Thursday, February 26, 2009

Common laws, Constitution and Bill of Rights

At the time when many living in Malaysia wonder if we have any capable persons in the land who would be able to give us some light with regards to the Perak crisis, NH Chan gave a profound analysis from both the political and legal point of view!

Oh what a powerful Bill of Rights! What a powerful legal and philosophical foundation of good laws and justice, fundamental to social and national well being!

The concept set forth in the Bill of Rights is not only significant in the Perak crisis, but also in the MACC setup and handling of cases since!

See more details in these links-

Sultan has no powers to ask Nizar to quit

ICAC’s praise for MACC “a good start for Malaysia to battle graft” – a supreme insult!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Faith~Successful Ministry~Ordination Service 2008

Glad to have attended AG Msia's Ordination Service on 7 Sept 2008 at GTPJ.

Was invited by now Rev Bernard Ong; otherwise would have missed this. Worship was great, the preaching was even greater; greatly refreshed!

Rev. Ong SL preached on faith and successful ministry from Hebrews 9:-
  1. that faith sometimes changes things
  2. that faith sometimes doesn't change things, it changes yourself.
  3. that faith always induces decision inspite of the lack of details
  4. that faith always has the expectation of future triumph
I'm determined to pursue this direction for God, in a deeper way with Him.

Friday, September 5, 2008

What meaning do you attach to history?

This is in reflection to what our smart Ahmad Ismail has explained regarding his recent remarks about Chinese community in Malaysia.


History in itself has no meaning, hasn't it?

I had been very poor before and now that I'm better off, how do I describe those experiences and the stages of life past? What do those experiences mean to me now? Well many had been poor before and now have become better off; but I'm sure each individual relates differently to the similar poverty experience. We all attach certain meaning to past history.

Coming back to AI's explanation that he was merely referring to history, which is correct according to the textbooks we learned in schools, what was the conclusion he tried to arrive at?

Well, the report didn't give a clue to my question, hence the explanation was only half-baked at best. It's as if he had said nothing at all still.....

I'm curious about his conclusion; let's wait and see.

The Battle Belongs to the LORD!?

Just returned from prayer meet at the church....

A sister testified about some results after doing prayer-walk the past months in the neighborhood... how things began to change, how atmosphere has changed etc....

I thought of this, that 'the battle belongs to the LORD.' And a very personal encounter with God with regards to this truth... it was some 13-15 years ago, when i was just a couple years old Christian......

As the only Christian at home, I always wanted to get rid of the idols my parents put up but had no idea how to do it... outnumbered at home, fears, ignorant etc.

One day, I read in OT Samuel about the power of God when the Philistines took the Ark of Covenant as a plunder of war back into their temple, and how God dealt with those false gods in their own turf.... Aha! I began to pray that God's presence fill my home by simply the virtue I being the only believer of God here! Months passed without any result.

One fine afternoon, I was upstairs in the room doing don't know what I can't remember but I heard hacking sound just beside the staircase below..... it was my father dismantling the altar! I ran back to my room, giving thanks to Him who worked mysteriously. I didn't know why would my dad want to get rid of his gods obviously. I could only ask Him who moved in my dad's heart, and He answered me a few days later.

"One day out of nowhere came a stranger, right outside the gate of the house, stood there for a while and told me that the spirit which resided in the idol was no god but devil (ghost as he called it)," my dad told me without me asking... So upset was my dad that he immediately chased him off! "Of course I don't believe what he said!"

Days passed.

"The more I recalled that incident, the more uncomfortable I became... and if such is the case, there's no peace in my heart I might as well throw them all away... so I dismantled the built-in altar and removed them!" Praise our Almighty God!

How did that happen? The battle belongs to the LORD, my friend.

God's presence is manifest when we honor Him in our lives, inwardly and outwardly. If God could defeat the enemy even when the Israelites disobeyed Him and lost the war eventually, how much more when we honor Him and exalt Him with our acts of everyday life.

The battle truly belongs to the LORD; we are just called to obey Him.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Can I swear too?

What I am doing -- amar maaruf, nahi munkar; which means to uphold truth and oppose evil -- is mandatory in Islam. What I am doing is what Islam stipulates. I am more Islamic than that Arab pretending to be a descendant of the Prophet.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Kolonel Norhayati is not my ADC, explained Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wife. She just handles my appointments. Well, I suppose this is akin to someone saying she is not my typist. She just types my letters. And now Syed Hamid Albar says that they are not censoring Malaysia Today. They are just blocking access to Malaysia Today.

Would you expect any less from people who argue that Umno is not a racist party? We just think that Malays are the Lords of this land and the non-Malays are all immigrants who can’t be allowed the same rights and privileges as the Lords of this land. But this is not racism. This is the Merdeka ‘social contract’ being honoured.

Yes, Happy Merdeka, Malaysians. And may the Merdeka ‘social contract’ be given the ‘honour’ it deserves and be placed as supreme.

Syed Hamid says they have sent Malaysia Today many warning letters but all these letters have been ignored. That is why Malaysia Today was not censored but the government only blocked access to it. However, Syed Hamid could not offer any details of how many letters were sent, when they were sent, and what were the contents of these letters. And this is because no such letters exist. The government, at no time at all, has ever sent Malaysia Today any warning letters.

Syed Hamid also did not offer any examples to support the allegation that Malaysia Today has insulted either Islam or Prophet Muhammad. Malaysia Today has insulted Prophet Muhammad and Islam, he said. And that is good enough. It is not necessary to explain in what way Islam and Prophet Muhammad were insulted or to support the allegation with examples or specific incidences.

Anwar Ibrahim has been chided for refusing to swear on the Quran that he is innocent of the allegation of sodomy. The government-owned media went to town in the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-election to run Anwar down on his refusal to swear on the Quran.

Do I take it that if I too swear on the Quran that I have never insulted Islam or Prophet Muhammad then the matter is resolved? Would the government then unblock Malaysia Today since I have proven my innocence by swearing on the Quran? A hint from Syed Hamid, Pusat Islam or the Religious Department would be most welcome.

I will give the Malaysian government one week to come back with a response. I, Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin, am now offering to swear on the Quran that I have never insulted Islam and/or Prophet Muhammad. I, Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin, take up the challenge they have thrown to Anwar Ibrahim and which they chide Anwar Ibrahim for because he has refused to take up the challenge. Come back to me within one week and indicate that you are prepared to witness my oath on the Quran or forever hold your peace and never mention this matter again.

Want to make a small wager, however un-Islamic that may be? I bet they will not be able to offer any examples or evidence of incidences where I have insulted Islam and/or Prophet Muhammad and they will never accept my challenge that I swear on the Quran. The one-week will come and go and nothing will happen. They will ignore my challenge and will not respond. And this is because there are no incidences where I have ever insulted Islam or Prophet Muhammad.

This is nothing but a Red Herring. They are using an excuse that works well with most Muslims. If Muslims think you are insulting Islam or Prophet Muhammad they will go berserk. So what better excuse to offer than you are insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad. And since it is the government that is saying so, then this must be true, because would the government ever lie to the people?

Yes, they demand that Anwar Ibrahim swear on the Quran that he has never sodomised Saiful. And when Anwar refuses to do so they go to town with the issue and say that this proves Anwar’s guilt. Well, I too challenge them to demand that I swear on the Quran that I have never insulted Islam or Prophet Muhammad. And if they refuse to demand that I do so, then I too will go to town with the issue and declare them guilty of lying just like how they have declared Anwar guilty.

I remember back in April 2001 when the government detained ten of us under the Internal Security Act. Except for Tian Chua and Gobalakrishnan, the rest of us were put through a three-day Islamic rehabilitation program. For three days an ustaz was asked to sit with us from morning till evening to discuss Islam so that we could be ‘guided’ and ‘led back to the right path’ from which we have strayed.

It was a three-day rehabilitation program. But the ustaz did not give me my three days. On the second day he did not turn up. The excuse they gave me was that the ustaz ‘had something to do’. After we were released from detention, I checked with the others and they all confirmed that they had to go through the full three days, even Ustaz Badrulamin, an ex-UIA lecturer, and Saari Sungib, the ex-President of JIM, an Islamic movement.

Why did they ‘abandon’ me after the first day? Why were all the others subjected to the full three days except for me? Did they discover me beyond rehabilitation and thought that it was therefore futile to continue to try to rehabilitate me? Or did they give up on me, not because I was a lost cause, but because I out-debated the ustaz and they felt, instead of the ustaz rehabilitating me, I might end up rehabilitating him?

If they are still not satisfied and still feel I need to be rehabilitated, then I will throw an open challenge to any ustaz in Malaysia to sit down with me and prove that I am wrong or that I am a deviant. Come on, surely there is at least one ustaz, Tok Guru, Mufti, etc., who dares take me on. Come debate with me. Show me I am wrong. Then I will stop writing about Islam for the rest of my life. Surely this offer is too good to refuse.

Allow me to reveal some points of the ten-hour or so non-stop debate that I had with the ustaz during my Internal Security Act detention back in 2001. Ten hours is a long debate so I will certainly not be able to reproduce the entire thing. But some of these points will probably demonstrate why the ustaz ‘abandoned’ me after the first day and never came back the following day.


Pak Engku, today there will be no interrogation. For the next three days this ustaz will sit with you and talk about Islam.

He is supposed to rehabilitate me is it?

No, not rehabilitate. Just to talk to you about Islam so that we can get a better understanding of your thoughts on Islam.

The Special Branch officer walks out of the room and leaves me alone with the ustaz.

Before the ustaz can open his mouth I kick off the debate with my ‘opening speech’.

Ustaz, I am not as well versed in Islam as you are. I went to an English school and do not speak Arabic. I have also not memorised the Quran like you have. So my knowledge on Islam is very shallow. Forgive me, therefore, if what I say might not be right because I am speaking as a jahil (ignorant person) and not as a learned person.

The ustaz just nods without saying a word and I continue.

Tell me, ustaz, is amar maaruf, nahi munkar compulsory (wajib) or optional (sunat)?

He opens his mouth but before anything can come out of it I quickly continue.

Let me answer that myself. It is wajlb right? Amar maaruf, nahi munkar is as wajib as praying, fasting, performing the Haj and so on. It is an obligation. It is compulsory for all Muslims to perform amar maaruf, nahi munkar. It is not something you can choose whether to do or not. It is something you must do. It is mandatory in Islam.

The ustaz nods but says nothing.

So tell me, ustaz. Tell me I am wrong in performing amar maaruf, nahi munkar. Tell me it is not wajib, just like praying, fasting and so on. Tell me I should not perform amar maaruf, nahi munkar. Then I shall stop performing amar maaruf, nahi munkar.

The ustaz no longer even nods.

I challenge you, ustaz. (I point to the ceiling). Before Allah and with Allah as our Witness, tell me I have erred in performing amar maaruf, nahi munkar. Tell me amar maaruf, nahi munkar is not an obligation and compulsory in Islam. Tell me it is not wajib. Then let us all stop performing amar maaruf, nahi munkar. And let us also stop praying and fasting plus all those other rituals that are equally wajib and as much an obligation just like amar maaruf, nahi munkar.

The ustaz shuffles uncomfortably in his seat but before he can respond I charge in again.

I am doing only what is wajib in Islam. If you can before Allah and with Allah as our Witness tell me that amar maaruf, nahi munkar is wrong and that I should not be performing it, then let us now, before Allah and with Allah as our Witness, also declare all those others which are equally wajib as wrong.

I do not expect any response from the ustaz and do not wait for one.

I am prepared to stop performing amar maaruf, nahi munkar if you, ustaz, before Allah and with Allah as our Witness, declare it wrong. If you dare do that, then I will also stop performing all those others such as praying and fasting, which, therefore, should be declared equally wrong since they share the same wajib status as amar maaruf, nahi munkar.

This time I want him to respond so I stop to force a response out of him.

Yes, you are right, of course it is wajib.

That is all I wanted him to say.

Then what am I doing here, ustaz? Why am I under Internal Security Act detention? If I am only performing what Islam makes mandatory, what crime have I committed? Amar maaruf, nahi munkar is compulsory. All Muslims are obligated to perform it. I am being detained for doing what Islam forces us to do. I am being detained for obeying Allah. If obeying Allah is a crime then should I also be performing my prayers and fast? Are these also crimes in the eyes of the Malaysian government? What difference is praying and fasting compared to amar maaruf, nahi munkar? All are mandatory in Islam. If one is wrong then all should be wrong. If amar maaruf, nahi munkar is a crime then praying and fasting are also crimes. If I must stop performing amar maruf, nahi munkar then I must also stop praying, fasting, and all those others. Tell me, ustaz. Tell me that amar maaruf, nahi munkar is wrong. Tell me what Islam makes mandatory is a crime. Tell me the government is right in detaining me for performing amar maaruf, nahi munkar. Then, today, now, I will stop performing amar maaruf, nahi munkar, plus all those others that Islam makes mandatory as well. And, from today, now, you and I shall stop performing all those other obligations such as praying and fasting which, just like amar maaruf, nahi munkar, should also be classified as wrong.


This debate continues till the end of the day. But it is not really a debate as much as it is a monologue. I barrage the ustaz with him nodding and hardly opening his mouth. The following day he does not turn up, either because he has given up on me and realises he can’t guide me back to the right path, or because the Special Branch is worried that I would instead ‘lead him astray’.

Syeds are supposed to be descendants of the Prophet. I take it that Syed Hamid is, therefore, also a descendant of the Prophet. But he does not exhibit the proper Islamic qualities.

Syed Hamid is a lawyer who also built up a career as a merchant banker. I take it, therefore, that his English is better than the average Malay. Why can’t he then see that I am insulting Muslims? And this does not translate to insulting Islam or the Prophet.

If I were to call someone a pig, does that mean I am insulting that person or am I insulting pigs? Going by Syed Hamid’s logic, by calling someone a pig, I am insulting pigs.

No, Syed Hamid is not stupid. He does not even have a poor command of English. This is all a Red Herring. They want to block, not censor, Malaysia Today. So they are using the insulting Islam issue as the excuse. That is all.

In fact, what I am doing -- amar maaruf, nahi munkar; which means to uphold truth and oppose evil -- is mandatory in Islam. What I am doing is what Islam stipulates. I am more Islamic than that Arab pretending to be a descendant of the Prophet. And it is they, not me, who are insulting Islam. They use Islam as the camouflage to perpetuate racism and persecution. They perpetuate injustice. And they say this is what Islam is all about.

Simple Maths about Msia Parliament Seats

This is not just about kicking Barisan Nasional out. This is not just about forming a new Pakatan Rakyat federal government. This is also about maintaining the peace, stability and harmony between the many races and about denying Umno the opportunity to turn this whole thing into a race issue.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Soon after the 8 March 2008 general election, Malaysia Today mooted the possibility that Pakatan Rakyat could form the new federal government if at least 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament crossed over. Another idea that Malaysia Today mooted was the formation of the ‘Unity Government’ and the eventual emergence of a two-party system in Malaysia.

The two-party system was accepted with no problems but the crossovers and Unity Government proposals were whacked to kingdom come. Some even commented that I had ‘changed’ since the election and no longer speak the way I used to. They were beginning to wonder what had happened to me and whether I was suffering from ‘battle fatigue’ and should in fact take a long rest before continuing to write again.

The ‘ailment’ I was suffering from was merely a case of realpolitik or pragmatism. Let’s face it: what can Pakatan Rakyat do with a mere 82 seats in Parliament? It does not even have enough clout to stop the federal government from sabotaging the five states under Pakatan Rakyat control. And this can be done easily enough by squeezing the five states of development money (like how they did to Terengganu in 1999) whereby, come the next election, these states will fall back into Barisan Nasional’s hands (like what happened to Terengganu in 2004).

It’s all about money. If the states get squeezed of money, then the people will re-evaluate the logic of keeping these states under Pakatan Rakyat control. See what the 2009 Budget was all about. It was about pouring money into states like Sabah and Sarawak that may be the source of the crossovers. Umno knew that Sabah and Sarawak were the most possible targets of the crossovers. So they are promising billions to these two states just to ensure that they remain in Barisan Nasional.

Barisan Nasional has 140 seats in Parliament against Pakatan Rakyat’s 82 -- which is 31 for PKR, 28 for DAP and 23 for PAS. But that is for the whole country. In Peninsular Malaysia, Pakatan Rakyat has 80 seats against Barisan Nasional’s 86. Yes, that’s right. In Peninsular Malaysia, Barisan Nasional has only six seats more than Pakatan Rakyat. If just three Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament from Peninsular Malaysia cross over, Pakatan Rakyat would have 83 seats against Barisan Nasional’s 83.

The ‘main players’ in Barisan Nasional are Umno (79 seats), MCA (15 seats), MIC (3 seats) and Gerakan (2 seats). But 13 of Umno’s seats are in Sabah. Therefore, in Peninsular Malaysia, Umno has only 66 seats against MCA’s, MIC’s and Gerakan’s 20 (Total 86 for Barisan Nasional versus Pakatan Rakyat’s 80).

Sabah and Sarawak are definitely the Kingmakers. And the fact that, by law, 25% of the Parliament seats must come from Sabah and Sarawak means they shall always be the Kingmakers. And this is even more so now since, in Peninsular Malaysia, Barisan Nasional’s and Pakatan Rakyat’s seats are almost split 50:50. In fact, in Peninsular Malaysia, Pakatan Rakyat garnered more votes than Barisan Nasional (51% versus 49%). Only when you add the votes from Sabah and Sarawak are the percentages reversed.

The King of Kings would be PBB, Taib Mahmud’s party in Sarawak, which has 14 seats. This is followed by Umno in Sabah, which has 13 seats. SUPP and PRS, both in Sarawak, have six seats each. UPKO in Sabah and SPDP in Sarawak have four seats each -- followed by PBS in Sabah (3 seats), SAPP in Sabah (2 seats) and PBRS and LDP, both in Sabah, with one seat each.

The bottom line is, there are 56 Parliament seats in Sabah and Sarawak. Umno controls 13 and the opposition (DAP) two. The balance 41 are controlled by the component members of Barisan Nasional East Malaysia. If you regard the 13 Umno Sabah seats as ‘component member’ seats, then the total ‘hostile’ seats in East Malaysia (within Barisan Nasional) would be 54. Add the 20 from MCA, MIC and Gerakan, then Pakatan Rakyat would now have 74 seats to fish from.

And 30 seats are all Pakatan Rakyat needs. So 74 are plenty. And that is assuming the 66 Umno seats in Peninsular Malaysia remain with Barisan Nasional and do not cross over.

But there would be a problem if none of the 79 Umno Members of Parliament cross over. Pakatan Rakyat has 43 Malay Members of Parliament opposed to 39 non-Malays. That is okay because then Umno can’t say that the non-Malays control the opposition. But if 30 non-Malay Members of Parliament cross over to Pakatan Rakyat, and they get to form the new federal government, then it would be 69 non-Malays opposed to only 43 Malays.

Herein lies the problem and that is why there is a delay in Pakatan Rakyat forming the new federal government. Anwar Ibrahim does have his 30. In fact, it is more than 30. But Anwar has to be very careful in maintaining the ‘balance’. He can’t afford to form the new federal government with 69 or more non-Malay Members of Parliament and only 43 Malays. Umno would go to town with this and it will ‘prove’ what Umno has been saying these last many months: that the non-Malays have grabbed political power and the Malays have lost political power.

Yes, this is the song Umno has been singing since the 8 March 2008 general election. Malay political power had eroded, argues Umno. And once the 30 or more non-Malay Members of Parliament cross over and Pakatan Rakyat forms the new federal government, the Malays will lose political power.

In an Umno Johor Convention a couple of months ago, they spoke about how they regret giving citizenship to the immigrants on 31 August 1957. Now that these immigrants have been granted citizenship, they have demonstrated ingratitude by voting for the opposition. These immigrants should never have been given citizenship, argued speaker after speaker. And Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah were guests of honour in this Convention.

You could see Tengku Razaleigh cringe, as if in great pain, on hearing this. He knew that Barisan Nasional suffered its most humiliating performance on 8 March 2008 because of exactly this. Such statements are not going to help. It will just make matters worse.

Umno played the race card to the hilt in the run-up to the recent general election. And it is still doing so until now, as the Umno Bukit Bendera Division Chief has shown. They still refer to Malaysian-born Chinese and Indians as immigrants. They still call the Chinese and Indians ungrateful squatters. They still ask the Chinese and Indians to go back to China and India, though all these people were born in Malaysia and not in any other country.

In a PPP Convention in Melaka, held before the 8 March 2008 general election, the Umno Vice-President and Chief Minister told the 1,000 or so Indians that Umno does not need the non-Malays. They do not even need Sabah and Sarawak, said Ali Rustam. Umno has ruled Malaysia for 50 years without the non-Malays, or the people from Sabah and Sarawak, and they can continue to do so another 50.

Ali Rustam was not asked to apologise. Neither was the Umno Bukit Bendera Umno Chief, who Abdullah Badawi said did not really mean what he said. But if I were to say something like that, the police would be in front of my house the very next day and I would be hauled into court and charged for sedition within 24 hours. That would be how swift the police would act in the event I said even 10% of what the Umno leaders say.

And this will be what will trigger the crossovers. The Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament will join Pakatan Rakyat to form the new federal government because of such talk. Umno has no respect for the non-Malays. Umno thinks all it needs to do is to bribe Sabah and Sarawak with more development funds and they will remain the loyal running dogs of Barisan Nasional. Umno knows that the Parliament seats in Peninsular Malaysia are split almost 50:50. So all they need to do is to bribe Sabah and Sarawak and the 54 seats in East Malaysia will remain in Barisan Nasional and Umno will subsequently remain in power.

Umno also knows that by just getting at least 30 Members of Parliament from Sabah and Sarawak, or even the 20 from MCA, MIC and Gerakan, to cross over is not enough. That would give Pakatan Rakyat a 43-Malay versus 69-non-Malay federal government. This will be exactly what Umno wants. Then they can play up the ‘Malays have lost political power’ race card. And then the May 13 Version 2 would become a reality.

There are many impatient people. They want Anwar to take over and form the new federal government today. They want at least 30 Members of Parliament from Sabah and Sarawak to cross over now. They want Anwar to tell Umno to go to hell. But he can’t do that. He needs Umno. Well, at least he needs some of those from Umno. He needs at least 15 to 20 Umno Members of Parliament to join another 15 to 20 non-Malay Members of Parliament to cross over so that he can form the new federal government with the right racial balance. Then Umno can’t say that the Malays have lost political power. And Umno also can’t use this to fan the sentiments of the Malays and trigger another race riot the likes of what happened on 13 May 1969.

This is not just about kicking Barisan Nasional out. This is not just about forming a new Pakatan Rakyat federal government. This is also about maintaining the peace, stability and harmony between the many races and about denying Umno the opportunity to turn this whole thing into a race issue.

And Anwar, of all people, knows this. And that is why he is taking his time about it and is covering all the bases before making his move. We want Malaysia to move forward into 2009. We do not want to return to 1969. This is the crux of the matter.

Monday, May 5, 2008