Day: May 12, 2018

May 12, 2018 Off

Malaysians awaken to a new political dawn

By Web Desk

Kula Lumpur (UNA-OIC) – Hope for lasting change in Malaysia after the opposition’s historic election win may hinge on whether triumphant 92-year-old autocrat-turned-progressive Mahathir Mohamad has truly changed his ways and possesses the vigor and clout to heal national divisions, according to an AFP report.

The wily former authoritarian ruler proved the difference in finally enabling a rising opposition movement to break the United Malays National Organization’s (UMNO) six-decade lock on power. The Pakatan Harapan coalition’s victory is Malaysia’s first real government change since independence from Britain in 1957 and will fuel public aspirations for wholesale change including rights protections, press freedom, anti-corruption measures, changes to divisive race-based policies, and true democratic rule.

“The People’s Tsunami,” the Malay-language Sinar Harian newspaper screamed in a front-page headline.

But Malaysian politics is known for head-spinning reversals � not least of which was Mahathir’s own conversion to grandfatherly opposition darling � and the future remains unclear. “Now the hard work begins,” influential political website Malaysiakini.com said in an editorial. “No one should be under the illusion that a new government would be able to reverse the rot that had taken root for decades.” “For a country that is so divided, it would take time to heal the wounds and for Malaysians to rebuild the trust for one another and for the many institutions that have failed them.”

Multicultural Malaysia has been increasingly driven by political and racial tension under now-ousted leader Najib Razak, exacerbated by a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal. Najib is accused of presiding over the looting of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB and has responded with strident denials � and increasing repression. Much depends on Mahathir, whose 1981-2003 tenure as UMNO leader and premier is often credited with creating a modern Malaysia, but also tarnished by the jailing of opponents and entrenchment of the political dominance of Muslim Malays, the country’s majority group, over the sizable Chinese and Indian minorities.

Malaysiakini called the vote a reminder that politicians are elected to serve the people “and not lord over them.” “It would be wise for the incoming government to remember this.” UMNO’s Malay bloc has waged a caustic battle against a diverse opposition alliance that reflects the tropical country’s multicultural make-up, yet is prone to internal divisions of its own. Any incoming administration faces the daunting task of wresting control of a government bureaucracy steeped in UMNO’s ways, plus the thorny issue of enshrined policies that favor Malays in politics, employment, and other areas.

Mahathir, a key architect of that system while premier, is now bedfellows with a coalition infused with impatient Chinese and Indian constituencies. But former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is to be released from prison in June, raising the tantalizing prospect of Anwar and Mahathir using their combined influence to broker compromises and batter.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

May 12, 2018 Off

Malaysians awaken to a new political dawn

By Web Desk

Kula Lumpur (UNA-OIC) – Hope for lasting change in Malaysia after the opposition’s historic election win may hinge on whether triumphant 92-year-old autocrat-turned-progressive Mahathir Mohamad has truly changed his ways and possesses the vigor and clout to heal national divisions, according to an AFP report.

The wily former authoritarian ruler proved the difference in finally enabling a rising opposition movement to break the United Malays National Organization’s (UMNO) six-decade lock on power. The Pakatan Harapan coalition’s victory is Malaysia’s first real government change since independence from Britain in 1957 and will fuel public aspirations for wholesale change including rights protections, press freedom, anti-corruption measures, changes to divisive race-based policies, and true democratic rule.

“The People’s Tsunami,” the Malay-language Sinar Harian newspaper screamed in a front-page headline.

But Malaysian politics is known for head-spinning reversals � not least of which was Mahathir’s own conversion to grandfatherly opposition darling � and the future remains unclear. “Now the hard work begins,” influential political website Malaysiakini.com said in an editorial. “No one should be under the illusion that a new government would be able to reverse the rot that had taken root for decades.” “For a country that is so divided, it would take time to heal the wounds and for Malaysians to rebuild the trust for one another and for the many institutions that have failed them.”

Multicultural Malaysia has been increasingly driven by political and racial tension under now-ousted leader Najib Razak, exacerbated by a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal. Najib is accused of presiding over the looting of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB and has responded with strident denials � and increasing repression. Much depends on Mahathir, whose 1981-2003 tenure as UMNO leader and premier is often credited with creating a modern Malaysia, but also tarnished by the jailing of opponents and entrenchment of the political dominance of Muslim Malays, the country’s majority group, over the sizable Chinese and Indian minorities.

Malaysiakini called the vote a reminder that politicians are elected to serve the people “and not lord over them.” “It would be wise for the incoming government to remember this.” UMNO’s Malay bloc has waged a caustic battle against a diverse opposition alliance that reflects the tropical country’s multicultural make-up, yet is prone to internal divisions of its own. Any incoming administration faces the daunting task of wresting control of a government bureaucracy steeped in UMNO’s ways, plus the thorny issue of enshrined policies that favor Malays in politics, employment, and other areas.

Mahathir, a key architect of that system while premier, is now bedfellows with a coalition infused with impatient Chinese and Indian constituencies. But former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is to be released from prison in June, raising the tantalizing prospect of Anwar and Mahathir using their combined influence to broker compromises and batter.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

May 12, 2018 Off

Malaysians awaken to a new political dawn

By Web Desk

Kula Lumpur (UNA-OIC) – Hope for lasting change in Malaysia after the opposition’s historic election win may hinge on whether triumphant 92-year-old autocrat-turned-progressive Mahathir Mohamad has truly changed his ways and possesses the vigor and clout to heal national divisions, according to an AFP report.

The wily former authoritarian ruler proved the difference in finally enabling a rising opposition movement to break the United Malays National Organization’s (UMNO) six-decade lock on power. The Pakatan Harapan coalition’s victory is Malaysia’s first real government change since independence from Britain in 1957 and will fuel public aspirations for wholesale change including rights protections, press freedom, anti-corruption measures, changes to divisive race-based policies, and true democratic rule.

“The People’s Tsunami,” the Malay-language Sinar Harian newspaper screamed in a front-page headline.

But Malaysian politics is known for head-spinning reversals � not least of which was Mahathir’s own conversion to grandfatherly opposition darling � and the future remains unclear. “Now the hard work begins,” influential political website Malaysiakini.com said in an editorial. “No one should be under the illusion that a new government would be able to reverse the rot that had taken root for decades.” “For a country that is so divided, it would take time to heal the wounds and for Malaysians to rebuild the trust for one another and for the many institutions that have failed them.”

Multicultural Malaysia has been increasingly driven by political and racial tension under now-ousted leader Najib Razak, exacerbated by a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal. Najib is accused of presiding over the looting of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB and has responded with strident denials � and increasing repression. Much depends on Mahathir, whose 1981-2003 tenure as UMNO leader and premier is often credited with creating a modern Malaysia, but also tarnished by the jailing of opponents and entrenchment of the political dominance of Muslim Malays, the country’s majority group, over the sizable Chinese and Indian minorities.

Malaysiakini called the vote a reminder that politicians are elected to serve the people “and not lord over them.” “It would be wise for the incoming government to remember this.” UMNO’s Malay bloc has waged a caustic battle against a diverse opposition alliance that reflects the tropical country’s multicultural make-up, yet is prone to internal divisions of its own. Any incoming administration faces the daunting task of wresting control of a government bureaucracy steeped in UMNO’s ways, plus the thorny issue of enshrined policies that favor Malays in politics, employment, and other areas.

Mahathir, a key architect of that system while premier, is now bedfellows with a coalition infused with impatient Chinese and Indian constituencies. But former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is to be released from prison in June, raising the tantalizing prospect of Anwar and Mahathir using their combined influence to broker compromises and batter.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

May 12, 2018 Off

Pakistan Bars U.S. Diplomat From Leaving Country

By Web Desk

Pakistan has barred a U.S. diplomat involved in a fatal road accident from leaving the country, security officials and local media say.The move came a day after a court in Islamabad ruled that diplomatic immunity may not apply in the April 7 accident t…

May 12, 2018 Off

Holy Mosques in Makkah, Madinah gear up for Ramadan

By Web Desk

Makkah (UNA-OIC) – The holy cities of Makkah and Madinah are fully geared up with unprecedented arrangements to welcome millions of worshipers during the fasting month of Ramadan, set to start most probably on Wednesday.

The authorities have completed preparations to facilitate the smooth flow of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who are expected to flock the holy cities from all over the world during the holy month, which coincides with the annual summer vacation in many parts of the Arab and Muslim world. In their Friday sermons, imams of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah urged believers to reap the fruits of the holy fasting month so as to be closer to Almighty Allah by engaging in doing more virtues and alleviating the suffering of people afflicted with war and miseries around the world.

The Makkah Emirate, Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, mayoralties, Haram Security Forces Command, police, traffic, Civil Defense, and all other departments and agencies have swung into operation to offer the best ever services and facilities to the pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Mosques during Ramadan, which marks the peak annual Umrah season. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah, advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and chairman of the Central Haj Committee, reviewed the elaborate arrangements and preparations made by various government departments and agencies for the holy month. Chairing the meeting of the committee at his office in Makkah on Tuesday, the emir urged all concerned officials to ensure flawless arrangements and excellent services for the pilgrims and visitors to Islam’s holiest shrine in the holy month.

The meeting was informed that as of Sunday, a record number of 5.4 million pilgrims performed Umrah, and this figure is an increase of 195,000 pilgrims compared with the same period last year. There are about 1,314 hotels, with total beds of over one million, readied to host the pilgrims. As many as 82 transport companies will arrange more than 25,000 trips to the Grand Mosque on a daily basis. There will be shuttle services to transport as many as 40 million passengers to and from the Haram and various parts of the holy city for obligatory prayers as well as for performing Umrah during the holy month. Around 2,000 buses will be plying to transport eight million passengers thus reducing the number of small vehicles on all streets leading to the Haram. The authorities have arranged parking lots for 2.5 million vehicles at various spots in the holy city.

As part of the Ramadan plan, the Haram presidency has come up with a comprehensive program to enlighten and guide the pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques with regard to performance of their rituals. It will supervise the performance of imams, hiring of scholars to offer Islamic lectures and guidance classes, and distribution of copies of the Holy Qur’an, Islamic books and leaflets. The presidency is also in charge of total supervision of the cleaning and maintenance of the Holy Mosques and their courtyards, as well as spreading out of prayer rugs, providing Zamzam containers, surveillance and guarding of the gates of the mosques, provision of wheelchairs for the worshipers with special needs, and making available of golf carts for carrying elderly and disabled worshipers.

The Civil Defense Directorate announced that it is fully geared up to serve the pilgrims and ensure their safety as it implements its general emergency plan for Makkah and Madinah during the holy month. Maj. Gen. Salem Al-Matrafi, director of Civil Defense in Makkah, said at a press conference on Thursday that Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Bin Naif has approved the plan. It will be implemented in cooperation and coordination with 32 government agencies. Brig. Gen. Abdurahman Al-Harbi, director of Civil Defense Department in Madinah, said that the plan will be implemented in two phases � first from Ramadan 1 to 20 and second from Ramadan 21 to Shawwal 1.

The Haram Security Forces Command has completed all arrangements for crowd management amid the anticipated huge influx of Umrah pilgrims. The security agencies, represented by the special forces for the security of the Grand Mosque, Special Emergency Forces, and other forces have mobilized all their manpower and equipment to ensure smooth and safe flow of pilgrims and worshipers and enable them to perform their rituals in an air of serenity and spiritual ambience. Gen. Khaled Al-Harbi, commander of the Special Emergency Forces and the Umrah Security Forces, visited the police headquarters in Madinah on Wednesday to inspect the preparedness of the security forces for the holy month.

The mayoralties in Makkah and Madinah have readied their Ramadan plan and that included cleaning and sterilization of the outer piazas of the Harams and roads leading to mosques, and preventing street vendors from obstructing the flow of pilgrims. The Madinah mayoralty intensified the cleaning campaign of the souks and neighborhoods by deploying 3,439 workers equipped with 411 machinery.

The branches of the Ministry of Culture and Information in the holy cities will undertake the live transmission of prayers from the Holy Mosques over television and radio. The health affairs departments in Makkah and Madinah have readied all the hospitals and clinics in the two cities to offer the best ever possible health services for the pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Mosques.

Source: International Islamic News Agency