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Thread: Activism: Negara-Ku

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Activism: Negara-Ku

    Negara-Ku anti-Islam, anti-Malay, so Isma is anti-national, anti-national unity?

    Last updated on 13/07/2014 - 14:18
    11/07/2014 - 17:00

    Ng Kee Seng

    QUICK TAKE: Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman has labelled the newly formed civil movement Negara-Ku as just another anti-Islam, anti-Malay body.

    To Isma, everything is anti-Islam or anti-Malay as long as it does not conform to Isma’s agenda.

    If Negara-Ku is anti-Islam or anti-Malay, then Isma is anti-national, anti-national unity! Isma is just a racial and religious bigot.

    The Malaysian Insider reported Zaik as saying in a posting on Isma’s website that Negara-Ku was merely a new front promoting religious pluralism, liberalism and humanism.

    “Their agenda and focus are the same, to go against Islam as the religion of the Federation and the rights of Malays in this Malay heartland.

    “You can use any name, but we know who you are and who you work for,” he added.

    Zaik was responding to the launch of Negara-Ku, which is spearheaded by Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia deputy president Zaid Kamaruddin, who is the steering committee chairperson.

    The patrons are prominent lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, national laureate Datuk A Samad Said and former vice-chair of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Tan Sri Simon Sipaun.

    Some 68 civil society groups and NGOs have endorsed Negara-Ku, which is aimed at mobilising and empowering people to return to the basics of the Federal Constitution, the Malaysia Agreement and the Rukunegara.

    Touted as the “people’s movement to reclaim our nation”, the movement was conceived to heal Malaysia and restore hope, given recent challenges that continue to threaten the peace and harmony of its multi-ethnic and multi-faith society.

    At the launch on July 10, Samad said religion was increasingly being used as the marker of identity, and as a boundary-maintenance mechanism to polarise the people.

    “The mobilisation and manipulation of race, ethnicity and religion have resulted in increasing intolerance, bigotry and extremism.

    “There is also an emerging subculture of political violence. These are symptomatic of dangerous undercurrents in our society,” Malaysian Insider quoted Samad as saying.

    He added that the state, by “default or design”", had failed to address these developments.

    The Umno-led Barisan Nasional’s (BN) lack of serious action against racial and religious bigots and zealots’ attacks on peace-loving Malaysians is turning Malaysia into an international anathema, thereby frightening away investors.

    Why is BN allowing such bigots and zealots to roam freely without fear or favour?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Negara-Ku must prove it’s an NGO for the people

    Last updated on 15/07/2014 - 19:39
    16/07/2014 - 08:00

    Alyaa Alhadjri

    COMMENT: It has been barely a week since the launch of the new people's movement Negara-Ku but its leaders are already under relentless attacks from Malay-Muslim groups for allegedly being "enemies of the state".

    The same group of people - Perkasa, Isma and Utusan Malaysia's 'Awang Selamat' - are hurling the same allegations at their usual "suspects" and this should not come as a surprise to Negara-Ku leaders.

    Liberals, anti-Malay/Islam and Pakatan Rakyat stooge are just a few choice labels from a long list of claims made against Negara-Ku leaders, but they have so far remained unfazed.

    They are, after all, "veterans" in the NGO scene with its two patrons - former Bar Council president Dato Ambiga Sreenivasan and national laureate Dato A Samad Said - once again joining forces to kick-start the people's movement "to reclaim Malaysia" after previously heading the electoral reform coalition Bersih 2.0 steering committee.

    The likes of Ambiga, Pak Samad, Ikram secretary-general Zaid Kamaruddin (as Negara-Ku steering committee chairman) and Asalkan Bukan Umno's founder Haris Ibrahim should by now be immune to personal accusations against them but there are, still, valid questions that warrant answers.

    At its official launch on July 10, it was announced that Negara-Ku will be supported by 68 civil society groups, many of which are notably also supporters of Bersih 2.0.

    This has raised the question of why the need for yet another coalition to "unite" Malaysians - is it for the people or just one more platform for the leaders to voice their opinions?

    If it is truly a people's movement, the question remains as to what happened to the existing organisations, Were they ineffective as a unifying platform?

    Zaid told theantdaily that Negara-Ku and Bersih 2.0 are essentially different in substance and the movement cannot be compared to the existing Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM), a coalition of 24 NGOs, which was established in 2011 "to champion a better Malaysia".

    He also insisted that Negara-Ku is set up with a broader objective if compared to GBM and it was not a conscious decision to gather his former colleagues from Bersih 2.0 in a new organisation.

    "If we (Negara-Ku) were to measure our success, it would be a reduction in issues or incidents that could threaten racial unity and religious harmony in Malaysia," said Zaid.

    To claims by Utusan's Awang Selamat on Sunday that Negara-Ku is merely a "smoke screen" to further her own political ambitions, Ambiga was quoted by The Malaysian Insider as saying: "Of course, Negara-Ku has an agenda. It is an agenda for unity, peace and harmony."

    "Everyone who loves this country should support this agenda. Those who criticise it are merely trying to deflect from the pressing issues of racism and extremism that threaten the fabric of our nation. What is their agenda, I wonder?" she retorted.

    She also insisted that contrary to Utusan's claim, there is nothing wrong with using the name "Negara-Ku" as their main aim is to mobilise and empower people to return to the basics of the Federal Constitution, Malaysia Agreement and Rukunegara.

    Having been a close working partner of Bersih 2.0, Tindak Malaysia founder PY Wong told theantdaily that Negara-Ku can be yet another platform for moderate voices to be heard over the din of racist cries.

    "This is a democracy. So long as they follow the law, they should be allowed to organise themselves and later it will be up to them to demonstrate the value in what they are doing," said Wong.

    "It is natural for people who have worked together to come together once again (on a new platform). Let them have their chance to try (achieving their goals)," said Wong to a question on whether there are too many NGOs fighting for the same cause, but with no concrete outcomes.

    Politicians are often chastised for practising the 'NATO' (No Action Talk Only) policy and this is something which Negara-Ku leaders must try to avoid, or else it would risk being seen as just "yet another" NGO that serves as a platform for its leaders instead of the people.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Negara-Ku initiative deserves our support to stop racists and extremists

    Last updated on 23/07/2014 - 10:09
    22/07/2014 - 09:30

    OUTSPOKEN: The formation of the Negara-Ku movement ought to be welcomed by all as this new NGO’s aim is to heal our nation of divisiveness which has been caused by the rising influence of the racist and extremist groups.

    As we all know, Negara-Ku’s primary objective is to promote national unity, peace and harmony among the multi-racial and multi-religious communities. It is a fact that the Negara-Ku movement has nothing against anybody or any parties at all.

    This NGO is promoting positive values amongst Malaysians from all walks of life by going back to the basics to counter negative elements that are threatening to tear our communities apart.

    We should well note that although the racist and extremist groups are no doubt a mere minority, it would be a big mistake to ignore their threat from afar. We must remember that the existence of the originally small band of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters was initially ignored by the authorities but it eventually grew into a large fighting force to control many parts of Iraq and Syria today.

    The basics that the Negara-Ku movement has defined and aims to enhance for the general public are the Federal Constitution, the Malaysia Agreement and the Rukunegara.

    So, what is wrong with promoting all these good values? Isn’t it good that national unity among people of different ethnicities and faiths should be preserved as the beauty of our nation’s multi-culturalism?

    However, extremist organisations like Isma, Perkasa and Muafakat, and Umno-owned mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia accused the Negara-Ku movement of liberalism and being LGBT-oriented, threatening the position of the Malays and Islam in particular.

    Leaders of Isma, Perkasa and Muafakat have also accused Malay activists who are part of the Negara-Ku movement of betraying the Malay community and deviating from the teachings of Islam.

    These organisations are not only displaying their racist tendencies but also playing God to label others as infidels.

    It is mind-boggling that Isma, Perkasa, Muafakat and Utusan Malaysia see it fit to periodically raise the spectre of the May 13 tragedy. Are inciting hatred, condoning violence, stoking fear and making seditious statements to split the people a noble cause? Are all your actions more Islamic than others’ and are you all really defenders of the Malays and Islam? Your claims are simply absurd.

    When a junior military envoy attached to the Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand was detained for allegedly molesting a woman and trespassing into private property, why didn’t Isma, Perkasa, Muafakat and Utusan Malaysia protest against the diplomat’s act, which is clearly a disgrace to our nation?

    When ISIS and the Talibans deliberately used Islam to spread terror over Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, killing thousands of innocent Muslims including women and children, and destroying mosques, why didn’t these organisations protest against the actions of these terrorist groups?

    Corruption, power abuse and mismanagement in the government are still rampant until today. Billions of ringgit has been lost almost every year and yet no stern action was taken against the culprits. These corrupt politicians and senior government officials had continuously used our nation’s coffers for their personal ends like nobody’s business. And again, we wonder why Isma, Perkasa, Muafakat and Utusan Malaysia are keeping quiet over all such negative elements which are threatening the wellbeing and socio-economic status of the Malays?

    The decades old New Economic Policy (NEP) has failed to build a strong income base for the Malays until today. Why did these Malay non-governmental organisations blame the opposition parties for this failure instead of taking the government to task?

    Isma, Perkasa, Muafakat and Utusan Malaysia claim to be defenders of the Malay race and champions of Islam but their actions prove otherwise.

    Well, we all know very well that these organisations are just doing the dirty job for Umno. Their actions are calculated to create suspicion between the Malays and non-Malays and between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities to shore up support for Umno.

    The time has come to bring forward the Federal Constitution and the Rukunegara again as suggested by the Negara-Ku movement to remind the entire nation of the importance of preserving peace and national unity.

    Every one of us should therefore stand up and be counted in our desire for unity, peaceful co-existence, harmony, equality, and a just and fair society.

    Viktor Wong, a socio-political analyst, wants a better Malaysia, one that is run by a clean government that respects the people, human rights and the rule of law that does not politicise issues of race, religion and the rulers.

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