Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Malaysian Insider Supports Hudud Law

The same day my take on the Hudud law in the high stakes poker game to win the next genereal elections (not due till 2013) was posted, The Malaysian Insider came out with this editorial "The hudud hysteria — The Malaysian Insider"

That TMI editorial headline serves two purpose 1) It suggests fear and panic arising out of the Hudud issue and 2) the portal's stand on the same issue.

TMI is a magnet for rabid opposition supporters and that is where, as an alternative media, it maintains it's popularity.

No surprise then, it's op ed pieces as with it's "bapa borek anak rintik" reports, skews along opposition lines to pander that rabid bunch of readers.

The subject matter of my post is no different and as always another TMI hogwash piece of meshuga diatribe.

Considering it a waste of time, I will make an exception this time to dissect, sans filtering all the rubbish, para by para this op ed obfuscation, with this document specifically about Malaysian elections "Trends in Malaysia:Election Assessment".

Readers will note that these were papers presented in 1999, 9 years after the 1990 elections. This is significant, to rebut the first two para of the miserable piece of tripe, conceived 21 years later. My response in italics.

"It is a no-brainer why Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dredged up the issue of PAS’s pursuit of hudud law in Kelantan."

"In sports parlance, this has been the “go to” issue for Barisan Nasional (BN) since it lost control of the state in 1990, whipping up hate and fear among non-Muslims towards the Islamist party and creating anxiety about the green tide and the chopping off hands."

In the document Prof Khoo Kay Kim says,

"UMNO was able to convince the Malays that Malay hegemony was under threat."

It's a no-brainer, that dredging Hudud "whipping up hate and fear among non-Muslims towards the Islamist party" and then obstructing an Islamic law was "able to convince the Malays that Malay hegemony was under threat" at the same time, be logical.

The next hysterical TMI para carries on,

"In the 1999 elections he used it to save his government after the Malay vote deserted Umno following the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim a year earlier Then the non-Muslims worried about Malaysia falling into the hands of "religious extremists" and concerned that Umno's poor standing could let PAS in through the backdoor voted in large numbers for BN."

While Prof Zakaria's finding supports the above,

"Malay support for UMNO is also not assured, although UMNO or the BN’s success was due to non-Malay votes and BN’s steadfast position in the Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak."

Prof Khoo submits,

"The assumption that non-Malay voters gave full support to BN candidates needs qualification. Most of the constituencies where MCA, MIC and Gerakan candidates won had either a small Malay majority or, if not, a sizable number of Malay voters. Had the Malays refrained from voting for non-Malay BN candidates, the results might well have been very different."

TMI goes on,

"And making PAS the extremists by misrepresenting what hudud is has been Dr Mahathir's favourite tactic aided by the mainstream media."

True. Even though that statement was just meant to be a PAS not being extremist. And Tun MM had never misrepresented Hudud.

Prof Zakaria,

"If anything, the results of the 1999 elections only displayed the growing specter of the Islamic element in Malay and Malaysian politics, which could plausibly in the long run unravel the role of moderation that had been a factor for the country’s stability."

More explicitly Dr Funston,

"Numerous foreign journalists have also been quick to identify Islamic extremism as the new danger facing Malaysia, following gains made by the “fundamentalist” PAS."

TMI attempts to justify impending hysteria,

"So with the Chinese not enamoured by the Najib administration and Umno or particularly impressed with the mediocrity of the MCA leadership Dr Mahathir went to his favourite topic PAS and hudud. This move would receive blanket coverage in the Chinese press and is aimed at scaring the Chinese back into supporting the BN."

Bravo! Correct but not in the way TMI would like to have us believe. Chinese news media Sin Chew in agreeing,

"Mahathir was never a perfect leader, but at least in that particular instance he made the most appropriate decision to keep the hudud law at bay."

Taking a pot shot at UMNO and the present Govt, TMI could not help,

"The shortcoming of this strategy these days is that a growing number of Malaysians especially urban folk believe that Umno is more radical and extreme than PAS With the breakdown of the system the corruption and decaying institutions just what is there to trumpet about the present system."

TMI pressing panic buttons! Is it because of this.

Running out of ideas TMI goes cock-a-hoop,

'The idea of tarring PAS as an extremist party worked when BN had a monopoly of the airwaves. It no longer does."

Why bother writing this balderdash then?

And finally, in gracious support for the new moderate PAS,

"Now a significant number of non-Muslims know that people like Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, Dr Dzulkelfy Ahmad Khalid Samad, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, Mohamad Sabu and others are not the ogres painted by the mainstream media.

They are reasonable people Malaysians like you and me. In fact in the last 24 months their politicians have stood up for Christians and other non-Muslims more than any Umno leader.

So demonising them as extremists may not be as successful as in times past But be assured that the likes of the mainstream media will not be daunted."

Oh really?

So much so that in the last 27 months PAS needs reminding by Lim Kit Siang in this posting, "Another Lesson in PAS History: The Malaysian Public Does’nt Like Extremists"

"Fast-forward to 2002 and we see a similar scenario in the off-ing. In the wake of PAS’s victory at the elections of 1999, an over-confident PAS took it upon itself to once again play the role of the ‘defenders of Islam’. In 2002 Muslim writers, academics and NGOs (including Sisters in Islam) were once again attacked and accused of all manner of things. In the same year, PAS declared its support for the Taliban in the most blatant manner when PAS members demonstrated in front of the US embassy with posters and banners that read “Taliban are our brothers”.

The rest of the Malaysian electorate, however, was not inclined to think of the Taliban as their brothers, and once again PAS was badly damaged at the elections of 2004."

Conclusion, 25 September 10.45 am

While unashamedly accusing Tun MM misrepresented Hudud, TMI shamefully misrepresents by a disingenuous editorial headline.

TMI is in damage control mode.

Diverting attention from the actual Hudud hysteria, that of the politically ruinous* pronouncement by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, for it's implementation.

For all TMI's song and dance to mislead everyone by disparaging Tun Mahathir, all it's verbiage falls flat on it's face, because nowhere in "Trends in Malaysia:Election Assessment" is there any mention of Hudud. Not a single one.

* The Mole carries Karpal "Islamic state over my dead body" Singh's Press Statement.

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