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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Happy Eid-el-fitri


Salleh Said Keruak

We celebrate the end of the month of Ramadan, the month when all Muslims are supposed to restrain, refrain and reflect. Ramadan is the month we keep our lust and desires in check, we discard our arrogance and temper, we demonstrate humility and humbleness, we harbour compassion and love for others, and we spend our time reflecting on our deeds and our duties. In fact, meditation or muraqaba would be what Muslims in fasting should be doing.

The first day of Shawwal is the day to celebrate our victory during the month of Ramadan -- the victory over our own self, what can be called the small jihad. During Ramadan we not only refrain from eating, drinking and smoking, but also from hurting others, either physically, verbally or emotionally. And Shawwal is the day we ask and offer forgiveness for our transgressions, whether intentionally or otherwise.

Unfortunately, not all Muslims understand the spirit of Ramadan and Shawwal, not only in Malaysia but all over the world. Conflicts and animosity continue and we allow our egos, hatred and anger to cloud our judgement. This is not Islam and is not what Ramadan and Shawwal stand for. So let us celebrate Shawwal as a day of peace and forgiveness, not only for the good of the ummah but for the good of all Malaysians.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri


Salleh Said Keruak

Kita meraikan penghujung Bulan Ramadan,  di mana umat Islam sepatutnya menahan, menghalang dan memperlihatkan keimanan dan ketakwaan. Ramadan adalah bulan yang kita teruskan menahan nafsu dan keinginan, kita buang keangkuhan dan kemarahan kita, kita tunjukkan kesederhanaan dan kerendahan hati, kita mengasihi dan menyayangi antara satu sama lain, dan kita luangkan masa memikir dan cermin perbuatan dan amalan kita .Malah amalan mendekatkan diri kepada Allah atau muraqaba adalah perkara yang dituntut yang perlu diamalkan oleh Umat Islam dalam masa puasa.

Hari pertama Syawal merupakan hari menyambut kemenangan pada bulan Ramadan - kemenangan ke atas diri kita sendiri yang boleh dianggap sebagai jihad kecil. Semasa Ramadan kita bukan hanya menahan diri daripada makan, minum dan merokok, tetapi juga menahan daripada melukai atau menyakiti hati orang lain, baik secara fizikal, secara lisan atau emosi. Dan Syawal adalah hari di mana kita meminta pengampunan dan mengampuni segala pelanggaran kita, sama ada secara sengaja atau sebaliknya.

Malangnya, tidak semua umat Islam memahami semangat Ramadan dan Syawal,  bukan sahaja di Malaysia tetapi juga di seluruh dunia. Konflik dan permusuhan berterusan dan kita beri ruang kepada ego, kebencian dan kemarahan menyelebungi kebijaksanaan mengadili atau menghakimi. Ini tidak selaras dengan amalan Islam, dan bukan ini yang diiyakan dalam bulan Ramadan dan Syawal. Oleh itu marilah kita merayakan Syawal sebagai hari kedamaian dan pengampunan, bukan hanya untuk umat Islam tetapi untuk kebaikan semua rakyat Malaysia.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Remember when the US was accused of interfering?


Salleh Said Keruak

During the years of 1998 to 2003, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was very angry with the United States of America over what he alleged was that superpower’s interference in Malaysian politics. Mahathir was so upset that he called Anwar an American agent -- and in 2003 Anwar sued the NST for reporting that. Mahathir grumbled that when Anwar went to the US he received a 21-gun salute even though he was only the Deputy Prime Minister while, as Prime Minister, Mahathir did not receive the same red carpet treatment. The US then called Anwar a ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ and this angered Mahathir even more.

To Mahathir, Malaysia’s politics is Malaysia’s internal affairs and outsiders should not interfere in Malaysia’s internal affairs. In fact, this has been the international practice for a long time. Countries can, of course, comment about the internal affairs of other countries if it involves matters such as human rights, civil liberties, child labour, child sex, genocide, and so on. Other than that you respect the sovereignty of another country.

The problem with the United States Justice Department’s announcement of 15th June 2017, however, plus the first one on 20th July 2016, is that their statement is not confined to the subject matter: which is about an alleged crime committed on US soil. A large part of the DoJ statement talks about what is happening internally in Malaysia, and an even larger part has no relevance to the subject of whether a crime has been committed on US soil as alleged. The main issue here is not the US or the DoJ but that they are quoting from the complaint that they received. So the issue here is who are the parties who lodged that complaint with the US DoJ?

Friday, June 16, 2017

The DoJ announcement is meant to distract us from the opposition’s problems


Salleh Said Keruak

The opposition Pakatan Harapan is really bankrupt of ideas if they need to resort to inviting foreign intervention into Malaysian politics. Pakatan Harapan is also misleading Malaysians about the implications of the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announcement yesterday.

The DoJ is acting based merely on the complaints it received. And the DoJ made it clear that “a civil forfeiture complaint is merely an allegation that money or property was involved in or represents the proceeds of a crime and that these allegations are not proven until a court says so.”

The implications to this is those against Datuk Seri Najib are trying to get the United States involved in Malaysia’s internal politics. This is an act of treason and during Tun Dr Mahathir’s time he would use the Internal Security Act (ISA) to detain such people without trial.

They did the same in July last year and the intention was to use the DoJ announcement to attack Datuk Seri Najib. It failed last year and they are trying it again, hoping that this time it will work. There is actually no substance in the allegation and even the DoJ said it is a civil action based on complaints and not based on any court decision. In fact, no court action has even been launched yet.

Pakatan Harapan is in mess and they appear to be on the brink of a breakup. So they need this distraction to take attention away from the problems the opposition is facing. And this is all that the DoJ announcement is: an attempt to smear the Prime Minister and distract Malaysians from the fact that the opposition is in dire straits.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Opposition is attacking Datin Seri Rosmah to camouflage its weaknesses


Salleh Said Keruak

After a quiet of about four years the Opposition has relaunched its anti-Rosmah campaign and is circulating fabricated stories not supported by any evidence alleging all sorts of things regarding Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. In fact, many of these stories have already been proven false when they first came out years ago. So, again, Malaysia is being feasted with an orgy of lies.

The Opposition is hoping that by bringing back the old stories regarding Datin Seri Rosmah’s shopping Malaysians would focus on that issue instead and would not notice the confusion about who Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting is. Pakatan Harapan is at the most critical stage of its very short life and if it cannot resolve this matter Pakatan Harapan is going to disintegrate just like Pakatan Rakyat did not too long ago.

The Opposition needs a new distraction and as much as they try to resurrect the 1MDB issue they know it is a failed strategy because the issue is already dead and RM42 billion has not disappeared into thin air, as Mahathir had originally alleged. So now Malaysians are again being fed doses of lies regarding Datin Seri Rosmah. The question is has Pakatan Harapan resolved all its problems? They cannot even resolve just one issue, who their leader is. And they are hoping if Malaysians start talking about Datin Seri Rosmah the problems plaguing the Opposition can be swept under the carpet.