Sunday, April 16, 2017


The Honorable Rafizi Ramli's revelation of Nasharudin Mat Isa having received money or 'donation' from Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's 1MDB via its former subsidiary SRC International Sdn. Bhd. should not surprise anyone who has read pages 169 - 171 of the book entitled THE NEXT FRONT (Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam) written by a 4-term Republican Senator Christopher S. "Kit" Bond and a Pulitzer Prize Winner foreign correspondent Lewis M. Simons.
On the inner side of the cover of the book it is written: 
If you think the next front in the fight against global terrorism is in Pakistan or Afghanistan, this book will startle you. Four term U.S. Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond and veteran foreign correspondent Lewis M. Simons reveal that the next front is taking shape right now in a part of the world most Americans haven't thought about since the Vietnam war: Southeast Asia.

Americans rarely pay serious attention to other nations until they suddenly perceive them to be a threat. Then they find themselves woefully lacking in information and understanding. Hoping to avoid that recurring flaw, Bond and Simons invite readers to travel with them through Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, meeting people at all levels of society. Drawing on their decades of experience, they speak with - and, more importantly, listen to - presidents and prime ministers, soldiers and policemen, teachers, mothers, lawyers, clergymen, and terrorists.  Their stories provide exceptional insights into the politics and economies of their countries as well as their personal concerns, motivations, hopes, and fears.
This is what CSB and LMS wrote in 2009 about Nasharudin Mat Isa:
Back in Kuala Lumpur, we met the deputy president of PAS, Nasharudin Mat Issa. Blending a strong dose of religion with politics still worked in Kelantan, he told us. But, at the national level, it had cost the party badly. In general elections in 2004, PAS lost control of Trengganu, on of the two state it held out of thirteen, and twenty seats in Parliament. The outcome shook the party because the setback seemed to run counter to the intensification of Islam around the country. PAS had been well ahead of the curve in agitating for Islamic statehood and Sharia.
One morning soon after the election defeat, Nasharudin said, he looked in the mirror and studied the intense face staring back through wire-rim glasses. He saw a high forehead and long jawline accented by a substantial black beard. He looked more like an Arab than a Malay. A light clicked on. He trimmed the beard back to a goatee. He began meeting people he and the party had long ignored, Chinese and Indians, Christians, Buddhist, and Muslim moderates. He appeared on television talk shows, speaking in English. People were shocked.
A friend of my wife's called and said that her husband was amazed that a PAS leader could speak English. It made me realize we'd been making terrible mistakes. For one, we'd written off all non-Malays. For another, by trying to merge religion and politics - good governance, development, economic advancement, and transparency along with Sharia - we frightened a lot of moderate Muslims. When people thought of PAS they saw images of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
This realization brought awareness that while many Malays wanted more Islam in their lives, they preferred it in the guise of moderation. Prime Minister Abdullah's 'Civilizatonal Islam' fit the bill nicely. "Too many Muslims believed that PAS wanted to return the nation to the Stone Age," Nasharudin said. "The truth is that there is no conflict between Islam and modernity. Malaysia ia already a modern nation and what we want to do is get more people to understand that Islam is a way of life, both for them as individuals and for the nation; it is not just a way of praying."
In 2005, Nasharudin traveled to the United States on a three-week tour sponsored by the State Department.
He met local poloticians, academics, and religious leaders, including three rabbis. "In Texas, one of the rabbis told me that he was opposed to Israel's policies with the Palestinians.," he said. "They really stunned me." He was also disturbed when he realized that nearly all the Americans he met equated Islam with Arabs. More worrisome, he said, "When you say 'Muslim' to an American, the automatic response is 'terrorist.' " He found that Americans had no sense of his country or the world of difference between religious practice in most of Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Alarmed both by the 2004 elections and his conversations with Americans, Nasharudin decided that PAS had to rebrand itself. "We have to repackage the party, make it more of a nationally based organization, not just a party of Muslims and Malays. We have to engage with the (Malaysian) Chinese and convince them that Islam won't harm them and their interests."
With this realization as a backdrop, PAS joined a tripartite, moderate alliance headed by Anwar Ibrahim's avowedly multi-ethnic Keadilan (People's Justice) party to contest Malaysia's 2008 general elections. The grouping tramples Prime Minister Abdullah's ruling party, eliminating its two-third majority in Parliament for the first time since 1969.
Swiftly acknowledging the new reality, the government watered down the Bumiputra system, eliminating the longstanding, politically untouchable requirement that companies reserve 30 percent of their shares for Malays.
The election confirmed Nasharudin's enlightenment, for the short term anyway. But while Nasharudin provides an appealing, younger persona to a party long locked into ultraconservatism, he neither wants nor does it make political sense to permanently change direction on the road to full-fledged Islamic statehood.

For the moment, as Malaysia redefines itself as more Islamic, PAS feels the need to move in the opposite direction, temporarily easing off the accelerator. The race it is engaged in with UMNO is more a game of chicken than a flat-out speedfest. For every two steps a competitor takes closer to Sharia and fundamentalism, the other drops back one, way of losing votes.
The direction is set.
Only the pace is in question.


Please let us have your comments on the above revelation. I will be submitting mine a little later. Thank you.

1 comment:

Syed Pandan. said...

Yeah ........what Nasharuddin had said on the above topic might be true. But at this moment, he had only declared that he Is only the middle man in the issue of huge some Of money being transfered from 1MDB account to the accounts of those hungry devils in PAS. So, be straight ! If he Is a Middle Man, our question is. who Is The Right man or The left Man.? TQ Tan Sri for your wonderful writing.