Open UMNO to non Malays?

June 11, 2018

No. Between them, UMNO And PAS garnered three quarters of the Malay vote in GE 14. They would have won easily had they just cooperated with each other.

The 14th General Election serves as a cautionary tale of how disunity, pride and hubris can destroy even the seemingly invincible.

P119 Titiwangsa
P149 Sri Gading
P165 Tanjung Piai
P5 Jerlun
P6 Kubang Pasu
P8 Pokok Sena
P10 Kuala Kedah
P14 Merbok
P15 Sungai Petani
P17 Padang Serai
P18 Kulim – Bandar Baharu
P136 Tangga Batu
P129 Kuala Pilah
P133 Tampin
P80 Raub
P82 Indera Mahkota
P83 Kuantan
P88 Temerloh
P89 Bentong
P57 Parit Buntar
P62 Sungai Siput
P63 Tambun
P74 Lumut
P77 Tanjong Malim
P2 Kangar
P93 Sungai Besar
P94 Hulu Selangor
P96 Kuala Selangor
P109 Kapar
P112 Kuala Langat

These are the 30 seats in Peninsular Malaysia where the majority of voters had chosen either BN or PAS. Instead, these seats were won by Pakatan because the Malay vote had been split. For this, I put the blame squarely on Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak. By refusing to seriously pursue unity of the Malay-Muslim vote, he had thrown away the one strategy that would have guaranteed him victory. Instead he turned GE14 into a referendum on himself, an unpopular leader tainted by scandal.

I think everyone will agree that the way forward for UMNO is a very difficult one. Mahathir now enjoys the perks of incumbency and, judging by his track record, he is not afraid to use them. However, in my opinion, choosing which way to proceed is not difficult.

Accepting non-Malays and effectively becoming a diluted version of PKR or DAP, as advocated by some like Khairy and Nazri Aziz, will not get UMNO anywhere. It will only serve to alienate the very supporters who have loyally stood by them through thick and thin. And for what gain? The non-Malays will not return to BN any time soon no matter what UMNO and BN do. With Pakatan, they have a controlling stake in government. They comprise a large majority of those who had voted the Pakatan government in and more than half of  the 113 Pakatan MPs in Parliament are non-Malay.

Even at this early stage we see their muscles being flexed and favours being called in. This is evidenced by the selection of Lim Guan Eng as Finance Minister, demands for non-Malay entry into UITM and Felda, and  the Agong being forced to appoint Tommy Thomas as Attorney General despite him only being able to speak rudimentary Malay and his outspoken views on issues that concern Muslims such as Hudud and use of the name “Allah”.

On the other hand, there is still much demand for and acceptance of the policies and views propounded by UMNO and PAS. Ideas that Mahathir and his minions would like you to think are backward, right-wing and extreme, but are still dearly held by the vast majority of Malays.

What UMNO should do is free itself from the shackles of its links to others, especially MCA, MIC and Gerakan with whom they have little in common. It should instead operate on its own, free to propagate its own vision without compromises. Its raison d’etre is for the betterment of the Malays and that should be its sole focus.

This is, after all, how most parties operate in other democracies, where coalitions are considered undesirable and are only formed when no single party is able to form a government after an election is held. Coalitions make for weak and ineffective Government. Even worse is the kind of coalition that BN and Pakatan are, that is, one that tries to include  the whole spectrum of political opinion. What you get is endless horse-trading and backroom dealing on even the simplest of issues and results that satisfy nobody.



Pakatan won due to Soviet-like support from the Chinese

May 19, 2018

Pakatan garnered close to 100% of the Chinese vote while BN was doomed by the hopelessly split Malay electorate.

No, from the title I am not implying that the Chinese are communists.  Only that  total devotion to one party that they demonstrated to Pakatan in GE14 was reminiscent to that seen in elections once held in  the Soviet Union.

After the 2013 general elections, I published a post in which I looked at the results from the 11 Kuala Lumpur parliamentary seats, in particular, how the results were correlated to the racial makeup of each seat. I concluded that then almost 90% of the Chinese in KL had voted for Pakatan while only 35% of other voters had done likewise.

I have now done the same analysis on the GE 14 results. Using linear regression on data I gathered here, I found that pretty much 100% of Chinese votes in KL went to Pakatan while the figure for Malays stood at less than 29%.  For BN, the percentage of votes it received from the Malays was approximately 50%.

Screenshot from 2018-05-19 10-22-59

The above scatter diagram is derived from voting data of the 11 Kuala Lumpur parliamentary constituencies. The x-axis is the percentage of Chinese registered voters in each constituency. The y-axis is the percentage of the total vote garnered by Pakatan in said constituencies.


So, what does this mean?

Well, first of all, this makes a complete mockery of the claim by MCA and Gerakan that the Chinese were swinging back to BN. One now has to question their sincerity in making this claim as it has always been painfully clear that there was never any chance of it happening.

Secondly, the situation for UMNO (notice I didn’t say BN) is not as dire as one might think. Despite the mother of all scandals, despite Mahathir and despite Najib’s strategic mistakes (especially in not pursuing some sort of pact with PAS), BN still managed to cling on to 50% of the Malay vote. More importantly, Malay support for Pakatan still stood stubbornly below 30%.

Well, there are more conclusions one could make, of course. More on that in another post.


A most heinous betrayal

May 16, 2018

Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi and Zainol Fadzi Paharudin turned their backs on their constituents and fellow Muslim ADUNs to jump into bed with the DAP.

Had these 2 stayed with UMNO, UMNO would have had been able to form the government in Perak with the help of 3 PAS representatives. History would have been made as it would have been the first time that the Perak state government was made up of all Muslim representatives.

Instead they chose to be part of a government where 20 of its 31 members are non-Muslims. And it has been reported in the news today that the DAP will be claiming the lions share of state exco seats.

In both their constituencies of Tualang Sekah and Sungai Manik, a considerable majority of voters had voted for either UMNO or PAS in GE14. Can anyone seriously believe that either of them had acted according to their constituents’ wishes?


The Kedah DUN

May 11, 2018

In my previous post, I had called for a pact between UMNO and PAS to prevent a Pakatan victory in GE 14. That, as everyone knows, has not happened and Pakatan has now formed the federal government and won the states of Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka. So, we are left to wonder what might have been had this strategy been pursued.

As it turns out, a test for this strategy may come sooner than you may think. The Kedah DUN is hung with 18 seats for PKR, 15 for PAS and 3 for BN. If a majority cannot be found, a new election will have to be called. Looking at the current election results, the combined votes for BN and PAS exceeds that of PKR in 10 seats that PKR had won. If votes had not been split between them, a PAS / UMNO unity government would have comfortably achieved a 2/3 super majority.

So here’s what I think PAS and UMNO should do. Withhold support for any MB candidate including your own. Force a new election. Agree on a pact to allocate the seats between yourselves (PAS, of course, will have to be given the lion’s share of seats). Campaign on a manifesto of creating an administration based on Islamic governance.

Really, how hard can that be?



I predict a Pakatan victory

April 10, 2018

And by the way things are going, a thumping one at that. Malay support for Barisan is slipping. Mahathir is gaining momentum by the day, that is clear to see. Even if Najib doesn’t show it, I’m pretty sure he knows it.

Just about the only thing that can save him now is an alliance with PAS. Relying on PAS to just split the opposition vote will not be enough. He needs their supporters to vote for BN. He also needs to stem the tide of UMNO’s own supporters moving to the opposition. The promise of a unity government based on Islam will do just that.

However, he has a big problem. The PAS grassroots are more than reluctant. Najib may not want to move away from his centrist position, but needs must. He has to do whatever it takes to convince them. This would include:

  • a proper accounting of BN’s past sins towards PAS and it’s supporters, such as the Memali incident and denial of development funds to Kelantan, with a promise to punish those responsible.
  • Major policy concessions, especially with respect to Islam. A pledge to pass the RUU 355 amendment in the first session of the next Parliament would be  good start.
  • A coalition where PAS is an equal partner, reflected by the allocation of seats and positions in federal and state administrations.

I don’t think Najib needs any reminding of how big the stakes are this time around for him personally.

Slandering of a Mufti

August 31, 2016

PKR Youth exco member and self-professed hadith scholar Wan Ji Wan Hussin yesterday admonished the Perak Mufti for being “tidak cermat” for quoting a weak hadith and thus inviting the derogatory Aiyoh Wat Lah award upon himself.

After being gleefully picked up by Malaysiakini, FMT and the other usual suspects, his comment has attracted further ridicule on the Mufti.

Now here’s the thing: Wan Ji’s weak hadith isn’t even the same hadith that Harussani quoted. Wan Ji’s hadith, the one with Husain bin Qais as one of the narrators, goes:

A woman from the tribe of Khath`am asked the Prophet , “Tell me what is the right of the husband over the wife? For I am an unmarried woman and I shall marry if I can, otherwise I shall remain unmarried.” He said:
“The right of the husband over the wife is that if he wants her she must not prevent him, even if she were sitting on the back (z.ahr) of a camel. Also among his rights is that she must not give out anything from his house except by his permission. Otherwise, she shall bear the burden of sin while he shall obtain the reward. Also among his rights is that she must not fast a single day voluntarily without his permission;
if she does, then she has only gone hungry and thirsty and it shall not be accepted from her. She must not leave his house except by his permission. Otherwise, she is cursed by the angels of the heaven, by the angels of mercy, and by the angels of punishment until her return.” “Even if he is a wrongdoer [in keeping her from going out]?” “Even if he is a wrongdoer.”
She said: “I shall never marry!”

The one that Harussani quoted appears in Sunan Ibn Majah and is graded as Hasan by some, Sahih by others. The English translation of it goes:

It was narrated that: Abdullah bin Abu Awfa said” When Muadh bin Jabal came from Sham, he prostrated to the Prophet who said: ‘What is this, O Muadh?’ He said: ‘I went to Sham and saw them prostrating their bishops and patricians and I wanted to do that for you.’ The messenger of Allah said: ‘Do not do that. If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, I would have commanded women to prostrate to their husbands. By the one in who hand is the soul of Muhammad! No woman can fulfill her duty towards Allah until she fulfills her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for intimacy) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.’“

Did Wan Ji even bother to check with Harussani which hadith he was talking about before telling the whole world that it was weak? Does he not comprehend what such an accusation can do to the reputation of someone in Harussani’s position and of the institution he represents?

Will Wan Ji now apologize to Harussani for what is, in effect, slander against the Mufti?

Ridicule by Proxy

August 30, 2016

Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria has  “won” the ‘insulting intelligence’ award at the “Aiyoh…wat lah?!” awards.

According to the Malay Mail report, this was for saying that “women must follow their husband’s request for sexual intercourse even when they were riding ‘on the back of the camel’.”

The problem is it wasn’t the Mufti who first said this. He was merely quoting a hadith by the Prophet Muhammad. There are several versions of this hadith reported by multiple sources, so it cannot be considered weak. One version of it is in Sunan Ibn Majah, which goes:

1853 It was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin Abu Awfa said: “When Mu’adh bin Jabal came from Sham, he prostrated to the Prophet (saw), who said: ‘What is this, O Mu’adh?’ He said: ‘I went to Sham and saw them prostrating to their bishops and patricians (i.e. aristocrats), and I wanted to do that for you.’ The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘Do not do that. If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, I would have commanded women to prostrate to their husbands. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad! No woman can fulfill her duty towards Allah until she fulfills her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for intimacy) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.'”

So, the question is: if you ridicule someone for quoting what someone else said, who are you really ridiculing?

There’s satire, then there’s…

August 10, 2016

this sorry excuse for one, where else but on the Malay Mail Online.

The piece speaks for itself, so I won’t say much other than do please read it and ask yourself this – What would the reaction have been if this had instead been written by, say, Awang Selamat or Ridhuan Tee about a non-Muslim religious institution, say, the CCM or MCCBCHST?

Do please also read the comments. The author seems to think of himself as quite the comedian.

For God’s Sake, Help Them!

May 16, 2015

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar:

Allah’s Messenger said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection.” Sahih al-Bukhari 2442

Yes, their presence will inconvenience us. Hosting them will cost money. Some of them may even bring disease or cause trouble. It is true that we don’t know how many more will come or when, if ever, they will leave.

But despite all that, they are still our brothers and sisters. And they are being oppressed. Allah has made it a duty on every one of us to help them. Surely, the reward will be many times more than whatever hardship helping them brings us. Or do we not believe in His reward?

Referenda on Hudud

April 22, 2015

When it comes to parliamentary matters, our Constitution makes no mention of political parties. For example, it says that the Prime Minister is someone who commands the confidence of a majority of MPs, not one who leads the largest party. There is a reason for this. It is that Members of Parliament are supposed to represent their constituents, not their parties. Therefore MPs must always put their constituents first even if sometimes it is contrary to the wishes of their party.

The upcoming elections for Permatang Pauh and Rompin provide a unique opportunity for voters in these constituencies to exercise their democratic right in a way that could directly influence the future of our country.

PAS’s bill on Hudud is expected to be tabled in the next Parliamentary sitting. Muslims comprise a majority of MPs. However, PKR and DAP have both stated that they will not support the bill. With UMNO seemingly paralysed by fear and having no official policy on the matter, it is anybody’s guess what the outcome will be. So, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the votes of the 2 newly elected MPs will prove decisive one way or the other.

With so much at stake, it is important that voters make an informed choice come polling day. They must have confidence that the person they choose to represent them will act according to their wishes.They should demand that candidates state their positions on Hudud unequivocally and reject any candidate who refuses to do so.