Saturday, May 23, 2009





PSRM is a party of academic snobs and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is something of a disjointed group of political newbies led by Anwar Ibrahim, journalist, Shamsul Akmar, said. He was in a hurry.

It’s a knee-jerk reaction to my recent postings that say the Pakatan Rakyat is poised to win the next Malaysian general elections, not because it entices but because more and more voters do not want Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Many among my friends were shell-shocked by the matter-of-fact statement.

Professor Emeritus Dr. Isahak Haron of the UPSI said I was being “mystical”. He expects my reading to be correct again even if it does not appear right at the moment. But the reading here is simple.

The former PSRM is now a component of the PKR, which is the weakest of the trio in Pakatan Rakyat but with the largest number in Parliament (31 seats). Other than the PSRM the PKR is mainly led by a motley of Anwar Ibrahim's secretaries and NGOs. But was the PSRM leadership scholars and snobs?

Other than Kassim Ahmad who had led the party for 18 senseless years and has left it for good, the others I knew in the PSRM were not all scholars nor were they egoistical snobs. Syed Husin Ali and Gamany can’t be snobs.

I concede, however, the party had gone rather wrong after Boestamam (Pak Boes) left the helm to Kassim in 1967, at Kangar, Perlis.

Pak Boes regretted that day, saying he had to retire but the party ought to have chosen someone else.

Since then it was true the new stars of Partai Rakyat (later PSRM) would talk far above the heads of their audiences whereupon my friends and I, including Drs Ahmad Kamar and Dr. Raja Mukhtaruddin Dain, not only distanced ourselves but also launched into a lengthy and extensive study of Islam.

Shamsul, worried about what would happen to the Malays should Pakatan win the 13th general elections, said Pas would be the better choice compared to Parti Keadilan Rakyat. He mentioned several bloggers having trouble over the same question.

People ought to be told Anwar Ibrahim knew he was in deep trouble soon after becoming the number two in Umno in 1993. He suggested I quickly move to the Pas with the late Fadhil Noor at the helm then. Fadhil was Anwar’s deputy in Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) and we were close friends.


Today we have some writers dividing the Pas into the Traditionalists and the Erdogan groups, the latter meaning the Anwarites. That isn’t quite right.

Pas had been a variety all the time since it was born and with many socialists joining the party soon after. Socialists, including Pak Boes and Pak Sako, had been together with Abu Bakar Baqir in Gunung Semanggol when the Hizbul Muslimin was formed in 1948. The party was promptly banned by the British Colonial Government.

Fadhil Noor joined ABIM in the early 70s followed later by Hadi Awang, with Dr Haron Din, Abdul Ghani Shamsuddin and Ahmad Awang from the Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (PUM) and many more Pas stalwarts acting as advisors in the Muslim youth organization.

There was unity among those from the ABIM in Umno and Pas even if the groups had to undergo a severe initial shock following Anwar’s decision to join Umno in 1981.

By 1985 Anwar had gone places. He met Paul Wolfowitz who was US ambassador in Jakarta in 1986. The beginning of the Reformasi would soon be seeded.

ABIM was to get together with B.J.Habibie’s ICMI in Indonesia, ushering in a new element, new thinking and new Malay-Islamic outlook.

Habibie, an aero-engineer who was one among 20 bright-sparks Suharto sent abroad to become Indonesia’s future technocrats, would soon inspire with his wonder-ideas, like using the reflected sunlight from the sand in the shallows of the sea along the shorelines for energy.

He planned to make helicopters and submarines in Indonesian and usher in industrialization in a big way.

Since then, the ABIM in Pas and the groups under Fadhil Noor and Hadi Awang were no longer the same as they had been when the ulama took over the party from Asri Haji Muda in 1982.

By 1995 the scenario we see today had been set. It was sensed sometime in the late 80s.

We were told a multiracial party like the Gerakan had been in 1969 would be needed to change the pattern of votes if the Opposition were to win.

Gerakan, in 1969, listed members of the Malaysian stardom with the late Prof. Dr. Syed Hussein al-Attas as president, his brother, Naguib, and the venerated Prof. Dr. Wang Gung-wu, V. David from the labor unions and many more greats leading the party that Dr. Lim Chong Eu founded.

As a result of the intrusion the votes broke the historical distribution and several states fell to the Opposition.

The similarities between the election results of 1969 and 2008 had too many things in common to be given to coincidences. Anwar had advisors who had studied well the voters’ behaviors in Malaysia.

A Gerakan of the 1969 sort was required and it was this Gerakan-type party that skidded in the making and became the PKR we know today – broad-based, no doubt, but with drug addicts, thieves and sex-savants inside.

Anwar was in prison at that time, people fearing for his life after he was severely beaten by the then IGP in police custody.

As a result PKR divisions were formed riding piggy-back on Pas. Now many party divisions are non-performing. Wan Azizah, the president, had six growing children to take care of.

The PKR, however, functioned as a vote-collector and soon it will be put in better battle order by Azmin Ali and his task force.

Now that the Pakatan is poised to win federal power, the people who worry like Shamsul should be told there was pre-planning and in the end the Malays will be secure in the Pas, no matter what the ancient Nik Aziz Nik Mat is saying. He seems to fear retirement and the loss of fame, or notoriety, whichever applies.

Welfare State

Pas under Abdul Hadi Awang is going for the Welfare State. In Islam the Welfare State is simply a national and a universal order that guarantees a set of securities.

These securities begin with Food and Water Security, Health Security, Employment and Old Age Securities, Education Security by which everyone, young and old, are entitled to free education and will be paid a stipend sufficient to meet their basic needs.

Then there are Supplies and Consumer Security that traditionally were the domains of the Muhasib, the responsibility given to former Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas, when Terengganu was held by the Pas in 2004-2008.

The same department is responsible for Moral and Ethical Security which makes it impossible to hoard and escape punishment, or to purchase votes like it has happened in the two previous Umno Divisional and Supreme Council elections.

The list of securities is not exhaustive, of course. When in Medinah with Abdul Hadi Awang I dropped my wallet in the mosque during Subuh prayer, Hadi told me it will not be picked by anyone and we can retrieve it when we return to the mosque for Zuhur. The wallet was there, intact.

All shops, including jewel and money-changer stores, would be left open without any guard during prayer times in Medinah and Mekah, which are Haramiyah, or sanctuaries.

It’s hard to believe nobody would be tempted to steal in whole towns of shops and stores left open and unguarded.

That’s the Islamic state of security Hadi has been talking about several times in his speeches and Dr Mahathir denying that is so. Mahathir was not honest. In fact, many believe he and some of his men were corrupt.

Aaand…and…and Umno too became corrupt.

Said Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen, chairman of the party’s Disciplinary Board, the party is already corrupt at the core.

People know that this is true, and the corruption had begun sometime in the 80s under Dr. Mahathir who wanted to remain PM for life.

Can the Malays any longer trust their future to Umno? Is corruption somehow tame and developmentally neutral, even after Bloomberg suggested more than RM300 billion had been lost to corruption in Malaysia?

What glory is there in the BN taking over the Perak government when two of the three grasshoppers should have been charged in court for accepting money and sexual gratifications?

What about the BN’s decision not to contest in Penanti on May 31? Is that what a political struggle is about? Isn’t there anything more to gain in whipping the Opposition during a by-election run?

Can it be the same as it would be with Islam under the Pas?

The list of securities in Islam given above is in the limited case, the object here is merely to show that Islam is not the Devil’s Workshop some in America and Europe would have us believe.

There’s freedom of religion in Islam. For the Socialists looking for nationalization, in the times of the second Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, five essential items were nationalized, namely weapons (it was wartime), grains, salt, sugar and fabrics.

You would term those primary industries today. But the nationalization is merely “an attire” or a dressing in Islam. It is only useful when it serves to secure the People.

But where then is the “explosion” to be making history with in Islam, like with the Proletarian Revolution in scientific socialism?

That lies in the fight against “Falsehoods” (Taghut), the expressed arrogance of the Rich and Mighty that mars human liberty, equality, fraternity and dignity. It’s as easy as that, something everyone can understand.

If you have a problem with the PKR or the DAP, try Islam then, sans the mythic, the patriarchal, tribal and the superstitions. --a. ghani ismail, 19 May, 2009

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