Category Archives: Press Releases

GBM Statement: Stopping the Culture of Crossover

15 May, 2018

Stopping the Culture of Crossover

The recently concluded 14th General Elections brought about a historical transformation for Malaysia as well as for the region. It marked the first peaceful transition of power from the monopoly of the hitherto ruling party since Independence. However, barely a day after the new Prime Minister was sworn-in, many are flabbergasted by the attempted crossovers of MPs and state assembly persons.

Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) views this political crossover phenomenon with much concern and apprehension.

The rakyat had given Pakatan Harapan the mandate to rule because they wanted a clean break from the past. GBM considers the unconditional acceptance of these crossover MPs and ADUNs to the PH ranks as a betrayal of the rakyat’s trust.

GBM strongly objects to this culture of party-hopping because we envisage a competitive multi-party competition in future elections rather than a monopoly by a single coalition. The probable decimation of BN would only result in a new opposition that is more extreme in its politics and ideologies. We look forward to a strong and credible opposition who would keep a check on the political process and the rule of law.

GBM also wishes to draw to the attention of the state and national leadership of Pakatan Harapan, that those who voted for the Barisan Nasional should also have rights to representation.  The new administration should not disenfranchise these voters by accepting crossovers from Barisan Nasional, or by denying funding to the BN constituencies.

GBM urges the leadership of PH to take heed of the rakyat’s concern of this unhealthy crossover culture. We look forward to the new political stewardship of PH protecting and flourishing the authentic values and spirit of democracy in Malaysia.

Released by the following Member Organisations of GBM:

1)      Anak Muda Sarawak  (AMS)

2)      ENGAGE

3)      Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall(KLSCAH)

4)      LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)

5)      Merdeka University Berhad (MUB)

6)      Muslim Professional Forum (MPF)

7)      Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)

8)      Partners in Community Organising (Pacos)

9)      Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)

10)  Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)

11)  Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (IKRAM)

12)  Pusat Komas (KOMAS)

13)   Tamil Foundation (TF)

14)  Tindak Malaysia (TM)

15)  Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)

16)  Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

17)  United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)

Giro D’Italia (Kenyataan Akhbar BDS Malaysia)

*Kenyataan Akhbar Boycott Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia*

7 Mac 20181.      Satu perlumbaan basikal termasyur Giro D’Italia dibawah naungan pertubuhan berbasikal antarabangsa Union Cycliste Internasionale (UCI) akan bermula di Jerusalem pada 4 Mei 2018.

2. Kerajaan Israel telah membayar sejumlah wang yang lumayan kepada pengelola perlumbaan ini untuk memastikan ia bermula dari Jerusalem.  Ini merupakan propaganda Israel untuk meyakinkan  dunia bahawa Jerusalem adalah ibukota Israel.
3.      Tindakan ini bertentangan dengan undang-undang antarabangsa termasuk resolusi 21 Disember 2017 Perhimpunan Agung PBB ES-10/L.22 yang mengecam  pengumuman Presiden Donald Trump yang mengiktiraf Jerusalem sebagai ibu negara Israel. Malaysia termasuk negara yang membantah keras pengumuman Trump ini.
4. Peringkat pertama melalui Wilayah Jerusalem mengiktiraf penguasaan haram Israel ke atas kota itu. Sementara laluan  ketiga di Wilayah Negev, Selatan Israel mengaburi mata dunia terhadap penindasan Israel ke atas komuniti Arab Badwi di kawasan tersebut sejak 1948.
5.      Selain dari kerajaan dan Majlis Perbandaran Israel, Giro d’Italia juga menerima tajaan daripada syarikat-syarikat Israel yang turut melanggar undang-undang antarabangsa kerana beroperasi di wilayah Palestin yang dijajah.
6.     Israel menyalah guna Giro d’Italia sebagai acara global meraikan ulangtahun ke-70 penubuhan Israel. Walhal Mei 1948 merupakan malapetaka (an-Nakbah)  sejarah dunia apabila 700,000 rakyat Arab Palestin diusir dan 450 kampung mereka dibakar demi mengujudkan negara Israel.
7.     BDS Malaysia amat kecewa dengan tindakan wakil Malaysia dan Asia ke UCI, Dato’ Amarjit Singh Gill yang enggan memaklumkan UCI bahawa tindakan mereka adalah bertentangan dengan undang-undang antarabangsa dan tidak menggesa UCI untuk menukar keputusannya.
8.     BDS Malaysia mengesa Dato’ Amarjit Singh Gill mengkaji semula pendirian beliau demi untuk memelihara keadilan, kebebasan dan kesaksamaan di Palestin.
8.      BDS Malaysia menyeru kerajaan Malaysia yang peka dengan penderitaan rakyat Palestin supaya mengarah Dato Amarjit Singh Gill untuk bertindak sejajar dengan hasrat negara yang  berjuang untuk pembebasan Palestin dari cengkaman Israel.Prof Mohd Nazari Ismail
Pengerusi
BDS Malaysia

Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM): Call to all Political Parties to Commit to Inclusive National Unity

7 February 2018

 

Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM):  Call to all Political Parties to Commit to Inclusive National Unity

 

Introduction

We are a coalition of NGOs comprising various ethnic, religious, lingual, profession and socio-economic backgrounds from all states of Malaysia. Our diversity is our strength that allows us to work together on a common platform for a “Better Malaysia”, a place we all call home.

The history of GBM echoes the birth of our country and its quest for sovereignty when our past leaders successfully won independence by struggling as one united nation against British colonial rule.

However, GBM is saddened by the withering of this spirit of togetherness and muhibbah as exemplified by our forefathers.  In recent times, our national public space has been defiled with racial and religious hate speeches, with hardly any censure from the authorities and if left unchecked, threatens our national unity and social cohesion.

This is expected to deteriorate with the upcoming 14th General Elections (GE14). The run up to GE14 is already suggesting that the 2018 polls will be the most hostile ever.

It is with this concern that we call upon all political parties:

  • to cease all forms of gutter politics which abuses race and religion and incites bigotry, hatred and discord
  • to reject all forms of fear politics which instigate anxiety, insecurity, distrust and animosity
  • to reject all forms of corrupt practices; including vote buying and phantom voting

There is a myriad of national issues which begs immediate attention and prompt solutions. GBM calls upon all political parties to address these national issues in their election manifesto.  The pivotal aim of these socio-economic and political deliberations is the pursuit of authentic national unity inclusive of all Malaysians as enshrined in the Rukun Negara. To achieve this much cherished goal, GBM opines that the following policy considerations are crucial:

  • To review the blueprint of action for national unity
  • To table the National Harmony Act to Parliament
  • To form a National Unity Committee at Ministerial level to oversee the implementation of national unity programs nationwide
  • To establish an independent National Unity Fund to enable the funding of projects promoting and protecting national unity, racial and religious understanding
  • To revise school and university curriculum and co-curriculum to integrate activities and programs that foster the spirit of national unity and early bonding of children of different ethnicities and religions.
  • To establish an independent Equality Commission which deals with complaints of discrimination, with the power to mediate disputes, mete out disciplinary actions and provide recommendations to the government.
  •  To commission an independent review of the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) to ensures its operation is transparent, accountable and in harmony with the objective of promoting national unity and racial harmony.
  •  To ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and undertake an action plan to implement its recommendations.

Notwithstanding the political contestations in GE14, we invite all our fellow Malaysians to come together in mutual respect and love and to embrace and celebrate the diversity of our ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, gender, lifestyle and political persuasions.

Let us stand hand in hand, in racial and religious harmony, bonded by national unity. Let us embody the eternal values of justice, equity, mutual benefit, brotherhood and dignity of humanity.

With this at our core, we can together build a “Better Malaysia”.

Issued by:

Zaid Kamaruddin,

Chair, Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia

on behalf of the Executive Council of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia

#IAmHadiza (Press Release)

Press Release
4 Feb 2018
ISLAMIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA (IMAM)
#IAmHadiza
The Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM) views with utmost concern and consternation over the improprieties in the case involving a colleague doctor and trainee paediatrician, Dr Hadiza Bawa Garba in the current UK medico-legal debacle.
A UK jury on 4 Nov 2015, after 25 hours deliberation, convicted her of “gross negligence manslaughter” for the avoidable death of a six year old Down’s Syndrome child.
And apparently it seems, to restore public confidence in the medical profession, the General Medical Council (GMC) of the UK recently, permanently struck Bawa Garba off the medical register.
This gross mismanagement of Bawa Garba’s case has convulsed the medical fraternity globally and thousands have tweeted their support with #IAmHadiza.
The working conditions on that unfortunate day was exceptionally bad, which is not all that uncommon in many hospital scenarios worldwide, Malaysia included.
Bawa Garba, apart from her own clinical work had to cover the patient load of two other doctors and a third doctor, her consultant in charge who was away teaching. She was looking after six wards, spanning four floors, covering paediatric patients in two surgical wards and providing clinical consult to midwives and GP calls. And to complicate clinical decision making, the hospital IT system had broken down.
If this is not hospital chaos and clinical disaster waiting to happen, we are not sure what is!
A 14-person investigation team into this serious untoward incident did not identify any single root cause for the death. The report highlighted 23 recommendations and 79 remedial actions to be immediately undertaken by the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Bawa Garba who has an unblemished clinical record, had done work for various charitable causes and had just returned from 13 months maternity leave, has been made the scapegoat of the endemic failures of the UK National Health Service (NHS) to ensure patient safety as one of the pivotal goals of the healthcare industry.
Doctors in the UK have raised more than £275,000 to cover her legal expenses. And 1,500 Australian and New Zealand doctors have petitioned an open letter which describes the case as “gross injustice (was) an understatement”.
The Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM) hereby urge:
1.     all Malaysian doctors to demonstrate our solidarity for Bawa Garba by mainstreaming her appeal and innocence in social media and tweeting #IAmHadiza
2.    colleagues to contribute generously towards the cost of funding  for her expert legal counsel https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/help-dr-bawa-garba/
3.     all hospital authorities in Malaysia to ensure that the clinical ambience is optimal to protect patient safety
4.     the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) to take full cognizance of the mishandling of the case by the GMC and its potential ramifications upon our local doctors working within a highly stressed healthcare system.
Dr Jeffrey Abu Hassan
President IMAM

Joint Declaration of the International Consortium for Rohingya (ICR)

The Rohingya Muslims, who comprise 5% of the population in Burma, are the innocent victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

The UN Human Rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that “the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Despite constituting a considerable percentage of the Burmese population, they are deprived of citizenship, let alone to live as Muslims and raise their children according to the rules of Islam.

They do not possess any weapons, yet they are attacked by soldiers equipped with fatal weapons employing disproportionate force.

Unfortunately, children, girls, mothers, women, the old and infirmed are not spared of this inhuman massacre.

The Rohingyas have been deprived of their basic human rights and freedom which is enshrined in the “Universal Human Rights Declaration” signed by all UN member states.

We, the participant NGOs of the Consultation Meeting co-hosted by AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, Turkey), UNIW (Union of NGOs in the Muslim World) and AKFP (Al-Khidmat Foundation, Pakistan), hereby pledge to help the oppressed Rohingya people, towards ending the atrocities perpetrated by the Burmese government, racist and religious elements in the Burmese society.

We, the participants of the Rohingya Consultation Meeting hereby: 1. Urge the Burmese government to protect the human lives on their soils, whether citizens or otherwise and to accept the right of return of the Rohingya people to Burma.

2. Urge the Burmese government to allow aid and relief workers to be immediately dispatched to the areas affected by the conflict, to assume their work without fear of violence.

3. Urge the world community and its international human rights agencies to intervene urgently to protect the lives and properties of the Rohingyas in Burma and elsewhere.

4. Applaud the Bangladesh and Malaysian governments for providing much needed refuge to the Rohingya refugees and to the Turkish government for financial and humanitarian support.

5. Appeal to the government of Bangladesh to permit and facilitate humanitarian and relief NGOs to operate in Bangladesh until the crisis is stabilized or solved.

6. Request all members of the OIC to lobby for the right of return of the Rohingyas on the various international political platforms and actively support and fund the livelihood of the Rohingyas in the refugee camps in Bangladesh.

7. Appeal to all international agencies of the UN, relief and humanitarian NGOs to provide humanitarian relief to the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, inside the Rakhine State and elsewhere in Burma.

8. Urge the mainstream and alternative media create awareness of the massacre in Burma and the plight of the Rohingya people as a humanitarian issue and not a religious one.

9. Urge the educational institutions to undertake awareness campaigns and empower the youth to raise their voices on the Rohingya issue on social media.

10. Urge all participating NGOs to cooperate, coordinate and synergize their resources to ensure optimal outcomes to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis and continue to raise funds at the national and international level.

11. Urge all participating NGOs to strengthen their relationship with local NGOs currently working in Bangladesh and Burma.

Endorsed by member organisations of the International Consortium for Rohingya (ICR):
1) Al-Khidmat Foundation Pakistan (AKFP)
2) Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA)
3) Union of the NGOS of the Islamic World (UNIW)
4) Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA)
5) British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA)
6) PKPU Indonesia
7) Charity Australia International (CAI)
8) ICNA Relief Canada (IRC)
9) Islamic Aid Bangladesh (IAB)
10) Small Kindness Bangladesh (SKB)
11) Sarendeb Foundation for Relief & Development Sri Lanka (SFRD)
12) AMAL Malaysia
13) Cansuyu Turkey
14) UK Islamic Mission London (UKIM)
15) Helping Hand for Relief & Development (HHRD) USA
16) Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) Turkey
17) Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) Turkey
18) Besir Foundation Turkey
19) Deniz Feneri Turkey
20) IHH Turkey
21) Doctors Worldwide (DWW) Turkey
22) Bangladesh Doctors Forum (BDF)
23) Islamic Medical Association Lebanon (IMALB)
24) Islamic Medical Association Malaysia (IMAM)
25) Rohingya Federation of Arakan (RFA)
26) Hayrat Aid Turkey
27) Diyanet Foundation Turke

STOP THE GENOCIDE OF THE ROHINGYAS IN MYANMAR

PRESS RELEASE BY MUSLIM PROFESSIONALS FORUM (MPF)

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

STOP THE GENOCIDE OF THE ROHINGYAS IN MYANMAR

 

1 September 2017 / Eidul Adha 1438

 

The current genocide of the Rohingyas by Myanmarese forces has captured world attention. Civil societies around the world are outraged by the daily images of the brutal atrocities flooding mainstream and other media.

In a chilling UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report dated 3 February 2017, mass gang rape, slaughtering of babies and children, torture and inhuman treatment were detailed.

The past week has witnessed yet another wave of military crackdown on the Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine state killing an estimated 3 thousand civilians. 10 thousand homes and shops were razed to the ground, creating thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). Forced to flee their homes for the nearest country, scores are now trapped between two countries and wanted by neither.

The devastating cruelty described by the UN as “very likely commission of crimes against humanity”” follows a long standing and systematic persecution of Rohingyas. Decades of abuses, violations, discriminatory policies, exclusion and marginalization has rendered them the most persecuted people in the world.

The deafening silence of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her government’s repeated refusal to allow the OHCHR unrestricted access to the worst affected areas of Rakhine bring to question her commitment towards human rights.

The Muslim Professionals Forum urges the Malaysian government;

  1. to urgently call upon the ASEAN leaders to step up their efforts to ensure the government of Myanmar immediately stops the massacre and the grave human rights violations against the Rohingyas and safeguard their safety and access to justice and reparations.
  2. and her ASEAN neighbours to lead the call in the UN to pressure the government of Myanmar to fully comply with the recommendations of Kofi Annan’s Commission or face economic sanctions, regional and international isolation.
  3. and the ASEAN community to stop the cycle of violence against the Rohingyas and facilitate a sustainable, just and peaceful resolution to the humanitarian crisis.
  4. in the interim to organize relief missions into the affected Rakhine state to provide urgent medical and humanitarian aid to the victims.
  5. and all Malaysians to extend their solidarity and assistance to the Rohingya refugees either directly or indirectly through the various NGOs who have been supporting them regularly over the years.

Board of Directors

Muslim Professionals Forum

musamn@gmail.com

Civil Society Condemns Death Threats Against Bersih 2.0 Leaders

24 October 2016
Civil Society Condemns Death Threats Against Bersih 2.0 Leaders

We, the undersigned organizations, are extremely appalled and strongly condemn the death threats against the chairperson of Bersih 2.0, Maria Chin and her three children, former Chair of Bersih 2.0 and current president of National Human Rights Society, Ambiga Sreenevasan and Bersih 2.0 staff, Mandeep Singh. Following these threats on October 18, the car of one of Maria’s sons was splashed with red paint and chicken blood on October 20.

These deplorable death threats were received by Maria Chin via whatsapp messages in which the faces of all those named above were superimposed next to a person holding a knife over their heads.

Since the organizers launched the nationwide convoys to mobilize support for Bersih 5 rally on November 19, threats and attacks have been escalating. These came immediately after a series of attacks by red shirted thugs led by UMNO’s Sungai Besar division chief Jamal Md Yunus after he failed to stop the Bersih convoys. The sequence of events suggests a systematic and coordinated plan to stop Bersih 2.0 through physical violence culminating in death threats to instill fear in Bersih leaders and staff and the general public.

More alarming is the feeble response from the Inspector General of Police on the declaration of “all-out war against Bersih 2.0” by Jamal Md Yunus on October 20. His description of Jamal Md Yunus’s declaration as merely “war of words” is totally unprofessional in the absence of any form of investigation. The fact that Jamal Md Yunus made his war cry to stop Bersih 2.0 soon after his remand demonstrates his arrogance and little respect of the law and is enough evidence to implicate him and his red shirt thugs.

The undersigned organizations:

  1. Demand the Inspector General of Police immediately investigate these death threats and violent incidents and swiftly apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
  2. Demand the police investigate and apprehend the master mind behind the planned anti-Bersih attacks.
  3. Urge Prime Minister Najib Razak to strongly condemn these threats. His deafening silence and the IGP’s inaction is encouraging the red shirted thugs to be more hostile and violent.

We and the rakyat hold the Prime Minister and IGP accountable should any untoward incident befall any Bersih 2.0 leaders and supporters.

The rakyat is closely watching.

Endorsed by:

  1. Akademi Belia
  2. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  3. Anak Malaysia Sarawak (AMS)
  4. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)
  5. Baramkini
  6. Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism(C4)
  7. Community Development Center (CDC)
  8. ENGAGE
  9. Greenfrieds Sabah
  10. Institute for development of alternative living (IDEAL)
  11. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
  12. Japan Graduates Association, Malaysia (JAGAM)
  13. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
  14. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
  15. Jawatankuasa bertindak kuala lumpur tak nak insinerator
  16. JIHAD for JUSTICE (J4J)
  17. Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia (KESATUAN)
  18. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
  19. Kuen Cheng Alumni Association
  20. LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
  21. Malaysians Against Death Penalty & Torture (MADPET)
  22. Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS)
  23. Malaysian Indians Transformation Action Team (MITRA)
  24. Malaysia 4 Malaysians
  25. Muslims Professionals Forum (MPF)
  26. National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT)
  27. Partners in Community Organising (Pacos Trust)
  28. Penang Tamil Muslim Development Association (PELITA)
  29. Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (IKRAM)
  30. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
  31. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
  32. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
  33. Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (RAPAT)
  34. Projek Dialog
  35. Pusat Komas
  36. ONE RACE-HUMAN RACE
  37. Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
  38. Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
  39. Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO)
  40. Sarawak Women for Sarawak
  41. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
  42. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
  43. Society for the Promotion of Human Rights, Malaysia (Proham)
  44. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  45. Tenaganita
  46. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
  47. Tindak Malaysia
  48. The Federation & Alumni Associations Taiwan University, Malaysia (FAATUM)
  49. We Are Malaysians
  50. Women’s Aid Organisations (WAO)
  51. Womens Centre for Change, Penang (WCC)
  52. Women Development of Malaysia PJ
  53. Workers Hub for Change (WH4C)
  54.  Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

Response of the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM) on Issues Surrounding Termination of Pregnancy (Top) of Women Infected with the Zika Virus

9 September 2016
 
PRESS STATEMENT
RESPONSE OF THE ISLAMIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA (IMAM)* ON ISSUES SURROUNDING TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY (TOP) OF WOMEN INFECTED WITH THE ZIKA VIRUS
1.     IMAM takes serious cognizance of the aforementioned issues as deliberated by both the Mufti of the Federal Territories (http://www.muftiwp.gov.my/index.php/perkhidmatan-s/bl/1165-bayan-linnas-siri-68-hukum-hukum-berkaitan-virus-zika) and the Minister of Health (http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/09/06/subra-on-abortions-for-those-with-zika/).
2.     The obstetrician & gynaecologist is often in a dilemma when presented with circumstances involving TOP because it involves the professional code of ethics, whereby one promises to save and protect lives throughout one’s professional career.
3.     TOP is a major issue not only within medical circles but also within the context of bio-ethics and religion. In Islam, two higher objectives of the Islamic jurisprudence (Maqasid Shari’ah), is the preservation and protection of life (Hifz an-Nafs) and progeny (Hifz an-Nasl).
4.     IMAM urges that any recommendations or decisions about TOP in Zika infected pregnant women is managed with extreme care and sensitivity to avoid any misunderstandings and injustice to the patient and the foetus.
5.     The presence of legal statutes and clinical recommendations on TOP from the relevant authorities provides a general guideline to the medical doctor. The implementation of TOP must be individualized within the ambit of the law.
6.     To achieve the abovementioned objectives, IMAM recommends the establishment of a medical bio-ethics advisory board at the Ministry of Health, comprising of expert authorities in obstetrics (foetal medicine specialists), infectious diseases, bioethics, religion (in Islam from the mufti’s office or academia) and psychiatry whom the hospitals and doctors can refer to.
7.     The medical bio-ethics advisory board should meet regularly to set the best practice guidelines through  collective decision-making (ijtihad jama’ei) and thus acknowledges the role of both experts (ahluz zikr) in the domain of medicine and religion, which in Islam is enjoined as per surah al-Anbiya’ verse 7; “And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men whom We inspired. Ask the followers of the Reminder if ye know not?”
8.     This process of decision-making would be more safe and just to the mother and foetus, and would avoid unilateral decision-making which may cause conflicts between the practice of medicine and the tenets of the Shari’ah.
9.     IMAM also suggests a policy of contraception or pregnancy planning in Zika positive parents or those who live in highly endemic Zika zones. This is in keeping with the concept of planning of progeny (Tanzim an –Nasl) which is permissible (harus) in Islam. This is more natural and parenting friendly and obviates the need for unnecessary TOP, since the association between Zika in early pregnancy and neurological complications, namely microcephaly is mainly anecdotal and medically unproven as yet.
10. Since the knowledge of short and long-term risks and complications of Zika infections is still limited and being investigated by global health authorities, the public is advised not to be gullible to the rumours in social media about treatment options for Zika infections. Please do not forward these ill-evidenced messages and avoid being part of  these rumour mongering machinery.
11. IMAM urges the public to fully abide by the recommendations, prevention and treatment strategies of the Ministry of Health.
12. IMAM urges every Malaysian to be civic conscious, act promptly and cooperate with local and state authorities, by keeping our home compounds and neighbourhoods free from the breeding sites of the Aedes mosquito, the vector of the Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. The management committees of villages, housing estates, the local surau and mosque etc should be proactive by initiating gotong-royong activities to clean the environment. It is a Fardu Kifayah obligation on all Muslims to undertake this communal task since cleanliness is a major part of the Islamic faith.
13. IMAM will continue to organize seminars and dialogue sessions by our various public health, obstetric and religious experts to further inform the public on the Zika virus and its health implications.
Sincerely,
Dr Jamali bin Wagiman
Deputy President
Islamic Medical Association Malaysia (IMAM)
* Islamic Medical Association Malaysia (IMAM) is a professional medical NGO founded in 1990 and comprises of 4,000 Muslim medical specialists, doctors and health professionals.

 

Musa Mohd Nordin

BDS Malaysia on planned FIFA Congress 2017

BDS Malaysia salutes the decision of the Malaysian government to maintain its stance of not allowing representatives of Israel to attend any meeting in Malaysia including the planned FIFA congress in May 2017. This is in line and in the spirit of BDS Israel, an international call by civil societies across the globe to boycott and isolate Israel for its continued oppression of the Palestinians.
(http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/08/165129/better-malaysia-not-host-fifa-congress-says-zahid)

BDA Malaysia wishes to remind everyone that Israel has kept Palestinians under a brutal military occupation and they have been subjected to countless atrocities for decades, including genocide and ethnic cleansing. Israel has also flouted international law on many occasions and continues to maintain an apartheid policy despite repeated condemnations by the international community.

The sacrifice of not being able to host the FIFA congress is minuscule compared to the sufferings of millions of Palestinians living in Israel, under occupation in the West bank and under siege in Gaza. Then there are those in diaspora unable to return to their land and homes despite being granted that right under international law.

Palestinian athletes, as with all other Palestinians, are subject to Israel’s injustice. Palestinian national footballer Mahmoud Sarsak was detained for 3 years without trial or charge. Zakaria Issa, a national striker was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment in 2003. Muhammad Nimr, a striker in the Palestinian youth football team was detained from 2007 to 2009. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/how-israel-derails-promising-careers-palestinian-football-stars

Additionally the Palestinians are denied their right to free travel, needing Israeli permission to enter or leave. Their daily lives are a web of checkpoints, ID cards and permits. Commuting is time-consuming, and very difficult, due to often arbitrary decisions by individual Israeli soldiers. Daily training is an extreme challenge for Palestinian athletes and training facilities are severely compromised. For example, Mary Al-Atrash, who is representing Palestine in the 2016 Rio Olympics, is only able to train in a 25 meter pool, instead of a standard-sized 50 meter pool, due to restrictions on her movement. It has been estimated that Palestinians lose 3 million working hours per day to travel (American Anthropological Association Task Force Israel Palestine, 2015).

In 1970 South Africa was formally ejected from the International Olympic Committee and banned from virtually all international sports till the end of its apartheid policies in 1990s. Advocates for Boycott South Africa argued, “no normal sport in an abnormal society”, that is, as long as the regime prevented everyone from participating equally in society, it should be excluded from participating equally in the international arena.

Sports, especially football, widely accepted as a global sport, is closely tied to national identity, thus making sporting isolation a bitter pill to swallow, as shown with South Africa. Therefore, the international community must stand firm and show Israel that Israelis do not deserve to have a place among the civilized people of the world, as long as their government continues their current policies and practice.

Israel must honor its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully comply with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194

Prof Dr. Mohd Nazari Ismail
Chairman
BDS Malaysia

Press Statement on Muslim Scholar, Dr Zakir Naik

10 July 2016 / 5 Ramadhan 1437

 

Press Statement on Muslim Scholar, Dr Zakir Naik

 

Musa Mohd Nordin FRCPCH

Maszlee Malik PhD

Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)

 

Much has been said and written about the Muslim scholar, Dr Zakir Naik (DZN). Many are genuinely concerned about his style of preaching which they allege impinge abrasively on other religions (https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/348041).

 

Many others link his fiery speeches to potential IS threat to national security (https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/348000).

 

The media unashamedly sensationalized and tarnished the discourse by reporting that the militants in the terror attacks in Dhaka, Bangladesh, were inspired by him (http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/acharya-pramod-krishnam-demands-arrest-of-zakir-naik-for-inspiring-dhaka-attackers-2902041/).

 

The Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF) has stood on the sidelines since his early presence in Malaysia because we do not subscribe to his dialectical and combative approach, overbearing Islam over others, conscious or unconsciously proselytizing, and oftentimes oblivious of the local context and demography.

 

This differentiates the muballigh (preacher) ZN from our conception of a dai (Islamic worker). Islam’s concept of al-Hanifiyah (Semitic tradition) is the divine prescription towards all other non-Islamic religions. It allows “all the other religions” to be fully “others” without any reduction, deconstruction or relativisation. It acknowledges the plurality of religions and allows the adherents of all religions the plurality of laws to govern their lives within the aegis of their religious beliefs and principles. This is the gift of al-Hanifiyah to humanity.

 

This is in accordance with the calling of surah al-Hajj verse 40 which reads:

 

[They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah.” And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.

 

We therefore recognize and accept the presence of believers of other faiths, who have the inalienable right to their truth claims and our relationship and engagement is based and thrives on peaceful co-existence, harmonious cohesion and being mutually respectful of the other.

 

This is divinely enunciated as lita’rafu (know one another) in surah al-Hujurat verse 13:

 

O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nation and tribes that you may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.

 

In a similar vein, the maqasid shari’ah (higher objectives of Islamic law) epitomizes hifz ad-deen as the protection and preservation of all belief and moral systems, and enhances mutual respect and understanding between all religions.

 

We do not however overtly criticize DZN and his following, of his style and his methodology, because it is his ijtihad (juristic opinion) and prerogative vis a vis  the deliverance of Islam’s message of peace and mercy.

 

But we do take serious issues with those who unabashedly allege and accuse him of utterances and actions which are evidently false and treacherous, short of branding him an IS terrorist.

 

As we earlier stood strongly against the declarations of believers of other faiths as kafir harbi and kafir dhimmi, we will similarly condemn those who label DZN with  acrimonious and hostile islamophobic expressions (https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/347151).

We unequivocally condemn both the mainstream and alternative media which thrive on these islamophobic nuances.

 

We instead invite the genuine and sincere amongst us, to steer the discourse towards a civilizational dialogue, enhancing the higher purposes of aspiring for lita’rafu and not one driven by litanafasu, despise and envy of the other. Together, we can re-direct our religious diversity to work positively towards nation building and a civilizational construct, instead of being driven by a competitive zero sum game, where the winner takes all and the loser is vanquished.

 

It does not help that our socio-political governance has not been just and equitable to all religious quarters. If anything, the current ambience of heightened religious tension is a reflection of the failures of the ruling establishment. The politicization of religion and the irresponsible religious and racial rhetoric has unfortunately been the harbinger of most of our religious and racial disharmony. Allah (SWT) warns in surah al-Maidah verse 8:

 

O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that you deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what you do.

 

The final and universal message of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, re-asserted the principle of equality and dignity of all mankind when he said:

 

“O humankind! Your Lord is one Lord, and you have one father. All of you are from Adam, and Adam is from dust. The noblest of you is the most God-fearing. No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, no non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab, no black person has any superiority over a white person, and no white person has any superiority over a black person – superiority is only through piety.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhî)

 

There will always exist differences between human beings (see al-Quran: 11:118–19). Hence, it is neither possible, nor commanded, to make everyone believe in one faith (see al-Quran: 10:99). The call of Islam is not towards the homogenisation of society into one culture, identity or faith but the observation and practice of good conduct and civility so as to ensure that diversity will nurture justice, peace, the promotion of the common good and benefit (jalb al-masalih) and the avoidance and protection from harm (dar’ al mafasid).

 

Religious hegemony and intolerance in a pluralistic society will invariably result in conflict and will only frustrate the claim that Islam is a religion of compassion, peace, freedom and rahmatan lil alamin (mercy to all mankind).