30 April 2023

Anwar’s open house...

Is testament to Islamic leadership, 
Muslim brotherhood concept...

There has been much criticism of Anwar’s open house activity slotted in every state in Malaysia.The criticism has come both from Muslim Malays and non-Muslim Malaysians. In this article, I wish to explain something that most Malaysians do not know, something that some Muslims are even unaware of, and what some Muslims who know but need a reminder.

To me, Anwar Ibrahim, as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, is showing an exemplary leadership characteristic of Islam as well as fulfilling the aspect of Muslim brotherhood or “ukhwah.” As I was educated in the Islamic Reform movement during my studies in the US under the direction of the Malaysian Islamic Study Group or MISG, I have expanded much of my knowledge since those early days and thus, have come to understand the idea and responsibility of Islamic leadership and the forging of a Muslim brotherhood.

Those have not been educated within the movement of Islamic Reform as headed by such entities as ABIM, IKRAM and to a certain extent PAS in the good old days when that party was led by leaders of Islamic integrity. Now that party is a sad shadow of a shadow of a shadow of its former self. Even though PAS has grown in political strength, its spiritual and moral integrity has suffered serious setbacks in its greed and immoral desire for power.

Firstly, let us be clear on the three main criticisms of the open house of Anwar Ibrahim.

First, it is said to be an election baiting strategy. This criticism has come from those who wished to hijack the Takbir Raya on nationally televised broadcast. For shame-lah. Second, it is said to be a waste of money. This has come from Malaysians and also the opposition party in which that party appointed the largest number of ministers and deputy ministers as well as a few minister-level posts given to religious personalities that have zero KPI as well as zero significant result whatsoever.

As for Malaysians, one must understand that meeting people and interacting with citizens is a prime prerogative of the Prime Minister and the relationship is usually accompanied with some food to break the ice. What else? Oh, there is also criticism that Anwar is “encroaching” on the state affairs uninvited. This criticism is easy to dispel. As I understand, Anwar was also never invited to meet with the flood victims and yet he came to look for himself the situation and to grant immediate assistance.

Now that we have done away with all three childish criticisms, let us look at the real reason why Anwar is doing this open house in each state. Firstly, even though Anwar is a Malay leader, just like the other eight former PMs, he does not put Malay identity as the most important aspect of his leadership. Anwar places the idea of Islamic spirituality and universal brotherhood of man above and higher than petty tribalism of race and identity politics.

Thus, other PMs would not celebrate Hari Raya with their political enemies, but Anwar has a different way of dealing with his political enemies of the same faith. And this falls under the idea of brotherhood in Islam.

Now let us look at what the late Siddiq Fadzil, father of the present Minister of Education and former president of ABIM, explained about the duties of an Islamic leader in a multiracial and multi-faith nation:

“Agama, khususnya Islam, harus berfungsi dan berperanan membangun budaya damai dan seterusnya menjayakan agenda pembinaan bangsa. Sikap menghargai perbezaan dan kepelbagaian harus dipupuk berasaskan kefahaman terhadap sunnah penciptaan dan hikmah di balik ayat-ayat Tuhan. Sementara itu nilai persaudaraan perlu difahami dan diamalkan dalam erti yang luas, tidak terbatas hanya dalam lingkaran persaudaraan seagama (ukhuwwah dinniyah), tetapi meliputi persaudaraan setanah air (ukhuwwah wataniyyah) dan seterusnya persaudaraan kemanusiaan (ukhuwwah insaniyyah).”

In the last part of his sentence, he emphasized the relationship that the leader must have not only with his own brothers of faith but also with his brothers in nationhood as well as brothers in mankind. 

The Islamic leader is responsible to all people, and meeting every citizen of different faiths, culture, race in different states is of paramount importance. PAS leadership cares only for Muslims of its own faith while forging dissent with others of different faiths and with Muslims that disagree with its exclusive political policies.

In his last sermon, the Prophet Muhammad made the Muslims promise to treat all people with utmost fairness and dignity. In the same sermon, he singled out Muslims in a special brotherhood:

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a White has no superiority over a Black nor a Black has any superiority over a White except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.”

“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.”

Malaysians must understand and PAS must be reminded that Muslims have obligatory rights on other Muslims regardless of their political beliefs or stations in life. There are six rights due from a Muslim to his other brother Muslim:

On account of Abu Hurairah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu), The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said:

“The rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are six.”, “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace, When he invites you, respond to his invitation, When he seeks your advice, advise him, When he sneezes and praises Allah, supplicate for mercy upon him, When he becomes ill, visit him, and When he dies to follow him (i.e., his funeral)” [Muslim]

Thus, even though the PAS and PN leadership has slandered Anwar Ibrahim by insinuating his sexual preference, his ties with the Jews and Christians, and his “liberal” agenda of Islam Madani, Anwar knows that he must still fulfil the rights of Muslim brotherhood. 

Therefore, if Hadi were sick, then Anwar must visit him and if Anwar were to die, then Hadi should come for his funeral prayers and follow the body to the cemetery. Now, Malaysians must understand the concept of Muslim brotherhood being special and stricter than the concept of brotherhood of citizenry and brotherhood with all mankind.

I hope that the above explanation is adequate to explain the PM open house and the private intentions of Anwar as a leader with an Islamic spirituality that accords importance to the idea of a universal brotherhood of man. Other Malays can be the prime minister of a single race, but only a true Muslim can be a leader to all. - Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi 

Sanusi ignites social media frenzy 
after joining Anwar’s event in Kedah...

Putrajaya’s first of six Aidilfitri open houses saw an overwhelming turnout of thousands of people, and more are still coming to the event. The Raia Hotel in Alor Setar, Kedah, was the venue for this grand celebration, with at least five massive tents, tables, and chairs arranged for the attendees.

But the internet was ignited by the photos of the Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor appearing at the event and sitting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the same table with the Sultan of Kedah.

While hungry guests queued at the buffet line, where delicious dishes like kuey teow, mee hoon goreng, bubur cha cha, and satay awaited them, Twitter users were joking about Sanusi’s presence at the event.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil posted a photo of the Kedah MB standing next to him at the event. The photo gained traction with many users commenting. Fahmi simply said: Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir batin.

Twitter user @ErmanYahya7 said:

User @pklong_Z added:

And,@tradememark said:

Fahmi Fadzil’s Twitter,focusmalaysia.my


28 April 2023

Diam-diam Daim...

15 MPs ready to resign-With Dr.M & Daim’s plan to splash billions to topple PM Anwar...

Unable to persuade UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to ditch 10th Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Opposition Perikatan Nasional had tried – and failed – to topple Zahid during the internal party election last month. With most of Zahid loyalists controlling the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the Unity Government appears unshakable.

About a week ago, former PM Muhyiddin Yassin’s effort to unfreeze his party’s accounts in CIMB and Ambank was torpedoed when Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party) accounts have been seized entirely. The move to freeze the accounts on January 12 and 13 under Section 44 of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing was only valid for 90 days.

However, effective April 11, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) confirmed that the frozen accounts have been seized. Following four counts of abuse of power and two counts of money laundering slapped on Muhyiddin on March 10, the Section 50 instead of Section 44 goes into effect. In short, Bersatu is screwed because it will not be able to access its money.

Of course, Muhyiddin had stolen billions in the RM600 billion Covid scandal during his 17-month illegitimate backdoor government (March 2020 – August 2021). Some of those ill-gotten money had benefitted his partner – Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS – Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) – after which both parties spent lavishly to win 74 parliamentary seats in the Nov 2022 General Election.

The money in Bersatu accounts, first frozen and then seized, was just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the stolen money has either been siphoned to offshore accounts in Switzerland, Dubai or the United Kingdom, or being hidden in the country. The problem is the crooks cannot risk using the dirty money without being tracked and exposed by the authorities.

As the upcoming six state elections due between June and August this year, the Opposition is scrambling for funding to bribe voters. Any attempts to repeat last year’s mega election campaign would attract unwanted attention and investigation. The most damaging part is the corruption charges against Muhyiddin, who had managed to hoodwink gullible Malays that he was clean.

Even PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang is in trouble. He could lose his Marang parliamentary seat due to vote-buying. Unless they win overwhelmingly in the state elections (Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu), the troubles facing Perikatan Nasional could see the demise of Bersatu at worst, and the destruction of Bersatu-PAS alliance at best.

Anwar Ibrahim’s pledge to crack down on corruption has not only sent shivers down the spine of Muhyiddin, but also another ex-premier – Mahathir Mohamad. The writing was already on the wall when former powerful politicians like Daim Zainuddin and Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, the billionaire crony of Mahathir, are being targeted by the new government.

While the MACC has started investigations on the 84-year-old Daim in relation to his secret offshore accounts exposed in the Pandora Papers, 97-year-old Mahathir is set to clash with protégé-turned-nemesis Anwar in court over allegations that the former had enriched his family during his 22 years iron-fist rule (1981-2003) that saw corruption, nepotism and cronyism flourished.

Now, the old rumours and speculations continue spinning over new attempts to topple the Anwar-led unity government. Unlike the infamous “Sheraton Move” in 2020, when the democratically elected Pakatan Harapan government was overthrown by traitor Muhyiddin, who plotted with enemies to form the backdoor government, this round will see Mahathir and Daim taking the lead.

Like Mahathir, who served twice as prime minister (the second time lasted 22 months), Daim had also served twice as finance minister (1984-1991 and 1999-2001). Daim was Mahathir’s most trusted sidekick, so much so the former prime minister recommended Daim for the “Tun” title – the highest honour in Malaysia – when he resigned as Finance Minister in March 1991.

More importantly, Mr Daim accumulated a massive wealth that he had actually owned a Swiss bank – ICB Banking Group – which operated approximately 222 branches and 130 ATMs worldwide. Under the banking group, it owned another 14 banks throughout Asia. In addition, he was reported to own at least RM65 billion worth of shares in Malaysia stock market.

Imagine Mahathir’s private wealth when his trusted lieutenant was once the unreported richest man in the country. With Bersatu’s accounts out of reach, Daim and Mahathir were expected to fund all the expenses in the latest coup to overthrow Anwar, including the state elections as well as bribes for MPs in the current government to resign – forcing by-elections.

UMNO insiders claimed that 15 MPs, including 2 lawmakers from Anwar’ own party – PKR (People’s Justice Party) – are ready to switch sides, and re-contest under the Opposition banner after the mass resignations. Leading the UMNO traitors, saboteurs and provocateurs was former warlord Hishammuddin Hussein, who has been suspended by his own party for 6 years.

Hishammuddin was responsible for instigating 10 Barisan Nasional MPs to support rival Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin as 10th Prime Minister after the 15th general election that produced a hung Parliament. The list included Barisan component parties – two lawmakers from MCA (party president Wee Ka Siong and Wee Jeck Seng) and one MP from MIC (Saravanan).

While anti-hopping law prevents lawmakers from jumping ship unless it is through en-bloc defection, meaning Zahid (as president of UMNO) agrees to withdraw support for the unity government, a lawmaker who resigns is free to join another political party and still be able to contest without any penalty. This is due to a loophole – either deliberately or ignorantly designed.

Apparently, the anti-hopping provisions have “removed” Clause (6) of Article 48, which disqualifies a person from being a member of Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) for a period of 5 years if they resign their membership of the House of Representatives. Essentially, with the deletion of this restriction, it enables an MP who resigns to seek re-election at any time.

However, there’re some problems with the grand plan of Mahathir and Daim. First of all, who will become the next prime minister if the plot succeeds? It is believed that Muhyiddin was so desperate to avoid prison that he willingly offered the prime minister to GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak). But it hits an obstacle as the Borneo state is reluctant to leave without UMNO en bloc.

The negotiations and horse trading, which also involved PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan and Bersatu Azmin Ali, were struggling to convince GPS that the embarrassing episode about 6 months ago will not repeat. Back then, Muhyiddin had misled GPS chairman Abang Johari Openg into believing that 10 Barisan Nasional MPs will defect, only to be humiliated.
All hell broke loose when Zahid denied Barisan Nasional had engaged in any talks with Gabungan Parti Sarawak on forming a federal government with Perikatan Nasional. 

Sarawak's dismay at Abang Jo's eager 
'Kingmaking' gesture towards PAS

Without kingmaker Barisan Nasional (30 MPs), neither Pakatan Harapan (82 MPs) nor Perikatan Nasional (74 MPs) has the magic number to form a new government in the 222-seat Parliament.Today, the unity government enjoys two-thirds majority support, delivering a stable and strong government desired by foreign investors. And GPS has been rewarded with deputy prime minister. Exactly why should it rock the boat and return to the previous 33-month unstable backdoor government that had spooked the economy, investors, stock market and local currency?

Secondly, even if Mahathir tries to cash his chips with Abdul Taib Mahmud, the most corrupt former Sarawak Chief Minister (1981-2014) who is now the Governor, GPS has to consider the displeasure of the Sarawakians over the cooperation with religious extremist PAS. Last November, Abang Johari was grilled by angry members over GPS’ hastily endorsement for Muhyiddin.

The mutiny started after the Borneo state premier entered a pact with Perikatan Nasional despite knowing PAS Islamist party has spewed anti-Christianity – even promote racist hatred, xenophobia, and all forms of bigotry. Racist bigot Muhyiddin said Christians were working with Jews to Christianise Malaysia, while Hadi tried to radicalise people with violent Islamic extremism.

Sarawak activist Peter John Jaban lectured and warned Abang Johari – “Sarawak has put its trust in GPS. Do not betray us now in a rush to sign a deal that all Malaysians will have to live with for the next 5 years and beyond. Muhyiddin’s bigoted anti-Christian statements on the eve of the election show at worst his own religious intolerance or his own willingness to use extremist sentiment to win an election.”

Over the weekend, Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was forced to retaliate against PAS, who opposed the setting up of a casino at the Borneo Highland as gambling is “haram” in Islam. He lectured the Islamist party that Sarawak is not just for Muslims, making it even harder for GPS and PAS to work together.

Thirdly, Sarawak’s top priority is the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), where Sabah and Sarawak were supposed to be equal partners to the former Federation of Malaya, but the deal has since been eroded and violated. Last week, Deputy PM Fadillah Yusof again reminded the 35% allocation of 222 seats in the Parliament for both Borneo states to safeguard its rights of resources.

To claim back its legitimate deal, one way is to redraw the boundaries and reallocate parliamentary seats in a redelineation exercise scheduled in 2026. Alternatively, it can also be done if the Parliament decides to increase the number of seats in the Lower House, which requires two-thirds majority support. Currently, only unity government has the magic numbers.

Azmin Ali,Muhyiddin Yassin & Hishammuddin Hussein

Fourth – there’s no guarantee that all the 15 MPs who resign and re-contest will win again their respective seats. For example, MCA president Wee Ka Siong retained his Ayer Hitam seat due to UMNO-Malay votes, as did Wee Jeck Seng (Tanjung Piai) and Saravanan (Tapah). Even Hishammuddin isn’t sure he can retain Sembrong seat if he were to contest under Perikatan Nasional banner.

Fifth – nobody knows if the so-called “green wave” tsunami during the 15th national polls will repeat itself. So, should the 15 MPs resign and contest at the same time the six state elections take place, or should they hold their horses and wait for the state election results to ensure they don’t make dumb decisions? If the tsunami has disappeared, what’s the point of committing “kamikaze”?

The fact that both Bersatu and PAS have been protesting vigorously over a petty issue – PM Anwar’s Hari Raya open house – suggests that the opposition actually lacks confidence it could do well in the coming state elections. Anwar’s approval rating now stands at 68%, not to mention the appreciation of Ringgit and China’s RM170 billion investment commitments after his visit to China.

Sixth – Daim must make irresistible offers to lure the 15 MPs to betray. Previously, former DAP Assemblywoman Hee Yit Foong was offered RM25 million by then-PM Najib Razak to betray her party in 2009, leading to the collapse of the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Perak. Therefore, the conservative price-tag should be between RM50 million to RM100 million for each MP.

That would cost Daim and Mahathir RM750 million to RM1.5 billion. Still, the total MPs are only 89 (Perikatan Nasional’s 74 MPs plus 15 traitors), short of 23 lawmakers. Even if Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS’ 6 MPs) and Warisan (3 MPs) join the bandwagon, it is 14 seats short of forming a simple majority government. Hence, Sarawak GPS participation is extremely vital.

This means Daim and Mahathir have to bribe not only 15 Barisan Nasional MPs, but a total of 38 MPs. The question is whether it’s worth burning between RM1.9 billion and RM3.8 billion without assurance it could topple Anwar. Would it be cheaper to strike a deal with the premier? Besides, how hard would it be for the PM to counter offer at least 15 MPs with chairmanship to neutralize the threat?

More importantly, the arrogant Muhyiddin and Hadi have betrayed, cheated, insulted, belittled and disrespected the royal households – from Sultan of Perak to King Sultan Abdullah. Worse, Mahathir was the same prime minister whose dispute with the Malaysian monarchs is a long-running feud that has lasted for over 40 years, stretching back as far as 1983. - FT
How 25-year Dr.M-Anwar feud has left 
deep marks on Malaysian politics,society...

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s accusations of defamation against Anwar Ibrahim could be the last chapter of the 25-year feud between the two of them. Anwar said at a Party Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) conference that “a person who led the country for 22 years and 22 months had used his position to enrich himself and family.”

These remarks led Mahathir to issue a letter of demand from his lawyer for Anwar to retract his statement and apologize. Anwar has no intention of apologizing, and Mahathir’s challenge has led to Anwar stating he will provide proof to back the statement made at the party congress. The gauntlet has been thrown down, which could well end up in uncharted territory.

Anwar was initially groomed by Mahathir as his successor within Umno during the 1990s. Together, Mahathir and Anwar nurtured crony capitalism in their quest to create Malay multi-millionaires under the pretext of the NEP.

They introduced quotas and APs to favor connected businesses. Project IC was conducted in Sabah to swing the balance of voters towards Sabah Umno which they created. They Islamized education and the civil service, and founded JAKIM aimed at taking Islamic authority away from the states.

Mahathir and Anwar’s relationship began to have friction over the management of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. Anwar wanted to implement IMF recommendations which were filled with austerity measures, while Mahathir wanted to peg the falling ringgit to the US dollar at a fixed exchange rate to protect the Malaysian economy from currency freefall.

In September 1998, Mahathir stripped Anwar of all his party and government positions. A few weeks later, after street protests supporting him, Anwar was publicly arrested at his home on charges of sodomy and corruption.

The deeply humiliated Anwar was bashed by the then IGP, and was put on a show trial reminiscent of the Soviet era.The effect of the trial was to give Anwar public exposure during the trial, where sodomy and all its details became household chat. The Malaysian society lost its innocence. The trial also opened up the weaponization of the legal system as a tool of the government of the day. This received widespread criticism around the world.

Mahathir’s move against Anwar ignited the Reformasi and Free Anwar movements. This ironically stuck the first blow in the slow demise of Umno. Party Keadilan Rakyat was formed, and through Anwar’s plight, all opposition parties united under Pakatan Rakyat, later Pakatan Harapan. This eventually led to a Pakatan Harapan government.

The Mahathir-Anwar relationship appeared to thaw before the 2018 general election, where the common objective was to defeat Umno leader and then prime minister Najib Razak. PH supported Mahathir as leader in exchange for his pledge to obtain a pardon for Anwar, if they won the election.

Mahathir would then stand aside and allow Anwar to make the transition to leader and prime minister. Anwar became the “prime minister in waiting.” As time went on during Mahathir’s second stint as prime minister, it was clearly becoming evident that Mahathir had other ideas about handing over power to Anwar.

Mahathir appointed Anwar’s former second in command Azmin Ali as a senior minister, partly as a tactic to irritate Anwar. Mahathir also backtracked on many of PH’s reforms. Finally, Azmin Ali, along with Muhyiddin Yassin, engineered what is now known as the Sheraton Putsch to bring down the PH government and replace it with a Malay-centric government.

Mahathir’s surprise resignation brought the government tumbling down. He was reappointed caretaker prime minister without the rest of the cabinet. This flaunted Anwar’s moves to become prime minister, shifting power far away from PH. This was the second betrayal of Anwar by Mahathir in two decades.

Ironically, Mahathir’s focus upon bringing down Anwar, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Najib Razak, and Tunku Abdul Rahman before them, has divided the Malay vote. Now Malay support is split among a number of Malay-centric parties.

Mahathir actually destroyed the concept of mythical Malay unity and replaced it with a Machiavellian Malay political culture. Mahathir contributed to creating Anwar as an alternative that many people today place absolute faith in. Mahathir created a martyr out of Anwar, resulting in his charismatic political persuasiveness.

In this way, Mahathir has become a victim of his own spite. Mahathir is now dealing with an Anwar who has all the tools of power Mahathir created. We can only speculate whether Anwar will actually use them against Mahathir. One is observing that Mahathir is pushing Anwar to the limit.

This could be something Mahathir, his family and cronies may live to regret. No one can expect Anwar, who has been personally and professionally hurt in such a way over the years, to not react. Mahathir’s judgments over the last few months have been highly questionable.

He led his Pejuang to a humiliating defeat in the general election. He personally lost his electoral deposit in Langkawi. He is now politically estranged with his own son. This is a sad ending for a man who could have gone on from his stepping down as Malaysian prime minister in 2003 to become secretary-general of the United Nations had he wanted to.

That’s the tragedy. The younger generation will never learn about some to the good things he did for Malaysia back in the 1980s. They will only see Mahathir as a destroyer. His legacy for the nation has been lost.Now we can sit back and watch what should be the last chapter in the Mahathir-Anwar relationship.- Murray Hunter

Rumah terbuka Madani Kedah, pada Sabtu 29 April 2023,
 10.00 pagi - 2.00 petang di Hotel Raia, Alor Setaq


20 April 2023

How Mahathir enriched his son...

By bailing out RM1.7 billion debt-
Laden Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd...

Finally, PM Anwar Ibrahim has agreed to settle the 25-year feud with Mahathir – in court. His former boss, Mahathir, was the longest serving prime minister of Malaysia – ruling with iron-fist for 22 years (1981-2003) during which his deputy Anwar was sacked in 1998 over corruption and sodomy charges, accusations condemned internationally as politically motivated.

Astonishingly, after 25 years of fighting the Barisan Nasional, the same corrupt regime that had imprisoned him “twice” for the same sodomy charges – first under Mahathir Mohamad and later Najib Razak administration – Mr Anwar got his wish granted when he was sworn in as the 10th Prime Minister on Nov 24, 2022, forming the Unity Government with the same coalition.

Mr Mahathir, who was already 92 years old in 2016 when he announced his stunning political comeback from retirement to unseat yet another protégé-turned-nemesis Mr Najib, struck an unlikely deal with the still imprisoned Mr Anwar. Mahathir became prime minister again when he led the Opposition Pakatan Harapan alliance to victory in 2018’s landmark elections.

While he fulfilled his promise to free Anwar from prison through a full royal pardon, the ex-premier broke his promise to hand power to his former protégé within 2 years. He would rather let his lieutenant Muhyiddin Yassin, president of Bersatu, snatched power than to see Anwar take over. On Feb 2020, the old man unexpectedly resigned without consulting allies in Pakatan Harapan.

Anwar, president of PKR (People’s Justice Party), was left empty-handed once again. But the backdoor Perikatan Nasional government hastily glued by Muhyiddin with defeated Barisan Nasional and extremist PAS Islamist party was soon plagued with political turmoil. Muhyiddin eventually tasted his own medicine when UMNO-led Barisan withdrew support, forcing him to resign.

Muhyiddin proved to be nothing but an empty vessel, having mismanaged the economy and mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic. His successor, “turtle-egg” Ismail Sabri was equally clueless and incompetent. Malaysia wasted 33 months under both prime ministers that saw sagging economy, bearish stock market, rising costs of living, un-affordable housing and depreciating local currency.

Anwar Ibrahim - Beaten Black Eye

It’s hard to blame Anwar for wanting to take revenge after what Mahathir had done to him, from throwing him into jail over fabricated charges to breaking a promise to hand power after defeating Najib. His youngest daughter, Nurul Hana, was only 6 years old when Mahathir, whom she described as the “wicked man” who had taken her “papa” to prison on the night of Sept 20, 1998.

Even if Anwar can forget and forgive Mahathir for wrongly imprisoned him, and given the infamous “black eye” after assaulted by none other than former police chief Abdul Rahim Noor, the new PM finds it hard to ignore the damages done to the country as a result – either directly or indirectly – of Mahathir. When he took over 5 months ago, he was shocked to discover RM1.5 trillion debt.

Last month, PM Anwar said Mahathir, without specifically mentioning his name, had enriched his family during his administration. The old man went ballistic, demanding a public apology as well as a withdrawal of the remarks or be sued for defamation. It could be a deliberate provocation to lure Mahathir into a long court battle that would reveal all his skeleton in the closet.

Mahathir might think he was still the same strategist grandmaster in his latest brinkmanship game with Anwar. He probably had forgotten the dozens of scandals during his 22 years in power, not to mention he no longer controls the judiciary and anti-corruption agency. Anwar is calling Mahathir’s bluff as going to court will open the Pandora box which the ex-premier tries to protect all his life.

It’s not hard to prove how the ex-premier had enriched his family. Of all the financial scandals, the most personal was the bailout of his son’s Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad in 1998. In fact, the primary reason Mahathir had sacked Anwar was not merely because both men disagreed on the method to tackle the 1997-1998 Asia Financial Crisis plaguing the country.

Then-Deputy Prime Minister Anwar (1993-1998) was seen as Mahathir’s successor – till the Asian crisis exploded, triggered by the collapse of the Thai baht in July 1997, leading to a currency crisis followed by a financial crisis and ultimately economic recession in most countries of the region. Panicked, Mahathir blamed currency speculators, especially George Soros and even the Jews.

Dr.M meets George Soros-1997 Asia Financial Crisis

On September 1997, Mahathir declared that “currency trading is unnecessary, unproductive and immoral”. More damagingly, the prime minister threatened a unilateral ban on foreign exchange purchases unrelated to imports. It only upsets the markets further. Heck, he had even threatened to use repressive measures against anyone who published unfavourable reports about the Malaysian economy.

Investors saw Mahathir’s denial as proof that he had a lot to hide from public scrutiny. The Malaysian Ringgit plunged from RM2.50 to a record RM4.885 per dollar in 1998, before it was pegged at 3.80 per dollar. The Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) Composite Index (KLCI) dropped from over 1,300 in the first quarter of 1997 to less than 500 in January 1998, to around 300 in August 1998, and to 262 on September 2, 1998.

Anwar, who was also the Finance Minister at that time, was considering a modified IMF-type measures. As the economic situation deteriorated in the second half of 1997, Anwar became more receptive to IMF policy advice. After securing the full cabinet support (in Mahathir’s absence in early December 1997), Anwar implemented a series of tight-money prescription – without taking IMF money.

There was one huge problem – Mahathir rejected Anwar’s approach, whose free-market-oriented corrective measures would mean Mahathir and his sidekick Daim Zainuddin’s cronies would go bankrupt for over borrowing. More importantly, Mahathir’s eldest son, Mirzan Mahathir’s company – Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd (KPB) – would go bust without a bailout.

Mahathir was also shocked by the surprise resignation of Indonesia’s President Suharto in May 1998. The Malaysian dictator began to worry about the foreign media’s calls for Anwar to replace him as well as the increasingly independent and critical stance of Anwar supporters in the government. He began to criticize Anwar as a “stooge” of the IMF, before finally sacked him on Sept 2, 1998.

In March 1998, Malaysia International Shipping Corp. (MISC) announced that it would acquire Mirzan company. The news triggered accusations of a bailout at a time when the country was facing its economic troubles. The sale included US$55 million for Hong Kong-based Pacific Basin Bulk Shipping, which Mirzan’s Konsortium bought for US$230 million in 1996 as part of an aggressive regional expansion campaign.

Daim Zainuddin and his Protege Cronies

In addition, MISC will buy the assets of KPB’s Malaysia-based PNSL Bhd for US$165 million, which Mr Mirzan purchased for RM247.4 million from a state agency in 1992. Not only MISC handed over a total US$220 million to Mirzan, who owned 51% of Konsortium, but would also take over a net debt of US$311 million from the acquired companies.

Interestingly, even before the 1997 Asia Financial Crisis, Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd had already accumulated RM1.7 billion debt (end of 1996) under Mirzan leadership. It was so bad that there were naughty rumours the Mahathir’s son was considering “suicide” over the massive debts. Without the bailout, Mirzan would go bankrupt as KPB’s market value was almost wiped out during the financial crisis.

The best part was the main shareholder of MISC was Petronas, the national oil company which comes directly under the Prime Minister Office. Yes, while 6-year-old Nurul Hana cried after her “papa” was taken away to prison, 37-year-old Mirzan Mahathir cried to his “papa” to rescue his company. Thanks to his father, Mirzan’s debt in KPB was settled.

The rescue of his son’s company came just six months after Mahathir Cabinet announced on September 3, 1997 of the creation of a special RM60 billion fund for “selected Malaysians” – understood as a bail-out facility designed to save “cronies”. Besides Petronas, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) money had been deployed to bail out some of the most politically well-connected and influential.

Other companies that enjoyed mega bailouts, just to name a few, included UEM-Renong, Malayan Banking, Bank Bumiputra, Sime Bank, KUB, Bank of Commerce, RHB Bank, Ekran’s Bakun Dam Project, Park May-Intrakota bus and Monorail. A whopping RM2.34 billion of taxpayers’ money was used – quietly – to bail out UEM-Renong alone, which was linked to Mahathir’s political party UMNO.

Under Mahathir’s instruction, the EPF and other Malaysian government controlled institutions were believed to have bought about RM2 billion of Malaysian stock through Singapore and Hong Kong based brokers to give the impression of renewed foreign investor interest in the Malaysian market. In the end, EPF lost over RM10 billion in 1998 thanks to Mahathir and Finance Minister Daim.

Mahathir & Sons–Mirzan, Mokhzani, Mukhriz

Clearly, not only Mahathir had abused his power to rescue Mirzan, but had enriched his son by bailing out Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd. The burning question is from where did his son get all the money to fund his purchase in KPB, not to mention other companies like Petron, Malaysian Helicopter Services, Lion Corp, Artwright Holdings, Dataprep Holdings, Leader Universal, Diperdana Corp and whatnot?

As early as 1994, Mirzan bought at a 24% discount to the market price 1.5 million shares in steel cable firm Leader Universal, under a preferential state allocation scheme to transfer corporate ownership to bumiputras or indigenous people. At the age of 37 in 1998, analysts valued Mirzan Mahathir’s holdings in public companies alone to be in excess of US$880 million. He was said to sit on the board of 95 companies in 1999.

But Mirzan was not the only lucky son having strong cable to enrich him. Mokhzani Mahathir, the second eldest son of the former prime minister, joined the ranks of the country’s top 10 richest people in 2014 on the 9th spot – worth an estimated RM4.22 billion. In early November 2012, Petronas awarded a RM700 million contract to the SapuraKencana Petroleum mogul.

Billionaire Mokhzani also became the largest shareholder of Pantai Group of hospital after acquired it from Berjaya Group founder Vincent Tan, who happens to be one of Mahathir’s cronies. Pantai hospital was part of Parkway Holdings Ltd, which in turn was started by Malaysians (Tan family of IGB Corp and the Ang family of Petaling Garden) in the 1970s.

Together with another brother, Mukhriz and Mokhzani were awarded contracts in optical fibre manufacturer Opcom Holdings Berhad, which has profited from the RM21.6 billion project of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP). According to the opposition, close to 500 companies were registered under the names of Mahathir and four of his children.

While 16 companies were under Mahathir Mohamad’s name and 29 were under his daughter Marina’s name, a jaw-dropping 156 were under Mirzan’s name and 158 were under Mokhzani’s whereas 126 were under Mukhriz’s name. When the trial starts, Anwar’s attorney will be having fun grilling every single offspring of Mahathir, exposing how they get mega rich so young and so easily. - FT


17 April 2023

DAP ain’t liability for UMNO...

But UMNO could be a ‘ticking time bomb’ 
for PH’s self-destruction...

Retired DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang held back his words recently by only passing a general remark that while the outlook for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government is positive, it is at risk of a “self-destruct” by embarking on polices which are totally contradictory with core values of its struggle.

This brings us to a polemic sparked by Perak DAP vice-chairman Abdul Aziz Bari’s comments that UMNO’s role with the Malays is now unclear as Perikatan Nasional has taken up the role.

The Tebing Tinggi state assemblyman (pix,below) based his views on the fact that while Perikatan Nasional (PN) was expected to lose support in the 15th General Election (GE15), it was UMNO instead who suffered the defeat.

He went on to justify that UMNO is now in survival mode and is merely relying on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition for positions in power because “only with positions can the party move on”.

But such observation did not rest well with UMNO supreme council member Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (pix,below) who retaliated by claiming that the party’s alliance with DAP within the PH coalition would pose a challenge for UMNO to win back the confidence of the Malays, especially in the wake of the looming state polls.

The eldest son of the late former information minister Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat said DAP should instead be appreciative of UMNO’s efforts in enabling the formation of the current federal administration.

While whether the outcome of GE15 will have any bearing on the upcoming six-state elections, UMNO at this very moment is not only seemingly the ‘weak link’ in the so-called PH-Barisan Nasional (BN) partnership but is also the ticking time bomb that could pave way for the unity government to “self-destruct”.

In his recent blog aptly entitled “Is Anwar Colluding with UMNO to Set Najib Free?”, former diplomat-turned-political commentator Dennis Ignatius pointed to recent UMNO-engineered developments that “appear to suggest that something nefarious might be afoot”.

“Both the former attorney-general who charged (ex-premier Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) as well as the High Court judge who convicted him have come under sustained attack with a view to discrediting them. Aspersions have also been cast on other judges as well. The Chief Justice has received death threats,” he contended.

“UMNO’s objective is clear enough: to persuade the public that though Najib was found guilty and his sentence upheld by the highest court in the land, he is but an innocent victim, a man who was targeted and then railroaded by the justice system as part of some grand conspiracy to destroy UMNO and by extension, Malay political power.”

A fair commentator as he is, Ignatius also took DAP to task in another self-explanatory blog, “The DAP’s Head-in-the-Sand Attitude is not Helping”, when he reckoned that it is high time for DAP to take a stand “on the dangerous currents that have been quietly eroding public support for the unity government and PM Anwar’s leadership”. “Since joining the unity government, however, the DAP – the second largest party in parliament – has kept its head down and it mouth shut on one important issue after another,’ he observed.

“Even on the issue of a possible pardon for Najib, all they can say is that it is an UMNO matter and that they have confidence in the system. No wonder UMNO leaders brag about finally taming the DAP. “They may think that they are acting for the greater good, that they can somehow forestall the dangerous little green men waiting in the wings by ignoring UMNO’s reckless and wanton manipulation of our justice system but they are only fooling themselves. “By all means, work with UMNO for the sake of political stability but for goodness’ sake, draw the line when it comes to the judiciary and other core values,” added Ignatius.

Meanwhile it appears that some quarters are seeing some tensions between the DAP and UMNO, particularly over the issue of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s royal pardon, based on an article in Malaysia Gazette.

UMNO has made it clear that it is pushing for the early release of Najib from prison. But as a member of the ruling ‘unity government’ coalition, it did not discuss the matter with Pakatan Harapan (PH). This is seen as a division among the unity government parties and Lim Kit Siang’s statement that Najib should not be released as it might cause the collapse of the PH-led government did not sit well with UMNO.

UMNO columnists are saying Kit Siang’s statement may have been interpreted as the DAP’s stance, causing discomfort among UMNO supporters. A recent spat between a Perak DAP vice-chairperson Dr Aziz Bari and  a former Home Affairs from UMNO Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad has for some accentuated the divide.

Aziz started the quarrel with UMNO over Malay support, saying the party has lost such support since the last general elections. In response, Nur Jazlan blasted the DAP saying the party will drag Umno down in its attempt to regain Malay support.

Netizens are also throwing their weight behind the battle, roping Kit Siang into the fight.

User@anisi_g, said:

Translated from Malay the user is saying, “DAP is the big brother. If it is for PH’s political survival, I think they (the news site Malaysia Gazette) are right. And if for the political survival of BN PH they are wrong.

“DAP in my opinion will not hesitate to leave the coalition if this can maintain voter support for DAP,” he threatens.

Meanwhile, @SaralaPoobalan said:

The user said if “So it’s fine if you hurt other people’s hearts? DAP is really the big brother. Silence does not mean there is no sound. You ride in PH. Even your number of seats is small. Malays reject you because you are thieves.” -  focusmalaysia

Bila lebai/ostad cuba lepaskan diri dari kesalahan yang dibuat...


14 April 2023

Najib’s return as PM again...

How he could work with PAS to overthrow 
PMX once receives royal pardon...

Incarcerated Najib Razak was only 69 years old when he spent his first night as the Kajang Prison Complex’s newest inmate on August 23, 2022. He created history as the first former prime minister to be sent to jail after losing final appeal at the Federal Court. The crook was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined RM210 million for stealing RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of 1MDB).

Mahathir Mohamad, the man responsible for toppling Najib administration in the May 2018 General Election, was aged 92 when he became the prime minister for the second time. Anwar Ibrahim was already 75 years old when he finally became the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia on November 24 last year. Even Muhyiddin Yassin became the first backdoor PM at the age of 73 in 2020.

Do you really think Najib will quietly go into retirement, or write some silly memoirs about RM2.6 billion donations from dubious Saudi royal family once he receives a royal pardon from King Sultan Abdullah? Nope, the first thing he will do is to spin how innocence he is based on the pardon received, and brags how it was the God’s will to free a good Muslim like him.

He will definitely twist how his sacrifice and perseverance, as well as his incredible fighting spirit in seek of justice has finally been rewarded. Pretending like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, the narcissist crook might even give some motivation talks to his supporters – the importance of believing in oneself and have faith, as well as to never lose hopes and all those craps.

Of course, Najib will express his gratitude to his family, especially his wife Rosmah Mansor – the Imelda Marcos of Malaysia convicted of corruption and sentenced to 10 years’ jail – for all the support tendered. His drama would include how much he missed his cat Kiki and grandkids, while jobless daughter Nooryana Najwa brought his favourite drink – Starbucks Caramel Macchiato.

Those are part of a publicity stunt to be prepared by his American PR firm to project himself as a victim of great injustice like Gandhi or Mandela. Didn’t Najib’s son shamelessly compare his crooked father’s imprisonment to that of Nelson Mandela, and said the ex-premier will rise like the South African anti-apartheid activist? Make no mistake – Najib has zero plans to quit politics.

Najib plans to make a comeback as the prime minister for the second time even if he has to serve his full 12-year sentence, what more if he gets an early pardon this year. Therefore, on top of his to-do-list is to get elected as a Member of Parliament once he walks out of jail, the same way Anwar contested in the Port Dickson by-election in Oct 2018 upon pardoned by the King.

Hadi,Muhyiddin & Zahid - “Sheraton Move 2.0”

He can contest in his stronghold – Pekan federal constituency – after seat-warmer MP Sheikh Mohmed Puzi bin Sheikh Ali resigns. Najib will be free to contest a parliamentary seat if he receives “full pardon” from the King, who happens to have a special relationship with the ex-PM. It would be a problem only if it’s a partial pardon or reduced sentencing.

Now, this is where all the game begins. Once he is elected as an MP, he can overthrow PM Anwar. Exactly how does Najib plan to become the 11th Prime Minister with only 30 MPs from his Barisan Nasional coalition? That’s easy – he can start “Sheraton Move 2.0” by working with opposition Perikatan Nasional, the same way Bersatu president Muhyiddin did it in 2020.

After just 22 months, the democratically-elected Pakatan Harapan government collapsed in Feb 2020 after traitor Muhyiddin plotted with defeated United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS – Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) to form a backdoor government. Back then, UMNO had agreed to let Muhyiddin becomes PM even though his party was the weakest.

Post-14th General Election, UMNO saw its seats reduced to 39 after 13 MPs defected to rival Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party). Bersatu won only 13 seats in the 2018 General Election, but doubled to 26 MPs after the UMNO mass defection. After the 15th General Election last year, religious extremist PAS saw its seats increased to 43 while racist bigot Bersatu captured 31.

UMNO, meanwhile, won only 26 seats (excluding MCA’s 2, MIC’s 1 and PBRS’ 1) in the 15th nationwide polls. Despite its worst performance in history, the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional has become the kingmaker after 2022- neither Pakatan Harapan (82 seats) nor Perikatan Nasional (74 seats) could form a new government in the 222-seat Parliament without its 30 seats.

So, why can’t the current 30-seat Barisan Nasional lead a new backdoor government today when 26-seat Bersatu managed to do it three years ago? They can easily cook another “Malay-Muslim government” bullshit to justify the betrayal. When UMNO withdraws the support for Anwar-led Unity Government, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) will follow.

Together, Barisan Nasional (30), Perikatan Nasional (74), Sarawak-based GPS (23) and Sabah-based GRS (6) will command 133 seats – more than the minimum 112-seat required to form a simple majority government. This is one of the reasons Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar is increasingly being bullied and blackmailed by UMNO to compromise, including the royal pardon for Najib.

Najib and  Zahid

But will UMNO switch sides en bloc to prevent triggering the anti-hopping law? Absolutely, because it appears Najib is the only charismatic leader the party is left with, at least that’s what his loyalists believed. Besides, party president Zahid Hamidi was the reason Barisan Nasional lost spectacularly last year. The thuggish Zahid is not a leader, but a follower who is more than happy to serve as Najib’s deputy.

It is not necessary for Najib to become UMNO president in order to return as prime minister. Ismail Sabri, one of the party’s vice presidents, was selected as the prime minister in August 2021 after Muhyiddin resigned because he had lost majority support in Parliament. The King shall appoint an MP whom he believes command the majority support of his peers as prime minister.

As long as Najib can show that he commands the confidence of a majority of MPs of the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House), the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) can appoint him. Because Zahid’s corruption and money laundering trial will probably take years before it concludes, chances are Najib can interfere with the judicial system to free him before even the Federal Court can send Zahid to jail.

Still, will PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang agree with Najib as the next prime minister? Crucially, will ex-PM Muhyiddin consent to his enemy becoming premier again? Did anyone notice Hadi has never criticized or attacked Najib since the day he lost power in May 2018 till today? In fact, after Najib was first convicted in July 2020, Hadi led some top PAS leaders to visit him late at night.

Yes, Najib’s best friend Hadi has so far refrained from mocking or insulting him, even after the crook was sent to jail. That’s because Hadi became multi-millionaire thanks to Najib, who bribed him with RM90 million to quit now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat. The snake oil salesman would be like a dog with two tails if PAS can return to power again, and receives easy cash without having to do any work.

Hadi and his minions, however, have targeted Zahid for his refusal to work with PAS and Bersatu against rival Pakatan Harapan. All the bad blood will be water under the bridge if Najib promises to make both Zahid and Hadi deputy prime ministers. Likewise, Sarawak GPS too will fall into line with the promise that their existing deputy prime minister is retained.

How about Muhyiddin? There are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends in politics, but only permanent interests. If Najib is pardoned and become the next prime minister, not only can he ordered the Attorney General to drop all his remaining 1MDB corruption charges (he did that previously with A.G. Apandi Ali), he can also help clear Muhyiddin.

Muhyiddin Yassin - I Love PM - Najib Razak

The Bersatu chief has been charged for corruption and money laundering in the RM600 billion Covid scandal during his short 17-month regime. His backdoor government is known by historians and students as an era of SOP U-turns, policy flip-flops, double standards, incompetence, hypocrisy, corruption, Coronavirus mishandling, economic mismanagement and of course – illegitimacy.

The last thing ex-premier Muhyiddin wants is to go to jail. He has little option but to suck up to Najib if that’s what it takes to save his arse. Even if he disagrees, he will suffer tremendous pressure from all the corrupt and power-hungry Napoleons in his own party to support Najib under the pretext of (*yawn*) Malay unity. Worse, his political party’s account has been frozen.

As PAS is itself facing potential internal rebellion, especially from Nik Mohamad Abduh’s faction who disagreed with Hadi’s strategic mistakes of choosing Bersatu over UMNO, the Islamist party might leave Perikatan Nasional. Najib is the best excuse Hadi could use to persuade Muhyiddin to regroup UMNO-PAS-Bersatu once again to fight Pakatan Harapan.

More importantly, both Muhyiddin and Hadi are desperate to return to power. After tasted blood, they can’t live without power and free flow of dirty money. Cash-strapped, they can’t buy votes or marry more wives, let alone upgrade their Mercedes. If Najib can lead UMNO again and his plan to steal more money includes sharing the loots with PAS and Bersatu, Hadi and Muhyiddin cannot find any reason not to support Najib.

Unlike Mahathir, who still had an ounce of dignity when he refused to work with crooked Najib when Muhyiddin formed the Perikatan Nasional backdoor regime, power-hungry Muhyiddin has no red line that he won’t cross. The shameless man does not need much convincing to work with Najib, despite whining and bitching that he will not work with crooks.

Najib had initially supported Muhyiddin as prime minister in 2020. It was only after his request for judicial meddling to drop all this corruption charges were ignored by PM Muhyiddin that Najib-Zahid withdrew their support, forcing Muhyiddin to reluctantly resign in August 2021. All of them are nothing but a bunch of crooks and pirates dressed as Malay defenders.

Therefore, its a dumb move to free Najib. If PM Anwar helps Najib, not only the president of the People’s Justice Party PKR will destroy his own party’s integrity, but his stupid decision will also self-destruct the Pakatan Harapan coalition. He might even end up as the shortest serving premier in the country, making turtle-egg Ismail Sabri looks like a genius. Mahathir will have the last laugh, telling all and sundry – “I told you so!!!” - FT

Meanwhile,UMNO has announced that they would appeal to the king to pardon Najib, sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for CBT by misappropriating a total of RM42 million. Should the king pardon? The final decision, of course rests upon the King who will decide as advised by the Prime Minister based upon a recommendation from the Pardons Board of the Federal Territories.

At the same time, two petitions related to the pardon for release of Najib have been launched on the change.org platform named as "Petition to Yang di-Pertuan Agong: Najib is Unworthy of Pardon" started by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) and "Free Najib Razak Through Royal Pardon" created by an individual, Ariff Lias.

Awani's survey showed that the first petition received the most number of signatures at 140,000 while "Free Najib Razak Through Royal Pardon" petition received only 13,000 signatures.The above surveys clearly show that the general public is not in favour of Najib being pardoned. - newwav/sinardaily

The King has finally spoken! All those trying to twist the arm of the King can finally 
go and fly kite. Worst still he said that by right that  convict ought to have his hands cut off. 

Bila kita raya?...

Kementerian Pendidikan mengumumkan 19 April 2023 cuti khas tambahan bagi semua sekolah sempena sambutan Aidilfitri minggu depan. Maka bertambah kuatlah orang percaya raya akan disambut sehari awal daripada apa yang dicatat sebelum ini. Terdahulu, Kesatuan Perkhidmatan Perguruan menggesa KPM memberi cuti khas untuk guru pada 19 April kerana Aidilfitri dijangka jatuh pada 21 April.

Kalau ikut kalendar dan senarai cuti am rasmi, Aidilfitri jatuh pada 22 April tetapi sejak minggu lalu lagi kita sudah dengar orang tertanya-tanya bila sebenarnya hari raya, malah ada yang yakin 21 April tarikh Aidilfitri. Mengapa jadi kekalutan ini? Maaf jika ‘kalut’ kasar untuk digunakan. OK lah, paling tidak ‘kelam kabut’. Mengapa begini jadinya? Sebab apa yang berlaku raya tahun lalu. Tak perlu dihuraikan. Masih “fresh in our mind”.

Masa saya budak-budak dulu keputusan menetapkan tarikh Ramadan dan Syawal dibuat dengan tengok anak bulan. Dilakukan di beberapa tempat oleh pegawai agama dan ahli falak. Tempat paling “famous” Teluk Kemang, Port Dickson. Kalau nampak ertinya esok puasa atau raya. Tak nampak puasa atau raya hari berikutnya. Simple.

Tetapi waktu itu mungkin kerana sistem komunikasi belum canggih maka pengumuman anak bulan melalui radio (dan TV kemudian) dibuat lewat. Dalam 11 malam. Oleh itu, untuk tahu bila bermula Ramadan orang masjid kena tunggu selepas sembahyang isyak hingga lewat malam. Jika diumum keesokannya mula puasa, maka jemaah akan mendirikan tarawih di masjid bermula 11.30 malam. Lebih kurang macam itu.

Untuk menyambut hari raya pula, semua orang “excited” tunggu nampak atau tidak anak bulan Syawal. Jika diumumkan anak bulan kelihatan, maka ramai yang masuk “gear” untuk meneruskan persiapan. Di rumah saya di Kampung Bharu, masak rendang dan kacau dodol dimulakan selepas dapat pengumuman. Maknanya kerja beres hampir waktu Subuh 1 Syawal kerana emak saya “insist” semua hidangan mesti “freshly prepared”.

Jika anak bulan Syawal tidak kelihatan pun tak ada masalah. Puasa lah “one more day”. Pun begitu timbul juga kontroversi. Seingat saya ada kampung atau kawasan tertentu di Pantai Timur yang ikut kiraan sendiri yakni yang ditetapkan imam dan sebagainya. Penduduk setempat beraya pada tarikh lain daripada tarikh rasmi.

Ada juga pada satu tahun (tak ingat tahun apa), Singapura menyambut hari raya satu hari awal daripada Malaysia. Dikhabarkan ramai juga orang Johor yang turun ke Singapura untuk beraya dan pada malamnya pulang ke Johor untuk sambut Aidilfitri di Malaysia keesokkan hari.

Sekarang Mufti Perlis Mohamad Asri Zainul Abidin menyuarakan ‘kebimbangan’ jika Thailand raya awal, orang Perlis akan seberang sempadan masuk melalui Padang Besar untuk beraya di sana. Beliau berseloroh sambil menekankan betapa penting semua negara rantau ini bersepakat menentukan tarikh 1 Syawal. 

Pandangan peribadi saya, apa perlu pergi tengok anak bulan jika keyakinan penuh diletak pada kiraan? Sebab kalau pun tidak nampak tetap akan dianggap ‘nampak’ berdasarkan kiraan. Ini isu falak bukan isu agama. Apa pun, bermula tahun lalu menurut Asri, Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) menggunapakai kriteria baharu dalam kiraannya dan itulah yang digunakannya sekarang.

Untuk menghentikan kekeliruan dan kekalutan, kerajaan (pada lewat 1960-an atau awal 1970-an) memutuskan tarikh mulanya Ramadan dan menyambut Syawal ditentukan dengan kaedah kiraan dan keputusan mesti dipatuhi semua negara Asean kerana semua terletak pada zon yang sama.

Tidak lama kemudian Malaysia menggunakan kaedah berdasarkan rukyah dan hisab. Ertinya tengok anak bulan dan juga kiraan. Pada pemahaman saya, ini bermakna jika mengikut kiraan Ramadan atau Syawal akan jatuh pada waktu dan hari tertentu tetapi pasukan pegawai yang meneropong tidak nampak anak bulan, ia tetap dianggap ‘kelihatan’. Maka lazimnya dulu (sehingga tahun lalu) tarikh puasa dan hari raya yang diumumkan sama seperti dicatat pada kalendar.

Penceramah terkenal, Kazim Elias, pula berkata kaedah rukyah ini bukan pertama kali digunakan sebaliknya sudah berdekad lama. “Kenapa tahun ini orang riuh rendah sangat berhubung 1 Syawal, bezanya hanya satu hari. Kalau kita tak raya Jumaat kita tetap akan raya Sabtu,” katanya dipetik Harian Metro 9 April lalu.

Bagi saya, itu agak simplistik. Ia bukan sekadar ‘beraya’. Orang riuh rendah kerana membabitkan bermacam hal dan perancangan. Riuh rendah bukan timbul tahun ini sahaja. Ingat tahun lalu? Apa pun, kata Kazim, masyarakat usah kalut dan serahkan kepada autoriti agama. “Jangan pula kita marahkan autoriti agama kerana kita ada prosedur dan kriteria,” kata beliau.

Menurut saya, itulah yang dilakukan orang ramai iaitu menyerahkan kepada autoriti agama. Rata-rata orang tidak marah atau salahkan autoriti agama. Cuma keliru. “Tarikh yang ditetapkan dalam kalendar hanya tarikh anggaran dan keputusan akhir terletak pada pemegang mohor besar Raja-raja,” kata Timbalan Dekan (Jaringan) Fakulti Pengajian Islam di Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Izhar Ariff Mohd Kassim

Baru-baru ini ada laporan mengatakan Aidilfitri di Emiriah Arab Bersatu akan disambut pada Jumaat 21 April berdasarkan kiraan pusat astronominya. Ia tular dan mungkin ini antara penyebab tercetus persoalan bila raya di Malaysia.

Kata Rektor Akademi Falak Malaysia, Shahrin Ahmad, setiap negara berbeza penentuan serta kriteria kenampakan anak bulan “dan kita tidak boleh menyamakan setiap negara itu mempunyai kaedah yang sama.”

Benar. Namun dalam konteks Malaysia dan kekeliruan yang timbul sekarang, saya setuju dengan gesaan Asri supaya Jakim menyemak semula kriteria yang mereka gunakan kerana kriteria mereka, kata beliau, menimbulkan kekeliruan tahun lalu dan tahun ini. Saya tidak mengakhiri artikel ini dengan ucapan Selamat Hari Raya. Masih terlalu awal untuk diucapkan. - Mohsin Abdullah