PAS: The Clear and Present Danger

Always the leader of men heading to the past. PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang.

I was wrong predicting a Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in the past election, but I was not wrong about Pakatan rejecting PAS.

While I said,Pakatan can win without PAS, if they are clear about their value proposition and work on the ground long enough as separate from the Islamist, I was not convinced either of those conditions were met, adequately.

Which is why I thought BN would edge ahead in a three way.

I was exceedingly wrong about it, the people of Malaysia proved that they already had enough reasons to reject BN and at the same time able to distinguish between a vote for Pakatan and PAS. Continue reading “PAS: The Clear and Present Danger”


Jumping Lawmakers And The Culture Of Absolute Power

The civil servants, still to just serve the master?

Sugut assemblyman Datuk James Ratib (Umno), Pitas assemblyman Datuk Bolkiah Ismail (Umno), Kuala Penyu assemblyman Datuk Limus Jury (Upko) and Kuamut assemblyman Datuk Masiung Banah (Upko) are rumoured to be next to abandon the BN ship for Pakatan.

Most Malaysians won’t remember their names or seat names, come tomorrow, but they are aware of the mass exodus everywhere.

It was expected long before that whenever BN finally loses, their candidates will flee, but the rate is unprecedented. It does not happen in regular democracy, but Malaysia is different kind of democracy. Continue reading “Jumping Lawmakers And The Culture Of Absolute Power”

This column first appeared in The Malay Mail Online. It is reproduced here.


Be careful, there are worst things than being a heart donor
Be careful, there are worst things than being a heart donor

FEBRUARY 5 — Have a look at the date again — the fifth day of the second month in 2015.

Nine days to Valentine’s Day and the naysayers have not started with their tirade over the dual — real or imagined — threat of fornication and layered proselytisation through the reference of a till lately, obscure Christian saint. Phew!

They are starting late this year, but don’t doubt them, they will start even if they sound like broken records — to sympathisers and supporters alike.

(Talking about Valentine’s, I really don’t want to know how ISIS will be observing it this year in order to warn Muslims worldwide away from performing unsanctioned love acts. I can suggest some nasty “ideas” as a joke, but I fear — through the mysterious powers of the Internet— somehow they’d hear about it, and actually carry them out. Those ISIS dudes, they raise “doing” to a whole new stratosphere.)

Over here in Malaysia, it has become an annual ritual — I know, it’s cute, a ritual to fight a ritual — to demonise those who are inclined to dating on the day. Continue reading

Friends in the Pakatan submarine keeping separate beds

This was first seen at The Malaysian Insider, July 7 2009. I’m putting up my old copies up. Some of the information, ideas and thoughts may be dated in retrospect.

JULY 9 — It is a Greek tragedy of sorts, the ever-increasing admonishments of Pakatan Rakyat — for its alleged rising ineptitude, communication breakdowns, tantrums and obtuseness.

The Kampung Buah Pala saga, PAS-Umno talks, PKR-DAP hostilities in the Seberang Perai Municipal Council and more, resulting in some claiming that this coalition of the willing risks the ire of an electorate and may lose its present gains in the next general election, probably in 2012.

Fair enough, the warning. Continue reading “Friends in the Pakatan submarine keeping separate beds”

Getting to the ‘what’ of our parties

Hee Yit Foong, courtesy of The Malaysian Insider
Hee Yit Foong, courtesy of The Malaysian Insider

This was first seen at The Malaysian Insider, June 25 2009. I’m putting up my old copies up. Some of the information, ideas and thoughts may be dated in retrospect.

JUNE 25 — There is a growing frustration among Malaysians. And in economically difficult times, political shenanigans grate people a little deeper, because they compound the growing uncertainty over their proverbial rice bowls.

They become edgy about all political parties, and this makes the present vote more knee-jerk and less habitual. In the long run, however, the Malaysian vote will be decided by what political parties — and by extension what their leaders — stand for. Continue reading “Getting to the ‘what’ of our parties”

Nik Aziz, PAS and a purge perhaps

nikki-oct26OCT 26 — Let me clear the air first — I’d think Nik Aziz and me would probably agree on most things, even if our reasons would vary considerably. However I do not support his inclinations to force a situation in PAS, as far as it downplays the democratic principles the party — for that fact any party, group or association — must adhere to.

I do believe religious parties are in themselves a contradiction to democratic principles, but if PAS wants — as the signs show — to flirt with being a Islamic based party contrary to an Islamic party, then it has to reduce arbitrariness in decision making.

There is a reason why his men fell in the last PAS election, and why the Malay-driven wing of the party has the base it has. It is not just the leaders, they have substantial following. Continue reading “Nik Aziz, PAS and a purge perhaps”

PAS the buck please?

JUNE 2 — PAS gets to pick its leadership again, and so much is made of how much different PAS has become in the last five years.

Has PAS become a different party or has it become a party more adept to appearing different?
The core battle in PAS, and it even predates the rise of Erdogan or even the Ayatollah, has been about it being a Malay party or a party of egalitarian Islam. Continue reading “PAS the buck please?”