There is a 'strong possibility' that religious leader Dr. Asri Zainul Abidin (photo) will quit at the end this month as the Mufti of Perlis. Malaysiakini reports, here, that he may retire one year early instead of serving out his full term till October 2009.
Dr. Asri confirmed reports of rumours that he will retire much earlier after serving as a state Mufti since 2006. He said he is under "great pressure" to do so but refused to elaborate. Internet reports have made much of the fact that he has been extremely vocal on several issues including the recent use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) by the government to arrest dissidents. (Read my earlier posting: 'Whither the Muftis?", here).
In light of the PM's power transition plan, Dr. Asri has written in his blog "Minda Mufti", here, on the responsibility of Muslims to choose leaders with integrity. He also pointed out that leadership change among Muslims is a major issue and leadership posts are not "spoils of war" to be divided at will amongst them.
I have only one request for the good Dr. Asri as his last hurrah before retiring: Issue a fatwa banning the use of the ISA ...