'Good for all if Saddam goes'

FORMER Malaysian permanent representative to the United Nations Tan Sri Razali Ismail has urged Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to resign to avoid another war from erupting in the Gulf region, the Berita Harian reported yesterday. 

Razali, who is also the UN special envoy to Myanmar, said US did not believe that Saddam would abandon his plans to develop nuclear and biological weapons. 

Razali, who was interviewed over ntv7 on Thursday, said if Bush wanted to wage war on Iraq, he would definitely win and that he would control Iraq’s economy. 

He added that Saddam’s resignation would not only make way for a more democratic leadership to take over Iraq but would augur well for global economy. 

Berita Harian also carried a denial by Malaysian authorities that the Malaysian security forces patrolling the waters near Sipadan and Ligitan before the International Court of Justice ruled that the islands belonged to Malaysia, had shot at the Indonesian military near the islands. 

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he had questioned the forces that patrolled the region around the two islands and they had confirmed that there had not been a single shooting incident in the area.  

The Minister said the report by the Singaporean newspaper was a deliberate attempt to pit both Malaysia and Indonesia against each other. 

The Utusan Malaysia carried an article on how Friday’s long lunch hours had turned into a shopping fest for Muslim women.  

The article started out by saying that it was not compulsory for Muslim women to perform Friday prayers, although it was for Muslim men. 

Now that women were economically independent, they had taken the opportunity to shop and have lunches, especially with their non-Muslim male colleagues, the article said. 

The writer Abdul Rahman Abdul Rahim asked if this was the Islamic image that the Muslim community wanted to project? 

He said the Friday prayers and sermons were important institutions for the Muslim community during Prophet Muhammad’s time because it was an opportunity for Muslims to take stock of their leader’s rationale and logic in resolving issues during that period. 

However, times had changed and women no longer stayed at home but also worked and shouldered the family's financial responsibility, he said. 

While he agreed that it would not be practical to ask Muslim women to attend Friday prayers, Abdul Rahman suggested that they refrained from making their rounds at shopping complexes.  

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