The new Malay-Muslim party

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This week we have two good news. The Prime Minister has, as expected, postponed Umno election to another 18 months; and after that, there will be no contest for the president’s post because it will be too close to the general election. So he will lead the BN for the next GE. This is good news. The second  one is  a rumour  that after Hari Raya, a new Islamist Malay party composed of moderates from PAS will emerge.

Some have described this group as “progressive” although my friend Raja Petra in Manchester considers PAS progressives a joke. Raja Petra thinks that, when it comes to religious matters, PAS Malays believe the same things as those in UMNO or in any other party—the only difference is that “PAS progressives” are in bed with DAP.

I think it’s not wrong for them to call themselves progressives although there are certainly different degrees of progressiveness. But this  breakaway group is at least prepared to honour the Pakatan Rakyat’s Common Policy Framework.

They want the consensus formula in Pakatan to continue. Willing to keep your promise is a good first step to  becoming progressive.

Anyway, what I want to write about today is the exciting prospect of the contributions this new party can make towards Malaysian politics. The party must  first remain “ for Muslims only”, at least for now ,    because  that’s the only chance they have to challenge PAS.  Already they have no turban and skull cap  in their daily attire ; this will handicap them ; so to bring non Muslims in  will be added problems for the new party. It will be another PKR and   disastrous for Mat Sabu and friends.

If the party can be a face of an “intellectual Islam” and not the present holier-than-thou version; if it can offer Malays a political Islam that abhors corruption and abuse of power; if it can struggle for justice of all Malaysians; if it can somehow bring Islamic ideas home to roost but nonetheless always be able to accommodate modern-day realities; then that’s the party of the future . This is not easy to achieve though , because we have no intellectual traditions , and Muslims only here know  islam as the Dos and Donts . Its all about punishment. That’s why the Ulamaks  are pushing for Hudud and other criminal laws.  The new group must however try to bring into public affairs  a different  idea of Islam that is kind and forgiving.

It will be both a test and opportunity for Malays to decide what kind of future they want for themselves and the country. If they still choose UMNO then they will have to live with poor governance, abuse of power and never-ending financial scandals.

UMNO members today burn flags; soon  some of the more misguided amongst them might soon be persuaded to burn down buildings.  UMNO has also successfully bred some greedy leaders who seem to believe that money and power justify and legitimise anything. If Malays choose UMNO, then more of such leaders are likely to emerge.

If Malays choose PAS then we will probably have more wannabe-Taliban warriors, not just in their modes of dress but also in their thinking.  Malays will be talking about God every day but will do nothing godly in their actions and deeds.

Malaysia be like any other failed so-called “Muslim” countries where governments can’t even collect rubbish properly. There will be corruption and poor governance. Women and minorities will be treated as second- or third-class citizens, and we will all have to live with moral police roaming the streets and sticking their sanctimonious noses into our offices and homes. In such a scenario, the prospect of Sabah and Sarawak breaking away will become more real.

The new party must of course be mindful of potential accusations that it’s no more than a wing of DAP. This is a matter that they must not gloss over. It’s a real problem for Malays to support such a party if it appears to be a DAP surrogate.

For the new party to be successful it must be independent financially and intellectually as well as ideologically strong. It needs an economic plan that supports the poor, even their other partners are  against them. The new party must fight for the underclass because that’s what Islam is about.

These objectives are not difficult to achieve because the new party will have some of the finest Malay-Muslim leaders available today: Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, Salahuddin Ayub, Khalid Abdul Samad, Datuk Mahfuz Omar, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Mohamad Sabu, Datuk Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah , Mazlan Alimin and many others who are hardy politicians and  have unique strengths.

Together, they can give UMNO and PAS ulama a run for their money any day.

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  • Joe

    Indeed the new Party must focus. You can’t fight an addiction by trying to take on all addiction. You need to compartmentalize and focus.

    Its quite simple what the immediate target of the new Party must be – to capture a state in the next GE – that means either Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka whichever easiest..Perak is the most likely place to do this It must even be prepared to form the next Selangor govt with DAP if PKR cannot get its act together..

    Give notice to PKR, either come on board or be prepared to be roadkill..

  • Ben Senin

    Confirm , saya ahli PAS akan join parti baru…..good bye geng UG and Hadi

  • Sing2.80

    Great stuff….good luck…well said.

  • KOO

    High time for UMNO progressive members to come out of the alleged cesspool of corruption called UMNO, before you lose your consciences and your religious beliefs. Come out before divine judgement fall, and it will fall, on UMNO and all who share the alleged sins of its leaders. Malaysia needs desperately a fresh start and perhaps this could be in the form of a new alliance between PAS and UMNO progressives and DAP?

    Open your eyes, progressive UMNO members at what is happening in Malaysia today. Look at the Low Yat brawl without any racial lens as the thieves could very well have been Chinese or Indians, etc as well. Can we justify wrong or theft in any way? Is this not exactly the same as what is happening on a macro basis in the 1MDB case? Can we steal and turn around to suppress or paint black, threaten, hit back or fight those whom we stole from or the whistle blowers, when we are exposed, and worse, to twist it into a racial matter? What example are we setting for the next generation? Time for the four Tan Sris and all involved in the 1MDB investigations to ask their own conscience before God Almighty if this is what we want our next generation to degenerate into? The world is watching the 1MDB Investigators, but even more worrying, on a micro basis, our next generation, the future of this country IS WATCHING YOU. May God guide your conscience

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