Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category



Egypt has a new President. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was the country’s Army chief and Defence Minister. Al Sisi won a landslide victory in the presidential election held in the last week of May. He defeated his opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi, by securing 96.91 per cent of the votes polled.

Al Sisi’s victory was a foregone conclusion going by the immense popularity he gained after he, as Army chief, backed the huge countrywide protests against Morsi. He earned the reputation of being a strong leader when he served Morsi an ultimatum to resign within 48 hours. When the Muslim Brotherhood protested angrily by staging indefinite sit-ins in Cairo squares, he ordered a crackdown by security forces in which nearly 1,000 of Morsi’s supporters were killed. He was the de-facto ruler of Egypt even during the reign of the post-Morsi interim government, when a new Constitution was adopted. This is when the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed and declared a “terrorist organisation.” In the run-up to the presidential poll, Al Sisi went to the extent of saying that the Muslim Brotherhood would cease to exist during his presidency.

His election confirms that Egypt has a military-guided democracy. But this should not make us jump to the conclusion that it is not democracy at all, simply military rule in a civilian garb.

The victory is landslide, and the election was free. But, it was not fair as the resources of the state were used to promote Al Sisi and the election took place against a background of brutal suppression of Moslem Brotherhood hundreds of whom have been sentenced to death making a mockery of the judicial process. Even 3 Al-Jazeera journalists ( Al-Jazeera channel’s Australian journalist Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmi and Egyptian journalist Mohamed Bahewere) were not spared and they are under a farcical trial and could be jailed for 15 long years and have been imprisoned since December on charges of broadcasting false news.

The real winners in this presidential election in Egypt is Israel. Al Sisi is only a stooge in the hands Israel and America. He is happy as long as he gets US$1.55 billion from America as an aid that will help in amassing arms and ammunition to kill the players who forced President Hosni Mubarak. But, what the west wants is a safe haven for the Jewish population of Israel at the cost of the poor Palestinians who were driven out of their homeland.

Based on what I have been reading, Al Sisi is going to end up becoming another dictator whom the Egyptian will not be able to overthrow for a long long time.


I remember Musa Aman once told me that he bought a property in Cairo on behalf of the Sabah State Government for accommodation for Sabahan students studying there. Years later he bought another property in Alexandria also for the same purpose. While traveling from Cairo to Alexandria by road, Musa said he saw only arid land all the way. 5 years ago before Mubarak was ousted Musa made another trip by road from Cairo to Alexandria and was totally surprise that the the arid land he saw earlier had been transformed into green fields producing all kinds of vegetables, including tomatoes, cabbages and potatoes. Today its a different picture all together.

The carnage and discontent in Egypt is a sad example of what a civilised society has come to mean today. While the Arab Spring did in fact raise hopes of a democratic construct, all efforts towards such an event seem to have been forgotten.

Mohamed Morsi’s government was no doubt elected through the ballot. But does it make it truly democratic? How can an Islamic government, of the Islamic Brotherhood, be fully democratic guaranteeing the fundamental rights of individuals as generally understood? Even the Soviet bloc countries called themselves democracies or socialist democracies. May be the army in Egypt (and its western supporters) fear with reason that a Morsi dispensation would lead to a slide back, from the modernity gained so far, to eventual religious fundamentalism.

People’s protests too could be very reckless and violent when motivated by passions of a religious origin and combined with the Army’s usual brutal methods of suppression. Therefore, it is not surprising that there continues to be a heavy loss of civilian lives.

The persistent silence and reticence of the U.S. and the western block are rather intriguing in that the U.S., in particular, has chosen not to call the obvious coup a coup and is overlooking this development as if nothing has taken place at all; only to pre-empt the automatic stoppage of the aid to Egypt’s new regime. Even though the U.S. overtly proclaims to champion the cause of democracy and do business only with such countries, it has not hesitated to dilute that policy any number of times to advance its interests. It is unlikely that the U.S. will be in a hurry to bring about a truce.

If the Egyptian Army is the cause of the present situation by its direct military action, the Muslim Brotherhood too is equally responsible for fostering violence for political purposes. The Brotherhood is alleged to have terrorised numerous minorities, revealing its true face. In the past year, it has paid scant respect to human rights.

A bloodbath is never a solution to political struggle. The situation there calls for effective intervention by the United Nations and other nations. But sad, cannot see a Malaysian opinion, Malaysia have become a nation without a stand!


Its Egypt Egypt everywhere, so far at least 51 people are reported killed. I thought I too give my 2 cents worth of Egypt.

The apparent military ouster of Egyptian President Morsi is a triumph for the coalition of protestors who have massed in Tahrir Square the last few days. They include many of the young, secular, facebook kakis, tech-savvy activists who captured the world´s imagination more than two years ago, when they helped bring down Hosni Mubarak´s autocratic regime. I am of the opinion that this is one reason why the Obama Administration has not attempted to stop or even condemn the coup in Egypt. Morsi´s removal may well empower forces that are more friendly to the US than the Muslim Brotherhood. It also signals the end of a decade-long-US project to bring democracy to the Middle East.

As the Arab Spring unfolded in 2011, President Obama more openly embraced democratisation. The Obama Administration gave tacit support for the revolution in Tunisia, publicly called for Mubarak to step down, and undertook military action to aid the rebellion against Libya´s Muammar Gaddafi.

The result has been, in a word, chaos. Of the countries in the Middle East in which the U.S. has supported regime change since 2003, only Tunisia can be said to be anything resembling a stable, functioning state. Even there, Islamist parties have been the biggest electoral winners – just as the Muslim Brotherhood proved the most formidable political organisation in Egypt once elections were finally held last year.

Coming back to Egypt, Morsi´s opponents have won a Pyrrhic victory. The generals are the wrong friends for the democratic movement. They are no democrats, and they are even less interested in safeguarding the development of democracy in Egypt. The military is a state within a state and it has been pulling the strings in the background for decades. The liberal opposition, in particular, cannot be certain that in the future the military won´t next topple a government that is dully elected and which does not correspond with its views. For this reason, the joy over Morsi´s ouster is shortsighted. The army´s intervention could turn out to be more dangerous than is currently foreseeable. Egypt is threatened by a deep division that could result in conditions like those seen in Algeria.

Coups may be signs of failure, but they can also be signs of rebirth. It is an irony of history that too much emphasis on the process of democracy sometimes leads to the opposite result. The Egyptian military may have ended Morsi’s ambition, but it has offered Egypt its last best chance to avoid Islamist dictatorship.


The collapse of the 23-year dictatorship, the first ever collapse of an Arab leader to a “people power” uprising is shaking the Muslim world. President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali who wanted to rule further until 2014 had to fled out of the country due to the mass uprising in every corner of Tunisia, and now, he is hiding in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia another authoritarian state, with his tail between his legs.

The spark to the riot was after, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself ablaze on December 17 out of sheer frustration. Mohamed was a young graduate who sold fruits and vegetables for a living, he was locked up and his cart with all his fruits and vegetables was confiscated by the Tunisian authorities for his failure to secure proper license. He eventually died an agonising death on January 5.

Now Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” has spread to neighbouring Egypt and is about to knock off President Hosni Mubarak from his 30 years dictatorship. Mubarak has gone into hiding now. It is spreading like wild fire across the Arab world. Like Tunisia, and now in Egypt, similar protest over unemployment and food prices have also started in Jordan, Algeria, Yemen and even Saudi Arabia in the past weeks, all these countries has a big percentage of young people, majority are well-educated but a lot unemployed.

This has been one hell of a revolution. It places the military on top and is a another step towards perpetuating the “militarized democracy”. Mubarak went because he wanted to establish a civilian oligarchy led by his son.

Anyway, the people of Egypt will be lucky if their military hands over power to a democratically elected govt in 6 months as promised !!

Comparing this with the situation that is prevailing in our country, do we see something similar happening here. I believe the situation here is not that bad yet although we have our share of widespread police abuse and death in police custody like the case of 22 year-old Kugan Ananthan who died a horrible, lonely death with his body bore the marks of several wounds from severe beatings and torture from the hands of policemen. Then we have the case of Teoh Beng Hock who died in the custody of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency and we are told that Teoh Beng Hock did not commit suicide but neither was his death a homicide. Then we are told again that the police are allowed to shoot as in the case of Aminulrasyid Amzah, the 15 year-old who died in a hail of police bullets. Then recently, there was the case of businessman Chia Buang Hing, 34 who was beaten up by the cops when he was stopped at a police road-block. So many more cases of torture and abuse from the hands of the authorities and it may take me many more pages to complete.

Don’t you think they are testing our patience? I tell you, the way our government is handling the situation really sucks, our belief in the forces of law and order have eroded badly.

Don’t you think Malaysia too is ready for this kind of an upheaval?

The conditions are here also: A dysfunctional polity, corrupt politicians, self absorbed bureaucrats, an uncaring elite, increasing disparities in income and consumption, and an all pervasive corrupt and insolent government.

So is it a matter of when or is it still a question of why?

Or when will we come out and say… CUKUP!


President Barrack Hussein Obama is challenging Israel’s right-wing government to stop its settlements, which are killing prospects for peace — let’s raise a massive global chorus to help him overcome powerful opposition in Israel and the US:

Sign the petition

West Bank settlement maps show how Palestinians are only allowed to live in small parts of their land:

Well, it was truly a remarkable speech by President Barrack Hussein Obama in Cairo, committing personally to building peace in the Middle East. Unexpectedly, his first move is to directly challenge the new right-wing government of America’s ally Israel — pressing them to stop their self-destructive policy of settlements (illegal colonies set up on territory recognised by the US and the world as Palestinian).

This is a moment of rare crisis and opportunity. Obama’s bold strategy is facing powerful opposition, so he’s going to need help around the world in the coming days and weeks to strengthen his resolve. Let’s start right now — by raising a massive global chorus behind Obama’s statement that the settlements in occupied territory must stop.

We’ll advertise the number of signatures in key newspapers in Israel, as well as in Washington DC (where some are trying to undermine Obama in the US Congress). Read Obama’s words now and add your signature to them at the link below, then forward this email to friends and family so they can do the same:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/obama_stop_settlements

There is broad agreement that the settlements are a significant barrier to peace, a view also shared by a silent majority of the Israeli public. Combined with a network of roadblocks and barriers, these colonies now blanket the West Bank, seizing territory and forcing Palestinians to live effectively as prisoners in smaller and smaller pockets (see map at right).

Until this problem is tackled, it seems impossible to build a viable Palestinian state or any kind of lasting peace. For Arab states deciding what more they themselves can do for peace, stopping the settlements has become a crucial test of Israel’s seriousness.

We’ll need to urge the other parties to take bold steps too. If we can help Obama to stay the course on settlements, shift Israeli policy and encourage the Palestinians and key Arab states also to stretch out their hands, a new beginning for the Middle East is possible.

But none of this will happen without a growing global movement of citizens taking action to support it. Read Obama’s words, add your signature and spread the word today:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/obama_stop_settlements

With hope and determination,

President Obama’s speech (full text):
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/us/politics/04obama.text.html?_r=2

“Obama Takes Tough Stance on Israeli Settlements”:
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/world/story/1070944.html

“Israeli Settlement Growth Must Stop, Says Clinton”:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/world/middleeast/28mideast.html?bl&ex=1243656000&en=b27e2280187214a9&ei=5087%0A

Agence France Presse reports on Israeli and Palestinian responses to the speech

Al-Jazeera – “Obama Seeks New Start with Muslims”

Yediot Aharonot – “Ministers Split Over Obama’s Cairo Speech”
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3726367,00.html


The full text of Obama’s speech can be found here.