HIMPUN v.s. Bersih: Does PAS Really Support Islam?

I used to have very high regards for the opposition parties, particularly PAS and PKR until recently. My childhood memories even included shouting ‘Reformasi! Reformasi!’ at the top of my voice while riding my little tricycle. I saw Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of PKR as the ideal leader for Malaysia. During his days in ABIM, Anwar was credited for doing a great job in promoting hijabs among the Muslim women. One of my teachers once told me that during her younger days, she was made fun of because she wears hijab; during the older days we can hardly see Malaysian women in proper hijab. PAS (meaning the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party) was formed with a mission to fight for Islam and to uphold Islam in Malaysia. Therefore, I used to firmly believe that if PAS and PKR could work together to form a new government, it would be really great for Malaysia.

But recent events made me doubt my strong belief and trust in PAS and PKR. Was it fair for PAS to falsely claimed that Himpunan Sejuta Umat or HIMPUN (an event organised by Muslim NGOs calling the Muslims to strengthen their faith and to fight against apostasy) as an UMNO’s political agenda while giving full-support towards Bersih, a ‘demonstration turned riot’ led by an LGBT fighter asking for fair and clean election.

As an Islamic party claiming to fight for an Islamic government, PAS should not only took part but also supported HIMPUN as it was an important Islamic program. And as for PKR who claims that the current government is not Islamic for being led by corrupted leaders who cheated in the past general elections, why can’t their Muslim and ‘Islamic’ leaders especially Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim support HIMPUN, even if their non-muslim leaders would not?

Even Datuk Ibrahim Ali (not that I am a fan of his), whom the opposition leaders refer as  ‘frog’, attended the event to support his Muslim brothers and sisters. Of course, he wanted to be one of the speakers at the event, but even after he was ‘denied’ the honour, he still attended HIMPUN, proudly sitting with the mass crowd despite of his flamboyant self. And not just that, he even used his influence to promote the event and brought along the members of his NGO in full spirit. Ibrahim Ali may be a frog for some people but when it comes to his faith, he knows that as a Muslim, he needs to protect Islam.

If a flamboyant ‘frog’ can put aside his ego for the sake of Islam, why can’t the supposedly honourable Muslim leaders of PKR and especially PAS at least voiced out their support towards strengthening the faith of Muslims? PAS president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said to the press just before the event that (because) he respected the organisers’ wishes to keep HIMPUN as a non-political event, he will not be attending HIMPUN and advised all PAS members to follow suit.” It was an odd indeed; but what makes it more confusing is the fact that he and other PAS senior leaders gave Bersih their full-support when Bersih is also a non-political event. PAS’s spiritual leader even made a call to all Muslims to attend Bersih 3.0 rally; not only saying that it is a must(wajib) for Muslims to do so but even admitted that he provided some of them with some pocket money. Or did they took those actions to humiliate the Bersih 3.0’s organisers since Bersih 3.0 was led by an LGBT fighter? But of course it would make sense if the rumours were true that Bersih 3.0 is actually the opposition parties’ political agenda to tarnish the reputation of the current government with the hope to paint the Malaysian government as cruel, injustice, corrupted and against the freedom of speech.

PAS should do all it takes to fight for Islam, after all their party’s mission slogan is (or was?) to implement the Islamic law (hudud) in Malaysia; claiming that Malaysia under the current government is a secular country. Later, they even accused UMNO was behind HIMPUN, which was a big white lie! Why must they choose to policalise everything? And what is wrong for Muslims to sit together as an ummah(a muslim) disregarding their different political stances at such events? Earlier, PAS youth chief made a statement giving full support for HIMPUN but he was silenced by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s strong statement against HIMPUN. Wouldn’t PAS be gaining political mileage if they support HIMPUN, instead of fibbing and twisting stories? Perhaps HIMPUN is not Bersih(clean) enough …. for it was not a political event.

However, Datuk Dr. Hasan Ali who was one of their state government’s excos attended the event not as a political leader but in his personal capacity as a Muslim individual. Ironically, he was shortly sacked from the party for (as quoted by PAS president) “based on Datuk Hasan Ali’s action which have wronged and damaged the party’s interest as provided for in PAS constitution”. I (and I believe, many others) give high respect to Dr. Hasan Ali for he dared to go against the odds to support Islam despite of PAS’s orders that prevented their members from attending HIMPUN.

It seems very clear that PAS isn’t true to their words to uphold and fight for Islam. Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat(PAS spiritual leader) and Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS president) made lots of questionable statements; some were even contrary to the teaching of Islam. It is such a shame if the ‘rumours’ is true that PAS uses Islam for their own political gains to win the Muslim  (who are the majority of Malaysian) votes in achieving their dreams to lead the country or as they fondly say ‘menuju Putrajaya’. Instead of upholding Islam, their conducts shows the opposite. The worst is, the Malays are torn apart.


Is Pakatan Rakyat Really Up To It?

Unlike my 9 year old little brother, I usually have no interest in politics but the latest events such as Bersih 3.0 had got me thinking about it. There are rumours that the next general election is going to take place in June. As the Barisan Nasional had been ruling Malaysia for 57 years, the opposition group, the Pakatan Rakyat condemned the Barisan Nasional for trying to ‘hang on power’. They accused the Barisan Nasional of cheating in the past general elections in order to secure their place to rule the country. But the question is, if the Pakatan Rakyat were to win in the coming general election, will they be capable of ruling the country better than the current government does and will they be able to carry out their duties as ‘clean’ and responsible leaders?

Let us look back at the Bersih 3.0 demonstration which happened on the 28th of April, 2012. After they ‘hijacked’ the whole event and turned it into a violent political plot, they failed to control the crowd of only 30,000 to 60,000 people; except if they meant the event to turn ugly so that they can tarnish the police force and the government as claimed by the Barisan Nasional leaders.

Please click here for photos of the ‘peaceful’ rally

It is very sad to see how the Pakatan Rakyat leaders; after making such fiery speeches during the event that roused the demonstrators to break the barricade at Dataran Merdeka, they then chose to leave their supporters (as soon as their supporters entered the forbidden line) to face the water cannon and the tear gas or whatever ‘brutal actions'(as they claimed) by the police in order to control the situation. As the leaders were there at that critical moment, it is their responsibilities to go to the front line to either lead the riot (if that is what they wanted) or to ‘calm down the heat’ and order them to disperse immediately (if they really wanted a peaceful rally) to protect the supporters from facing what they always claimed as police brutality.

By leaving the scene, the leaders failed to protect their supporters, including those who were naive enough to not foresee the danger ahead of such ‘peaceful’ demonstration. But sadly, their supporters failed to see how their leaders left them all alone as soon as the ‘war’ started. All the way from the first sign of trouble when they turned down the offer of holding the event in a stadium (where it is easier to control a large number of people) to the time when they brutally exposed their supporters to danger by not stopping them from breaking the barricades at Dataran Merdeka and later blaming the government and the police for the tragedy; we may be wondering if they will be better leaders of Malaysia compared to our current ministers. And by not wanting to accept any  responsibility of the damages done and injuries caused during the event, it raises question about their credibility.

Pakatan Rakyat are also fighting for press freedom but when Mr. Benji Lim tried to voice out his regret and angerduring the press conference the day after Bersih, he was forced out of the room. And the news on their so called ‘unbiased’ online newspapers  twisted stories of the incident and added their own bits of sugar and cream to present a better view of themselves. But didn’t they accused the main newspapers and media like TV3, Utusan Malaysia and News Straits Times of twisting stories and showing only half of what happened (the side that the government wanted to be seen)? And now, aren’t they doing the same thing?

I don’t really want to judge, but I doubt it if Pakatan Rakyat is as what their medias painted them to be. There were lots of questions, dissatisfaction and incidents among the members of a party in the Pakatan Rakyat during their party elections. If the opposition leaders claimed those who questioned about how clean the election were run as  sore loses, then it is just fair if the Barisan Nasional said the same thing when facing the same situation. But to avoid ourselves from the headaches and health problems due to the pressure of analysing such a ‘difficult’ situation; why not we just agree to ‘it is all the Barisan Nasional’s fault. What do you think?

Please see: What is Bersih 3.0 fighting for? >>Aeshah Adlina’s Weblog

Freedom of Speech?

After my little brother, Ahmad Ali posted his blog posts on Bersih 3.0, he had received a number of comments from Bersih supporters disagreeing with him. But of course, that is expected since not everyone sees eye to eye with each other on everything. We all have our own opinions, and we are free to voice it out as long as we say it politely and willing to respect the opinions of others too. The comments are nicely written, explaining in detail why they do not agree with him. They are being polite and assertive; as how it should be in a healthy discussion. I find it interesting to how he answered them and that among others helps him to think beyond his age.

On the other hand, my little sister received two shocking comments from a reader of her blog. What my sister did was simply stating her point of view on this whole affair but as the result, she was labelled as a ‘typical BN’ and was insulted further by the accusation that she was paid by the Barisan Nasional(BN). The question now is what happened to the ‘freedom of speech’ the Bersih 3.0 demonstrators were fighting for? They wanted the press freedom in the mainstream media (meaning the freedom of speech) but the very person who went to the street fighting for freedom of speech insulted my sister just because of her different opinion. If they believe that ‘freedom of speech’ is only about agreeing with what they think is right, then they are what they claimed how the BN government is.

I used to have very high respects for the oppositions leaders and supported the first Bersih but the current events changed my mind. Now I do not understand what Bersih and the oppositions are really fighting for. And what happened during and after Bersih 3.0, including the attitudes of the Bersih 3.0’s demonstrators makes me even wonder what their true intentions are. Clean and free election and press freedom? I was sad to read an article in one of the main alternative media entitled, ‘Kereta polis meluru laju, langgar peserta BERSIH’, which twisted the incident while everyone (who cares to find the truth) can clearly see that the man (as shown in the picture of the article) jumped up onto the car to attack the car and he was not hit by the car as reported. Since that article was from a media which was regarded as unbiased and ‘clean’ by Bersih and the oppositions; their supporters just swallowed the story and refuse to watch various videos on YouTube (maybe claiming those videos has been edited by BN) to see how the accident really happened. Even a demonstrator who was near the Dataran Merdeka during the incident would says that, “I was there” hence I know what really happened- even though the accident happened in front of Sogo. If this is an example of press freedom that they are fighting for, then they are just as bad as how they claimed BN to be. Please listen to Micheal Jackson’s ‘Man In The Mirror’, first look at our faults and changed before telling others to do so. As my little brother wrote in his post, Bersih 3.0 Violence – The End Justifies The Means? two wrongs don’t make a right.

On my previous post I had included a video of Mr. Benji Lim’s outburst in the middle of a press conference. It is clear that he was trying to voice out his opinion that the Bersih 3.0 demonstration had been ‘hijacked’ by the oppositions who turned it into a political event and endangered the lives of the demonstrators. What happened to him after the outburst? He had been forced out of the press conference by two men clearly against his will for his last words were, “I am a citizen too”. Again, what had happened to the ‘freedom of speech’ that they are fighting for? And I wonder what will they say if the same incident happens during the prime minister’s press conference?

Freedom of speech means that everybody is free to say what ever they want to say; hence we cannot dictate others to say what we want them to say. So it seems like the ‘press freedom’ that Bersih is fighting for is nothing about the freedom of speech but it is all about reporting what ever they wish, no matter if it is a white lie as long as it is them who lie. Thus, I think that a complete freedom (in all aspect of our life) would only result in anarchy and chaos. There need to be rules to guide us, so that we’ll always be on the right path. Of course, the person who commented on my sister’s blog may claim that it is her right to accuse and insult anyone. And soon smokers would be demanding to smoke in the ‘non-smoking’ areas. And someone may say that this article must be written by another ‘typical BN’ 🙂

Violence In Bersih 3.0 – Who Is At Fault?

Bersih 3.0 was promised to be a peaceful rally but things turned ugly when the protesters went violent, broke the rules and even acted brutally towards the police. As the dust began to settle, a new question sparked, who is to be blamed?

The protesters blamed the police for the the unrest caused. They claimed that the police violent act of spraying water and shooting tear gas to the crowd sparked anger among them thus caused them to retaliate with force. But according to several videos posted on the internet, the police only shot after the protesters broke the barricades. Isn’t it what the police should have done, control the crowd and keep them from getting out of control? Surely the PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) do not want to be blame if things got really out of control like what happened in London between 6th to 10th August 2011.

Let us look back at what the DAP vice-chairman Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim had mentioned in a news conference before the rally took place, by not using the locations offered by the police, the leaders of the rally were “encouraging the people to break the law” – The Star Online (DAP vice-chairman against rally (Update)) 26th April 2012.

Or is there any possibility that the violence is actually intended? The leaders of the rally claimed that they condemn the act of the protesters who broke the barriers blocking the road to Dataran Merdeka. But did they mean it? The opposition leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had been caught on video communicating with PKR deputy president, Azmin Ali and another man (who some had claimed to recognise him as a PKR Seremban member)  using hand gestures just before the man pushed the metal gate blocking the road. Does this suggest that the two PKR leaders instigated the crowd to go against the police? Please watch the video below:

Even if (as the both PKR leaders claimed) they didn’t instigated the breach, why couldn’t Anwar, as the leader, use the megaphone to call back his people? Why wasn’t there any such effort made? And why did he left the scene at that critical moment? If he knew the police would act violently, why didn’t he step down and protect his people? Why did he let his supporters down and let them walked into danger by themselves? No wonder Mr. Benji Lim expressed his anger during the PKR press conference yesterday.


Had they really wanted to organise a peaceful assembly, why couldn’t they agree with the police and settle for a stadium? In a stadium, it is much easier to control a large crowd and there is a less chances of starting violence within the assembly. With the crowd being led away from public roads and private buildings, tourists would not be scared off and this would not disrupt the sales of the shops around the city area as well; thus causing less unrest and possible damage caused. Why are they insisting on using the Dataran Medeka when the police rejects their request for their own safety? Or do they has hidden plans as been said, debated and discussed around the social media.

As a free citizen of a peaceful, democratic country, I wouldn’t want my country to be ruled by unruly mobs who would in the end cause insecurity as what happened in Egypt, Libya and several more during the Arab Spring.