Malaysian opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been cleared of sodomy charges, which he says were meant to kill off his political career. Will his coalition be able to mount its strongest political challenge in this year’s general elections?
It is rather surprising that the Western media started to call Ennahda party in Tunisia as a ‘moderate Islamist party’. The same label has been used to describe the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to differentiate them from the ‘radical’ Salafi parties. It was not the case a couple of years ago and unimaginable by many considering we are just ten years post-911; the tragic bombing of the WTC in New York. ‘Moderate’ Islamists appears to be a new jargon to describe the ‘not so bad’ Muslim guys who were previously designated with a plethora of Islamphobic labels by the same media which included among others ‘the radical Islamists’, ‘extremist banned group’, “radical Islamic fundamentalist”, “jihadist militants”, etc.
Perhaps it was by the stroke of fate that I became a father two weeks earlier than expected. My son, Mu’awiyah Rayyan Nieshaem, was born on the 12th of October 2011 at around 5.45pm and from that point of time onward, I shoulder the additional responsibility of the care and well-being of my offspring, which includes education. As I hold my sleeping son in my hands hours after the delivery, I ponder upon aspects of my struggle thus far and how I can ensure a Better Malaysia for my newborn son.
I have always shown a keen interest in Malaysian politics ever since I was ten. As far as I am concerned, someone who is not interested in or has apathy towards the Malaysian political situation is simply being unpatriotic to the highest degree, which is unthinkable to me. Patriotism towards the country, however, is not to be confused with asabiyyah, or tribal inclinations which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Islam has abolished.
With all these known excesses and problems in Malaysia, why am I still here? Why have I remained in Malaysia? I could have just as easily moved to the United States , where I would be welcomed as a citizen and, unlike others who choose to leave, have the right to vote and participate in the political process.