Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Vice Versa? I don't think so ...

"Right now we're sipping from a poisoned chalice:
a flawed democracy laced with religious fascism. Pure arsenic.

What shall we do? What can we do?
We have a ruling party that's haemorrhaging”.

~ (Arundhati Roy, Democracy and Religious Fascism)


In his latest post- Drawing the Political Lines - a PAS-UMNO role reversal, Art Harun had implied that PAS has taken on Umno's old image/role. He said, "In 2010 Malaysia, it would appear that PAS and UMNO has rebooted and in drawing their respective political lines, they have exchanged their respective political role."

IMHO, what he says is true - but only up to a certain point, though.
The thing here, is this- PAS HAS NOT taken on Umno's earlier role of liberalism - it is only flirting with it at present. They have yet to come out openly and declare that they would support the Federal Constitution (as it is) - as the supreme law of Malaysia. They have only ceased from campaigning on that platform (of the (Islamic State"). Meanwhile, Umno has abandoned its old "sophisticated" skin for that of the "heartlanders'" Islamist stance- and capitalize on PAS's cold feet when challenging whatever is deemed "Islamic" by convention (even if there isn't a shred of evidence to attest to that).

PAS today, is the "accidental hero" - even if the "Erdogan" faction is sincere about their intentions. They're no different from the Umno, MIC, MCA trio (or even Hindraf, for that matter) in its sectarian agenda. It just so happens that PAS has been pushed to the stage of national politics in a big way, through the non-Muslim votes along the west coast in the ABU (Anything But Umno) campaign of the 12th GE. By no means did they actually earn the trust of their voters.
The reality is- PAS is still run by the ulamak faction which practices "kampung" politics to cater to the rural folk who do not see how the Islamic State agenda will spell doom for the country - and possibly, even the end of the federation at large. They still operate on the premise that secular humanism runs contrary to Islamic values/principles - when the evidence to the contrary abounds.

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity,
and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity,
will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy:
neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

- John W. Gardner

The Ulamak faction of PAS risks losing all that they stood for (at least in the eyes of their unthinking minions), should they take on the "liberalist" image - and so losing their core rural vote bank who apparently have nothing to lose. This is simply because this simplistic vote bank which PAS caters to, cannot see how a "clean-shaven man in a suit" can stand for Islam - better than a man in a turban & goatee.

Umno knows this very well, and is pushing this faction into taking on the Islamist agenda with greater fervor, so as to fracture the PR alliance - and Hadi isn't doing a very good job at convincing the electorate of his support for a plural society. He evokes more distrust than confidence with his flip-flopping actions. They also often refrain from opposing acts "deemed Islamic", even if it has subverted the supreme laws of the land - the Federal Constitution. In the meantime the so-called "liberalists" in PAS are struggling to play both sides of the fence by branding themselves as "Islamist democrats". If that isn't a no-brainer, I don't know what is - just how does an "Islamist" become a democrat, while championing the destruction of democracy & secular humanism.

My take on this current scenario is simply this - Umno is gonna push PAS even harder to the brink of fracturing not just PR, but also the party from within. They will intensify their attacks on the so-called "Erdogans" like Khalid & Dzul, (whose Islamist and democrat credentials will be ripped to shreds on both sides of the political fence) through their increased "moral policing", primitive syariah sentencing & the siege-mentality propaganda.
Once this faction is out of the way, PAS would be chicken-feed to handle - and the PR alliance would be history.


“Only a class based movement not based on ethnicity and religion can truly built a nation without discrimination, race based corruption and race based politics. The ruling party would be able to rule and would continue to rule as long as the people are divided.
The ruling party is not going to build a united Malaysian Nation, as it is not going to work to its advantage.
The Opposition too have at many occasions being sucked into the same mode to win support of the people.
The future of Malaysia can go two ways – Race and Religious Politics which is the rule of the day versus Class based politics – cutting across race and religion lines. It is a serious question as race and religious politics with its history and conditioning remain the most effective way to mobilise the racially divided people. It is a question every person has to ask and ponder. It is a question which is going to continue to haunt us.”
-Setiausaha Agung, Parti Sosialis Malaysia

If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear -
Death to Infidels!!
State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Rempits go Looting!
Bomb Blasts church/temple!
It is but the sound of our skullcapped Jihadi
in his robes and turban,
worshiping his maker.

“@limkitsiang Agreed. This is beyond politics. We need a movement to save this country.”

On Twitter, two ‘dinosaurs’ engage over oil and Allah

By Leslie Lau

Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — Two of Malaysia’s oldest lawmakers — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Lim Kit Siang — engaged in a bipartisan debate this afternoon on micro-blogging site Twitter, backing each other in a campaign to force the federal government to pay oil royalties claimed by Kelantan.

In a series of “Tweets” and “Re-Tweets” between the DAP and Umno man which were followed by thousands, the two men stepped up their campaign for Kelantan’s oil royalty claim, and offered up lessons on how to pitch their message to a new generation of voters.

“Why don’t I put the PDA up on my blog, YB RT @limkitsiang:@razaleigh should not have to depend solely on memory.

“My fellow dinosaur w/a memory of a better day RT @limkitsiang: Najib: Razak’s son or Mahathir’s heir?” Tengku Razaleigh twittered today in reference to a statement made earlier today by Lim and the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) which he says backs Kelantan’s claims.

(In Twitter code, RT means to Re-Tweet, or send on someone else’s original message to their own followers. To preface a message with an @ sign is to reply to a specific person’s Tweet)

Lim had accused the Najib administration today of ignoring the promise made 35 years ago by former Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein in denying oil royalty payments to Kelantan.

“The full-page advertisements contain an important omission — the reply 35 years ago in Parliament by the then Prime Minister, Tun Razak to my question whether all states in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah had signed agreements with Petronas for oil exploration along the coastline and what were the joint profits for the state,” said Lim in his statement today.

The DAP man was referring to advertisements placed in Bahasa Malaysia newspapers to justify the federal government’s refusal to pay oil royalty to Kelantan.

Quoting the Hansard dated Nov 12, 1975, Lim said Tun Razak had promised that all states “will receive five per cent of the value of petroleum found and extracted from each of the states, whether onshore or offshore, that is sold by Petronas or agencies or contractors.”

In Lim’s Tweets, the DAP man told Tengku Razaleigh that it would be a good idea to put up the PDA on the latter’s blog.

He added that it would be a good idea for the Petronas founder to to set up a new website for all relevant documents on the issue.

“@razaleigh Let’s turn royal debate in Parliament in March into major debate on oil royalty,” Lim also told the Umno man.

Tengku Razaleigh currently has 1,838 followers while Lim has 5,876 followers.

These numbers are not indicative of the number of people who may have followed their debate, because their respective followers can also Re-Tweet their messages.

The two men carried on their “debates” for quite a few hours this afternoon, with both using the UberTwitter software, which means they were using their mobile phones to talk to each other and thousands of Malaysians on the micro-blogging site.

Besides the oil royalty issue, Lim and Tengku Razaleigh also talked about the “Allah” controversy and the need to revive Tunku Abdul Rahman’s legacy of good governance and moderate politics.

To Lim’s point that “kalimah Allah controversy would not have arisen if Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Inter-Religious Organisation was not scrapped by Mahathir,” Tengku Razaleigh replied that “all Malaysians of goodwill support genuine efforts to revive Tunku’s legacy and memory... no tokenism.”

In what was described as a love-fest by some of those following the conversation, Tengku Razaleigh also agreed with Lim’s suggestion that the country must return to the basics of the Merdeka constitution.

“@limkitsiang Agreed. This is beyond politics. We need a movement to save this country.”

Local Internet and telecommunications expert Dinesh Nair was one of those who followed the Twitter conversation between Lim and Tengku Razaleigh.

“@limkitsiang @razaleigh I know my tribe’s efforts were not wasted when we see two ‘dinosaurs’ from two opposing parties discussing on Twitter.

“And history being made, as ‘dinosaur’ @razaleigh discusses PDA with @limkitsiang. Thot u’d never see this? Think again!” Dinesh said in his Twitter message.