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

English-medium schools: An alternative stream in the national curriculum

The discussion on English-medium schools (EMS) is back by popular demand among Johoreans, according to a Yusof Ishak Institute of Singapore (ISEAS) survey. Johor wants what Singapore has: graduates who are more competent in English, and more internationally employable. Indeed, EMS appears to be associated with quality education, and Singapore has benefited tremendously by sticking to that policy. The Sultan of Johor and the Raja Permaisuri are ardent supporters and advocates of the establishment of EMS. Johoreans are known to send busloads of children across the causeway to take advantage of the school system there. It is also evident that some of the progressive Umno cabinet ministers have

Religious radicalism on the rise

Doctrinal and cultural diversity existed in Muslim societies even in the days of Prophet Muhammad. OVER the last two weeks, several religious, political and administrative issues have surged up against the Constitution and merit legal scrutiny. Jakim: Questions have been raised about the constitutionality of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim). It is suggested by some that the agency be dissolved because matters of Islam are solely under the control of individual Rulers and their Islamic departments, and Jakim should not meddle in state affairs. There are two separate issues here – one, the constitutionality of Jakim; two, its meddling in state affairs. For this purpose, Art

Johoreans want Sultan to intervene in politics ‘when necessary’, poll reveals

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Three-quarters of Johor folks polled by Singapore-based research centre ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute revealed they agree with the Johor royal house intervening in politics should the need arise. In the survey results released this week, the highest support for this notion came from the Malays in the southern state, at 84.9 per cent, followed by the ethnic Chinese at 65.1 per cent, and Indians (53.2 per cent). “The strong Malay support for the Johor Sultan intervention in politics when necessary is consistent with the community’s acceptance of the Sultan’s traditional role as their ‘protector’,” the report said. Furthermore, those responded also had no problems with the

Asiah’s wish list for G25

Ex-Education DG shares her ideas on Rukun Negara and ways to improve English among students. WHEN Tan Sri Dr Asiah Abu Samah joined G25 in May 2015, she had over five and a half decades of experience in education. That’s why she was courted by the “invitation only” group of Muslims working towards “a more moderate, liberal and united Malaysia that upholds good governance, religious tolerance and high regard for human rights”. At that time, G25 did not have a member with a background in education at the school level although it had two or three members who had been involved in higher education, explains the former Education director-general at the Education Ministry. Since retiring in 1999, s

G25 concerned religious laws getting the upper hand

PETALING JAYA: The perception that the Federal Constitution is being hijacked by religious laws will have serious consequences for the country, a group comprising former senior civil servants has warned. G25’s founding member Sheriff Kassim explained that such a perception could cause worry among the elites about where the country’s future was headed, and could even result in an exodus of many of the country’s best talents. Sheriff, who is a former finance ministry secretary-general and the current chairman of highway operator PLUS Malaysia Berhad, warned that businesses will also fear the safety of their investments if Putrajaya’s policies were dictated by religious extremism. “When busines

Stop sending students to study Islam in Middle East, says Muslim scholar

THE habit of sending students to learn about Islam in the Middle East should be stopped as they end up with their beliefs “corrupted” due to the political culture there, said a Muslim scholar. “We need to differentiate between culture and Islam. This doesn’t mean cultures, including Arab culture, are bad... (but) what is happening these days is highly political,” said Professor Dr Jasser Auda, chairman of London-based think tank Maqasid Institute. “They come back and cause issues. For instance, those from the US, Canada and European countries, they go and study in the Middle East, and when they return home, they divide the community. They cause all sorts of problems after studying in the Mid

Malaysian Constitution in line with Islam, Arab scholar says

SUBANG JAYA, Nov 18 — Any legal system and style of governance that protect lives, property and freedom of faith are already consistent with the Islamic tenets of justice, an Arab scholar said today. Jasser Auda, a distinguished professor at the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies in Brunei, told a forum here that views Muslims should only be governed by the Shariah were factually wrong, and defended Malaysia’s dual legal systems. “Your Constitution, so as long as it ensures peace and your country is stable and fair, there is no requirement to change it,” Jasser said. “What is not tolerated in Islam is mischief or injustice, which means there are crime or poverty or sorts.

Intellectual freedom under siege as another forum is blocked

IS intellectual freedom shrinking in Malaysia, a country that prides itself on being a modern Muslim state that practises a moderate form of Islam? Local academics are claiming this as a venue owner pulled out from hosting a forum on Islam in Kuala Lumpur after pressure from religious authorities. “We will definitely go ahead. This is a battle for intellectual freedom,” said forum organiser Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa of the authorities’ attempt to shut down the event. This is the second attempt by the Federal Territories Religious Authority (Jawi) to censor intellectual freedom in recent memory, after it leaned on a local university to cancel a talk by Turkish author Mustafa Akyol last month. Expe

Debate with liberals, Islamic bodies told

PETALING JAYA: An academic has urged religious authorities to consider debating Muslim speakers they disagree with instead of clamping down on them. Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, a political science professor at Universiti Sains Malaysia, told FMT he believed it was always better to engage with people one disagreed with than to resort to legal action. “What is wrong in engaging with these so-called liberal Muslims?” he said. “A lot of the forums they speak at are open anyway. Authorities can send their own scholars who are able to converse in the English language and engage actively in the question and answer session and debate them there and then. “That’s better than listening through the grapev

‘Hidden fire’ among Indonesia’s young

Two surveys have found racial and religious intolerance among many of the youth, prompting questions whether it’s due to bleak job prospects or politics of envy. INDONESIA’S youth today are often seen as a force for change in a country which, despite its rich ethnic diversity, continues to wrestle with racial and religious intolerance. But the findings of two new surveys, out in recent weeks, are challenging this long-held narrative. The first found that one in every five students supports the formation of a caliphate over a secular government, while more than half in a second poll said they were intolerant of minorities, including those from other smaller Islamic sects. Unfortunately, both

Engage non-state actors on foreign policy, Putrajaya told

KUALA LUMPUR: The government should start engaging with non-state actors in the country on foreign policies, and establish a parliamentarian committee on foreign issues, said former ambassador and G25 member Redzuan Kushairi. The former deputy permanent representative at the Malaysian Mission to the United Nations was commenting on Malaysia’s decision to allocate a land to Saudi Arabia to combat terrorism. “The government needs to engage with non-state actors such as academics, civil right groups and those with knowledge in this field. That’s what is missing in our country today. There is no engagement by the government on foreign policy. “I also think there needs to be a parliamentarian com

Think City, MBPP launch book to promote cultural heritage in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: Think City and the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) launched a book titled "Rejuvenating the City Together: The George Town Grants Programme" in their bid to promote the tangible and intangible heritage in the state. Think City Sdn Bhd executive director Hamdan Abdul Majeed said the book showcases various uniqueness and successes of grant recipients from Think City, in its effort to restore and preserve the heritage in the state. "The book displays over 200 projects by our 100 grant recipients within the George Town heritage zone. "This is also a way to appreciate and celebrate the efforts and contributions by all grant recipients through the George Town Grant Programme (GTGP)

Be more vocal against Hadi’s bill, MPs told

PETALING JAYA: Members of parliament have been urged to step up their rhetoric against PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill. Tawfik Ismail, a former MP who often speaks for moderate governance, told FMT it appeared that those opposed to the bill were taking it easy in the belief that it would not be debated during the current session of parliament although it is listed in the order paper. This is the seventh time that the bill has appeared in the order paper. Tawfik warned that the government could decide to play politics and push the bill to the top of the order list. The bill, known as RUU355, seeks to amend the 1965 Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act to allow for

Zamihan may lead militant detainees down wrong path

G25 is dismayed, concerned and saddened over reports that the Ministry of Home Affairs is continuing to employ preacher Zamihan Mat Zin as a “specialist consultant” in rehabilitating and deradicalizing the police detainees held for their involvement with extremist groups especially ISIS. We believe that as Zamihan himself is an extremist by his words and personal conduct, the employment of such a person by the Ministry and paid from public funds, sends a wrong message that religious extremism is acceptable in our society and deserves to be rewarded if it helps to advance the government's Islamic agenda. G25 views his employment as utter disrespect to His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor wh

Elak jadi bangsa badut, Sultan Nazrin ingatkan Melayu

Sultan Perak berkata Melayu perlu membuktikan mereka bangsa disegani dan bukan ditakuti, dan ini boleh dicapai dengan memiliki nilai dan peradaban tinggi. SHAH ALAM: Sultan Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah mahu orang Melayu membuktikan mereka bangsa yang bermaruah dan memiliki harga diri supaya tidak menjadi bahan ketawa. “Melayu itu hendaklah berimej orang yang dihormati, bukan orang yang ditakuti,” baginda berucap ketika merasmikan Konvensyen Nasional Penyatuan Bangsa di Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) semalam. “Buktikan bangsa Melayu bangsa yang pintar, dengan menghentikan perbuatan mengolah cipta pelbagai penglipur lara untuk dijadikan halwa telinga, atau berimej badut hingga dijadikan bahan k

Former COA judge startled by judgment in Kugan's case

A former Court of Appeal judge said he was startled by the recent majority judgment by the Federal Court which decided not to award exemplary damages of RM300,000 to the mother and family of A Kugan who died in custody nine years ago. The damages awarded by the High Court were upheld by the Court of Appeal. Commenting on the verdict, Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus said he agreed with the dissenting judgment given by Justice Zainun Ali on applying common law principles. “I wholeheartedly agree with the dissenting judgment of Justice Zainun that the violation of a constitutional right (which is the case here) entitles the court to award exemplary damages against the tortfeasor," he said. “The lear

Professor: Only Parliament can limit freedom of expression

KUALA LUMPUR: Freedom of expression, one of the fundamental liberties enshrined in the Federal Constitution, can only be limited by laws passed in Parliament, says law academic Azmi Sharom. He described the ban on the Bahasa Malaysia version of Allah, Liberty and Love by Irshad Manji, as frightening, arguing that the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) had used the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995 to ban the book. He explained Article 10 of the Federal Constitution was extremely clear in that it guaranteed Malaysian citizens the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association. This freedom, however, was not absolute, he said, as Parliame

Politicians talking the talk

TALKING the talk is about being insincere, putting on a good front; being phoney. In Malay we call it “temberang”, which basically means to be boastful and without substance. The opposite is walking the talk, living your life with integrity and turning your words into action. Lot of ministers talk the talk. It’s part of the common political psyche in Malaysia. I am sure we all have been in situations where we have to wait impatiently for ministers to turn up to grace an occasion. As the minister enters the room you have to give him the honour by standing up and applaud enthusiastically as if he is God-sent. After endless salutations of Tan Sris and Datuks in the audience, the minister will l

Open letter to Zahid: The Fate of 2 young boys are in your hands - Will you help them?

I AM writing to you, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, on behalf of two young brothers – Mohd Amirul Abdullah, 9, and Mohd Amizan Abdullah, 10. Their biological mother, whom we believe is Indonesian, had a relationship with a Malaysian man. They were not married. The mother used what we believe were fake documents to enter the country and there is no record of her with the Indonesian embassy nor can she be traced. The father is out of the picture and in jail. The boys have no legal documents to confirm their nationality and they are, on their birth certificates, registered as stateless. I have attached a copy of the boys’ birth certificate with this letter. The b

Menuju PRU14: Perjuangkan tadbir urus yang baik

Kami kumpulan G25 menyarankan agar semua parti politik memperjuangkan dua perkara penting di dalam manifesto pilihanraya mereka. Ianya: a) Memastikan pentadbiran Islam yang sederhana selaras dengan hasrat Perlembagaan Malaysia, demi memelihara kestabilan sosial dan ekonomi negara; dan b) Menegakkan sistem demokrasi yang terbuka agar wujud urus tadbir yang berteraskan "Rule of Law" serta "Checks and Balance" bagi mengelakkan penyelewangan dan salah guna kuasa. Semua parti politik harus sedar yang Malaysia akan berhadapan dengan beberapa rintangan dan cabaran kompetitif arena global yang semakin sengit, khususnya dalam usaha membangunkan ekonomi yang berterusan. Sekiranya Malaysia mengam

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