01 August 2016
Last week’s announcement of the arrest of Zulfikar Mohamad Shariff under the Internal Security Act was significant.
Zulfikar had been known to be a hardline social activist for years, ever since the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) arrests of 2001/2002 in Singapore.
Back then, as founder of the short-lived but controversial website fateha.com, he gained notoriety for asserting that the Government’s geopolitical alignment with the United States and Israel was partly to blame for the JI members’ behaviour.
His narrow, parochial worldview was on further display when he agitated on behalf of a few Muslim parents for their daughters to be allowed to wear the tudung, or headscarf, to school, in violation of the policy of having a common uniform.
The fact that many Muslim Singaporeans did not agree with his perspective did not appear to have moved him. When the police began investigations into his activities following his ill-advised hosting of politicians from Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) to discuss the tudung issue and his own speaking engagements on the same topic across the Causeway, he left for Australia with his family.
… Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna is Head of Policy Studies and Coordinator of the National Security Studies Programme in the Office of the Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. The views expressed here are his own.
GPO / NSSP / RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 01/08/2016