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

Silencing moderate voices

Last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a circular banning the book “Breaking the Silence: Voices of Moderation” subtitled “Islam in a constitutional democracy”, first published in December 2015. One of the contributors to the book, Universiti Malaya law professor Azmi Sharom, has been reported saying that the authorities did not in fact explain why they consider the book “prejudicial to public order”. Another contributor Just World director Chandra Muzaffar says that the book is “It’s a collection of essays which intended to show that extremists and bigoted thinking on matters pertaining to the practice of Islam in the country should be combated in an intellectual manner.” Today we a

Politicians never learn

PPBM Chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said its best to forget about the past to create a better political future for the country. In response to Mahathir’s call, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said the past must never be forgotten especially in politics, there are many mistakes that must be rectified, that history was a lifelong teacher and we should not forget history as it is an important reference for future generations. “If we do not learn from history, then we will not move forward because we are doomed to repeat it,” he said. Salleh cited the BMF (Bumiputra Malaysia Finance) case, Memali, Operasi Lalang, Forex, MAS privatisation, 1997 financial crisis, Anwar

Doing the right thing

Despite having to weather all sorts of criticisms, Faridah Khalid has persisted in her work to uphold values such as justice, accountability, unity and respect among Malaysians. WHEN Datuk Faridah Khalid became a founding member of G25, a Datuk asked her: “You support LGBT?” The group of prominent Malays came together not long after the Court of Appeal ruled in November 2014 that criminalising cross-dressing was an unreasonable restriction of a person’s freedom of expression. The activist replied to the Datuk that she works with that community and also with other marginalised groups, including people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. “I told him that if he had never been on the ground, he s

Breaking The Silence, banned

The G25 has received upsetting news. Our book, "Breaking the Silence: Voices of Moderation" has been banned under the Printing Presses and Publications (Control of Undesirable Publications) (No. 12) Order 2017. Launched by YBM Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah on 5 December 2015 during G25's Public Forum on Islam in a Constitutional Democracy, the book is a compilation of articles written by leading academics, prominent lawyers and social activists to discuss the impact of Islamic bureaucracy in Malaysia and its consistency with the provisions of the Federal Constitution. Our book also addresses the socio-political dimensions and cultural-economic implications on Malaysian society. Gazetted into law y

Tawfik writes to Conference of Rulers over RUU355 suit

PETALING JAYA: Pro-moderation advocate Mohamed Tawfik Ismail has sent a letter to the Conference of Rulers regarding his suit over the tabling of the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. In the letter dated July 21, Tawfik said he wanted to focus the attention of the Rulers on the constitutionality of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill, commonly referred to as RUU355. A day later, he sent another letter to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah to inform them of the letter he had sent the Conference of Rulers. “In my letter to the Conference of Rulers that was written through the

Launching: Vaccination Awareness

The G25 is pleased to announce the launch of two videos on vaccination awareness, entitled “Apa itu Vaksin?” and “Adakah Vaksin Haram dan Sebabkan Autisma?” on 24 July 2017 at the Royal Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur. Last year, several cases of diphtheria, a vaccine-preventable disease, were reported including five fatalities. Almost all of them were children who were not vaccinated. Anti-vaccination movements are not new, to Malaysia nor to the world. Main concerns by Malay Muslim parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated are fears that vaccines might contain pig DNA, are ineffective, or may even be the cause of autism or linked to it. These unfounded fears are based on unsubstanti

G25: Late Zailah a vital group member

PETALING JAYA: The passing of Zailah Tun Dr Ismail has left a vacuum in the G25 group of eminent Malays. Fellow G25 member Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin said the late Zailah was not only a colleague, but also a good friend and confidante. “She believed passionately in the democratic ideals of good governance, strengthening of our public institutions and upholding of our secular constitution. “Our friendship went back a long way, from the time we shared a house in Penang together with her sister Badariah when they were both students at USM (Universiti Sains Malaysia) and I was working as the senior assistant registrar at the Penang High Court in the early ‘70s,” recalled Noor Farida. “I invited h

إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعون

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of one of our dear G25 members. May Allah place Zailah Ismail amongst the righteous. Zailah passed away on a Friday, a blessing which all would wish for. She leaves behind a loving family. Her friends in G25 will remember her with love and affection. Semoga Allah swt kurniakan rahmat dan hidayah di atas pemergian Allahyarhamah ke rahmatullah. PETALING JAYA: The second child of Malaysia's second deputy prime minister, Zailah Tun Dr Ismail, passed away at age 64 early Friday. Zailah passed away at 4.30am from cancer at the Damansara Specialist Hospital. Her remains will be brought to Masjid Al Taqwa in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and will be buried

On public caning and Malaysia’s public image

PAS may say that public caning under shariah law is not a punishment to inflict pain but is imposed merely to serve as a gentle reminder to Muslims that they should not commit moral sins. However, what should be remembered is that the Quran forbids the shaming and embarrassing of fellow Muslims. Nowhere in the Quran does it provide for the caning of sinners in public. In addition, not all Muslims agree that in today’s world we should be obsessed with humiliating people who commit personal sins, in violation of the modern concept of justice that even the worst criminals deserve to be treated with respect. A murderer sentenced to death deserves to die in dignity and in privacy. PAS may think t

Edunation: The national language pulse check

The recent fuss about making it mandatory for potential civil servants to pass SPM Bahasa Melayu (BM), including housemen, who by right should be exempted from it under the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50), has again turned the spotlight on the national language, and Article 152 and its implications. Article 152 of the Federal Constitution states that Malay is the national language. However, everyone is free to use other languages except for official government purposes. In the case of medical practitioners, the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50) makes it compulsory for them to do a few years of public service. Housemen are fresh graduates with recognised medical degrees who have to serve the government for

Shariah’s Winding Path Into Modernity

In June, Americans in about two dozen cities joined a “March Against Sharia.” For these protesters, the Arabic term is a code word for the oppression of women and men in the name of God — horrors like stoning and beheading. Since such brutalities do indeed happen in the name of Shariah, they may have had a point. But there were also points that they missed. In Arabic, “Shariah” literally means “the way.” More specifically, it refers to the body of Islamic rules that Muslims see as God’s will — based either on the Quran or on the Prophet Muhammad’s reported words and deeds. It is conceptually impossible, therefore, for a Muslim who is serious about his faith to condemn Shariah. But the implem

Kelantan seems obsessed with punishment, say groups

PETALING JAYA: The Kelantan government has come under fire for its move to introduce public caning for shariah offenders. Yayasan 1Malaysia chairman Dr Chandra Muzaffar was quoted by The Star as saying the amendments to the law to introduce public caning reflected PAS’ mentality. “It shows their continued adherence to an interpretation of shariah that is obsessed with punishment. It reflects a certain kind of mentality which is not conducive for any multireligious society such as Malaysia’s,” he was quoted as saying. Noor Farida Ariffin of G25, the group of eminent Malays, saying the move would only tarnish the image of Islam, added: “All PAS is interested in is punishment, punishment and mo

Austerity without priorities bad, says ex-finance ministry sec-gen

Former finance secretary-general Mohd Sheriff Kassim says cuts in Budget 2017 run risk of crippling public universities and hurting our future in terms of health. PETALING JAYA: A former senior finance ministry official has called for the government to review its austerity measures and not apply it across the board, as it will have a negative impact on two important sectors, education and health. While praising measures taken by the current finance ministry secretary-general to meet the budget objective of bringing down the federal deficit to 3% of the the GDP, former finance ministry secretary-general Mohd Sheriff Kassim said he is concerned the cuts will be counterproductive. “Austerity is

Work with NGOs, Sultan Nazrin urges diplomats

KUALA LUMPUR: Diplomats must work effectively with civil societies and NGOs to advance national interests. This is because these organisations have become key players in the international realm, said the Sultan of Perak. Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah said diplomats now have to share the international stage with many more actors, including civil society organisations. “National interest is best served when diplomats work together with civil society and NGOs to advance shared interests,” Sultan Nazrin said in a keynote address at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations here. In his speech titled “Transfor­mation for 21st Century Diplomats”, the Sultan said long-established and reputab

Judicial controversy: Ex-CJ says judiciary will be seen as pro-government

The improving image of the Judiciary has been tarnished again by the tenure extensions of the chief justice and Court of Appeal president, and it reflects too much political meddling, says Abdul Hamid Mohamad. PETALING JAYA: Allowing incumbent chief justice Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin to remain in their positions after the mandatory retirement age will give the impression that the judiciary is pro-Executive, a retired chief justice said. Abdul Hamid Mohamad said it would look as if the government, particularly in the present political situation in Malaysia, wanted them to continue to hold their respective positions. “It is very difficult for the Malaysi

Kelantan amends enactment to allow Shariah caning in public

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 ― The Kelantan state legislative assembly today passed amendments to its Kelantan Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002, which among others will now allow Shariah offenders to be caned publicly. In a report by New Straits Times Online, deputy mentri besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said the amendment means that offenders would no longer be caned just in prison. “However, with the amendment, the sentencing can be carried out in public or prison depending on the court’s decision. “This is in accordance with the religion, as in Islam the sentencing must be done in public,” Mohd Amar was quoted saying. The amendments were proposed by state Islamic Development, Dakwah

Ex-Treasury Secretary-General’s statement on the Federal Budget

JULY 12 — The Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance is confident that the budget objective of bringing down the Federal deficit to three per cent of GDP can be achieved. That is good news. However, let us also note that this achievement will not only be the result of the steady GDP growth and the commendable revenue collection, but also because of the austerity measures that have been introduced on the operating expenditures of almost all ministries. Since the expenditures on civil service salaries and pensions cannot be cut and payments on interest charges and statutory grants to state governments must be honoured, the entire cuts have had to fall on discretionary budget items like t

When even a cardboard model can arouse...

SHAHRIL Azmi Abdul Shukor who posted a four-minute video on Facebook has apologised to the offended admitting that he had gone overboard by kissing the standee of Nor Shafila Khairusalleh. What started as a tongue in cheek Facebook posting of a Shell advertisement went viral. Shahril said it was meant to be a joke. I am sure those who are active on social media have experienced this situation one time or another and can empathise with Shahril although we must admit that it was done in poor taste. Nor Shafila, who was the face of Shell Malaysia standee certainly did not expect the kind of reaction she was getting. She expressed her disappointment over the actions of some men who had posed for

Actually, Malaysia’s Multi-Ethnic Coalition Died in 1969

In a recent article in The Diplomat, a Malaysia-watcher argued that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s moves to politically join hands with Parti Islam Malaysia (PAS) will mean the end of the ruling BN’s “decades-long tradition of narrowing ethnic and religious divides.” This viewpoint is erroneous. I would argue that the entire setup of BN was never meant to narrow the ethnic and religious divide, but rather cement the ideology of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy), and in recent times Ketuanan Islam (Islamic supremacy). In practice this meant the UMNO staying in power at the federal level in perpetuity. Najib’s move to get close to PAS may be prompted by the 1MDB affair but in reality, the signs

Are ‘Chinese schools’ really the cause of disunity?

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 ― Local “Chinese schools” or schools that heavily feature Mandarin have been criticised as stumbling blocks to a united and harmonious Malaysia, but is that really true? Datuk Vincent Lau, chairman of the leading Chinese education group United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong), disagrees that vernacular schools or schools that teach in the students’ mother tongue are an obstacle to national unity. “We don't think that Malaysia should insist or go for single-stream education,” he told Malay Mail Online recently, arguing that such a move would not necessarily achieve racial harmony and that the advantages of allowing vernacular schools to co-ex
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