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From PAS to Perkasa, Intolerant Malaysians Succeed in Bullying Vatican Envoy into Submission

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ArchbishopJosephMarinoAhead of GE13, the so-called 'Allah row' became a talking point for parties seeking to divide Malaysians on either side of the voting fence.

While most Malaysians will no doubt have hoped that such cynical manoeuvres were left behind after May 5, clearly some vocal groups have taken it upon themselves to prove otherwise.

The Vatican's envoy to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino, found himself in hot water last week with certain fringe groups after his comments about the Christian Federation of Malaysia and a fact sheet they put out on the use of the word 'Allah'.

"In terms of how they presented the arguments in favour, it seems to be quite logical and acceptable," he said, attempting to word his reply carefully in an effort not to get drawn into the furore.

But of course there are certain groups for whom stirring religious discontent has become something of a pastime. As such, the remarks were quickly seized upon by Malaysia's go-to exemplars of intolerance.

Perkasa Chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali issued a distasteful ultimatum for the Archbishop.

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Bersih 3.0 Slowly Comes to a Close

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Ambiga-Sreenevasan-aIt has been reported that the Bersih steering committee, composed of Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk S. Ambiga and 14 others, has proposed a settlement of the Government's suit against the group, and the Government is considering it. If accepted, it would bring to a close yet another sordid chapter in Pakatan's brief history, as the once nominally-independent entity pays for the sins of the Opposition yet again.

In the wake of the April 2012 Bersih 3.0 demonstration, which began peacefully and with co-operation by police and the demonstrators and ended with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali giving their now-infamous hand signs (and the subsequent riots), the Government sued the Bersih steering committee for violations of the Peaceful Assembly Act and allowing the riot to take place.

Ambiga and the others claimed they could not be responsible for the rioters or the destruction that followed, including wounded police and civilians and police vehicles.

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Pakatan Rakyat File Pointless Election Suit

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Anwar-Ibrahim-cLest anyone believe that Pakatan Rakyat had forsaken their now-traditional weapon of the pointless lawsuit, the Opposition pact have filed suit against the Election Commission in the High Court, demanding that every parliamentary contest result at GE13 be nullified, that the Election Commission be sacked en masse, and fresh elections be ordered.

Rumours that the suit originally demanded that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim be named interim Prime Minister and that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad be forced to apologise for having won election after election have not been confirmed.

Racing quickly past the fact that the constitution places election challenges in election courts, meaning that the High Court is expected to eliminate this suit as certainly as Anwar's chances of being Prime Minister, Pakatan claim in the suit that the so-called 'indelible ink fiasco' deprived the Opposition of the chance to form the new Government.

It is not clear whom Pakatan Rakyat will sue for their failed election strategy of ignoring the rural communities of Borneo, abandoning the Malay heartland, and finally deciding on Anwar as the figurehead for the pact.

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DAP-PAS Divide Widens Over Kuala Besut By-Election

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Lim-Guan-Eng-bPakatan leaders in both PAS and DAP are again at loggerheads trying to prove that their respective party is more relevant to Malaysia than the other – once more failing to understand the purpose of a coalition.

The Opposition's heightened state of insecurity was brought to light this week after Deputy Agriculture Minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman suggested that DAP could in theory run Malaysia if the party were given more sway over Putrajaya through PAS.

"The sultan is the head of our religion. The agong is a Muslim. If we were to become a republic, DAP Chairman Karpal Singh would then become the President. He would be your chief," he speculated during a visit to the Malay heartland of Terengganu this weekend.

No doubt hoping that Pakatan officials would pick up on his remarks, he teasingly suggested that PAS' desire to reach Putrajaya meant that they would be forced to hold open the door for DAP.

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PAS Admits Challenges Ahead of Kuala Besut By-Election

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KualaBesut-BEIt might only be a state seat, but there is a lot riding on the outcome of the Kuala Besut by-election for both sides.

For Barisan Nasional, victory would show that voters are accepting that it is time to move on from GE13, just as the Federal and Umno-led Terengganu Governments have. Victory for its candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman would be further proof that the rakyat have accepted the political status quo, even if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hasn't.

But would a BN win on July 24 finally persuade Anwar to end his tiresome 505 rallies? Probably not.

With the very real prospect of BN holding the seat, PAS, the party contesting it after some frantic politicking within Pakatan Rakyat, has already begun making excuses in case of defeat.

"It is not an easy election and we have to overturn quite a big majority. We will be praying hard," said PAS central committee member Dr Hatta Ramli.

Laying the ground for some PAS face-saving, he then went on to outline the challenge head. To win Kuala Besut, PAS will need to pick up around 1,300 votes from Barisan Nasional's 2,434 vote majority.

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