MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Friday, June 30, 2023

Sweden Quran burner says planning another burning: Report

 Salwan Momika protests outside a mosque in Stockholm on June 28, 2023, during the Eid al-Adha holiday. Momika, 37, who fled from Iraq to Sweden several years ago, was granted permission by the Swedish police to burn the Muslim holy book during the demonstration. -AFP file pic

STOCKHOLM: The man who burned pages of the Koran outside a Stockholm mosque, sparking protests and a wave of condemnations, told Swedish media Thursday that he intended to burn another Al-Quran within 10 days.

After being granted a permit to protest by Swedish police, Salwan Momika, 37, stomped on the Islamic holy book and set several pages alight in front of the capital's largest mosque on Wednesday.

The Quran burning, coinciding with the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha and the end of the annual pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia, sparked anger across and beyond the Middle East.

Speaking to newspaper Expressen, Momika said he knew his action would provoke reactions and that he had received "thousands of death threats".

Nonetheless, he was planning further actions in the coming weeks, he said.

"Within 10 days I will burn the Iraqi flag and the Quran in front of Iraq's embassy in Stockholm," he said.

Swedish police had granted him a permit in line with free-speech protections, but later said they had opened an investigation over "agitation against an ethnic group," noting that he had performed the burning so close to the mosque.

Momika, however, denied that his actions constituted a "hate crime" or "agitation towards any group".

"The police have the right to investigate whether the burning is a hate crime. They could be right and they can be wrong," Momika told the newspaper, adding that it would be up to a court to decide in the end.

The police authorisation for the protest came two weeks after a Swedish appeals court rejected the police's decision to deny permits for two demonstrations in Stockholm which were to include Quran burnings.

Police had at the time cited security concerns, following a burning of the Muslim holy book outside Turkey's embassy in January which led to weeks of protests, calls for a boycott of Swedish goods and further stalled Sweden's Nato membership bid -- which is being blocked by Ankara.

The appeals court however in mid-June ruled that police were wrong to ban those, saying the security concerns cited by police were not sufficient to ban the events. -- AFP

Mortar bomb found at Ipoh polo grounds

 An object, believed to be a mortar-type bomb, was found by a jogger at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Recreation Park, commonly known as the polo grounds, here, today. -BERNAMA PIC

IPOH: An object, believed to be a mortar-type bomb, was found by a jogger at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Recreation Park, commonly known as the polo grounds, here, today.

Ipoh police chief Assistant Commissioner Yahaya Hassan said the police received a call about 3pm informing them of the discovery of an object resembling a mortar bomb by the pool of the recreation park.

Yahaya said upon arrival, the police cordoned off the area to ensure public safety.

"The bomb disposal unit arrived at the scene and found a mortar bomb, measuring 300 mm (millimetres) long, 60mm wide and did not contain explosives and was used for training," he said in a statement today.

He said the mortar bomb had been taken to the Perak police weapons division for further checks. -- Bernama

Saifuddin Nasution This Is Disgusting. Your Fellow Minister Says Your Jabatan Is Corrupted

 This is clear evidence that this Madani gomen IS SIMPLY NOT FUNCTIONING. The Minister of Tourism is making point blank accusation that the 'jaga KLIA' fellows are corrupted.


Memang pun this is old news. These fellows are famous for their corruption. But that was before - under the rule of Zaman Mahazalim dan Mahafiraun, under UMNO-BN and all the other crap. That is why UMNO-BN  lost the elections and they were thrown out.

But this is the new Madani gomen. Saifuddin Nasution is now the new Madani Minister of Home Affairs. 

So Saifuddin Nasution, what are you doing?

Correction : What are you going to do about this.   

Please do something drastic brother. We are 100% behind you. Take drastic action and the people will support you fully.

Saifuddin Nasution : transfer out ALL the officers not only at the KLIA but at every international airport, at every Thai border crossing and at the Singapore crossings.

Just transfer them out. If necessary send them to Pulau Sebatek.

All appointments to the airports and the border crossings must be temporary - not more than 12 months. Unless the officer shows good and professional conduct. If they are professional (with no complaints from the public) then they can stay longer.

Please look into the points raised by the Minister of Tourism and take disciplinary action against the officers involved, especially the fellows who asked for money from the foreign tourist.

Malu bro. This is disgusting. The Madani gomen is not functioning.

One last thing - may I suggest you change the name of that jabatan.  It may force them to wake up.

 p.s. What happened to online betting syndicates protected by politicians?  

Saifuddin, do something bro.

Bersatu man says dispute over associate wing resolved weeks ago


A Bersatu divisional leader said a purported dismissal letter sent to three committee members did not bear any names.

PETALING JAYA: A Bersatu leader has questioned a report that three committee members of the party’s associate wing had been sacked.

The division leader from Selangor said the purported dismissal letter did not mention any names, “nor was any letter signed by Muhyiddin,” referring to party president Muhyiddin Yassin.

The leader, who asked to remain anonymous, told FMT that only Muhyiddin could remove the committee members.

Earlier today, the associate wing’s deputy chief Dr Mahaganapathy Dass, information chief S Subramaniam and committee member MU Raja, were reported by Malaysiakini to have been dismissed.

The wing’s assistant secretary Dr Richard Ng was also quoted as saying that a new committee was “in the process of being formed”.

However, FMT’s source said the matter had been resolved “a couple weeks ago”.

He said the trio were appointed by Muhyiddin and the party’s constitution also stipulates that these members cannot be removed at whim.

“I’m sure that Muhyiddin and (Supreme Council member) Azmin Ali will not allow the three to leave because PN needs the Indian vote,” he said. - FMT

Look at the big picture, Saifuddin tells Muhyiddin


PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said Muhyiddin Yassin should focus on strengthening his party instead of relying on PAS.

PETALING JAYA: Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin has been told off for making selective criticisms of the current government, with PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail saying the former should have taken a more comprehensive view.

Saifuddin, a Cabinet minister in Anwar Ibrahim’s government, said it was wrong for Muhyiddin to focus solely on the declining ringgit, high interest rates and increased cost of living when labelling Anwar’s government as “hopeless”.

Muhyiddin should have taken into account the overall state of the economy, which was “fundamentally strong”, Saifuddin said.

“Muhyiddin should take a comprehensive view of economic management. The management of the economy should be assessed in terms of the inflation rate, unemployment, trade balances, and political stability,” he told FMT.

Saifuddin said the Anwar government had provided effective control of the economy, with policies geared towards welfare, despite inheriting debt incurred from the time Muhyiddin was prime minister (from 2020 to 2022).

“Muhyiddin should allow Anwar and the unity government to carry out their duties,” said Saifuddin.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin had criticised Anwar by saying that the prime minister had not managed the economy well, despite having asked for 100 days to do so. Muhyiddin said Anwar has now been in power for seven months.

Muhyiddin said the government had not found ways to tackle the rising cost of living, with many people having fallen into lower income brackets since the pandemic.

He also claimed that Anwar’s government was fragile, and repeated opposition speculation of plans to bring down the government.

Saifuddin took a swipe at Muhyiddin, saying that the latter should focus on strengthening his own party rather than rely indefinitely on PAS, its coalition partner in Perikatan Nasional

“As PN chairman, depending on the strength of another party is a sign of weakness,” said Saifuddin. - FMT

Muda makes a democratic move?

The decision for Muda to go on its own and end its alliance with Pakatan Harapan has reverberated in national politics. From “good riddance” to well wishes, the sentiments (especially on social media) have been emotive and colourful.

Interestingly, this break-up has garnered even more social media attention compared with other recent political break-ups, from the ending of Pakatan Rakyat in 2015 to the split between PAS in Umno in 2021.

An uncomfortable alliance

The writing for separation between Muda and Harapan was on the wall since the Johor 2022 state election, before they even joined forces electorally. Harapan, especially PKR, was uncomfortable with another party that aimed to win over a similar multiethnic, pro-reform, progressive base of supporters.

While Muda made a good-faith effort to cooperate with Harapan in GE15 (and vice versa), the relationship was never one of equal acceptance. Even when they were allies, many Harapan-linked cyber trolls opted to focus their attacks (often highly personalised) on Muda rather than the Perikatan Nasional (PN) opposition.

In GE15, Muda was placed last in line for seats, negotiating for constituencies that no one else really wanted and allocated seats so close to polling day that the party was placed at an even greater disadvantage.

Despite claims to the contrary, its performance in GE15 was nevertheless on par with other (then) Harapan allies.

Muda suffered from the same strengths and weaknesses of Harapan - limited Malay support, only a third of youth support, and uneven performance across seats.

Muda’s strongest comparative advantage remained among 18-20-year-olds, who were brought into the electoral roll through reforms that the party’s lead leader, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, championed.

Like its Harapan allies, Muda performed well where it was an incumbent (and had time to campaign) - as was the case in Muar - where it held off the PN challenge despite the opposition coalition holding state seats in this constituency and the party’s disadvantage with resources.

There were considerable ironies in the short-lived Harapan-Muda alliance. Despite treating Muda as secondary, there were expectations that the party would bring greater youth support to Harapan.

Post-GE15, many in Harapan blamed the decline in support among youth for the coalition since 2018 on Muda rather than itself. There was also a view that Muda benefitted from Harapan support, supposedly “taking” what was already going to Harapan rather than on its own contributions.

Rarely was the reverse touted, that perhaps Muda’s presence offset an even lower level of youth support and that the party not only potentially strengthened Harapan electorally but also its alliance with the coalition undercut the potential support that Muda may have garnered.

Unfortunately, one cannot properly measure these alternatives. Few, however, even consider alternative views, as it would prove uncomfortable to self-reflect on potential shortcomings.

A generational divide

Muda became an easy target to blame for Harapan’s weaker-than-hoped GE15 performance. It is always important to remember that Anwar Ibrahim and Harapan were not elected to form a government on their own, and without others, they would not be in power.

The negative brand imposed on Muda has been reinforced since GE15. The view that Muda - made up of “only” young people - is a “small”, “minnow” one-seat party is deeply entrenched, especially among many Harapan leaders, as is the (unfortunate) parallel view that youth are secondary, marginal, and “minor”.

For some, the treatment of Muda has come to symbolise the secondary treatment of young people as a whole, the exclusion of members of a new generation of political voices. For others, Muda is seen as a young and overly ambitious upstart, impatient for change and inclusion.

There is a clear generational divide in outlook among some in the current government towards younger Malaysians. Youth are to be spoken at in town halls rather than with. They are to clean toilets to supposedly learn lessons, with little appreciation of the challenges today’s youth face, including catching up from missed lessons during Covid-19.

Through the old-fashioned lens, youth are seen to obey, to follow, to be denied decisions on their own health, and to be easily influenced - objects rather than agents of their own.

Worse yet, they are to be objectified, as inappropriately occurred in “ask for your number” remarks. The lesson on the value of apologising was missing.

Instead, there is an entrenched “elders know best” perspective, tapping into hierarchical (old-fashioned and undemocratic) views of young people. Ironically, these are the same entrenched views that Harapan has long challenged, many of whom were once impatient upstarts themselves.

Muda’s difficult political corner

Muda was placed in an untenable position, second (or last) class in an uncomfortable alliance and treated as its enemy on social media by its supposed allies; put (punished) in a far corner where it had only the option to leave. It has made its move to separate, one that arguably was made to be inevitable.

Most perspectives on the separation have highlighted the risks and challenges of going on their own. No question, without access to incumbency and resources, and facing persistent social media attacks, the party will be on an uphill electoral battle.

In a first-past-the-post system, winning the most votes is always difficult. It took PN three different elections to gain ground, and this came through building on PAS’s long-established political base and holding government.

The challenges Muda faces are also internal. The party has to come out of the shadow of being allied to Harapan and earlier to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who initially mentored Muda chief Syed Saddiq in politics (as the elder statesman did with many leaders including Anwar).

Since the Johor state polls, the party has showcased additional leaders beyond Syed Saddiq but in Malaysia’s highly personalised lens of understanding politics, he alone - his past compared to others who have even longer political tenures - continues to garner the most focus.

Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman

What Muda stands for needs to be better defined. The concept of #politicsbaru needs more clarity, as does Muda’s connection to youth and beyond youth.

Muda’s future will rest with reaching out beyond young people, while simultaneously strengthening its support among younger voters under 30, who now make up nearly 40 percent of the electorate (and increasing!).

New (more favourable) political conditions

The decision to go it alone is not an unusual one in Malaysian politics, perhaps most often practised by PAS historically. There are, however, particular features of current politics that make this decision more favourable than in the past.

First of all, voters have increasingly been looking to new options, to those that promise a different future. Party loyalty has declined, along with party membership. The space for new parties is arguably wider than before.

Weaker political parties (and patronage) have also moved mobilisation towards social media, where Muda has stated it will focus its mobilisation. It still, however, has a long way to go to challenge the well-funded PN’s social media dominance.

Second, despite the reality of a (large) younger electorate, most of the established political parties are not making way for younger leaders. They discuss the lack of young candidates, rather than acknowledging the holding on of older incumbents.

From Umno and PAS to Bersatu and PKR key parties are led by those in their 70s. In Harapan, it is only UPKO that has a leader close to Malaysia’s average age of its electorate, Ewon Benedick at (currently) 40.

At the same time, the mindsets (and battles) of national politics of key party leaders remain tied to the past, highly racialised, and personalised.

For too long, Malaysia has been held back by political squabbling. Muda will have to show it can be above the pettiness and vitriol that continues to plague national politics.

Third, the need for a viable, strong opposition is pressing. A vibrant democratic system has opposition parties from different perspectives.

Given the increased role of state governments, the place for constructive (not myopically focused on destabilising a government for personal power) opposition at the state levels is significant, especially oversight over the management of land, environment and state-owned companies.

That different parties are opting to contest state seats to speak about different issues and for different groups is a strength rather than a weakness of democracy.

Noteworthy, there is already a role for different parties in opposition at the state level. Not all the Anwar “unity” government parties are working together in states.

In Johor, Malacca, and Sabah, Harapan and BN parties, as well as Sabah regional parties/coalitions operate in different political configurations. Harapan is still the opposition in Johor as is Warisan in Sabah, for example.

Breaking from the past

A history of dominant centralised alliances did not create checks on power in the past. The implicit “we must get along” clamping down on different parties expressing different views on issues has not erased long-standing differences.

While the time to “agree to disagree and still work together for Malaysia” is gaining traction and Anwar’s government is focused on moving Malaysia forward, among parties there remains a focus on division and competition rather than on the shared interest of public service.

Yet, one should not underestimate the desire of the public (especially among voters under 30) for politicians to just get on with the job, address problems, make needed policy changes, and stop needless petty politicking - to move forward.

Importantly, Muda’s politics (so far) is comparatively less focused on divisive issues of race and religion and more centred on policies, service and deliverables.

With the hashtag #politicsbaru, Muda claims to let the present and future be the driver. In this regard, Muda is both the product of greater democratisation and its promoter, planning on offering more choices to voters.

No question, Muda will have to endure a long (and likely arduous) struggle. They will make mistakes. They are not alone in this experience in national politics. Malaysian politics is not an easy terrain.

Contemporary political history has shown that Malaysian politics is still deeply intertwined with her (more autocratic) past. Yet, the conversation about leaving her past behind is in itself a reflection of new, more democratic, realities. - Mkini

BRIDGET WELSH is an honorary research associate of the University of Nottingham, Malaysia’s Asia Research Institute (Unari). She is also a senior research associate at the Hu Fu Centre for East Asia Democratic Studies and a senior associate fellow of The Habibie Centre. Her writings can be found at bridgetwelsh.com.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.