Category Archives: The Malaysian Insider

The problem with hudud is PAS



The problem with hudud is PAS
By Zan Azlee

One wonders why hudud is being so hotly discussed in the public sphere. Many are against it, and they make all kinds of arguments to prove their points for why they think so.

Many are also for it, saying that it is God’s law, so much so that they would even threaten to kill and rape people to defend hudud (I wonder what God thinks about that!).

And then we have the president of it all, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who has told everyone to just wait first and listen to what he will table on hudud in Parliament before criticising.

That is the problem in the first place. Nobody seems to have any idea of how hudud is going to be implemented in Kelantan because nobody has bothered to explain it properly.

When there aren’t any clear details or information, what do you expect people to do? They get anxious and start to speculate. That is only natural.

And with all the secrecy with regards to the details of hudud, people start wondering why something that will affect the public won’t be put up for public scrutiny.

So even the people who want to support it can’t do it wholeheartedly and their only argument is that it is God’s law (when in fact it is really PAS’s interpretation of it).

Hudud has been around in Kelantan (and even in Terengganu when PAS managed to take over the state briefly) since 1993, but its implementation has never been able to be done.

There are several problems with implementing it, mainly that it is unconstitutional because it involves criminal law and the penal code, over which the state does not have jurisdiction. [Click to read the full artile at The Malaysian Insider]

What’s JAWI’s excuse for acting like a spoiled brat?



What’s JAWI’s excuse for acting like a spoiled brat?
By Zan Azlee

The really big question that I have for the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) is why they have been so adamant about pursuing Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz for the past three years.

Three years ago, Jawi raided a Borders store and seized copies of Canadian writer Irshad Manji’s book “Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta”. The book, translated into Malay, was banned but the ban was actually only made six days after the raid.

Unable to charge the owners of store because they only have jurisdiction over Muslims, they decided to charge the store manager, Nik Raina, who was the only Muslim available.

Of course, this was all so dodgy that in December last year, the Court of Appeal ruled that the search and seizure done by Jawi was unlawful. Thank God because Nik Raina could have been jailed for up to two years.

But last week, Jawi, probably feeling very sore from a bruised ego, decided to seek an appeal to the Federal Court against the Court of Appeal’s decision. And so Nik Raina is sucked back into a battle which isn’t even hers.

So why is Jawi pushing on with a case that every single person in Malaysia (and even the court) sees as an injustice? Do they believe that because they are a religious authority, they are divine?

Can’t they live with the fact that they made a big mistake and now they just have to apologise for what has happened and promise never to repeat it? The court isn’t even asking them to pay for damages.

Do they have to act like a big bully and pick on a small individual? Are they like a spoiled brat who feels like he is always right and things always have to go his way or else? [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

What does ‘future PM’ really mean?

pm watermarked


What does ‘future PM’ really mean?
By Zan Azlee

So Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, the defence minister, is the person most Malaysians would prefer as prime minister.

This is according to a survey done by the Merdeka Centre. Commissioned by The Malaysian Insider, it is one of the most talked about stories this week.

Hishammuddin, of course, has said that he will not entertain such a survey and that it is just a ploy to create discord in his party, Umno.

What is interesting is that Malaysia has never had direct elections for prime minister, and Malaysians probably will never have the opportunity to decide the nation’s leader.

Elections in this country have always been about voting for a certain party and never about a particular candidate. And when a survey like this is done, it gets people excited.

Though the survey does not directly result in how the country is governed, I guess it’s just interesting to see how Malaysians would decide if they were able to decide.

In the last general election, the popular vote when to Pakatan Rakyat (51%) as opposed to Barisan Nasional. That shows that the majority of Malaysians want a change in government.

However, this want isn’t reflected in the recent survey because if it was, then the person most Malaysians would want as prime minister would have been from the opposition.

And herein lies the problem. Malaysians don’t really know what will happen if there was a change to the federal government; if the opposition were to win and take over Putrajaya. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

My former schoolmate who never returned to Malaysia



My former schoolmate who never returned to Malaysia
By Zan Azlee

Recently, on a trip to the United States, I paid a visit to a secondary school friend of mine from Kuala Lumpur who now works and lives in Washington DC. He shall remain unnamed as I think he would prefer that.

Of course, he and I are the same age (37 years old this year, and proud of it!) and for the sake of context, I would like to let everyone know that he is a Chinese Malaysian.

He left Malaysia right after the SPM examination to further his studies in the US. As soon as he graduated, he found a job as an engineer and has been there ever since.

As we chatted over coffee, I asked him why he never came back to Malaysia to look for a job. The way he responded was as if it was the most obvious and logical choice not to come back.
His parents had a small shop and they slogged to send him and his siblings overseas for their tertiary education so they would have a good opportunity to build their careers.

His sister went to university in New Zealand and decided to head back to Malaysia as soon as she graduated to get a job in the IT industry. And she found a job quite easily.

The challenge was to balance her income with the cost of living in Malaysia. Even after a few years, she still couldn’t afford to buy a home or a car. And so she moved back to New Zealand where she could have more spending power.

His brother also went to New Zealand to attend university, and being the more academically talented one in the family, managed to get a scholarship so the father didn’t have to slog.

But he was a little bit too critical about Malaysian politics and social issues that his scholarship was eventually taken away. His father ended up paying for his education and he decided to stay on in New Zealand. [Click to read the rest of the article at The Malaysian Insider]

If you care for the Malays, don’t confuse them

Members of PVTN and Pekida shouting slogans opposing free sex


If you care for the Malays, don’t confuse them
By Zan Azlee

Many people believe that to create a united Malaysia, one of the main tools is language. And that is why we have an official national language which is Bahasa Malaysia.

It is the medium used in our national schools and also the official language in all of our government offices. Every citizen understands it so they all can communicate with each other.

This is not much of a problem for the Malays because Bahasa Malaysia seems to be their mother tongue anyway and it is spoken at home among family members.

For many minorities in the country (obviously the Chinese and Indians), it may not be the first language they learn because their mother tongue would probably be something else.

So they learn it as soon they start going to school. They have to anyway as it is a requirement if they want to pass the national exams and qualify for university.

Oh yeah, I am sure it is also because they want to integrate into the rest of the society and, well, be united as a nation, as citizens who share a country.

So Bahasa Malaysia is really a unifying language that can bring everyone together. That is the noble intention, I guess. But is it really true?

Well, that is what they want you to believe. Do not be fooled. Bahasa Malaysia is really a language just for the Malays, and the Malay Muslims to be more specific.

Bahasa Malaysia when spoken among the Malays is fine. They use it casually with friends and family, officially at work and spiritually when praying. No problems there.

The trouble only starts when people from other races and religions start speaking Bahasa Malaysia. That is when all hell starts to break loose. And I really do mean hell.

The Malays start getting confused because they now do not know who is Malay and who is not. They will not be able to tell others apart and in turn forget who they are.

“Whoa! That guy has really small slit eyes and he is speaking Bahasa Malaysia! Is he Malay? Wait a minute! Am I Malay? Am I not? Arghhh!” [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]