Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hafidz Baharom: In defense of Nik Aziz


Hafidz Baharom is a 26 year old corporate communication executive with a Malaysian GLC. He is also a regular columnist in The Malaysian Insider and also the Nut Graph, two of the more well known online news portal in this country. His blog articles also appear in The Star Online's Citizens Blog which can be accessed here.

This article first appeared in Hafidz's facebook, and is reposted here for the benefit of all readers, and it does not constitute or taken to represent the opinion of Pas For All blog.
Yes, yes. You read the title right.

I know. It's shocking.

While I am one to constantly bash PAS for their constant interference into my entertainment calendar and my lifestyle choices, I don't begrudge their leader to the point of stopping him from going off for pilgrimage merely due to the funding being from questionable resources.

I don't look to Nik Aziz as my savior, nor do I view him as my personal religious teacher. However, I do view him as a respectable politician and as an MB who is receiving gifts from various sources to assist him in his simple and rather cheap lifestyle.

For UMNO Kelantan to voice out that he should resign for such an act shows their hypocrisy rather clearly, particularly when they have yet to even voice their discordance against having a party president who may have had a part in blowing up a Mongolian mediator who helped in the purchase of two submarines contracted out to the French.

One of which is now back and garnering enough attention in Parliament full of jakuns.

Nik Aziz may be an anti-smoking nut who calls smokers stupider than cows. He may even be a nutcase for calling those who vote for UMNO as less than civilised.

However, Nik Aziz is not someone who would take RM65,000 from dubious sources to fund his haj, as he has proven rather tearfully.

And in doing so, he has proven that he has more credibility than the MP of Pasir Salak who paid off 7 million ringgit and was found guilty in an UMNO election.

He has more credibility than Khir Toyo and multiple former Selangor UMNO people in power who have now to face multiple backlash due to Khalid Ibrahim's transparency policies.

He has more credibility than the MP from Rembau and the MB of Negri Sembilan himself, both of whom were guilty in money politics.

So please, leave 'Saint' Nik alone and look into a mirror, UMNO.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I wish to extend   my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the late Kugan Ananthan.
Yesterday, I visited them together with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, YB Dr Mariah and others. The visit convinced me that Kugan's death is not just an issue for Kugan's family, but more crucially, it is an issue for this very nation of Malaysia that we all love so dearly.
As a father I share their distress and outrage in the manner in which PDRM in particular, and the Home Ministry of Malaysia in general, have failed them in its duty to care for their beloved son.
I share the family's anguish and despair regarding the uncertainty and secrecy surrounding the circumstances of this death,  and by the delays in conducting the second post mortem.
I am alarmed by the discourtesy with which the family was treated immediately following their bereavement.
I am startled with the statistics revealed in Parliament last year: a total of 1,535 custodial deaths in this country 
between 2003 and 2007.
These hard facts will further erode public confidence in the credibility of PDRM, the IGP, and the Home Ministry to protect people under its custody and to deliver justice to everyone involved.
It is a loss of confidence that will be widely shared by all citizens of Malaysia, and there is an urgent obligation on the part of Government to reverse it.
It is PAS’s view that the most basic human right is the right to life. Kugan Ananthan and 1,535 others have been denied that while in custody. This is a serious breach of human rights committed by the Government, the very institution that is supposed to care for the people.
Basic human rights entitle everyone to a fair trial. No one is above the law, not the people who are suspected of committing a crime, and definitely also not to the interrogators and those involved in conducting the investigations. No one is fair game for violence.
PDRM has an important responsibility to protect the people in their custody from harm. PDRM has no right to abuse and treat those in their custody  with any form of violence. To do so is itself a crime.
I strongly support the call by various groups for  the establishment of a Royal Commission not only to investigate this particular case but also the other 1,535 cases to ensure that this will not happen again. Death in custody has to be stopped.
A Royal Commision must examine:
-the failure of the current system to protect those in custody;
-why people die while in police custody, and too determine if this is caused by any acts of violence;
-PDRM culture, and if it condones violence toward prisoners;
-who are the perpetrators;
-whether violence toward prisoners in custody is condoned, encouraged, or ordered by others further up the chain of command, and if so, by whom.
And the Commision  must be given the power to prosecute. Then the perpetrator/s must be brought to justice. Not only perpetrators, but their supervisors and Ministers responsible must be made accountable for this. 
Then the Commision must make recommendations, binding on the government, as to how violence against those in custody can be eliminated. It must be remembered that many of those in custody, although may have been charged in the court of law, have not been sentenced, and therefore are entitled to the presumption of innocence.
PDRM staff must be trained to understand that when the state takes away a person’s liberty, it assumes full responsibility for protecting their human rights. PDRM must start creating an institutional culture which promotes and protects the rights of even the most disturbed people, and which manages those in their custody in a non-violent,
humane and ethical manner. Degrading treatment, neglect and abusive culture must stop immediately.
I must remind and appeal to the Home Minister and the IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan that by taking people into custody, Islam and fundamental human rights proclaimed that the Government takes upon itself a particular duty of care, because of those people’s vulnerability, and has a special responsibility to ensure their protection and to uphold their human rights.
Lets Kugan s burial tommorow leads us to establish justice and not to bury it!
Regardless of race, religion and nationality.
Dato' Husam Musa
PAS Vice President
Chairman for Economic Planning, Finance and Welfare Committee

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Palestine Issue: History revisited

Tomorrow night, a Hamas representative Br. Sami Abu Zuhri will be one of the main speakers in an event organized by Kelantan State Government, called The Launch of "Tabung Amanah Cakno Palestin" (Palestine Care Fund) in Stadium Sultan Mohamad Ke IV in Kota Bharu.

To give a better perspective of the conflict in Palestine, and in Gaza in particular, let us revisit this nice essay written more than 60 years ago, as the Israeli state was slowly being formed by the world power brokers.

This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.

Please continue reading here.