24 March 2021

Juara balak & juara All England...

Nak glamor tumpang menempek kejuaraan orang lain.Bukankah puak walaun PAS
dan UMNO cukup sibuk suruh kaum cina balik Tongsan.Finally lebai akui Cina tu champion...

Din being caught between 
a rock and a hard place...

It's no surprise that the government has appealed the High Court decision with regards to the usage of the word "Allah" (and three other words). In fact, this was expected. I mean, how could an administration known as a "Malay-Muslim government" not appeal against a decision which allows Christians to use the words, especially "Allah", in religious publications for "educational purposes"?

The Johor Sultan also wants the government to appeal. And yes, Umno and PAS--the two dominant Malay parties--via Muafakat Nasional had, even before the Sultan's advice, demanded the government to do so. But as I see it, the government would have filed the appeal anyway.

But what's baffling is the opinion of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. Following the High Court decision, Hadi issued a statement to say the word "Allah" is not exclusively to Muslims, as Christians and Jews are also allowed to use the word. True, Hadi also said the name of Allah should not be used in a wrong and irresponsible manner that could jeopardize racial and religious harmony in the country.

However, the issue has always been about using the word in religious publications like the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible or Al Kitab. Hence, using the "Allah" word in "a wrong and irresponsible manner" does not arise, as Hadi puts it.

According to The Star, in supporting the High Court decision allowing the weekly Herald to use the word "Allah", Hadi said the principle of freedom of religion was championed by Islam because human beings could not be forced to profess any religion except through their own free will.

And in the Malaysian context, said Hadi, "The situation must be considered for the sake of public interest to preserve harmony among the various races and religions." Hadi's statement was issued after his party (together with Umno) made their call for the government to file its appeal against the High Court decision. That's what baffling me.

Based on Hadi's opinion that non-Muslims can use the "Allah" word, why then did PAS, the party he leads, want the government to appeal and not let the High Court decision be? Am I to believe that Hadi's take was his personal opinion? But surely he, being the Islamic scholar that he is, had expressed his opinion based on the Islamic point of view, right?

But when his party wanted the government to appeal, surely it too was looking at the issue from its interpretation of Islam. Am I right to say this? As it is, Hadi's views and his party's demand to the government, seem to be not in sync. Waullahualam. That's Arabic for God know best.

Anyway, some 54 federal and state lawmakers from Sabah and Sarawak (both sides of the political divide obviously) have come together in a non-partisan effort to ask the government to discontinue its appeal. In short, they want the appeal dropped or withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the Sarawak state government said in a statement issued by the chief minister's office that the state will continue to allow Christians in Sarawak to use the "Allah" word. It went on to say, "The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government will continue to defend and preserve Sarawak's religious tolerance as it is the core unifying factor for the people in the state."

This is putting Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (and his administration) in a spot. Need we be reminded that GPS played a very big role in making Perikatan Nasional the federal government and Muhyiddin the prime minister following the Sheraton Move? GPS' support tilted the balance to Muhyiddin's favor back in February last year.

So, how would the PM "return the favor"? It's not that GPS and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah for that matter are asking for a "repayment (not in so many words anyway). But the fact is that Muhyiddin and his government are indebted to his Borneo allies, in particular GPS.

By withdrawing the appeal? Not likely as I see it. What will Umno and PAS say? Especially PAS which sits in Perikatan Nasional. Then, there's the general election (when it is held) where votes from Sabah and Sarawak matter a lot.

The issue is a "political headache" for the prime minister. Muhyiddin is caught between a rock and a hard place! In Malay there's an idiom: ditelan mati emak, diluah mati bapa. Literally translated: you kill your mother if you swallow, and kill your father if you spit it out. A situation which nobody is envious of. - Mohsin Abdullah 

Interstate travel ban will be lifted in May 
for hari raya “Balik Kampung” festival...

By now, it’s safe to say that the fragile and desperate backdoor government of Perikatan Nasional under Muhyiddin regime will most likely lift the current interstate travel restriction in May. This is to allow the Malay Muslims in the country to return to their hometown, otherwise known as “balik kampung” for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which is expected to fall on May 13, 2021.
Last year, Mr Muhyiddin Yassin betrayed his own legitimately and democratically-elected multiracial government of Pakatan Harapan. After he seized power and formed the Malay-centric Perikatan Nasional government with opposition UMNO and PAS, the country was locked down due to Coronavirus. As a result, the Malays were unable to travel interstate for Hari Raya.
This year, the backdoor premier, who depends entirely on the Malay vote bank for re-election in the next 15th General Election, will have no choice but to make the largest ethnic happy. It would be political suicide if the Malays are again denied the “balik kampung” tradition this year. It was not a coincidence the Coronavirus cases suddenly dropped after the Chinese New Year festival.

There were 3,318 new cases of Covid-19 on 12 Feb, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year this year. But by March 6, Malaysia’s daily new cases dropped below the 2,000 mark for the first time since it skyrocketed to above that milestone on Jan 4. So, for 2 months ( January 4 – March 6), the country recorded between 2,000 and 6,000 new cases daily, before dropping like a rock.

Conveniently, on 12 Jan, just days after hitting more than 2,000 cases daily, Muhyiddin dramatically declared a State of Emergency. And coincidentally on the same day, the prime minister officially lost his legitimacy after the withdrawal of support from some of UMNO ally MPs. It also came one day after the government announced the second MCO lockdown.
Supposedly to be effective from Jan 13 to 26, 2021, the MCO (movement control order) 2.0 was later extended until Feb 4. Interestingly, on Jan 13, the country recorded 2,985 Covid-19 new cases. But 14 days later, the health ministry reported a deterioration of 3,585 new cases. Worse, the country did not see a single day that new cases drop to below 3,000.

That alone proved that the pandemic had gotten worse – not better – despite the MCO 2.0 lockdown. In the same breath, it also proved that the Proclamation of Emergency announced by the backdoor prime minister has been nothing but a political gimmick to cling to power, despite the regime’s false claims that the emergency was necessary to fight the virus.

After the declaration of a state of emergency, a convenient tool to suspend the Parliament to prevent any attempt to topple him, the prime minister took pains to explain to all and sundry that there will be no curfews or military rule. He also assured that civilian government will continue to function. Investors were told that it’s business as usual. But investors were not convinced at all.

Foreign investors were fleeing Malaysia thanks to increasingly unstable politics, which climaxed in January when Muhyiddin resorted to emergency powers after losing his majority in Parliament, the first to do so in Malaysia’s history. Inflow of foreign direct investments (FDI) into Malaysia stunningly dropped by 68% from to just US$2.5 billion (RM10.1 billion) in 2020 – the worst drop in the region.

Following the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) damaging and humiliating reports in late Jan, the government was under pressure to scrap the MCO 2.0, of which every one ridiculed and mocked as inefficient and irrelevant. Hence, beginning early Feb, the Covid-19 new cases miraculously started to drop from more than 4,000 daily cases to below 3,000.

Another factor why the number of new cases has been dropping since early Feb was the deliberate attempt to reduce testing. To artificially suppress daily cases, the health ministry issued a new order – only test those with Coronavirus symptoms. Essentially, those identified as close contacts to Covid-19 positive patients will no longer be tested.

The new directives from Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also said only a number of samples would be taken in terms of contact tracing involving a cluster. The Health Ministry argued that it would suffice to take 20 samples if the number of exposed people in the cluster is less than 50. And if the number exceeds 50, then the ministry would take 30 samples, or 10%, whichever is lower.

The joke on the street is that only 4D number punters are excitedly waiting for the new cases announced daily by the health ministry. Very few believe the government’s numbers. In fact, people on the ground think the real number of infections is twice the official number announced. Otherwise, why the health ministry has refused to share the raw data ever since the first week of October 2020?

But the manipulation of data had just begun. On Feb 24, the King suddenly decreed that Parliament can convene despite the State of Emergency. Again, the illegitimate government was under pressure to reopen the Parliament as it was as clear as crystal that nobody believes the emergency rule was meant to combat the pandemic from the beginning.

And conveniently again, on March 6, just a week after the monarch said Parliament can meet, Malaysia’s daily new cases dropped below the 2,000 mark for the first time. Today, Coronavirus daily new cases are slightly more than 1,000, and appear to be waiting for an “instruction” to fall below the 1,000-mark, which is very likely to happen next month.

It’s predicted that between now and April 13, when the fasting month of Ramadan is scheduled to start, the Covid-19 daily new cases could drop to between 900 and 600. Thereafter, from April 13 to May 13, before the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration starts, the health ministry would probably announce a further drop of between 600 to 300 new cases. This will provide justifications to allow interstate travel.

In fact, the script of the drama has already been prepared. Early this month (March 5), Senior Minister “Turtle Egg” Ismail Sabri dropped the biggest hint that Malay Muslims can look forward to a very happy Hari Raya festival this year. He said – “Last year, we did not return to celebrate Raya. It was a disappointment. Let’s pray that we can ‘balik kampung’ for Aidilfitri this year”.

The only reason the senior minister dares to give hopes that people could finally return to hometown is because he knew it will happen. And the only reason he knew is because data could be manipulated. It would be a disaster and dumb to create a false impression when the prime minister desperately needs all the Malay votes he could get to lead his Perikatan Nasional coalition in the election.

It was hoped that the strategy of making the Malay voters happy would translate to support for Muhyiddin, whose PPBM (Bersatu) political party is facing the prospect of a total annihilation due to internal civil war with the United Malays National Organization. The prime minister has effectively lost the support of non-Malay voters after his act of treachery last year.

In addition, it’s increasingly difficult to explain to the people why the government has failed to tackle the pandemic after a year. The current third wave of Coronavirus, which was triggered last year in Sept 2020 after the power-hungry Muhyiddin launched his second coup to grab Sabah state, is also one of the “longest” Covid-19 waves in the world. - FT


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