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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PAS’s non-Muslim supporters to abide by leadership’s call on position in Pakatan

The non-Muslim supporters’ wing of PAS in Penang will respect the party’s central leadership decision on its future in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition despite harbouring hopes that a break-up will not happen.

Asokan Perumal, who heads the Penang island branch of the PAS Supporters Club, appeared unfazed at the controversy over the Islamist party’s conflicting position in backing PKR’s Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor menteri besar.

“We will stand by the decision of the PAS leadership,” Asokan said, adding that whatever the decision, they will not interfere.

“We are just waiting for a final decision from the president and deputy president.”

However, Asokan said that the kinship among Pakatan members in Penang was strong and hoped that a break-up of the coalition would not materialise.

An example of this close relationship was the recent trip by Asokan and two DAP lawmakers to visit PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat who was warded at Hospital USM Kubang Kerian in Kelantan two weeks ago.

Asokan made the goodwill visit with DAP’s Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh and Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer.

Under Asokan’s leadership, the club in Penang has been a visible force in Pakatan's political activities, such as during the recent campaigning for the Bukit Gelugor parliamentary by-election.

The club also spearheads inter-faith programmes between PAS and non-Muslim groups in the state, together with PAS national unity bureau chief Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

The PAS leadership is scheduled to meet on August 10 when a decision on Khalid's position will be made. The decision is expected to determine the future of PAS in the opposition coalition.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is opposed to replacing Khalid as menteri besar despite the Pakatan presidential council having agreed on July 23 that a replacement was necessary.

Nik Aziz has backed Hadi on the matter, while PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu has described Hadi’s stand as his “personal” view.

The issue took a more sinister turn when screenshots of a WhatsApp discussion among PAS’s central committee members went viral online yesterday, showing the members discussing a possible break-up from Pakatan.

PAS’s research centre operations director Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki allegedly described a scenario in which PAS and Umno members in Selangor could team up with Khalid, who is the Ijok assembly rep, to form a new state government there.

The screenshots also showed him saying that the “political boundaries” of Selangor could be changed by the end of the year to return political power to Malay-Muslims. – July 29, 2014.

PAS issues gag order on Selangor MB issue, says report

PAS has issued a gag order on its leaders at all levels from discussing openly Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s position as Selangor menteri besar as cracks emerged over the party’s stand on the matter, reported Harakahdaily.

The PAS mouthpiece quoted PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali as calling on its members to wait for the outcome of its August 10 meeting where a decision on Khalid's position will be made.

"There have been many statements issued on the matter, some of which resulted in personal attacks among PAS leaders," Mustafa was quoted as saying by Harakahdaily.

"All members should remember to conduct themselves in a civilised manner. Any differences of opinion ?should be discussed in an appropriate manner.”

Mustafa appealed to party members and leaders to stop discussing the Khalid issue in public as it could lead to the party's credibility and reputation being tarnished.

The gag order comes after PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had endorsed Khalid as menteri besar after the Pakatan Rakyat presidential council had agreed to replace him with Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Hadi was countered by his deputy, Mohamad Sabu, who said that it was merely the former Terengganu MB's "personal view".

Its influential spiritual leader, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, also backed Hadi.

The developments prompted PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to issue a terse statement saying the party would stick to PR's decision that Khalid had to make way for Dr Wan Azizah.

Khalid, a former corporate captain, was appointed MB six years ago after PKR and its allies scored a shock win over Barisan Nasional (BN) in the state in the 2008 general election.

But he has often been accused by his detractors of running the state without consulting his party, PKR, and the Pakatan leadership.

He had also been criticised for his handling of issues, such as water rationing, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department's seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles and support for the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex), which upset some Pakatan leaders as it was seen as going against the pact's election manifesto to abolish tolled highways.

Khalid, meanwhile, remained adamant that he would serve out his term. – July 29, 2014.

This is all about Hadi v moderates in PAS

Thank you, Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki.

Thank you, for your honesty and bringing into the open what many supporters of Pakatan Rakyat have suspected for a while now and which The Malaysian Insider has touched on in the last few days: that the removal of Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as the Selangor menteri besar has become a sideshow.

The real issue is the percolating fight in PAS between those aligned to party president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who are more comfortable sharing power with Umno than with PKR and DAP.

It is a fight within PAS on whether the Islamist party should continue to preach the Pakatan Rakyat mantra of inclusiveness and justice for all Malaysians or return to its narrow path of Malay and Muslim supremacy.

This battle in PAS will reach a crescendo on August 10 when the party leaders meet. But in the meantime, both factions – the moderate, professional class and the hardliners – are engaged in a sizzling behind-the-scenes war of words.

And this was the context in which Zuhdi's WhatsApp message was leaked out. To be fair to the director of operations of the PAS Research Centre, no one knows what comment from the other PAS CWC member or member elicited that response from him.

Besides calling Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a dictator and wishing that he retired from politics, Zuhdi also offered a political scenario out of the Khalid impasse: that PAS form a simple-majority government with Umno and retain Khalid as MB.

Zuhdi has been put to the sword on social media platforms and given the antipathy of the party grassroots towards Umno, any move to join forces with Umno could really split Pas down the centre. But that is a story for another time.

Zuhdi has been on the defensive but really, he does not need to defend his remarks.

It is good that voters know the thinking of those aligned to Hadi. It is important that voters understand that what is at stake is not a simple change of the chief executive of Selangor.

The PAS hardliners are entitled to change course, bail out of Pakatan Rakyat and return to the welcoming embrace of like-minded religious and racial chauvinists in Umno.

Apparently, PAS hardliners find it suffocating having to share power with DAP and PKR elected representatives, and they believe that Islam is under threat and that non-Muslims and liberal Muslims must be kept in their place.

Good luck to the Hadi camp. But what about the so-called professionals and moderates?

They know the position of the hardliners. Are they also going to turn their backs on a more inclusive Malaysia?

Are they going to forget the legions of Malaysians who tossed aside decades of misgivings about PAS to vote for PAS candidates contesting under the Pakatan Rakyat banner in 2008 and 2013?

Are they willing to join forces with Umno politicians with whom they have battled so vigorously on the corrosive issues of corruption, race and religion?

In short, are the moderates going to sell out the people who put them in office?

It may have started out as the “Kajang move” or the grand plan to remove Khalid as Selangor MB, but today, it is much more than that.

It is about the future of PAS, the future of Pakatan Rakyat. And allowing Umno back into power through the back door. – July 29, 2014.

Saya tidak sokong usul PAS keluar Pakatan, kata Zuhdi

Berikutan mesej WhatsAppnya yang tersebar luas, Pengarah Operasi Pusat Penyelidikan PAS (PPP) Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki menjelaskan dalam status Facebooknya yang dia tidak termasuk dalam senarai mereka yang menyokong usul PAS keluar daripada Pakatan Rakyat.

"Saya menegaskan saya tidak termasuk dalam senarai mereka yang menyokong usul keluar PR itu.

“Semoga dengan penjelasan ini, nama saya dapat dibersihkan daripada tanggapan buruk pelbagai golongan ekoran sikap segelintir pihak di dalam PAS yang membangkitkan fitnah yang sedang tidur."

Katanya kesyahduan hari terakhir Ramadan Ahad lalu dicemarkan oleh tindakan segelintir pihak dalam PAS yang membocorkan maklumat perbincangan yang sulit dan rahsia dalam kumpulan WhatsApp AJK PAS Pusat.

Tindakan tersebut membangkitkan “fitnah yang sedang tidur” pada hari yang sepatutnya ditumpukan kepada ibadah sebagaimana nasihat Mursyidul Am PAS Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, katanya.

Zuhdi mendakwa tindakan membocorkan maklumat perbincangan itu dipercayai dilakukan oleh salah seorang ahli dalam kumpulan WhatsApp itu.

"Ia dilakukan untuk memalitkan nama saya dengan gerakan untuk membawa PAS keluar dari PR, setelah saya melakukan beberapa kritikan keras ke atas Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim berhubung kemelut isu menteri besar Selangor," katanya.

Status WhatsApp Zuhdi yang tersebar luas berbunyi: “Kalau kita keluar PR kita boleh retain Selangor malah untuk seterusnya. Kita 15 kerusi+TSKI+seorang lagi Adun PKR+12 Umno, dah bentuk simple majoriti. Umno dalam kenyataannya mutakhir ini boleh terima TSKI jadi MB."

"Lepas ini kalau DAP, gereja dan non-Muslim melalak isu serbuan, kalimah Allah, kita boleh jentik saja mereka. Hujung tahun ini ubah sempadan kembalikan semula kuasa politik Melayu Islam. So mana-mana suara non-muslim, gereja, kita boleh sergah macam sebelum ini.”

Zuhdi sebelum ini di dalam Facebooknya mengkritik cara Anwar menguruskan PR dan menggelar Ketua Umum PKR itu “diktator”.

Pada hari Ahad, dia juga menulis: "Setelah beberapa status ini, sempena Hari Raya yang mulia saya mengucapkan Eidul Fitri al-Mubarak kepada Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, maaf zahir dan batin dengan harapan tulus ikhlas 'bersaralah dari politik, dah banyak sangat rakyat Malaysia seluruh lapisan dilibatkan dengan agenda peribadi Datuk Seri'."

Zuhdi menjelaskan maklumat perbincangan yang dibocorkan itu sebenarnya merupakan responnya kepada permintaan ahli kumpulan supaya mengemukakan “analisis senario” terhadap cadangan seorang pimpinan kanan PAS yang mengusulkan parti itu keluar PR.

"Usul PAS keluar dari PR itu disokong kuat oleh tidak kurang 10 orang anggota dalam kumpulan WhatsApp itu, yang sebahagian besar mereka amat rapat dengan Anwar.

"Mereka menyambut usul keluar PR yang dicadangkan itu, dengan ada yang menambah, mesyuarat PAS Pusat pada 10 Ogos akan datang hendaklah mendahulukan perbincangan usul ini daripada membincangkan kemelut isu MB Selangor.

"Terdapat juga yang menyarankan, PAS lebih baik bersendirian supaya ahli-ahli PAS lebih bebas mengkritik dan mencegah kemungkaran sebagaimana ketegasan PAS yang dikenali sebelum ini," kata Zuhdi.

Berikutan dengan perbincangan itu, Zuhdi berkata dia mencadangkan supaya dibuat analisis senario apa yang akan berlaku jika PAS keluar PR dari segi kerajaan negeri yang PAS bersama di dalamnya, situasi penerimaan ahli-ahli dan lain-lain.

Cadangannya itu diterima ahli kumpulan itu dan mereka memintanya mengemukakannya.

Disebabkan permintaan tersebut, dia melakukan analisis ringkas tersebut dengan membayangkan senario yang akan berlaku jika PAS keluar PR.

"Untuk melakukan analisis senario ini, selain daripada memerlukan fakta-fakta semasa, daya imaginasi penganalisis juga harus diambil kira," katanya.

Sebelum ini, ahli Parlimen Seremban yang juga Setiausaha DAP Loke Siew Fook berkata mana-mana pemimpin dalam PR yang berimaginasi untuk keluar dari gabungan itu perlu dikutuk sekeras-kerasnya.

Dia juga menyeru pimpinan PAS Pusat mengambil pendirian tegas menjauhkan diri daripada cadangan itu.

Pengarah Strategi PKR Rafizi Ramli pula berkata tindakan disiplin harus diambil atas Zuhdi kerana membuat kenyataan yang tidak boleh diterima dan mengkhianati PKR dan DAP. – 29 Julai, 2014.

Selangor MB crisis: State polls breaking point for Pakatan

KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is trying to avoid snap polls in Selangor as a way to end the tussle for the mentri besar’s post, sources said, as early elections may worsen the cracks in the three-party coalition that rules the state.

Malay Mail Online understands that some PR officials are hesitant to convene a special state assembly sitting to trigger a motion of no-confidence against mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, believing it would pit PKR and DAP against PAS, which in turn may receive support from rivals Umno.

“If a motion of no-confidence is called against MB Khalid, there is a strong possibility that the vote will be split right down the middle,” said Khalid Samad, a Selangor PAS federal lawmaker.

Assuming that Khalid Ibrahim votes against any no-confidence motion, DAP and PKR together have 28 votes in the state assembly, exactly one half of the 56-seat House.

If Umno’s 12 lawmakers and all 15 PAS reps back Khalid Ibrahim who also backs himself, there could be 28 votes against the no-confidence motion, leaving the state assembly in deadlock.

“This in turn would be good grounds for immediate state polls,” Khalid Samad told Malay Mail Online.

Over the weekend, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng warned of a possible break-up in the PR coalition if PAS continues to resist moves to unseat Khalid Ibrahim.

The Penang lawmaker said a break-up would splinter the opposition and dent PR’s credibility.

Acknowledging the bleak outcome, Khalid Samad said snap polls should be PR’s last resort.

“If this (snap polls) does happen, it would mean that we (PAS) have given up on prioritising our relationship with Pakatan.

“If this happens, it would mean that PAS breaks away from PR,” Khalid Samad added, saying that his party needs to make a choice and evaluate the importance of maintaining good ties with PKR and DAP.

“The issue boils down to a choice between Pakatan or Tan Sri Khalid. If PAS still backs Khalid, PAS risks its relationship with PKR, DAP who want Khalid out,” the PAS leader said.

Asked if he was surprised with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s support for Khalid Ibrahim, he said: “I was surprised that he decided to make his views public.”

Last Friday, Hadi publicly expressed his support for Khalid Ibrahim to remain as Selangor mentri besar despite allies PKR and the DAP’s open declaration that they want him replaced.

“I have heard all the arguments, and I find that the majority of PAS grassroots are in agreement that Khalid Ibrahim should remain as mentri besar,” Hadi was quoted as saying in Terengganu.

PKR and DAP sources told Malay Mail Online that both parties were shocked by Hadi’s announcement as it went against what was agreed upon by PAS during PR’s presidential council meeting last Wednesday.

“You have to differentiate Hadi’s position and the position of other PAS leaders. Hadi supports Khalid, for reasons known to him, but other PAS leaders have agreed as part of a PR consensus that Khalid has to be removed,” one Selangor DAP leader said on condition of anonymity.

Ibrahim Suffian, the director of pollsters Merdeka Center, said that calling for a state election would almost certainly result in a permanent rift between PAS and its PR allies, but added that Hadi’s open defiance is “not completely new”.

Ibrahim pointed out that as an ally, PAS has not always been “completely loyal” to PR, and that under Hadi’s leadership, the Islamist party had repeatedly entertained unity talks with rivals Umno for the sake of “Malay unity.”

“The question now is how far will PAS party leaders go along with Hadi’s stand? And if PAS wants to remain and preserve ties with Pakatan, should Hadi himself be given the mandate to continue to lead? Is he leading PAS in the right direction?” the political analyst told Malay Mail Online.

Khalid Ibrahim survived his own party’s abortive “Kajang Move” to oust him from the position last March, but fresh controversies in the state have renewed the push to have him replaced.

Among others, these include the still-unresolved row over the seizure of bibles in the state and Khalid’s perceived bias in favour of the developers of the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex), a project facing mounting opposition from residents.

A major barrier to Khalid’s removal was the absence of a clear candidate to replace him, but clearing that hurdle, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has been nominated as his successor. 

Zuhdi khianat Pakatan, kata PKR

Pengarah Strategi PKR Mohd Rafizi Ramli menganggap kenyataan Pengarah Pusat Penyelidikan Operasi PAS Pusat Dr Zuhdi Marzuki yang mempertimbangkan supaya PAS keluar Pakatan Rakyat (PR) tidak boleh diterima dan mengkhianati PKR dan DAP.

Rafizi berkata, cadangan Zuhdi itu melanggar pelbagai dasar, ketetapan dan perjanjian yang dibuat oleh PAS dalam Pakatan termasuk Buku Jingga.

"Perbezaan pendapat memang dibenarkan di dalam mana-mana organisasi.

"Namun, pendapat dan sentimen yang dizahirkan oleh seorang Pengarah Operasi Pusat Penyelidikan PAS ini yang lebih biasa kita dengar dari Perkasa dan Isma memberi gambaran bahawa masih ada unsur-unsur yang khianat kepada prinsip Pakatan Rakyat di dalam pucuk pimpinan PAS, walaupun PAS mendapat laba (keuntungan) besar dari kebersamaan di dalam Pakatan Rakyat," katanya dalam kenyataan hari ini.

Katanya, PKR kecewa apabila Zuhdi sehingga kini langsung tidak menafikan atau memberi penjelasan sebenar tentang mesej itu.

"Selepas komunikasi WhatsApp dia bocor kepada umum, dia sedikit pun tidak menafikan menulis mesej itu, malah cuba memberi pelbagai alasan," katanya.

Sehubungan itu, Rafizi mahu Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang mengambil tindakan disiplin terhadap Zuhdi kerana mengemukakan cadangan khianat kepada perjanjian yang dimeterai PAS dengan Pakatan dan rakyat yang mengundi mereka.

Beliau juga menyeru pemimpin PAS Pusat supaya menghentikan sikap berpura-pura di hadapan umum sehingga merosakkan pandangan bukan Islam terhadap mesej "Islam membawa rahmat ke seluruh alam" yang dibawa PAS sendiri.

"Berapa ramai lagi dari kalangan pimpinan pusat PAS yang berpandangan perkauman dan anti demokrasi seperti ini supaya kita tahu pendirian mereka, bukannya bermuka-muka di depan dan mengutarakan cadangan yang khianat kepada Pakatan dalam perbincangan tertutup seperti Zuhdi ini," soalnya.

Zuhdi dalam perbualan WhatsApp kumpulan AJK PAS Pusat mencadangkan PAS keluar Pakatan dan bersama-sama Umno menyokong Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim dikekalkan sebagai menteri besar.

Beliau juga mencadangkan supaya seorang Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) PKR lompat parti masuk PAS dan bergabung dengan Umno sekaligus membentuk kerajaan perpaduan.

Malah turut meramalkan PAS akan mengembalikan kuasa politik Melayu-Islam di Selangor dan mahu menafikan isu hak agama lain termasuk isu gereja dan kalimah Allah.

"Zuhdi melanggar ketetapan muktamar PAS yang menolak kerajaan perpaduan dengan Umno dan bercanggah dengan janji PAS yang menandatangani Dasar Bersama Pakatan Rakyat untuk menjunjung keadilan semua kaum dan menolak perkauman sempit.

"Ia juga bercanggah dengan komitmen PAS untuk memberi keadilan kepada semua semasa menandatangani Manifesto Rakyat Pakatan Rakyat dalam PRU13 serta piagam bersama Bersih 2.0 yang memperjuangkan pilihan raya adil dan bersih," kata Rafizi. – 29 Julai, 2014.

PRS will veto new parties’ application to join Barisan, says Masing

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) will veto the application of the state's two newest political parties to join Barisan Nasional if the parties insisted on defending seats which they won while representing other BN component parties.

PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) said he would “play by the BN rules” on seat allocation and consensus, and would object if the two parties did not relinquish their claims on the seats currently held by assemblymen.

The two parties are the United People's Party (UPP), formed by sacked and former members of the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) with state Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh as president, and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), formed by former Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) members and headed by Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan.

Mawan was also the former SPDP president, who quit the party when threatened with a vote of no-confidence.

Under BN’s rules, seats are allocated to a party, not incumbent.

In this case, the seats now held by the assemblymen who joined UPP are SUPP seats. Likewise, the seats held by assemblymen who joined Teras are those allocated to SPDP.

The key figures in UPP include three former SUPP assemblymen – Datuk Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Ranum Mina (Opar) and Johnicol Rayong (Engkilili) – while the senior office-bearers in Teras are Tasik Biru assemblyman and Assistant Industrial Development Minister Datuk Peter Nansian , Assistant Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Rosey Yunus (Bekenu), Assistant Public Utilities Minister Datuk Sylvester Entrie Muran (Marudi) and Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Gumbang.

Rosey, at Teras' first party elections last Saturday, was elected senior vice-president, with Entrie as secretary-general and Gumbang treasurer-general.

“The rule of the BN must not be changed to serve a particular purpose,” Masing said when asked about his party’s position after the two parties handed in their applications to Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem at his Hari Raya open house at the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching.

“I will play by the rules of the game that were in place from the very beginning.

“You can't keep on changing the goal posts just to suit their needs,” he said, implying that both Wong and Mawan abided by the BN rules when they were in BN but ignored them when they were out of the coalition.

“The rules are there to keep us intact and that is why BN has been around for 40 years.

“You do not change them for convenience sake,” said Masing whose PRS is the second largest component party in Sarawak  BN.

BN has set a precedent on the seat issue.

Prior to the 2008 general election, the members of parliament of the deregistered Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), who had joined SPDP to “stay in the BN”, were given the ultimatum of resigning from SPDP and joining PRS, the “natural successor” of PBDS, or risk being dropped from defending their seats on the BN ticket as those seats belonged to PRS.

Masing said while BN was no nearer to finding a solution to the latest crisis, he is “very confident” it would reach one soon.

“We can do it (find a solution) in six months but the question is 'do we have the will power to do it?’” – July 29, 2014.

PAS moves to distance party from viral WhatsApp text

PAS has moved to diffuse tension over a controversial WhatsApp message from a central committee member, saying that the scenario outlined for the party in the message, if it left Pakatan Rakyat, was not its stand.

Its Research Centre executive director, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, said Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki's opinion in the WhatsApp message, which has gone viral, was not backed up by the centre’s findings.

Zuhdi, who is the research centre's operations director, said if PAS left Pakatan and joined forces with Umno, the new pact could still govern Selangor with Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim remaining as menteri besar as a state government with a simple majority.

Dzulkefly said that Zuhdi's opinion was a private one, made informally, adding that PAS – which allowed its members to have differing opinions – could not be held responsible for any controversial statements or private analysis of its members.

"I would like to stress that the scenario described by Dr Zuhdi does not reflect PAS's stand and also does not represent the findings of the PAS Research Centre," he said in a statement today.

"In the context of the controversial discussion in the PAS central committee WhatsApp group, I would like to emphasise that this scenario was not the only one raised in his 'planning scenario'.”

Other scenarios were also discussed in the group, including the "worst case" scenario should the Islamist party leave Pakatan Rakyat.

"PAS will still stand steadfastly with Pakatan Rakyat, carrying the common policy framework together as has been stressed repeatedly by PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and president (Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang)," Dzulkefly added.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli today demand that PAS take disciplinary action against Zuhdi.

He also hit out at  Zuhdi for the racial and religious tone in the leaked message.

"What is the disciplinary action to be taken against Zuhdi, who had suggested a treacherous proposal, going against the agreement inked between PAS and Pakatan and the people who had voted for PAS and Pakatan?

"We want to know how many from the PAS central leadership hold such racist and anti-democratic views like Zuhdi," he said in a statement today.

The question of PAS leaving the loose coalition arose in recent days following the party's resistance to PKR's plan on removing Khalid as Selangor MB and replacing him with PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Hadi had publicly backed Khalid, causing friction among PKR and PAS.

Zuhdi, had also said that if PAS left PR, its alliance with Umno could brush off complaints by DAP, churches and non-Muslims about issues concerning the use of the word “Allah” and the seizure of Bibles by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department.

In a Facebook posting, Zuhdi had also lashed out at opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, calling him a "dictator" for the way he managed PR.

He also said that his Hari Raya wish was for Anwar to retire. – July 29, 2014.

Netizens lash out at PAS over divisive Selangor MB issue

Netizens are angry with PAS over their resistance to removing Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor menteri besar, with many calling for the Islamist party to leave Pakatan Rakyat.

Others hit out at the loosely-held coalition over the "mess" in Selangor, saying that PR was bound to lose Malaysia's richest state to Barisan Nasional if it did not resolve the matter soon.

"This may be a blessing in disguise – Purging Pakatan of those whose vision is too small and doesn't include Putrajaya, @MengoYee tweeted, referring to Islamic party PAS.

@kcwai said: "So, Hadi is willing to lose Sgor to BN in GE14 despite calls to remove Khalid as MB, just like how PAS lost Kedah?"

The user was referring to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who has publicly thrown his support behind Khalid and said he disagreed with replacing the latter.

"PAS needs to be split instead. Then the moderates can continue to ensure PR thrives. Enough of proUmno gang antics," said @kcwai.

Twitter user @oonyeoh concurred, saying: "Never mind, I'm prepared to see PAS return to its old days of being an opposition party that can win only Kelantan.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had said earlier that the refusal of PAS to respect and adhere to views agreed together could lead to the break up of the coalition.

"If the decisions we have achieved together in the Pakatan highest leadership council is dismissed just like that by one party, the survival and credibility of Pakatan will continue to be undermined," he had said.

@lawofmalaysia warned that: "if this happens PAS will lose all non-Malay support in Selangor!"

"Its for Pakatan to lose rather than BN to win," said @SharaadKuttan.

Others hit out at the coalition saying that the support for Pakatan could dwindle following the differences in opinion within the parties.

"Paras air di empangan-empangan di Selangor mungkin sama rendah dengan paras sokongan rakyat Selangor kepada Pakatan. aku rasa la," said @norman__g. (the water level in Selangor dams is probably the same level as the support of the people of Selangor towards Pakatan, I feel).

@askaychan added: "The political game in Selangor for MB post amidst the tragedies of MH370, MH17 and Gaza is downright disgusting."

@ahmadridzalman also said" "100% agree..mmg padan muka kalau hilang kuasa disebabkan isu ini." (I agree would serve them right if they lost their power because of this issue."

PKR initiated the "Kajang move" to replace Khalid with its de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after numerous complaints against the two-term MB for running the state unilaterally without consulting his party PKR as well as the national Pakatan leadership.

He had also been criticised for his handling of issues, such as water rationing, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department's seizure of Bahasa Malaysia and Iban-language Bibles and support for the Kinrara Damansara Expressway (Kidex), which upset some Pakatan leaders as it was seen as going against the pact's election manifesto to abolish tolled highways.

Anwar was supposed to run as the party's candidate in the Kajang by-election but the plan was scuttled after the Court of Appeal found him guilty of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

His wife, PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail ran in Anwar’s place and won the state seat and has been endorsed by PKR as the candidate for the Selangor MB post and a consensus was reached at the PR leadership council meeting on Wednesday.

However, Khalid has remained adamant that he would not step down as MB, saying he would continue to hold the post until his term ended.

Hadi’s endorsement of Khalid, followed immediately by his deputy president Mohamad Sabu's reply that Hadi was merely expressing his "personal view", might split the Islamist party.

Influential PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat also weighed in on the issue, backing Hadi's support for Khalid. – July 28, 2014.

It was only a study, Zuhdi says of contentious WhatsApp texts

Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki today defended his controversial WhatsApp messages, in which he had discussed possible scenarios if the party was to leave Pakatan Rakyat, saying he was asked by others in the group to analyse the situation in Selangor.

The PAS research centre operations director said the screenshot of his analysis on the WhatsApp group, which had gone viral, was based on the proposal of a senior PAS leader who had put forward a motion for PAS to leave the PR coalition.

"The discussion which was leaked was my response to members of the WhatsApp group who had asked me to present a 'scenario analysis' about the proposal by a PAS leader to leave PR.

"The motion to leave PR was strongly supported by not less than 10 members in the WhatsApp group, many of whom are close to (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim," he said in a statement, adding that he was not one of the 10 who had supported this motion.

Zuhdi had come under fire for the WhatsApp messages, in which he said that if PAS should leave Pakatan, the party could still retain Selangor with Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim remaining as menteri besar, if it joined forces with Umno to form the state government with a simple majority.

He also said that should DAP, the church and non-Muslims bring up issues concerning the usage of the word “Allah” and the seizure of the Bibles by the state religious department, PAS-Umno would be able to frisk off their complaints.

Zuhdi said some members in the group had also suggested that the party should focus on discussing whether or not to leave PR in its central leadership meeting on August 10, instead of the Selangor menteri besar crisis.

"There were some who had said that it was better for PAS to be alone so that its members were freer to criticise and prevent vices as how it was known for previously."

Zuhdi said he suggested that they do a "scenario analysis" of what would happen if PAS opted out of the PR coalition that formed the Selangor state government, the acceptance of other members and others.

"This suggestion was welcomed by all and I was asked to present it. As such, I began making brief analysis, imagining the possible scenarios if PAS left PR. Besides current facts, the imagination of the analyst has to be taken into account. "

Zuhdi said that in the leaked discussion, he had presented a scenario, from the perspective of the state government's position and PAS's freedom in facing DAP and other parties which can be achieved if they left PR.

He also hit out at the person who had leaked the Whatsapp messages, saying that he believed it was done by someone in the PAS Central Committee WhatsApp group.

"This shows that the individual is really rotten. It was done to link my name to the proposal to bring PAS out of PR after I had strongly criticised Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the MB crisis in Selangor."

He added that he hoped that his name would be cleared following his explanation over the matter.

DAP and PKR had called on the leadership of PAS to make a firm stand over the issue, with DAP's Anthony Loke saying that its proposal to join Umno to form the Selangor state government is a betrayal to PR and to the people of Selangor.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli called on PAS to take disciplinary action against Zuhdi and hit out at him for the racial and religious tone in the leaked message. – July 29, 2014.

Muhyiddin bimbang isu tukar MB Selangor jejas rundingan penstrukturan air

Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (gambar) hari ini melahirkan kebimbangan isu penukaran Menteri Besar Selangor akan menjejaskan rundingan penstrukturan semula industri perkhidmatan bekalan air di negeri itu yang kini sudah di peringkat akhir.

Beliau berkata jika Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim ditukar, persoalan besar yang timbul ialah sama ada rundingan itu akan diteruskan atau dibatalkan.

Jika dibatalkan, katanya, ia bukan sahaja menjejaskan bekalan air kepada rakyat Selangor malah penduduk di kawasan Lembah Klang.

"Soal yang boleh timbul, yang rakyat Selangor harus tanya, kalau berlaku perubahan Menteri Besar, (adakah) kontrak yang dipersetujui ini terbatal ataupun tidak diteruskan, langkah-langkah untuk mengambil alih konsesi yang telah dirunding oleh kerajaan Selangor yang sedia ada ini juga terbatal?" katanya.

Muhyiddin, yang juga Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kabinet Khas Mengenai Isu Air Selangor, berkata demikian kepada pemberita semasa Majlis Ramah Mesra Aidilfitri Bersama Media di kediamannya di Muar hari ini.

Beliau berkata kerajaan pusat sedang memerhati keadaan di Selangor dengan rapi kerana semua pihak, khususnya rakyat, mahu politik di negeri itu stabil dan kerajaan pusat juga tidak mahu pelaksanaan projek Empangan Langat 2 terganggu.

Muhyiddin juga berharap hubungan baik yang dijalin Khalid dengan kerajaan pusat dapat diteruskan.

Selain itu, beliau berkata isu berkenaan menimbulkan kekeliruan dalam kalangan rakyat berkaitan hala tuju kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat di Selangor.

"Apa akan jadi lepas ni? Khalid disokong oleh PAS tetapi tak disokong oleh pemimpin parti dia sendiri.

"Apakah (jawatan) MB Selangor itu hak milik PKR sahaja ataupun ia diputuskan atas muafakat Pakatan Rakyat?" soal beliau. – Bernama, 29 Julai, 2014.

Keputusan kalimah ‘Allah’ boleh pengaruh undi rakyat Sabah Sarawak?

Di sebalik pelbagai ketegangan sekitar perkataan 'Allah' dan sama ada bukan Islam boleh menggunakannya atau tidak, konflik tersebut langsung tidak menjejaskan mereka yang selalu menggunakannya.

Hampir dua pertiga daripada 2.9 juta penganut Kristian di Malaysia berada di Malaysia Timur. Hari ini, mereka masih menggunakan kalimah Allah di gereja mereka.

Penduduk Malaysia Timur bercakap tentang kontroversi itu seolah-olah ia satu kisah terpencil yang berlaku di sebuah tempat yang pelik di kalangan penghuni yang berbeza daripada mereka.

Walaupun sebenarnya Borneo dan Semenanjung Malaysia membentuk satu negara.

Malah, orang Islam di Sabah dan Sarawak juga menggaru kepala bila ditanya pandangan mereka tentang kalimah itu yang menjadi isu besar di Semenanjung.

Persoalannya sekarang, adakah perasaan mereka terhadap kontroversi itu akan diterjemahkan ke dalam bentuk undian?

Yang berbeza kali ini berbanding tahun lepas sebelum Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU13) ialah, beberapa pihak berkuasa agama di Semenanjung serius hendak menguatkuasakan larangan penggunaan kalimah ini di negeri mereka.

Pada masa yang sama, mahkamah tertinggi negara membuat keputusan mingguan Katolik, Herald, tidak boleh menggunakan kalimah itu dalam edisi Bahasa Malaysianya.

Jadi, adakah perkembangan terbaru ini akan menjadi puncak kemarahan rakyat biasa di Sabah dan Sarawak untuk menyokong Barisan Nasional dan Umno?

Kemarahan menebal tetapi tiada kesan

Pada PRU13 dan pilihan raya Sarawak pada 2011, isu kalimah Allah hampir tiada kesan atas pengundi di pedalaman, majoritinya penganut Kristian yang berbahasa Melayu, walaupun isu itu menarik perhatian ramai di peringkat negara.

Contohnya, sebulan sebelum pilihan raya Sarawak, dua konsaimen Bible Bahasa Malaysia untuk dihantar ke Kuching ditahan di Pelabuhan Klang dan Pelabuhan Kuching.

Pemimpin Kristian berang. Putrajaya segera merangka solusi 10 perkara supaya Bible yang ditahan dapat dilepaskan dan penganut Kristian boleh menggunakannya.

Isu itu menjadi hangat semasa pilihan raya Sarawak tetapi nampak kecil disebabkan isu lain.

Yang mendominasi kempen pilihan raya waktu itu ialah dakwaan skandal korupsi ketua menteri waktu itu, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud dan kehilangan tanah pribumi.

Pengundi bandar seperti di Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Miri dan Kuching menolak BN. Tetapi ia tidak pasti sama ada ia disebabkan isu kalimah Allah atau bukan.

Contohnya, kebanyakan undi yang BN hilang pada 2011 dan 2013 adalah dari masyarakat China.

Pensyarah ekonomi politik dari Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Prof Madya Dr Andrew Aeria berkata ramai masyarakat China menunjukkan protes dengan tidak mengundi BN di Sarawak.

“Mereka hendakkan bahagian mereka dari segi pembangunan dan projek. Kalau ketua menteri baru boleh memenuhi permintaan mereka ini, dia boleh memenangi mereka kembali."

Senario pasca 2013

Namun selepas 2013, pihak berkuasa Islam mula menunjukkan taring. Lebih kurang 300 Bible dirampas di Selangor dan pihak yang bertanggungjawab enggan memulangkannya kepada Persatuan Bible Malaysia (BSM).

Hingga hari ini, mereka tidak mempedulikan keputusan Peguam Negara yang mengatakan mereka tiada kes terhadap BSM, sebaliknya mereka mahu membawa BSM ke mahkamah.

Sebelum itu, Mahkamah Persekutuan pada Oktober tahun lepas mengekalkan larangan penggunaan kalimah Allah oleh Herald.

Tetapi, dalam temuramah pada minggu lepas dengan rakyat Kristian biasa di Sabah dan Sarawak, larangan itu nampaknya tidak menjejaskan mereka.

Gereja di Malaysia Timur masih bebas meggunakan kalimah Allah seperti selama lebih 100 tahun yang lepas, sementara orang Islam dalam pertubuhan sivil dan kepimpinan Barisan Nasional terus menerus menegaskan kontroversi kalimah Allah hanyalah "isu Semenanjung."

“Kami tidak berpegang pada pendirian yang sama seperti umat Islam di Semenanjung," kata setiausaha Yayasan Warisan Borneo Jalumin Bayogoh.

“Bagi kami orang Islam di sini, ia tidak menjadi satu masalah," katanya sebagai seorang Islam yang tinggal di Kota Kinabalu.

Penganut Kristian sementara itu bertegas mengatakan mereka akan terus menggunakan kalimah Allah walau apa pun keputusan dibuat Putrajaya atau negeri di Semenanjung.

“Apa pun undang-undang yang diluluskan atau mahkamah putuskan, orang di sini akan terus sembahyang menggunakan perkataan Allah. Siapa hendak halang?" kata James Guang, seorang eksekutif perniagaan di Miri.

"Polis? Boleh polis tangkap semua orang Kristian yang bersembahyang kepada Allah, lebih-lebih lagi mereka di kawasan pedalaman?”

Kalimah 'Allah' akan pengaruhi undian?

Walaupun kesannya kecil terhadap mereka, ramai di antara mereka kecewa dengan Putrajaya kerana membenarkan ia terjadi.

"Bagaimana satu negara boleh ada dua set undang-undang?" tanya Henry Mogindol dari Penampang, Sabah.

“Semua ini tidak masuk akal. Di Sabah boleh guna kalimah Allah, tetapi apabila kita ke Semenanjung, tidak boleh?"

Ramai juga percaya kali ini, pengundi Kristian mungkin terdorong untuk menolak BN disebabkan isu ini.

PRU berikutnya ialah empat tahun lagi, tetapi pilihan raya negeri Sarawak dijadualkan pada 2016.

“Umno sedang menjatuhkan BN (Sarawak). Inilah hakikatnya walaupun pendirian kerajaan negeri bertentangan dengan kerajaan Persekutuan,” kata Victor Keling, dari Kuching.

Guang berkata isu kalimah Allah akan meninggalkan kesan sekiranya paderi mula bercakap tentangnya kerana ia akan mempengaruhi jemaah mereka.

"Yang saya pasti, paderi di kawasan pedalaman memang tidak begitu gembira dengan kerajaan. Ini kerana, mereka tidak dapat pembiayaan kerajaan untuk memperbaiki gereja mereka.

Tiga tahun lepas, semasa pilihan raya negeri Sarawak, demikian keadaannya yang dijangkakan oleh pemerhati politik, yang kemarahan rakyat Kristian akan mempengaruhi undian mereka.

Tetapi ia tidak terjadi.

Seorang lagi pensyarah Unimas, Joseph Romanair berkata bagi kebanyakan penduduk pedalaman Sarawak, perkara asas seperti jalan kampung, bekalan elektrik dan air paip menjadi isu utama mereka.

Juga, memandangkan kerajaan Sarawak dan Sabah tidak menganggapnya satu isu, ia hampir tiada kesan langsung atas rakyat biasa di kalangan penganut Kristian.

Begitu juga dengan orang Islam di Malaysia Timur, mereka tidak merasakan ketegangan yang dialami saudara mereka di Semenanjung.

Ahli Parlimen dari Parti Bersatu Sabah Datuk Joniston Bangkuai berkata pembangkang cuba menggunakan isu kalimah Allah untuk kepentingan mereka semasa PRU13. Mereka mendakwa sekiranya BN berkuasa, Alkitab, iaitu Bible versi Melayu, akan dibakar.

“Tetapi, saya tanya rakyat, dan juga pembangkang, adakah benar ia berlaku?" kata Bangkuai, wakil rakyat Kiulu.

Dia percaya pembangkang akan terus menggunakan isu itu, tetapi kali ini BN boleh menjawab mengatakan semua itu satu pembohongan.

Jadi, walaupun ia hampir tiada kesan di Malaysia Timur, isu kalimah Allah mungkin akan terus disemarakkan oleh ahli politik demi kepentingan diri mereka sendiri. – 29 Julai, 2014.

Kutuk sekeras-kerasnya cadangan PAS keluar Pakatan, kata DAP

Terkilan dengan pendedahan mesej Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki dalam WhatsAppnya yang seolah-olah menyarankan PAS meninggalkan Pakatan Rakyat (PR) dan bekerjasama dengan Umno, Setiausaha DAP Loke Siew Fook menyeru pimpinan PAS Pusat mengambil pendirian tegas menjauhkan diri daripada cadangan itu.

Dalam satu kenyataan hari ini, ahli Parlimen Seremban itu juga berkata mana-mana pemimpin dalam PR yang berfikiran sebegitu dan melontarkan cadangan tersebut perlu dikutuk dengan sekeras-kerasnya.

Loke juga mahu PAS Pusat mengambil tindakan sewajarnya mengembalikan keyakinan penyokong PR di seluruh negara terhadap PAS yang selama ini mengekalkan imej positif.

Dia berkata sementara Zuhdi tidak menafikan menulis mesej tersebut, dia sebaliknya cuba mempertahankan dirinya dengan mengatakan apa yang ditulis itu adalah “analisis senario” kepada cadangan seorang pemimpin kanan PAS supaya PAS keluar dari PR.

"Analisis sebegini lebih-lebih lagi dari seorang pemimpin PAS Pusat adalah sangat tidak bertanggungjawab dan ada unsur membelot kepercayaan rakyat.

"Walaupun cadangan untuk kekal atau keluar dari PR adalah hak pimpinan PAS, namun cadangan untuk bergabung dengan Umno dan membentuk kerajaan negeri Selangor adalah satu pengkhianatan, bukan sahaja kepada PKR dan DAP, tetapi juga kepada rakyat Selangor yang memberikan mandat yang jelas kepada PR dalam PRU13.

"Mana-mana pemimpin yang berfikiran sebegitu dan melontarkan cadangan tersebut perlu dikutuk dengan sekeras-kerasnya," kata Loke.

Dia merujuk kepada mesej Zuhdi dalam kumpulan 'Whatsapp AJK PAS Pusat' yang berbunyi: “Kalau kita keluar PR kita boleh retain Selangor malah untuk seterusnya. Kita 15 kerusi + TSKI + seorang lagi Adun PKR + 12 Umno, dah bentuk simple majoriti. Umno dalam kenyataannya mutakhir ini boleh terima TSKI jadi MB. Lepas ini kalau DAP, gereja dan non Muslim melalak isu serbuan, kalimah Allah, kita boleh jentik saja mereka. Hujung tahun ini ubah sempadan kembalikan semula kuasa politik Melayu Islam. So mana-mana suara non-muslim, gereja, kita boleh sergah macam sebelum ini.”

Loke mengingatkan Zuhdi kerusi-kerusi yang dimenangi PAS di Selangor adalah di bawah payung PR kerana ketiga-tiga parti PAS, PKR dan DAP bertanding dalam PRU13 dengan satu manifesto bersama.

Loke berkata lebih mendukacitakan apabila Zuhdi, sebagai Pengarah Operasi Pusat Penyelidikan PAS yang sepatutnya diamanahkan sebagai “thinktank” kepada parti, boleh terfikir untuk “menjentik DAP, gereja dan non Muslim” apabila ada pandangan yang berbeza.

"Ke mana perginya sifat keterbukaan dan toleransi dalam slogan 'PAS for All'?" tanyanya.

Loke berkata dia tidak pernah membayangkan seorang pemimpin PAS boleh berimaginasi seperti Umno untuk mengembalikan kuasa politik Melayu Islam melalui persempadanan semula kawasan pilihan raya.

"Bukankah cadangan seperti ini seolah-olah bersekongkol dengan SPR dan tiada beza dengan agenda dari Perkasa?" katanya.

Cadangan dan pemikiran Zuhdi amat mencemarkan imej positif PAS yang selama ini dilihat sebagai sebuah parti politik yang memperjuangkan keadilan dan kuat berpegang kepada prinsip, kata Loke, sambil berkata beliau yakin majoriti pemimpin PAS Pusat amat tidak bersetuju dengan cadangan dan pandangan itu. – 29 Julai, 2014.

Retire, PAS member tells Anwar for dragging Malaysians into his personal agenda

PAS’s research centre operations director Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki has hit out at opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, calling him a "dictator" in the way he has managed Pakatan Rakyat.

Malaysiakini revealed that Zuhdi had lashed out at Anwar just a day before the portal reported his controversial messages in WhatsApp, in which several PAS leaders were discussing the possible scenarios if the party were to leave the opposition coalition.

Zuhdi in a Facebook posting had said that his Hari Raya wish was for Anwar to retire, the report said.

"I wish Eidul Fitri al-Mubarak to Anwar Ibrahim, with the sincere hope that you retire from politics, too many Malaysians from all walks of life are being dragged into your personal agenda," the posting on Sunday read.

He said it was almost as if the PKR de facto leader had "limitless powers", adding that Anwar had announced several moves without consulting other members of the coalition.

Zuhdi, the report said, had taken to Facebook again yesterday following his leaked WhatsApp messages, saying he believed the reason he was targeted was because of his earlier criticism of Anwar.

"I am just reflecting others' opinions. That is the problem when only my message is revealed but not the messages before that," Zuhdi had written.

Zuhdi in the WhatsApp messages said that if PAS should leave Pakatan, the coalition could still retain Selangor with Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim remaining as menteri besar if it joined forces with Umno to form the state government with a simple majority.

He also said that should DAP, the church and non-Muslims bring up issues concerning the usage of the word “Allah” and the seizure of the Bibles by the state religious department, PAS-Umno would be able to frisk off their complaints.

It is believed that the messages were leaked by a PAS central committee member to show the thinking of the faction in the party belonging to president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

The friction among parties in the PR coalition – PKR, PAS and DAP – has escalated in the past week following PAS’s resistance to removing Khalid as Selangor MB and replacing him with PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Hadi had publicly thrown his support behind Khalid and said he disagreed with replacing the latter.

There have been numerous complaints against Khalid, who is a two-term MB, for running the state unilaterally without consulting PKR or the national Pakatan leadership.

He has also been criticised for his handling of issues such as water rationing, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department's seizure of Bahasa Malaysia and Iban-language Bibles and support for the Kinrara Damansara Expressway (Kidex), which upset some Pakatan leaders as it was seen as going against the pact's election manifesto to abolish tolled highways. – July 29, 2014.

Will ‘Allah’ swing votes in Sabah, Sarawak this time?

For all the hysteria surrounding the word “Allah” and whether non-Muslims can use it, the conflict almost never affects the people who use it the most.

About two-thirds of Malaysia’s 2.9 million Christians are in Sabah and Sarawak. Today, they still use “Allah” in their church services.

Sabah and Sarawak folk speak of the controversy as if it is a tale that happens in a strange land whose inhabitants are perplexingly different from them.

Despite the fact that Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula are one country.

Even their Muslim neighbours in Sabah and Sarawak scratch their heads when asked about what they thought about the term “Allah” being an issue in the peninsula.

However, the question is whether their feelings about how the controversy has intensified will translate into votes.

For what is different this time compared with a year ago before the 13th general election is that several peninsula Muslim authorities are serious about enforcing a ban on the use of the word “Allah” in their states.

At the same time, the country’s highest court has decided that Catholic weekly, Herald, cannot use the term in its Bahasa Malaysia edition.   

So will these new developments be the last straw for ordinary Sabah and Sarawak folk who support Barisan Nasional and Umno?

Anger but little impact

In the 2013 general election and the Sarawak elections of 2011, the “Allah” issue barely had an impact on rural voters, many of whom are Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians.

This is despite the issue grabbing national attention. In the months prior to the Sarawak elections, for example, two consignments of Bahasa Bibles meant for Kuching were held up at Port Klang and Kuching port.

Christian leaders were in an uproar. Putrajaya hurriedly cobbled together a 10-point solution so that the Bibles could be released and assured the Christians that the texts may be used.

The seized Bibles were an issue during Sarawak elections but it was dwarfed by others.

What dominated that campaign were the alleged corruption scandals of Sarawak’s then chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and the loss of native ancestral land.

Urban voters Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Miri and Kuching ditched BN. But it is unclear that they did so because of the “Allah” issue.

For instance, many of the votes that BN lost in 2011 and 2013 were from the Chinese community.

University Malaysia Sarawak political economist Associate Prof Dr Andrew Aeria said many Chinese cast protest votes against BN in Sarawak.

“They wanted their fair share in terms of development and contracts. If the new chief minister can reconfigure these demands, he can win them back.”

Post-2013 scenario

But after 2013, Muslim hardliners clamped down. Some 300 Bibles were seized in Selangor and the agency has refused to return them to the Bible Society of Malaysia.

Until today, it has refuted the attorney-general’s stand that there is no case against the BSM and insists on taking the BSM to court.

Prior to that, the Federal Court in October last year upheld an earlier ban on the use of the word “Allah” by the Herald. 

But in interviews over the past week with ordinary Christians in Sabah and Sarawak, none was affected on a personal level by the ban.

Churches in Sabah and Sarawak could freely use the term just like they have for more than 100 years, and Muslims in civil society and the Barisan Nasional leadership continued to stress that the “Allah” controversy was a “peninsula thing”.

“We do not have the same views as Muslims in the peninsula,” said Borneo Heritage Foundation secretary Jalumin Bayogoh.    

“Over here, it’s not a problem for Muslims,” said Jalumin, a Muslim based in Kota Kinabalu.

Christians, meanwhile, were adamant that they would use the term no matter what Putrajaya or the peninsula states say.

“Whatever laws are passed, court decisions made, people will pray using the word ‘Allah’. Who is going to stop them?” asked James Guang, a business executive in Miri.

“The police? Can they round up all the Christians, especially in the rural areas, praying to Allah?”

Will ‘Allah’ swing votes?

But despite the little impact the controversy has had on them, many were upset that the federal government allowed it to happen.

“How can you have one nation but two sets of rules?” asked Henry Mogindol of Penampang, Sabah.

“This reasoning does not make sense. You can use ‘Allah’ in Sabah but when you fly to the peninsula you cannot?”

Many also believe that this time, Christians might be motivated to vote against BN because of it.

The next general election is four years away but Sarawak is due to hold state elections in 2016.

“Umno is dragging down (Sarawak) BN,” said Victor Keling from Kuching.

“This is even though the state government's stand on the issue is just the opposite of the federal government's,” he said.

Guang said it would make an impact if parish priests started speaking up against it and in so doing, influenced their congregations. 

“I know for a fact that rural priests are not very happy with the government. They get no government funding to repair their churches.”

Again, going back to the Sarawak elections three years ago that was exactly what pundits were expecting – that the widespread anger by Christian leaders would trickle down and sway their congregations at the ballot box.

But that did not happen.

Another Unimas lecturer, Joseph Romanair, said that for many in Sarawak’s interior, bread and butter issues – rural roads, electricity, piped water – were their main concerns.

Also, since the Sabah and Sarawak governments are both not treating it as an issue, it has almost no impact among ordinary Christians.

Neither are Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak as fired up as their brethren in the peninsula.  

Parti Bersatu Sabah lawmaker Datuk Joniston Bangkuai admitted that the opposition attempted to use the “Allah” issue to gain traction in last year’s general election.

They claimed that if the BN was returned to power the Alkitab would be burned.

“But I tell people and the opposition, so far has this happened?” said Bangkuai, who is Kiulu assemblyman.

He said the opposition would still play up the issue but believed this time, BN would call their bluff.  

So although it has almost no impact in Sabah and Sarawak, the “Allah” issue will probably be kept alive by politicians who hope to profit from it. – July 29, 2014.

Countries with MH17 victims agree to prosecution team

Ukraine and 11 countries that lost citizens in downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 agreed yesterday to set up a joint team of prosecutors to examine possible criminal charges, a statement said.

This will add to several other probes under way to determine what caused the crash, who is liable, and to identify the victims' remains.

The nations met in The Hague under the umbrella of Europe's judicial cooperation agency Eurojust, to discuss a joint strategy.

The Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Britain, Belgium, Germany, the Philippines, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia, the United States and Ukraine agreed to a joint investigation team, said a Eurojust statement.

An official agreement has yet to be signed.

Also present at the meeting were international and regional police agencies Interpol and Europol.

"The task is considerable," Dutch Eurojust member Han Moraal said after the meeting.

"But with such a broad approach and willingness to work together, I hope we can cooperate in an efficient and effective way to uncover the cause of the crash and seek justice for the 298 innocent victims and their grieving families."

Eurojust spokeswoman Jacalyn Birk said the venue of a prosecution, if there is one, as well as the applicable law, will be determined by what the investigation finds.

The Netherlands already has a prosecutor in Ukraine, and has requested Eurojust's assistance in arranging Monday's coordination meeting.

The plane was shot down over conflict-torn eastern Ukraine on July 17.

The UN said Monday the act may constitute a war crime. – AFP, July 29, 2014.

Najib congratulates gold medal Games winners – Bernama

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today congratulated Malaysia's squash queen and the badminton mixed team on clinching the second and third gold medals for the country at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

"Datuk @NicolDavid did it again, well done to her and our mixed badminton team," Najib (pic) tweeted.

In the final yesterday, Datuk Nicol David defeated rival and world number two Laura Massaro of England in straight sets, 12-10, 11-2, 11-5, in a 44-minute match at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.

It was Nicol's second Commonwealth gold medal.

Elsewhere, the badminton mixed team defended their title after beating England 3-1 in the final at the Emirates Arena.

The first Malaysian gold medal of the Games was won by weightlifter Mohd Hafifi Mansor in the men's 69kg category.

Throughout Malaysia's history of participation in the Commonwealth Games, the national contingent won two gold medals in Victoria, Canada, in 1994; 10 gold medals in Kuala Lumpur (1998); seven gold medals in Manchester, England (2002) and Melbourne, Australia (2006) and the best haul of 12 gold medals in New Delhi, India (2010). – Bernama, July 29, 2014.

Bringing MH17 culprits to justice: The legal wrangle

KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — With most of the bodies retrieved, negotiations underway to secure the crash site and an international framework in place to investigate how MH17 came down, one final demand that nations affected by the tragedy will now seek is retribution for the 298 innocents who died on July 17.

But how?

Legal experts said the process will be a long and complicated one, particularly since no one has owned up to shooting down the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane.

Grieving nations are baying for blood, however, and will soon be demanding the names of those who fired the missile that allegedly took MH17 down — was it by the Russia-backed separatists of eastern Ukraine? Or a misfire by Ukrainian forces?

In Britain, lawyers are already putting together a multi-million-pound suit against Russian President Vladimir Putin, believing him to be somehow complicit in downing the Malaysian plane.

According to British daily The Sunday Telegraph, senior Russian military commanders and politicians closely-linked to Putin will likely be also included in the suit, set to take place in US courts.

Malaysia, despite having taken a diplomatic stance at first, is determined to bring the perpetrators to book, pointing out that it is a Malaysian plane and that Malaysian lives were claimed too.

“We want to have the first bite in bringing the perpetrators to book,” Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, currently in The Hague, was quoted saying by the New Straits Times yesterday.

Aboard MH17 were 193 Dutch nationals, 43 from Malaysia, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 from Britain, four each from Germany and Belgium, three from the Philippines, one from Canada and one from New Zealand. Two passengers aboard had dual citizenships, bringing a total of 12 nations that were affected by the crash, including the US and South Africa.

Malaysia reportedly plans to invoke Civil Aviation Act, the Penal Code and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act to pursue the people responsible for the lost lives.

According to Abdul Gani, Eurojust, a European Union agency that deals with judicial co-operation in criminal matters, will play a critical role in assisting Malaysia in gathering evidence and ultimately bringing the perpetrators to the courts here.

Criminal lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said the Malaysian High Court has the jurisdiction to try all offences committed on the “high seas on board any ship or on any aircraft registered in Malaysia”, based on Section 22(1)(a)(ii) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 (CJA).

This provision can be invoked since MH17 is a Malaysian aircraft, he said in an email to Malay Mail Online.

“Assuming that the perpetrators have been identified, arrested and extradited to Malaysia, the Malaysian Court has the jurisdiction to try the perpetrators,” he said.

Amer added Section 22(1)(b) of the CJA states that the High Court also has the jurisdiction to try offences certified by the AG under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), if the offence was committed against a Malaysian citizen or against property belonging to the Malaysian government outside the country.

So if the AG certifies this to be a case, which affects national security, then the Malaysian Court can also try the perpetrators, he said.

“The act of attacking MH17 can be argued to be an act of terrorism as the definition of ‘terrorist act’ under Section 130B of the Penal Code is wide enough to cover the said act,” Amer said.

Before all that can be done however, prosecutors need to know who shot down MH17.

“You need to identify who shot down the plane,” lawyer New Sin Yew told Malay Mail Online.

It is only upon identification that Malaysia can then invoke the Montreal Convention, a treaty adopted in 1999 by members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which includes Malaysia and Ukraine, New said.

The treaty includes rules that ensure passengers’ families are awarded damages in the case of death or injury during an international flight.

“You need to identify who shot down the plane, after that they need to begin under the Montreal Convention to arrest the perpetrator.

“After that, only can Malaysia begin the extradition process,” the lawyer explained.

If the country of the identified culprits refuses to order their arrests, the case should then be taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

ICC is used to try individuals accused of committing a war crime or crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression or genocide.

For the civil element of the case, New said Malaysia could go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the platform used to hear cross-border disputes between countries.

“But you cannot go to ICJ yet as all parties have signed the Chicago and Montreal Conventions,” the lawyer said.

“Malaysia will need to first attempt negotiation. If, after that, there is still a dispute then you can go to ICAO’s counsel. If still not happy with decision, then arbitrate or appeal to ICJ,” he said.

The Chicago Convention is also known as the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which was established by the ICAO, the specialised United Nations agency charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel.

New said the conventions mandate the state that holds the perpetrators has to hand them over to be tried in the country where the target or victim originated from.

In the case of MH17, the perpetrators would be tried in Malaysia, as MAS is a registered company here.

Malaysia would also need to send an investigating team to the crash site, although investigators from other countries could also be called to testify during the trial, he added.

Universiti Teknologi Mara legal advisor Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi pointed out that the process is going to be a long-drawn-out affair, which could take years to complete.

“I think we should try by all means, no harm in exploring all avenues, the Penal Code, extradition.

“The diplomatic channel is also very important. The world community must not allow for this lawlessness or terrorism to go unpunished,” he said.

When MH17 first crashed at the rebel-controlled war-torn Donetsk region east of Ukraine, fingers were quickly pointed at the Putin administration. The claim was that the Russia-backed rebels had taken the plane down by mistake using the Buk-M2E surface-to-air missile system allegedly supplied by their Russian allies across the border.

But the Kremlin has since rubbished the accusation along with the rebels, resulting in the ongoing blame game between Russia and the world. And neither is wont to admit fault.

Without a name or a face with which to pin the blame on, and the prospect of tampered evidence from a compromised crash site, MH17 prosecutors will have little to go on and will likely be looking at years of court action amid the backdrop of Russia and Ukraine’s complicated geopolitical crisis.

PKR fracture will weaken future support for Pakatan, BN ministers say

KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — As the ugly tussle over the Selangor mentri besar seat continues to unfold, Barisan Nasional (BN) has predicted that the infighting within PKR would affect overall support for Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Government ministers said the problems highlight underlying issues within the opposition coalition, which groups three disparate parties.

Home Affairs Deputy Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar argued that the present state of affairs showed that the opposition coalition is unfit to govern.

“They don’t deserve Putrajaya. Malaysians deserve a better government and leaders to lead them forward to a more challenging future,” he said.

De facto law minister Nancy Shukri said the problems will erode voter confidence at state level even if support for PR at the federal level remains unchanged.

“If you compare with Barisan, there is sincerity in putting their promises into reality,” she told Malay Mail Online in a series of text messages.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said in a text message that the split between PAS’ support for the current mentri besar (MB) versus PKR’s continuous efforts to remove him would be a “precursor of more cracks in Pakatan”.

Yesterday, de facto PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed the decision to remove Selangor MB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was finalised by the party in March, calling it an extension of the “Kajang Move”.

Khalid had survived the abortive “Kajang Move”, the strategy engineered by his party to oust him from the position last March, but surfacing controversies in the state have since renewed the push to have him replaced.

A by-election was called to pave the way for Anwar to eventually replace Khalid, but a court decision led to a change of plans. Anwar’s wife and party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail contested for the Kajang seat vacated by the party’s own Lee Chin Cheh, and won.

Khalid had been resisting the ouster and maintained that he will serve until his term ends. In the meantime, PKR has nominated Dr Wan Azizah to take over the state’s top position during a PR presidential council last week.

Although DAP and PKR leaders are reportedly in agreement to remove Khalid, a faction in PAS, led by the Islamist party’s president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and several other powerful leaders, has questioned the move and even showed strong backing for Khalid.

Nancy pointed out that the opposition coalition’s credibility is also “questionable with the game played by Anwar and his cronies”.

“Now even PAS is not supportive of Anwar’s move which clearly indicates that even Anwar does not have control over everything, even though he is trying to show that he does.   

“If there are snap polls, the Chinese will be the deciding factor, in this case, DAP. Malays are divided between PAS and PKR,” she said, adding that with the right candidate, BN would be able to win more seats.

The Batang Sadong MP took a step further, saying PR’s dream to capture Putrajaya seemed unattainable with the present crisis.

“Dream to capture Putrajaya? Not with the way PKR is behaving. Obviously, there is no maturity in handling their political crisis. This is where BN is still better off compared to PKR.

“I think it is because they are suspicious towards each other, causing them to not be able to come up with a consensus in making such decision,” she said, adding that it is a good opportunity for BN to “strengthen itself and do better”.

“A country cannot be run by political parties that do not have trust towards each other,” she said.

Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong pointed out that with no consensus among the coalition members, snap polls would be inevitable.

He also pointed out the endless problems faced by PR even within two terms of governing the state.

“It has only been one year and Selangor is fighting. Can we imagine if Pakatan running the federal government?

“I hope the voters will be more cautious of Pakatan’s future promises,” the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said in a text message.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan pointed out the bread and butter issues plaguing the state, including water shortages, have been pushed to the back burner because of the infighting.

“In the event of snap polls, I believe Selangor voters are fed-up and will be ready to punish Pakatan,” he said.

Deputy Women’s Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said BN should seize this opportunity to prove itself.

“I think what the people wish is the government’s main concerns and ultimate objective should be on the welfare and wellbeing and development of the state.

“Because of this, everybody is actually not focusing on the state development and the benefit of the people will be affected.

“The most important thing for BN is that everybody must work hard to perform,” she said.

PKR hits out at PAS after leaked WhatsApp message

PKR wants its Pakatan Rakyat partner, PAS, to take disciplinary action against a member of its central committee for discussing leaving the coalition in a leaked WhatsApp message that has gone viral online.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli also hit out at the PAS member, Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki, for the racial and religious tone in the leaked message.

In a sign of escalating tension between both parties as a result of the current Selangor menteri besar crisis, Rafizi also demanded that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang  state the number of PAS leaders who held such views.

"What is the disciplinary action to be taken against Zuhdi, who had suggested a treacherous proposal, going against the agreement inked between PAS and Pakatan and the people who had voted for PAS and Pakatan?

"We want to know how many from the PAS central leadership hold such racist and anti-democractic views like Zuhdi," he said in a statement today.

PAS central committee members had been discussing the possibility of leaving Pakatan as the current Selangor MB crisis revealed cracks between the party and PKR.

Online news portal Malaysiakini reported that the screenshot of the leaked conversation revealed that Zuhdi was discussing the possibility of teaming up with rival Umno to form a simple majority government and at the same time to retain embattled Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as MB.

More distressingly, the tone of the conversation was blatantly racist, reported the portal, with Zuhdi saying that his scenario would return political dominance to the Malays and allow them to check "DAP and non-Muslims".

"After this, if DAP and non-Muslims make noise about the Allah issue or raids, we can just swat them away.

"At the end of this year just change the borders to return all the Malay-Muslim political power," Malaysiakini reported him as writing in the conversation.

Rafizi said that while differences of opinion are allowed in any organisation, Zuhdi had gone too far with his racist statement which was tantamount to a betrayal of Pakatan.

"The words that he had used were not talking about possible scenarios but are reflective of racist and hate sentiments. He had also indirectly stated his approval for Jais's action against other religious practitioners," Rafizi said, referring to the Selangor religious authorities which had seized Malay and Iban-language Bibles earlier this year.

In expressing his regrets, Rafizi said the statement by the PAS research centre operations director also went against the policy and agreements made by his party with the other two partners in Pakatan.

This includes going against PAS's muktamar pledge to reject a unity government with Umno and Pakatan's common policy framework which rejects racial politics and promotes justice for all.

It has also gone against the tripartite Pakatan Rakyat Buka Jingga and PAS's pledge after signing the GE13 Pakatan manifesto and the Bersih 2.0 charter which clearly states a firm commitment to justice as well as to free and fair elections.

However, Zuhdi in his Facebook posting denied he was solely responsible for putting forth the idea of leaving Pakatan.

"I was just outlining scenarios based on my imagination because I was asked to come up with a few scenarios. But I am not part of the group that has proposed to leave Pakatan. This is slander aimed at implicating me as the one who came up with the idea," Malaysiakini reported him as saying. – July 29, 2014.

Pakatan hancur jika krisis MB Selangor tidak selesai, kata penganalisis

Penganalisis politik bersetuju dengan kekhuatiran dizahirkan kedua-dua DAP dan PAS tentang kebolehupayaan Pakatan Rakyat melalui krisis menteri besar Selangor.

Kata mereka, pertelingkahan yang berterusan antara ketiga-tiga parti itu menimbulkan persoalan sama ada Pakatan benar-benar layak mentadbir negara selaras aspirasi mereka menakluk Putrajaya.

Pengkaji bebas Ibrahim Suffian (gambar) memberi amaran sekiranya Pakatan tidak memperbaiki hubungan mereka dan berdiri sebagai satu barisan, isu siapa yang boleh mentadbir negeri terkaya di Malaysia ini berpotensi memecahbelahkan gabungan itu.

"Kalau mereka tidak boleh mencapai persetujuan tentang siapa bakal calon menteri besar, saya rasa susah untuk Pakatan meneruskan kelangsungannya.

"Kedua-dua PKR dan DAP hendak Khalid keluar, sementara PAS sendirian dalam menyokong Khalid," kata ketua Merdeka Center itu kepada The Malaysian Insider.

Di tengah-tengah usaha untuk menukar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang terang-terangan mengumumkan sokongannya terhadap menteri besar yang sudah masuk penggal kedua itu, mengatakan Khalid tidak pernah mengkhianati amanah rakyat.

Pendirian Hadi disokong pemimpin berpengaruh parti Islam itu, Mursyidul Am Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Ini membuatkan situasi makin bercelaru kerana Pakatan pada hari Rabu bersetuju yang Selangor perlukan seorang menteri besar baru.

Disebabkan itu, Ibrahim berkata PAS telah letakkan dirinya dalam keadaan yang rapuh dan mungkin sedang menuju satu krisis kepimpinan.

Dewan Ulama parti itu juga menyatakan sokongan terhadap Hadi dan ini boleh memberi kesan besar kepada parti sehingga ke tahap melumpuhkannya, memandangkan satu kumpulan pemimpin lagi bersetuju bekas ahli korporat, Khalid, itu mesti turun daripada jawatannya.

"Memandangkan ahli PAS agak berdisiplin dan patuh kepada pemimpin selari tuntutan agama, kenyataan Hadi sangat berpengaruh terhadap ahli parti dalam menentukan sama ada hendak menyokong keputusan presiden atau keputusan parti," kata Ibrahim.

Keadaan tidak bertambah baik apabila tiada langsung pemimpin PKR – kecuali Setiausaha Agung Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail – yang bersuara selepas Hadi mengumumkan pendiriannya.

"Saya tidak akan membuka mulut sebab kami akan selesaikan hal ini. PKR sudah buat keputusan, jadi kami akan berpegang dengan keputusan itu kerana Majlis Pimpinan Pakatan menghormati kenyataan yang jawatan menteri besar Selangor adalah hak PKR," kata Rafizi Ramli kepada The Malaysian Insider.

Pengarah Centre for Policy Initiative Dr Lim Teck Ghee menyenaraikan tiga akibat keserabutan politik yang sedang berlaku ini, iaitu: gabungan yang retak, PKR yang semakin lemah dan reputasi yang tercemar.

Dia berkata Ketua Umum PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, dan begitu juga Khalid, mesti bertanggungjawab atas apa yang kelihatan seperti letupan PKR dan mungkin Pakatan juga, sekiranya penutup wayang politik yang panjang ini tidak diuruskan dan diselesaikan dengan baik.

"Terlalu awal untuk dikatakan apa kesannya terhadap pilihan raya tetapi ia membawa kepada berkurangnya sokongan terhadap Pakatan di Selangor seperti dapat dilihat dalam kajian baru-baru ini," katanya kepada The Malaysian Insider dalam satu emel.

"Bahaya yang lebih dahsyat untuk Pakatan ialah kesannya nanti terhadap negeri lain dan pada peringkat negara."

Sementara pemimpin PAS jelas berpecah dalam hal ini, penganalisis berkata ia tanda yang PKR masih belum berjaya meyakinkan rakan-rakannya di dalam Pakatan.

"Anwar sudah 'checkmated' dalam penukaran MB," katanya sambil menambah PAS, PKR dan DAP mesti bertemu untuk mencapai satu solusi, sama ada membenarkan Khalid untuk terus berkhidmat hingga habis penggalnya, memaksanya berhenti atau apa saja solusi lain.

"Kedua-dua Anwar dan Khalid mesti mematuhi keputusan itu demi untuk kebaikan PKR dan Pakatan, dan demi mempertahankan apa yang tinggal pada Pakatan dari segi maruah dan integriti politiknya."

Menurut Ketua Eksekutif Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), Wan Saiful Wan Jan, pertelingkahan yang berterusan mengenai jawatan menteri besar Selangor akan membuat rakyat fikir dua kali tentang kemampuan Pakatan mentadbir negeri dan negara.

Sementara isunya bermula dari PKR yang memperkenalkan Langkah Kajang bertujuan menjadikan Anwar sebagai menteri besar menggantikan Khalid, Wan Saiful juga menyalahkan Hadi kerana merosakkan reputasi Pakatan.

Katanya bekas menteri besar Terengganu itu memilih untuk membelakangkan pemimpin partinya yang diamanahkan menghadiri mesyuarat pimpinan Pakatan itu, dan sebaliknya menerima penerangan yang salah dari penasihatnya.

Mesyuarat pada Rabu itu dihadiri enam ahli PAS Pusat iaitu Timbalan Presiden Mohamad Sabu, Setiausaha Agung Datuk Mustafa Ali, Naib Presiden Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man dan Datuk Husam Musa, Ketua Pemuda Suhaizan Kayat dan AJK Pusat Dr Hatta Ramli.

"Semuanya bermula dari PKR dan Hadi hanya memburukkan lagi keadaan," kata Wan Saiful.

Professor James Chin dari Monash University Malaysia merasakan Anwar salah dalam menguruskan hal itu, dan terlebih campurtangan dalam hal menteri besar Selangor itu.

Kegagalan PKR melibatkan sepenuhnya PAS dan DAP dari awal dalam hal menukar menteri besar mengakibatkan pertelingkahan ini, katanya.

"Ia tidak akan memecahkan Pakatan tetapi akan membuat pengundi Selangor lebih marah.

“Sekiranya Khalid kekal sebagai menteri besar hingga pilihan raya umum akan datang, Pakatan mungkin akan kehilangan negeri itu," katanya. – 28 Julai, 2014.

Anwar kurang sepucuk surat lagi

Strategi umum dulu baru cari jalan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim bertemu jalan buntu lagi kali ini.

Selepas episod September 16, kali ini ialah Langkah Kajang. Di dalam PKR, sebenarnya taktik yang sama juga digunakan, tetapi ia tidak gagal.

Ini kerana PKR di bawah kawalan penuh Anwar yang berpangkat Ketua Umum.

PRK Kajang

Umpamanya, Pilihan Raya Kecil (PRK) Kajang terpaksa diadakan apabila bekas Adun Kajang Lee Chin Cheh meletakkan jawatan sebagai Adun secara mengejut.

Hendak tak nak, Speaker Selangor Hannah Yeoh menerima peletakan jawatan Lee dan pilihan raya kecil terpaksa diadakan selepas SPR dimaklumkan.

Hanya segelintir sahaja dalam PKR tahu mengenai PRK Kajang yang menjadi loncatan kepada Langkah Kajang. Yang lain terpinga-pinga mencari jawapan, kononnya ini operasi rahsia tertinggi parti.

Tiada apa yang boleh dibuat kerana Lee sudahpun meletakkan jawatan. Sudi tidak sudi, PAS dan DAP kena telan bahawa PRK Kajang harus berlaku meskipun rakyat Selangor tidak bersetuju dengan langkah tersebut.

Rakan-rakan Pakatan Rakyat dipaksa ‘endorse’ Langkah Kajang dan memberikan sokongan sepenuhnya, termasuklah jentera pilihan raya.

Oleh kerana kerusi itu milik PKR, maka PAS dan DAP menyokong siapa yang dicalonkan PKR.

Itu semangat ukhuwah daripada PAS dan DAP. Tetapi jika diberi pilihan samada Lee perlu letak jawatan mahupun tidak, sudah tentu ada yang menyokong Lee untuk kekal sebagai Adun.

Tapi PKR tidak mahu melalui proses itu, oleh itu mereka mendapatkan Lee untuk meletakkan jawatan terlebih dahulu.

Biarlah seribu yang membantah, PRK Kajang tetap berjalan kerana surat peletakan jawatan Lee sudah ada di tangan. Itu hebatnya taktik politik PKR di sini.

Jawatan menteri besar Selangor

Dalam percubaan menukar menteri besar Selangor, taktik yang sama cuba digunakan oleh Anwar.

Umumkan dahulu, lepas itu baru cari endorsement untuk gantikan Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim dengan Presiden PKR Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – tidak kisahlah pandangan rakyat, pandangan rakan di dalam Pakatan Rakyat mahupun pandangan istana macam mana.

Kerusi MB ini milik PKR, itulah tanggapan mereka. Oleh itu, mereka berhak melakukan apa sahaja dan yang lain kena angguk dan jangan banyak soal.

Soal kebolehan Wan Azizah langsung tidak dibicara. Apakah benda baru yang boleh dibawa tidak diketahui. Dijanji ekonomi negeri boleh bertambah kukuh dengan pertukaran tersebut, tetapi tidak dimaklumkan bagaimana.

Jika Khalid dapat menyimpan lebih RM3 billion dalam 6 tahun, apakah Wan Azizah dapat meningkatkan simpanan itu dengan lebih cepat? Ini juga satu persoalan yang tidak dijawab.

Yang penting, tukar dulu. Yang lain fikir kemudian. Kemungkinan Wan Azizah akan jadi lebih hebat daripada Khalid kerana lepas ini wujud pula jawatan de facto Selangor MB ataupun Ketua Umum Selangor yang mengatasi kuasa menteri besar sendiri.

Ini cuma barangkali, tapi yang pasti tanggapan ini ada di setiap minda rakyat Selangor yang biasa.

Kekurangan satu surat

Sehingga kini, strategi politik Langkah Kajang Anwar belum berjaya.

Ini kerana Anwar kekurangan sepucuk surat.

Iaitu surat peletakan jawatan Tan Sri Khalid.

Tanpa surat itu, kerusi MB tidak kosong. Oleh itu, segala perbincangan seterusnya hanya membazir masa termasuklah usaha-usaha mendesak rakan parti untuk menerima cadangan PKR.

Tanpa surat tersebut, apa-apa pendirian rakan Pakatan Rakyat sebenarnya tidak bermakna dan tiada impak kerana kerusi MB masih ada tuannya yang sah. Jadi, usah salahkan rakan parti kerana Langkah Kajang masih menemui jalan buntu.

Seperti Lee Chin Cheh, Khalid adalah orang PKR. Hanya PKR boleh mendapat surat peletakan jawatan daripada mereka berdua tanpa melalui rakan-rakan lain di Pakatan Rakyat.

Kalau PKR dapat surat tersebut, bukan sahaja PAS dan DAP perlu akur, istana Selangor pun kena terima. Dan ‘terima’ di sini bermaksud bersetuju MB ditukar kerana MB lama dah tidak mahu bekerja – dan bukan ‘terima’ dalam erti kata disampaikan khabar.

Masa itu, tiada siapa lagi yang akan berbicara untuk Khalid kekal sebagai MB kerana Khalid sudah letak jawatan. Yang dibincangkan hanyalah siapa yang harus menggantikan Khalid.

Ketika itu, perbincangan antara tiga parti barulah bermakna kerana kerusi MB sudah kosong.

Ada satu lagi surat

Pada minda rakyat biasa, tertanya-tanya bukankah burung satu di tangan (bekerjasama dengan Khalid sebagai penasihat ekonomi Selangor untuk menguatkan PKR) lebih baik daripada hilang segalanya.

Mungkin. Tapi mungkin juga ada benda yang lagi besar akan hilang daripada gengaman Anwar dan PKR sekiranya Khalid terus menjadi MB.

Malangnya, bab ini hanya Anwar dan PKR sahaja yang tahu.

Langkah Kajang, setahu penulis, masih hidup meskipun Anwar akan gagal mendapat surat peletakan jawatan Tan Sri Khalid.

Ini kerana Anwar masih ada pilihan untuk keluarkan surat sendiri untuk menyahkan Khalid dari PKR.

Jika Khalid bukan lagi ahli PKR, penulis tidak pasti samada kerusi MB itu masih akan kekal berada di tangan PKR.

Meskipun risiko ini terlalu tinggi kerana susah untuk mengagak apa yang bakal berlaku seterusnya, tetapi langkah ini penulis percaya kini menjadi pertimbangan serius para pemikir Anwar.

Ini sekadar spekulasi penulis.

Fokus Raya dulu. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Maaf Zahir dan Batin. – 29 Julai, 2014.

* Ini adalah pendapat peribadi penulis dan tidak semestinya mewakili pandangan The Malaysian  Insider.

Negara terlibat nahas MH17 setuju tubuh pasukan pendakwaan

Ukraine dan 11 negara yang kehilangan rakyatnya akibat nahas pesawat MH17 semalam bersetuju menubuhkan satu pasukan pendakwa untuk meneliti sama ada dakwaan jenayah boleh dikemukakan, kata kenyataan.

Ini termasuk beberapa persoalan menentukan punca nahas, siapa yang bertanggungjawab dan mengenal pasti mangsa.

Negara terlibat mengadakan pertemuan di The Hague, dinaung oleh Eurojust, iaitu agensi kerjasama kehakiman Eropah bagi membincangkan strategi bersama.

Belanda, Australia, Malaysia, Britain, Belgium, Jerman, Filipina, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia, Amerika Syarikat dan Ukraine setuju membentuk pasukan siasatan.

Namun menurut kenyataan Eurojust, perjanjian rasmi masih belum ditandatangani.

Turut hadir agensi polis tempatan dan antarabangsa Interpol dan Europol.

"Tugasan itu boleh dipertimbangkan.

"Tetapi dengan penyertaan yang ramai saya harap kita dapat bekerjasama dengan efektif dan efisyen untuk membongkar punca nahas dan mencari keadilan untuk 298 mangsa yang terkorban dan ahli keluarga mereka yang bersedih," kata ahli Eurojust Belanda Han Moraal selepas pertemuan itu.

Jurucakap Eurojust Jacalyn Birk berkata, tempat pendakwaan serta peruntukan hukuman yang sesuai akan ditentukan berdasarkan penemuan hasil siasatan.

Pendakwa Belanda kini berada di Ukraine dan meminta Eurojust membantu mengaturkan pertemuan mereka pada Isnin.

Pesawat MH17 ditembak jatuh di kawasan konflik di Ukraine pada 17 Julai dan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) pada Isnin lalu menyifatkan tindakan itu sebagai satu jenayah perang. – 29 Julai, 2014.


MAS hit with wave of cancellations, says report

Malaysia Airlines (MAS), already reeling from the loss of two aircraft this year, has been hit by a wave of cancellations, Bloomberg reported today.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, while flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17.

Both disasters claimed more than 530 lives.

The financial news portal cited travel agents from Melbourne to New Delhi as saying there had been a spike in withdrawn reservations since MH17’s downing this month, with cancellations climbing above 20% in some places.

It said the Samoan women’s rugby team switched to Thai Airways from MAS on July 27 for a flight to a World Cup event in France.

“It’s just natural to be worried,” Sera Mika, the team’s manager was quoted as saying. “We did have a lot of concerns.”

The cancellations may force Khazanah, MAS’s biggest stakeholder, to take drastic action as the airline industry heads towards a record decade of fatalities.

Among the options are delisting or bankruptcy.

MAS reported losses of RM443.4 million in the first quarter of the year, from a net loss of RM278.8 million in the same period last year. Losses in 2013 amounted to RM1.17 billion.

A travel agent, Ann Chitumbalam, told Bloomberg that passengers “are very, very afraid about anything else happening again”.

Her firm, Escape Travel Sdn Bhd, based in Petaling Jaya, saw a 30% cancellation of MAS bookings.

“(Travellers) don’t want to take a risk,” she was quoted as saying.

Two days after the MH17 incident, MAS said it would waive any change fees for passengers who wished to change their itinerary to any flight destination.

“Passengers who wish to postpone or cancel their travel plans can obtain a refund, including for non-refundable tickets,” said the national carrier.

The waivers were only applicable from July 18 to July 24, for travel between July 18 and December 31. 

Bloomberg said MAS declined to comment on its passenger traffic or number of cancellations and pricing policy.

Webjet Ltd in Melbourne estimated it had cancelled about 25% of MAS bookings since the MH17 disaster, it reported., a New Delhi-based online travel agent, also reported a drop in MAS bookings and a wave of cancellations.

“They are under severe cost pressure,” Tan Kam Meng, an analyst at TA Securities Holdings Bhd in Kuala Lumpur, told Bloomberg, adding that cutting airfares was not a solution to its woes. – July 29, 2014.

Unhealthy air quality as smoke blankets KL, Sarawak

Air quality around Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur and on Borneo island was "unhealthy" today, with one town reaching "very unhealthy" levels as smoke, mostly from forest fires in Indonesia, obscured skies.

Kuala Lumpur residents wore face masks as protection from the choking smog, while visibility was low.

Nine out of some 50 measuring stations recorded air pollutant index readings above 100, which signify "unhealthy" air quality.

Readings in Sibu town in Sarawak breached 200 – designated as "very unhealthy" – on Monday, but recovered slightly early Tuesday.

A reading of above 300 signifies "hazardous" air.

Readings hit 750 in a town in southern Malaysia in June last year, the highest seen in the Southeast Asian country for 16 years, causing a declaration of emergency in several districts, school closures and a regional diplomatic row.

Smoke is an annual problem during drier months when the monsoon winds blow smoke from fires mostly on the huge Indonesian island of Sumatra, which lies across the Malacca Strait from Malaysia and Singapore.

The fires have been largely blamed on palm oil firms using the illegal but cheap method of burning vast tracts of rainforest and peatland to clear them for planting.

Indonesian authorities had warned last month that Malaysia and Singapore could be hit by smoke again after a huge jump in forest fires in Riau province on Sumatra, which was at the centre of the air pollution crisis last year.

Malaysia – usually known for its tropical downpours – this year has also been plagued by drought, leading to water rationing, particularly in the central state of Selangor, the country's economic hub, which surrounds the capital. – AFP, July 29, 2014.

Apple refreshes MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup, drops prices - ZDNet

Summary: Today sees Apple refresh its premium MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup, bumping the CPU speeds and RAM, as well as dropping the prices of the high-end models, ahead of the release of OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for Hardware 2.0 | July 29, 2014 -- 09:49 GMT (17:49 SGT)

(Source: Apple)

See also: Yosemite usage rates double following public beta

Today sees Apple refresh its premium MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup, bumping the CPU speeds and RAM, as well as dropping the prices of the high-end models, ahead of the release of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and also in advance of the back-to-school buying frenzy.

Prior to this upgrade the base version of the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display featured a 2560-by-1600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch retina display, 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3L RAM, and 128GB of PCIe-based flash storage, and it had a price tag of $1,299. For the same price this model now comes with a 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5 chip and 8GB of memory.

The base version of the beefier 15.4-inch with Retina display model came with a 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch display, 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L RAM, and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage, all of which would have set you back $1,999. Following the refresh this now comes with a 2.2GHz CPU and 16GB of RAM.

16GB of RAM is now the only option for this high-end MacBook Pro.

Apple has also rejigged pricing, with the higher-priced 15.5-inch model featuring a discrete Nvidia GPU now down from $2,599 to $2,499.

The 13.3-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro with 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 still starts at $1,099.

This update to the MacBook Pro line comes ahead of the release of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, which is scheduled for release this fall, and brings a number of new features to users, including much closer integration between Mac and iOS devices. 

See also:

Topics: Mobility, Apple

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

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In late 2013, Polycom surveyed 5,000 business professionals from all job levels around the world and built a survey report that looks at the biggest remote collaboration challenges and strategies to overcome them.

In this advanced Malware Protection Buyer's Criteria, we'll identify the key questions you should ask your advanced malware protection vendor, and we'll describe how Sourcefire combines big data analytics, collective security intelligence and enforcement across networks, endpoints, virtual systems and mobile devices, as well as unique Retrospective Security to combat the scourge of malware attacks.

The Application Usage And Threat Report provides an analysis of applications and their link to cyber threats within the enterprise.

In late 2013, Polycom surveyed 5,000 business professionals from all job levels around the world and built a survey report that looks at the biggest remote collaboration challenges and strategies to overcome them.

In late 2013, Polycom surveyed 5,000 business professionals from all job levels around the world and built a survey report that looks at the biggest remote collaboration challenges and strategies to overcome them.

Advanced Malware Protection: Buying Criteria

In this advanced Malware Protection Buyer's Criteria, we'll identify the key questions you should ask your advanced malware protection vendor, and we'll describe how Sourcefire combines big data analytics, collective security intelligence and enforcement across networks, endpoints, virtual systems and mobile devices, as well as unique Retrospective Security to combat the scourge of malware attacks.

Advanced Malware Protection: Buying Criteria

In this advanced Malware Protection Buyer's Criteria, we'll identify the key questions you should ask your advanced malware protection vendor, and we'll describe how Sourcefire combines big data analytics, collective security intelligence and enforcement across networks, endpoints, virtual systems and mobile devices, as well as unique Retrospective Security to combat the scourge of malware attacks.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT HD Wallpapers - autoevolution

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT has a crowded front fascia, quite the opposite of the original Willys CJ. Then again, it also has a 6.4-liter V8, so it can do whatever it wants. While this Jeep was enjoying its freedom, we did the same and gave the SUV a thorough shooting. The result? Your wallpapers are now served.

The 6.4 liters of Hemi sit a bit unusual under the hood of the Grand Cherokee SRT. Still, having an SUV that’s motivated by a muscle car engine is a bit of a dream come true. For one thing, the soundtrack generated by the natural aspiration storm going on in here is all the music you’ll ever need.

The aforementioned Hemi is matched with some serious stopping power. Up front, this comes from 15-inch discs and the six-piston Brembo calipers you see here. The rear axle received 13.8-inch rotors with four-piston Brembo grabbers. Oh and this unusual wheel design is called “Spider Monkey”.

You only need a few moments with the Grand Cherokee SRT to realise that this car is just as badass as it looks. Seriosuly, its appearance should be taken as a kind warning by the other drivers. Don’t worry though, this is also a safe car. That radar for the active cruise control, the one you see above, is only a small part of its active safety arsenal.

This steering wheel didn’t get its shape by accident. SRT put quite some effort into researching on the topic of the perfect wheel and this is what they came up with. The thing may look and feel a little large at first, but once you’re on the move, you’ll notice its ergonomics are perfect.

Whether you’re planning to follow the canyon road’s accession or drive slowly in order to find a way into the forest, this creature is more than happy to follow your directions. You can see its story in colours in the Full HD photo gallery of our 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT review.

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