muslims last year’s Ramadhan and former girlfriend Vivian Lee, to face the case alone.

Recently acquired news portal by Anwaristas story:

Malaysians flay sex blogger Alvin Tan for fleeing to US

BY ANISAH SHUKRY

Published: 28 September 2014 | Updated: 28 September 2014 6:35 PM

Alvin Tan (red t-shirt) being led to court following his arres following his alleged offensive post online last year. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 28, 2014.
Sex blogger Alvin Tan’s decision to seek asylum in the United States has drawn flak from Malaysian social media users, many of whom believe he should face up to his actions rather than flee the country.

Tan and his former partner, Vivian Lee, had been charged under the Sedition Act for uploading a bak kut teh posting during Ramadan last year, but he violated his bail conditions while on a supposed working trip to Singapore.

Tan, 26, had insisted in a recent interview with The Malaysian Insider that leaving Malaysia was “the only rational action” as he was powerless to fight “tyranny and ignorance”.

However, most Facebook users felt otherwise, noting that Tan should have been brave enough to face the consequences of the law after knowingly breaking it.
“The reason he ‘tak suka Malaysia’ is because he’s being prosecuted for a crime under Malaysian law. In my opinion, he deserves to be punished for his puerile acts in the past,” wrote Facebook user Josh Wu.

“He openly admitted to deceiving the courts by fleeing to the United States after Malaysian courts were kind enough to allow him to go to Singapore for some film-shooting.

“The law shouldn’t protect those who misuse the law. He who seeks equity must do equity.”

Another Facebook user, Eugene Leong, said Tan had started the entire episode with his Ramadan wishes, which he said were uncalled for.

“That was indeed a silly and stupid thing to do. Yes, he was punished by the courts. Yes, he fled Malaysia via some excuses.

“But, what I would really like to know is how he feels now, knowing that he got his mum to lose the bond money of 20k when he ran away, instead of defending himself in court!” wrote Leong.

In his interview with The Malaysian Insider, Tan had defended the post, which carried a photo of a pork dish, as political satire.

He said it had highlighted the danger of using Islam “as a basis to govern other people’s life” by legislating personal morals, without making a distinction between what is immoral and what is illegal.

Tan added that he did not believe he was a coward by seeking refuge in the US, but that he was “smart, pragmatic, calculative and mercenary”.

“When the government and its institutions decide to ruin your life and jail you for years just because you hurt their feelings, you do not sit back and try to fight the overwhelming wave of emotional, irrational force coming down on you,” he had said.

But most Facebook users dismissed this, saying his actions were cowardly and idiotic.

“I think he is humiliating himself becoz of his ego! Nothing so smart, also more like childish!” wrote Vivian V. Kulasingham.

“It’s either he is a coward or he is an idiot!!!” wrote Augustin Anthony.

They also warned Tan that he would be extradited back to Malaysia and still have to face the courts.

“Don’t be confident. Soon he will realise that he will be extradited back to Malaysia. But I really pity the girl because he left her,” wrote Mohd Shafian Noordin, referring to Lee.

Anastasia Pertiwi said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was well known for “covert negotiations” and a single phone call to US President Barack Obama would have Tan on the first flight back to Malaysia.

“How long can he stay there? Unless he possess the green card, else it will be deported back. Know yourself first before the enemy,” wrote Chai KL.

However, a handful of Facebook users defended Tan, with one even hailing him a “hero”.

“He is battling the political system not race and religion. Don’t be confused,” wrote Brian Low.

Clement Leong Ern said that while he did not condone Tan’s past actions, the sex blogger was “speaking sense” now.

“Bravo Alvin Tan!” wrote Rosa Rosa.

Tan and Lee are facing criminal charges under Malaysia’s Sedition Act as well as the Film Censorship Act for their controversial online uploads, including a photo deemed insulting to Islam on Facebook.

They were both allowed a total bail of RM30,000 each, with two sureties, by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur in July last year. – September 28, 2014.

***********

The Malaysian Insider published an exchane of e mail interview with Tan, to explain himself:

Sex blogger Alvin Tan says not a coward, but smart to seek asylum

Whatever one thinks about sex blogger Alvin Tan, the controversial Singapore scholar has rather opinionated views of politics, Malaysian society and religion. The 26-year-old is seeking asylum in the United States but told The Malaysian Insider that his decision to flee his homeland was to escape the government’s “tyranny” as well as the…
Malaysia Insider

Whatever one thinks about sex blogger Alvin Tan, the controversial Singapore scholar has rather opinionated views of politics, Malaysian society and religion.
The 26-year-old is seeking asylum in the United States but told The Malaysian Insider that his decision to flee his homeland was to escape the government’s “tyranny” as well as the “ignorance” of ordinary Malaysians.

The butt of criticism by many Malaysians after his offensive and controversial Ramadan greeting on Facebook in July last year, Tan defended the post, which carried a photo of a pork dish, as political satire.

He revealed that this entire episode highlighted the danger of using Islam “as a basis to govern other people’s life” by legislating personal morals, without making a distinction between what is immoral and what is illegal.

The former law student at the National University of Singapore, and his then partner Vivian Lee, first came under the spotlight after uploading raunchy sex postings on their blog.

But it was their bak kut teh posting during Ramadan last year that landed them in hot water, and even in jail briefly – after they were charged under the Sedition Act and the Film Censorship Act.

Tan violated his bail conditions while on a supposed working trip to Singapore and is now on Interpol’s wanted list.

After lying low for a while, he recently emerged on social media to make known his plans for asylum in the US.

In this bare all e-mail interview, Tan admits that he may even have been “young and stupid” once, but is determined now to face the consequences as a man, and in a strange and unexpected way, adds to the debate over Malaysia’s ongoing struggle to define its secular-Islamist identity.

TMI: What are your feelings now compared to when you were charged on July 18 last year, given what you have been through?

Tan: My focus now is to start afresh and pursue my dreams in the greatest country in the world, now that there is no tyrannical government in the way. Upon leaving Malaysia, I felt a huge burden being lifted off my back, and I feel safe enough, because I know that extradition between USA and Malaysia will not be an easy task.

Dr Wan Junaidi (Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar) himself said that an extraditable offence is an offence that is a crime in both Malaysia and the US, otherwise the extradition request will fail.

Remember how the A-G’s Chambers tried to extradite Raja Petra Kamaruddin in 2009 and the UK government essentially told them to sod off? Either way, just because I am in a better position to speak up now does not mean that I will.

The last thing I want to be is one of those exiled dissidents who is forever attacking his home country from abroad, bitter and jaded and never really settling down and starting a new life overseas.

TMI: What can you say about the Malaysian approach to freedom of speech and expression?

Tan: The underlying problem is that we’re somehow brainwashed into genuinely believing that words are dangerous and can cause riots, killings, etc. With this belief permeating every average Malaysian’s mind, they find themselves supporting laws like the Sedition Act with a straight face “in order to keep the peace.”

With the people’s support of so-called hate speech laws as justification, the government thus keeps the Sedition Act around and uses it whenever it sees fit.

But history has taught us that any hate speech law will eventually be abused by the government for unjust censorship, 100% of the time, which is why the American founding fathers stressed that all forms of speech, ESPECIALLY offensive speech, should be immune to prosecution with Article 1 of the 1791 Bill of Rights.

They understood this idea more than 200 years ago, and look where it has led them politically, economically, culturally, and militarily today. The correct way to deal with a difference in opinion, particularly when it is a moral opinion, is education or, at most, social condemnation in the form of disassociation or boycotts, not jailing people.

TMI: How is your family back home taking all this, in particular the fact that you are seeking asylum, are they supportive? What about your friends?

Tan: My family is trying to live their lives as normally as possible. They have ceased to offer opinions on my life decisions at this stage, because, really, they are ill-equipped to understand and advise on what I am up to, considering the depth of the mess that I have got myself into thus far.

My friends seem to believe that my only and best option, for someone of my temperament, is to get out of Malaysia, and undoubtedly I have taken their advice seriously.

TMI: Why are you seeking asylum, is it because you do not have trust in the local justice system?

Tan: I am seeking asylum not only from the tyranny of Umno, but from the ignorance of ordinary Malaysians. The tyranny of Umno is obvious: they want to jail me to show how much of a stalwart of Islam they are. They control the police force, the A-G’s Chambers, the lower courts, the media, and, via the media and the education system, the minds of the people.

The ignorance of ordinary Malaysians is more stealthy but equally lethal. When people believe that it is okay to jail people just because they are immoral or objectionable or offensive, even though they never harmed anyone, you know that this is a primitive country which does not know that immorality and illegality are two different things.

When they call for Ibrahim Ali to be jailed for saying things, I knew it was time to get out as soon as possible.

It is often said that we deserve the government that we get. In Malaysia, Umno manages to stay in power precisely because many people actually subscribe to the Umno mindset, at least in part, without even realising it.

Put simply, the reason I left to seek asylum is that I am powerless to fight against such tyranny and ignorance. The only rational action for me is to leave, instead of wasting my precious life to fight a Sisyphean battle.

TMI: This might mean that you will be remembered among those who do not know you here in Malaysia as a fugitive. Does this bother you in any way?

Tan: Many Malaysians claim that I was a coward for running away. I do not think so at all. When the government and its institutions decide to ruin your life and jail you for years just because you hurt their feelings, you do not sit back and try to fight the overwhelming wave of emotional, irrational force coming down on you.

That is a very unfair situation to expect me to put up any type of fight. I was alone, and even those heartless mercenaries known as Pakatan Rakyat leaders (Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng) called for my imprisonment in Parliament just so that they did not lose the Muslim vote. Imagine fighting literally the entire country just on your own and your lawyer.

The only rational thing to do is to leave in an act of self-preservation. First, I was stupid for inviting Muslims to break fast with pork during Ramadan. Now, I am a coward for running away from a trial that will be anything but fair.

Either way, they will have something to criticise me about. What I know is that I am done being stupid. The current Alvin Tan is smart, pragmatic, calculative and mercenary.

TMI: At what point did you decide to seek asylum?

Tan: I first knew about the concept of political asylum when I was in Sungai Buloh prison in July 2013. My Iranian cellmate urged me to apply to the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) for asylum after hearing about my situation. When I was released on court bail, the court, however, took away my passport.

I waited for the right time for almost a year, slowly cutting off my ties in Malaysia (eg liquidating assets, ending contracts), and, when the court approved my going to Singapore to supposedly film a documentary in Singapore in May this year, I seized the opportunity and fled.

TMI: Is there a possibility that your asylum application to the US will not succeed? What happens then?

Tan: I have two layers of appeals, should my initial asylum claim fail. I am still free to put in similar claims in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, England, etc, if I happen to fail in my bid in America.

TMI: Your rebuke appears to be targeted at the government and Muslims, can you explain why this is so?

Tan: The reason I target Muslims is that they do not seem to understand the concept of separation of church and state. They seem to want to legislate every single religious principle or rule into the law book, and they seem to be especially blind to the distinction between immorality and illegality. In any country with such a situation, Islam is really a political idea, not merely personal faith.

If they insist on applying Islam in politics and governance, they should also know that criticism to Islam would be inevitable and part and parcel of political discourse. They can no longer say it is something sacred and untouchable and impervious to flak, because Islam is now used as a basis to govern other people’s lives.

This is, in fact, the basis of my political asylum claim. My satirical attempts at ridiculing Muslims is an expression of my political disapproval of Muslims and Islam. Given how pervasive the influence of Islam is in our government institutions, ridiculing Muslims is tantamount to, say, ridiculing conservatives or socialists. It is the same thing.

The American courts know it. Even my San Francisco asylum officer in his independent assessment agrees that my Ramadan pork photograph was political satire, nothing more.

TMI: On hindsight, do you have any regrets over your Ramadan greeting or do you think it all happened for a reason?

Tan: This is too early to say. If my asylum claim succeeds, I am on track to become a US citizen in five years, an awesome dream come true. If not, well, I just have to be content in knowing that I was once young and stupid, and deal with the consequences like a man. My life is now in the hands of the immigration judge hearing my asylum case.

TMI: What about Vivian, are you concerned about her having to face the charges alone now?

Tan: I did convince her to flee, but she did not see the point of it. I already applied to the court to get our passports released using my personal funds, at no expense to her. What more does she want? What I did not do was to fund her escape, because, why should I? We are both independent adults who are supposed to be able to take care of ourselves.

She has a lot of growing up to do if she believes that it is my responsibility to take her along. I mean, hello, she is the university graduate here, not me. She should be more than capable – much more than me – to take care of herself. – September 27, 2014.

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Alvin Tan's and Vivian Lee's sexual exhibitionism, which video has been deleted from public consumption

Alvin Tan’s and Vivian Lee’s sexual exhibitionism, which video has been deleted from public consumption

The above said video landed Alvin Tan into much trouble. Singapore Minister of Education Heng Swee Keat spoke of the matter in Parliament, “The conduct of the student is reprehensible and unbecoming as a scholar”. National University of Singapore withdrew their ASEAN scholarship which Tan benefitted.

Singaporeans are not shy to criticise Tan, for his conduct which is deemed unacceptable even by the values of modern and dynamic society and western-wannabe Singaporeans.

Vivian Lee, who was Alvin Tan’s girlfriend and co-sexual exhibitionist faced a lot of flak from her family for her private acts with Tan being made explicitly public on purpose via social media network.

Tan has since be called a ‘coward’ in bold letters since he abandoned his former girlfriend and co-conspirator in their sexual exhibitionism and insults against the predominantly Malay-Muslim Malaysia in the most holiest month for Muslims, to face the music all by herself.

Another story by recently acquired news portal by Anwaristas

Alvin Tan’s second act – Hanna TGV

Published: 27 September 2014 | Updated: 28 September 2014 12:11 AM

The fugitive and coward is now thriving in the land of the free and home of the brave.

He has upped his homogeneous firebrand of lashing out against the Malaysian authorities by taunting political leaders and the head of police to come at him.

In the current political atmosphere, Alvin knows that’s a fast track to gain popularity.

He thinks he deserves to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Adam Adli, Ali Abd Jalil, Edmond Bon and the resilient few who actually mattered in making a change in Malaysia.
But what has he done, besides uploading raunchy sex postings on their blog and not being able to respect the Muslims during their holy fasting month?

When faced with a fight-or-flight situation – Alvin chose the latter, and not without leaving behind collateral damage. His partner, Vivian Lee, continues to face the charges alone.

He has stated before that he created a new personal Facebook account to disassociate himself from Vivian, on the basis to protect her.

If he really wants to be respected – by doing something more concrete and not merely symbolic for Vivian’s well-being – he should immediately make a Statutory Declaration to absolve her from any and all responsibilities that got them into trouble in the first place.

Such gesture, would earn him even more respect from Malaysians – including myself.

Owing to the fact that if he aspires to start afresh and pursue his dreams in the greatest country in the world, he should not leave a trail of mess for the people who still care for him to clean up. – September 27, 2014.

*Hanna TGV reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/alvin-tans-second-act-hanna-tgv#sthash.r7YDsniu.dpuf

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It is clearly Tan was charged for his seditious posting, intended to hurt the feelings and insult the sensitivities of Muslims in predominantly Malay-Muslim Malaysia in Ramadhan last year. Ramadhan is Muslims’ holiest month.

That makes his charge criminal in nature as his seditious posting Facebook posting had malice intention.

Renown human rights lawyer Edmund Bon opined that escaping criminal charges may not be sufficient grounds for United States or any other countries to grant someone like Tan an asylum.

Rakyat Post story:

‘Political asylum not a way out of a criminal charge’

Human rights lawyer Edmund Bon says the success of applying for political asylum depended entirely on the country where refiuge was sought. — TRP file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27, 2014:
The grounds for applying for political asylum are important and the success depends on the country where refuge is sought.
Human rights lawyer Edmund Bon said a person could seek asylum when he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution, based on sexual, political, religious or racial orientation, as this is permitted by international law.
He told The Rakyat Post that the success of the application, for instance the one said to have been made by sex blogger Alvin Tan recently, depended on the country he applied to.
Bon said Malaysia had also accepted people under political asylum, saying that a very good example of cases of political asylum in Malaysia were the refugees.
“Refugees who are prosecuted, like the Rohingya community from Myanmar, are given political asylum in Malaysia and are protected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“However, this is granted only after a strict assessment of the case.”
Bon said for Tan’s application to be successful. there must be evidence of well-founded fear and truth.
“The application can’t be applied just to run away from a criminal charge.”
When asked if Tan had a strong case, Bon said it depended on the facts of the case which, at this time, he was not familiar with.
Bon said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had the right to request the government for Tan to be returned from where he was seeking asylum to stand trial..
It was reported earlier that Tan was currently in the United States and that he was seeking for political asylum.
Speaking to a Singaporean blogger, Tan detailed his journey from Singapore to Mexico, after which he made it to the US-Mexico border and expressed his desire to be granted political asylum there.
Tan had gone missing after he failed to return his passport to the Sessions Court on June 3, which was the date set to enable him and his then girlfriend, Vivian Lee, to be allowed to go to Singapore.
Both were undergoing trial for two charges under the Film Censorship Act and the Sedition Act.
Lee, who returned to Malaysia, was reported to have surrendered her passport. However, Tan failed to do so, following which an arrest warrant was issued for him.
His last known Facebook and Twitter update was in late May before “resurfacing” recently, with Facebook postings indicating he was in Los Angeles, California.
He then began taunting the government, Umno and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, among others.
Read more: http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/09/27/political-asylum-way-criminal-charge/#ixzz3EdNXpCEW

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Tan is not so smart for blaming the Malaysian Government for the troubles that he is currently facing by his own misconducts against the law. Especially, when President Barack H. Obama regarded Malaysia as a progressive Muslim state where “positive change need not come at the expense of tradition and faith”, in his United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) speech on 24 September 2014.

Excerpts of the speech:

And such positive change need not come at the expense of tradition and faith. We see this in Iraq, where a young man started a library for his peers. “We link Iraq’s heritage to their hearts,” he said, and “give them a reason to stay.” We see it in Tunisia, where secular and Islamist parties worked together through a political process to produce a new constitution. We see it in Senegal, where civil society thrives alongside a strong democratic government. We see it in Malaysia, where vibrant entrepreneurship is propelling a former colony into the ranks of advanced economies. And we see it in Indonesia, where what began as a violent transition has evolved into a genuine democracy.

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Americans also regard Malaysia as a ‘moderate Muslim nation’ and Islam drives predominantly Malay-Muslim forward and towards progress, on top of being tolerant. Until recent times, Non Muslims are free to carry on with their daily lives without any of the majority predominantly Malay-Muslims encroaching into their belief and cultural system.

It is social rogues like Tan and Lee who are interpreting and taking their opinion on the ‘freedom of speech and expression’ beyond the extreme end, especially at the gross displeasure within the value system of the majority of middle Malaysia.

It is obvious for Alvin Tan was a very stupid young man for attempting to gain attention for his abuses of social media, which include postings of his sexual relationship act and deliberately insulting the Muslims in Ramadhan.

Now, it seems that he is making a bigger fool of himself by seeking asylum instead of being a man and standing by his former girlfriend and face the music, like what a responsible and accountable gentleman should be expected to do.

Published in: on September 29, 2014 at 01:00  Comments (16)  

Semenanjung lucifers instigating Sabah secession

The Jalur Gemilang and Sabah flag

The Jalur Gemilang and Sabah flag

This is the perfect time for the Sedition Act be used against Semenanjung lieutenants of the Devil, who are actively going around Sabah and instigating the fire of secession call, in the midst of Sabahans being proud of being Malaysians.

Daily Express story:

Sabah DAP launches new movement

Published on: Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Democratic Action Party (DAP) has initiated the Post Malaysia Generation Movement (PMGM) meant to be the platform for political advocacy especially on issues affecting the natives of Sabah.

The launching ceremony of the new movement was done by DAP Adviser Lim Kit Siang on Aug 31 in Keningau. “Well-known activists Adrian Lasimbang and Kit Siang’s political secretary Dyana Sofya spoke during the event where they expressed their generation’s dreams and aspirations for the country.

“They are well aware that the future of the country depends on the young generation and they must have good, committed and responsible leaders to carry the nation forward,” said DAP Sabah Secretary and Kapayan Assemblyman Edwin Bosi.

At the same time, Bosi added, the young generations must be well informed of the political situation and wellbeing of the country so that they can help steer the country in the right direction.

“This is the right time to take the initiative to fight for the future and for the rights of the young generations,” he added. The objectives of PMGM in Sabah are to build up the leadership capacity as well as to identify and expose the talents of the young people.

It hopes to realise the concept of Malaysians Malaysia, nationalise the native issues and to bring about positive political change in Putrajaya and the country while staying true to its motto of ‘Not Just a Facebook Hero’. Lim (fourth left) during the launching of the PMGM.

Also in the picture are Dyana (third right), Jimmy Wong (third left), Chan Foong Hing (left) and Stephen Wong (second left).

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Another is militant and HINDRAF extremist Wathyamoorthy and a long time Sabah secessionist Dr Jeffrey Kittingan, who is the ADUN for Bingkor.

Malaysiakini story:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Borneo nationalists mull Putrajaya protest

A group of Borneo nationalists are mulling a protest in Putrajaya on the federal government’s continued refusal to revisit the Malaysian Agreement over complaints that Sabah and Sarawak are being short-changed.

“Why not (protest)? We should do anything that will advance our cause for a solution.

“It is a choice between doing something or doing nothing,” Bingkor assemblyperson Jeffrey Kitingan said at a forum on The Malaysian Agreement 1963 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Jeffrey was responding to a suggestion raised at the forum organised by the Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration (Sapa) and Borneo Heritage Foundation.

Jeffrey said the forum was deliberately held in Kuala Lumpur to send a signal to the federal government.

“We are trying to send a message to the federal government to open up and respond.

“Don’t leave us hanging and boiling down there (in East Malaysia),” he told journalists later.

He added similar forums were also being held overseas to mobilise support.

Sharing his views on building political momentum, Persatuan Hindraf Malaysia (PHM) chairperson P Waythamoorthy said the group should learn from Hindraf’s massive protest in 2007.

“I told them if you do this in Kuching or Kota Kinabalu, they (Putrajaya) can’t care less.

“But if you do it in Kuala Lumpur, they get worried, so it’s time for them to be worried.

“I was told that there are 120,000 Sarawakians and Sabahans in Johor alone, imagine if you can get 20 percent of them to do a roadshow or whatever,” Waythamoorthy told an audience of some 80 people.

Waytha: Sue the British government

Waythamoorthy, who served a short stint as a deputy minister in Najib’s cabinet, also suggested that Sabah and Sarawak should consider taking the British government to court for the seemingly lopsided Malaysian Agreement.

He said Hindraf is also suing the British government for bringing Indian immigrants to then Malaya without adequate protection for their rights, resulting in today’s marginalised Indian community.

Meanwhile, Sapa president Lina Soo argued that the Malaysian Agreement 1963 was invalid as Sabah and Sarawak were not independent states when they formed the Malaysian Federation.

Soo argued that under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, only independent states may enter into treaties.

She added that Putrajaya’s failure to comply with the agreement’s terms – such as the Borneo-nisation (hiring locals only) for the civil service in Sabah and Sarawak – and Singapore’s expulsion without consulting the two other partners, also made it void.

Among the other speakers at the forum were Sabah Progressive Party supreme council member Ken Yong, anthropology professor Awang Hasmadi Mois and Angkatan Perubahan Sabah vice-president Kalakau Untol.

Participants at the forum also passed a resolution on the right of self-determination for Sarawak and Sabah.

‘Form reconciliation committee’

The motion reads: “We, the peoples of Sarawak and Sabah in the Convention assembled, do hereby unanimously declare and ordain on this 15th day of June 2014 that it is the peoples’ wishes that the nation-states of Sabah and Sarawak shall seek the right to self-determination as enshrined in international law on human rights and civil liberties by people of independent states.

“And to do so would protect our citizens’ standard of living and re-secure our inalienable rights and freedoms in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which have been compromised by the rule of the Malaysian government.”

Jeffrey said if this problem was resolved and power was redistributed to Sabah and Sarawak, it would only serve to strengthen the Federation of Malaysia.

To this end, he called for a “Reconciliation and Reform Committee” comprising East Malaysian stakeholders and the federal government.

Sabah and Sarawak have become more assertive in recent years as BN has become more reliant on the two to retain federal power following declining support in Peninsular Malaysia.

BN has often boasted the two are their ‘fixed deposits’ owing to the large number of parliamentary seats in Borneo.

Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah last year called on Putrajaya to review the 20-point Agreement for Sabah and 18-point Agreement for Sarawak, which are safeguards for the states when forming the Federation of Malaysia.

Tengku Razaleigh, who is the MP for Gua Musang, said the agreements were supposed to have been reviewed 10 years after the formation of Malaysia but this never materialised. However, his call fell on deaf ears.

Msiakini News

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Sabahans are not interested in all these.

They are proud to be part of the Federation of Malaysia and striving hard to make their home a much better place. Hence, they want better deals from the Federal Government on how more programs of infrastructure, development and progress in nature can could be brought and benefit the state and the proud Sabahans.

That, would naturally derive on the more opportunities for Sabahans to better themselves. The state has a lot of potential and they want these potential to be developed, so that more Sabahans would benefit from them.

In short, Sabahans are like the Scots. They want to remain in the union but getting better deals.

They want the sort of deals where more opportunities can be made available to them, from programs being developed as a mid and long term strategy for Sabah to grow.

It is not the kind which did not happen when Tengku Razaleigh was the Bank Bumiputra Chairman, Petronas Chairman and eventually Minister of Finance and Trade and Industry. It was the period where he had the clout and power to invoke changes for more than twenty years.

After all, the political failure Kelantanese prince actually had the first chance to do so in Sabah’s toddler years within the Federation of Malaysia.

Neither it is the sort of radical and hatred politics that Chinese Chauvinist Emperorissimo Lim Kit Siang trying to sow to Sabahans for an anti-Federal sentiment.

It has been a wet dream of Lim in his hard tries to sow hatred sentiments against the BN Sabah leaders. But it is proven to be very unproductive.

It is nothing but simply evil for bankrupt Semenanjung political extremists, radicals and rejects, to waltz around Sabah and instigate the rakyat to rise against the Federal Government and the Sabah State Government, which backs the Federal Government and BN strongly.

This is what the much dreaded Internal Security Act (repealed in 2011 to be replaced with SOSMA and PCA) and Sedition Act designed for. They are the true secessionists and anti-Fedralists.

Home Ministry should focus on this lot carefully.

Published in: on September 21, 2014 at 20:00  Comments (20)  

Anwar: Saya senang mengalu ngalukan Wee Choo Keong

Something of the past, to remind us what and where our future lies. This is what Santaya taught us and still relevant, then and now.

“Sahabat lama saya, saudara Wee Choo Keong”, Anwar Ibrahim.

“Lawan tetap lawan. Kita nak gulingkan Barisan Nasional. Parti Barang Naik. BN itu Bangkrap Negara!”, Wee Choo Keong. “Kertas (undi) itulah yang puak puak UMNO-Putra takut. Kita akan gulingkan, hancurkan Barisan Nasional pada hari itu!”

Published in: on September 18, 2014 at 18:00  Comments (14)  

Prostituting cyber-terrorism

It has come to our attention that some of our supposedly more learned blogging brothers have prostituted themselves to be cyber-terrorists.

They do incessant postings despite poor or no response by the target. Definitely, not by other like minded bloggers.

The intention is very clear. They wanted attention, especially when their writings are no longer relevant and became flavourless, without inability to capture the interests or imagination of blog readers.

They also crave for attention from the leadership, be it the political masters or corporate leaders.

This particularly one, even got the attention on the Minister in-charge of overseeing the particular agency where his rabid incessant target reside. He threatened to take his complain to the Parliament when he met the Minister, where as in actually the this pathetic blogger no longer enjoy any clout in that forum.

So the Minister coyly answered “Please do that. Better still, I can give my answer in Parliament”.

That enraged this blogger further, so self-proclaimed to be a ‘mercenary’.

The fact is that, he was a failure where he had been and the tracks he laid. Now that his true colours have bloomed, his integrity is questionable.

Another important point to note that he jumped or being thrown off ships more often than the late Elizabeth Taylor’s marriages.

Probably some point along that line, he earned some moments of glory as the ‘barking mongrel’. Then again, he wasn’t much use to anyone, especially to the Prime Minister except as an occasional ‘barking mongrel’.

He was also banking that he gets a position, probably as the Head of Mission somewhere or Chairmanship, for his stint as an ‘occasional barking mongrel’. He even claimed that it was promised to him.

Probably he did not posses any qualifications nor qualities, for him to be ascended to the much desired posts.

Now, considering almost everyone side lined him for obvious reasons of his usefulness or the very least, effectiveness whatever he thought he was good at, he resorted to prostitute himself as a cyber terrorist.

Today it is a good day to remind that exactly six years ago this time, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim tried to install himself as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, purely by maneuvres of manipulation and deception in nature. This pathetic man also prostituted himself to be part of that regime.

History also demonstrated that the feat failed.

Lately, the scruffy mongrel allowed himself to be prostituted for another demented scheme. No wonder he was never successful at anything, but taking fights through guerrilla warfare and attempting to stretch it long term.

Just like the Malayan Communist Party. Or so it seemed.

Published in: on September 17, 2014 at 18:00  Comments (3)  

(Not) Getting wiser after the event

Sedition Act

Sedition Act

In the wake of the recent public outcry for the support of doing away with the Article 15 of the Federal Constitution, the Sedition Act and equivalent vocal and thundering defence of the same act, Minister of Information, Communication and Multimedia Dato’ Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek assured that the new law would be a better one.

Bernama.com story:

Sedition Act to be replaced with comprehensive law

14 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 4:13 PM

SUNGAI BESAR: The current Sedition Act 1948 will be replaced with a new act which is more comprehensive, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

He said the act was needed to monitor writings and publications which could disrupt the harmony and unity among people of various races.

“As such, any seditious writing or words if not nipped in the bud, could lead to more serious problems,” he told reporters when asked to comment on calls by some quarters who wanted the act to be retained, while others wanted it repealed.

Ahmad Shabery said this after opening the Sungai Besar Umno division delegates meeting in Sekinchan here today.–BERNAMA

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In theory, the newly enacted laws should be better for the Malaysian society in moving forward and making the nation and her people better. However, that is not true for the Internal Security Act (ISA) which was repealed by the surprised announcement made on this day exactly three years ago.

Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 which came into affect on 22 June 2012 did not have the necessary ‘fangs’ for the security agencies particular the Ministry of Home Affairs, Royal Malaysian Police to ensure the protection of internal and homeland security and prevention of hedious crimes.

This include other law enforcement agencies such as Immigration Department, National Anti-Narcotics Task Force, Royal Malaysian Customs, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency, Malaysian Maritime Enfrocement Agency, Military Intelligence coupled with Attorney General’s Chambers  powers to prevent hedious crimes.

The Policemen brutally killed in the Lahad Datu and Semporna, March 2013

The February 2013 incursion of Sulu MILF bandits armed with military weapons in Kampung Tanduo near Lahad Datu, the brutal killings and cold blooded murder of Policemen in Kampung Simunul, Semporna, both in East Sabah.

This is on top of the incessant public killings and assassinations and increased activities related to drug processing, manufacturing, importation, exportation and distribution believed to be related to lords of the underworld criminal groups and vices released after the Emergency Ordinance was repealed together with the ISA.

This is reflective in the calls made by the Home Minister and Inspector General of the Police.

The sudden rise of serious and violent crimes related to the release of more than 2,500 detainees held under ISA and EO was felt across the board by Malaysians in all walks of life.

The Malay Mail Online story:

Former EO detainees involved in 67 violent crime cases
JULY 16, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 – Police have detected 67 violent crime cases committed by former detainees under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) 1969 over the first six months this year.

Bukit Aman Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Societies Division (D7) principal assistant director Datuk Abdul Jalil Hassan said the number was a 100 per cent increase from the 33 cases detected in the corresponding period last year.

“The number of violent crime cases committed by former EO detainees has increased after 2,473 of them were released in July last year following the abolition of the EO in 2011.

“Among the violent crime committed by the former EO detainees are murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, criminal intimidation and rioting,” he said here today.

He said although the police were aware of the former detainees’ latest addresses, the police had no power to order or ensure that they would stay at the given addresses.

“Following release, some of them have to work and this forced them to move to other places. When opportunity exists like this, some of them may have returned to crime,” he said.
Abdul Jalil said police could only monitor them in terms of job movements, besides asking their families to inform the police of their whereabouts.

Recently, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was reported as saying that 90 per cent of serious crime were committed by former EO detainees released from Simpang Renggam Detention Centre.

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police had given their input and suggestions to the ministry for the drafting of a new law to replace the EO. – Bernama

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This is not withstanding the fact during the campaign of the 13GE, Deputy Director General of Royal Customs Dato’ Shaharuddin Ibrahim was assassinated near Putrajaya Police HQ, on his way to work.

Without the ISA, the work to prevent anti-terrorism activities which include Malaysians suddenly became more uphill. Malaysians are being networked by international terrorist organisations such as cells of Al Qaeda to recruit gullible Malaysians for so called ‘Jihad’ fights, in places like Syria and Iraq.

They guised themselves through social media such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter to recruit, sow their ideology and issue instructions for cells to be activated. Pockets of Malaysians leave the country as ‘tourists’ or even some as ‘Umrah pilgrims’, with the intent to join all these terrorist organisations such as ISIL.

Today, it was reported about former PAS Kedah Information Chief Ahmad Lotfi and other members were killed recently in Syria for fighting for the so-called Islamic Jihadists in the rebellion against Bashar Assad’s legitimate government.

The Sun story:

Sacked PAS member Mohd Lofti killed in Syria

Former PAS Kedah Information Chief Lotfi, killed while fighting in Syria

Former PAS Kedah Information Chief Mohd. Lotfi Ariffin, killed while fighting in Syria

Posted on 15 September 2014 – 12:32am
Last updated on 15 September 2014 – 02:40am
Charles Ramendran
newsdesk@thesundaily.com
Print

KUALA LUMPUR: Sacked Kedah PAS information chief turned jihadist Mohd Lofti Ariffin (pix), who was seriously wounded in an air raid in Syria last week, died just days after slipping into a coma on Saturday.

The 46-year-old was among a group of Isis militants and other Malaysian jihadist engaged in a gun battle when Syrian military fighter jets bombed their location during the skirmish last Tuesday.

It is learnt that Malaysian authorities are aware of his death following intelligence reports received from their international counterparts.

It was also reported that Mohd Lofti’s older brother had confirmed the death of his sibling when contacted by the media.

It is learnt that another Malaysian, Mohammad Fadhlan Shahidi Mohammad Khir, 21, was killed instantly during the air strike while another, identified only as Abu Afghan, was injured.

Mohammad Fadhlan, who was also from Kedah and the youngest among Malaysian jihadists in Syria, left to join the group in May.

Mohd Lofti, a father of eight children was last seen in Malaysia in January before he left for Syria without informing his family in Kuala Ketil.

He posted several photos of himself in military fatigues with other militants at a Syrian battlefield on Facebook revealing that he had joined a hardline Islamist group called “Ahrar al-Sham” to fight “Allah’s cause”.

PAS distanced itself from Mohd Lofti, condemning his participation in the Syrian civil war, before announcing his sacking from the party in May.

Mohd Lofti, who was the fourth Malaysian to be killed in Syria, had previously been involved in several other holy wars in other countries. He is said to have undergone extensive militant training during that time before heading to Syria where he was tasked to take charge of the Malaysian factions.

There are about 30 Malaysians including a family of four and five former detainees of the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) who are in Syria fighting the civil war alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) militants.

Malaysian police sources said it was highly unlikely the remains of locals killed in Syria will be repatriated here as the process was complicated and the cost of doing so is high.

Police are powerless in acting against those who leave for Syria or planned to do as these individuals leave the country on a “multi-point” air travel to avoid detection, sources told theSun.

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This include the first Malaysian suicide bomber. It is unsure how many Malaysians have been recruited to fight as terrorists in these rebellions, which have now become fashionable globally in the skewed guise and excuse for Islam.

The Malaysian Insider story:

More than 100 Malaysians still fighting in Syria and Iraq, say intelligence officers

BY LEE SHI-IAN

Published: 28 June 2014

Shia volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), taking part in a parade on a street in Kanaan, Diyala province. There are more than 100 Malaysian jihadists fighting for Isil, say the police. – Reuters pic, June 28, 2014.
Shia volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), taking part in a parade on a street in Kanaan, Diyala province. There are more than 100 Malaysian jihadists fighting for Isil, say the police. – Reuters pic, June 28, 2014.
More than 100 Malaysian radicals are in the Middle East fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil), police revealed today.

The number is based on intelligence reports which Special Branch had received, a senior police officer from Bukit Aman told The Malaysian Insider.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officer said an accurate figure was difficult to estimate as there were many different routes to troubled Middle East countries.

On Tuesday, Wisma Putra released a statement saying 15 Malaysians had been killed in Syria while allegedly fighting for Isil, a splinter group of al-Qaeda seeking to set up an Islamic caliphate encompassing both Iraq and Syria.
Putrajaya is still waiting for confirmation on the “dead Malaysians” as it was difficult to ascertain the identities of the victims because of a lack of documentation.

“Those who have been detected travelling to Syria and Iraq to wage jihad come from different walks of life,” the police officer told The Malaysian Insider.

“Some are students, some hold regular jobs, some are school dropouts. They are easily influenced by ‘Internet clerics’.”

The police officer said unlike 10 years ago when militant sympathisers conducted their recruitment in religious schools, most of the recruitment now was online.

“Social media has emerged as a powerful tool for these groups to generate support and new manpower. There is also plenty of extremist material on the Internet.”

The police officer revealed there were many videos posted on the Internet which challenged Muslims to rethink their lifestyles.

“Are you willing to sacrifice the fat job you have got, the big car you have, the family you have? Are you willing to sacrifice this, for the sake of Allah?

“Definitely, if you sacrifice something for Allah, Allah will give you 700 times more than this,” the police officer quoted one of the videos.

“These are among the many videos available on the Internet used to influence youths and impressionable Malaysians.”

The police officer warned that Malaysians who participated in jihad abroad posed a threat to national security when they returned home.

“If any Malaysian is found to have participated in a Middle East jihad, they can be charged with promoting acts of terrorism,” the police officer revealed.

“Police have already detained about 16 people over the past two months for planning to participate in jihad in the Middle East.”

Isil, which has seized large swathes of territory in Iraq, is also fighting in Syria and has become a magnet for jihadists from Asia and Europe.

The Sunni insurgent group reportedly seized large amounts of weaponry from the Iraqi army which fled.

On Thursday, PAS revealed that it had sacked cleric Lotfi Ariffin last month after learning the latter had signed up with a militant group fighting in Syria. – June 28, 2014.

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It is very damning the problem of more Malaysians getting involved in global terrorism is getting chronic. It is not surprising at all very soon, this so called ‘Jihadist War’ would eventually reach our shores.

Not at the Al Maunah scale but much more lethal and damning proportions. Especially when these battle-hardened fighters with the tight and well networked international terrorist groups come back, as if they are tourists or even pilgrims wandering all over West and Central Asia for convenient excuse of “spiritual journey “of some sort.

The fact is that, ISA was designed for hedious crimes against the His Majesty, the Federation of Malaysia Constitution, His Majesty’s Government and law enforcement and security agencies and the defense of the realm.

Even immigration officers involved in the illegal sales and distribution of MyKads and passports and Royal Customs officers involved in smuggling activities were arrested and detained under ISA and EO.

The law enforcement system is already impaired without both laws and now the Malaysian Government wants to do away with the Sedition Act, the very law inacted and validated by the democratic system via the Parliament to ensure that individuals and pockets of notorious and obnoxious persons do not spew voracious and poisonous opinions that would enrage any groups within the Malaysian society.

These are the provisions as the most important bits of the Sedition Act:

Under section 3(1), those acts defined as having a seditious tendency are acts with a tendency:

“ (a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or against any Government;
(b) to excite the subjects of the Ruler or the inhabitants of any territory governed by any government to attempt to procure in the territory of the Ruler or governed by the Government, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;

(c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Malaysia or in any State;

(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State;

(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia; or

(f) to question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of part III of the Federal constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution.

************

The fact is that sedition is an act of crime against Malaysian society. There are notorious individuals who continuously, systematically and structurally challenge and provoke sentiments and emotions of the majority, the law, Islam as the religion of the Federation of Malaysia and even the position and role of His Royal Highness Rulers and His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong, with voracious and poisonous opinion and uttering.

In in effort to do away with the Sedition Act now on top of throwing away the necessary laws such as ISA and EO which has been described by too many law enforcement professionals and analysts as “A big mistake”, may come as a compounded mistake. Considering there are growing pockets of notorious Malaysians which include the Bar Council that continuous challenge many sensitive matters and pushing the envelope further to the edge.

Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is very stern in his opposition against the doing away of the Sedition Act.

The nation lost its powerful tool to prevent and preserve the internal security three years ago today. Malaysians are on the brink of losing another one, where obnoxious individuals and groups could after this freely challenge insult the position and role of HRHs as the Constitutional Head of Islam and protector of the State Constitutions, Islam as the religion of the Federation of Malaysia in the pre-text of ‘Freedom of Speech’ and human rights.

53% of Malaysians are the Malays who proudly want status quo to be maintained and many of them are not shy in reciprocating against any attempts to demean the position and role of HRHs, specific provisions in the Federal Constitution and most of all, whenever Islam as the religion of the Federation of Malaysia is being challenged for what ever excuse or punt intended.

Any challenge against this in any form which include the skewed interpretation by professionals in intellectual discourses would just invite reciprocity by a large number of Malaysians who felt the matter is close to their heart as the role and position of ‘Islam as the religion of the Federation of Malaysia’ is a defining  provisions for the nation itself.

Until recent times, there have been little attempt to openly challenge the position and role of Islam as the religion of the Federation of Malaysia and HRHs as the Constitutional Head of Islam in their respective states. Hence the problem is escalating where as the tool to defend this is being threatened to be changed.

Article 3.1 & 3.2 of the Federal Constitution

Article 3.1 & 3.2 of the Federal Constitution

The challenge is if the Harmony Act which is supposed to be ‘more comprehensive’ compared the Sedition Act is unable to curb the growing challenges and insults against Islam, HRHs and the process to manage and bring matters pertaining to Islam through the Syariah High Court system. This would simply invite ill feeling of the majority and compounded, it could turn into something ugly.

In the complex but compelling reality, all the challenges and insults against the position and role of Islam and HRHs as the Constitution Head and Custodian of Islam could be portrayed and manipulated in the tone and perspective where Islam is being threatened. Compound this with frequency and intensity, then the battled-trained ‘Jihadists’ would eventually come out of the woodworks and network themselves to start a Jihad War here in Malaysia, which has now a major international problem in Syria, Iraq and India.

If it is not clear why Sedition Act needs to be maintained as status quo, then it is only apt to relate the famous quote by philosopher George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is as relevant today as it ever was.

Let us hope learning from past cock-ups isn’t a defective virtue identifiable to the Malaysian Government under Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s leadership. In the era of vast agenda of transformation, too much hope rest on Shabery’s statement in UMNO Sungai Besar Annual Division meeting.

*Updated 0900hrs

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 00:01  Comments (32)  

Healthy growth of industry under MCMC’s watch

The communication and multimedia industry grew by a healthy 4.5% with an extra RM2.3 billion into the Malaysian GDP, since a year ago. Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission Chairman Dato’ Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi presented the performance report card on the communication and multimedia industry this morning.

Bernama.com story:

Communication & Multimedia posts 4.5pc growth

Business Times  – 6 hours ago KUALA LUMPUR: The communication and multimedia industry’s revenue grew 4.5 per cent to RM53.4 billion last year compared with RM51.1 billion in the previous year. Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi said telecommunication was the main contributor, accounting for nearly 85 per cent of the revenue, followed by broadcasting (11 per cent), and postal sector and others (four per cent). “Our focus over the past few years was to get more people connected via broadband services. Until 2013, there are 20.3 million broadband subscribers, 88.7 per cent of them were mobile broadband users while the rest were fixed-line users. “In 2014 and beyond, Malaysians will continue to benefit from telecommunication infrastructures provided over past 10 years. “However, we need to build more infrastructures and accelerate the growth of telecommunication in order to move towards a productive digital lifestyle,” he said when presenting the Industry Performance Report 2013, here today. Citing online credit as yet another growth sector, he said the value of internet banking in 2013 was RM3,457 billion with the number subscribers increased to 15.6 million from merely 2.6 million in 2005. Sharil said the MCMC would strive to provide a wider coverage of wireless broadband services through the 4G LTE rollout in 2013 to reach the population coverage of up to 50 per cent by 2017.– Bernama   *********************

According to Sharil, there are more opportunities on convergence platforms of communications and multimedia and would be the new engine of growth for the industry, which already saw the telecommunication sector monopolising 85% of the revenue generated within the industry.

MCMC: Converged Platforms Of Communications And Multimedia Will Generate New Economic Opportunities

11/09/2014 KUALA LUMPUR, September 11, 2014 — The Industry Performance Report for 2013 was published by MCMC today. The communications and multimedia (C&M) industry performed respectably, recording a 4.5% growth in revenue to RM53.4 billion from RM51.1 billion in 2012. This steady performance of the C&M industry was contributed mainly by telecommunications with nearly 85% revenue share, broadcasting 11% and the remaining from the postal sector and others. In terms of market capitalisation, the C&M industry performed moderately based on market capitalisation in Bursa Malaysia with a 2.3% growth to RM195.3 billion in 2013. This represents 11.5% of total market capitalisation of RM1,702.2 billion. According to MCMC Chairman, Dato’ Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi, MCMC has been focusing in getting people connected with broadband services over the last few years. This is reflected in the 20.3 million broadband subscribers recorded for 2013; of which 88.7% are on mobile broadband i.e. 3G, and the remaining are on fixed. With the service providers committed to provide wider coverage of wireless broadband services through 4G LTE rollout in 2013 and to reach 50% population coverage by 2017, the mobility aspect is ready to make traditional Internet usage even more ubiquitous. For example, online shopping can reach a bigger number of customers and transactions like billing and payment can be enabled in real time, online. Higher speed internet connection will enable the usage of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to be further intensified in many areas of business. This will ensure savings on time and operational costs thereby increasing business efficiency. Additionally, the aspect of being ‘connected’ can provide valuable information for business decision-making through availability of dashboards or enable Big Data analytics of customer behaviour to obtain relevant information to enhance a business’s agility to respond to changes in the marketplace. Such converging platforms provide more avenues for diverse range of products and service offerings which are easily available and are becoming more affordable as a result of digitalisation. Applications and services such as, data centre services, connected healthcare, authentication services and e-Commerce services along with improved postal and courier networks are increasingly in demand. Content services incorporating video in many aspects of usage such as online education, workforce collaboration, mobile advertising, social networking aside from online entertainment provide enhanced user engagement and increased competitiveness, but also tests telecommunication network capacities. “In 2014 and beyond, Malaysia is expected to continue to ride on the telecommunications infrastructure built over the last 10 years. We need to accelerate and build more to catch up in order to progress towards a productive digital lifestyle in Malaysia,” said Dato’ Sharil. Moving forward, it is envisaged that the infrastructure and coverage made ready by the C&M industry will be leveraged by other sectors towards improving productivity and value creation, with more innovation and creativity. “MCMC has a key role to help steward Malaysia as a focal point for C&M information and content services. It is timely that MCMC, KKMM and Finas is organising an inaugural KL Converge, from 17 to 19 September to provide a platform for experts, users, developers, producers and entrepreneurs to come together to forge partnerships and expand our content and creative industry’s footprint internationally,” added Dato’ Sharil *************

The regulator for the communication and multimedia industry with specific powers of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998, also provided the strategic framework for the development and growth in the industry.

An interesting conclusion

An interesting conclusion

In his industry report presentation, the MCMC Chairman gave an emphasis for the improvement of security and quality and service of the communication and multimedia eco-system, as most important for continued growth for the industry.

When contacted, Sharil’s remark “The focus on the continued improvement and service delivery, particularly for the rural areas. This will promote stronger eco-system for e commerce. We also need the capacity building of the eco-system, for e-commerce growth”.

Market capitalisation of the communication and multimedia industry

Market capitalisation of the communication and multimedia industry

“Content and creative industry direct contribution to the GNI currently is at RM32 billion. We are targeting at RM57 billion by 2020″.

There are vast opportunities and rooms for all sectors under communication and multimedia industry to work together and capitalise and synergise on the various strength and value added which are available to be realised.

The industry performance report showed the communication and multimedia industry cornered 11.5% of the market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia. Axiata Group Bhd. and Celcom Axiata Bhd. leads with RM59 billion of market capitalisation where over 27,000 people are employed. Axiata and Celcom revenues are RM18billion and 8billion respectively.

ICT Development Index (IDI) for Malaysia, as compared to the other Asian countries

ICT Development Index (IDI) for Malaysia, as compared to the other Asian countries

The past two years also saw the market capitalisation communication and multimedia industry grew from RM138.5 billion to RM195.3 billion.

In the report, MCMC also outlines the ICT Development Index (IDI) for Malaysia is 5.04, which above the global benchmark of 4.35. The broadband penetration rate achieved 67% by end of 2013, which is almost 70% way above the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Digital Commission target of 40% penetration by 2015.

Broadband penetration rate for Malaysia by end of 2013

Broadband penetration rate for Malaysia by end of 2013

One point interesting to note, amidst intense competition and despite declining Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), the communication and multimedia industry continue to grow by 4.5%. Either pricers steadily dropped or more value for money packages already offered.

It is obvious that MCMC is gearing up as a catalyst, if not towards realising Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s agenda for the economy based on creativity and innovation to take more centre position, as part of the economic transformation plan for the nation.

Published in: on September 11, 2014 at 20:00  Comments (3)  
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