‘God Is Not A Christian: And UMNO is not a Islamic party.’

Despite talk of a pro-Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim faction taking over PAS, it is his secular PKR that is now under threat from a centrist front that will lead the Islamist party into the next general election.

Erdogan leaders — a reference to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan who is close to Anwar — swept the deputy and vice-presidencies and all but six central committee seats in Friday’s party polls.

Analysts and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders are now expecting a “more dominant” PAS in the tripartite opposition pact. Once the junior partner in Parliament, it is now geared to take over from PKR in leading the charge to Putrajaya.

“It is a leadership that is ready for a more dominant role in Pakatan. A stronger PAS in Pakatan is good for Hadi, not for Anwar,” central commitee member Dzulkefly Ahmad(picture), himself labelled an Erdogan, told The Malaysian Insider.

President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was swift to address the notion that PAS would be under the influence of PKR’s de facto leader.

“A lot has been said about the party’s leadership and that this time it is dominated by the Erdogans. I would to say here that this is not the Erdogans but the leadership of Nik Aziz and Abdul Hadi Awang,” he said when closing the 57th PAS muktamar yesterday.

Spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is seen as the most influential PAS leader who backs Anwar’s leadership of PR.

But the Kelantan mentri besar himself called newly-elected deputy president Mohamad Sabu the engine, Hadi the driver and “we are all the passengers” in the quest to take over Putrajaya.

DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong said Hadi’s opening address, pushing for a welfare state that aims to redistribute wealth to the poor, would gel with a larger Malay audience than its Islamic state agenda.

“For the past 12 years PAS has struggled to mainstream itself,” the Bukit Bendera MP toldThe Malaysian Insider, likening PAS’s move to the centre to Britain’s Labour Party introducing its “New Labour” movement that brought the party in from the left in 1997.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng also agreed that PAS was now more credible to Malays than PKR.

“PKR needs to do something. Non-Malays now look to DAP and Malays to PAS,” he toldThe Malaysian Insider.

Dzulkefly, who is also Kuala Selangor MP, acknowledged that there is always the problem of “encroaching whenever we try to enlarge.”

“But it is time for us to be a mainstream national party,” he said.

It is really incredible that a mosquito party (a common description of PAS, once upon a time) has been getting so much attention in the mainstream media and from Umno@Perkasa. Of course, most of the attention is negative and derogatory.

According to The Malaysian Insider, Nazri Aziz has called PAS a pseudo-Umno party, lashing it for abandoning its Islamic principles.

Should we take his comments seriously since it is being made by a pseudo democrat, pseudo liberal, pseudo intelligent politician. These men and women have ruled Malaysia for more than half a century but yet they are so insecure by the so-called rise and moving to the centre of the mosquito party.

They have the police in their pocket, have friends in the Election Commission, control the mainstream media and have tonnes of money (can someone explain to me how exactly 1MDB, the provider of endless scholarships, is making money) and yet the Umno government is quaking because someone they ridiculed as a public orator and jester, Mat Sabu, is deputy president of PAS.

It seems like Umno politicians have many names and labels for PAS. So let me add to the discourse by stating what PAS isn’t.

PAS is NOT:

* A party packed with corrupt, rent-seeking politicians who are occupying public office as a means of enriching themselves.

* A party of politicians with Machiavellian ideas of staying in power, and this includes pitting the different races against each other and tearing the country apart with race politics.

* A party of Jekyl and Hyde politicians. They perform umrah ever so often, put on a face of piety but then are quite happy to break all the laws of God behind closed doors.

* A party of politicians who have lost their moral compass and ability to lead this country.

* A party of politicians who have milked the resources of this country through cronyism and nepotism.

* A party of politicians who have allowed the rakyat — the ultimate stakeholders in Malaysia — to bear the brunt of lopsided privatisation deals.

* A party of politicians who have used the ISA, destroyed institutions and subverted the rule of law to hold power.

My point is that PAS is many things (conservative, backward, pseudo Islamic) but it is not Umno. And that is surely its best attribute.

Tindakan PAS yang sanggup menukar matlamatnya daripada menubuhkan sebuah negara Islam kepada negara kebajikan membuktikan mereka sanggup berbuat apa sahaja untuk terus mendapat kepercayaan Pakatan Rakyat.

NONEKetua Menteri Melaka Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam (kanan) berkata PAS nampak sangat menggadaikan prinsip mereka demi Pakatan Rakyat, malah mereka kini tidak lagi bercakap mengenai hukum hudud sebaliknya bercakap hendak buat negara kebajikan yang sudah lama BN lakukan.

“Saya percaya tidak mustahil satu hari nanti PAS akan kata negara Islam sudah tidak relevan lagi mungkin mereka (PAS) akan kata Malaysia perlu jadi negara sekular dengan mengeluarkan macam-macam fatwa,” kata anggota Majlis Tertinggi Umno itu kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan persidangan perwakilan Bahagian Segambut di Kuala Lumpur hari ini.

Beliau berkata PAS kini dilihat akan ikut apa yang diperkatakan DAP.

“Rakyat kini sudah boleh menilai PAS berjuang bukan kerana Allah tetapi PAS berjuang untuk menumbangkan Umno dan BN. PAS akan mengeluarkan fatwa-fatwa baru bagi menyakinkan rakyat untuk menolak BN dan ini apa yang sedang mereka (PAS) lakukan,” katanya.

azlanDitanya mengenai taktik pembangkang yang menggunakan isu kenaikan harga barang untuk mempengaruhi rakyat menolak BN, Mohd Ali berkata ini merupakan taktik lapuk dan rakyat sudah dijelaskan oleh kerajaan tentang kenaikan harga barang tersebut.

“Di negeri pembangkang mereka menaikkan cukai pintu dan pelbagai jenis cukai tetapi mengapa mereka tidak kata kerajaan mereka itu (pakatan pembangkang) zalim. Kita (kerajaan) buat rasionalisasi subsidi bagi mengimbangi harga pasaran dunia yang tidak menentu,” katanya.

Mengenai kemenangan Mohamad Sabu dipilih sebagai Timbalan Presiden PAS mengalahkan Nasharuddin Mat Isa, penyandang jawatan itu untuk tiga penggal, Mohd Ali berkata kemenangan Mohamad telah mengetepikan pemikiran ulama dalam PAS dan ini akan menguatkan lagi bahawa mereka tidak akan mengguna pakai prinsip kerajaan Islam lagi.

NONE“Mereka kata kita (BN) sekular tapi pemilihan Muktamar (PAS) kali ini jelas menunjukkan mereka telah menolak ulama…demi kekal berkuasa dalam Pakatan Rakyat mungkin PAS akan jadi parti sekular juga,” katanya.

Sementara itu di Pasir Mas, Kelantan Naib Ketua Pemuda Umno Datuk Razali Ibrahim menyifatkan keputusan pemilihan pucuk pimpinan PAS Pusat pada Muktamar Tahunan PAS Ke-57 ini sebagai hilangnya kepimpinan ulama.

“Kita tidak terkejut dengan keputusan pucuk pimpinan tetapi apa pun dalam PAS sudah mula hilangnya taring ulama dalam kepimpinan parti itu dan ini sesuatu yang malang dalam PAS,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan persidangan perwakilan Wanita, Pemuda dan Puteri Umno Bahagian Pasir Mas.

mohamad hasan negeri sembilan mbDi Seremban, Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan meramalkan PAS akan ditinggal oleh orang ramai yang menyokong parti itu berikutan keputusannya meninggalkan konsep negara Islam yang menjadi asas perjuangannya selama ini.

Orang ramai tidak akan percaya lagi kepada PAS yang dilihat terlalu mahu menjaga hati rakan pembangkangnya seperti DAP yang pernah menjadi seteru konsep negara Islam, katanya.

“Konsep nak tubuhkan negara Islam sudah tidak ada lagi dalam kamus perjuangan parti PAS…saya yakin jika PAS tidak lagi berjuang berlandaskan prinsip menegakkan negara Islam, ramai yang akan keluar dari PAS,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan persidangan perwakilan Wanita, Pemuda dan Puteri Umno Bahagian Rembau di Seremban.

NONESementara itu Ketua Pemuda Umno, Khairy Jamaluddin berkata pendirian PAS itu jelas menunjukkan bahawa parti itu tidak mempunyai komitmen yang kuat dan jitu dalam perjuangan mereka.

Dasar PAS ini amat berbeza dengan Umno, walaupun Umno bergabung dengan parti-parti komponen bukan Melayu dalam Barisan Nasional tetapi parti itu tidak pernah mengadai prinsip perjuangan mereka untuk membela Melayu dan Islam, katanya.

Menurutnya PAS dilihat hanya mahu mengejar kuasa dan kerana itu sanggup menukar pendirian mereka hanya kerana mahu mendapatkan sokongan orang bukan Islam.

– Bernama

The following is excerpted from the Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s new book, 

This talk also comes from a forum in Britain, where Tutu addressed leaders of different faiths during a mission to the city of Birmingham in 1989.

They tell the story of a drunk who crossed the street and accosted a pedestrian, asking him, “I shay, which ish the other shide of the shtreet?” The pedestrian, somewhat nonplussed, replied, “That side, of course!” The drunk said, “Shtrange. When I wash on that shide, they shaid it wash thish shide.” Where the other side of the street is depends on where we are. Our perspective differs with our context, the things that have helped to form us; and religion is one of the most potent of these formative influences, helping to determine how and what we apprehend of reality and how we operate in our own specific context.

My first point seems overwhelmingly simple: that the accidents of birth and geography determine to a very large extent to what faith we belong. The chances are very great that if you were born in Pakistan you are a Muslim, or a Hindu if you happened to be born in India, or a Shintoist if it is Japan, and a Christian if you were born in Italy. I don’t know what significant fact can be drawn from this — perhaps that we should not succumb too easily to the temptation to exclusiveness and dogmatic claims to a monopoly of the truth of our particular faith. You could so easily have been an adherent of the faith that you are now denigrating, but for the fact that you were born here rather than there.

My second point is this: not to insult the adherents of other faiths by suggesting, as sometimes has happened, that for instance when you are a Christian the adherents of other faiths are really Christians without knowing it. We must acknowledge them for who they are in all their integrity, with their conscientiously held beliefs; we must welcome them and respect them as who they are and walk reverently on what is their holy ground, taking off our shoes, metaphorically and literally. We must hold to our particular and peculiar beliefs tenaciously, not pretending that all religions are the same, for they are patently not the same. We must be ready to learn from one another, not claiming that we alone possess all truth and that somehow we have a corner on God.

We should in humility and joyfulness acknowledge that the supernatural and divine reality we all worship in some form or other transcends all our particular categories of thought and imagining, and that because the divine — however named, however apprehended or conceived — is infinite and we are forever finite, we shall never comprehend the divine completely. So we should seek to share all insights we can and be ready to learn, for instance, from the techniques of the spiritual life that are available in religions other than our own. It is interesting that most religions have a transcendent reference point, amysterium tremendum, that comes to be known by deigning to reveal itself, himself, herself, to humanity; that the transcendent reality is compassionate and concerned; that human beings are creatures of this supreme, supra mundane reality in some way, with a high destiny that hopes for an everlasting life lived in close association with the divine, either as absorbed without distinction between creature and creator, between the divine and human, or in a wonderful intimacy which still retains the distinctions between these two orders of reality.

When we read the classics of the various religions in matters of prayer, meditation, and mysticism, we find substantial convergence, and that is something to rejoice at. We have enough that conspires to separate us; let us celebrate that which unites us, that which we share in common.

Surely it is good to know that God (in the Christian tradition) created us all (not just Christians) in his image, thus investing us all with infinite worth, and that it was with all humankind that God entered into a covenant relationship, depicted in the covenant with Noah when God promised he would not destroy his creation again with water. Surely we can rejoice that the eternal word, the Logos of God, enlightens everyone — not just Christians, but everyone who comes into the world; that what we call the Spirit of God is not a Christian preserve, for the Spirit of God existed long before there were Christians, inspiring and nurturing women and men in the ways of holiness, bringing them to fruition, bringing to fruition what was best in all. We do scant justice and honor to our God if we want, for instance, to deny that Mahatma Gandhi was a truly great soul, a holy man who walked closely with God. Our God would be too small if he was not also the God of Gandhi: if God is one, as we believe, then he is the only God of all his people, whether they acknowledge him as such or not. God does not need us to protect him. Many of us perhaps need to have our notion of God deepened and expanded. It is often said, half in jest, that God created man in his own image and man has returned the compliment, saddling God with his own narrow prejudices and exclusivity, foibles and temperamental quirks. God remains God, whether God has worshippers or not.

This mission in Birmingham to which I have been invited is a Christian celebration, and we will make our claims for Christ as unique and as the Savior of the world, hoping that we will live out our beliefs in such a way that they help to commend our faith effectively. Our conduct far too often contradicts our profession, however. We are supposed to proclaim the God of love, but we have been guilty as Christians of sowing hatred and suspicion; we commend the one whom we call the Prince of Peace, and yet as Christians we have fought more wars than we care to remember. We have claimed to be a fellowship of compassion and caring and sharing, but as Christians we often sanctify sociopolitical systems that belie this, where the rich grow ever richer and the poor grow ever poorer, where we seem to sanctify a furious competitiveness, ruthless as can only be appropriate to the jungle.

 

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