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Anwar Ibrahim

Posted by Awanama | Posted on 7:15 PG

Anwar Ibrahim


Bukti Dipalsukan Pada Bicara Kes Rasuah Anwar

Posted: 12 Sep 2011 02:50 AM PDT

Malaysiakini

Tuduhan salah guna kuasa ke atas Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pada 1998 adalah salah kerana pihak pendakwaan telah memalsukan bukti dan membuat penipuan melalui tindakan pegawai penyiasat ketika itu, Tan Sri Musa Hassan dan pendakwa raya ketika itu Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

musa hassan police igp pc 250607 mumDakwaan itu dibuat melalui sepucuk surat terbuka, baru yang dihantar kepada Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Ismail Omar, hari ini, oleh bekas Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Kuala Lumpur Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim.

Menurut Mat Zain, Musa (kiri) dan Abdul Gani melakukan penipuan berkenaan untuk manfaat bersama mereka. Kedua-dua mereka kemudiannya telah dinaikkan pangkat. Musa menjadi Ketua Polis Negara manakala Abdul Gani pula menjadi Peguam Negara. Musa bersara baru-baru ini.

"Disokong dengan dokumen-dokumen dan keterangan yang ada dalam milik dan pengetahuan saya sendiri, saya berpendapat bahawa sabitan salah ke atas Anwar dalam pertuduhan salahguna kuasa ke atas beliau, telah diperolehi oleh pihak pendakwaan melalui jalan penipuan dan pemalsuan yang telah dilakukan dengan niat bersama oleh Gani Patail dan Musa Hassan untuk faedah bersama mereka. 

"Tidak salah untuk menyatakan hukuman penjara yang Anwar telah lalui adalah penganiayaan terhadap beliau oleh mereka berdua," katanya dalam surat itu.

mahathir book launch memoirs 080311"Dengan berat hati saya menyatakan,bahawa terdapat beberapa kenyataan mustahak (bekas perdana menteri) Tun (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) dalam bab 53 "Doctor in the House", khususnya menyentuh berkaitan siasatan kes mata-lebam dan tindak-tanduk Pendakwa Raya dalam perkara sama, adalah berbeza dengan fakta terkandung dalam fail siasatan rasmi yang dibuat pada 1998.

"Saya percaya pekara ini boleh berlaku akibat Tun telah diberikan maklumat atau taklimat yang telah dimanipulasikan dan mengelirukan," tulisnya lagi.

Mat Zain telah terlibat secara langsung dalam isu-isu mengenai pendakwaan Anwar pada tahun 1998.

anwar ibrahim 1998 arrest reforamsi days 010708 black eye"Sebagai seorang yang terlibat secara langsung menangani isu-isu berkenaan serta mempunyai pengalaman bersemuka dan berinteraksi dengan semua ‘pemain-pemain utama’ perkara dalam persoalan ini, terutamanya Dr Mahathir sendiri, Gani Patail, Musa Hassan, Anwar Ibrahim, selain daripada Pesuruhjaya-Pesuruhjaya Suruhanjaya Di-Raja siasatan mata-lebam dan juga PM Najib, maka saya mampu menegaskan, bahawa segala pendedahan fakta yang saya buat dalam surat keluaran ini dan juga dalam beberapa banyak surat terbuka saya sebelum ini,tidak pernah lari sedikitpun daripada landasan kebenaran," katanya.

‘Evidence Fabricated in Anwar’s Corruption Trial’

Posted: 12 Sep 2011 01:19 AM PDT

Malaysiakini

Anwar Ibrahim’s 1998 conviction for abuse of power was wrong as the prosecution had concocted evidence and cheated through the actions of then investigating officer Musa Hassan and then lead prosecutor Abdul Gani Patail.

This was revealed in another open letter, sent to Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar today, by former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim.

Mat Zain states that Musa (left) and Gani had done this for their joint benefit. Both had risen in ranks, with Musa becoming the police chief and Gani, the attorney-general. Musa retired recently.

“It is not wrong to say the jail term Anwar faced is an injustice to him as a result of both their (Musa’s and Gani’s) actions. I am basing this argument on documentary evidence and statements that I have and are within my knowledge,” he said in the letter.

“I am also saying this because there are important statements made by (former prime minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Chapter 53 of his memoirs ‘Doctor in the House’ on the black eye incident, and the actions by the public prosecutor are different from what I have in the official case files of 1998.

“I believe that Mahathir was given a wrong briefing and he had been manipulated.”

Mat Zain was directly involved in issues regarding Anwar in 1998.

“I have confronted and interacted with the main players in this matter, including Mahathir, Gani, Musa, and Anwar, besides the commissioners in the Royal Commission of Inquiry in the black eye incident,” he said.

‘Blood sample was stolen’

Mat Zain explained how Musa and former Malacca police chief Mohd Rodwan Yusof (left) had in 1998 “stolen” Anwar’s blood sample from Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) doctor Dr Zahari Noor following the black eye incident.

“Zahari had also testified to that effect in Anwar’s abuse of power trial before the late Justice Augustine Paul on Dec 30, 1998,” he said.

“Musa still owes a public explanation as to what he had briefed Mahathir on, resulting in the then prime minister believing Anwar was involved in unnatural sex and non-matrimonial sex. Musa was pressed (or pressured) to gather DNA evidence, resulting in him stealing the blood sample.

“At that time, Anwar had already been charged in court and was awaiting his trial. By right, the process of gathering the initial evidence should have been completed.”

He also said Mahathir had no role in the fabrication of evidence as this was done by Musa and Gani.

“Mahathir had advised, and warned, in my meeting with him at the Prime Minister’s Department on Oct 8, 1998, to brief him on the police investigations (regarding the black-eye incident).

“He warned that there should be no cover up. I noted that in my diary and I extended the advice and directive to other senior police officers that same day, and also to Gani two days later.

“Hence, based on the evidence before me, I would like to state and stress that Gani (right) and Musa had cheated and fabricated evidence on Anwar for their own benefit, unless they can both prove the involvement of a third party.”

Mat Zain said he wants Musa to explain whether his action of “stealing” Anwar’s blood sample was within the law and sanctioned by Mahathir or whether he (Musa) had done it on his own initiative to justify the case in the briefing he had with the former premier.

He explained that the fact that Musa went to meet Zahari on Anwar’s blood sample for DNA testing on Oct 10, 1998, was sufficient for the people to conclude that the senior investigating officer did not have complete evidence when he briefed Mahathir.

‘Najib knows about abuses by Gani and Musa’

Mat Zain also stated that the “theft” of Anwar’s blood sample for DNA testing by Musa and Rodwan was done on Oct 15, 1998.

The two had also allegedly fabricated the forensic evidence gathered by Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof on Oct 26, 1998, to produce three other medical reports to show that Anwar “injured himself” (in the black eye incident).

Both episodes, he said, were carried out under the orders and supervision of Gani before the start of Anwar’s ‘abuse of power’ trial, which began on Nov 11, 1998.

Mat Zain said he has also received information that two persons met with current premier Najib Abdul Razak to suggest that action be taken against Gani and Musa.

This, he said, was because their “crimes” were affecting the country and had also diminished the trust of the people in government institutions.

“However Najib is seen as not prepared to take action against them and he (Najib) is the only person who knows why. Maybe he is waiting for the right time,” Mat Zain added.

PKIPM Dakwa Majlis Profesor ‘iktiraf’ British, Mahu Kenyataan Ditarik Balik

Posted: 12 Sep 2011 12:21 AM PDT

The Malaysian Insider

Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKIPM) menggesa Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN) menarik balik kenyataan pihaknya minggu lalu bahawa negara ini tidak pernah dijajah oleh British dan ia seolah-olah mengiktiraf kehadiran kuasa itu di Tanah Melayu.

Presidennya Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Samsudin berkata, pihaknya berpandangan kenyataan akhbar MPN itu tidak boleh dipandang sebagai bernilai ilmiah dan wajar ditarik balik.

"Amatlah malang bagi negara ini sekiranya para ilmuwan kita gagal memahami metod penelitian sejarah secara objektif dan ilmiah.

"Sesuatu fakta sejarah haruslah melalui proses-proses penelitian seperti heuristik, verifikasi, interprestasi dan historiografi sepertimana lazimnya dilaksanakan oleh para ilmuwan dan pengkaji sejarah yang berwibawa," kata beliau sambil menambah, "justeru, mewakili golongan pelajar dan mahasiswa di Malaysia, PKPIM menuntut MPN untuk menarik balik kenyataan yang mengelirukan ini."

Dalam satu kenyataan dikeluarkan hari ini, Ahmad Fahmi berkata, PKPIM juga meminta semua pihak termasuklah ahli politik supaya berhati-hati dalam mengeluarkan kenyataan yang melibatkan fakta dan sejarah.

"Dalam kemeriahan semua pihak untuk menjuarai isu membincangkan tema sejarah tanah air yang pada dasarnya dilihat amat positif dalam proses pemahaman asas-asas kenegaraan, mereka juga harus bertanggungjawab di atas kenyataan yang dikeluarkan sekiranya menimbulkan keraguaan dan kekeliruan kepada masyarakat.

"Justeru, PKPIM mengingatkan kepada mereka yang berkenaan agar merujuk terlebih dahulu kepada mereka yang pakar dan berdasarkan sumber yang sahih dan tidak mengeluarkan kenyataan melulu dan songsang yang boleh menimbulkan polemik dan masalah runcitan," katanya lagi.

Ahmad Fahmi menambah, PKPIM mempersoalkan kesimpulan MPN menerusi kenyataan akhbarnya tentang Tanah Melayu yang tidak pernah dijajah oleh British.

Kenyataan akhbar tersebut dibuat oleh Ketua Kluster Sejarah Warisan dan Sosiobudanya, Prof. Datuk Zainal Kling pada sidang akhbar bersama Pengerusi MPN, Prof Emiritus Datuk Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid dan anggota-anggota jawatankuasa MPN pada 9 September lalu.

"Majlis Profesor Negara menegaskan Tanah Melayu tidak pernah dijajah, hanya dilindungi Inggeris dengan meletakkan negeri-negeri Melayu itu di bawah kekuasaan Pejabat Tanah Jajahan melalui penguasaan undang-undang Inggeris, pentadbiran bercorak Inggeris, dan ekonomi kapitalis cara Inggeris.

"Dalam kata lain, MPN berkesimpulan bahawa dasar 'protectorate' yang diamalkan Inggeris terhadap Tanah Melayu dengan meletakkan residen dan penasihat di negeri-negeri Melayu sebagai satu tujuan murni untuk melindungi dan membantu Tanah Melayu dan pemerintah Melayu untuk memerintah tanah air mereka," kata beliau lagi.

Ahmad Fahmi menambah, PKPIM juga mempersoalkan kenyataan MPN yang mendakwa dasar 'protectorate' Inggeris sebagai tidak mencabuli kedaulatan negeri-negeri Tanah Melayu.

Jelas beliau, PKPIM merasakan kenyataan MPN sebagai keliru dan tidak objektif apabila majlis itu dilihat gagal memberi tafsiran yang lengkap dan memuaskan tentang konsep "kedaulatan negara."

"Ini jelas dalam kenyataannya yang mendakwa bahawa walaupun hal ehwal Persekutuan Tanah Melayu terletak di bawah pentadbiran Pejabat Tanah Jajahan di Britain, tetapi kedaulatan Melayu tetap terpelihara.

"Malah, tesis baru MPN ini kelihatan seolah-olah mengiktiraf kerajaan kolonial Inggeris sebagai wira pelindung Tanah Melayu dan menafikan perjuangan rakyat dalam menuntut kemerdekaan tanah air sendiri daripada kerajaan kolonial Inggeris yang memang dikenali dunia sebagai antara kuasa besar penjajah ketika itu," katanya lagi.

Sehubungan itu kata beliau, PKPIM sangat bersetuju dengan Prof Dr. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas yang menegaskan dalam karya ilmiah terbaru beliau berjudul "Historical Fact and Fiction" bahawa fakta sejarah seharusnya diteliti secara menyeluruh dengan mengambil kira nilai-nilai dan saling kaitan antara fakta sejarah sehingga membentuk satu rangkaian kesimpulan yang bermakna.

"PKPIM juga meyakini seseorang sejarawan bukan sekadar mampu mengutip fakta-fakta sejarah tetapi juga harus punya kekuatan akliyah bagi mentafsir bahan sejarah dengan mendalam dan tepat.

"PKPIM berpandangan kenyataan akhbar yang dibuat MPN itu tidak boleh dipandang sebagai bernilai ilmiah. Amatlah malang bagi negara ini sekiranya para ilmuwan kita gagal memahami metod penelitian sejarah secara objektif dan ilmiah," kata beliau yang turut menegaskan bahawa, "sesuatu fakta sejarah haruslah melalui proses-proses penelitian seperti heuristik, verifikasi, interprestasi dan historiografi sepertimana lazimnya dilaksanakan oleh para ilmuan dan pengkaji sejarah yang berwibawa.”

Kalau Tidak Dijajah, JWW Birch Kawan Kita?

Posted: 12 Sep 2011 12:16 AM PDT

Harakah

PAS membidas sikap membisu pemimpin Umno BN berhubung kenyataan Profesor Datuk Dr Zainal Kling bahawa Tanah Melayu “tidak pernah terjajah”, sebaliknya, hanya dinaungi atau dilindungi oleh British.

Naib Presiden PAS, Datuk Husam Musa (gambar) ketika diminta mengulas perkara itu berkata, pemimpin Umno perlu bertanggungjawab terhadap kenyataan itu kerana Zainal adalah ahli Umno.

“Pemimpin Umno kena bertanggungjawab sebab Zainal Kling mewakili Umno. Kita nak tahu pendirian pemimpin Umno.

“Apa pendirian Perdana Menteri dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri merangkap Menteri Pelajaran. Kalau tak pernah dijajah semua buku teks kita perlu diubah semula,” katanya kepada Harakahdaily.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika ditemui di majlis rumah terbuka PAS di Kolej Universiti Islam Dr Zulkifli Muhammad (KUIZM) semalam.

Ianya sebagai mengulas sikap ‘senyap’ pemimpin Umno terhadap kenyataan Zainal yang dianggap mengelirukan itu.

Zainal dalam satu kenyataan sebelum ini mendakwa Tanah Melayu tidak pernah dijajah sebaliknya, hanya dinaungi atau dilindungi oleh British.

Katanya lagi, sejak Perjanjian Pangkor ditandatangani pada tahun 1874, tidak pernah tercatat dalam perjanjian itu bahawa negeri akan dijajah, sebaliknya hanya dilindungi atau dinaungi.

Mengulas lanjut, Husam yang juga Exco kerajaan negeri Kelantan berkata sejarawan Umno seperti Dr Zainal hanya merosakkan negara kerana sanggup memutarbelitkan fakta untuk membolehkan Umno sentiasa menjadi juara setiap masa.

“Kalau kita angkat orang putih ini sebagai rakan kita, sehingga dilantik menjadi penasihat, kita telah menolak semua sejarah yang tersimpan dalam arkib di London sendiri.

“Bagi orang putih Tanah Melayu adalah Koloni, iaitu negara jajahan, bukan negeri perlindungan,” katanya.

Tambah Husam lagi, British menjajah negara ini menggunakan cara sangat halus iaitu dengan tidak menghapuskan sistem beraja agar mereka tidak mendapat penentangan rakyat di Tanah Melayu.

Namun pada hakikatnya, perlantikan pesuruhjaya British di setiap negeri membuktikan bahawa Tanah Melayu adalah dijajah.

“Kalau kita tidak pernah dijajah, bermakna JWW Birch yang dibunuh oleh Maharajalela akan kita anggap sebagai kawan kita,” katanya.

Nik Aziz: Profesor Tidur Terlalu Lama

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 11:57 PM PDT

Malaysiakini

Menteri Besar Kelantan Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat menyifatkan kenyataan Ketua Kluster Sejarah Warisan dan Sosiobudaya Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN) Datuk Dr Zainal Kling sebagai “tidur terlalu lama” apabila mendakwa Tanah Melayu tidak pernah dijajah.

“Tadi ditanya oleh wartawan apa pandangan saya tentang beberapa orang profesor yang mendakwa Tanah Melayu tidak pernah dijajah.

“Saya katakan, orang ini tidur dalam gua begitu lama lalu sedar dan berkata-kata dalam keadaan mengigau, barangkali akibat berada dalam usus penjajah begitu lama,” katanya kepada pemberita sejurus tiba di lapangan terbang Kota Baharu daripada Kuala Lumpur.

Walaupun tidak menyebut secara langsung nama Zainal, kenyataan itu jelas merujuk kepada kenyataan pensyarah Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) itu dalam sidang media di Putrajaya Jumaat lalu.

Pada 9 September lalu, Zainal berkata, berdasarkan fakta sejarah, kecuali tiga Negeri Selat, Tanah Melayu “tidak pernah terjajah”, sebaliknya, hanya dinaungi atau dilindungi oleh British.

Bercakap dalam sidang media di Putrajaya, Zainal berkata, sejak Perjanjian Pangkor ditandatangani pada tahun 1874, tidak pernah tercatat dalam perjanjian itu bahawa negeri akan dijajah.

Menulis di laman Facebooknya, Nik Aziz juga berkata, beliau mahu mendengar pandangan pemimpin Umno berhubung kenyataaan yang mengundang kritikan hebat itu, terutamanya daripada pembangkang.

“Atau memilih untuk mendiamkan diri?” soal mursyidul am PAS itu.

Civilizational Dialogue in a Divided World

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 09:53 PM PDT

Speech by Anwar Ibrahim at the Opening Assembly of the International Meeting for Peace: Bound to Live Together – Religions and Cultures in Dialogue, Munich, on the 11th September 2011

On this day, exactly ten years ago, when I was still held in solitary confinement in a Federal prison back home, the guard came running to my cell and shouted: "They have bombed the building! Huge explosion, planes were hijacked!" Being cut off from the electronic and print media, I could not at that time visualize the real extent of that event. However, three days later when someone smuggled in a copy of the 12th September newspaper I discovered to my utter horror the carnage and destruction wreaked by the September 11th attacks. Within a week, I managed to dispatch an article to Time magazine condemning the attack and calling for calm and sanity to prevail fearing naturally that this event would unleash reprisals and a new tide of hostility towards Islam and Muslims.

The need to write that article was to a degree prompted by a certain sense of personal culpability. After all, these attacks were perpetuated by self-proclaimed Islamic zealots in the name of jihad while I, on my part, had been an active and vocal proponent of civilizational dialogue vehemently advocating Islam as a religion of moderation and calling for greater understanding from the West. Now that I was in prison, the least I could do was to express full sympathy with the victims' families and condemnation for these heinous crimes against humanity.

How anyone could commit such dastardly and evil acts is beyond our understanding but we know that the history of mankind is littered with unimaginable acts of depravity and cruelty. And though it is said that "humankind cannot take much reality", we should at least have the humility to appeal to a higher Reality, one which is the End-All and the Be-All. Here, permit me to quote a short passage from Of The City of God, by St Augustine of Hippo:

"In this, then, consists the righteousness of a man, that he submit himself to God, his body to his soul, and his vices, even when they rebel, to his reason, which either defeats or at least resists them; and also that he beg from God grace to do his duty, and the pardon of his sins, and that he render to God thanks for all the blessings he receives."

Muslims are enjoined to submit to God and constantly seek His forgiveness for indeed it is only through the humility of the soul before the vastness and magnificence of the Almighty that wisdom may be attained. In the words of the late Shaykh

Isa Nur al-Din Ahmad, popularly known as Frithjoh Schon:

"May the light of wisdom unite
With love to accompany our striving
And may our souls find grace –
The path from God to God – in eternity"

Indeed 'the light of wisdom uniting with love our striving' is not just a possibility but will be a certainty if the teachings of all the great religions are viewed rationally and with an open mind. For example, Islam's tenets enjoin its believers to shun violence and terror by virtue of the principles of moderation and the protection of life, limb and property. So, when the jihadists quote chapter and verse to justify their violence in the cause of Islam we have to tell them that many a religious fanatic whatever the calling or creed can and often do resort to perverse interpretations to justify their actions. In any event, just to take on the issue, it is the view of the overwhelming majority of scholars that jihad can never be used to justify mayhem and murder.

Jihad is spiritual cleansing. It is a call to the soul of the faithful to fulfill the tenets of the religion by doing good and averting evil, establish justice, promote charity and help the weak and the poor. Above all, jihad enjoins Muslims to maintain peace and harmony and safeguard the sanctity of life and property.

This is the cornerstone in the discourse on Islam and the West for the debate has invariably been blindsided by the overriding misconception about Islam being a religion of terror and violence and one diametrically opposed to equality, justice, and human dignity. This 'belief' has led certain quarters to conclude that the term 'Muslim democracy' is an oxymoron.

But with the advent of the Arab spring, the old paradigm has crumbled and with it, one would hope, also the old misperceptions and prejudices. However, we needn't have waited for these events to occur just to realize that Islam and democracy are perfectly compatible. We have time and again spoken of Turkey as an example of what a Muslim nation can achieve if its leaders stay true to the basic tenets of Islam. Today, with the Arab spring, we are optimistic that the newly emerging democracies of the Middle East will be, like Turkey, modernist, moderate, progressive and tolerant with justice and the rule of law as a motto for governance.

While it is true that changes may not happen overnight, all indications are pointing towards fundamental changes taking place and the skeptics who say that the Arab spring is nothing but a cliché will be proven wrong. Indeed, with so much having been sacrificed, we are optimistic that the ideals of justice, respect for human rights, and good governance will be realized. We would expect the remaining autocrats and dictators to mend their ways and do the necessary or else face the same fates as those who have been overthrown. The sun is setting on a world where democracy, freedom and justice can be denied by merely raising the Islamic bogeyman. But even more importantly, we hope Europe and America will break free from the paranoia that has blinkered their view of Islam and Muslims and marred their domestic and foreign policies.

The Arab spring has shattered not only the pillars of oppressive regimes but the myths and misconceptions spun from years of propaganda and misinformation. While the Islamic fundamentalist/terror bogey should rightly be consigned to the dustbin of history, so should the notion that revolutions can only happen in the Muslim world with menacing mullahs chanting "death to the infidels".

But in saying this, we are not trying to trivialize the role of Islamists and the consequential debate on Islam and democracy. Indeed, religion, culture and civilization have all impacted our outlooks and world views. There is a history that we must come to terms with and from which we must take our lessons. There were victories and there were defeats but we must not be overwhelmed by the accretions of past influences. Unless we can accept that religious diversity is a unifying force, very little progress can be made.

The reality of religious diversity is acknowledged in the Qur'an which tells us clearly:

"O people! Behold, we have created you from a male and a female and have made you into nations and tribes to that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware."

Nations clash because of exclusive claims to territorial sovereignty. Likewise, cultures clash because of exclusive claims to the metaphysical truths. But to my mind the higher truths go beyond mere practice and ritual and converge on the singular truth: and that is from God we were sent forth and unto God we shall return.

Expounding the unity of God in Judaism, the great medieval scholar Abu Imran Musa bin Ubaidalluh Maimon al-Qurtubi, popularly known in the Western world as Maimonides, said: God is one and there is no other oneness like His.
That is the way to take us away from darkness into light, from war to peace and from hatred and evil to love and kindness.

Speaking for Islam, it is true that ideological rigidity among certain quarters of the religious orthodoxy will continue to be the stumbling block to progress and reform. But the experience of Turkey and Indonesia shows us that such intransigence will not get much traction when Muslims are given their democratic choices. The emerging democracies of the Middle East will soon be put to the test in this regard and we are confident that the moderates will gain the upper hand.

The Qur'an speaks not just to the spirit but to the intellect as well. Muslims are enjoined to examine thoroughly the principles and certitudes within it and this process is a necessary precondition for the ultimate attainment of wisdom and the realization of the eternal principles of the Divine Unity. It is from this unity that the Shari'a is sprung but often those who advocate it seem to forget that while the laws are divinely ordained their application is for humanity. Being so, the Shari'a is therefore not cast in stone but is ever growing and demands an interpretation that is dynamic and progressive.

In this regard, I am reminded again of St. Augustine who in Book One of his well-known treatise on the faith On Christian Doctrine tells us how God's love is expressed in his use of humanity, and how people may appreciate God's love through the Scriptures, faith, and charity. According to him, those who think they understand the Scriptures, but do not interpret them to reflect charity and love, do not really understand them.

Our theme for this auspicious gathering resonates with our continuing quest for civilizational dialogue. It is about putting aside one's differences and reaching out to the other side. It is about a yearning for truth and the pursuit of justice and virtue. Indeed, the world today is more intensely diverse than ever before but yet paradoxically becoming more integrated because of the quantum leaps in technology and connectivity. But in spite of this, it would be a suspension of reality to suggest that this new globalized borderless world has yielded greater peace and harmony.

Nevertheless, in this new world of social networking at one's finger tips, we cannot deny that the movement for reform, democracy and justice has moved by quantum leaps. In this process, the subscription to shared universal ideals will certainly result in the greater peace and harmony that we yearn for. These are ideals that drive us to seek the truth, justice and compassion.

Thank you.

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