Wednesday, January 23, 2013

PAS - from Progressive to Pythonic

Pythonic is the adjectival form of python. And we all know a python is a:

(a) boa constrictor (snake) which kills its prey by constriction (wakakaka), or

(b) spirit or demon (louder wakakaka).

I'm afraid those are what non-Muslims, especially Chinese Malaysians, currently view PAS as, a demon which if it comes into power, will 'kill' its prey (the non-Muslims, wakakaka) by constricting their non-Muslim social, cultural, religious and general freedom through PAS intrusive version (interpretation) of Islamic laws and policies.

As such, I wasn't surprised by The Malaysian Insider's news item Pakatan fears PAS puritans putting non-Muslim vote at risk which tells us: There is concern among Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) rank-and-file that PAS risks losing the pact's non-Muslim vote in Election 2013 due to the Islamist party's puritanical restrictions for the word 'Allah' and its gender-segregation policies in Kedah and Kelantan.

Yes and no to the causes of their concerns and the likely political impact.

Firstly, most Chinese (I can't say for the Indians)  aren't too concerned about the restriction in the use of the Allah word per se.

Really, why should they when the prohibited use of the Allah word doesn't affect their Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian or folk religious practice.

It's only the Christian Chinese and some civil liberty activists who are. I'm sad to say the civil liberty activists are unfortunately in the minority. And I am equally sad to say most Chinese aren't sympathetic to the Christian religious issue - incidentally I am also one, indeed one who actually opposes the use of the Allah word in the Malay language Bible (al Kitab) - sorry.

However, they have been deeply concerned about PAS' version of Islamic rules which directly affect them, such as the recent gender segregation rules (unisex hair dressing salons; couple holding hands), PAS own interpreted moral values in taking action against 2 non-Muslim men in a car watching aeroplanes taking off at KB airport, and again PAS own interpreted Islamic values in its intrusive dress codes for Chinese New Year concerts ...

... which in turn evoke earlier ugly pictures of PAS being intrusively against non-Muslim entertainment events, and the harsh draconian edicts such as stoning to death that Pak Haji Aziz threatened against unmarried mothers abandoning their newly born babies, without understanding the social issues and environment  driving those women into doing so, ...

... and miscellaneous provocative issues such as prohibiting the sale of beer at non-religious associated shops (7-11) or the caning of Muslims caught drinking (because of who could be next - the non-Muslims?), etc. 


Secondly, regarding possibly losing PR's non-Muslim vote in GE-13, that's already well & truly lost in Kedah.

In a previous post PAS 'blesses' MCA I wrote about ..... my discussions with quite a number of Kedahans here in Australia where I have been informed that their voting families and relatives have grumbled about being 'cheated' by PAS, a belief gained from their 'experience' under a PAS Kedah government, and that they won't ever vote for PAS again.

Mind you, neither my Kedah mateys nor I can say that UMNO or MCA will be the direct beneficiaries of their disgust (not just disappointment) with PAS. Those Chinese voters may well end up playing non-halal mahjung or p'ar kau all day on GE-13 election day, wakakaka, which I suppose will indirectly benefit UMNO.

Inul Daratista

I am of course not saying PAS won't be the next Kedah state government again, but they can take it from me they will have to achieve that minus the support of non-Muslim Chinese. Again I can't say about the voting preference of Indian Malaysians in Kedah - maybe my Indian visitors can help enlighten us on this.

In November last year I posted The python hanging around the ceiling fan reflecting my concerns about a pythonic (wakakaka) PAS, and its increasing arrogance as it senses hitherto unpossessed federal power within its reach.

In that post I had mentioned of my sympathy for gasp gawd omigosh Anwar Ibrahim because of PAS' treachery against a Pakatan agreement, with the potential to AGAIN deny Anwar from his wannabe destiny to assume the PM's post, this time through no fault of his.

Yes, politically I may not like or desire Anwar to be PM, but as a human being I'm not completely lacking in sympathy for a man yearning for 15 years (since 1998) to be the PM he had missed by a manmanlai's breath, more so when this time it's not due to his treachery or impatience but rather, because of PAS treachery.

I did feel really sorry for the man (not the politician) in him.

William Shakespeare (Anwar's fave author) wrote in his play 'The Tragedy of Julius Caesar' (Act II, Scene 3), about Mark Anthony's appealing speech on Julius Caesar's non-ambition in refusing the Emperor's crown thrice:

You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?

... with the story informing us that the Roman senators suspected Julius Caesar of bersandiwara-ing when he refused the crown 3 times, ...

... exactly as Pak Haji initially did (though only once to Caesar's thrice) when his PAS people demanded for him to be Pakatan's PM instead of Anwar Ibrahim as consensually agreed by Pakatan.

Mind you, a bersandiwara-ing Julius Caesar at least didn't say “Saya lebih rela jadi khadam daripada PM" (I’d rather be a servant to the country and the people).

And poor Caesar also didn't have the opportunity to say "I accept" as did Pak Haji Hadi Awang on a second insistence by his PAS people.

Pak Haji then stated in Kota Bharu on 18 November 2012: "I welcome being elected as the prime minister ... but I ask Allah to grant us victory."

Dear Pak Haji, other than your own party members, no one in Pakatan had elected you to be PM.

As per Shakespeare's words, it would be PAS' treachery, especially Hadi Awang's, that will finish off Anwar - 'Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms, Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart'

The PAS scorpion just has to be true to its venomous nature, stinging its vital carriage even in mid stream, for Anwar Ibrahim has indeed been its carriage, carrying the Islamic Party across the stream to (be acceptable to) the non-Muslim side.

All that had frighteningly emerged on the eve of GE-13 because PAS has become so damn confident it will be the Pakatan component party with the most number of seats, from its contest in 60 choice federal constituencies. Thus in its anticipatory ebullience, it made its most alarming aggressive avaricious move.

And precisely because of that confidence in its pending election victory, Harun Taib, PAS Ulama Chief, arrogantly declared the Malaysian legal system will have Hudud if PAS wins more seats than allies.

Now, had that been a Pakatan agreement?

While that declaration by itself, that of embracing hudud, has not been not new, and a known aspiration of PAS, what was far more worrying had been Harun Taib’s boast that PAS would implement hudud regardless, ...

... as evident in his reported words above, but more so his statement that “… if not with the current partners we have in Pakatan… may be there will be other pacts that will lend us their support …”.

Apart from its treacherous going-it-alone-after-winning by running over Pakatan pre GE-13 agreements, we need to query what other pacts did/does PAS have in mind?

And that would be the python that will drop down from the ceiling fan.

You know, once I had hope that people like Nizar Jamaluddin and Mat Sabu will keep a rein on those mean misogynistic mullahs and introduce a clean brand of politics based on the best socialistic aspects of Islam, a religion we have been told over and over again is compassionate in accordance with the exemplary excellent example of a Compassionate Allah swt.

I was rightly impressed by Nizar's declaration that the affairs of the state comes first ahead of his obligations to his party, that he was not a MB of PAS, but a MB representing PR and the people of Perak.

Much earlier, in 2006, I was also impressed by Mohamad Hanipa Maidin. In 2006 he was PAS Youth information chief but apparently no longer as the post has been occupied by Ustaz Riduan Mohd Nor.

Last year I might just have read of some disparaging remarks (probably by an UMNO person) against him related to his legal defence of Mohd Kamil Zuhairi Abd Aziz (a Shiite Muslim?).

In 2006 Hanipa had, in my opinion, come in from the left field when he in a forum organized by the Open Dialogue Center condemned the Arab model as unsuitable for democracy and modern civilization.

Startling as it undoubtedly must have been even for the PAS Arab-philes, Hanipa, one of the party's (then) top Youth leaders, stated the Arabs have shown a terrible example, resulting in a negative image of democracy and Islam – yes, Hanipa was talking about democracy and Islam within the context of modern civilization.

Hanipa declared the awful Arab example has unfairly dragged other Muslims down into the gutter with them. He deduced, quite correctly, that the West perceives all Muslims through that Arabic prism.

He went on to attribute the phenomenon of al-Qaeda to the undemocratic practices of Arab leaders. While he was correct on this score, alas, I wished he had also mentioned that the majority of those undemocratic Arab leaders were propped up by the USA for the latter's own interests.

Obviously Hanipa wanted to move PAS away from the ultra-conservative right, and its low class style of campaigning a la the preposterous and in fact blasphemous 'ticket to heaven' promotion prior to the 2004 general election. His policy direction for his party appeared to be a more centrist, shall we say, Islamic democracy.

I had then thought his proposal, if accepted, would make PAS more palatable to the non-Muslims, and enhance the Islamic party's 2008 campaigning as Malaysians had then become impatient with Ahmad Abdullah Badawi's Islam Hadhari. But was Hanipa acting on his own accord when he killed PAS scared cow camel, or did he have his party's approval?

Anyway it didn't matter because in the end, it was the Malaysian voters’ united hatred and disgust for an increasing arrogant and wayward UMNO that brought about the 2008 political tsunami and a degree of non-Muslim acceptance of PAS.

However, I'm prepared to concede that Anwar Ibrahim had contributed enormously towards making PAS politically palatable to non-Muslims, with blokes like Nizar Jamaluddin additionally convincing us that PAS might not be the hidden leopard we had feared.

Back to Hanipa - then to show his democratic credentials and at the same time jab sideways at UMNO's ribs, Hanipa said PAS would not agree to use the Internal Security Act (ISA) against those who published the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) caricatures because the security law was wicked. 

He said: “Those who insult the prophet are definitely wicked but the ISA is worse and it is a law that has been abused.”

I wondered then, did he have prior approval when he said that?

And in a show of new found humility and frankness, Hanipa stated that Muslims in this country should also not assume that all of PAS’ actions were right, but they need to understand that PAS was a political organization, and sometimes would be forced to act according to its political agenda.

PAS attempt to intrude on a non-Muslim Valentine's Day celebration

Clever bloke, he's covering his behind just in case, in the worst case scenario, some loose cannon in PAS starts to sell 'tickets to heaven' again. But I doubt that would have been sufficient to explain the silly misogynist and anti-social, prohibit & punish, intrusive mentality of some of his colleagues.

Poor Hanipa, he couldn't have foreseen what PAS would be doing 6 years later in Kota Baru and Kedah, on the eve of GE-13.

Anyway, we wouldn't have expected to hear the anti-Arab utterance as well as such humble and frank confession from a PAS leader, albeit a junior one, in a million years, but there you were, Hanipa uttered them.

I thought that for Hanipa to voice in an open forum his abandonment of all things Arab and Arabic, he would have had quiet approval from his party higher ups. If he had, I might just have a few things to say, given the recent edicts of the PAS Majlis Surya and the shameful volte-face conduct of Pak Haji Nik Aziz.

Or, in my wildest imaginations, perhaps the more progressive Young Turks in PAS have taken over and adopted a new and more flexible direction in the party's political campaigning. 

I thought that would have been a wise political move as its previous campaign had been directed at the converted when those votes were already assured. By making a radical change from its medieval mindset and practice, it would win over the yet-to-be converted because that's where the additional votes for PAS would have to come from.

I believed then that if PAS aspired to be the federal government, it should accommodate the non-Muslims, their beliefs and concerns, before it could convince them that the PAS brand of Islam [and there was no necessity for PAS to ever abandon its central pillar of Islam] would not be oppressive but in fact would preserve the highest compassionate and just values of Islamic democracy, or if you like, democratic Islam without any medieval cruelty in legal punishment [eg. chopping off hands, gouging of eyes, whipping, beheading, stoning and miscellaneous misogynous practices].

Fast forward to today, and alamak, just when we non-Muslims were beginning to accept PAS, those mullahs would want to do what it did in 1999 and 2004, bearing its fangs and exercising its steroid-laden muscles on the eve of the general election. It must have a perpetual (political) death wish.

In many ways, PAS suffers from the same 'disease' as had Anwar Ibrahim, that of impatience, especially on the eve of victory. As I had on a number of occasions chided Anwar, there’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lips.

And we, especially non-Muslims, should be thankful for that, a timely revelation of PAS' pythonic nature.

Just remember, a Malaysia under Islamic syariah laws (inclusive of its hudud) as envisaged and intended by PAS will in all likelihood not have an option for political belakang pusing for non-Muslims and even Muslims.

Democracy and its institution will automatically come under the control of a supreme, non-questionable, non-challengeable (a la the fatwas of Kedah MB), and totally dictatorial religious Majlis, FOREVER MORE, ...

... and as mentioned by RPK in his post Friday prayers are NOT compulsory, said the Mufti, the process in an Islamic environment is not democratic and not questionable even by logic, reason, precedent or rules.

Thus one cannot, in Manglish (Malaysian English), 'simply play play' with our voting in the coming election and then believe we can still vote PAS out in a following election if we don't like its policies.

There may or may not well be any following election once the religious Majlis has been established, for it will be all powerful, absolute in its command, control and governing of national politics and indeed everything, and frighteningly unchallengeable. It is unlikely to put itself in a position of losing its power. Thus it will likely be that all election candidates may have to be approved by the Majlis. 

The pythonic demon will by then have wrapped its sinister coils around you kau kau, where there will be no escape.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made 
- Genesis.3:1


  1. Aha, KTemoc, you have finally wised up to the local Talibans! Good for ya! I remember that long ago in the dim past you wrote about these specimens and I commented that: "The dingo may look like a dog but it is NOT a dog and anyone who persists in treating it as one will one day find his arm torn off or his throat ripped open."

    Take it from me - ALL religious fanatics, no matter from which religion, are like that - i.e. they will not rest until ALL UNDER HEAVEN can be brought/coerced/bribed/seduced to worship their god.

    Just last Saturday, TV3 here showed the acclaimed movie, The Kite Runner, which gave an inkling, mind you it was merely a glimpse but quite terrifying enough, of what life would be like under the Taliban. And our local Talibans have already given out enough hints to scare the pants off us infidels.

  2. Kaytee,there is no need to worry as PAS will be a responsible party,and will not deprive the non Malays of their basic rights.That is if PR do take over Putrajaya.Their making a lot of noises and tit and tat with Karpal is just between disagreeing siblings.Afterall this is election season,and what better way than to get the grassroots up,exited and running.

    1. Don't think so.....look at kedah. Pls don't act like BN, no consensus, act first without thorough think through and flip flop later.

  3. The Archbishop of the Catholic Church and Herman Shastri are Malaysian Indians. Most Peninsular bishops, priests and pastors are Chinese or Indians. Many churches of various denominations have services in Chinese and Tamil, for the non English speaking worshippers, showing a wide cross-section. I personally know many Chinese and Indian Christians whose position on ALLAH in Bibles are in support of the usage and in solidarity with East Malaysian Christians. Some churches conduct service in Malay too, for the younger generation who are more comfortable with Malay. The only race not represented in church is Malay. So I am not sure KTemoc has done his research on this one. Maybe from a few anecdotal comments overheard at the pub or coffeeshop?

    1. I look at the Allah word issue not from the Christian viewpoint but from that of a citizen concerned for social harmony and stability. I fear that the Christian Church with its obligatory evangelistic duty to its god, and armed with a Malay language bible which refers to the Christian god as 'Allah' may succumb to the temptation of proselytizing Malay Muslims. In fact I dare say it's not just a temptation but a Christian's obligation to 'turn' non-Christians to the enlightened way taught by Christ.

      The Muslims aren't concerned about Sikhs referring to Allah in their Holy Books because Sikhism is not evangelistic, nor are their Holy Books written in the Malay language, thus making it unlikely Muslims would read them.

      That's where I am coming from with regards on the use of the Allah word in the Church's al Kitab.

    2. KTemoc, the ALLAH issue is just the latest of many many instances where Christians have "turned the other cheek". From the decline in foreign priests and brothers allowed into the country to the Islamization of Christian Mission schools (eg Muslim Principal) to the near impossibility of getting approvals to build churches, hence the sprouting of shoplot or factory churches, the ALLAH issue is getting close to the last straw as it impinges on their holy book. Yet you ask for more tolerance......I wonder if you understand the issue or just writing to please the piped piper.

  4. Dear KT, as much as PAS's action which surely affect the Chinese support in PR. I have to remind us DAP's LGE action in bringing up back the kalimah Allah issue and K. Singh constant 'over my dead body' of Islamic State, is also alienating the Malay in PAS ( not to mention those in Umno and the majority of new voters currently not allign to both). And Anwar need both DAP/PAS support more than his own PKR support.

    1. much as I respect and support Lim GE, I have to agree his raising of the Allah word issue was untimely.

      however, it's different with Karpal because his issue has not the Allah word per se which in reality is quite a small issue of the Catholic Church's making vis-a-vis its desire to use the word in its Malay language section of the Catholic Herald newspaper.

      Karpal's stand is about a far higher policy, namely, about the establishment of an Islamic State in Malaysia, a stand which he has consistently opposed for ages, on constitutional grounds. Yes, it may well be that he has offended Malays but as mentioned this is a core consensual concept of our genesis as a nation.

      As PM, Dr Mahathir has toyed around with it in his bid to outflank PAS in the heartland, ignoring established constitutional grounds. He and not Karpal should be blamed for giving hopes to PAS.

  5. For those blogging from Australia, and accusing anyone e.g. PAS of Taliban-ish mentality in attempting to restrict the sale of beer in 24-hour convenience stores such as 7-11.
    Please go check whether you can buy beer in 24-hour convenience stores such as 7-11 in free, liberal and definitely non-Taliban Australia. I know the answer - but either you don't or conveniently ignore it.
    And I also know the reason - there are good social and civic reasons for it.

    The same reasons are valid in Malaysia.
    That Beer is not classed as an alcoholic drink salable only in licensed premises is a quirk of Malaysia's colonial past, and actually far more liberal than most other countries in the West.
    In many liberal democracies, beer is treated as any other alcoholic drink, and sales are restricted to only licensed premises, and stipulated selling hours.

    There are very good social and safety reasons why Beer should not be freely available for sale after Mid-night. Please go read the research - I can send you relevant links if you are interested.

    1. Wollongong, availability of beer at coffee shops and outlets such as Chinese groceries and 7-11 is still the status quo, regardless of its colonial past. Australia has a different system a la 'lain padang lain belalang'.

      If you're trying to posit that the last solar-energied attempt to stop beer selling at a 7-11 outlet in Selangor had been a move based on safety then you're unkind to your own self.

      I am receptive to and supportive of proper process to stop sales of alcoholic beverages at unlicensed outlets on safety grounds, but there must be a proper process, and not the unilateral outcome or decision of someone who is inclined towards the dreaded tri-actions of 'prohibit, prosecute & punish'. And that is why I fear dictatorship of the mullahs.

  6. pas - islamic state & hudud....keep on dreaming!. umno (baru) - ketuanan melayu....keep screaming! dap - multi-racial party....ask father & son sdn not berhad.

  7. "Democracy and its institution will automatically come under the control of a supreme, non-questionable, non-challengeable (a la the fatwas of Kedah MB), and totally dictatorial religious Majlis, FOREVER MORE, "

    Do you mean we cant vote them out? Any fact to back back up your claim? I am pretty disappointed with Kedah PAS govt on the CNY thing, i am not sure though if that is purely political rant or they are serious about it. Wish i can learn/know more.

    1. see Iran and some Arab countries. I'm not sure about the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Egypt yet.

    2. Save the part where US the bully overthrow a democratic elected govt, and induced a revolution by Khomeini, there is changed of government from time to time.

      You start to sound like Helen that talk about myth where Christian is going to take over Malaysia.

    3. HY, it's a democratic world, at least for now, wakakaka, so vote those you support or believe in. I have made my own stand clear, and many Chinese Kedahans have too.

      Leaving violent uprisings apart, very few (almost hardly any) Islamic countries had voted out their governments. In Iran even Ahmadinejad has to politically (and policy-wise) kowtow to the Ayatollah and his council who vet and approve election candidates, even Ahmadinejad himself.

    4. To change from the present constitutional monarchy to the Iranian type of Supreme-Leader/Guardian-Council setup, you need to amend the Constitution, isn't it?

    5. Correct. And that may just happen under circumstances which I have termed as "the python dropping down from the ceiling fan."

  8. Aye! Aye! Agreed one hundred percent. Don't trust a religionist. They blame god if they cannot keep their promise. That is why they use "Insyaalah" when ever they are told to do something.

  9. I'm not sure which one I fear more these days.

    The possibility of an Ulama-ruled theocracy if PAS becomes the dominant party in a Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government, or the certainty of BN misrule and mega-corruption if it continues to be voted in.

    Maybe I will just bring a coin and flip it in the voting booth.

  10. It appears there are many in the Chinese community who may be ready to do a "pivot" towards Barisan Nasional which ensure its continued survival as the ruling power.

    It may be almost a repeat of the 1999 Chinese swing which helped save Mahathir's butt.
    In 1999 it was the fear of the Street politics of Keadilan and Anwar supporters, which BN played to the hilt. In 2013, it is the fear of a PAS theocracy, which MCA and Gerakan are stirring to the full.
    In hindsight, we know how UMNO "rewarded" the Chinese community after 1999. Not sure how generous the "rewards" the Chinese will get this time.
    The Chinese, after all, have a proven ability to survive and adapt to even the worst of BN's corruption and NEP discrimination.

    What they can't stand and fear most is Islamic religious-based social and legal restrictions.

    1. In 1999 the Chinese were not yet that sick of UMNO whereas today they definitely are. But unfortunately today, PAS has done itself a BIG disfavour by intruding into non-Muslim affairs with its interpretation of Islamic values.

      The intrusions have been against PAS' own promise that the non-Muslims won't be affected by syariah (inclusive of hudud) laws. The Chinese erstwhile trust in PAS has been severely and adversely affected. As I mentioned, PAS should no longer expect Chinese in Kedah to support its candidates. I am not sure about the Chinese now-lukewarm support for PAS elsewhere.

      The Chinese not voting for PAS does not automatically translate into them voting for UMNO. Quite frankly I do not know. And who will benefit from Chinese spoilt votes or absenteeism from voting has to be worked out by both PAS and UMNO.

    2. Totally agree with your observation. The moderates from PAS will get my vote. I hope the PAS candidate for my area is one. Otherwise its non-halal mahjong on GE13

  11. I thought gambling through mahjong is illegal in Malaysia. Even mahjong gambling in singapore is illegal too. Singapore is a secular country

  12. kaytee,
    This message is from Lim Kit Siang himself.....It's said that your action has helped BN otherwise