Monday, November 2, 2009

Asri's arrest - of hidden hands and politics

Former Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has plenty of admirers. But that comes with a price - he also has many enemies. Some see him as a threat to the positions they are holding in government-financed agencies like the Yayasan Dakwah Islam (Yadim). Then, some in PAS are nervous of moves by some party elders to woo him to join the party.

In short, there are ulamaks in Umno and PAS who are feeling the heat because of his popularity. The progressive and liberal set like Zainah Anwar and Marina Mahathir openly support him and today they were in court to lend their support. The more conventional Muslim groups, including the Association of Syarie Lawyers, want him stopped. They find his ideas too progressive for them. To them, it's radical, not progressive.

But Dr Asri can be sure he has few friends in JAIS or the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department. JAIS comes under the purview of Selangor PAS chief Dr Hassan Ali. Dr Asri has complained that he has been unable to get permits to preach in Selangor, a requirement for those outside the state. He has not named names but insinuated that there is a "hidden hand" behind the arrest.

He has also openly accused JAIS of being biased but the latter has rejected the accusation. MB Khalid Ibrahim has issued a middle-of-the-road statement, without wanting to commit himself to any stand except to acknowledge that JAIS has the power.

Despite being wooed by Umno and PAS, Dr Asri is said to have been advised by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to stay neutral. He has accompanied Dr Mahathir on trips overseas and is said to have sought the advice of the former premier regularly. Read Joceline Tan's analysis on Asri.


amoker said...

Suddently, seemed that the institution of state is controlled by the state?

But in reality as in Perak, these institutions are nothing more than arms of UMNO. Can JAIS be any different?

ofma said...

JAIS is not controlled by the state government. Their root is directly under JPM. Only MAIS is under Religous affair exco. So what? Is it true when Najib say he do not know anything about Asri'sarrest?

Syahredzan said...


JAIS is not under state government. It's under direct purview of Sultan. As is all religious authorities.

That's why, if you recall when Nizar was Perak MB, he replaced head of Perak Religious Authority, Sultan reprimanded Nizar for acting out of jurisdiction and reinstated the guy.

Heck, even the Exco for Agama, Hasan Ali, is not allowed to make statements relating to Islam in Selangor. See

"He said there were five religious authorities with jurisdiction over Islamic religious administration in the state, namely the Sultan, Mais, state Mufti's Department, the Syariah courts and Jais."

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...


To share
What's close to my head beyond hair
Giving me the chance my views to air
With my personal thoughts to bare

To care
For all those who love me
Eating with me rice and mee
Even without meat from hare

To dare
Share with others what I believe
Knowing it may help others to relieve
Themselves in how they fare

To glare
The obvious social injustices and wrongs
Lending a voice to those who aren't strong
To gallop faster than any stallion or mare

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 041109
Wed. 4th Nov. 2009.

Anonymous said...

Malaysia has lost it marbles. It has lost its way. By slowly compromising the state institutions over long period of time, we have come to the tipping point. All these state institutions had been bent to serve the interests of a few.

If the trend is not reversed and reversed quickly, we are gong down the slippery road.

Anonymous said...

Islam in Malaysia is broken to several institution of control...the left hand, doesn't know what the right hand is doing it seem. PM doesn't know, MB Khalid doesn't know, Tun M doesn't know, surely someone should know...must be PAS??