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Friday, December 13, 2013

TIDE TURNS, Malays shocked by Umno's Shia intolerance: ZAHID LOSES BIG

TIDE TURNS, Malays shocked by Umno's Shia intolerance: ZAHID LOSES BIG
KUALA LUMPUR - What sort of a nation is Malaysia turning into these days?
If those who cheered when authoritarian former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad slipped from power in ruling party Umno, are they happy now with the antics of the faction led by Prime Minister Najib Razak and Zahid Hamidi, the most powerful of Umno's 3 vice presidents?
For sure, the prognosis for Malaysia is a poor one. Najib is not known for dynamism or vision or possessing strong intellect. Zahid is worse - many within his own Malay community have written him off and no longer think of him as being able to fit into the PM's chair.
Malaysia led by a bunch of CLOWNS?
Seven months have passed since the May 5 general election and nearly two months have gone by since the Umno party polls. But critics say Malaysia is stuck in the same quagmire, trapped by "nincompoop" leaders who bank on their hold on the police, the armed forces and the government machinery to "force their will on the citizenry".
If the institutions were neutral, the critics continued, for sure Zahid would be hounded out of his job as Home Minister by now due to his botched 'Shia' crackdown and Najib asked to quit for taking the nation to its most corrupt level ever.
In the past few days, speculation has also swirled of a crackdown against PAS deputy president Mat Sabu, whose arrest was imminent, the rumor mills predicted.
Accusing Mat Sabu of being a Shia follower, Zahid had warned he would not hesitate to throw the book at anyone found to be a follower of the sect.
Incidentally, it is believed Mat Sabu also knows quite a bit about Zahid's involvement in a case where the minister had allegedly assaulted a businessman for 'abducting' his daughter. This had led many to accuse Zahid of abusing his power so as to pressure Mat Sabu to not interfere in the case, the current status of which is in Zahid's favor.
Overkill: Arresting Mat Sabu & being more Muslim than the Middle East
The rumor of Mat Sabu's imminent arrest gained additional strength with Najib conveniently away in Japan, which would leave Zahid having the final say as far as the police are concerned. As the police come under the Home Ministry, they would have to obey Zahid.
Now, 'Shia' is considered an 'aggressive' branch of the Islam religion. It is banned in Malaysia, but even so it is widely accepted in the Middle East where the late Ayatollah Khomeini was a follower.
As such, for Najib, Zahid and Umno to suddenly decide they know more about Islam that the Muslims in the Middle East is not only pretentious but downright ridiculous.
And this is why the tide has suddenly turned against Umno. Simply put, there has been overkill. Najib and Zahid's Shia tactic has backfired badly.
Tide turns: Malays uncomfortable with Zahid's Shia intolerance
The non-Malays, who are the usual targets of Umno's hatred, are watching with bemusement the way the Umno leaders are suddenly going after rival Malay politicians by accusing them of being Shia followers. The non-Malays have seen this sort of sick conspiracy and manipulation only too many times. It is now the Malays' turn.
The Umno-instigated Shia tussle is set to drive sympathy from the Malay community towards rival parties PAS and PKR. Big seeds of doubt have formed about Umno, with many of the Muslims in the country shocked by its political cynicism in daring to use the Shia card against fellow Muslims and on mere flimsy pretexts.
Zahid, who has just announced a plan to form a special police team to target Muslim deviants including Shia followers, is the biggest loser.
Due to this issue, he has lost great credibility and it is hard to see how he can regain the respect of the majority of the Malays, although to a small select right-wing group, he might be a hero.
Shoot first, think later?
In the runup to the Umno poll, Zahid had even encouraged the police to 'shoot first' their crime suspects. Critics believe Zahid is following his own advice now.
"There is a suggestion from an NGO to form a syariah police force, to battle false teachings...we will look into this in detail.  We will also inform the Council of Rulers, so there is no misunderstanding that we are interfering in religious issues," Zahid told the media.
"Our interest is only to safeguard peace and security. Prevention is better than cure."
The Home Ministry had a day ago unveiled 10 'proofs' that they said confirmed Mat Sabu's link to  the Shia sect.
Sad to say, these turned out to be mostly vague hearsay, and it was sad to see Malaysia's Home Ministry reduced to referring to anonymous blogs as 'proof' to nail Mat Sabu.
Many wonder why Zahid, after his very public blustering, has not arrested Mat Sabu yet.
Zahid loses big
There are also growing calls for retaliation from PAS, the second largest political party in the country. Mat Sabu is meeting his lawyers soon and is likely to sue Zahid for defamation at the very least.
Even if the politically-savvy Mat Sabu decides to hold his hand, Zahid has lost.
Barely 2 months ago, the 60-year-old Umno leader was riding high winning the most number of votes in the vice president's post contest. Some even saw in him a prime minister in the making.
Sad to say, those dreams are unlikely to come true. To political observers, Zahid has not only shown his true colors and the dishonest politics he is willing to purvey, his gross incompetence and bungling have rendered him unsuitable to lead the country.

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