Perak MB Ahmad Faizal Azumu is in hot water over some silly things he really should have known better than to voice out in public.

Meanwhile, it was a weekend of tragedies with another death at a tahfiz school, a new twist in the basikal lajak case and two horrifying murder cases in Sabah.

Some people's mouths are just too big

Azumu makes a boo-boo

So, Perak MB Ahmad Faizal Azumu apparently had a coffee shop gossip session, and forgot one important thing – that he is no ordinary Perak-ian, but the blooming Menteri Besar of the damn state.

Our makcik bawang (because for this guy, that must surely be what MB stands for) was caught on video saying a whole bunch of things which he should have known better than to say; namely, that he’s fighting a lonely battle in the state to protect Malay and Muslim interests against DAP factions.

And when a video of his spiel went viral (because what else did you expect, dude?) and the shit began to hitteth the fan, Pazuzu Azumu in classic politician fashion tai chi-ed the whole thing, claiming the video is an inaccurate representation of his conversation.

Firstly, if Shaka Zulu Azumu is unhappy about whatever DAP is doing in the state, the right way to fix it would be for the Bersatu man to hash it out with his coalition members, behind closed doors. Secondly, he should remember that DAP, with 18 seats, and not his party, with only 2 seats, is the top dog in Pakatan’s Perak kennel. So, if DAP asserts its dominance, it’s because it can.

As expected, Bersatu’s leadership is trying to play down the incident. But they’ll be summoning their man to explain what he meant with his statements. We’re also pretty certain they are gonna want to know why Azu seemed, in the video, to also be all up Umno’s wazoo. DAP supremos are also trying to minimise it – the upcoming Tg Piai by-elections means this isn’t a public spat they want or need right now – but they’re clearly not amused at Azu’s antics.

In short, Azumumumu is in all kinds of trouble, which we have to say is well-earned. Perhaps this will teach him a lesson: be careful what you say because walls – and tables, and chairs, and coffeeshops – have ears.

Death in a tahfiz school

Another day, another death at a tahfiz school. This time, the victim was a 7-year-old who died after allegedly suffering abuse at the hands of his classmates.Three 13-year-old students have been arrested over the incident. 

The school, located in Temerloh, Pahang, has been ordered to shut down after it was discovered that it had been operating without a permit. But not only did it not have a permit, it hadn’t even bothered to apply since opening in January. On top of that, the credentials and qualifications of the school’s only teacher, in charge of educating its 14 students, is also in doubt. 

The government needs to really start getting stricter with its oversight of tahfiz schools. The religious schools are becoming notorious for their lack of safety, with kids dying in fires or due to abuse with alarming frequency.

The big question is: how many of these unlicensed cowboy establishments are actually in the country? In 2017, it was estimated there were over 1,200 tahfiz schools nationwide. Of these, a whopping 670 were unregistered. Is it any wonder that deadly mishaps happen so often?

But it’s not just the accidents that are a problem. These schools dictate their own calendar and fees; they create their own Quran-focused syllabus and many of them don’t even pay much attention to mainstream SPM subjects. 

It’s entirely within parents’ rights to want their children to get a good grounding in their faith. But danger to life and limb, and a lack of focus on bread and butter subjects should never be considered acceptable. 

The government owes it to parents to sort this situation out – just as parents themselves owe it to their kids to do the right amount of due diligence before enrollment.

New twist in basikal lajak case

The basikal lajak case in Johor doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. What at first seemed to be a pretty clear cut case has become increasingly convoluted and toxic, no thanks to people who’ve turned it into a cause célèbre for yet another manufactured Malay vs non-Malay controversy. 

Sales promoter Sam Ke Ting had initially been charged with reckless driving after she mowed down a bunch of teenagers in Johor Baru, killing eight of them, in Feb 2017.

She was acquitted after the court found that she had not been driving in an unsafe manner; she wasn’t speeding, on her phone, or drunk. The boys, meanwhile, had been on the lonely, winding road at 3am – not a time when drivers could expect the road to be blocked by cyclists. 

Sam’s acquittal led to howls of anger, with many people – including Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi – decrying the court’s ruling. Predictably, because the victims were Malay and the driver Chinese, this turned into a racial issue. 

Now, the prosecution has filed an appeal, saying there are merits to the case, including the identity of the accused, location of the incident and that the accused was unfamiliar with the route.

The prosecution is flat out denying that the appeal was lodged due to pressure from the victims’ families or anybody else, but with the hoo-ha surrounding the case, it’s hard to take this statement at face value. 

And while it’s regrettable that eight boys died, what’s happening now looks like it could claim another victim – a young woman whose life has been in limbo for two years.

This and that

Here are some stories from over the weekend which we thought were important enough to be mentioned at least:

“Your ego's writing cheques your body can't cash.”

- Captain Tom 'Stinger' Jordan, Top Gun -

IN INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • Australia is warning of a ‘catastrophic’ bushfire threat to Sydney and its surrounding areas and is urging residents in vulnerable areas to seek shelter in shopping centres.
  • Tens of thousands of Japanese lined the streets of Tokyo to greet the country’s new emperor during a rare open-top car parade for the country’s monarch.
  • Bolivian President Evo Morales has resigned just hours after promising fresh elections. This after international monitors questioned his victory in last month’s polls. 
  • India’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Hindus in a decades-old dispute over a holy site contested by Muslims. This is a major victory for PM Narendra Modi and his hardline supporters.
  • ISIS recruiters could be targetting the often domestic workers in Asian cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong. At least, according to this report

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER

This weekday newsletter is brought to you by Trident Media, a group of Malaysian journalists with 60 years of combined media experience in four countries across TV, print and digital media.

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Trident Media · Seksyen 35 · Shah Alam, Selangor 40470 · Malaysia

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