Hmmm. The Kadazandusun Paramount Leader finally made a stand. To me, he has been very quiet in the recent issues of illegal immigrants and Mykad ownerships. So now he has made a stand. But it is a personal stand against former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamed. To me, its a sign of desperation. PBS' return to BN occurred during the twilight of the Mahathir-era. It is a known fact that the 2 resented each other since the 1990 PBS pullout from the Barisan Nasional.
Since the Prime Minister's announcement of not defending the UMNO presidency, everybody is re-positioning themselves in the political landscape. The air is hot that Dr Mahathir will make a return to the national scene once Najib Razak's position as Prime Minister is secured. He could even be a 'minister mentor' in the new cabinet. So, if Dr M is back in power, then Pairin will have to find other avenues fast in order not to be swallowed alive in the 'cleansing' process that is certainly to be followed.
My money will be on PBS' pullout next year.
Kota Kinabalu: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) said it was bullied by the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed was Prime Minister.
Its President Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said after attending the Rural Development Ministry Hari Raya open house in Sembulan, Monday.
"If I were to look back, during the time of Dr Mahathir, of course we were bullied."
He said the over the years, there have a number of cases where people have raised the issue of a BN component bullying its partners.
However, he said the most important is to sit down and discuss the issue in a roundtable meeting in the spirit of the BN.
He also said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had commented on the issue recently.
Abdullah said that Umno had never bullied its partners in the BN and blamed the opposition parties for coming up with such an accusation to deny the people's support for the ruling coalition.
He said that if Umno had bullied its partners, other component parties would have left the BN a long time ago. PBS left the BN in 1990 and rejoined the coalition a decade later.
Meanwhile, Pairin said MCA was only thinking of itself when it proposed two deputy chairman posts in Barisan Nasional (BN) with one of them filled by an MCA leader.
He said since the issue was brought up in the open, it meant that the MCA is using the subject as a political tool.
While the proposal is not an urgent issue, he felt other parties might demand similar recognition should the extra BN deputy chairman post be created.
"If you create an extra (post), why not another oneÉwhat about Sabah and Sarawak," he said.
He was asked to comment on a statement by former MCA Youth chief, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai at the MCA Youth delegates conference in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Liow had said that the extra post is necessary to reflect the position, importance and representation of all the component parties.
Pairin, who is Deputy Chief Minister cum Rural Development Minister, however said in the 50 years the BN has been operating, the system of one Chairman and one Deputy Chairman has been working very well.
Nevertheless, he said that such suggestion should be presented in a more formal manner through a working paper for consideration and discussion within the BN roundtable meeting.
However, he stressed that more pressing and important issues such as the implementation of various promises to complete unfinished development programmes should be given more priority.
"We all ought to try and be level-headed and to ensure that we do not bring ourselves and the country into a situation where we would find ourselves in difficulty to cope," he said.
He said that political parties which intend to be champions for the people would only make things worse if they terlanjur kata (go overboard in their statement).
"In the BN spirit, we all ought to sit down together and talk in a roundtableÉthis is a very sensible way.
"We must not fall into the trap of getting our emotion all worked up to the extent that we cannot think rationally," he said.
Pairin said that in all they do, they must think in the context of what is good for the country in general. He expressed hope that political leaders would help bring about a more sober situation to that the family spirit of the BN could be maintained.
Personally, he said that irrespective of whether an extra post for deputy chairman is created, the most important is power sharing.
"It's all a question of equitable sharing, fairness and justice and feeling of a win-win situation," he said.
He said by establishing another post, the government would have to fork out extra money when they are supposed to be prudent during the economically challenging period.
Also present were his assistant ministers Datuk Sairin Karno and Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Two PAS Sabah leaders have taken issue with his remarks, alleging that these were “not sensitive to the Islamic ummah (faithful) in the nation in general and in Sabah in particular”.
Over the weekend, Sabah PAS deputy commissioner (1) Hamzah Abdullah lodged a report at the district police headquarters in Karamunsing, Kota Kinabalu.
Utusan Borneo quoted Hamzah as describing portions of the speech by Dompok as “simply too much, irresponsible and carrying elements of agitation against Islam which is the official religion of Malaysia and Sabah”.
Article 3 of the federal constitution states that ‘Islam is the religion of the federation but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the federation’.
“The Upko president’s speech can disrupt peace, security and public order in the state and the nation,” claimed Hamzah.
“We made a police repor
Hamzah labelled several portions of the speech as “offensive to Muslims, Islam, the (Agong) and the (Sabah) governor who are heads of the religion”.
This was an apparent reference to 10 paragraphs of the 21-page speech delivered at the meeting held from Oct 12-14.
Making special reference to the situation in Sabah, Dompok mainly touched on the fear that freedom of religion is being eroded; issues linked to conversion to Islam; the predicament of those wishing to leave the religion; and the question of jurisdiction over cases taken to court.
“Converts of the 60s and 70s (in Sabah) who have not realised the seriousness of conversion and continued to lead their old life,” reads paragraph 7 of the speech.
“The children... may feel that they have never been Muslims but their identity cards show otherwise. When they marry either under customary law or civil law, they encounter problems in registering the births of their children.”
Natives of Sabah who have Muslim-sounding names and who are ascribed a religion can have a hard time making the necessary correction, said Dompok, who is also a federal minister.
“Some have been advised to go to the Syariah Court to clear their religion. How can someone who has never been a Muslim be subjected to Syariah (law)?”
“We plead to the authority for understanding on the predicaments of the local bumiputeras and to allow them to decide on their religion. I feel that Indonesia, a predominantly and easily the most populous Muslim country provides the best example for Malaysia in as far as religious practices are concerned.”
Reasons for complaint
In their police report, the two complainants pointed out that apostasy is not allowed by Islam and “is the very antithesis of the religion”.
“By raising the prospect of allowing murtad (apostasy), Dompok clearly has bad intentions,” said Sabah PAS Youth acting deputy chief Lahirul Latigu.
“This can create a tense situation among the people in the state and disrupt the racial harmony which has long prevailed (here).”
Both contended that Dompok has ignored advice by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, not to dispute or raise sensitive issues which touch on “Islam, Malay Rulers and the rights of the Malays”.
Dompok also pointed out in his remarks that he had raised “some of the prime concerns of a multiracial Malaysia in his speech at the Upko convention last year” which the premier had attended.
“These concerns were also in the memorandum that was sent to the prime minister (in January 2006) by nine (of the 10 non-Muslim) ministers. I was a signatory to this memorandum. Sadly, those who signed it were later asked to withdraw it,” added Dompok.
“I did not withdraw my signature because I felt that there was nothing improper in the memorandum. Indeed, the contents were very much consonant with the effort by the government to strive for a Malaysia that recognises the (special) position of Islam within the federation and the rights of others to practise the religion of their choice”.
As a student I knew of the horrors of the Holocaust and other human tragedies, but merely as a distant thunder: The violation of human rights and crimes against humanity were only an abstract notion.
That was all fated to change with my arrest under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) of Malaysia, which allows for indefinite detention without trial. My crime? I had known Anwar Ibrahim, the deputy prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia, as a close personal friend for many years. We shared and strove for a vision of life firmly rooted in human dignity. We struggled for building an intellectual and political milieu for free expression. Together, we subscribed to the idea of economic prosperity, gender and racial equality and a civil society.
Alas, the Malaysian dictator, Mahathir, under the growing burden of corruption and cronyism, conspired to halt the march of freedom. In order to build his fraudulent case against Anwar, Mahathir himself ordered my arrest.
My kidnapping and detention by the infamous Malaysian Special Branch taught me how it feels to be forcibly separated from one’s wife and children. How it feels to be searched and seized, disallowed to make phone calls, handcuffed, blindfolded, stripped naked, driven in an animal cage, shaven bald, endlessly interrogated, humiliated, drugged, deprived of sleep, physically abused. What it’s like to be threatened, blackmailed, tormented by police lawyers, brutalized to make a totally false confession, hospitalized for a consequent heart ailment, and treated as a psychiatric patient with symptoms of Stockholm syndrome.