In Pursuit of a Peaceful, Tolerant, Moderate, Multi-Racial Malaysia,
Through Compassion, Mercy, Justice, Democracy 

G25 Malaysia

G25 is a group of influential Malays, and as a civil society organisation, we are able to play a constructive role as the voice of moderation on religion. G25 comprises a group of individuals, rich with experience in various fields with diverse views but a common goal and common vision. 

Latest News

Don’t condone hate

THE fallout from Brexit is causing turmoil in British politics and hurting their economy. With the unity of the country itself at stake, there is much despair and anxiety among the people. There were warnings about the economic consequences of leaving the EU but the Leave campaigners ignored them, saying the economy was not important. Many are now blaming those who used hate sentiments to influence public opinion as they watch their economy falling to its lowest depths. But it’s too late; the damage has been done by the extremists. All this should be a lesson for Malaysia. Like the British anti-EU extremists who have brought so much pain to their country, our local racial and religious extre

The Mufti of Pahang and his ‘kafir harbi’

JUNE 27 — The loudness of Islamic opinion has gained so much traction in Malaysia. I once sat through a phone-in religious programme in which a caller asked a minor league scholar if he should wait till the azan (call to prayer) finishes before actually breaking his fast or can he take the first bite when it starts. Even my mother, whose reverence for these scholars far exceeds my own, was shaking her head in disbelief. But this is what happens. Islam is a simple set of principles about the essentials of life. We can use our divinely bestowed reason to solve everyday problems. Someone needs to tell the health ministry that as well since Jakim is not trained in medicine. They will not be able

US should set example for law and order

IT takes a tragedy of massive proportions, like the recent Orlando mass murder, to move United States politicians into doing something about the country’s gun control law. Every time a mass murder takes place in America, criticisms are levelled at the lax gun control laws for being the reason why a lone-wolf shooter can kill so many. And, within minutes Republican politicians and the National Rifle Association would launch a publicity campaign to dismiss the allegation, and cite the Second Amendment, which gives Americans the right to own guns. Democratic politicians in Congress are also afraid to push for tougher gun laws for fear of losing political support, especially in conservative stat

Biro Tatanegara must be the catalyst to unite us

#noBTNpropaganda I agree completely with Tamil Maram who wrote (NST 21st June) about the Biro Tata Negara (BTN), the National Civics Bureau. The BTN should be open and transparent to the public so as to dispel the widely held view that it is a secret indoctrination programme to instill obedience to the government. The correct approach for the BTN is to inspire loyalty to King and Country, by teaching the participants to uphold the Constitution as the Supreme Law of the country and to stand for the system of law and order that is enshrined in our constitutional democracy. The programme should use the Rukunegara for making participants understand more deeply the national ideology for bringing

New law gets noisy reaction

Should there have been a royal assent for National Security Council Act? THE National Security Council Act is now law. What a surprise. There has been a lot of noise being made because, despite the Conference of Rulers asking for some provisions of the National Security Council Bill to be refined, there were no changes and the Bill became law anyway. Many voices cried that the Rulers were side-stepped and not respected. The Government said it did nothing wrong, and as odd as this may sound, it may be correct in saying so. You see, in the past, the King had a veto on any laws made. He never used this veto power but it was there nonetheless. In the 1980s, when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime

...and whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it s

We members of G25, are outraged at and deplore the cruel and unprovoked murder of 49 innocent lives in an Orlando night club by a twenty-nine year old American Muslim man on 12 June 2016. We wish to express our deepest condolences to the relatives and friends who are grieving the loss of their loved ones. As parents ourselves, we share the great sense of loss of the fathers and mothers who lost their sons and daughters on that terrible night and we can understand how the whole country is reacting with grief and anger to the gruesome tragedy. We join the whole world in condemning this senseless murder by a Muslim individual. The objectives of his crime remain unclear, but one thing seems cer

Preface to the Malay Translation of Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy: Toward A Democratic The

I was pleased to learn that a Malay translation of my book will soon be published. Before readers invest time in reading my book, I would like to provide some background on its history, my motivation in writing it and its limitations. Islam, Secularism and Liberalism Democracy:Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societieshad its origins in the doctoral dissertation that I wrote and successfully defended at the University of Toronto in 2005. It underwent some revisions and was first published as a book in 2009, by Oxford University Press. A paperback version was published in 2012 that discussed the book’s thesis in relationship to the Arab Spring revolutions. Arabic and Indonesian translati

Can Malaysia’s education system be one of the fastest-improving in the world?

The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (MEB) has been designed to ensure that the national education system achieves quality targets and to improve Malaysia’s current standing in the international assessments, from the bottom third to the top third, within 15 years. This would make Malaysia’s education system one of the fastest-improving in the world. It is a tall order indeed but not impossible as some school systems in Boston (the US), Ontario (Canada) and Armenia did so within six years. It has been three years since the inception of MEB. Are we still on the right track? The introduction of school-based assessment (Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah or PBS) in 2011 for Standard 1, and 201

‘Malaysians who condone Orlando massacre are sick’

PETALING JAYA: Muslims who believe victims of the Orlando massacre got what they deserved just because of their sexual orientation, are a “sick” group of people. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) Chairman Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa said this when commenting on the high number of Malaysian Muslims who condemned the victims, instead of the perpetrator, on the Siakap Keli Facebook page. According to Ahmad Farouk, the perpetrator of the massacre, Omar Mateen, was the one who should be condemned as his act of violence went against the true teachings of Islam. “Islamic teachings are based on compassion and mercy. “We have to accept other people as they are, even if we do not agree with their beliefs or li

Raja Zarith: Unfair to see all Jews as evil

PETALING JAYA: Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah does not care if her beliefs make her unpopular, saying that her priority was to be a good Muslim and a decent human being. In a Facebook posting on Saturday, the Permaisuri of Johor said it was unfair for Malaysians to see all Jews as evil. "For so long now most Malaysian Muslims see all Jews as wicked and evil. That is like believing that all Muslims are good when we know some have acted against the very teachings of Islam. "Listen to what Rabbi Michael Lerner has to say about Muslims, about Israel, about Palestine, about peace, and you will understand that it is wrong to pass judgement on anyone," she said. She added that she had both Je

The thorny issue of hudud

PAS’ hudud always been a divisive issue which led to the breakup of Pakatan Rakyat. Now, it is a bigger threat. CABINET Ministers who support the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 355 may continue to claim that it is not the prelude to enforcing hudud in Malaysia. But as far as Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and PAS are concerned, they have checkmated Umno. It is the gateway to implementing hudud in Kelantan that they had strategised for – without having to amend the Federal Constitution. In October 2011, PAS set up a technical committee on hudud and appointed a Constitutional lawyer to prepare a working paper. The strategy was to amend federal laws which needed only

Tread with caution on hudud

FOR Pakistani observers, recent efforts in Malaysia to introduce hudud laws, supposedly derived from religious injunctions, bear something of a resemblance to what their own country experienced 37 years ago, when military ruler Gen Zia Ul Haq launched his controversial “Islamisation” programme to shore up support for his coup d’état. Of course there are significant differences in both countries’ situations; in Malaysia the law has been introduced by PAS, an Islamist party, due to its own political calculations. In Pakistan, Gen Zia – who in 1977 had over­­thrown and later (in 1979) executed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the country’s democra­tically elected prime minister – used the Hu­­dud Ordinance

Pendekatan maqasid al-syariah

MAQASID al-syariah bermakna matlamat tinggi syariah. Ia meliputi keseluruhan kehidupan dan tidak terhad kepada hukuman jenayah semata-mata. Hari ini, apa yang diperlukan ialah membangun kerangka bagaimana kita dapat bekerjasama dengan harmoni membina Malaysia yang lebih baik. Kerangka yang telah dipilih ialah demokrasi, yang integral dalam Islam. Kita mesti menjayakannya. Inilah tanggapan saya menyertai “Seminar Kebangsaan Maqasid al-Shari’ah dan Fiqh Demokrasi” anjuran Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE), pada 28 Mei lalu. Ia dirasmikan Naib Canselor Universiti Selangor Prof Datuk Dr Muhamad Redzuan Othman. Perbincangannya dimulakan dengan ucaptama Prof Dr ‘Abdul Rahman al-Kailani, antara tokoh maqa

Focus on reforms, not political Hudud

It is unreasonable for politicians and Islamic activists to suggest that only Muslims who are experts in religion have the right to discuss and comment on the shariah and hudud. They should know that it is normal in a democracy for citizens to take an interest in public affairs and to express their views freely. As the recent tabling of the "hudud bill" is about amending an act of parliament and more importantly amending the constitution also, this makes it a matter of public interest. In a democracy, any issue that has significant economic, social and personal implications on the life of the people is a matter of public interest. The constitutional issues arising from the surprise tabling o

Secularism as Imagined in the Malay-Indonesian World: Resistance and its Muted Counter Responses in

“Secularism means the world of time, the world of history, and above all that made by human beings, which can be understood because it is made by human beings.” [Edward W Said] In Muslim Southeast Asia (namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei) to speak of secularism is invariably connotes to this worldly, un-Islamic, ungodly, or simply aberrant or irreligious for any adherents to embrace it. There is generally a preoccupation on the subject of secularism, not of course in championing it, but an outright dismissal and rejection. The word itself becomes a blanket bad word for all that is against or contrary to Islam, to the Islamic system, to the Islamic tasawur, or to the Islamic pol

Scholar: Who says rejecting hudud is a sin?

This was a question posed by Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, a Sudanese Islamic scholar from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In an interview arranged by the G25 this morning at a hotel here, Professor Abdullahi said that there is no verse in the Quran that forces one to accept hudud. “It is merely speculation. If hudud is derived from the Quran, please show me this text. “The nature of the state that we live in today is a nation state, in which all citizens are equal. Therefore, the state should enforce a single law, to all citizens equally. “That law should be passed by Parliament, through a democratic process, in a secular state. “This way, it can be changed if it doesn’t work,”

No obligation for Islam’s followers to back hudud, law professor says

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 ― Muslims have no obligation to support hudud as the Islamic criminal code is not mentioned in the Quran, a Sudan-born law professor said today amid debate over a proposed Bill in Parliament that has divided Malaysians along religious lines. Professor Dr Abdullahi A. An-Naim from Emory University based in Georgia, the US, who professed to be a Muslim said a secular country would protect freedom of belief, including among Muslims. “The term 'hudud' itself is a misnomer,” An-Naim told a press conference organised by pro-moderation group G25 here. “The Quran doesn't mention the term 'hudud'. It's not in the Sunnah,” he added, referring to the verbal record of Prophet Muhamm

Get priorities right and focus on good governance

This so-called hudud initiative proposed for debate in Parliament raises some disturbing fundamental constitutional issues. It also questions the core universal values of justice and compassion that were and should be Islam’s inspiration to the world. Today, extremist groups have given Islam, instead of being celebrated as the religion of peace, a global image of intolerance, discrimination and violence. Most sadly, it is fostering conflict even between Muslims, instead of enunciating our core values in the historical and infinite reality of oceans of diversity. These extremists are only creating situations that imperialists and other evil elements are having a field day exploiting. When wil

Pernyataan G25 ke atas Penyataan Media Dato’ Seri Najib mengenai Rang Undang-Undang Mahkamah Syariah

Dalam suatu tindakan yang luar biasa pada Khamis (26 Mei 2016) yang lalu, Kerajaan telah membentangkan suatu usul untuk menangguh urusannya di Dewan Rakyat kerana bertujuan mendahulukan suatu Rang Undang-Undang Persendirian yang dikemukakan oleh Presiden Pas, Dato’ Seri Hj. Abdul Hadi Awang (Ahli Parlimen Marang). Usul untuk memberi laluan kepada Rang Undang-Undang Mahkamah Syariah (Bidangkuasa Jenayah)(Pindaan) 2016 (‘Rang Undang-Undang Hadi) ini telah dibentangkan oleh Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Dato’ Sri Azalina Othman. Perdana Menteri di dalam suatu pernyataan sidang media telah menafikan yang Rang Undang-Undang itu bertujuan untuk melaksanakan undang-undang jenayah Syariah, ia

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